Posts filed under: ‘Brunch‘
I’m reposting this recipe since its the most searched, and commented post to date. I’ve updated the instructions and tried to address some questions! The recipe I originally posted is 1/2 of the actual recipe I was working from, since I have a small crock pot about 4 quarts. If you have a bigger crock pot use whole the recipe — 1 whole loaf of bread, 1 dozen eggs 2 cups of milk, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2tbsp brown sugar.
Crock Pot French Toast:
My aunt gave me this recipe after raving here and there about bring her crock pot full of fluffly ready to serve french toast at work. She brings it in a couple times a year a round holiday season and serves it to her office. Its soooo easy to make and its wonderful to wake up on a weekend morning to the smell of ready to dive into French toast– set your coffee maker the night before and you won’t have to lift a finger before breakfast.
I made half of what her recipe calls for as my crockpot is a bit more on the petite side.
1/2 loaf of bread.
I don’t recommend wheat bread generally though honey wheat is pretty good as french toast. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl is to die for, or a challah bread works too. A loaf of day old French or Italian is also best as french toast. You can use the pieces whole, but I choose to break the pieces in half to fit into the crock pot better.
Use cooking spray to grease you crock pot!!! or you will likely have some stickiness to clean later.bSome folks like the slow cooker plastic liners. I’m not a fan personally but thats up to you.
6 eggs, 1 c milk, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla.
Dunk each piece of bread into the egg mixture and place inside the greased crockpot. Pour remaining egg mixture over the top of the bread. Set crockpot to lowest cooking setting. “Warm” is not a cooking setting, so set your crock pot to LOW. Place cover ontop. Do not over fill your crockpot. Cook for 6- 8 hours. Mine cooked in 7.
In the morning you will find a fluffly, bread pudding-souffle like breakfast. You will see cooked egg on the edges of the bread slices. Carefully remove the lid about 15 minutes before its done and it will brown and toast. Serve with warm syrup!! Serves 4-6 depending on how hungry your guests are.
If yours burned I can’t offer alot of consolation. I can say mine came out great or obviously I wouldn’t have posted. Knowing you crockpot is important, just like knowing your stove or microwave. Read the manufactures instructions. Newer crockpots may not take as long to cook as older crockpots from what I’ve read on the interwebs. I can say that my crockpot is 2 years old and still cooked for 6+ hours after all it is a slow cooker. Try it yourself and leave your tips for great crockpot french toast.
47 comments October 13, 2012
Yeah yeah Where the hell have I been!?!? Thats an interesting question. If you were to scour the hot and dirty streets of New York City..I’m reminded of Rent lyrics, I would not be found. Not in the mecca of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s halls or loading docks, not in the any of of 3000 starbucks stores or in a remote spot of Central Park, or dozing on the D train back to the Bronx. I have made my last exeunt New York City, at least as a resident.
As of April 9th I pack all of my cherish belongings and left for a place I called home long before, and returned to the Capital Region. I can’t say it was not difficult, mostly just to separate the part of my personality that loved saying “I live in New York” not having to say “City” because with my obvious arrogance I know that you know what I mean. But really most of us need to leave (home) to be able to return. And the home I escaped to proves now, in a global world– where I talk to my best friend in Texas, more than I talk to my own mom (who lives 5 minutes away)New York isn’t, or at least doesn’t have to be the only place you can make “art.” In fact the grind of New York proves so exhausting, I lift my glass to anyone who spends more time involved in there passion then they do at the restaurant or starbucks where they earn their (exhorbetant) rent money.
Once Phil and I started dating, even though we entertained the idea of living in the City, I knew it would never make sense and frankly I didn’t want it to. I’d dread having to make a long drive back to the City feeling the exhaustion overwhelm me, going back to “the grind” and emptiness coming back to my huge and lonely apartment. Its easy to come home from a long day at work if your family is there to meet you. I felt disected like a frog in High School Biology class. Working in New York, but “living” upstate and it was always Albany or Saratoga that I felt my energy return. So it was time.
I had an adventure my last night, working a final shift at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and returning to my car only to find I had no idea where my keys were (I STILL don’t). I ended up having to take the first bus back to Albany 2 hours late to my new job, having only gotten an hour or so of sleep on the Mega Bus. New York can SUCK!! in your first year it will beat the crap out of you– training you like a horse to understand the way it ebbs and flows, and when you try to leave it can stretch its grip…well if you choose to see it that way. Maybe I should just made a better point to put my keys in a zippered pocket of my purse.
