Dried Fruit Cream Scones

Cream Scones

I know some things are better done by hand when it comes to cooking and baking, however, I love a good shortcut. The last time I made scones, I made them by hand. It was quite an arm work-out, and they took a good bit of time to make, but they were worth it. Homemade scones almost always are.

A few months back, I gathered up a couple of gift cards and purchased a food processor. We’ve always had a mini food processor, which was great, but I really hated doing things in small batches and well, sometimes the mini food processor couldn’t handle things. This one, however, is a work horse. When I thought about making scones, I was so excited because hey, any excuse to use a new toy, right? These scones came together incredibly fast. In fact, I ended up making 3 batches of these in one afternoon for my husband’s coworkers. SUPER easy. I added coarse sugar on top, because that’s how I’ve had them at a few bakeries, and I love the added crunch. The scones themselves were so tasty. I tried one with dried blueberries, and loved that they were so buttery in flavor and not too sweet. Totally perfect with a cup of coffee..totally. I made them with dried cherries and dried blueberries, but I imagine they would work beautifully with cranberries, too.

If you have a large food processor handy, I highly recommend this recipe. These would be perfect to bring to the office for a morning surprise or even bake them up for a brunch this Easter. :-)

Dried Fruit Cream Scones
Source: The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into chunks and very cold
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped if the pieces are large
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Optional: Coarse sugar

Directions:

  1. Move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
  2. In a large food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, about 3 times. Add the butter evenly over the top of the mixture and pulse the mixture again until it looks like coarse meal with a few slightly larger pieces of butter, which will take about 12 more pulses. Transfer the butter/flour mixture to a large bowl and stir in the dried fruit. Stir in the heavy cream, until dough begins to form.
  3. Turn the dough and flour bits onto a lightly floured surface, and knead the dough for about 5-10 seconds, until a rough, slightly sticky ball forms. Pat the dough evenly to a 9 inch round and cut the dough into 8 wedges.
  4. Place the edges on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of the scones with coarse sugar, if using. Bake the scones until the tops are lightly golden brown, about 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking process. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack, allowing the scones to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls & A Giveaway!

handmadeholidays

It’s amazing how quickly one can go through butter for holiday baking, so it’s essential for me to stock up when it goes on sale! Usually $2/lb. is my stock-up price, and when I stock up, I usually buy 10 lbs. at a time. I have to wonder what the cashier thinks of me when I purchase all that butter, and I’ve been asked if I own a bakery once. Nope…I just LOVE to bake!

This recipe for cinnamon rolls goes through some butter, y’all. At first, I thought there was no way all of that butter was going to go in the cinnamon rolls…no way. However….yup…I used over a pound of butter in a batch of cinnamon rolls. 4 sticks alone served as part of the filling! Now, this recipe isn’t just for 8 rolls…I got 48 rolls out of this recipe. It’s the perfect recipe for gift-giving, and it comes from someone who is always cooking for a crowd: The Pioneer Woman.
cinnamonrolls1

I’ve heard so many wonderful things about her cinnamon roll recipe, but since it’s such a large recipe, I felt like I needed an occasion to make these. Well, how about the holidays? When this recipe makes 6 pans worth, you could totally get away with gifting this to neighbors, family, friends….whoever you want! I took a tip from The Pioneer Woman, and baked them in cheap disposable baking pans. While they aren’t the prettiest, you can totally dress up the pan by dying the icing, adding sprinkles on top of the rolls & wrapping the pan in holiday cellophane paper! How awesome would it be to give something like this to a loved one?

cinnamonrolls2

These cinnamon rolls were divine. Just…divine. This is my first time making cinnamon rolls from scratch, and I firmly believe that the scent of butter/sugar/cinnamon/dough needs to be in a candle. Holy moly…it smelled like king cake in our house! The rolls themselves were a tender, fluffy texture, thanks to Red Star Platinum yeast. I first heard about Red Star Yeast when I attended a King Arthur Flour seminar a couple of years ago. We were given samples at the seminar, and when I baked with the yeast, I was so surprised at how well the dough rose! I ended up purchasing a full 1 lb. block of Red Star Yeast the next week. I’m definitely a fan of their yeast.

