Monday, January 23, 2012

Sugar Crusted Vanilla French Toast

So there is a lot of snow happening right now...after a long snow drought it has dumped since Thursday and it is making up for lost time! So comfort food was just what the Dr ordered. And how do you make a comfort food even more comforting??? Have it be a comforting breakfast for dinner! I do it all the time, and probably way too much but I don't care I am who I am!


When I started craving this it was uncontrollable so the fact that I didn't make it the night before made it seem impossible but I threw intimidation out the window and totally improvised and it turned out great! A big delicious buttery ball of goodness! The biggest thing I did probably was since it couldn't take all night to soak I put it in a pan with a lid and shook shook shook and used reg bread. Other than that I pretty much followed the recipe from Phemomenon.


Sugar Crusted Vanilla French Toast
 

1 smallish baguette or crusty loaf of bread, cut into 1-inch slices (about 1 lb loaf)

FOR THE CUSTARD:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

FOR THE SUGAR COATING:
1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1 Day Ahead:
Butter a 9×9-inch pan on the bottom and sides. Place the bread slices, standing up, in the pan. Set aside while preparing the custard.
In a large measuring cup or pitcher, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Pour the mixture evenly over all the bread slices in the pan. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Next Morning:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the french toast casserole from the refrigerator and set it on a baking sheet.
In a large microwave safe bowl or heat proof large glass measuring cup, melt the butter in the microwave till just melted (about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on high). Add the brown sugar and corn syrup, whisk well to combine. Microwave on high again in 30-second bursts (two to three times should be enough) till the sugar is melted and the mixture is bubbly and hot. Gently whisk in the vanilla extract. (Alternatively, you can do this process in a pan on your stovetop.)
Carefully and evenly pour the sugar mixture over the french toast casserole, covering each slice well. Place the casserole, on the baking sheet, into the oven and bake until puffy all across the pan like a good bread pudding, and is golden and baked through, about 40 to 45 minutes depending on how packed your pan was. The casserole will deflate as it cools. Serve warm with mixed berries.


Photo Credit: also Phemomenon's pic!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Saltine cracker toffee (easy!)



Ok, so I have been so so busy and of course no time for any crafting goodness but I did make a new recipe...oatmeal bars. They were gross! I pretty much was mad I wasted the chocolate chips so I just picked them all out and that made me feel better!

So since that was a failure I thought I would share my most popular holiday recipe! The best part was it was so so easy! It almost felt like a scam. But how could you go wrong with a rich salty sweet snack that is so easy to love and even easier to make!


Ingredients
  • 4 oz (one sleeve) saltine crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups sliced almonds (or another nut, if you prefer)

Directions


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  1. Spread almonds evenly on a cookie sheet and toast in oven until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Line a second cookie sheet with aluminum foil and arrange crackers in a single layer on the sheet.
  3. In a large saucepan heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat and boil for 3 minutes.  Pour over the saltines and spread evenly.  Bake for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, spread chocolate chips evenly and sprinkle with almonds (or desired topping).
  5. Cool completely, remove foil (can be tricky) and break in to pieces.  Store in an airtight container for up to one week.


Photo credit: banana fudge swirl. Mine never lasted long enough to get a picture of!!! Yeah that good!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fork Bouquet/Picture Holder






Ok, so I have wanted something on my table for a while…I want a table runner (frankly I think it would just be more motivation to clean up after breakfast J) but I also wanted something to put on my table that was cute and lighthearted. Was there such a thing no…so that is why I made one!!! All in under five steps and for under five dollars! I love it! I plan on printing off little pictures from the previous year and printing them out seasonally.  Adorable right?!

You need:

Pitcher or vase
Floral foam or Styrofoam
Forks/spoons
Yarn/material
Pins


I found my vase at Michaels and had a coupon so it was totally inexpensive the silverware I got at the DI for a couple bucks along with my floral foam and I chopped an old sweater to cover it.

So once you find your vase and silveware:

1.     1. Cut foam to fit inside,  you can dice it as long as there is a solid piece for the top that fits in firmly
2.     2. Arrange your spoons and forks in various heights so if you put pics in you can see them better.
3.     3. Cut a bigger chunk of fabric than you would think just so you can squish in on there and give it nice dimension (you can always cut more off0.
4.     4. Cut random slits in your fabric to slide over the silverware.
5.     5. Bunch where you want and use pins to secure it and walah!!!


YOU’RE DONE! Cute right? I have loved it!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Crispy Peanut Butter Brownies (aka Crack Brownies)!

Ok, I am a visual person...I saw these brownies and they looked amazing! I saved the recipe on pinterest then when I went to get the recipe I saw they name they were lovingly given. Crack Brownies; because she said she might be safer perusing an illegal drug addiction than making these brownies...and its true. I couldn't possibly think of a more delicious first post on my new and hopefully forever blog!


My first change...the original recipe called for 1 cup of chopped Reese's I doubled to two cups or just a whole package of Reese's. Who would't love more pb cups???
 The second??? I just didn't add the peanuts. My dad would have probably liked them...he likes a lot of stuff. But I typically don't love nuts cooked into stuff...love them on, but not always in. Also, we had kids...but like I said they were amazing...



I made these to take to a friends house and adapted it a little because we have kids but oh my gosh! So so good! The kids all got busy and didn't have any but the four adults...yeah...we polished of 3/4 of a 9x13 pan! Wow! So good!




Crack Brownies
1 recipe for brownies, or use a boxed mix
2 C. or one package chopped Reese's peanut butter cups
2 C. mini marshmallows
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips
1 1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
2 C. Rice Krispies cereal
Optional: 1/2 C. salted peanuts (I didn't add them)


Butter a 9x13 baking dish, or line it with parchment paper. Mix brownies according to directions and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with peanut butter cups and marshmallows (and if desired peanuts). Return to oven for five minutes, or until marshmallows puff and brown and chocolate starts to melt.
Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave or on low over stovetop; stir in Rice Krispies. Pour mixture evenly on top of baked brownies. Refrigerate for two hours before serving.

I love them chilled and I took pictures while making them...but once we started eating they were gone way too fast!!! So thanks to Pip & Ebby for the original recipe and the finished photo!





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