Category Archives: bread

I made this for a friend’s baby shower. People seemed to like it, but I thought it was just ok. I do like that it’s something different that you can make for a breakfast or brunch, though.

Baked Lemon Challah French Toast with Minted Raspberries

sorry for the blurry iphone pic

For the baked French toast
One 16 to 20-ounce loaf brioche, challah, or other egg-enriched bread
2 lemons, zested and juiced
3 large eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

 For the minted raspberries
12 ounces red raspberries, lightly washed and picked over
1/4 cup dry cava wine, proseccio or other sparkling wine (i actually just used a regular rose wine)
1/4 cup loosely-packed mint leaves

If planning to bake immediately, preheat the oven to 425éF. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter.

Slice the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then cut each slice in half. Arrange half of the bread in overlapping layers in the baking dish. Sprinkle the bread with about half of the lemon zest.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until well mixed, then whisk in the brown sugar. Whisk in the milk, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and remaining lemon zest. Pour half of the custard over the bread. Layer the rest of the bread on top, and pour the rest of the custard over to coat. (At this point the casserole can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

When ready to bake, take the casserole out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before baking. Heat the oven to 425°F. Bake the casserole for 30 minutes, or until slightly golden on top, and puffy.

Whisk the lemon juice with the confectioners’ sugar and drizzle the glaze over the hot casserole. Put a few teaspoons of confectioners’ sugar in a small sieve or strainer, and dust the top of the casserole by tapping the strainer lightly over it.

Let the casserole cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve in large slices, with raspberries on the side.

Toss the raspberries, gently, with the wine. Chop the mint leaves very fine and toss with the berries as well. Refrigerate until serving.

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Somehow I came across this recipe basically for crisps/crackers with all sorts of delectable nuts, seeds and dried fruit (sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pecans, raisins, dried cranberries and even fresh rosemary!) goodness in them. The recipe creator was actually trying to replicate store-bought and very expensive Raincoast Crisps, which I had never heard of, but apparently are an amazing healthy food item.

I shared these on Sunday and served them with triple cream goat brie, mmmmmmm!

Here my version: Rosemary Fruit, Nut & Seed Crisps


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup raisins and/or dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

look at all the colors!

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir a few strokes. Add the raisins/cranberries, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seed and rosemary and stir just until blended.

papa and baby loaf

3. Pour the batter into two 8”x4” loaf pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.

4. The cooler the bread, the easier it is to slice really thin. You can leave it until the next day or pop it in the freezer. Slice the loaves as thin as you can and place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I like to slice and bake one loaf and pop the other in the freezer for another day.) Reduce the oven heat to 300° F and bake them for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crisp and deep golden. Try not to eat them all at once.

Makes about 8 dozen crackers.

Thoughts: I don’t think I or anyone else could taste the rosemary. Next time I just might do without.. Aside from the cookie sheets, really easy to make and not that much to clean, you just have to be home for awhile waiting for the two baking times. Noah also suggested I bake my slivers on a rack which should eliminate having to take them out of the oven to flip sides.


The other day I attempted to make an egg salad sandwich for lunch. Problem was that I didn’t boil my eggs quite long enough (7 mins). It took me forever to peel because they were just slightly too soft, and then once cut, the yolks just ran all over the place. I blame my husband since he previously laughed at me for boiling eggs for waaay too long (2o mins, but for some reason I just can never remember how long you’re supposed to boil for).

Well, I improvised and was still determined to make my salad. Rather than use mayo, I just used the runny yolks as dressing, added some cayenne, salt and pepper, and then topped with some green onions. Oh, and I drizzled some mustard on a piece of toast before combining it with the eggs. I have to say the runny eggs made for an excellent egg salad. It was extremely delectable as the runny yolks seeped through the nooks and crannies of my toasted bread and oozed onto my hands and plate. Definitely something to eat at home with people you’re comfortable with, or, in my case, all alone with no one to laugh at you.


Noah got sick and had to stay home from work one day and for lunch he made his signature sandwich: Grilled Cheese with pepperoncinis. My very first pre-school would always serve grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for those who forgot their lunches. I fell into that category quite often (not entirely sure if it was my or my mom’s fault) and as a result, whenever I eat a grilled cheese sandwich for a meal, I feel the need to accompany it with tomato soup. So, while Noah prepped the sandwiches, I made my first home-made tomato soup – all with ingredients we already had in our kitchen!

