Cornflakes Toast

An interesting twist on French Toast. Kids love it and I’ve seen an adult or two ask for seconds. Wow the folks you cook for with this version.

About 8 slices of Challah or any egg bread
1/2 cup half-n-half
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 extra large eggs, beaten lightly
4 cups of crushed cornflakes – (Place in a zip-lock bag and crush with a rolling pin)
Butter

Heat about 3 Tbsp. of butter in a large nonstick skillet until just foaming.

In a shallow bowl or pie dish, whisk the half-n-half, sugar, cinnamon, salt and eggs. Put the crushed cornflakes into another shallow dish. One at a time dip the bread in the egg mixture then press into the cornflakes on both sides. Transfer to the pan and cook on both sides until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Place on plates and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or maple syrup – whatever you want.

Bread Souffle

Easy to make, better to eat. This is the perfect brunch.

1 loaf of Pepperidge Farm Brown Sugar or Cinnamon Swirl bread
10 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk or half-n-half or a combination of both
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 Tbs. butter, melted

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan. Cut up bread into small pieces (stack 3-4 pieces, slice 3-4 row horizontally, turn bread and repeat) scatter in the pan. Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla and butter in a large bowl then pour over bread in pan. Press down with a the back of a large spoon to ensure all bread is covered. Let this sit about 10 minutes then bake in the oven, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out lightly moistened. Let set for 10 minutes before serving. This is really good cold, too!

Homemade Doughnuts

What a gem these are. Either recipe you use – apple cider or buttermilk – will be great. You don’t even need a cookie or doughnut cutter! Surprise you family, friends, weekend guests, they will be appreciated. Enjoy!

8-9 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 cups apple cider OR buttermilk
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp
4 large eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

About 4 cups (at least 3+ inches) vegetable oil

In a large bowl, mix 5 cups of the flour with everything up to the oil. Stir in as much flour as needed to make an easy to handle dough. Flour your counter top well, then dump the ingredients  onto this and knead until smooth – this will only take about 2 minutes – do not over knead. Divide dough in half, cover one half with plastic or in a zip-lock type bag and place in the fridge while you work with the other half.

Place oil in a large pan, fryer or Dutch oven and heat oil to 375 degrees; keep an eye on this temperature because I let mine get too high and had 4 black hockey puck doughnuts! Anyways, while the oil is getting hot, get out a large baking sheet and place paper towels on it for the cooked doughnuts, but also place a large plate or another pan next to your work area to make the doughnuts. Here’s how you do it:

Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of golf balls, then roll them out with your two hands into ropes about 6 inches long – kids love to do this – and make into a doughnut round. Place on the counter and flatten out a bit with your hands. If you don’t flatten them, the outsides will cook but the inside will be raw.  You’ll get about 2+ dozen from just the half dough your working with. I get so many that I freeze the other half of the dough.

Anyways, when the oil is ready, place 3-4 dough rounds into the oil and fry for about 1 minute on each side, then drain on paper towels. As soon as their cool enough – which does not take long – roll them in a sugar and cinnamon mixture (2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cinnamon) then enjoy.

Company Breakfast (a.k.a. Holiday Casserole)

Great on weekend mornings and holidays. This makes a good-sized casserole, so halve it if needed. Your guests may possibly stay longer after tasting.

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. butter
12 slices white or egg-type bread
1/2 lb. pre-cooked deli type ham – diced
1 lb. bacon
1-1/2 lb. Swiss cheese – grated
12 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large glass baking dish.

Pull the bread apart and lay on bottom of the dish. Fry the bacon, drain, crumble, and place on top of bread. Distribute the ham over the bacon.

Saute the veggies in the melted butter until golden and distribute over the meat. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the veggies.

In a large bowl, whisk/beat the eggs, milk and nutmeg; slowly and evenly pour over top of casserole, press down gently but firmly with the back of a large spoon to make sure everything is moistened. Cover and refrigerate this for at least 30 minutes to set – you can even refrigerate overnight but this is really not necessary.

Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Caramel French Toast

img_0239.jpgYet another French toast recipe; this is rich, and delicious. What can I say? I absolutely love a family or friends get together at Brunch! This is very rich, so one”sandwich” can be cut diagonally for each person. However, a hearty appetite will appreciate the full square. I hope you enjoy!

