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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

French Toast Recipe

Two years ago on Christmas Day, I got all Super Mom and made a huge breakfast.  We had Baked French Toast, Sausage Egg Casserole, Bacon, hash-browns, on and on.  We were a family of 4 then, with one being a newborn and another just 2 years old.  What was I thinking?  I was stressed beyond belief by the time breakfast was over. Plus, I had friends coming for a big dinner as well.

Not this year!  I made it easy on myself.  It did help that we were all getting over that nasty stomach bug that was going around.  I made French Toast and it was delicious!  What was even better was that it took me very little time and effort.  Everyone was pleased, bellies full and ready to enjoy the rest of the day as a family.  I think it will be my new Christmas morning tradition!

French Toast Recipe

4 eggs
2/3 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter
Warm Syrup of Choice
Day old French Bread Loaf (or more-you will have plenty egg mixture for 2-3 loaves)
Griddle or Large frying pan

Beat eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Cut French Bread into one inch slices (or larger).  Dip French bread and evenly coat both sides in egg mixture.  Place bread on Griddle and allow to thoroughly cook on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side).  Bread will brown from toasting.  Serve with butter and warm syrup.

Tip:  I get my French Bread from Sams Club.  You can get about 6-8 long sub rolls for under $4.  We love to use this bread for french toast, bread for Italian dinners and turkey subs for lunch.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe.  Learn from my previous mistakes.  Make something simple and delicious for those holiday meals.  You will be less stressed and get to enjoy the day more!

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Winter's Here! Let's Make Soup!

So, I hear it's even freezing in Florida.  If you're like me, as soon as the temperature drops, you cook for the cold.  Soup warms you inside out.  I've got a few easy recipes I wanted to share.

Italian Vegetable Soup
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium sweet onion finely chopped
2 stalks celery sliced
1 and 1/2 cups sliced carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (16 ounces)
1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
1 can red kidney beans, undrained (15 ounces)
2 cups beef stock
1 small beef bouillon cube
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup fresh green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup small elbow macaroni
Parmesan Cheese

Brown beef in a large pot; drain.  Add ingredients through basil.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 20 minutes.  Add cabbage, beans, and macaroni. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Simmer until vegetables are tender.  Sprinkle individual servings with parmesan cheese, if desired.

This hearty, but healthy soup makes a perfect meal with a salad and Italian bread.

Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs:
1 grated sweet onion
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 1b. ground pork
1 large egg
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
*Mix all ingredients well.  Shape into balls. Put balls in refrigerator.

Soup:
Bring 12 cups of Chicken Stock to a boil.  When it boils, take meatballs out of refrigerator and add them to broth.  Bring the meatballs and stock back to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Add 2 heads of chopped curly endive or escarole (or a head of each).  After the meatballs are cooked through, and the greens are tender, mix 2 eggs with 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, and approx. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Whisk the egg mixture well. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the broth. It will quickly cook and curdle.

Serve the soup in a bowl and garnish with parmesan cheese and freshly grated black pepper. This soup is excellent with a crusty bread and salad.  It's not too heavy, yet very satisfying.

Potato Soup

Ingredients:
8-12 small red potatoes, cut in cubes
1 lb. bacon
1 or 2 sweet onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2% milk
Shredded Cheddar Cheese to garnish
Green onions, sliced, to garnish

Cook your entire package of bacon until the bacon is crispy, not burned.  My favorite bacon cooking method is in the oven, on the pan that comes with your oven.  These pans come in two pieces.  The top piece has holes so the bottom piece can catch the fat that drips through the holes.  I cook mine on 350 degrees. When the bacon looks crispy, flip it over and let the other side cook.  You'll get great, crispy bacon everytime.  Put the bacon on a paper towel to get any excess grease off.  Flip it to degrease the other side too. Chop the bacon into small pieces and put the bacon to the side.  Put the bacon grease, in a large pot.  Add the onions and green peppers.  Cook them well on medium heat.  Add the potatoes.  Cook them until they're slightly tender.  Drain any excess grease off the potato mixture.  Add enough milk to thorougly cover the potatoes.  Bring the milk to a slow boil.  Once it boils, turn the heat to low.  When the potatoes are tender, the soup is ready to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the soup in a bowl. Top it with the bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onions.  I don't usually serve bread with this, since the potatoes are so starchy.  But, I do serve a dark green leaf salad on the side.

Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
1 carton Chicken Stock
2% milk
Crushed Rosemary to taste
Salt to taste
Shredded Cheddar Cheese for garnish
Fresh Rosemary, for garnish (optional)

Using a steamer, steam your cauliflower until tender.  Remove cauliflower from steamer.  Take 1/2 of the cauliflower and put it in a blender, with chicken stock. Add crushed Rosemary (approx. 1 teaspoon), and salt (approx. 1/2 teaspoon)  Blend it well.  Put it into a pot on the stove on medium heat.  Take the remaining cauliflower and chop it into smaller pieces. Add it to the cauliflower mixture on the stove.  Add enough milk to give the soup the consistency you want.

Serve the soup with shredded cheddar cheese on top and a sprig of fresh rosemary as a garnish. I love making popovers to go along with this soup.

Popovers-here's the easy recipe I use.  They are so good!
http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/simple-popovers/410ce5b4-bef3-41d7-8733-c365e1ad4628

Chili in a Jar-

Are you looking for the perfect little gift for a friend or neighbor?  How about bringing dinner to someone in need?  This is so.... cute!  I made it for my daughter's teachers for lunch one day.  Use your favorite chili recipe and cornbread recipe and voila...
http://www.giverslog.com/?p=10271


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