ANYWAY in the last 5 months Life’s been GOOD! I’ve made a few cakes mostly for baby showers, attempted to unpack…though we’re still not 100% done, repainted many rooms in our apartment, and finally just finished building a (wait for it….wait for it) walk in closet, and I’ve been trying to chip in by walking the dog so that Phil is no longer the sole custodial parent. Between moving chaos, changing jobs twice, and unpacking and construction the blog fell to the wayside. I was actually having a craptastic day today, feeling uninspired, until I saw this:
Billy (kind of like my dog Billie) is the former poet laurate of the US, and spoke at my college graduation, I also got to work with him once at a reading earlier on in my careeer. And Billie my dog looks similiar to the animation, though she is a cartoon character of herself all on her own.
Which reminded me of :
The blog above is actually incredibly popular here in upstate, Matt Baumgartner being a kindred spirit, at least in my hopes and dreams of life. He own 3 highly successful restaurants with a 4th opening soon and lives in NYC part time, a lover of dogs and food and big city life he lives my dream! And his blog aint so bad either. And I just so happen to be running a fashion shoot this weekend for Metroland The alternative Newsweekly I work for, and we are featuring Matt’s new clothing line…Matt when do you sleep!?!
What else? Well Phil and I are starting to put some time into side projects– the projects we long daydreamed about over the phone hundred of miles apart. Heres some of Phil’s work
I’m loving pintrest lately– ESPECIALLY for weddding planning!
OH and one more thing!! for all you crafty lad and ladies out there I’m loving LOVING Craftsy.com for classes. I could spend my whole working day in front of a PC and still come home happily to spend a few minutes (or hours) gettin my learn ON. I’m currently watching/ and working on a “bombshell Dress” course with a “topsey turvey cake” course on the horizon!
AND I’ve been getting all sorts of hits her on my long ignored site, especially on Crock Pot French toast, so for eveyone who had a tough time with their “quick and easy” French toast , I will repost with answers to your questions!!!
Heres some of my most recent work:
More cakes and chat to come.
4 comments September 21, 2012
I’m finally enjoying a Saturday all to myself! Its been a while. Mostly my “weekends” have been packed with 6 say a week work schedules, cakes, and family obligations, hence the lack of new recipes, or pictures. Its hard to bake in a New York City heat wave, let alone when it feels like just one more thing to do. But lately I’ve been in the midst of whats become a summer long project of rearranging my entire apartment. I’ve given up the spacious master bedroom to (eventually) convert it to my Master baking/ decorating room and have arduously gone through the task of rearranging closets, setting up my bed in the smaller but cozy guest room, and am still pulling apart and reassembling my kitchen. The irony: I’m probably not renewing my lease in my spacious bronx apartment, but I’ll figure that out later.
Not wanting to make a giant mess within the mess I’ve opted to make breakfast out of a few scones sitting in my freezer I made not to long ago and figure a recipe was far overdue.
And as I sit here and type I’m contemplating when am I gonna get rid of all this crap in my house I don’t want?! That mountain bike, that extra tv, flower vases, the books I’ve had since college. And then procrastination sets in and I’m dreaming of more recipes for my long ignored blog: Lemon Meringue pie, Blueberry muffins– Its August –berry season after all, Tiramisu by Tony Danza, Yeah I just mentioned Tony Danza, The french macarons I’ve been lusting after, and Humble Pie– a recipe that includes peanut butter and chocolate, and story about Paul McCartney.
But alas I sit and sip my coffee, and munch on a scone.
Scones, from Alton Brown
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c sugar
4 tablespoons butter
2 tbsp shortening
3/4 c cream
In a large bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender.
In a separate bowl whisk cream with the egg.
Add egg and cream to dry ingredients.
Dough will be a little sticky, but thats okay.
From here I diverge a bit. Scones traditionally contain dried cranberries, or fresh blueberries. I grabbes some mixed berries starwberries, blueberries and blackberries and added some mangos– all in my freezer. The extra moisture will make you dough sticker, but make sure to add some additional flour when you roll it out and you’re set.
Chop fruit…I was probably a bit over zealous with the amount I added. (1 cup of each– you can add less)
Roll out on a well floured surface, to about one inch– or thicker. You can use a biscuit cutter or just haphazardly slice into triangular wedges like I did.
