Sunday, September 16, 2012

Easy Breakfast!

So, I knew we had a soccer game on Saturday night at 7pm -- in Hornell (about 1 1/2 hours from the homestead). I also know that we like a nice, sit down Sunday breakfast.  I started searching for something that I could make ahead of time, like a strata or something. I have both of Pioneer Woman's cookbooks and had just watched her Saturday morning show, and had seen something of hers on Pinterest that looked delish, so I went to her website.

I settled on baked French toast. I love recipes you can make a head of time and just forget until you need to pop it into the oven.  Plus another reason to use my homemade vanilla!  You can adapt this recipe as well if you like pecans, walnuts, or even craisins in your French toast. (Pictures are from me, not Pioneer Woman-just to explain why they are so poorly done!)

From The Pioneer Woman - slightly adapted
  • Butter, For Greasing
  • 1 loaf Crusty Sourdough (I used Pepperidge Farm)
  • 8 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • Topping
  • ½ cups Flour
  • ½ cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg, Optional (I usually have, but didn't have)
  • 1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
  • Warm Syrup, For Serving
  • Butter, For Serving
  • 1 cup Fresh Blueberries, For Serving

Preparation Instructions

For the French toast: Grease the baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away—delicious no matter what! For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with warm pancake syrup and sprinkle with blueberries.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Family Recipes

This weekend I made a recipe that paid homage to my husband Hispanic background. And I called my mom for some of my grandmother's recipes I remember from when I was young. Nearly every Sunday we'd eat dinner at my grandparents and there would be a ton of

I can still taste the Wilted Leaf Lettuce and Sour Cream Cucumbers. There was also what we call Grandma's jello, her ham with pineapple and cherries, and something with those little hotdogs and Catalina salad dressing.

My mother found the recipes and they were from Better Homes & Garden's New Cookbook. The one I have used to be my mothers and is a three-ringed binder with the red and white checkerboard cover, copyright 1976. We all know what happens to paper in three-ringed binders - they tear. So there are a lot of floating pages that are stuffed in the wrong recipe category, but I still love this cookbook.

 Flan is a wonderful Spanish, Mexican, Hispanic custard that is refreshing, creamy, and delicious.  Some people refer to it as Flan de Leche. Just as France has creme brulee, the Spanish have Flan. Sometimes I make a cream cheese flan that is awesome.  I'll let you know how they turned out.