Friday, November 26, 2010

Creme Brûlée French Toast

This is one of my most favouritest breakfast ever.  It also helps that it's a prep-ahead dish.  The rich sweetness of this pairs wonderfully with some nice smokey/salty bacon and a strong cup of coffee or, y'know, some mimosas.  It's perfect for a special occasion, or for making Sunday breakfast a treat.

Crème Brûlée French Toast

from Epicurious

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup (based on the reviews, I reduce this to a scant tbsp)
an 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature.(generally I try to leave it sitting out for about half an hour, it's still a bit chilled, but it works.  Depending on how long you leave it out, you may have to adjust the cooking time)

Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve hot French toast immediately.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Souffle #2 and Apple Pork Roast

The broccoli souffle was even better than the sweet potato! Mmm. I used fresh steamed broccoli and topped it with panko bread crumbs drizzled with olive oil for a nice crispy topping. (Crushed corn flakes is another idea that I've been meaning to try.) I've actually made a similar dish before as a casserole - same mix of cream soup, mayo and cheese, with chicken cubes and frozen veggies. It's one of my favourite comfort foods.

The apple glazed pork roast was also delicious. I didn't start it until the afternoon so I set the cooker on high, and it cooked in less than 4 hours.
We had the roast and broccoli with wild rice. A great hearty meal.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Slowing things down this week

Once the weather starts getting colder I love to start cooking more with my slow cooker. I have had a craving for pork and apples. Came across this simple recipe from and it looked simple enough.

Apple Glazed Pork Roast

4 lb. pork loin roast
6 apples
1/4 cup apple juice
3 T. brown sugar
1 t. ginger, ground

Rub roast with salt and pepper. Brown pork roast under broiler to remove excess fat; drain well. Core and quarter apples. Place apple quarters in bottom of crockpot. Place roast on top of apples. Combine apple juice, brown sugar, and ginger. Spoon over top surface of roast, moistening well. Cover and cook on Low for 10-12 hours, until done.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Souffle #1 - Sweet potato

Tonight I made the first of the two souffles that rebaann posted - the sweet potato souffle. We both love sweet potato so I was stoked to see a sweet potato recipe.

I used 4 sweet potatoes but they weren't very large, and I don't think I scaled down the other ingredients accordingly. I cut the sugar to 3/4 cup, and it definitely could have used much less sugar than that. Less butter too (I used 2/3 cup). Oh, I skipped the pecans. The nuts we buy from the grocery store never seem to be very fresh.

Don't get me wrong... it was really delicious! Just a bit heavy (though the texture was really nice and light).

With baked trout, spaghetti squash, & orange juice - an orange meal.
I shall try souffle #2 later this week.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Thanksgiving Two-fer

I love Thanksgiving, especially the traditional Thanksgiving food. Since I am planning what I need to buy for the three Thanksgiving meals that I am having this year, I thought I would share two of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.

They are both called souffles. Neither of them are your traditional egg white puffs, but they both contain eggs that make the texture lighter and airier. Hope you try one or both and like them as much as I do.

Sweet Potato Souffle
3 -4 large sweet potatoes, cut into large pieces
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
3/4 stick of butter (or 2/3 stick if you prefer)
2 eggs
1 t. lemon juice (to preserve color)
brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring the sweet potatoes to a boil and cook until fork tender. Cool slightly and remove skins. Add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl and whip with the sugar, milk and butter. Add the eggs and whip. Stir in lemon juice.

Transfer to a grease casserole and top with a mixture of brown sugar and chopped pecans. Bake 1 1/2 hours, until set and browned on top.

Broccoli Souffle
2 10 oz. boxes of chopped broccoli
1 can cream of celery soup
1 c. mayonnaise
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
bread crumbs
melted butter

Cook the broccoli according to package directions, drain and cool. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and combine with soup, mayonnaise and cheese. Stir in the chopped broccoli. Pour into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle bread crumbs on top and drizzle with melted butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve hot for best flavor.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

belated catch up.