1 cup, firmly packed, light or dark brown sugar (for this, try dark)
1 stick butter
12 slices white bread
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 large or extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk – (use half-n-half for extra rich)
2 tsp. pure Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Get out a 9 x 13 pan and grease lightly. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan melt the brown sugar and butter, stirring constantly. Pour this into the greased pan and tilt pan around to cover bottom.

Lay the six pieces of bread over the caramel mixture (you may need to squish them a tad); mix the sugar & cinnamon together and sprinkle over the bread. Place the other six slices of bread over the cinnamon mixture.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla & salt then pour gently & evenly over the bread; press lightly with the back of a large spoon then cover with plastic and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Bake for 40-45 minutes; until golden and puffy.

Home Fries

Use instead of baked or mashed, your family will be thrilled. The trick is to parboil the potatoes first, then they pan-fry so much better.

About 6 med-sized potatoes, peeled & cut into slices or chunks
1/2  green pepper, chopped
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, peeled & diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

First, parboil the potatoes: place them in a large pot and just cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 10-12 minutes. You don’t want them “too” done, because they’ll continue to cook in the skillet. Drain.
In a large skillet, (cast iron is best) heat the oil and add the green pepper, onion, and garlic; cook until soft – about 5 minutes. Then place the drained potatoes in the skillet and gently fold/stir them around to mix everything up. Gently, but firmly, with a spatula, flatten them down and leave them alone for about 10-15 minutes so they brown on the bottom. Stir and turn them over and cook other side. Serve.

Egg & Cheese Sandwiches

Not what you think. These eggs are hard-boiled first, sliced, placed on thick country white or sourdough bread with cheese then grilled, or pan fried.

For 2 sandwiches:
4 pieces country white or sourdough bread
2 peeled, hard boiled eggs – sliced
Fresh black pepper
2-3 Tbsp. butter – room temp so you can spread it
8 slices American Cheese
Sprinklings of garlic salt – to taste
Sprinklings of ground red pepper – to taste
Mustard, horseradish – optional

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Lay out the 4 pieces of bread then butter 1 side of each piece, face down. On the non-buttered side, place 2 pieces of cheese, sliced eggs, seasonings to taste, last 2 pieces of cheese. Place the other piece of bread on top – buttered side facing up. Lift sandwiches into heated pan with a spatula, then cook/grill about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Baked Apple French Toast

apple french toastJust the name makes my mouth water. You can partially assemble this the night before; either way, it should have at least a 4-hour refrigeration. And, feel free to substitute fresh pears or plums for the apples.

1 loaf French Bread, cut into thin slices
3 eggs
3 cups milk or half-n-half
2 tsp. pure vanilla

3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices (use any kind of apple)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter – diced

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan. Arrange the bread slices on the bottom of the dish, you can slightly overlap them, the objective is to use up most of the loaf of bread. You will probably have a bit left over. Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla until smooth and blended. Pour this over the bread, cover with plastic and place in the fridge – preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and take the pan out to place on the counter while your oven preheats. Arrange the apple slices on top of the bread. Combine cinnamon & sugar and sprinkle that evenly over the apples, then dot with the butter. Bake for 35 minutes, let rest for 10, then serve.

Feel free to sprinkle chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds on top before you drizzle on the butter.

Oven Omelet

If you believe you can’t make an omelet or you just want a change, try this. It’s delicious and no-fail.

4 eggs – separated
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. flour
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks with the milk, flour, salt and sugar. Beat the whites until stiff not dry. Place a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it has melted, fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture very gently. Pour this into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes – do not stir. Then transfer it to the oven. Bake until puffy and browned on top about 15-20 minutes. Cut into pie-like wedges and serve.

Savory Bread for Christmas (or Anytime!)

Perfect to serve for any day for brunch, but especially colorful for Yuletide or Christmas morning.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups grated provolone cheese
4 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk OR you can use half-n-half
1 heaping tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped green onions OR green pepper
1/4 cup chopped roasted peppers or pimentos (from the jar is fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or parchment paper line a cookie/baking sheet.

Whisk/mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cheese. In a separate bowl, beat the 4 eggs, but reserve 2 Tbsp. to brush on loaf. Add in the eggs, mix in milk, garlic and the veggies stirring to make this into a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and form into a log shape (about 8-10 inches long) place on the baking sheet. Brush on the reserved egg.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Cool thoroughly on a rack. Serve and enjoy!

**Be creative and sprinkle in other spices if you wish. McCormick’s has great new stuff like basil & garlic, seasoned salt, etc. Experiment and have fun. Use different cheeses. Whatever works for you! Merry Yule!