2 comments August 13, 2011
I’m breaking my tradition of posting brunch inspired recipes on Saturday nights because I finished out my last day of the weekend this Monday with a day off from work. I spent Saturday managing the many patrons attending a long week of performances of the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Lets talk about Martha for a minute, because I for one, having seen bits and pieces of her repertoire many times over the years I’ve been working in theatre, strangely knew little about her. I knew only that she basically invented modern dance– which as a kid who studied tap dancing for (cough) fourteen years thought modern dance was just ballet without shoes.
Martha Graham is often mentioned with other great artist like Picasso– because they both invented and redefined their art– turning traditional form on its head. She invented her own technique which is widely studied today and only at the tender age of 75 did she reluctantly retire from performing. Her choreography can be severe, stressed, and emotional, and always includes eccentric costuming and makeup. Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, and Oscar De LaRenta designed many costumes for this week’s performances (see above).
Martha Graham has little to do with waffles, in fact I’m sure when you are a professional dancer you steer clear of waffles, carbs, and this blog in general. I did feel a little inspired with my plating and adding a carmel head dress as it were.
So here is a great addition to your brunch menu. Banana Pecan Waffles…ohhhhh I sigh just thinking about them. I actually had one this morning, though I made this recipe about a week ago…These waffles freeze well too. So if you are serving breakfast for a small crowd or just treating your self this Sunday or Tuesday morning, don’t worry about all that extra batter going bad in your fridge throughout the week. I’ve managed to comendere my boyfriends waffle iron for the last couple weeks, so when I had a minute I pressed the remaining batter into waffles and threw in a gallon size freeze bag, and have been indulging, with the help of my toaster ever since. ALSO, thoses chocolate stout waffles, from my last brunch post freeze even better!
Banana Pecan Waffles from GroupRecipes.com
2 c Flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
2 c buttermilk (2 c milk with 2 tsp vinegar)
1/3 c sour cream
1/4 c canola oil
3/4 c ripe mashed Bananas
1/2 -3/4 c chopped pecans
Combine dry ingredients (flour, powder, soda, salt, and sugar) and set aside.
Beat eggs, sour cream, buttermilk and oil.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.
Fold in Bananas and Pecans, careful not to over stir.
Pour about 1/3c batter on to iron. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Follow the directions on your waffle iron.
Fresh bananas, whipped cream, and some caramel I had hanging around my fridge made for a fabulous finish. (my carmel topper wilted shortly after this picture…) maple syrup or agave nectar work just as well.
Add a comment March 22, 2011
Heres another chocolate recipe for Valentine’s Day…
When I was in college we called the trip to the dining hall on the weekends the “brunch bus.” Even though we walked, albeit a mere couple of hundred feet to the dining hall there we at least a dozen of us who all met and made the walk together to share breakfast in varying states of soberity. Generally there were rounds of obnoxious and comical phone calls from room to room rousing all our friend to wake up for the Brunch bus.
Had these been on the menu back in my college days we probably would have gotten up a little earlier for breakfast.
Chocolate Stout Waffles
This recipe was inspire by my friend Chrissy who mentioned a vegan recipe for these waffles is available in the book Vegan Brunch, by the same ladies who did Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I haven’t seen the original recipe so I snooped around the internet and finally just figured I try my own and see how it came out.
1 1/3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 c sugar
1 c buttermilk ( 1 c milk, 1 tsp vinegar)
3/4 cup +1 tbsp chocolate stout
1/4 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
Combine dry ingredients: flour, soda, salt, and cocoa. Whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, stout, and vanilla and pour into dry ingredients.
Heat waffle iron, and grease with canola oil, either spraying, or brushing oil on iron with a pastry brush. Pour 1/2c mixture into iron. Close iron and cook.
I garnished these with homemade whipped cream, strawberries, and maple syrup. Most folks tend to prefer chocolate syrup which is also lovely.
If you want to make these vegan, first I’d say get Vegan Brunch and use that recipe, other wise, use soymilk instead of the buttermilk, and omit the eggs. I actually forgot to put eggs in so the first couple waffles I made were egg free. They were slightly heavier, not in a bad way, just dense– more brownie like and didn’t fall out of the waffle iron when they were done. Still very good. Adding the eggs made the mixture a little runnier but the waffles lighter and crispier.
2 comments February 13, 2011
My friend Chrissy always ends a week on her blog with at + / -. The ups and downs of her week. So I figured I’d list a few…
+ I began planning a birthday cake due for Friday. The design would be all purple and black with a tiara on top
+ My long awaited appointment to have my braces removed is set for Thursday
– Being a night owl and working long days at work caused me to be pretty exhausted throughout the week.
