Sunday, February 16, 2014

Currant Challah French Toast with Banana and Salal Berry Jam

Salal berries are new to me and I have to say they're very special! They're forest berries native to the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. BC is where I first encountered them while visiting a friend there, we gathered them in the woods first thing in the morning to have with our breakfast yogurt. So even though it was sad to come home to Northern California where there are no Salal berries to be found, it was okay because I found some home-made Salal jam at a farmer's market on our last day, and they didn't even take it away at the border. Yes!

I hope you enjoyed that little story, but this post is much more about Challah. It's no secret that it makes the most excellent French Toast outside of...France, I guess.

My friend from work made me a small loaf of currant Challah, and right away I knew exactly what to do with it. Glad I did, too, because too many times I've taken a loaf home with the intent to do this and just end up eating it plain with my morning coffee. Which isn't so bad, is it?

(makes 8-9 slices)

-8 slices currant Challah bread (or you can use any Challah bread)
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup milk
-1 Tbsp. Honey
-pinch salt
-2 Tbsp. Butter
-ground Cinnamon

In a pie tin, scramble together eggs, milk, honey and salt, add the cinnamon to taste. Soak four slices of Challah in the egg mixture while you melt 1/2 Tbsp. butter in a skillet.

Turn the slices over to let the egg mixture soak a little more before dropping the Challah slices into the pan. Brown them on both sides while you soak the remaining slices of bread.

You should be able to do this in 2-3 batches, depending on how big your skillet is. If you have a griddle, you might be able to do all of them at once. That would sure be nice (I don't have a griddle).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Polenta with Swiss Chard and Dinosaur Kale

If you get in your time machine and go back a couple years to some of my old posts (not something I recommend) you'll probably find some ever-so-witty musings over dinosaur kale and its silly name and how it looks like something from prehistoric times or how I wish to gobble it up like a ravenous Triceratops. Well, years later I'm much more familiar with the stuff so don't worry, I'll spare you the cheesy dino jokes.

Speaking of cheesy (sorry, I just can't help myself), what dish tastes even better with a big ol' smattering of parmesan cheese on top? Umm, duh! Every single one, especially polenta.

I recently started getting a bi-weekly CSA and it's been forcing me to cook again, and so I was like, okay, why not start blogging again? Because I'm lazy and useless? I guess that wasn't a good enough reason because here I am blogging again. *blogblogblog*

The chard, kale and green onions came in my first CSA pickup, and the tomato sauce is, oh my gosh, out of a jar because I have a life. So there.

You can't really see it in the picture because it's all covered by beautiful green veggies and tomato sauce but there's polenta under there, I promise.

Here's what you'll need:

Serves 2 people

-1 cup cooked soft polenta, still hot
-1/2 bunch Swiss chard
-1/2 bunch dinosaur kale
-2 green onions, chopped
-1/2 cup your favorite tomato pasta sauce
-Parmesan cheese
-olive oil for drizzling

Chop the kale and chard, steam them together for about 3 minutes.

Divide the polenta into two bowls, top with tomato sauce, then mixed kale and chard, then green onions, then parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil and that's it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Savory Bread Pudding

These were my first successful new invention at work. I wanted to post a picture because I'm so freakin' proud of them, but I'm still not sure if I want to post a recipe or not, because they're my babies. Weird I know, I've obviously never had a problem wanting to share recipes in the past. See: the entire concept and reason I started this blog.

Maybe later.

Pictured clockwise from top right: bacon, bacon mushroom, and vegetarian potato. All have gouda cheese, kale, purple onions and a hint of jalapeƱo heat.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Because what the Internet really needs is more French Macarons

For the past ten months, I have been working in a bakery doing various things (even inventing some of my own goods!), but mostly making French Macarons!

I'm one of the few awesome smartphone-free people left in the world...I mean, the San Francisco Bay Area, so I haven't really taken any pictures of my Macs (my phone camera sucks).

So the other day I brought my camera to work and did a little sesh with my cute little guys. Allow me to introduce them, from left to right:

Lemon, peanut butter, coconut blossom (rum, orange blossom water and coconut), chocolate, and avocado on top.

Lesson learned: I had freakin' better bring my camera to work more often!

Favorite Buttermilk Pancake Recipe...Ever!

Growing up, pancakes were the stuff of yellow boxes with blue lettering. Somehow I had made it all the way to young adulthood having never made pancakes from scratch, so naturally when I started trying, I discovered the "simple" breakfast flapjack was far from simple. As it turned out, I messed up almost every batch I made!

I guess I should have read a little more carefully as I have the tendency to skim over recipes rather than really soak them in...hmmm...maybe I need to get this notion out of my head that I'm, like, so good I don't need recipes because they're for people who don't know how to cook and blah blah blah.

So I stopped and went, wait a minute girl, you've never made pancakes that didn't come out of a box! Try a little humility, hey?

I know it's been shouted over and over from every mountain top from here to Pluto since the beginning of pancake-making time, but seriously, don't over-stir the batter! If it freaks you out to see all those lumps, just smash them with your finger after you pour the batter on the griddle.

Here's  the recipe that's been working consistently for me. I use whole wheat flour though, because it tastes better and it's healthier!