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I have a confession: up until about a month ago, I had never fired up a grill on my own. I’ve always been a late bloomer and this is just another one of those things I have managed to avoid for most of my adult life. I was terrified of them blowing up in my face, so I always left the chore of grilling to someone else.

I can prepare the heck out of any meal and all the fixings to be grilled, but I never wanted to be the one to start the fire or be anywhere near it. I had envisioned so many possibilities of me losing my hair or burning my face or my hands. I’m accident prone and these thoughts just terrified me.

But when you live alone and want to really cook like an adult, eventually you have to just put your big-girl pants on, face your fears, and fire up a grill. I know, I sound dramatic, but burning your face and your arm hairs is no joke! These things could potentially happen, and based on my luck, they would most likely happen to me.

I should have probably read the Grilling for Dummies first before I started, but I thought I should just go for it, just jump in without hesitation and suffer the consequences later. Luckily, there have been no consequences…yet (I’m crossing all 10 fingers while I still have them).

So far, here’s what I’ve learned about grilling (and oh, I am only referring to gas grills, because I don’t even understand charcoal. I mean other than it is now an ingredient included in my face wash, I don’t see why you would want to make that kind of mess when there’s this invention called propane). So here it goes:

  1. If you don’t want to eat anything resembling a hockey puck or coal, don’t leave the grill. I mean, really stay right there and watch the fire because it will burn your food faster than you can say “mother fu^%$!”
  2. If you are cooking meat like chicken or beef, it is okay to close the lid. You should and you may want to turn down the heat, but again, do not leave! Stay right there!
  3. Invest in some really good grilling mitts because it’s going to be hot, and things will get real pretty fast when you touch any handles that are on or near the grill.
  4. Do not stick your hands or mitts directly over the flames because those mitts are not flame retardant and neither are your hands. THEY. WILL. CATCH.ON.FIRE!
  5. If you are cooking meat, fat will drip from it and it will make the flames angry, and you don’t want to make the flames angry! So you may want to: a) watch the flames b) try to do an indirect grilling. What the heck does that mean?? It means cook on the other side of the grill where you are not directly over the flames and maybe have a drip pan.
  6. Have a nice cool adult beverage and relax! But don’t get too relaxed that you forget you are playing with fire! Literally.

Whew!!! I know, it’s a lot to think about, but as I always tell everyone, and this pretty much goes for anything: if I can do it, you can most likely do it 10x better!

Because I now own a grill, I pretty much grill the heck out of everything, and by everything I mean fruit, veggies, you name it. Then I remember this recipe I came across a while ago, about a grilled French toast, and I’m like…wait a minute here…I can do this!

So here it is, my grilled French toast w/ blueberry lavender compote and labneh! I know, all that grill talk and you were probably expecting some yummy steak. Even though this may seem simple, the way the brioche gets caramelized when you grill it, brings a whole new flavor to your regular old french toast. You’re welcome!

 

INGREDIENTS:

Labneh:

1 container plain whole fat Greek yogurt
Cheesecloth

Blueberry & Lavender Compote:

1 cup fresh blueberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dried lavender (place in a cheesecloth or herb sachet)
2 tablespoons honey
Grilled French Toast:

4 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 loaf brioche, cut into about ¾ inch thick slices and lightly toasted
Oil for grilling

 

DO:

Labneh:

  1. Place a sieve over a medium sized bowl, and then line the sieve with the cheesecloth.
  2. Place the yogurt in the sieve. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and cover the yogurt completely.
  3. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours. It is best to let it drain for a couple of days for a rich and creamy texture.

 

Blueberry & Lavender Compote:

  1. In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved, and then remove from heat. Remove the lavender sachet.
  3. Pour into a serving dish and let it cool.

 

Grilled French Toast:

  1. Whisk the eggs, sugar, salt, spices, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a shallow baking dish.
  2. Light the grill, and then coat each slices of bread with the egg and cream mixture. Let it soak for about a minute then place on a cookie sheet.
  3. Oil the grill grates and then place the soaked breads on the grill. Be sure to watch it because it will only take a couple of minutes to get the grill marks on each side.
  4. Remove from the grill. Serve with labneh and blueberry compote.