– I finish a beautiful birthday cake…and then I knock the tiara off the table where it was drying…Another all nighter with no sleep to fix it, and up for work the next day.
– 19″ of snow hits the city and my dentist appointment gets cancelled. Another week of braces.
+ Finish all my work and get to leave early just in time to make it home for the birthday cake to be picked up.
– Girl who order the cake never shows…or calls, or responds to my text/ calls. I’m out the (be it small) amount we agreed upon for the price…NOT OKAY!!
I’d definetely say the minuses out weighed the positives….Except for one little detail of this week. Wednesday as you well know was my dad’s birthday. A man who doesn’t always love the spot light on him, especially when it comes to birthday celebrations or getting gifts, got the best gift, from me.
+ I put my name in at work to receive tickets to a highly anticipated show to come in April, Eric Clapton and Wynton Marsalis…and I won them!! Strangely enough I found out I got the tickets on Wednesday so instead of just placing a quick “Happy Birthday” phone call, I got to let my dad know he’d be going to see 2 of the greatest this spring. A great highlight for the week.
On to breakfast!!!!!!!!!!!!
I got this recipe via email from my boyfriend’s aunt, Aunt Penny a seasoned baking and candy making pro.
Red Velvet Donuts with Buttermilk Icing
2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp NATURAL cocoa
6 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 c buttermilk or 3/4 c milk w 1 tsp vinegar and set it aside for a few minutes
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp red food coloring
combine dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt, powder, and cocoa…no sugar is rarely considered “dry”) set aside.
I should mention that your cocoa should be natural, dutch processed is too dark and you won’t have a red cake.
With a hand mixer or upright cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then buttermilk,
then vanilla, then food coloring.
Add dry ingredients.
Now to make “cake” donuts, and as you can see by the recipe this is really just cake batter, you need either a donut pan–like a cupcake pan, OR you can get your hands on one of these spiffy new donut makers made by sunbeam.
I got a donut maker for Christmas, a rad present from my boyfriend. I also received a deep fryer so traditional donuts are to come. For about $30 you can have a specialty donut maker, that works alot like a waffle iron.
Plug in you donut maker and spray the cavities with nonstick cooking spray. Close the lid and wait for the “ready” light to blink. The easiest way to evenly distribute the batter is to use a piping bag. I used a plastic disposable, because frankly I couldn’t begin to tell you where any of my cloth reusable ones are. Using plastic is not a great idea since it can melt if it touches the hot metal, but if your careful it will make do.
Squeeze a circular tube of batter into the donut trays. Shut the lid. About 5 minutes later you have perfect little donuts. They don’t get prettier than this.
For the icing mix 2 1/4 c powdered sugar with 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. I drizzled using a plastic sandwich bag with a tiny hole cut in the corner, or you could just dip the donuts. Next time I do these I’m going to add a little softened cream cheese to the glaze for that extra tangy zip.
6 comments January 30, 2011
Last weekend my boyfriend and I celebrated our one year anniversary. If you’ll allow me to gush a bit let me say aside from being a huge supporter of my eccentric endeavors he also plays a role in some of my work. I’ve put him to work cutting out pieces of fondant or gum paste and he regularly will stay up late late at night helping me finish a cake. Thats him in the pictures from Scott’s Wedding, helping me assemble the cake. By trade he is a talented graphic designer and actually designed this website– thats how we met.
He loves good food, especially dessert, like me so when we first started dating we hit up all sorts of good restaurants in the Bronx’s Little Italy and all over New York testing out stuff, coming up with ideas and brainstorming.
Last weekend after a delicious Indian dinner, I was craving dessert big time. Unfortunately I’m not a big fan of Indian desserts so I suggested we go to Magnolia, though I’ve heard less than great things about their cupcakes. Its one of those New York things you should say you’ve done. I do have respect for Magnolia considering they are very much responsible for the trend in cupcakes these days. We opted quickly from finding the original Magnolia store downtown when I had the bright idea that we go to Serendipity 3.
Serendipity 3 is a restaurant known for large servings, a long line, and extravagent desserts, especially the Frozen Hot Chocolate. I’ve got a version of it to come later, but for now I’m focusing on Crepes.
