Baked Blueberry Pecan French Toast


Here's a delicious recipe that I make a lot...french toast in the oven, baked and easy!  Goes great for breakfast, brunch or breakfast for dinner!  I serve with bacon and hash browns.


First slice french bread and place in pan.


Whisk eggs and brown sugar.


Whisk in nutmeg and vanilla.


Whisk in milk.


Pour over bread. Let soak until all the liquid is absorbed.  You can put it in the fridge overnight to do this.





Toast pecans in pan with butter.




Melt remaining butter and brown sugar to make caramel.


Top soaked bread with nut mix.


Top with blueberries and caramel sauce.


Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until golden.  Serve with maple syrup.

Baked Blueberry Pecan French Toast
Adapted from a recipe by Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe


1 French bread baguette
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 stick plus 1 teaspoon butter
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

Butter a 9x13 baking dish. Cut 1 1/2 inch slices from the baguette and arrange in one layer in the dish (about 6-8 slices). Whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a large bowl and pour evenly over the bread. Refrigerate mixture, covered, until all liquid is absorbed by the bread, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

When you are ready to bake and serve, preheat oven to 350 F. Spread pecans evenly in a shallow baking pan and toast in middle of oven until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Toss pecans with 1 teaspoon butter. Alternately (and this is what I did), toast the pecans in a skillet in one layer over medium heat, stirring often. Toss with 1 teaspoon butter. (I did this the night before to save time the morning of.)

Sprinkle pecans and blueberries evenly over bread mixture. Cut remaining 1/2 stick butter into pieces and heat with remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan, stirring, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Drizzle butter mixture over bread and bake mixture
30 - 40 minutes or until any liquid from blueberries is bubbling.

Menu Plan Monday and Happy Samhain!


Easy week this week...no physical therapy, and we're all nursing colds.  I love the fall, but don't love the crud that comes with it in Naples...I think I'd rather almost anything than a sore throat and body aches.   Samhain is Saturday and I can't wait...it's my favorite holiday on the wheel!





Anyway, we're on diets...well not really diets, just better, healthier eating and more exercise.  I've reached a weight that I've never before reached and this bothers me.  So the daily menus this week total slightly less than 1500 calories a day to give me a little leeway or a snack.  I can't make it from lunch until dinner with nothing to eat. Here's the menu with some recipes after the jump. Don't forget to visit Orgjunkie.com for more entries:

FNCC Challenge Brian Boitano: Spicy chicken Bites with Derby Dip

 

The chef this week for the Food Network Challenge hosted at I Blame My Mother  was Brian Boitano.  I didn't even know about him having a show...I just thought he was a figure skater.  Browsing the recipe comments looking for something good has shown me that he's very popular on Food Network now...you learn something new everyday.  I made his Spicy Fried Chicken Bites with Derby Dip last night and I now see the reason for his popularity.  This recipe is a good one!  Spicy, crispy fried chicken with a creamy dip that has bacon in it...what's not to love?  Recipe,photos and process after the jump:

Apple Chips



Have too many apples this fall?  Here's an idea...

Slice them really thinly with a mandolin:


 

I think they're so pretty sliced this way:


Lay them on a parchment lined pan in a single layer.  Sprinkle with sugar and place in a 200 degree oven for up to an hour and a half.  Let them cool on cookie sheet:


Yum!

Crock Pot Wednsday: Italian beef Sandwiches


 

This week I made Italian beef sandwiches on toasted hoagie rolls.  This dish is dead easy and a crowd pleaser.  I lie to serve with horseradish sauce and sweet potato fries on the side...the leftovers go great on noodles, on rice, on tortillas...you get the idea. Recipe and process after the jump...

Pumpkin Gingerbread



This is a moist, spicy cake that will fill your house with the scent of autumn...Process after the jump..

Menu Plan Monday


This is a very slow week...Skye has a physical therapy appointment today...her first one.  She's almost 11 months old and not standing or crawling so they're working with her.  Scott has a gig Thursday night and will be away...ah the life of a Navy musician in Italy...he plays for a festival and they give him a 5 course meal.

Monday: Crock pot Italian beef sandwiches (will post recipe..finally something of mine!), sweet potato fries and I'm making a pumpkin gingerbread loaf for the Facebook bread of the month challenge.

Tuesday: Brian Boitano's Spicy chicken bites with derby dip for the Food Network Chef Challenge.  Every week we try a recipe by one of the food network chefs.  You can find the challenge and more at I Blame My Mother. I'll serve with parmesan Risotto (packaged) and salad.

Wednsday:  breakfast for dinner: Baked Blueberry french Toast and bacon. Oh mama, you want to try this recipe.

Thursday: Since it's just the kids and I, we'll make pizza toasts with salad.

Friday: Baked lemon pepper Tilapia and oven roasted potatoes.

