Tag Archives: bread

Birthday French Toast!

Today is My Husband The Wonderful’s birthday! Here he is on a daddy-daughter date at the American Museum of Natural History (the “die-sawer bones moosem”) with The Munchkin a couple weeks ago, getting chewed on by a T-Rex:

He’s such a wonderful husband, father, & best friend that I wanted to do something extra special for him this morning, so I started looking up Creme Brulee French Toast recipes in my Google Reader. I came across a recipe on my friend Mandy’s blog that looked delicious! Plus, I even had the cookbook it came from!

That cookbook is The Essential Mormon Cookbook, & I’ve found that pretty much every recipe in there is designed to feed the hungry masses, so I always halve the recipes & end up with plenty left over. But I’m giving you the full recipe in case you’re planning to feed your teenage son’s entire lacrosse team or something.

 Overnight Creme Brulee French Toast

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 loaf Texas toast or your favorite bakery bread, sliced at least an inch thick (My Husband The Birthday Boy chose cinnamon-raisin bread from our local bakery that I sliced about an inch-&-a-half thick, & it was AMAZING — it tasted a lot like Kneaders French toast!)
  • 5 eggs (when I halved it, I used 3)
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 recipe Syrup Butter (see below)
  1. Melt butter, sugar, & corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until smooth, stirring occasionally. (I let it boil a little to make it extra caramel-y!)
  2. Pour onto a large, greased jelly roll pan (for halved recipes, a 9×13 baking dish is fine) & spread to coat the bottom.
  3. Place 12 slices (or whatever fits) of your bread in the pan in a single layer. Squeezing to fit is okay.
  4. Whisk together eggs, half & half, salt, & vanilla until well blended.
  5. Spoon or pour mixture over each slice of bread, covering evenly.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate overnight. (Mandy served this for “brinner” & said 4-5 hours of fridge time worked great.)
  7. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden on top.
  8. Remove from the oven & immediately flip the slices to allow some of the sugary, caramel-y deliciousness to get on both sides. It also keeps them from sticking to the pan, which is a nice perk.
  9. Serve with Syrup Butter (below).

Syrup Butter

Melt together 1 part butter & 2 parts maple syrup (it doesn’t need to be pure; regular old Log Cabin works great too) in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. Swirl in the cup & pour over French toast. Yum!

Happy birthday, My Husband The Greatest! I love you!

Get Your Craft On Tuesdays

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2 meals, 1 turn in the Crock Pot.

We’re all looking for ways to save time, energy, & money, right? Well these 2 meals (1 looking significantly more scrumptious than the other, unfortunately, due to my lack of time & natural light on the second evening) will do that for you.

The same exact shredded barbecue chicken goes in both dishes, so you only need to do everything once! I mentioned these two meals once before, but thought I’d post the recipes in one place to make it easier.

Just put the following in your slow cooker in order:

  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce

Cover, turn your slow cooker on low for 5+ hours, & forget about it. An hour before serving, shred the chicken & mix the ingredients together, than re-cover & continue cooking on low until ready to serve.

The first way to serve this barbecue chicken is between two buns:

Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

 The second way is to braid it inside pizza or roll dough, in what The Munchkin affectionately refers to as:

Rapunzel Braid

 

  1. Roll your dough out into as close an approximation of an oval as you can.
  2. Take a pizza cutter & create 1-inch-wide strips, but leaving the center few inches intact.
  3. Spread your leftover chicken filling down the middle on the non-strip part of the dough. Top with another squirt of barbecue sauce & some shredded cheese. Keep in mind that the more cold filling there is in the middle, the longer it will take to warm up & cook, so don’t pile it on.
  4. Then “braid” the dough by stretching alternating strips across the chicken filling & pressing into the base of the next strip down on the other side.
  5. Do the best you can to make the bottom pretty. I can’t help you here.
  6. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until quite golden on top & the dough is done in the middle.
  7. Let it rest a few minutes, then slice using a sharp serrated knife & serve with extra barbecue sauce on the side.

Do you have any multipurpose meals like this one? I’d love to hear about more!

works for me wednesday at we are that family36th Avenue

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No-fail banana bread. (With chocolate chips!)

I’ve posted a couple other recipes for ripe bananas, but this was the first. Meaning it preceded all other banana recipes. This has been my go-to staple for years, ever since my Aunt Becky (the one whose Christmas letter inspired my Painted Easter Cookies) gave me her ward’s cookbook as a wedding present. I’ve professed my love for ward cookbooks in the past, mainly for the reason that I know that the people submitting them have actually made them themselves, in a real kitchen, with small children underfoot. But even knowing that, I could never get banana bread right! With every new recipe I tried, it would always be charred on the outside before it was done on the inside. This was the first to be edible — indeed, tasty – so I’ve stuck with it the last five years. This time I decided to mix things up a little bit & add whole-wheat flour (to make it healthier) & chocolate chips (to counteract any undue healthiness).

