Monthly Archives: November 2011

Almond Infused French Toast

There is still far too much food in my home for 2 people!! I opened the freezer and what popped out? Half a loaf of cheap whole wheat bread ( the kind you use for stuffing…) So, here you go…a reminder to use your bread that is “on its way to its maker” as French Toast. I seriously think FT was made as a way to get kids to eat stale bread! Well, here is an easy yummy twist….my poor husband is being stuffed like a turkey these days…but there are NO complaints, and he LOVED the almond flavor in this! Enjoy my second installation of “Breakfasts created with the goal of cleaning out your fridge”………

Almond Infused French Toast

Ingredients:
6 Slices Stale Bread
3 Eggs
3 tbsp Fat Free Half & Half
4 dashes Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
Powder Sugar
Maple Syrup
Cooking Spray

Directions:
Heat flat pan on medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Whisk eggs, half and half, cinnamon, almond extract in a flat rectangle casserole dish. Dip bread into egg mixture on both sides and set into pan. Cook slowly, both sides, until a light golden brown. Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup (I like mine warmed a little) and any other treats you like…..like bacon as pictured above. We love bacon…..

Thanksgiving Stuffing Scramble

It is important to be thrifty. It is also important to fill your husbands tummy with warm delicious home made food as often as you can! I personally am relegated to oatmeal, fruit, etc as I do not have the digestive system he has nor am I a 6’4 235 pound hunk of a man. (swoon) Anyhoooooo…..I have leftovers in my fridge and I NEED to get them eaten. I am going to be getting creative…..here was the first one:

Thanksgiving Stuffing Scramble:
Ingredients:
1 cup lefotver stuffing
3 eggs
2 tbsp nonfat half and half
Salt and Peppa (whatta man, whatta man, what amighty good man….)
Cooking spray
1 slice or sprinkle of cheese
1 home made dinner roll made by my LOVELY bestie, Melissa!
Sage, for garnish…..optional.

Directions:
Spray frying pan and heat up to med. Add stuffing and let it get nice and hot. Our stuffing has sausage in it so it is perfect for this but I think any type would be delicious! Whisk the eggs and half and half, add SnP to your hearts desire, and pour into pan with stuffing. Cook slowly over med- med high heat while mixing so that it doesnt cook too much. Toast a dinner roll in the toaster oven (won’t fit in the darned toaster) Turn half of scramble out onto dish, add cheese, top with the rest of the scramble. Garnish with fresh sage (natch!) and serve with your lovely toasted roll. My husband LOVED this! I hope you enjoy it as well…..now what do I do with the cranberry sauce……….?

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

Oh….don’t you just love Mommies? My mommy knows I love shortbread….so she made me about 3 dozen shortbread cookies. Now each day after that I spend my time thinking….when can I have another cookie? Do you think my husband is eating them right now? Maybe I should hide them…..augh! But really – these are melt in your mouth, crumbly, buttery heaven!! These are a TOTAL success…Please make them. Not kidding!!!

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies
(finecooking.com)

Ingredients:
12 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan(s)
15 oz. (3-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp. table salt
5-3/8 oz. (1-1/3 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract or paste

Directions:
For rectangular cookies, lightly butter the bottom of a straight-sided 9×13-inch baking pan. For wedges, lightly butter two 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms.

Combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough begins to form moist clumps, about 1 minute.

Turn the dough out into the prepared pan (if making wedges, divide the dough between the two pans). Using lightly floured fingertips, press the dough into the pan(s) to form an even layer.

Use a bench knife or a paring knife to cut the dough all the way through into 40 bars. With the tines of a fork, prick each bar twice all the way through, spacing the holes evenly and on the diagonal. Lightly flour the tines as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. Freeze the dough while the oven heats. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.

