Friday, December 21, 2012

Baked French Toast

Yesterday our church had their monthly food giveaway to the community. They have partnered with the Salvation Army and a local food bank to bring fruits and vegetables as well as baked goods from local stores to those who need it in our area. The food is free to those who need it. Once the majority of the food has been given out, the leftovers are available to the helpers; we have to find food pantries or homeless shelters with space/need for fresh produce (yesterday there were a LOT of onions left).

The girls and I took a head of cabbage, two small bags of onions, and a loaf of French bread. The bread was pretty stale, which made it perfect for baked French toast. I did a quick search this morning and found this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, gave it a couple of small tweaks and into the oven it went. I really liked it and the stale bread was perfect for this.

Baked French Toast
serves 8
What was left after breakfast

1 loaf crusty French or sourdough bread
8 eggs
2 c whole milk
1/2 c skim milk
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
dash of nutmeg
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

Grease a 9x13 pan; tear the bread into chunks or cut into cubes and put into the pan evenly. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the milks, sugars, and vanilla; whisk together. Pour evenly over the bread and press the bread into the egg mixture. At this point, you can cover with plastic wrap and put into the fridge overnight or add the topping to bake now.

For the topping, mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg together; cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine pebbles.

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350*. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the casserole. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer casserole, 1 hour for a firmer, crusty casserole.

Serve with butter and syrup.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gingerbread Pancakes

I made these the other day for breakfast and they were a much bigger hit than the last time I made them. Super easy to make and definitely a fall food. I halved the recipe since I was just feeding three of us that morning.

Gingerbread Pancakes
serves 12

4 c buttermilk pancake mix
1 Tbsp each ground cinnamon and ginger
2 1/3 c water mixed with 1/2 c molasses

Stir spices into pancake mix, then add the molasses mixture and mix just until moistened. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drop 3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake on the griddle. Cook 4-5 minutes, turning once, until puffed and lightly browned.

The girls wanted Christmas pancakes

Christmas tree and bell

Star and gingerbread man

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Kitchen at Christmas

We're busy decorating the house for Christmas and as I was perusing my blog feed I came across this post from Serendipity Refined. I have a ton of cookie cutters that were my grandmother's and some I've bought; I knew I could make something like this. Only thing is that I have no place in my kitchen to put a full wreath so I decided to go with more of a spray of evergreens with the cookie cutters.

When we got our Christmas tree, they cut off the lowest branches and I trimmed a few stems off those to put this together. I tied them together at the top then started tying on the cookie cutters. I used Christmas themed cutters - an angel at the top, a candle, Santa, Christmas tree, a flower, and a train.

This also reminded me of the decorations they put up in Williamsburg at Christmas time. I was thinking I needed a mini-rolling pin, a small pie plate and then it'd look just like something they would do. Next year.