May – Overnight Croissant French Toast Bake with Coffee Rum Sauce

May – Overnight Croissant French Toast Bake with Coffee Rum Sauce

Get ready for the perfect Mother’s Day brunch dish. Why do I say perfect?

Easy – check,

No fussy ingredients – check,

Make the night before – check,

Absolutely delicious and decadent – double check!!

Overnight Croissant French Toast

Overnight Croissant French Toast

Have a relaxing morning as this dish bakes to a delectable double layer, crisp on top and creamy below. You will be a hero to whom ever you serve it to. This is also the perfect dish to contribute to a brunch pot luck, or serve overnight guests. You only need some fresh fruit, coffee or tea round out the meal.

It’s good the next day, reheated (or cold right out to the baking dish).

My taste testers thought it would make a perfect dessert with some dried fruit added to the base.

Overnight Croissant French Toast

Overnight Croissant French Toast

This recipe will generously serve 6 and 8 to 10 if it is part of a larger menu.

I will include the recipe for the coffee rum sauce (easy, easy, easy). A simple custard sauce would be a wonderful accompaniment as well, especially at breakfast time.

Overnight Croissant French Toast Bake with Coffee Rum Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 8 croissants (stale is perfectly ok)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (354 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (117 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Coffee Rum Sauce

  • 1 cup (235 ml) coffee ice cream, melted
  • 2 oz (59 ml) dark rum

Method:

  1. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  2. Tear the croissants into 2 inch pieces and set into the baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the croissants and gently toss to make sure they are coated with the custard mixture.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove the dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and allow to come to room temperature.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes until golden and the custard has set but is still soft.
  7. Combine the melted ice cream with the dark rum and serve over the warm French Toast Bake.

I think melted vanilla ice cream would also be good, with our without the rum.

Note: This can also be prepared several hours in advance, it need not be overnight.

I am taking this to Fiesta Friday #431, hosted by Angie. It’s just in time for Mother’s Day.

Overnight Croissant French Toast

Overnight Croissant French Toast

The recipe comes from the ‘effortless entertaining cookbook’ by Meredith Steele.

May – Green Eggs

May – Green Eggs

A jar of pesto in my fridge is a given, as ubiquitous at mayo. In addition to its obvious use as a sauce for pasta, try it on grilled cheese sandwiches or a baked potato or grilled vegetables or sliced summer tomatoes.

It’s not quite basil season here yet but I can recommend the basil pesto from Costco as an out of season substitute. It is actually quite good although missing some of the wonderful aroma you get when you make your own. But, it’s very handy to have a jar in the freezer or fridge and it keeps very well.

Pesto

Basil Pesto from Costco

This is such a simple recipe that I will tell it to you in pictures…

Melt a couple of generous spoons of pesto in a non stick skillet.

Melting Basil Pesto

Melting Basil Pesto

Crack in your desired number of eggs.

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Sprinkle with some flaky salt

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Cover, I like one I can see through

Green Eggs

Cook to your preferred state of doneness.

Serve on toasted bread or an English muffin, drizzling some of the pesto over the egg

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Yum.

You could also add a slice of ham as well, then you would have green eggs and ham. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful Memorial weekend everyone.

 

April – Domestic Harmony in the Time of Covid-19

April – Domestic Harmony in the Time of Covid-19

What does domestic harmony look like in your household? In our house it looks like this:

Domestic Harmony

Equal Split of Margaret Fox’s Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Whatever it takes, eh?

Margaret Fox was the owner and chef at Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino, one of the early restaurants in the California cuisine trend in the style of Alice Waters. She now runs the deli and bakery at our local independent grocery store, Harvest Market. We are indeed lucky. Her buttermilk coffee cake is delicious. I am not a baker so we try to get one whenever they are available on our currently infrequent jaunts to the store. Sharing equally is a big deal.

What are you doing to maintain a tranquil environment in this time of social distancing and stay-at-home requirements? I know things can get testy. Long walks definitely help, and Zoom exercise classes, and gardening if you are lucky enough to have one.

