Friday, May 28, 2010

Baked French Toast

I made this french toast for breakfast this week, and I just have to say - it is so good it is just ridiculous. The great thing is you do the work the night before and then wake up the next morning and bake it - ta da deliciousness! This may be our new Christmas morning breakfast!!!

1 loaf Crusty Sourdough or French Bread
8 whole eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla

Grease a 9x13 pan
Tear bread into chunks and place in dish

Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla
Pour evenly over bread
Cover tightly and store in the fridge overnight (or a good 4 hours)
See how easy that was!
Now for the topping (yipee!)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
It is just so pretty!
Now take 1 cube of cold butter and cut it into cubes
Get your cool mixer upper thingy and go to town.
You can use a fork if you do not own one of these mixer upper thingy's
You want your mixture to kind of look like little pebbles
Place in a ziploc baggie and put in the fridge overnight too!
That was fun and easy!
The next morning set your alarm for one hour earlier than you need to be awake.
You can do this part with sleepy eyes
Get the bread mixture out of the fridge and your ziploc baggie with the topping
Evenly place the topping over the bread.
Then place the dish in a cold oven
Bake at 350 degrees
Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture
Bake one hour for a firmer texture.
I baked this one for 70 minutes, 10 minutes to compensate for the cold oven and 60 minutes for real cooking time

Scoop out individual portions
Top with buttermilk syrup (or whatever kind of syrup you love)
Buttermilk syrup recipe can be found on Pancake post
A little fruit is optional
Love, love, love it!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Animal Park

We went to the Animal Park at Thanksgiving Point last week - Jenna and Cash, Summer, Colin and Sadi, Rachy and me. We had a blast! The animals are so cute and the peacock was amazing. I love sunny days, especially when spent with family!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada

Cast of characters:
All natural, uncooked tortillas
2 cans Old El Paso Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
Grated cheddar/monterey jack cheese
1 pkg cream cheese
1 pkg cooked chicken strips
Spray pam in the bottom of an all-clad pan (You don't want the heat to be too high)

I left an important friend out of the picture. You will also need a small can of diced chile peppers or we are braving it tonight and using a can of diced jalapenos.
Warm the cream cheese block in the microwave
Slice chicken into cubes, microwave to soften
Add the jalpenos or green chiles here

Pour one can of the green enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan

Start with one tortilla
Spoon the chicken/cheese mixture into the middle of shell
Sprinkle grated cheese in the center

Fold in starting by the outside edges, folding in
Then roll top to bottom with the seams on the bottom of the dish

This is what one enchilada should maybe, hopefully look like
I didn't get them in there very organzied but they will still taste so good!

Pour the remaining Green Chile Salsa can over the top of the enchiliadas
Add grated cheese
And for that matter a little bit more!
In a preheated oven at 400 degrees place enchiladas in oven and bake for 20 minutes
All the cheese and edges need to be brownish and bubbly
Plate it with some sour cream and homeade salsa'
It really is simple and fabulous and divine! and best of all easy!
I think this meal needs some chips and salsa'
Pure Limeade
And a Pinata!
Mexican Fiesta!!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Zucchini Bread

This bread is my favorite! It is best warm, right out of the oven, moist inside and a little baby bit of a crunchy top layer. A sliced piece of warm bread is a must... you don't need anything on it, just you, your bread and of course a glass of milk. But then really, the next morning, after resting in a ziploc baggie, another slice of bread with maybe a little fruit - makes the perfect breakfast, or snack...

In a mixer, beat eggs until foamy
Add to eggs: sugar, oil and vanilla
Continue to combine mixture
Grate zucchini and add to the wet mixture
Add flour one cup at a time, keep the mixer going
Add salt, baking soda, baking powder and lemon peel
Now for the flavor!
Add cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves
You can either bake in two large loaf pans, tonight I used 4 small pans
Spray in the bottom of each loaf pan
Put a little flour in each pan and kind of slide it around the bottom

Pour the bread mixture evenly into your loaf pans
Bake at 325 for 50 minutes (could be a little less with smaller pans)
Test with a toothpick, and don't overbake!
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes
Turn out on a bread board
Slice and enjoy! mmmmmm

3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ande meet M&M

This is my newfound happy place. I love Ande Mints and of course have had a long time love affair with M&M's. I was walking through Target (my forever happy place) and just happened to stop and ponder the many varieties of M&M's, wondering which one would come home with me today. When I noticed a new package 'Mint Thrills,' they looked a little off but I was willing to take a chance.

I tore the package open before I even walked out of the swinging doors and popped a couple of them in my mouth. It is a soft outside coating instead of the hard shell candy coating I am used to, do I like it? But the flavors explode and the tastes collide... chocolate and mint - they are amazing! Don't let me ruin it for you, buy a bag and give them a try!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Weekend!

Did you notice the sun this afternoon? There was a distinct ring around it that had a hint of crystal color. Right next to it, in the crisp blue sky was a pocket of rainbow color. It was incredible. Just part of this magical weekend! The first planting of the season, the first picnic, a new challenge, kids running around without their shoes, boys playing on the hoop, family time on the deck ... all around me the sights and sounds of summer. Long awaited, highly anticipated, blue skies, warm air, and a bubbly anticipation of what is coming!

As we walked into Highland Gardens Saturday morning I was filled with the excitement that comes with the first planting of the season. The flowers and plants were abundantly blooming and just calling out our names.... plant me, take me home, I will be all that you want me to be... so we did!
My own little herb garden

We spent the day Saturday playing in the dirt, (my back sure hurt at the end of the day from all of that 'playing') enjoying a picnic with Sadi in the shade of the day, and scooping up every ounce of sunshine that was available!
Sadi & Grandma's first picnic of the season

Sunday brought more of the same... family time outside, eating on paper plates (gasp) boys playing ball and kids screaming down the sidewalks in cars and roller coasters, strollers and little bare feet.

Jenna and Colin taking a ride
Andrew and Zac seriously playing some ball
Parker and Jaycee
Baby Cash
Cousin chat time

Jesse watching over the ice cream (so yummy) Chocolate banana today (thanks Rach)
Grandpa and Colin

It was a magical weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blueberry pancakes

I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast today. I found the recipe on Martha Stewart and with my newest love of blueberries decided to give them a try. They are full of healthy ingredients and so on their own are wonderful. However, for family added to-die-for homemade buttermilk syrup and they were just delicious. Thanks Martha!

Blueberry Pancakes
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/8 cup ground flax seed
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (1 pint) blueberries

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, flax seed, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda
In another bowl whisk together milk, butter and egg
Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined
Mixture will be lumpy
Now for the best part!
Drain your plump, fresh, delightfully healthy blueberries
Heat your griddle to about 250 degrees. Spray with cooking spray (or melted butter, yum)
Spoon batter onto griddle 1/3 cup at a time.
Sprinkle with blueberries
Cook until edges are set, flip and cook until golden brown
Now for the syrup!
In a saucepan add:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cubes butter
2 Tbsp white corn syrup
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Let it simmer, boil for 2-3 minutes
Remove from heat and add 1 tsp baking soda
Spoon over just about anything!