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Pumpkin Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin, Apple, Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

Life is such a roller coaster. A couple of months ago, lightning hit our house and turned so much of our lives upside down. Then, we had some really terrible news in our family that just made me question how much worse things can get. (Don’t do that, by the way.) It was tough not to cry at random times, which was so embarrassing when it happened at work (especially since I work with guys, which was probably super uncomfortable for them…ahh, tech field). I tried to use the allergy excuse, but they knew what was going on. Things were just broken….our house, our hearts…I really had no idea when good things would happen again, but that was the only thing that kept me going. Good things had to come for us. Soon.

Now, we’re painting new sheet rock in our house. The house that we could have completely lost, but we didn’t. As tedious as painting is, I appreciate that we have walls to paint. We pulled out Halloween decorations, which were right next to where the fire started. I can’t look at the attic the same way again, but taking out these goofy decorations make me realize that we’re very lucky right now. We’re doing normal things again, like planting fall flowers, cutting grass that is still growing like a weed and loading dishes in the dishwasher. While those tasks aren’t really super fun, I take a step back and think that I didn’t have to replace those plates that I’m rinsing out, I didn’t have to walk through a house full of water/smoke/fire damage and just think about everything we lost. I’ve had those nightmares lately….multiple times, and waking up in my bed makes me smile and count my blessings.

We’re so lucky. I’m so lucky that I can blog about this baked oatmeal. I’m sitting in our living room, blogging, staring at my sofa full of clean clothes that I’ve yet to fold, and watching my dog attempt to steal a sock from the pile to rip to shreds. I’m so lucky.

Now, this baked oatmeal is simply fall. When it was baking in our kitchen, it just smelled amazing. Pumpkin, apples, cranberry, cinnamon….it’s a perfect fall breakfast. This is one of those dishes that make you want to curl up in a blanket, sip on a cup of coffee and just embrace the season.

Pumpkin Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal
Source: adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium apple, cored and cubed

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or spray the inside with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and dried cranberries, and stir everything until combined. In another bowl, add the milk, pumpkin, melted butter, egg and vanilla, and whisk the mixture well.
  3. Add the wet mixture, as well as the chopped apples, to the dry mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into the baking pan, and spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Bake the oatmeal for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and the liquid is absorbed.

Berry-Nana-Cado Smoothie

berrynanacado

I started running again this week, and I was SO shocked that I was able to do 10 minutes of running at a time. It has been way too long since I last hit the pavement, and it felt wonderful to get back to it. With working out, though, comes a mean appetite. I come home starving, even if I have something before my run. My favorite snack post-workout is a smoothie. Just throw the ingredients in, and let the blender do all the work. When you feel like collapsing on the sofa and staying there for hours after a hard workout, this is my kind of recipe.

I usually just go with a banana/protein powder combination, because it seriously tastes like a milkshake. I prefer to buy bananas super cheap at our local grocery store, when they’re overripe. 3 bunches of bananas for 99 cents? SCORE! I’ve been known to purchase 5-6 packs of bananas, and I just take a few minutes to quarter the bananas and place them in one layer in a freezer bag. Easy peasy. For this smoothie, I went protein powder-less, and tried something different: avocado.

Now, before you cringe, avocado is a fairly mild food. It’s not like I threw guacamole in the blender…avocado alone lends a creamy consistency to the smoothie. This recipe couldn’t be easier either…throw all of your ingredients in and blend away! You’d be surprised…seriously. It’s great, and it’s surprisingly filling, since there’s no protein powder in this recipe. :-)

Note: This post is my entry for the “Wake Up Breakfast with California Avocados” link-up/contest, being hosted by Dine and Dish & Cookin’ Canuck.