I've been neglecting my posts. I misplaced my camera and couldn't find it to add pictures to my post so I decided to wait until I found it. I did have a lot of fun cooking though.

So I'll start with my recipe Chicken Tortilla Soup. It's one of the things I cook a lot. Soup is easy and it lasts a few days so if I don't have time to cook if I make a batch and enjoy for a few days. It keeps me from eating the junk food I crave so much.

I also made those delicious chocolate Nutella cookies. You can see them cooling behind my bowl of soup. I halved the recipe because I didn't need to eat so many cookies. I forgot the extra hazelnuts though. I wish I had them I think they would have added the extra crunch that they needed. When I make them for Christmas I'll have to make sure I add them. I also thought rolling them in coconut might be nice.
 The finished product didn't last very long. Eric (DH) and I ate most of them and only had 2 left over.

I also made the Chicken Tiki Masala. It was really good, a bit to spicy for me though. I cried through dinner. Eric liked it though. Neither one of us had ever had anything like it before. I think I will make it again just hold off on some of the spice. I lost my camera at this point so I have no pictures. :(  I then I had to use my phone.

This photo is a bit washed out. It doesn't show the wonderful golden color of the cheddar, scallion, turkey bacon scones. They are one of my favorite things that have been posted so far. I've been eating them all week. I can't wait to make them again. I do have to say though that they reminded me of the biscuits you get at Red Lobster. 

Last but not least. Pumpkin Pancakes!!! I absolutely love pumpkin. I will seek it out this time of year, bread, coffee, pancakes, if it has pumpkin in it I will try it. I was so excited to make these on Sunday Morning.  I did have to do a change up since I didn't want to open a whole can of pumpkin for pancakes. Instead of Pumpkin puree I used some Trader Joe's pumpkin butter in the batter. It didn't have as strong of a pumpkin taste as I would like but they were still really good.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I love all things pumpkin. I was so sad last year when I had a hard time trying to find canned pumpkin in the store that when I saw it for the first time this year, I bought four cans for the pantry. I've bought more since then. I had no doubt that I would love this recipe and I was not disappointed.

I took the advice of others and added a bit more milk to the batter and they were delicious. I might try tweaking this recipe when I make it again. The original suggestion of chocolate chips sounds good for starts.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Ok, where do I start?  Oh yeah.  Chili.

1st off, this chili was awesome.  I chose to omit the seeds of the jalapeno because my Irish boy husband can't handle the heat (his words, not mine), and I opted to sub in ground turkey for the veggie ground round.

2nd, wow, this makes a LOT of chili.  I just finished it today.  And of course I forgot to take pictures, well, except for this one.

That would be my 6.5 L stock pot.  Formerly full of chili.

I would definitely make this one again!

The pumpkin pancakes were really tasty.  We had them for breakfast on Halloween as is totally fitting.  I didn't thin out the batter at all, so they were a little thick and took a while to really cook through, but they were still really good.

It also makes me laugh that everyone had so many leftovers.  I guess they don't live with Derek.  We had 1 pancake leftover.  Which we shared cold a few hours later. 

Next time, I'll serve with bacon, but there will definitely be a next time for these!

And now for something completely different...

We're into November now, and I know Thanksgiving is just around the corner for all my American friends. So, in the spirit of the family GTG, I thought I'd post a recipe that will either bring a lot of cheer to your festive table, or perhaps cause Great Aunt Millie to start swinging from the chandelier.

I'm warning you now. This recipe is good. It was my go-to for winter parties all last year. It's a crowd pleaser.

It's also intensely alcoholic.

You're welcome.

Anna Olson's Mulled Wine

1 750ml bottle full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz
1 cup clear apple cider or cranberry juice
4 tablespoons honey
2 fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole star anise
3 whole cloves
3 whole peppercorns
1 orange, sliced
2 ounces brandy (optional)
Slowly bring all ingredients except brandy to just below a simmer. Keep below a simmer for 20 minutes, then stir in brandy (if using) and serve, garnishing each glass with a sprig of rosemary