It’s time to appreciate and notice small things small things. Spring is definitely here. In my yard the song sparrows are singing a chorus. This is the first year the song sparrows have found our clearing, although I’ve been feeding the birds for the last three years (the seed bill is growing). Redwood forests don’t have a lot of birds, there isn’t much food for them under the trees. So it took awhile for them to find us, it’s worth getting up early to hear the morning riot of song. I’m hoping that they nest nearby as the mourning doves have. Their population has gone from 2 to 7. I’m keeping a log of all the birds that visit the feeders, they are increasing in varieties and number. Every once in a while I see a new one to add to the list.

We now have two native Western grey squirrels raiding the feeders as well, until recently there was only one. I am expecting some little ones the summer.

Did you know there is a run on jigsaw puzzles?

Puzzle

Undersea jigsaw puzzle

We found this one in the garage, an old one we had never put together. Puzzles are very relaxing and something the entire family can enjoy. The NY Times had a fascinating article on how jigsaw puzzles are made, it takes weeks. And it seems that puzzle makers are having a hard time keeping up with current demand.

Board games are a good distraction.

Board Games

Board Games

We were introduced to Mexican Train Dominos by some friends a few months ago, it has become a favorite. The instructions that come with the game are terrible, we had to figure them out for ourselves from online research. I’m still not sure we are playing it ‘correctly’ but we are having fun.

There are currently three of us sheltering in place in our household. We each choose an activity for the evening in rotation…games or a movie or a TV series we are watching together or simply sit and talk about something from our day. There aren’t any small children so things are a little easier for us than some of you. All three of us enjoy science fiction so we have been watching the new Star Trek episodes together.

And in case you are wondering what to do with all those leftover hard boiled eggs…

  • deviled eggs, one of my favorites

    Deviled Eggs with Anchovies

    Deviled Eggs with Anchovies

  • Easter egg salad sandwiches

    Easter Egg Salad

    Easter Egg Salad

  • Eggs a la Goldenrod – an old recipe from Betty Crocker

    Eggs a La Goldenrod

    Eggs a La Goldenrod

  • sliced and put on top of avocado toast with a sprinkling of coarse salt

Deviled Eggs for Anchovy Lovers

Ingredients:

  • 1 hardboiled egg per person – see the note below
  • 1/2 anchovy per egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon capers per egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard per egg
  • 1 teaspoon mayo/egg, or more as needed
  • red pepper flakes as desired (optional)
  • Thinly sliced chives or green scallion tops

Method;

  1. Cook hardboiled eggs as noted below
  2. Cool and remove the shell carefully
  3. Slice in half, remove the yolks to a small bowl
  4. Mash with the anchovies, add mayonnaise to thin as necessary
  5. Add the capers and taste for salt (it probably won’t need any with the anchovies)
  6. Add the red pepper flakes if you want some heat
  7. Carefully fill the egg whites with the mixture
  8. Garnish with chives or scallions
Deviled Eggs with Anchovies

Deviled Eggs with Anchovies

Note on cooking hard boiled eggs:

  1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water by at least an inch.
  2. Bring the eggs and water to a rapid boil, then cover the pan and turn off the heat. Leave the pan on the burner. If you have a gas stove, turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting and leave for 1 minute before turning off the heat.
  3. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 12 minutes.
  4. Drain and run cool water over the eggs.
  5. Peel when cool. Slightly older eggs are often easier to peel.

 

 

 

 

June – Eggs with Punch

June – Eggs with Punch

This simple and quick method of frying an egg elevates it to an entirely different plane, suitable for lunch or dinner. Why just delegate them to breakfast? It punches up the flavor profile and turns a simple egg into a special event.

Did you know that eggs are considered the perfect food? Want to know why? I am going to give you a snapshot, skip to the recipe if you don’t want a nutrition lesson.