  • 1 3/4 cup white/wheat flour blend (I just mixed together 1 cup all-purpose & 3/4 cup whole-wheat, but you could even use just all-purpose, since that’s what the original recipe, you know, asks for…), divided
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2-3 ripe bananas, mashed (Get your kids to do this! They’ll love you for it!)
  • 1/3 cup margarine, or butter-flavored shortening (I very rarely use anything but real butter in my cooking, so when I do, it’s for good reason.)
  • 2 Tbsp. milk (skim is fine)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus a little (okay, more than a little) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 & grease an 8x4x2 loaf pan.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer, combine 1 cup flour with sugar, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.
  3. Add mashed banana, margarine, & milk. Beat on low speed until blended; scrape sides of bowl.
  4. Beat on high for 2 minutes & scrape sides of bowl.
  5. Add eggs & remaining flour; beat just until incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips.
  6. Bake 53-70 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
  7. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan & cool completely before slicing. (Oh, who are we kidding here? Just make sure you use a sharp enough serrated knife & you’re golden.)

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Martha Stewart & other crafting & culinary geniuses.

Guess where I get to go tomorrow? I’m very excited. I plan to post lots of photos & neat things I learned!

But in the meantime, here are some great recipes & ideas I’ve found & tried from around blogland that I wanted to share: (All pictures are copyrighted by their respective blog owners because I didn’t take my own.)

This pasta with asparagus & marinara, from Gina’s Skinny Recipes, was a huge hit with our family! I saved time & money by using regular parmesan plus a pinch of salt in the marinara instead of Pecorino Romano, & making the marinara with the Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with Basil, rather than having to buy & chop fresh. I also used whole-grain bowtie pasta for added protein & fiber. (P.S.: The leftover marinara tastes amazing as a breadstick dipping sauce.)

At the complete other end of the omnivore spectrum was the huge, delicious steak I grilled using The Frugal Flambe’sGrilling without a Grill” method. It was perfectly done through, & without all the smoke of the stovetop method I found on another blog before. So great when you want a steak but you live in an apartment complex!

How cute are these free printable candybar wrappers from Anything But Perfect? I’ve already made some to give to the ladies I visit-teach! What a great Easter treat!

Speaking of Easter, Quit Eating Out featured a fabulous recipe to teach an object lesson about the true meaning of the holiday. These Resurrection Rolls are made of a crescent roll that represents the shroud in which Christ was wrapped. The marshmallow inside “disappears” while the roll is in the oven — “He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matt. 28:6) We’re definitely making these with The Munchkin on Sunday!

Last but not least, the only thing better than a great recipe is when one great recipe makes two great meals. I started with these fabulous barbecue chicken sandwiches from the Reluctant Entertainer. (I skipped the broccoli slaw this time, but doesn’t it look yummy?) I just tossed everything in the Crock Pot on low for 5 hours, then shredded the chicken & put it back in for another hour. The sandwiches were so delicious! But wait, there’s more…

The recipe made more than enough for the 3 of us. I saved the half we didn’t eat because I had another delicious meal in mind. My friend Kelsey shared this Barbecue Chicken Braid recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe with me some time ago, but I wasn’t so hot on taking the time or forethought for making bread dough ahead. But thanks to our fabulous local bakery’s Greatest Pizza Dough Ever for $1.75, & my delicious leftover barbecue chicken, I finally got to try it out. I’ll tell you what — I can’t believe I waited so long! These two recipes will forever be linked to one another on my weekly menu. 

Until next time, look for me on Martha!

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Filed under Crafts, Holidays, Recipes

Skinny banana bread.

I recently overcame the denial brought on by 15 months of nursing & came to the realization — only 6 months late — that I actually do need to watch what I’m eating. There are only so many ways to explain away the tightness of one’s jeans… “They just came out of the dryer; they’ll stretch back out.” (Putting them on again 2 mornings later…) “Crap.”

So I’ve been cutting calories, limiting treats, & finding ways to lighten up or “healthify” foods that I enjoy. I also went out & bought my first-ever bag of whole-wheat flour. Gasp! I know.

I had some bananas mottling on the counter (you may have seen them in the background of pictures of my daughter giddily sloshing Rice Krispies from here to Shanghai — that was for you, Karen!), so I decided my “maiden” whole-wheat substitution recipe would be Skinny Banana Bread from Paper Crafts Gourmet, a cookbook with accompanying craft projects (parties, cards, wrapping ideas, etc.) that my aunt-in-law (is that a thing?) & neighbor found at our local A.C. Moore for 5 bucks. Bargain!

It’s almost entirely fat-free, but thanks to the heartiness of the whole wheat it tastes substantial & fills you up! It’s also moist, & yes, tasty! Though mine would’ve been more flavorful if I’d had all 3 bananas they called for; I only had 2 1/3.

  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (in banana bread? I was a little skeptical too, but it totally worked, & it made my house smell amazing while it was baking!)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (1/3 cup if you have large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (optional — I used them for the added protein)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix dry ingredients & wet ingredients in separate bowls.
  3. Combine, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in nuts, if desired.
  4. Pour into prepared pan & bake 55 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

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