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FRANCH TOAST!

This is dedicated to Erika ❤

I am sure you all remember the amazing farmhouse white breadI made awhile back.  Well, while making the most recent batch, I decided to add cinnamon and sugar to the bread.  Not only did it look and smell delicious, but now I had an awesome start to french toast.

Look at those gorgeous spirals!

So assuming you already have the bread, (home made or purchased), here’s what you will need:

  • thick sliced bread/ brioche/ challah bread, preferably with cinnamon
  • 3-4 eggs per loaf
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla extract
  • nutmeg
  • milk or cream, in a pinch
  • optional (I didn’t have any): orange zest
  • powder sugar for dusting on top

What to do:

  1. Heat up the pan, skillet, what have you that you plan on cooking the toast in, on med high heat.  I had dueling skillets because I wanted all the french toast to be ready to eat at the same time.
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk like you would for scrambled eggs.  Add a tablespoon or two of the cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Whisk in about a half or 3/4 cup of milk.  Make sure the mixture is combined very well.
  3. Dip the bread into the egg mixture, feel free to let it soak for awhile.
  4. Cook the dipped bread in the pan for about 10 minutes or so.  It should start to get a crispy toast like texture on the outside, but still be a bit spongy in the center.
  5. Top with butter and powder sugar and enjoy!

 

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Budapest food + drink

Apparently this is french tiramisu (according to Hungarians)

beer!

Hungarian Thai food! pad thai

thai again, this was cucumbers marinated in this super awesome spicy sauce

Here are some pics from the Great Market Hall, which is basically a huge indoor farmer’s market, with the best prices on food and souvenirs

black licorice candy called "Negros"... totally PC, right? (this wasn't the only questionably racist thing we saw, either)

a sassy piggy @ Great Market Hall

American cookies, lol

One of MANY piles of peppers

Jars of pickled goods

COOKIES! (not American)

Prepared food @ Great Market Hall

Langos (like fried indian bread w/ garlic and cheese) + Beer, SO GOOD

And now onto some other meals we had:

Cute little salad

On the menu this pizza came with cucumbers, which I found odd. Turns out they were pickles! Oh, and they call pepperoni, salami instead.

At a fast food chicken place. BF got a burger with weird traditional stuff on it and fries

I got rotisserie chicken and cucumbers in this amazing yogurt sauce. Oh, and a few fried mushrooms!

This was "broccoli & cheese" at the Szechenyi Bath

The rest of the pics are from our favorite meal in Budapest.  The first pic is the restaurant sign, it means black bird or something to that effect.  The restaurant was very fancy but the entrees were only about 1900 forents a pop (right now that’s less than $10)

MMM

we shared a pepperoni langos to start

BF got a very hearty serving of traditional goulash

Farmer's chicken with goat cheese sauce and vegetable (Hungarian for containing no meat, it seems) gnocchi



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Prague food + drink

Delicious beer (obviously not Pilsner)

 

Goose breast, pickled veggies, mashed taters and "lard dumplings"

Chicken covered in tortilla chips!

Beer onion soup w/ cheesy toast (at Sv Norbert Brewery)

Flight of beer @ The Beer Museum

Beef stew and more "lard dumplings"

Delicious ham and cheese pastry from the market

And now some fun we had exploring a supermarket in Prague:

HELLO KITTY ICE CREAM!

creeeepees (they are really into candies and crackers with creep in the name)

Cocka (I am very mature...). I have no idea what it is, but it seems to be somewhat of a staple based on how many brands and types there were.

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Munich food + drink

Hi guys – I’m back!  Sadly for me, but hopefully good for you.  I went to 4 countries/ major cities, so I will be posting foodie pics from each separately.  And here’s Munich!

Some beef something that I don't remember + potato balls @ the infamous Hofbrauhaus

"Beer cheese" @ Hofbrauhaus (not very much like American beer cheese)

Liters of beer at a biergarten!

Giant pretzel, sausage, potato salad & schnitzel @ biergarten

Currywurst (a spicy sausage with curry powder on top) @ Neuschwanstein

They make everything out of pretzels - even sandwiches, camembert

I don't know what they put on these rotisserie chickens, but holy shit, they are amazing.

cookies that look like a pretzel and sausages

St. Augustiner (brewery) Edelhoff (beer). This is the pope's preferred beer, btw

Radler in a can. Radler is half beer, half lemonade and completely gross

What we referred to as "salad pizza"

The rest of the photos are from my favorite restaurant that we visited in Munich, Weisses Brau Haus.  It was SO delicious.  And they had pretty radical beers for Munich, for example a hopped-up weis beer, which is extremely novel and was super tasty.

I started with their original weis bier

The hoppy version, which was described as "hoppy fireworks" on the menu, haha.

Salad, comes with potato salad and sauerkraut. I thought I hated both of these, but I guess I just dislike the yucky American versions, because the ones in Munich were delicious.

Pretzel soup. That's right, I said PRETZEL SOUP. Easily my favorite dish in Munich.

BF's pork knuckle, which he enjoyed immensely

And my entree of cheese spaetzle, which was mountains better than the "spaetzle" mess I made recently.

P.S. those are fried onions on top of the spaetzle… mmmm.  Oh and by the way, spaetzle isn’t even the German word for it, weird, huh?

