Alton Brown’s French Toast

Alton-Brown-French-Toast-12-14

 

I had the best, non-restaurant French toast of my life this weekend.  I forgot how I can upon this recipe on the Food Network, but I am so glad I did.  I threw out my other French toast recipe!  You will love it!  It’s absolutely delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or Challah bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. Optional trick to keep toast warm:  Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices.
  5. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

    Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2003

Belgian Waffles (The Lighter Version)

P1010547

 

We own a normal waffle maker and wanted to try a Belgian waffle maker.  We just got one and it’s great!  But first we had to find a recipe that was eating healthy friendly!  I don’t want a Belgian waffle that takes a 1/3 of my daily Weight Watchers PointsPlus!  Some Belgian waffle recipes start with a stick of butter.  For us, that just isn’t going to work.  We have to keep our saturated fat amounts lower and be cognizant of what we’re eating.  This recipe tasted great!  Next time I will substitute 1/2 of the flour for whole wheat.  Another time I will try our eggless buttermilk batter and see how it works.  I used 2% milk.

 

Someday soon I will calculate the points per waffle for you.  I can only eat half of this waffle, it’s 1.5″ thick and very filling, especially when fruit is added! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil/canola oil
  • 2 cups milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Separate the eggs.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff (or use a stand mixer).
  4. Mix together the egg yolks, milk, and oil and stir slightly.
  5. Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Fold in beaten egg whites.
  7. Fill your Belgian waffle maker accordingly, cook until golden brown, and repeat.

A Simple Frittata Recipe

simple frittata

 

I just made this simple frittata.  When you feel like taking it easy or avoiding the carbs of a quiche crust, this is perfect.  There are so many combinations for meats, cheeses, and veggies here, it’s all up to your preferences.  This is from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.  I used chopped cooked ham, swiss and shredded cheddar cheese, and 2 cups mixture of broccoli, and four colors of sweet bell peppers)!  ENJOY!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 T. snipped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper (freshly ground is best)
  • 2 T. olive oil (Use the full amount here)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh veggies, such as summer squash, broccoli, roma tomatoes, and/or sweet peppers.
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions (about 3)
  • 1/2 cup chopped COOKED ham, kielbasa, chicken or turkey, or crumbled cooked pork sausage
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Swiss cheese (about 2 oz)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large Pyrex or bowl, combine eggs, basil, salt, and black pepper – set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large boilerproof skillet – I used a 10″ steel skillet.  Add veggies and green onions.  Cook, uncovered, over medium heat about 5 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in meat.
  4. Pour egg mixture that was set aside, over veggie mixture in skillet.  Cook over medium heat.
  5. As mixture sets, run a spatula around edge of skillet, lifting egg mixture so uncooked portion flows underneath.
  6. Continue cooking and lifting edges until egg mixture is almost set (surface will be moist).
  7. Sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Preheat broiler.  Place skillet under broiler, 4-5″ from heat.  Broil 1-2 mins or until top is just set and cheese melts.  (Or preheat oven to 400, bake for 5 mins until top is set).

Fluffy French Toast

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I’ve made this amazing French toast recipe probably dozens of times by now and it never fails!  Follow the directions especially step 1 – SLOWLY whisk the milk into the flour or you will have flour pockets!  I warned you. 🙂 I usually double this recipe and freeze the rest. Enjoy…..

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. white sugar (or less, doesn’t matter)
  • 12 thick slices bread (I normally use Texas toast for best results)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Measure flour into a large mixing bowl.  Slowly whisk in the milk.
  2. Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar until smooth.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. 
  4. Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated.  Cook bread on each side until golden brown.  Serve hot.  

Egg-stremely Easy Ham Egg Cups

Egg cups

 

Now if you can’t make this successfully after following these simple directions, I just don’t know about your cooking fate.  It may be time to hang up your apron and call it quits.  This is a super simple, near effortless, way to have a quick breakfast (and leftovers), a protein-rich snack or side to your breakfast or brunch.  It’s Paleo approved too, if you’re into that.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Your favorite thinly sliced ham slices from the deli 
  • Large eggs
  • Salt, sea salt worked well for me. 
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Paprika (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. (Directions are for 1 egg cup, multiply by how many you desire……)
  3. Spray a nonstick spray into your muffin tin (do not use muffin paper liners!)
  4. Place one piece of ham into each muffin hole, as illustrated above.  
  5. Crack one egg on top of the piece of ham – if you prefer scrambled eggs inside, lightly beat egg in a glass before dumping into ham cup.  
  6. Season with some salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add a small amount of paprika, if desired.  
  7. Cook 10-14 minutes depending on the doneness you desire.  I wanted it completely cooked solid as I don’t like runny eggs!
  8. Cool slightly and enjoy!