Bake the dough, rotating the pan(s) halfway through, until the top(s) looks dry and golden-brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pan(s) to a rack. Using a paring knife or bench knife, immediately re-cut the cookies along the lines. Cool completely before removing them from the pan(s). Now, SHARE your cookies! People will decide to be your friends based on these cookies alone!!!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake

This is my moms Signature Thanksgiving Dessert. She made if for us last year and it was the undisputed hit of the holiday. I asked her to make it again so that I could blog it…..but I had no idea HOW MUCH went into this cake. This cake is a labor of love.
Enjoy!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake:
(as found on finecooking.com)

Ingredients:
For the purée
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 medium-large Sugar Pie pumpkin, cut in half from stem to bottom and seeded
For the cake
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs 1/3 cup buttermilk
For the topping
1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2/3 cup pecans
1/2 cup unsalted, raw, hulled pepitas
2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. table salt
1-1/2 Tbs. chopped crystallized ginger
For the frosting
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 oz. (1-1/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
Make the puree:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Brush a 9×13-inch baking dish with the oil. Put the pumpkin halves in the dish cut side down and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Let cool. Peel the pumpkin and purée the flesh in a food processor until smooth. You’ll need 1-1/2 cups of the purée for the cake. Refrigerate or freeze any remaining purée for another use.
Make the cake
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans with removable bottoms (or butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment, butter the parchment, and flour the pans).Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not set, about 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. In a large bowl, whisk 1-1/2 cups of the pumpkin purée with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk until very well blended. With a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Gently whisk in the brown butter until completely incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.Bake the cakes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto racks, remove the pan bottoms or parchment, and cool completely.
Make the topping Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and pepitas and cook until the pecans brown slightly and the pepitas begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the

Bagel-icious Bagels

Pride. Pride! PRIDE!
That is what I feel when I look at my bagel photo. I simply cannot believe I made these. But I did! They are chewy, flavorful (especially the rosemary ones) and amazing! If you have never made bagels…DO IT! Unless you don’t like bagels…but WHO doesnt like bagels? Not me…or you….so what are you waiting for?
But really….these are so fun, and delicious. you won’t be disappointed PLUS you will have a photo, like me!
Woo hoo!! Bagels for everyone!

Boiled Bagels
adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
4 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour ( I used Montana Wheat)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees )
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
Topper ideas: sea salt, chopped rosemary, minced garlic, minced onion

Directions:

In large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour and yeast. Mix water, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt together, and add to the dry ingredients. Beat with a mixer for half a minute at a low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl clean. Beat at a higher speed for 3 minutes. Then, by hand, mix in enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Cover, let rest for 15 minutes.

Cut into 12 portions, shape into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the center with your finger, and gently enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape. Cover, let rise 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, start a gallon of water boiling. Put 1 tablespoon of sugar in it, mix it around a bit. Reduce to simmering.

When the bagels are ready, put 4 or 5 bagels into the water, and cook 7 minutes, turning once. Drain them. Place on a greased baking sheet, add toppers if you like, and bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, eat hot or cold.

Broiling option: For a glossier surface, place raised bagels on an ungreased baking sheet prior to boiling them. Broil them five inches from heat for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes on each side. Then put them into the hot water to be boiled as above. Note: do not bake broiled bagels as long as non-broiled ones, 25 minutes should be long enough.

Coconut-Chocolate Mallow Puffies

I started with simply wanting to learn how to make marshmallow….then I had to DO something with the marshmallow….so these were created! Hope you enjoy them, my husband sure did!!

Ingredients:
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Ingredients:

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of cookie sheet. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Let sit 4 hours at room temp.

Layer the coconut on the cookie sheet and toast at 350 for approx 10 minutes – keep an eye on it – it will burn easily! When cool, sprinkle on top of marshmallow layer. Press into the marshmallow so it will stick. Cut into pieces….cookie cutters or simple squares like mine. Flip out, coconut side down onto wax paper. Melt chocolate chips in microwave and spread over the marshmallow. Allow to solidify and serve! YUMMY!