Afternoons as a young mother were hectic. You know how it is. There were sweat pants and ponytails, stained -tshirts, mussed up mascara. Utterly uncool at times.
But, my friend Jaime and I were determined to be ladies about the whole experience. Somewhere between picking our kids up for kindergarten and cleaning bread crusts from minivan floors, we decided to meet bimonthly for Girlfriend Tea. It shouldn’t have worked, we didn’t have time. But, somehow, we made it happen. Week after week, for months and months, we laid out china, spread tablecloths over our kitchen tables, and bowed ourselves over carefully crafted teatime treats to talk about hopes and dreams and books we’d one day write.
Much has changed since then. Our children are older. I’m fairly sure I’m fatter. But, one thing that hasn’t changed is our friendship. We are girlfriends, connected forever by tea, toast, and talking. Ever the dreamers, always the dieters, endlessly running out of time in our busy lives.
This recipe for Girlfriend Toast was inspired by Jaime. Though years have passed and life has changed, the warmth and goodness of friendship remains. That’s how it is with girlfriends, you know. You sit together and stick together, sip tea, snack on toast, rock each other’s babies, cheer each other on the way to your dreams. Even when life is tipsy or turvey or downright weird.
For Jaime–and for all the girlfriends who inspire me to daily–this recipe is a tribute to the sorts of flavors we girls deserve: the fresh kick of lemon, a smidgen of mascarpone cream, oodles of fresh raspberries. It’s simple yet decadent, a perfectly delightsome treat which also keeps our bodies in mind. Gluten-free bread and organic ingredients make this toast an indulgence you can dig into, with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Light spread–lending creamy, real-butter flavor, while delivering a whopping 30% less calories & 70% less saturated fat than the real stuff. Add to that list, the snappy elegance of this recipe (and how entirely addictive it is!), and you’ll likely believe as I do that this is the best way to offer up a big ol’ hug to your favorite friends.
To Girlfriends. A Toast. Cheers!
To make your own batch of Girlfriend Toast, get yourself a bunch of gluten-free white bread. You want it thick and hearty. The chewy texture of this stuff turned into toast is hello fab.
Smear that mixture all over your bread then toss it on a baking sheet into a hot oven for about 5 minutes. You won’t believe what happens to this bread over the next several minutes. It’s better than having Fabio himself burst forth from your oven.
In just five minutes, the bread is beautifully toasted, the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! mixture is caramelized to perfection.
Some of that lemony caramel drizzles to the back of your toast. Hello Nelly.
If you think this is good, you’re going to want to put on your seat belt.
Mascarpone tops it all. Smooth Italian cream cheese. Hold me back. Hold! Me! Back!
Now heft on the fresh raspberries. I am talking, do not go easy on those things. Pile! Mound! Pretend they are your Friday morning laundry pile.
Then, unlike your laundry pile, dig in. Bite. Partake. Better yet, call a girlfriend and settle in for tea and toast.
Because, laundry can wait. But, girlfriends are forever.
3 tablespoons I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Light
3 1/2 tablespoons natural can turbinado sugar
A pinch (1/16 teaspoon) cardamon
A pinch (1/16 teaspoon) nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
4 slices white, gluten-free bread
4 tablespoons mascarpone
1 pint fresh, organic raspberries
Lemon peel curls & mint sprigs for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2) In a small bowl, combine the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light, turbinado sugar, cardamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest together with a spoon.
3) Spread the mixture evenly on four slices of bread. Place each piece of bread on a standard-sized baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, until the butter mixture on top of each slice of toast begins to caramelize.
4) Remove toast from the oven and cool slightly before spreading a tablespoon of cream cheese on each slice of toast, and topping with fresh raspberries. Garnish with lemon peel curls and mint sprigs, if your heart so desires.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Calories 300, Calories From Fat 160, Saturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 17g, Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 80mg, Total Carbohydrates 29g, Sugars 13g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Protein 4g, Vitamin A 15%, Vitamin C 30%, Calcium 6%, Iron 6%