Recipe Wednesday: Pure Almond French Toast

Pure Almond French Toast

Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Silk Pure Almond Original or Vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 thick slices day-old whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds, for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. Whisk together eggs, Pure Almond, vanilla, almond extract and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  2. Gently submerge bread in egg mixture, one or two slices at a time and place on griddle over medium heat.
  3. Cook each side until golden brown and serve with real maple syrup, fresh berries and toasted almonds.

Results: I made this recipe twice, with somewhat different results, but both were good.  The first time I used homemade 100% whole wheat bread.  I’d read recently in an article in Cook’s Illustrated that in order to replicate “day old bread” you should dry the bread in an oven before proceeding with the recipe.  I also cut the bread pretty thickly, about a half-inch or slightly more per slice.  This first batch came out with a nice exterior, but the interior was still just like a slice of whole wheat bread.  I’m not sure if it was the toasting, the thickness, or the denseness of the bread which caused this.

The second time I used slightly smaller slices of a whole wheat/white flour blend.  This time I made the same amount of french toast mix, but got about half the slices, so the liquids definitely absorbed into the bread more fully.  I also about doubled the almond extract this time, as the flavor was quite subtle in the first batch.  This batch carried the french toastiness all the way through the bread and did have a slightly stronger almond flavor.

A few other notes:

  • Rather than submerging the bread, I poured the mixture onto a toaster-oven sized baking sheet and placed the bread on it for 20 seconds each side.  I’d start soaking the next pieces of bread just as the one in the pan was almost done cooking.
  • Use a non-stick pan or griddle for cooking.  I cooked my first batch in a regular pan, and despite ample use of butter the first slice stuck quite a bit.  Subsequent slices cooked up better, but required more butter than the second batch which I made in a non-stick pan.
  • I used Unsweetened Original Almond Silk, since that’s what I had on hand.  The slightly sweeter original or vanilla versions may give you a somewhat different taste.
  • I did not have almond slivers, so I didn’t put any garnishes on my toast other than maple syrup.  Fresh fruits would be great, though.
  • To keep the finished slices warm while cooking the rest, place them on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven.  This will keep them warm, without making them soggy like keeping them under aluminum foil on the counter will.
  • If you make more than you can eat in one sitting, store them in a Ziplock bag in the refrigerator.  They heat up nicely in the toaster oven on 400 degrees.

 

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LOL Monday

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LOL Monday

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Danger in the grocery store

This is a public service announcement to anyone out there who enjoys perusing the aisles of their local ethnic food market: beware!

Seriously... what is this even doing in a grocery store?

I almost wanted to pick a bottle of this up for cooking, but I'm not sure it's the sort of thing that's safe to have around the house. Maybe I'll send a bottle to Judy, I hear she's looking for some ginger... 😉

I believe the traditional use for this item is stirring sushi rice, but I'm sure some enterprising top could come up with other uses. The ouchy looking bumps are on both sides, too, so there's no escaping them.

So the next time you slip into your local store for some cooking essentials, don’t say I didn’t warn you if you walk out with something else altogether.

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Countdown to 2012: Day 28. Recipe Wednesday: Tortilla Soup

Servings: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 6 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 med. flour tortillas
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • oil for sautéing

Directions:

  1. Chop the onion and garlic.  Sauté until the onion is translucent and the garlic lightly browned.
  2. Combine the onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, and chicken broth in a large pot.  Simmer until the onions are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the tortillas and cut into strips.
  4. When the soup is ready, split into bows.  Cover soup with toasted tortilla strips and cheddar cheese.  Serve.

I actually haven’t made this soup in a while, but now that I’ve dug up the recipe I’ll have to try it again.  I found this recipe shortly after returning home from Arizona, where tortilla soup was a staple on many menus.  It’s a quick, easy soup to whip up after work and this recipe is nicely spiced without being spicy.

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Countdown to 2012: Day 26. LOL Monday

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Countdown to 2012: Day 24. Stocking Stuffers.

Here in the states it’s still Christmas eve for another hour or two.  My family’s tradition has always been to exchange gifts Christmas Eve, rather than the usual Christmas morning, so I’m sitting in our living room surrounded by piles of presents and the remains of paper that had been so carefully wrapped only hours before.

Tomorrow morning we’ll come down to our stockings, hanging neatly on the mantle.  If tradition holds mine will be filled with cooking gadgets, candies, maybe another small trinket or two.  Despite what some people have suggested, there will be no coal or switches.

I can almost picture the poor girl who isn’t quite as lucky, sneaking down the stairs on Christmas morning only to find her stocking full of switches.  Does she sneak back up to her bed, hiding under the covers until she’s called downstairs once more, her pajamas lowered, and each switch applied to her bare bottom before she’s allowed to join the rest of the family in opening their presents around the tree.

Or is she expected to walk to the corner and wait?  The others will come down soon after, gather around the fireplace, and open the gifts in their stockings.  Only after will she be called out of the corner to take her punishment.  She’ll sit uncomfortably at the breakfast table soon after the switching is done, but she’ll be a good girl once more ready for the new year to begin.

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Countdown to 2012: Day 23. Friday Faves

And time for another week of Friday Faves.  Here are a couple of my favorite things from around the web this week:

Pandora Blake has been sharing enticing previews of her new “fairtrade spanking” site, Dreams of Spanking on twitter, email, and her blog for quite some time.  The site is now live and “offers high-quality, beautiful spanking films, photo galleries and audio stories which please the senses and excite the imagination.”  Check it out!

Pink certainly has a way with words, and she’s chosen just the right ones for her letter to Santa.

The Twelve Days of Christmas sung by Straight No Chaser:

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Countdown to 2012: Day 22. Taking this show on the road

Today’s blog post marks the first day of my holiday vacation and comes to you live from an undisclosed location far, far, away from home.  The holiday traditions have begun: cookies have been baked, presents have been purchased, wrapped, and some have been exchanged.  Up next: holiday movies.

Here’s a clip from one of my favorite holiday movies, Love Actually:

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Countdown to 2012, Day 21. Recipe Wednesday: Chocolate Crinkles

Over on my recipe request poll, Mija asked me to share my favorite cookie recipe.  My family makes these cookies every Christmas, and the holiday wouldn’t be the same without them.  I’m lucky they’re only around at Christmastime, or I’d probably eat nothing but them all year!

Chocolate Crinkles

Makes: About 90+ cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 4 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Melt chocolate and mix melted chocolate, oil, and granulated sugar.
  3. Blend in one egg at a time.
  4. Add vanilla and sift in dry ingredients.
  5. Chill overnight.
  6. Form 1/2 teaspoon balls and roll in confectioners sugar.
  7. Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheets and bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees F.
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