Berry-Nana-Cado Smoothie
Source: heavily adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a medium California avocado (pitted and flesh removed)
  • 1 1/2 cups low calorie orange juice (I used Trop50)
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries (no sugar added)
  • 1/4 cup frozen strawberries (no sugar added)
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 6-8 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Throw all ingredients in the blender, and blend until all ingredients are blended well. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Lightened Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Burrito

I used to hate breakfast. Back in school, I’d hardly ever ate breakfast, which of course, made me eat like crazy in the afternoons. It was fairly stupid, and I learned my lesson in the real world, especially when meetings would go beyond my normal lunch time. Grumbling stomach noises aren’t very professional, so breakfast definitely became a necessity.

Now, when it comes to cooking in the morning, I’m just not doing it. I’m the type of person who wakes up as early as absolutely necessary. I love my sleep, y’all. Most mornings, I’m up 30 minutes before I leave for work. Cute hair? Perfect make-up? Ain’t nobody got time for that!  :-P I make it to where I have enough time to feed the dog, take her out, get dressed, brush my hair, brush my teeth and watch the morning traffic news. I’m lazy like that.

When I get to work, I usually just grab a scrambled egg with toast & cheese in the cafeteria. They cook it on a griddle, so I know it’s not bathed in butter or anything. Sometimes if I’m feeling dangerous, I go for bacon too. :-P However, that started adding up a bit, and I decided to look into making a bunch of breakfast items on the weekends that I could heat up during the week at work.

Enter breakfast burritos.

I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman’s blog, and while I’m sure her recipe is perfect, I figured it probably needed a little lightening up to fit my calorie counting lifestyle. Simple substitutions like turkey sausage vs. regular sausage and egg whites vs. eggs help tremendously with the calorie count here. I also omitted the cheese for the cooking portion (since it sort of disappears anyway once it cooks down) and just sprinkle a little reduced fat cheddar in after microwaving the burrito. :-) I found making 10 of these at a time didn’t take very long, and with a little bit of salsa, they are truly great! According to MyFitnessPal, they are only 280 calories each, and they are super filling!

Lightened Breakfast Burritos
adapted from Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz. turkey sausage
  • 3 cups frozen Ore-Ida Potatoes O’Brien
  • 10 egg whites (this was a small carton of egg whites)
  • 10 whole wheat tortillas
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • reduced fat cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Brown the turkey sausage in a large saute pan or dutch oven. Once that is done cooking, place the turkey sausage on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the extra fat, making sure to leave a little (maybe a tbsp.) in the saute pan for the potatoes. Place the potatoes in the saute pan with some salt and pepper and cook them down for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft and thoroughly cooked.
  2. Add the turkey sausage back in the saute pan with the potatoes, along with the 10 egg whites, as well as some salt and pepper. Scramble everything together, until the eggs are fully cooked. Taste the mixture to make sure it’s well-seasoned.
  3. Once it’s done, place the 10 tortillas on a large baking sheet, and place 1/10th of the egg/sausage/potato mixture in the middle of each tortilla. Roll each burrito by first pulling in the sides, and then rolling the tortilla until it’s closed.
  4. To prepare for freezing, saran wrap each burrito separately, and place the saran wrapped burritos in a gallon freezer bag, making sure to push excess air out of the bag before sealing. To reheat, take the burrito out of the saran wrap and instead wrap in a paper towel, heating on 40% power until done. Optional: once heated, open the tortilla slightly and sprinkle in some reduced fat cheese. (I calculated the calories assuming that each burrito had 1/10 cup cheese added.)

 

Top 10 Recipes of 2012

Man, what a year it has been! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with their friends and family. :-)

Most years, I feel like time has flown by, but for some reason, it feels like last January was truly a year ago. So many great things have happened to us this year (as well as some really crappy events).  