Phil, ordered the Ice Cream Crepe– which I indulged in of course. He is a huge fan of crepes. There is a restaurant in his home town called Ravenous that serves nothing but crepes, both savory and sweet. So its safe to say he grew up on them. What Serendipity serves is a huge crepe with bananas, strawberries, and raspberry syrup. Topped with 3 huge scoops of ice cream. It could be dessert or breakfast and simpy talking about it now makes me so hungry my mouth is watering. I can safely say it was one of the first desserts I can remember eating when I wasn’t jonesing for more ice cream. You know when you order dessert and the ice cream has melted by the time you get your dish or the serving was to stingy to begin with. This dessert was so good it got me off the hook for making him wait in the long New York City tourist line in the cold.
So here is a great crepe recipe from Good Eats. Serve it for breakfast, or dessert and fill with just about anything sweet.
Crepes from Alton Brown’s Good Eats:
2 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c milk
1/2 c water
1 c flour
3 tsp melted butter
Blend all ingredients for 7-10 seconds only! Store in fridge for at least an hour. Will store for up to 3 days.
Seriously only 7-10 seconds, otherwise you will have pancakes, not crepes. Heat and butter pan. Pour in crepe batter– the first one always sucks, kind of like pancakes. Swirl batter around the pan until it looks dry at the edges.
Fill with fruit, chocolate, nutella or any combination. I opted for strawberries and mangos. Fresh frozen fruit is great when your favorite fruits are out of season. Just throw in to a hot pan to flash thaw. Set aside while making the crepe.
Fold over. A few golden brown spot are good, but don’t over cook.
Add whipped cream or ice cream if you dare. I’ll be adding a really easy homemade ice cream recipe tomorrow– featured above! This crepe is delicious with just fruit, or if you opted to go simple add only butter and a spattering of powdered sugar. I drizzled mine with blueberry infused agave nectar. I could eat my weight in crepes like this. Truly Serendipitious…if thats even a word.
5 comments January 17, 2011
HEY!!!! THIS POST IS 2+ Years old— I updated it recently to help answer the questions and comments and traffic this post has received The updated version is HERE.
From December 2010:
I love big weekend brunches! Breakfast is a pretty big tradition in my family on the weekends. Both my mom and I worked in diners when we were in college and nothing beats my mother’s omelettes with a side of corn beef hash or sausage.
I can also say I hate all the dishes involved after a nap worthy brunch fest. How many pots and pans can you dirty with bacon or eggs, french toast and pancakes— and lets not even deulve into waffles. By the time you muster the energy, and actually get through a sink full, I’m keen to make another total kitchen mess with cookies, pie, or whatever recipe (holiday cookies!?!) I’m experimenting with that week. Good thing my boyfriend doesn’t mind rolling up his sleeves and lending a hand. I think that is worth a breakfast in bed on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I have tons of brunch recipes that until now I haven’t posted. I’m hoping to get into a routine of posting Sunday Brunch receipe here and there on Saturday evenings perfect for a late Sunday morning Brunch, and heres a great one, with limited dishes involved.
Crock Pot French Toast:
I got a crock pot for Christmas last year after having to borrow my mom’s for last years Thanksgiving dinner extravaganza. Sad to say I packed up and stored it away after greatly over estimating the time it would take to cook chicken tikka marsala while I as at work. Burning curry is nothing you want to arrive home to. My aunt gave me this recipe after raving here and there about bring her crock pot full of fluffly ready to serve french toast at work. She brings it in a couple times a year a round holiday season and serves it to her office. Its soooo easy to make and its wonderful to wake up on a weekend morning to the smell of ready to dive into French toast– set your coffee maker the night before and you won’t have to lift a finger before breakfast.
I made half of what her recipe calls for as my crockpot is a bit more on the petite side.
1/2 loaf of bread.
I don’t recommend wheat bread generally though honey wheat is pretty good as french toast. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl is to die for, or a challah bread works too. A loaf of day old french or italian is also best as french toast.
Break up bread in half pieces.
6 eggs, 2 c milk, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla.
Pour over bread if you’ve already placed in the crock pot. I was worried I find out the next day that not all the bread had gotten saturated so I dunked my pieces individually and layered them. I’d recommend this if you are using a hardier or more stale bread. Set crockpot to lowest setting. Cooking takes at least 6 hours.
In the morning you will find a fluffly, bread pudding-souffle like breakfast. Remove the lid about 15 minutes before its done and it will brown and toast. Serve with warm syrup!! Serves 4-6 depending on how hungry your guests are.
266 comments December 5, 2010