Category - Recipe

French Toast with Nutella and Fruit

Sometimes you just want to go all out for breakfast — an “I’m not going to eat lunch” kind of breakfast. This was one of those times. French toast with Nutella and fruit topping. I would make this every morning if I could just forget about how bad it is for you. I really couldn’t fill this with more gluten, sugar, dairy, and fat if I tried. Okay, maybe if I tried.

If you can forget about a healthy egg white omelette for one day; indulge in this!

French Toast with Nutella and Fruit Topping
8 slices country potato bread
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons butter
2 bananas
Strawberries
Nutella
Powdered sugar
Whipped cream

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1. Combine cinnamon and sugar and whisk together in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, vanilla and whisk until combined.

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2. Dip bread in the mixture and fry slices in butter until golden brown.

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3. Cut up strawberries and place in a bowl with 2 Tablespoons of sugar to macerate.

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4. Get all of your toppings ready!

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5. Spread french toast with a generous portion of Nutella.

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6. Place bananas on top of the Nutella.

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7. Place strawberries on top of the bananas.

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8. Sprinkle it all with powdered sugar.

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9. Top it all off with homemade whipped cream.

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Homemade Sausage and Drop Biscuits

This is a comforting, quick and filling dish that can easily last with leftovers for the whole weekend!

Sausage Gravy
16 oz pork sausage
1/4 cup flour
2/ 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper

1. Cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned. Remove and set aside.

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2. Add flour to the pan and lightly toast in grease leftover from the sausage.

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3. Gradually add milk and cook mixture until it thickens, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer. Add the sausage back to the gravy.

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Drop Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup milk

1. Combine all dry ingredients and then add butter and milk. Drop 2 tablespoons worth onto a prepared baking pan. Cook at 450 degrees for 10 minutes until golden brown.

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Shredded Pork Tacos with Pineapple Slaw

It has been a nutty past couple of weeks. I went back East for 10 days and travelled around four different states seeing friends and family. It was great to see everyone, but also quite exhausting. As soon as I got back to California, I went to Dreamforce. It’s a Salesforce conference in San Francisco that completely takes over the city. It’s a four day whirlwind of intensive training sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, Salesforce cheerleading, and concerts.

Needless to say, there hasn’t been much time for cooking. The next few posts are recipes I made before all of that running around. Looking through the pictures makes me want to eat this food all over again. When I made this recipe I was really craving tacos and this really hit the spot. I can’t believe how fantastic these came out. Jason said it’s one of the best tacos he’s ever had and I definitely agree. I also want to make this coconut rice with every meal because it is so flavorful and moist. Thank you Half Baked Harvest for this perfect taco recipe!

Shredded Pork Tacos with Pineapple Slaw and Coconut Rice

Shredded Pork
3 lb. pork shoulder, bone in
2 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2-3 Tablespoons hot pepper and garlic paste
Corn or flour tortillas
Sharp cheddar cheese
Avocado

Pineapple Slaw
3 Tablespoons greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
Salt and pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded + chopped

Coconut Rice
1 cup jasmine rice
1 cup light, canned coconut milk
3/4 cup coconut water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut
1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine pineapple juice, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, hot pepper paste and rice vinegar in 4-cup measuring cup. Whisk to combine.

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3. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Sear pork on all sides until golden (about 2 minutes per side).

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4. Remove the whole pot from the heat and slowly pour in half of the marinade. Place a lid on the pot and place in the preheated oven. Roast the pork for 3-4 hours or until the pork is falling off the bone and shreds easily.

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5. Shred the pork and add the remaining marinade to taste (I used about 3/4 of the remaining liquid). Heat on the stove until warm throughout.

6. In a medium size pot, combine the coconut milk and coconut water. Bring to a low boil and then mix in the rice, salt, unsweetened coconut and coconut oil. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible and cook for 10 minutes.

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7. Remove rice from heat and let sit, covered, for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

8. To make the slaw, combine the greek yogurt, rice vinegar, pineapple juice, brown sugar, orange zest, salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, green onions, cilantro, pineapple and jalapeño. Toss well.

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9. To assemble the fajitas, sprinkle a tortilla with cheese, add some rice, the pork and then the pineapple slaw. Sprinkle on the diced avocados.

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Chocolate and Hazelnut Scones

Four years have passed since my last attempt at making scones. Needless to say, they didn’t turn out very well that time around. From that point on they’ve always seemed so daunting in my mind. It’s the pressure of the perfect sandy texture when mixing the dry ingredients and butter before you dare add the wet ingredients. I’m never confident in this stage to know whether or not they’re going to turn out well.

I used a recipe from Baked Explorations, a cookbook that I’ve had since 2011. It’s a gorgeous book and full of great tips, wonderful photography, and is also home to a trusty coffee cake recipe. I’ve been blessed with wonderful desserts because of that book that I decided to be faithful in their scone instructions.

The scones came out beautifully! Jason said they were light and airy and complemented coffee and tea perfectly. Great job Baked Explorations, you did it once again.

Chocolate and Hazelnut Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark sweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Nutella

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1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place the rack in the center.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined.
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3. Add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub it into the flour until the butter is pea size and the mixture is coarse.
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4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and cream.

5. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just comes together.  Gently and briefly knead the dough with your hands.

6. Flatten the dough into a rectangle approximately 6 by 12 inches. Evenly spread the Nutella over the dough.

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7. Roll the dough up to make a cylinder about 6 inches long, turn it on its end, and gently flatten it into a disk about 1 3/4 inches high. Do not overwork the dough.

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8. Cut the dough into 6 or 8 wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Top with toasted hazelnuts and slightly press in so they don’t fall out.

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9. Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.  Do not over bake.

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10. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool completely.  Place the baking sheet with the parchment still on it underneath the rack.

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Jason got me a new lens for my birthday and then I purchased a tripod a couple weeks ago. These have been picture-taking saviors! I tested them both out on this recipe and realized what a difference they make.

The tripod allows me to lower the shutter speed to let more light into the photo. Without it, I’m not able to do bring the shutter speed lower than 1/80 because the pictures will come out blurry. Humans can’t really hold a camera without interfering with the quality of the picture at a shutter speed slower than that. Here are two set ups with and without using the tripod.

With tripod:

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Without tripod:

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With tripod:

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Without tripod:

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Before the tripod/new lens I had to search around the house for the perfect lighting. This is not conducive to quick cooking and not always ideal when you have a hungry husband. The tripod and lens are great time savers and also take some pretty neat pictures!

Sweet and Savory Chicken Salad

Meal number two from the chicken stock post! This lasted four days and it was so good I could eat it for breakfast… and I may have. What really set it apart from other recipes were the perfect grapes I found. They were sweet and crisp and exactly what I needed to sweeten something that’s usually pretty savory. I pulled inspiration for this from a deli in San Francisco that makes its chicken salad with almonds and grapes and I fell in love with it.

I’m spending this week in New Jersey visiting family and friends and I plan on making this at home and seeing if I can convert my parents into liking this kind of chicken salad. Fingers crossed — or maybe not, if they don’t like then more for me!

Sweet and Savory Chicken Salad
Meat from one whole chicken (2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3 stalks celery
2 cups grapes, quartered
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring large stock pot of water to a boil. Add chicken and reduce to a simmer. Cook until chicken is done, approximately 40-45 minutes.

 

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2. Remove the chicken and shred apart with two forks. Remove the skin and use only the meat.

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3. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add to the chicken.

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4. Combine chicken with grapes and celery.

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5. Top with slivered almonds and carefully toss.

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6. Enjoy at the beach!

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