Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stuffed French Toast

Sorry for the silence. Life has been busy around here! Plus, on my monthly grocery shopping day I got sick and you wouldn't believe how difficult it was to work in another grocery shopping day this month. Sheesh! So, the menu has been, uhm, uncreative, to say the least. However, I have done a few worthwhile domestic things.

Here's a Saturday morning treat that I enjoyed the other week:

The first time I made this I used a recipe from America's Test Kitchen - and, I didn't think I'd ever say this, but I figured I could improve upon the one they had and indeed I did (in my opinion anyway.) Theirs was a bit too time-consuming for french toast - and too sweet.

So, here's my version:

very lightly toast two slices of bread.

In a small bowl mix together 2 tbs cream cheese with a dash of cinnamon. Spread cream cheese mixture on one slice of bread - put the other on top to create a sandwich.

In a large flat bowl (big enough for a slice of bread) mix: one egg, one Tbs flour, one Tbs water, dash of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. Soak "sandwich" in egg mixture - about a minute on each side.

In a skillet melt 1 tbs butter over med heat. Remove toast from egg mixture - let excess drip off - fry sandwich on each side until brown. (about 1-2 minutes per side)

Serve with butter, real maple syrup (it makes a difference!), and a dusting of powdered sugar. Yum!

Also - I have a new book which I'm sure I'll be using soon! My birthday is the 25th - but my family celebrated early as my brother, Michael, was in town from AZ. My parents gave me this:

One thing I love about this particular book is that it tells stories with the recipes - they're all "lost" American recipes. Very cool.

Michael also gave me a subscription to one of ATK's magazines. (Cook's Country) so I'm going to have all sorts of recipes to try out!

Monday, March 9, 2009

and the winner is. . .

. . . Jackie. So, Jackie - if you'll leave me a comment with your e-mail address I'll contact you with info on how to claim your prize! Congrats!

Hopefully we'll have another give-away in April!

You all had some yummy sounding pizza toppings - I got hungry just reading!

(for the curious - I had one commenter comment twice but I just merged those two comments together as one for numbering purposes. :-) )

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The "warm spot" and a prize for you!

While making a deep dish pizza the other day I got to the point in the recipe for the dough where it says "let dough rise in a warm spot." I don't know about you - but I've always been a bit unsure as to where my "warm spot" was. I saw a tip on a cooking show the other day that I thought I would try out. You preheat your oven to 200-250 degrees while you're making the dough. Once it's time to let the dough rise - you turn the oven off and put the (oven safe) bowl with the dough covered tightly in plastic wrap in your oven. It works wonders!

Little ball of pizza dough all wrapped up and ready to grow!
My, how you've grown! (time lapse: 1 hour)
And, speaking of the time lapse - I will not be making this again for QUITE some time as it took HOURS. That's way too long to wait for a pizza. It was REALLY good though:


The pizza I made is a recipe from America's Test Kitchen. As you know I like to honor their copyright since I feel like they actually do work to get these recipes and they belong to them - and I was wishing that all of you could have the recipes too (even this way-too-time-consuming pizza dough recipe). It occurred to me that that makes a GREAT idea for my first-ever give-away.

So, up for grabs here is winner's choice of one of the following America's Test Kitchen Cookbooks:

ATK Family Cookbook (This is the one I own)

The Best of ATK 2009

ATK Family Baking Book

Just a little something to say, "Thanks for reading!"

Rules: Leave a comment to enter. (One comment per person). Stealing from the playbook of The Pioneer Woman Cooks - in your comment answer the question: What are your favorite pizza toppings?

I have some ideas for others give-aways brewing in my head now - so, since I don't have that large of a readership - I'm going to make a "you can't win twice in a row!" rule. Hopefully that seems fair to everyone.

Deadline to enter: 9:00 p.m. EST Sunday, March 8, 2009. Winners will be announced either Sunday night or on Monday.

I'll number the comments received up to that time and then use a random number generator to come up with the winner!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Herbed Potato Soup ($1.35 per serving)

Here is my first attempt at figuring out the cost of a meal! I'm figuring it out based on the amount of an ingredient I use. So - if you went to the grocery store and bought everything it would cost more because you'd most likely have to buy "extra" of some of the staple ingredients.


We had a lovely rare Georgia snow here last weekend and I decided it was the perfect time to make some soup! Here's what I did:

I peeled and sliced two potatoes and cooked them over medium heat in 2 cups of chicken broth.

Meanwhile, I sauteed 1/2 of an onion, chopped, in a 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. After the onion was tender I threw in 1 tsp minced garlic and cooked until fragrant. Then, added 1/4 cup of flour and a tsp each of crushed rosemary, salt, and thyme along with a 1/4 tsp of pepper. I then gradually stirred in 1 1/2 cups of milk and stirred often over medium-high heat until the mixture boiled. I let it boil for two minutes.

By this point the potatoes were tender. I used a potato masher to slightly mash the potatoes (in the chicken broth)

I then poured the potatoes and broth into the flour/milk/spice mixture and stirred well. Let it cook there for just a couple more minutes and then you're good to go!

I included a bit of cheese and bacon on top which is not included in the price breakdown.

Cost Breakdown (rounded)
2 potatoes 2.00
1.5 cup milk (organic price) 1.25
¼ cup butter .25
½ onion .35
1 Tsp minced garlic .20
¼ cup flour .05
Various spices .50 (estimate)
2 cups chicken broth 1.25

Total: $5.40 - - - makes 4 servings, so $1.35 per serving

I'd never made potato soup before - but I was pleasantly surprised with this! Very creamy and very easy. (And cheap I discovered while breaking down the price.)

And then after your insides are all warm with potato soup you should go outside and make an odd looking snowman.