Wednesday, February 3, 2010

French Toast

My mom's recipe for French toast is the absolute best I've ever had. I've tried many versions at restaurants and diner, and even hotels, but none can compare. I think the secret is my mom's heavy handed uses of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. They give the toast a spicy kick, while still keeping it the dense comfort food that everyone knows and loves. To me, other French toast just tastes completely bland in comparison. When you just have egg and bread, all you really get to taste is the maple syrup. Whats the point of cooking when you end with something bland and uninteresting? However, this recipe is definitely none of those things. The spicy warmth that the cinnamon imbues in the bread is perfect for cold winter mornings. If there's one thing that can lure me out of my warm bread in the morning, its knowing that I have some french toast marinating in the fridge ready to be cooked. Yum!
That is another thing that makes french toast so great- you can get all the ingredients together the night before, and it will actually improve the flavor by letting the spices soak into the bread. I always end up taking longer then intended in the morning (Many days I prefer a little extra sleep to cooking for an extra 10 minutes), and so putting it together the night before allows me to have my cake french toast, and eat it too!
1 Loaf of Bread (Challah works the best, but whole grain or potato bread works great too! Its best if the bread is at least one day old)
4 Eggs
Dash of salt
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Dash of Cardamom
1 cup half and half
About a half a stick of butter (or margarine), depending on how much you want to use to grease the pan.
(Optional: you can add milk to the mixture if you want to make a larger amount)
Crack the eggs and combine them with the half and half, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt. (If you like, you can put this together the night before, as long as you keep it refrigerated and covered).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you like you can pour the mixture into a shallower container- a casserole dish, pie pan, or large tupperware container would work fine.
Take two pieces of bread (or one at a time if you prefer), and place them into the egg mixture. Leave them in for about 30 seconds on each side- the bread will absorb the mixture quickly.
Put a pan (preferably nonstick, and large enough to accommodate two slices of bread) over medium-low heat. When ready to cook, place a bit of butter in the pan and roll it around until the pan is well coated.
2 at a time, place the wet bread slices into the pan and leave them there for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. (They should reach a golden brown color). After 2 to 3 minutes, take them out and place them on a rack or sheet in the oven, for about 8 minutes.
Then . . . take them out and enjoy!
This is my favorite breakfast in the world, and I am sure it will become your after you try it!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

Here's a recipe for the most amazing blueberry muffins have ever had in my life-

This started with a recipe from my grandmother for her amazing vanilla muffins- which really can be used with any fruit. Its a fantastic recipe- and the trick that separates it is the texture- its soft and doughy, almost scone-like, and has a crispy top achieved by sprinkling sugar on the muffins before they cook. The muffin is very sweet- a great thing if you ever get one of those dreaded fruitless pieces of the muffin. This time, it doesn't matter, because the muffin, dough and all, is sweet in itself. I still use copious amounts of blueberries, about 3 cups, or more if you want, which makes the muffins a BIT healthier and optimizes the berries at the peak of their season. I guarantee these will be gone in minutes, they were when I made them. Make sure drench the berries in a bit of flour beforehand, they will allow them to float in the berries and not sink to the bottom. This is a definite crowd pleaser- perfect for pleasing guests, especially kids or teenagers, as their sweet and berry filled, an you can stores them in the fridge for a couple days.

It might take a while to make the muffins, if you're not a fast cooker, so you can definitely make the batter the night before, then mix in the berries and cook them the next morning. Hope you like them!!! The yogurt is the secret ingredient!!!

I will be uploading the recipe in a couple of hours- it is worth the wait!!!

2 cups flour, plus 2 tablespoons

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons butter- melted and cooled

1 cup yogurt

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 400, and grease muffins pans. (I do this by melting butter, taking a cooking brush, and painting the butter in each of the muffin holes. Its so easy and simple and it pretty much guarantees that your muffins will pop out easily!)

Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix the melted butter with the sugar, then add the egg and vanilla.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour in the sugar-butter mix all at once.

Stir with a fork until all of the ingredients are moistened, being careful not to overmix.

Dust the blueberries with about 2 teaspoons of flour (this will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins), and then fold them carefully into the mix.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each muffin space about halfway full.

Bake for 15 minutes if using a small tin, and for 18-20 minutes for a full sized tin.

Remove the muffins from the tins after cooking, and let them cool on a cake rack.

Monday, July 6, 2009

This Blog

This is a blog for cooks, for people who enjoy cooking, and for anyone who eats or enjoys eating. So basically, everyone. I love finding and trying out new recipes, so over the course of my (albeit short) life, I’ve come across some amazing dishes that have been absolute showstoppers. I want to share those with anyone out there looking for a great recipe. To me, there is nothing more soothing than following a recipe, step by step, and then revealing at the end a delicious dish. And of course, the best part, the eating!! So heres to great dishes that bring people together, insane flavors, butter, unexpected combinations, the perfectly whipped cream, and that awesome feeling you get when you pull something out of the oven and it tastes amazing. I’ll be listing my FAVORITE recipes- show stoppers, crowd pleasers, and to-die-for dishes. Things that make people say ahh and “I’ll just have one more”. Dishes that disappear in minutes, no matter how large they are. If you love to cook, or just love to eat, this is the place for you. Come, discuss, ask, tell, debate, and enjoy. Think of this as a big kitchen table, a big wooden one, with lots of seats, and some steaming good dishes scattered around, with big empty plates for everyone to fill. Take, give, eat your fill- these recipes are yours for the taking. Hopefully you will enjoy them, they will come out well, and I would love for everyone to give their feedback. Was it good, was it bad, was it questionable? Let me know!! I’d love to get feedback about the recipes. Also, if you have a suggestion, tip, or request for a recipe, I would love to hear it. Lets start this dinner table conversation!!! Thanks so much!!!