Zucchini Pancakes

zucchini-pancakes20140711_213604

 

I wanted to try something different and opted for this zucchini pancake recipe.  It’s very flavorful and browned very nicely.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups grated zucchini (you’ll need about 1/2 lb. of zucchini.  Use the large holes of a box grater to grate it).
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 T. chopped green onion 
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or as needed 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blot grated zucchini with paper towels to remove moisture.
  2. Stir together zucchini, eggs, and onion in a large bowl.
  3. Mix flour, cheese, baking powder, salt, and oregano in a separate bowl; stir mixture into zucchini until batter is just moistened.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, drop scant 1/4 cup portions of batter into hot oil, fry until golden, 2-3 mins. per side.
  5. Drain pancakes on a paper towel-lined plate.  

Creamy Banana Shake – Healthy Version

banana-shake-healthy

 

If you want a tasty and healthy shake you can make at home, look no further.  This one can be expanded to make it more dessert-like with the addition of chocolate syrup, or you can add more protein with peanut butter, or more fruity with the addition of strawberries – Strawberry milkshake, anyone?  I found this recipe in a very new cookbook by Katie Sullivan Morford, entitled, “Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love”.  I am not sure this one is so portable, but it’s a good recipe nonetheless!  I put it all in my Ninja blender and my son loved it, so did I!

 

Makes 2 servings.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 1/2 medium frozen ripe bananas, cut into 6 chunks 
  • 2 tsp. honey 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour the milk into a blender, followed by the banana, honey, vanilla, and ice. 
  2. Blend until creamy and smooth with no banana chunks or ice chips remaining, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour into two cups. 

Bacon Potato Frittata

fritatta

 

I’ve made omelets, eggs, and quiches before, but this was my first frittata.  I used what I had on hand: bacon and potatoes.  Next time I’ll try to add some bell pepper and other ingredients.  It was pretty simple, you just have to make sure you do not burn your potatoes on the bottom layer.  I omitted the green onion.  I used fresh basil from the garden.  🙂  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

-4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
-2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4 slices
-6 large eggs, lightly beaten
-1/4 cup milk
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
-1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
-2 teaspoons finely snipped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed
salsa (optional) or sour cream (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Using a large, nonstick skillet, cook bacon pieces until crisp.
  2. Reserve 2 T. of bacon drippings.
  3. Drain bacon pieces on paper towel.
  4. Add potato slices to skillet with reserved bacon drippings.
  5. Cover and cook over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
  6. Turn potato slices over and turn down heat to prevent over-browning (if necessary).
  7. In large bowl, beat eggs, milk, pepper, and salt until combined.
  8. Stir in cheese, green onion, and basil.  Set aside.
  9. Spread cooked potatoes in an even layer over the bottom of skillet.
  10. Sprinkle the bacon over the potatoes.
  11. Pour in egg mixture.
  12. Cover, reduce heat to medium low.
  13. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until top surface of egg is set.
  14. Decrease heat to low if necessary, to allow center to cook without over-cooking the edges.
  15. Loosen edges of frittata from pan, carefully invert onto large serving plate.
  16. Cut into wedges.
  17. Put a dollop of sour cream or salsa on top right before serving, if desired.

Fluffy French Toast

20140403_085246

This is my favorite French toast recipe.  I make it once a month and freeze the remainder.  I usually use Texas Toast for the best result.  It’s just perfect.  I cook it up on my nonstick rectangular griddle that takes up two burners on the stove.  I usually double the recipe so there is more yield and less work in the long run.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T. white sugar (I’ve reduced this and it turns out just fine)
  • Approximately 12 thick slices of bread

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Measure flour into a large mixing bowl.  SLOWLY whisk in the milk.  (<— This step is very important to prevent unsightly lumps!)
  2. Then whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar until smooth.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Soak break slices in mixture until saturated, one by one. 
  5. Cook break on each side until golden brown.  Serve hot.

 

Spinach, Tomato, and Feta (Or Whatever Cheese You Have) Quiche

 

 

quiche-4-12-14

This is my second quiche and I am really getting the hang of it.  I made the mistake, possibly, of putting this quiche in the tart pan.  The problem was that once I par-baked the quiche crust I realized the ingredients most likely would not fit.  So then I transferred it to the glass pie plate, my favorite container for a quiche.  I must say though, the tart pan gives the quiche a cool fluted edge.  Anyway, I didn’t have feta so I used all my leftover cheeses (no waste!): shredded Swiss cheese and Land O’ Lakes 4-Cheese sliced cheese blend.  As usual, I used garlic powder not the raw.  YUM!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Homemade pastry dough or store-bought
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves, trimmed of stems, and washed thoroughly
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup creme fraiche (or heavy cream, or milk)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. fresh chives, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Two hours before you want to make the quiche, take the dough out of the freezer to defrost.  (Or make your own like I did).
  2. Lay the dough into either a 10″ quiche pan, making sure you have enough to form a crust around edge.  Par-bake if you like.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Crumble the feta onto the bottom of the crust.
  5. Pour the oil into a pan and, when heated, throw in spinach and cook until wilted (Less than five minutes). 
  6. Spread the spinach over the feta cheese.
  7. Beat eggs, garlic, and creme fraiche together.
  8. Pour over the top of the cheese and spinach.
  9. Place cut cherry tomatoes over the top of the quiche.
  10. Sprinkle chives and ground pepper on top.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes or until done.