Some highlights and not so highlights:

  • It was our first full year in our new house, which has been such a blessing. It’s just awesome to finally have friendly neighbors, who don’t throw their trash in our backyard or play loud music at 2am (side-eye to the neighbors at the old house).
  • My husband and I have both decided to live healthier. Between us, we’ve lost over 150 lbs. this year. (I’m sure my husband is rolling his eyes at me sharing this, but seriously..I’m gonna brag here!) That’s just amazing to me. I’m so proud of us.
  • Another weight loss highlight. I fit into a clothes size that I haven’t been able to wear since 10th grade. That was 12 years ago. OMG!
  • A not so highlight. Hurricane Isaac…don’t want to go into too much detail with that one, but yeah, hurricanes suck. Oh, and for the record, labradors don’t care if the winds are 50 mph outside. If there’s rain/water, it’s playtime! (ugh)
  • I think I’m making some good progress on my 101 Goals in 1001 Days list.

And of course, it’s been another fun year blogging. I really appreciate all of y’all taking the time to read my tiny corner of the Internet. Thank you for your sweet comments, emails and tweets. In January, it’s gonna be this blog’s 5th anniversary, and I’m just amazed by all of the friends I’ve made and people I’ve “met”  through this blog. You guys are the best!

Just to round up the year, I wanted to share with y’all your top 10 most read posts from 2012.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies w/ Salted Caramel Buttercream

10. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Buttercream - These whoopie pies were made for a work fundraiser, and they were a huge success. Great pumpkin/spicy flavor, and the salted caramel buttercream just makes them super indulgent. Pumpkin + caramel is a wonderful combination!

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

9. Red Velvet Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - I love anything red velvet. This bundt cake is a fun change from a regular cake, and it was pretty easy to throw together and bake!

Baked Oatmeal

8. Baked Oatmeal - My breakfast has been forever changed by this. This oatmeal is not soggy at all (which I hate about cooked oats), and it’s very sweet with the addition of bananas.

Peanut Butter Cookies

7. Peanut Butter Cookies - Just simple, classic peanut butter cookies. :-) Very good!

Candy Corn Oreo Truffles

6. Candy Corn Oreo Truffles - Oreo truffles are insanely good, and it was fun to make these with seasonal flavors. Always a favorite when I bring these truffles to work!

Fresh Strawberry Pie

5. Fresh Strawberry Pie - I’m SO glad strawberry season is back. I need to make this pie again…it’s not rich at all, and since it involves no cooking (except for the crust), it tastes so fresh!

Snickers Cupcakes

4. Snickers Cupcakes - Oh, I totally need to make these again. If you love Snickers, you will LOVE these!

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

3. Homemade Strawberry Lemonade - Meyer lemon season + strawberry season? Um…guess I need to make this too and ASAP!

Red Velvet Swirl Brownies

2. Red Velvet Swirl Brownies - These were just delicious, and so pretty too! Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Feta

1. Spinach, Strawberry, Pecan and Feta Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette - This is a huge favorite of y’alls. I think Pinterest made this a popular one, and it is VERY easy to throw together! This is a salad you want to make for your next party…it’s an awesome combination!

Thanks so much for reading this blog, and I hope everyone has a Happy New Year! Time to get used to writing/typing “2013″. :-)

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

I started calorie counting again a few weeks ago, and I quickly realized that the scrambled egg sandwiches at the cafeteria probably weren’t the healthiest things to start the day off with. Given how much oil they spray on the griddle, and the fact that their eggs look orangey out of the carton, I knew I could do better. My only obstacle was that I don’t have time to cook in the morning.

Yes, I know. I could wake up earlier and that would give me time but honestly, I’m not a morning person. I press snooze 5-6 times every morning. It drives my husband batty, I’m sure. So yeah…I definitely want something that I could grab out of the fridge and eat at work.

I’ve been curious about the baked oatmeal that has gotten popular on the blogs in the past year. My only issue of concern was that I HATE hot standard oatmeal. It’s way too mushy to me. However, in pictures, this recipe looked a little more dry and possibly something I could like. So, I decided to give it a try this weekend. If it worked out, I could scoop out a piece for work every day. At 180 calories a serving (since I omitted nuts), this would be the perfect foundation for breakfast. :-)

The verdict? This baked oatmeal is awesome, y’all. It’s even better the next day, in my opinion, because it dries up a good bit, almost to a cake or bread pudding-like consistency. (I’m not saying it tastes like bread pudding…that would be a lie.) I think for this particular recipe, the cinnamon and bananas really make this dish. :-) If you hate mushy oatmeal like me, but WANT to like oatmeal (really, you do), give this baked oatmeal a try. It comes together super quickly, contains no refined sugar and it’s calorie friendly!