I hope you enjoy the food porn, while I get the photos from Prague ready.  And look out for a posting of me trying to recreate pretzel soup in the future!

Things I am inspired to make:

  • pretzels
  • pretzel soup
  • sauerkraut
  • “salad pizza”
  • and BF said he is going to try to make a hoppy hefeweizen!

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Strawberry Jam

I have been wanting to make jam, even though I am not a huge fan.  I guess I figured maybe if it was homemade it would be more awesome and I’d love it (like banana bread).  So I asked my good friend Google how to make jam, and came across this post on how to make freezer jam, which means you don’t have to boil and do the whole drawn out normal preserving process for jams.  This is seriously SO easy, guys.  Don’t be intimidated – just try it!

Things you need:

  1. Fresh Fruit.  I used strawberries
  2. Sugar
  3. pectin.  I used the Sure-Jell low sugar version (pink box).  I picked this one because it was one of only two options at my local Vons, and also less sugar is good.
  4. Some type of freezer safe containers.  I used 4 oz canning jelly jars.  Tupperware or things like that would work spendidly, too.
  5. Preferably a food processor, or blender.

So wash your fruit, cut off any unwanted parts (green tops of strawberries for example).  Process the fruit until it’s mostly a jam-like consistency, depends on your preference if you want chunks or not.  Then comes the hardest part: MATH, ugh.  You gotta figure out how much sugar and pectin to add based on how much fruit you have.  I had about a cup of strawberry mush, so I added 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of pectin.  Math is hard, guys.  Now give it a good stir.

strawberry mush jam

Almost done… The last step is simply putting the jam in your freezer containers (don’t forget to leave space for the jam to expand when frozen!).  You can leave one container for the fridge, if you like (I did).  You should put the jam in a few small containers, instead of one big one, because the jam only lasts a few weeks.  I had about 11 or 12ounces of jam and separated them into four 4oz jars.

So I was right… I like this stuff loads better than any other jam I have had.  It tastes very fresh, and extremely strawberry-y.  I had to stop Boyfriend from eating the whole jar with a spoon.  I can’t wait to make breakfast on Saturday just so I can have a generous helping of jam.

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Last night I made this meal from a Food Network Magazine recipe (low-cal!) and from a recipe I got from my friend’s food blog.  It was all delicious, and will both definitely be new regulars.  I also bought and prepared (instant) grits for the first time ever.  I have only eaten grits a handful of times, always at restaurants.  I have always liked them, and don’t understand why they seem to get a bad rap… or maybe that’s my misconception?

Here is the recipe for shrimp & grits:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/lemon-garlic-shrimp-and-grits-recipe/index.html

I pretty much followed it, with a few exceptions.  I only used a pound of shrimp (cooking for two, not four).  I used a bit more parsley, and about triple the garlic.  Also, I probably used as much as 1/4 of a teaspoon of cayenne, if not more.  SO GOOD.

And for the delicious Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce!

http://www.foodcrossing.com/2011/03/roasted-broccoli-and-cauliflower-with-shallot-cheese-sauce/

Definitely add the red pepper flakes.  And I didn’t measure the goat cheese, but I needed a lot of milk (2%), so maybe I used too much… although it seemed like an appropriate amount for the veggies.  They weren’t swimming in it, but each piece maybe half covered.  I probably ended up using at least 1/2 cup of milk.

Enjoy!

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Again, LOVING the food network magazine recipes.  I had food&wine for over a year and rarely made anything from it, but I can’t stop using the recipes from FNM.

Here is a link to the recipe online.  Some of the reviews are pretty awful, which I just don’t understand.  Walter and I both really liked it.  It had the richness of mac and cheese, but half the calories/ fat (read: guilt).  It’s still not what I would call “low-cal”, but if you want to enjoy the delicious and comforting flavors of mac and cheese, without totaaaaally blowing your diet, I think it’s a great compromise.

Here is the recipe (my updates in parenthesis):

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt (I always just use regular salt…)
  • 4 ounces elbow macaroni (I used 2 cups of pasta, and omitted the bread)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick (regular tomato)
  • 4 1/2-inch-thick slices baguette (omitted)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 shallots (I used one large yellow onion, and a few cloves of garlic)
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces (used half a bag of baby carrots)
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 3/4 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I had romano cheese I needed to use!)

Directions

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook as the label directs; drain.

Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the tomato and baguette slices on it in a single layer; season with salt and pepper. Bake until the bread is golden brown, about 7 minutes.  (I roasted the tomatoes along with the remaining baby carrots, to serve on the side)

Mince the shallots, carrot and celery in a food processor. Mist a saucepan with cooking spray. Add the vegetables and cook over medium-high heat until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the broth and bring to a boil; cook, stirring, until thickened, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the milk, cheeses and macaroni and stir until the cheeses melt. Season with pepper. Top the toasts with tomatoes; serve on the soup.

Per serving: Calories 476; Fat 20 g (Saturated 12 g); Cholesterol 84 mg; Sodium 636 mg; Carbohydrate 46 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 27 g

picture from the FNM, pretty accurate to how it turned out in my kitchen

_______

Overall, a very simple recipe (as long as you have a food processor).  Great for a cold, winter day.  It held up very well as leftovers, too.

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