Friday, April 23, 2010

Kitchen trippin...

Last weekend I was visiting my parents down in Cruces and I informed my mother about my new blog venture. I tried to tell her about it, the concept, even showed her my first entry. Actually, I am not sure if she read it or just became mesmerized by the pictures of the French Toast Bake...if a picture is a thousand words, I guess she didn't need to read any further. I was informed that I would be making this for her and dad the next morning.

Its is never easy cooking in a kitchen that is not your own...I may have baked a pumpkin pie or 2 since I have entered adulthood in my parents kitchen, but that is not real baking/cooking (which is making anything that involves more than: 2 bowls, 3 types measuring spoons/cups , 2 stirring spoon, a hand mixer...if I need to get out my standing mixer, w
atch out we're gettin serious now :-) ). Go ahead and ask my boyfriend, I try to do proper "mise en place", which means I will have dirtied up every small bowl in my kitchen, which he diligently washes and dries for me (I know, he's a keeper), needles to say I tend to be a bit of a high maintenance cook. So its even more nerve racking trying to make something successfully in someone else's kitchen. The only thing I had going for the success of breakfast the next morning is the fact that the French Toast Bake i make is a FOOL PROOF recipe (which is the best kind of recipe to have up your sleeve).

What makes this recipe fool proof is the simplicity of its ingredients and the correct measure of the liquids. I have had a hard tim
e with French Toast Bakes and Bread Puddings in the past; too many eggs and you have an omelet, too much half n half and it never bakes up right, too little custard and its dry, too much custard and its just soggy and gross. So I searched and searched on for a Bread Pudding recipe for this past Thanksgiving and hit the jack pot with Aaron McCargo Jr.'s (aka Big Daddy) "Apple and Cranberry Bread Pudding". His liquid to egg ratio was PERFECT for both the tasty breakfast treat and the decadent dessert we love to eat topped with ice cream and caramel sauce. I made a few of my own changes to the recipe that I thought it needed, but hey that's what makes us a star in our own kitchen.

Here is the basic French Toast Bake/Bread Pudding Recipe:
For printable recipe, please click here
For the bread:
1 loaf Challah or
1 pkg Brioche Buns from Trader Joes (they are cheaper than buying a loaf of brioche) or
1 baguette (preferably a day old)

For the custard:
6 eggs
2 c heavy whipping cream or half n half or eggnog (eggnog is perfect for a richer taste)
1 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 c dark brown sugar
1 to 2 tsp nutmeg
1 to 2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat your oven to 350 deg. Grease a 9x13 cake pan with butter or bacon grease. Cube the bread in about 1 in. pieces (for bread pudding take the crust off first before doing this). Place the bread cubes in the cake pan and set off to the side to let them dry out a bit, they will absorb the custard better if they are a little stale . In another bowl w
hisk together the eggs and the heavy cream. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Pour over the bread, be sure to carefully spoon the custard over the cubes so the bread is well coated. Put in the oven for 40 min or until it springs back to the touch (which should be 40 min.).

So, after 2 hours of navigating my way through a kitchen that was not my own (usually this takes, maybe 1 hour to an hour and a half to make, depending on your topping), I recreated the breakfast dish that you saw posted below and to the left. I know my mom liked it (since she commented on it in the previous post) and dad thought it was "pretty good...", which anything coming from him would mean a success.

Cook for the pleasure, cook for the glory, cook like there is no tomorrow.
*(ok...I am working on an ending catch phrase, we'll see which one sticks ;-) )


Marilyn said...

Thanks Trissi, for making this goodie for breakfast! Yes! Your dad love it...he even ate some of the leftovers that night for dessert!
Hugs, Mom

Sebastian Michaelis said...

THAT LOOKS SOOOOO DELICOUS!!! I WILL BE SURE TO TRY IT SOONNS!!! :) (sorry for the caps.. i get excited when i find something cool to make)

Emily said...

OMG I LOVE IT!!! I WILL BE SURE TO MAKE IT SOON!!!!!! (sorry about the caps, i get excited when i find something new to make)