Baked Oatmeal
Source: Skinny Taste

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave…I used honey)
  • 1 cup uncooked quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray an 8×8 inch ceramic baking dish with baking spray.
  2. Arrange the bananas in one layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Add half of the blueberries on top. Then, sprinkle 1/4 tsp. of the cinnamon and drizzle 1 tbsp. of honey on the fruit. Cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. While the fruit is baking, in a medium sized bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and salt. Stir the dry ingredients together until well-mixed. In another bowl, add the honey, milk, egg and vanilla extract and whisk together until the mixture well-combined.
  4. Take the fruit out of the oven. Pour the dry oat mixture over the fruit and spread it to an even layer. Then, add the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the liquid evenly.
  5. Bake the oatmeal for 30 minutes (uncovered), or until the oats on top are a golden brown color and the oatmeal is set. Let the oatmeal cool for a few minutes before serving. If you are eating leftover baked oatmeal, just heat it in the microwave for about a minute. Add a splash of skim milk if desired.

 

 

 

 

Pain Perdu with Louisiana Strawberry Sauce

Pain Perdu with Louisiana Strawberry Sauce

::lifts pinky::

Doesn’t pain perdu just sound so fancy? It feels like one of those breakfast dishes that just screams “I’m fancy! Order me!” when I see it on a menu. But really, pain perdu isn’t that fancy. It’s french toast made using day-old french bread (rather than sliced bread). Now that I wrote that out, I no longer feel fancy after eating that on Sunday morning. Oh well.

The last time I enjoyed some pain perdu was at the Ruby Slipper in New Orleans. Their pain perdu is not just your average pain perdu….it’s BANANAS FOSTER pain perdu. If you’re ever in New Orleans, I highly recommend this place for a delicious brunch. It’s one of those places that you want to get there early for, though. We locals (well for me, former local since I live an hour away from NOLA now) know about this place, so it’s always packed as the morning goes on. :-)

Since we had some leftover french bread from dinner the day before, I thought it would be a great start to our Sunday to enjoy some pain perdu. Also, it’s strawberry season out here, so there’s always a pint of local strawberries in the fridge. It was completely meant to be.

This pain perdu was just awesome. Next time, I might add more cinnamon and nutmeg though, but otherwise, this was delicious. It’s also a Cooking Light recipe which to me, made this dish even better.

Pain Perdu with Louisiana Strawberry Sauce
Source: mildly adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. grated whole nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 (1-ounce) slices diagonally cut day-old French bread (about 1 inch thick)
  • 2 cups of sliced strawberries
  • 2 tsp. orange rind
  • 4 tsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, add the milk, 1 tbsp. sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, salt and beaten eggs. Stir well with a whisk. Place the bread slices in a 13×9″ pan and pour the wet mixture evenly over the bread slices. After a minute or so, turn the bread slices to coat the other side with the wet mixture. Allow the bread to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, turning the slices a couple of times, until all of the wet mixture is absorbed in the bread slices.
  2. Place the strawberries, remaining 1 tbsp. sugar and orange rind in a small pot over low heat. Cook the strawberry mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, melt half of the butter over medium heat. Place 4 of the bread slices on the skillet and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes on each side (or until the bread is golden brown). Remove from the pan, melt the remaining 2 tsp. butter and cook the other 4 slices the same way.
  4. To serve, sprinkle each serving with confectioner’s sugar and top with the strawberry sauce.

