I thought Mother’s Day weekend would be a good time to visit some breakfast recipes. I love French Toast – deliciously captured in still life above by JeffreyW – second only to German pancakes, with Walnut Syrup (recipes here). So perfect French Toast is tonight’s featured recipe.
If pancakes are your favorite, don’t worry, got those recipes, too. A local breakfast spot makes the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever had and I played around with ingredients until I made a comparable batch of Perfectly Fluffy Pancakes, recipe here. A Whole Wheat version can be found here, and yes, they’re surprisingly fluffy, too.
You want bacon, of course, because what’s breakfast without bacon? Here are some interesting takes on it: Candied Bacon here, Cayenne Candied Bacon (photo above by JeffreyW) here, and Oven Baked Bacon here. (And of course we covered waffle iron bacon last week)
What’s on your breakfast menu this Mother’s Day? We’ve got a prediction of SNOW! Say it isn’t so. Share your favorite breakfast recipes in the comments, I can always use new ideas for when company arrives. And because it’s Mother’s Day weekend, here’s a flower for you:
My friend grows specialty Iris and this is called the Star Trek Enterprise Iris from her garden.
Now for the french toast. The key for really good french toast is using a hearty bread, flavoring the batter and letting the bread soak for at least 30 seconds to soak up all the good flavor. Yum.
- 1 cup milk or half and half
- 3 eggs
- dash of salt
- dash of cinnamon
- tbsp of honey or tsp of sugar
- Day old bread such as a country, brioche or challah loaf, sliced into eight, 1/2 inch slices (stale bread soaks up the batter nicely without getting soggy)
- toppings of choice – maple syrup, powdered sugar, blueberry preserves, strawberries, whipped cream – you get the idea
8×8 glass baking dish, 2 baking sheets, cooling rack, skillet or griddle
Place cooling rack onto the first baking sheet (to catch batter drips). Pre-heat oven 375 degrees, then turn down to 300 degrees.
Whisk together milk, eggs, salt, cinnamon and honey (or sugar) in 8×8 baking dish. Soak bread, two slices at a time, for about 30 seconds and then remove to cooling rack and let sit for a minute or so.
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Place both slices of bread into the melted butter. At this point you can put another two slices in the batter for 30 seconds and then move them to the cooling rack.
Flip the slices in the pan once they’re golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. (I know I’m asking you to multi-task, but you can do it, I have faith. Set a timer, it’ll help). Once both sides are golden, remove to the second baking sheet and place it in the warm oven. Repeat until all slices are cooked.
Serve hot with favorite toppings.
Have a great weekend – TaMara
Last month when I was so sick, I spent a lot of time resting on the couch, watching TV. This was on some cooking show, they were making a breakfast sandwich using only a waffle iron. Sounded like fun. It took me a couple of times to get the timing right because it all happens fast. Start to finish it was ten minutes per sandwich. And clean up was a breeze. Paper towel to clean out the waffle iron is all you need.
I started with the biscuits, because I didn’t want the bacon to flavor everything. I first tried refrigerator crescent rolls, but they were hard to work with and way too sweet. My second try was with refrigerator biscuits. I thought they worked about really well. The crew on the show actually reheated store bought bagged croissants. That would work, too. For the biscuit, I used one biscuit that I separated in half to cook. You could use two if you wanted thicker sandwich.
Next up: bacon. My waffle iron is 7 inches across and easily held two slices of bacon, cut in half. It cooks up fast, so keep an eye on it.
It was crisped in less than 2 minutes. I then drained off the excess grease and it was time for the eggs and cheese.
I had no trouble with it sticking, because the bacon grease kept the waffle iron well oiled. Mine held only one egg. Milk worked better than water for mixing. And my iron has adjustable temperature, so on my second try, I lowered it to the lowest setting and got the egg the way I liked, less brown, more light and fluffy.
The eggs were surprisingly fluffy, no matter what, but milk gave them a bit more loft. You could easily add green pepper or onions to the mix, maybe even tomatoes. Just watch the amounts because you don’t want the egg to spill out of the sides, then you have a mess.
The key to preparation is to have everything ready to go. Biscuits separated, egg beaten, cheese shredded and bacon cut. Then it is a quick process – biscuit took 2 minutes, bacon took 2 minutes, egg took less than a minute, then I added the cheese and that was another 30 seconds, tops. Assemble and eat. Yum.
We had gyros yesterday using store bought pita loaves and they just weren’t that good. I’m guessing the turnover on flat breads isn’t very high and they were a tad stale. I’ve made pitas before but it’s been a while so I looked up a recipe. The NY Times recipe came up first and it looked to be easy. We didn’t have any whole wheat flour, fresh milled or otherwise, so these are made with plain AP flour. The only thing you need to watch for is getting them too brown. The recipe warns: “The pita should be pale, with only a few brown speckles.” The brown parts are very dry and fragile and crack apart rather than fold. I have a pizza stone in my oven, big enough to do two of these at a time without crowding. A couple of them puffed up like little pillows but most of them just blistered here and there.The loaf is from Alton Brown’s recipe, as is the tzatziki sauce. I make a few alterations in his recipe, adding 1/3 part hamburger and several slices of bacon to the loaf recipe and this time I added fresh chopped dill to the yogurt sauce. I haven’t used lettuce before but I thought it needed a little more green and we had no mint for a garnish.
