Sunday, November 28, 2010

Butterscotch French Toast

I never use a recipe for French toast. I suppose if I made the fancy baked and filled variety, I would need one, but I'm always making basic French toast....a few eggs, some milk, stale bread, yada, yada, yada.... Today, though, I thought I'd gussy it up a little. Good thing, too, for I found out that today is National French Toast Day! Who knew?

I actually thought about French toast a few days ago when I made a couple more loaves of my Orange Glazed Sweet Potato Breakfast Braid (more on that recipe later...I'm going to be in a cook-off next week with it!). One loaf was tucked away to dry out a little...perfect for French toast.


Just slice up a loaf of day old egg bread or raisin bread. apple cinnamon bread would be good here, too!

I used about 3/4 of a loaf for this batch. Cut some nice thick slices.

We start out with three eggs and a little cinnamon (about 1/2 teaspoon). I usually put in a tablespoon of sugar. This time I made it brown sugar. Goes better with the butterscotch theme. :)

Of course, we need some milk. I put in 3/4 cup, using 1/2 cup skim and 1/4 cup heavy cream. If I'd had whole milk, I would have used that. secret ingredient...Butterscotch Schnapps. I put in a tablespoon.

Just whip it all together, with a pinch of salt, in a shallow bowl, soak the bread slices, and fry them up in a hot pan with a little butter melted in it. I don't think we need visuals for that part.

Seriously, these are sweet really doesn't need syrup.


But, what the heck? I've got some leftover fruit compote from Thanksgiving. It adds a little color.

Great way to use up that stale bread, n'est pas?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Last year, after seeing the Julie/Julia movie, I came home and immediately had to cook with butter. I couldn't get enough of Julia Child and even went so far as to make Boeuf Bourguignon for my dinner club. And it was good. Really good. A little time consuming, however. So, last Sunday, I decided to compromise a tad and make my stew in a crock pot. You know what? It was good, too.

I started out by looking through a few recipes here and there to get an idea of how I wanted to proceed. It turns out that I used many of the same procedures that were utilized during the making of the Julia Child version. Basic stuff, really.

First, fry up a little bacon...about 4 of 5 slices. Use the bacon in a sandwich. We're just looking for the fat for now.

Take about 2 pounds of stew meat, cut into bite size pieces, and dry it off.

Put the meat into a freezer bag with some seasoned flour (about 1/2 cup). I seasoned mine with some Old Bay's Seasoning and pepper. Use whatever floats your boat.

Shake it all up.

Saute the meat until browned...don't it in batches.

Probably this would be better if I didn't use a non-stick pan....we want the brown stuff on the bottom to deglaze.

Gather the ingredients: some good red wine, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste (about a tablespoon), garlic.....add it to the pan drippings and heat through.

Put the browned meat in the crock pot, add some red potatoes, baby carrots, pearl onions (I used frozen), and two bay leaves. Pour in the wine/beef broth combo.

I love me some potatoes....

Turn the crock-pot on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. If the stew is a little thin, combine a two tablespoons of cornstarch with a little water, stir until smooth, and mix into the stew.

The only thing I was disappointed about was the look of my brown. I asked for suggestions. Tomatoes, I was told. Put a can of tomatoes in. So the next time, I added the tomatoes and some frozen veggies.

You tell me--does it look better?