Homemade Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Stir in milk and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in tomato puree and sugar. Mix well, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

Add basil, salt and pepper and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Noah’s Grilled Sandwiches

TJ’s Soft 10-Grain sandwich bread
Extra Sharp White Cheddar
Jarred Pepperoncinis

Arrange ingredients like this:

Place in frying pan like so (top with one more piece of bread):

You can also use a sandwich press (if you have one) to make this. Noah uses the press from our cast-iron griddle pan.

Finished Products – A Noah Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup!

(my grilled cheese comes w/o pepperoncinis)


For some reason, this afternoon I had a desire to make a simple honey cake. Thanks to Epicurious I found a recipe that includes not only a warm cup of coffee in the batter, but some whiskey as well. How can you go wrong with a little bit of coffee and liquor thrown together with sweets?

Ingredients:

3.5 c all purpose flour (I used some newly bought TJ’s white whole wheat flour)
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
.5 t salt

4 t ground cinnamon
.5 t ground cloves
.5 t ground all spice
1 c vegetable oil
1 c honey
1.5 c granulated sugar
.5 c brown sugar
3 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 c warm coffee or strong tea
.5 c fresh OJ
.25 c rye or whiskey
(can replace with OJ or coffee)
.5 c slivered or sliced almonds

whisking the dry

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease pans. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

2. Make a well in the center and add the oil, honey, sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee, orange juice and whiskey. Combine the ingredients well to make a thick batter (use a strong wire whisk or mixer on slow speed). Make sure that no ingredients get stick to the bottom of the bowl.

3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and sprinkle the top of the cake(s) evenly with the almonds. Place the cake pans on 2 baking sheets stacked together and bake until the cake springs back when you touch it gently in the center.

4. Let the cake stand for 15 mins before removing from pan. Then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield & Baking Times:

9 inch angel food cake or 10 inch tube/bundt cake pan ~ 60-70 mins
three 8×4.5 inch loaf pans ~ 45-55 mins
9×13 inch sheet pan ~ 40-45 mins

the Epicurious version of the recipe


I’m not entirely sure,  but I think the tomatoes we received this week are HEIRLOOM tomatoes! For lunch yesterday I made a Panzanella salad and I combined 3 different recipes I found off of epicurious and allrecipes. Panzanella salad is an Italian salad where instead of greens, there is crispy, seasoned pieces of Italian bread. I first had it when my principal made it for one of our lunch meetings and it was pret-ty amazing.

I walked over to Chelsea Market and laid down $4.75 for an organic rustic Italian loaf, but I think a regular ciabatta loaf or baguette would work just fine too. But, that bread was really yummy! This salad was a bit more work than a regular salad, since you grill (or in my case brown in a pan) the squash and bake the bread pieces, but it was so tasty, it was worth waiting until 4 PM to eat my lunch! I also quickly sauteed some chicken in the blackened squash pan and added it to the salad for some extra protein in my lunch.

Ingredients:
2 medium summer squash, sliced into 1.5 inch strips
1/2 walla walla onion, sliced
3 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
3 sweet peppers, sliced
1 rustic Italian loaf or Ciabatta loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Drizzle squash strips with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on each side. Set aside on paper-toweled plate.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl,  toss bread pieces with 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Lay bread pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Cut grilled squash strips into 1 inch pieces. Toss onions, tomatoes and peppers together in bowl. Add the grilled squash pieces and the bread pieces.*

4. Mix the 1/4 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette.

*If you aren’t going to eat the entire salad right away, I would keep the grilled squash and bread pieces separate until just before serving, and also wait to dress the salad.


My best friend Angela is visiting this week and today we stopped at Chelsea Market for groceries and then made a home-cooked family dinner. The following is reposted from her blog:

our last stop of the day was at chelsea market to pick up some fresh fish + veggies to cook dinner at home. peter and i picked out some tilefish and pollock (2 kinds of white fish we have never had before) for noah and cathy to cook for all of us. =) we put together a salad, and cathy also made some amazing roasted potatoes! we’ve been drinking a lot of lemon + mint water to keep cool. now it’s time to play scrabble!

our salad: lettuce + arugula + avocados + grapefruit + onions + mushrooms + grape tomatoes