Tag Archives: French toast

Bucket Lists and Cronuts

3 Jun

Happy Monday, all! It’s dreary in Washington, but we had a rather nice weekend where I managed to cross a major item off of my bucket list:

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Waffles
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Pancakes
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French toast

Yes indeed, folks – I managed to eat the trifecta of starchy, carb-y breakfasts in one weekend. I call it a major success.

In other starchy, carb-y news, a new breakfast dessert has come to town and it’s brought to you by the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City.

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Picture from Dominique Ansel Bakery

The cronut is a cross between a donut and a croissant and is said to be a lighter, flakier version of a cruller. Made from croissant pastry dough, the cronut is then fried and flavored by tossing it in sugar and then filling it with ganache before topping it with icing.

Apparently, the pastry mutation is so popular that the bakery is selling out 20 minutes into their opening sales. Each cronut is $5 and there is a 6 cronut limit for each customer. The pastries are so popular that New Yorkers have started scalping cronuts on Craigslist. Yes, that is a fact, see for yourself.

I am of the opinion that the croissant, when made well, is a thing of beauty and does not need to be butchered by being deep fried and then covered in a sugar bomb. Also, the name always reminds me of Cro-Magnons, which leads to me imagine lumbering, Neanderthal-esque beasts chomping on pseudo-pastries.

What are your thoughts on the craze?

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Breakfast of Champions

27 Aug

Good morning, sunshine(s)! It is the start of another week and we have a wonderful, three-day weekend to look forward to at the end. I am going to be antsy for the weekend all week, because Stef and I are going on our first out-of-town trip since moving to the District. Not only that, but it’s to Virginia Beach for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon! He will be running the half and I am sticking with the 5K…baby steps, people, baby steps.

I promised you guys details of our amazing Sunday breakfast, so without further ado, I present to you…

Breakfast of champions. Seriously, homemade French toast cannot be beat. French toast is always something I order when I go out to breakfast because I never seem to make it myself. WHAT HAVE I BEEN THINKING?! This is seriously easy. I am about to fill you in on the secret to amazing, super simple French toast. It doesn’t involve any fancy ingredients or special preparation: the secret is in the bread. Namely, the challah bread. If you use challah for your French toast, I don’t see how you can fail.

Here is a very basic, simple recipe for French toast, that will give you a moist, fluffy French toast that you can top with a variety of toppings to make it your own. Are you ready for this?

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (soy/almond/rice will be fine if you don’t use regular)
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon (you can even add a pinch of nutmeg if you’re feeling adventurous)
  • butter

That’s it. If you run out of mixture (like we usually do), just use those proportions to make as much or as little as you need. Beat the eggs, milk, and cinnamon and get your pan on medium heat. Slice up the challah about 3/4″ thick and soak in the egg batter for a minute or two (challah is thick, so it soaks up quite a bit of liquid).

Stef soaking the delicious challah

Add a pat of butter to the pan and wait for it to stop foaming, then add your slices of bread. Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes, then eat immediately, or put on a plate and place in the oven to keep them warm.

After you’ve made as much as you think you’re going to eat, get your toppings going. I love to have lots of different toppings, so I put some some fresh blueberries, sliced strawberries, crushed walnuts, raisins, peanut butter, Trader Joe’s maple syrup, ย and some Greek yogurt.

We used a whole load of challah bread, which used double the mixture I posted above, but we had my roommate help eat it, so don’t be shocked when I tell you that the plate you see in that picture? Totally empty by the time we were done. Whoo, baby. My first two slices were in the picture at the top, with maple syrup, fresh blueberries, strawberries, and a sprinkle of walnuts and raisins. I decided to have one more slices and spread some peanut butter on the top, before topping it with walnuts and raisins.

Holy yum, guys. French toast that is this easy to make shouldn’t be allowed to taste so good.

Stef is always camera-ready.

Just like the pesto I told you about yesterday, this recipe is super fast and is simple enough that you should be able to make homemade French toast whenever you crave it. Especially on lazy Sunday mornings.

Pesto Party

26 Aug

Hello, hello! Is the weekend over already? I feel like Sunday rolls around and I always wonder where the time went…

Yesterday was all about food (more so than usual): I went to Trader Joe’s with Stefano after my morning workout and did a desperately needed grocery shop, which was evidenced by the fact that my receipt totaled almost $100!! Eeep. Guess that’s what happens when you wait two weeks to go grocery shopping. Get a load of this haul, though.

That’ll keep me going for probably another two weeks. If you get a glimpse of the basil containers on the right, you will see one of the main ingredients for the pesto party that Stefano and I had shortly after putting all the groceries away. Please also note the massive loaf of challah bread, which was the star attraction in some delicious French toast that we made for Sunday brunch.

Back to the pesto. Pesto has some of my favorite things in the world in it: basil, cheese, and olive oil. Everyone always seems to be so intimidated by it and always buy it pre-made at the store, but please read this post and know how easy it is to make at home. I promise, it tastes a million times better!!! All you need are these ingredients:

A proper pesto contains pine nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but if you are poor like me can’t find those, you can always substitute with walnuts and any other kind of hard, salty cheese (I picked up some Pecorino Romano from Costco). Some people use parsley or other greens instead of basil, but I personally don’t think pesto is worth eating unless it has basil. I usually make it and adjust the recipe according to how I’m feeling, but what I generally follow as a guideline is:

  • 2 cups, around 2-3 oz. fresh basil (don’t even both with dried basil, it’s useless)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (spring for extra-virgin)
  • 1/3 cup nuts (walnuts or pine nuts)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano, and Pecorino Romano are all good)
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled

Stefano grating away

I always start by sticking the garlic in the food processor and giving it a few pulses, so it gets minced and then adding the nuts to get those chopped up, as well. I really don’t follow any particular order, but I usually liked to add the basil and get that mixed in before adding the olive oil. One thing I do suggest is to add the olive oil in a consistent stream as the food processor is going. This ensures that you get a nice, smooth product at the end. After that’s nice and mixed, I stick in the cheese at the end.

Go, little food processor, go!

Taste as you go and feel free to tweak the amount of ingredients, depending on your preferences. We stuck three cloves of garlic in our first batch and that ended up being a little too strong, and we really like garlic. If you’re not a huge garlic fan, one clove might be enough. Just adjust the ingredients proportionally if you’re planning on making a big batch.

You can make extra and freeze it in an ice cube tray and then you have individual portions of pesto!

Of course, we had to test out our batch, so we grabbed some tomato basil focaccia that we picked up from Trader Joe’s, spread a layer of pesto on the inside, and added some slices of fresh mozzarella, before popping them in the toaster oven for a few minutes, to melt the cheese and toast the bread.

After they came out, we drizzled a little olive oil and vinegar on top and scarfed them right down. Unbelievable.

It was a successful pesto party and both of us now have Tupperwares of pesto in our freezer, waiting to be eaten. Please try this at home, I promise you that you will never be able to eat store-bought pesto again!

Wow, the time flies! It is getting late over here and it’s bedtime for me! I spent most of the evening over at Stefano’s, making him lunches and dinners to keep in the refrigerator, so he doesn’t have to worry about meal preparation this week. Hopefully this means he won’t be getting home from school at 8:30 PM like last week!

I hope everybody had a really enjoyable weekend. I look forward to telling you about my delicious Sunday French toast in tomorrow morning’s post. For now, good night!

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