 

Bananas Foster French Toast “Muffins”

Bananas Foster French Toast "Muffins"

Just a little blurb: If you’d like to see me move on to Round 3 of Project Food Blog, I’d really appreciate your vote here! You can check out my round 2 entry here. Thanks so much y’all!! :)

I tend to LOVE sweet breakfasts. Give me a stack of pancakes, some french toast, donuts, waffles…whatever. As long as it’s sweet! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good plate of scramble bambles (eggs- as my mom called them) or some crusty hashbrowns, but man, something about a sweet breakfast makes me drool. :)

This past weekend, I couldn’t stand it. I had to make some french toast. Not just any french toast, though. I had ripe bananas begging to be cooked into SOMETHING, so I decided to make bananas foster french toast.

Bananas Foster is a very popular dessert in New Orleans. It’s one of those dishes that is a ::must eat:: at Brennan’s Restaurant. They make it right in front of you, and it’s just so delicious. So, I figured this would be PERFECT in french toast, especially for my sweet tooth! You’ll notice that this recipe has no alcohol in it. It still comes out pretty tasty, I promise!

This recipe is another submission for the Nature’s Pride Bread Ambassador contest. They will be choosing 6 recipes/bloggers to represent them at the Foodbuzz Fest this year! I made two other recipe entries, which are here and here. As you can tell, the sweet tooth influenced these recipes heavily. :)

The verdict? OMG…delicious! It was so easy to put together and the little “muffin” servings help with portion control. That is, until you find yourself eating 3-4 of these with no remorse. ;)

Bananas Foster French Toast “Muffins”
Source: an original

makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

French Toast:

Bananas Foster:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 ripe bananas, cut in half lengthwise

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Add bread in and break it up into pieces as it absorbs the mixture. Let sit.
  3. In the meantime, melt butter in a large pan and add brown sugar/cinnamon. Stir until all sugar dissolves.
  4. Add in bananas and cook them down for a few minutes. Remove bananas from the pan and allow to cool. Set sauce to the side.
  5. Once the bananas are cool, add them to the bread mixture and mix by hand. Scoop the combined mixture into greased muffin pans and bake for 15-20 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean).
  6. Serve with bananas foster sauce on top and enjoy!!

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker’s Program, Foodbuzz offered a coupon for a free Nature’s Pride product in exchange for making up a little ol’ recipe highlighting Nature’s Pride bread.  

If Heaven made me breakfast…

French Toast

I know what you’re thinking…what’s with the title? Well, writing challah french toast with subtle notes of orange drenched in orange berry sauce is a little bit lengthy for a blog title, don’t you think?

So, I decided if Heaven could cook me breakfast in the morning, I imagine this is what they would serve. Delicious, fruity french toast. There’s something about french toast. It’s just so simple, yet yummy and you can flavor it any way you want. Versatile little breakfast you are, my french toast.

One of my fellow Weddingbee pals (Yes, I know I got married over a year ago. Once a bee, always a bee darnit!), who writes the blog I love you much, came up with this recipe. This recipe is the reason I made challah and it was worth it. Make the challah/buy the challah…whatever it takes. This bread redefines french toast, folks. Seriously…you don’t even have to make THIS french toast. Just make any french toast with this bread from now on. You will NOT regret it!

Challah French Toast with Orange Berry Sauce
Source: adapted from I love you much

Ingredients for toast:

  • 1 loaf challah
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup reduced fat milk
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1 bag of frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • pinch of salt

(optional: some powdered sugar for dusting)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients for the berry sauce in a small pot on medium low heat and allow to cook down, stirring/slightly mashing berries every few minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
  3. Whisk all ingredients (except for the challah) in a large bowl until well incorporated.
  4. Slice challah into 1/2 inch slices.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet at medium heat.
  6. Soak 3-4 pieces of challah in the egg mixture for 30 seconds on each side (until the bread is fully soaked but not soggy). Shake off excess mixture and place on the skillet (cook 2-3 minutes on each side until barely brown).
  7. When finished on the skillet, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet in an oven to keep warm/finish the toast.
  8. Repeat 6 & 7 until all toast is done. Keep in the oven an extra 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with berry sauce and powdered sugar. Enjoy!