This was very good and really easy to put together. I saw an off hand comment someone made about having lemon butter pasta with Brussels sprouts the other day and a search turned up a NY Times recipe that looked good. I went with bacon and prosciutto for this one, and an entire head of garlic. A couple of tablespoons of butter went into it at the end along with a splash of good olive oil and the juice of half a lemon.I followed the “pinch of red pepper flakes” option instead of the pretty red chilies in the recipe photo because I didn’t have any. Mrs J got one of the pepper flakes on the tip of her tongue after enjoying half of her plate and quit eating, declaring the bottom half to be too hot. I have to admit, my pepper flakes from the cayennes I dried from last summer’s crop are actually hot, unlike the ones they sell at the Kroger spice aisle.
This worked out nicely. I saw this recipe the other day after a search prompted by one of the foodie shows on TV. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the one I saw put together on the show but it looked really good. I made some minor changes but nothing radical.Dredge the chicken in seasoned flour and brown the pieces in oil. Set them aside and wipe the pan out, add more oil and cook some sliced onions down, then add sliced lemons, sliced garlic, chicken broth, and a little lemon juice with a few sprigs of rosemary and let it come to a simmer.Spoon the veggies into a baking pan and lay the chicken over the top, then pour the liquids over everything and place the tray into a preheated 400 degree oven. Baste every 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes in my oven. I turned the chicken over for the last 15 minutes and then back again before I took this shot.We had pearled couscous and Brussels sprouts to go with the chicken. The sprouts were sauteed in bacon fat with balsamic vinegar and more lemon juice. Pretty decent dinner.
My friend has an adorable, sweet story of how he hit on her (she was very much engaged at the time) when she worked on a film with him. She remembers him as a complete gentleman and had a lovely conversation between takes.
I met his step-brother years ago and he also had only wonderful things to say about him, especially when he was just a young boy and Elvis was already an American icon. Family was important.
So how does this get us to the recipe exchange tonight? All over the news last night was the story of how one of his favorite sandwiches was created right here in Denver. It had bacon, so I had to try it.
I’m not well versed in Elvis’ favorite foods. Fried banana sandwiches (recipe here) were about it, but I searched around, turns out there is a whole cookbook of his favorite foods, recipes and links here. Seems to be a lot of bacon involved.
How about you, what unusual things do you like to make into a sandwich? My brothers like peanut butter and dill pickles. I love lettuce, tomato and mayo on whole wheat. What else is on the weekend menu?
Tonight’s featured recipe is my take on Elvis’ favorite Mile High sandwich and you can find the whole story and video here.
Fool’s Gold Sandwich
- 1 foot-long loaf Italian, French or Sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 16 ounces creamy peanut butter (I used crunchy, because that’s what I liked)
- 16 ounces grape or blueberry preserves (I used an all fruit style, no added sugar)
- 1 pound bacon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the bread in half, length-wise, coat with butter. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes
While the bread is in the oven, fry the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Hollow out one of the bread halves, fill with an entire jar of peanut butter and an entire jar of preserves. Top with bacon and top with the other half of the loaf. Slice to serve. I have no idea how many this would serve, I made enough for 2 servings instead of the entire recipe.
This turned out pretty well. The bacon made that a foregone conclusion but the Parmesan was an experiment gone good. I simmered potato pieces in chicken broth until they were soft and then pureed everything in the pot with an immersion blender. The bacon crisped up in a separate pan and was added after the blender did its job – save a little for garnishing at the table. There’s some milk in there to thin it, lots of grated Parmesan and some cheddar I had leftover from burritos. Seasonings include dried thyme, oregano, fresh ground black pepper and salt. I used the same microplane grater I grated the Parm with on a little bit of carrot that you can see in the photo if you look hard.Since I am lunatic I took the chance to add a little color to the plate with a healthy slug of my hot sauce. It was good but I wouldn’t let the lack of it dissuade me from demolishing a future bowl of this soup.
This is another one of those doughs that stayed out on the counter all night – two cups of bread flour, a quarter teaspoon of yeast, one cup of water, a wee pinch of salt and a sprinkle of sugar. I massaged it into place in my pizza pan and let it rise there for another hour then par baked it at 425 for five minutes. There isn’t a real sauce, per se, just some roasted grape tomatoes that I made last summer and then froze just for something like this. It also has bacon, thin sliced coppa, some ham, a caramelized onion, mozzarella, and some nice Parmesan grated over it at the table.
I’ll just pop these leftover slices into the freezer just like this and then seal the individual slices in vacuum bags, they make great grab-’em-and-go lunches for Mrs J when she heads out to the shelter.
I started the dough for this yesterday, 2 cups of bread flour, one cup water, 1/4t tsp yeast, a pinch of sugar and a dash of salt. It was pretty well inflated by noon, I dumped it into a pizza pan and massaged it into shape while the oven preheated to 425-ish. It par-baked for eight minutes and then I pulled it to furnish with toppings. I had some leftover roasted plum tomatoes that went on first in lieu of a sauce, sprinkled on shredded mozzarella, sparingly, and then piled on the meats. Italian sausage, already browned and drained, crispy bacon pieces, fried ham, and prosciutto that was tossed in the bacon grease to brown a bit.
Mrs J’s side got pickled
onion pepper rings, I added mushrooms and chopped ripe olives. I gave it another sprinkle of mozz and slid it back into the oven, it needed another ten minutes or so. It must have been better than usual because Mrs J went on and on about how good it was. I thought it one of my better efforts – she wasn’t just blowing smoke.