  • Eggs contain high quality protein with the perfect mix of amino acids. Eggs contain all 21 amino acids that the body requires, including the 9 essential ones that we cannot make ourselves. As a food eggs are given a biological score of 100, which is perfect.
  • One egg contains (remember that all these nutrients with the exception of protein are contained in the yolk):
    • 9% of the RDA of B12
    • 15% of the RDA of B2
    • 6% of the RDA of Vitamin A
    • 7% of the RDA of B5
    • 22% of the RDA of Selenium
    • They also contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body, that includes calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, and Folate.
    • A large egg contains 77 calories, with 6 grams of top quality protein, 5 grams of fat and trace amounts of carbohydrates.
    • One large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol and it has given eggs a bad rap. However, eggs have not been implicated in raising your bad cholesterol. The liver produces cholesterol every day. Studies have shown that if you eat cholesterol, your liver produces less. Eggs may actually improve your cholesterol profile because they tend to raise HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and change the LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) to a subgroup with is not associated with an increased chance of heart disease.
    • Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect your eyes. Those antioxidants significantly reduce the risk of Macular Degeneration and Cataracts, which are among the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the elderly.
  • Eggs for breakfast can help you lose body fat. They have a high satiety index, which is the measure of how satisfied and full you feel after eating them. Studies show that those individuals who eat eggs compared to comparable calories from a bagel, lost 65% more weight.
  • Remember that not all eggs are the same. If you can afford them, it is preferable to buy pastured eggs or those that are Omega-3 enriched. Hens that are raised in small cages in factories are fed a grain-based diet which alters the final nutrient composition of the eggs. Besides the humane reasons, buy the best quality eggs you can find (or raise your own chickens). You as well as the chickens will be healthier.

Ok, enough with the lecture.

Really, punch up the flavor profile of your eggs with this simple technique.

Ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 2 large organic, pasture raised eggs
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sweet butter or olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika or calabrian chilis (to taste) – or zatar or curry powder or…

    Calabrian Chilis

    Calabrian Chilis

  • 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Method:

  1. Melt the butter or warm the olive oil in a small non-stick pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add your flavor choice and mix until the aroma begins to make you crazy.IMG_4522
  3. Add the half and half and briefly stir to mix everything together.

    Flavored Eggs

    Flavored Eggs

  4. Break 2 eggs into the pan, salt the tops of the eggs, cover and turn the heat down to medium.IMG_4524
  5. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, checking frequently. You want the yolk to be covered by a thin film of white while still staying runny.

    Perfectly Cooked Eggs

    Perfectly Cooked Eggs

  6. Serve with a grind of pepper if desired.

    Perfectly Fried Eggs

    Perfectly Fried Eggs

How do you like your eggs? I enjoy my own with a sliced tomato, the first of the season, for lunch.IMG_4529

I think I will take these to Angie’s for Fiesta Friday #122. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Aruna @ Aharam.

December – Leftover Stuffing Waffles

December – Leftover Stuffing Waffles

Having leftover stuffing is like having a gold mine. It might be worth making an extra casserole just for the leftovers. Use them in a breakfast strata for boxing day,

Leftover Stuffing Strata

Leftover Stuffing Strata

in sandwiches,

Panini with stuffing, mozzarella cheese, and cranberry sauce

Panini with stuffing, mozzarella cheese, and cranberry sauce

to thicken a soup, and now…waffles. Who would have thought that leftover stuffing would make such wonderful waffles? These could be made either savory or sweet. If you prefer them sweet, they would be wonderful with some of that pure maple syrup you received as a gift, or leftover cranberry sauce. In the savory camp, a poached egg made this a satisfying and delicious brunch dish. It would be equally delightful as a light supper.

Waffle Maker

Waffle Maker

My waffle iron makes “classic” waffles, which are thinner and crisp. If you are using a Belgian waffle iron (which has a deeper and larger grid pattern), beat the egg whites before adding them to the stuffing/egg yolk mix. That will result in a lighter waffle.

IMG_3837 IMG_3838

I had a little over 2 cups of leftover “traditional sausage and raisin stuffing“. It had plenty of butter and fat from the sausage so I didn’t add anything but eggs to bind things together. If you are working with a leaner stuffing you may want to add a tablespoon of melted butter.

Leftover Stuffing Waffles

For each waffle:

  • 1 cup of leftover stuffing
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Mix together the stuffing and the egg, let it sit for 10-15 minutes so the bread absorbs the egg.
  2. Meanwhile preheat your waffle iron.
  3. Pour the batter into the iron and cook according to direction of your brand. The green light came on when mine was done. Cooked to perfection!

I added a poached duck egg, delicious.

Duck Eggs

Duck Eggs

Is that for us??

Is that for us??

Anyone have leftovers from Christmas? I’m taking mine to a two- week long special Fiesta Friday celebration, it’s number 100! Your host is Angie from the blog The Novice Gardener, it’s co-hosted by Judi, Mollie, Steffi, and Suzanne,  come party with us, we are looking forward to welcoming you.