Banana Stuffed French Toast With Streusel Topping

Sometimes a decadent breakfast is required in order to start the  day out right. Although I would not recommend doing this everyday, I completely think that indulging for breakfast every now and then is totally acceptable.

This is exactly how I felt this past weekend – I just wanted French Toast  and did not want to care about the dreaded caloric content. My solution? Decadent breakfast + smaller-than-normal portion size = one satisfied lady with a stomach that was not too full!

Step 1: Cut Challah Bread into Slices and
Cut “Pouch”; Cut Banana Slices

Step 2: Carmelize Bananas and Stuff into Bread

Step 3: Whisk the Egg Mixture Together

Step 4: Place Stuffed Bread in Egg Mixture with Almonds

Step 5: Combine Streusel Topping; Place on Top and Bake

Although decadent, I am happy to have made this. One recommendation is to be careful with the soak time of the challah bread and how much liquid it absorbs. Other than that, a perfect start to a Saturday or Sunday!

Cheers!

Advertisements

Olive & Garlic Foccacia Bread

I have never been one to crave bread, choose to consume it on a whim or eat multiple slices while waiting for dinner at a restaurant. However, for me, focaccia bread is in its own category. I absolutely adore the buttery taste of this bread that is often complimented by simple ingredients like sea salt, pepper and garlic. For this time, I added kalamata olives and roasted garlic to spice it up.

Step 1: Stir Yeast, Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil and Water Together

Step 2: Chop Kalamata Olives

 Step 3: Stir in Flour and Let Rise

 Step 4: Season, Bake and Eat!

For me, this results in a simple equation: balsamic + olive oil + focaccia bread = buttery goodness. Perhaps it’s a good thing I don’t have bread too often!

Cheers!

Meatloaf

So, I’m  not going to lie, the whole thought of meatloaf is not that appetizing to me. I’m not sure why not – the ingredients that comprise it are pretty much the same ingredients for meatballs. So, in essence, meatloaf is just like an expanded version (a much expanded version) of meatballs. But, I think perhaps it is the thought of the meat looking like a “loaf” that makes me feel oddly about it.

Regardless, my boyfriend suggested making meatloaf the other night. I was a bit skeptical; however, we at least chose a recipe from a very, very legitimate source (Bobby Flay’s cookbook titled Bobby Flay’s Throwdown!). I must say, I was pretty pleased with the results. Although I didn’t include the recipe from his cookbook, I would highly encourage you to buy this book. It has great recipes and I’ve enjoyed choosing a recipe from there every now and then!

Cheers! 

Favorite Recipes of 2011

Bye bye 2011 – the year filled with various fruit-filled desserts, homemade pizzas and plenty of roasted chicken recipes. Throughout this past year, I definitely learned many new tricks including how to make pie pastry dough from scratch (and cut and assemble lattices for pies), how to properly clean and prepare a whole chicken for roasting and how to properly make quinoa, just to name a few!

In order to celebrate 2011, I just wanted to list a few of my favorites:

Strawberry Shortcakes

Cheddar Jalapeno Bread


Homemade Oreos


Roast Chicken With Chickpeas,
Tomatoes, Olives and Thyme


Sour Cherry Pie With Lattice Crust


Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes With
Lemon Curd and Raspberries


Chicken Piccata


Blackberry Peach Crumble


Baked Macaroni & Cheese
With Garlic Bread Crumbs

Pumpkin Cake With
Cream Cheese Frosting

I am already excited for 2012: hoping to experiment more with pomegranates, mustard (yes, Epicurious predicted it to be a Top Food Trend for 2012), avocados and I would like to make homemade Pho. Join me in my adventure!

Cheers!

Tomato Crostini


Sometimes, it is just nice and convenient to be able to throw a quick appetizer together for a dinner party or get-together. This recipe was no different. Considering this recipe uses only five ingredients (not including salt & pepper) and creates one of my favorite ingredients (sun dried tomatoes minus the sun), I became absolutely smitten.

I made these as an appetizer this past Christmas for my family. My brother, who is quite a picky eater, does not usually appreciate my cooking and choices; however, this time, he actually really liked this appetizer. So, for your next get-together, make sure to make these (even the most picky eater will like them!): Crostini With Thyme-Roasted Tomatoes.

Step 1: Cut Tomatoes in Half Lengthwise

Step 2: Place Tomatoes on Pan With
Olive Oil, Thyme, Salt and Pepper; Roast

Step 3: Slice Bread and Bake in Oven

Step 4: Place Roasted Tomatoes
on Top of Bread and Eat!

If in a bind, this is perfect for a last-minute recipe since it uses normal household items. Plus, it results in a simple, yet delicious result!

Cheers!

Poached Eggs in Marinara Sauce


Usually, breakfast is one of the most simple meals of the day. After all, shouldn’t it be? Unless it is a weekend, most individuals opt for cereal or something that requires little effort in the morning.

However, this past weekend, a friend and I decided to try a recipe from The New York Times health section: Eggs Poached in Marinara Sauce. At first glance from the picture in the article, this recipe just looked pretty, well, interesting. All the more reason to try it, right? Well, at least our ambitious cooking minds convinced us so.

Basically, in theory, this recipe is quite simple, but the perfect egg execution is essential to this dish’s success. It took a few rounds of botched poached egg plates before we got it just right. The key in all of this? After heating up sauce in a small saucepan, use a ladle to make a “pouch” in the center of the pan to pour the eggs into and make sure to pour the egg in very, very slowly while making sure the yolk plops into the saucepan last.

In addition to the eggs and sauce combo, we totally negated the healthy aspects of this meal by adding green onions, cheese and avocado slices and  toasted bread with a mixture of olive oil, garlic and oregano beneath melted mozzarella cheese. Oh, and what breakfast meal wouldn’t be complete without bacon?

Although this did take a lot more effort than the standard breakfast, the end result tasted delicious. And, even though to some it may not look the most appetizing, I promise that it is — I completely recommend it!

Cheers!

Macrina Bakery


A few days ago, I was looking through old pictures and happened to find ones taken from when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Naturally, I started to miss Italy and became quite nostalgic as memories started to surface about the good times I had there, the beautiful culture and especially, the food.

One of my favorite parts of Italy was the many bakeries that dotted the sides of the streets. As I started to become reminded of the bakeries, I decided that I needed to visit one and had the chance to do so this past weekend.

A friend and I chose to go to Macrina Bakery in Queen Anne where I splurged and ordered a Nutella Brioche (totally fitting because Italians are smitten with nutella!). I absolutely loved the buttery taste of the bread combined with the rich nutella. I will say, I became full very fast, but I am definitely looking forward to my next visit soon!

Props to Macrina Bakery for giving me a totally delectable goody this past Saturday, it was the perfect start to the day!

Cheers!