Saturday:  Mini Meatloaves and Macaroni and cheese.

Plum Sauced Chicken Skewers


This is a tasty little recipe that I found at Baked chicago that is quick and easy. The original recipe is for chicken wings, but I adapted it to work with chicken skewers. Delicious served with rice and a salad. Process after the jump..



Have The Cake October Challenge: Apple Pecan Tart




So I was going to make the Joy of Cooking website's apple pie..bought all of the stuff at the store and everything, but then I just didn't feel up to making the crusts, so I went searching for a recipe for a tart...it's basically the same thing as a pie, and hey, I haven't used my brand new pampered chef tart pan!  I found a recipe at the NY times for Apple Pecan Tart and OMG am I glad I changed my mind, though the whole process seemed like an exercise in FAIL at the time. Process, pics and recipe after the jump:

Quiche Lorraine


Quiche is one of those foods that I've always been afraid to try.  I'm not sure whether it's because I always thought it would be too "hard" to make, or that I was afraid of it failing, or maybe I just didn't have a good understanding of what it is...Doesn't really matter the reason, I suppose, just that I always let my head get in the way.   After perusing the recipe quiche lorraine at smittenkitchen.com I decided to give it the good ol' college try, and boy am I glad I did.   This dish is full of wonderful ham, swiss and my favorite carmelized onions and leeks.  I didn't do the crust portion of the recipe due to time constraints, I used a store bought (and a thousand foodies cried in anguish).

Chop onion..












Leeks..










Sautee them together in olive oil until carmelized...












I could just eat them like this, but I have to finish the quiche.









Layer in the crust the leek/onion mix...












Ham..











Shredded swiss cheese...











Whisk together eggs, sour cream and heavy cream..











Then whisk in nutmeg, salt and pepper...











Pour into pie shell with the rest..











Bake until golden...this was deep dish so it took nearly an hour.









Quiche Lorraine
Adapted from Le Pain Quotidien and borrowed from smittenkitchen.com.

1 3/4 cups diced leeks, white and light green only (from about 2 large leeks, although I think you can get away with one super-big leek)
3/4 cup diced onion
2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil (I needed a tad more)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Salt
6 tablespoons butter, diced
4 eggs, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch pepper
1 1/2 cups diced ham (1/4 -inch dice; I used about 1/2 pound)
3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese


1. Heat a large sauté pan over low heat. Sauté the leeks and onions in the olive oil 30 to 40 minutes until caramelized, occasionally stirring. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and one-fourth teaspoon salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or two knives until it is in very tiny bits. Add one egg (a fork works great for this) and mix it until a dough forms. (Dough can also be made in a food processor, or in theory, and as the original recipe suggests, in a stand mixer.)
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate and press to remove any air bubbles. Crimp the edges, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. While the quiche shell chills, mix the heavy cream and sour cream in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining three eggs. Add a pinch each nutmeg, salt and pepper and combine to form a batter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Remove the quiche shell from the refrigerator and spread the leek and onion mixture evenly over the base. Sprinkle the ham and then the cheese over the leeks and onions. Pour in the batter and place the quiche in the oven.
6. Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. I used a deep-dish crust and the recipe took about double the time, but I checked every 5-10 min past the 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crock Pot Wednesday: Pulled Pork

This week for Crock Pot Wednesday, hosted by Debbie at Dining with Debbie I made a basic pulled pork.






Basically all you do is put your Boston Butt pork into the crock pot with about a cup or so of beef broth.  Cook on low for 8 hours or until it's falling apart.










Shred...











Shred some more until it's all done then serve with your favorite sauce.










I made a spicy vinegar based South Carolina type sauce...my hubby is happy with regular BBQ sauce.  Sometimes I shred the pork, then put it back into the crock pot with reg. BBQ sauce and let it cook a little longer...







Great served with sweet potato fries and coleslaw.











Best Odds Pulled Pork Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne

Preparation:

Combine water and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Combine with remaining ingredients. Add slowly to pulled pork while mixing. The pulled pork should be lightly and evenly coated, neither dry nor soupy.

FNCC: Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars


The chef for this week is Paula Deen and her sons, so I chose her pumpkin bars.  These were easy to make and delicious!









Grab your ingredients..












Grab your new mixer...not the Kitchenaid that I want but it'll do...











Mix the oil, eggs, sugar and pumpkin until light and fluffy...











Sift your dry ingredients together...












Mix in the dry stuff...












Spread batter into  pan.  Put in preheated 350 degree oven.











Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.











Frosting ingredients...












Mix cream cheese and butter on medium speed until fluffy.











Add 2 cups of confectioners sugar..












Then add 1 tbsp vanilla. Mix until light and fluffy.












Spread over bars, then cut into squares and serve!












Yummy!











Pumpkin Bars

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegeteble oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Icing:

  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.
To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.