Croissant French Toast with Cranberry Apple Sauce

french toast (1 of 1)Like almost every stereotypical “basic bitch”, I love brunch.  Mimosas and breakfast/lunch combo food served until 3pm; my dream come true ad everyone’s dream, apparently. Almost every brunch place in Denver has ridiculously long wait time. I’m sorry, but if I have to wait an hour for food then I better have my mind blown not be served soggy undercooked potatoes, I am looking at you, Jelly. In the hour I am waiting in line, I could cook something equally if not better than these overrated brunch places and I don’t have to interact with strangers.

I offered to cook brunch for two of my friends’ birthdays and this recipe made an appearance at both. I have a firm belief that I can make any “guilty pleasure”dish more decadent, a gift from growing up in a Cajun French home. Elevate your French Toast by using croissants, it will be amazing! For a fall twist, I added some chai spices and topped it with  cranberry apple sauce.

 

 

 

French Toast Croissants:

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole croissants, I used almond croissants
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 Tablespoons butter, for frying

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients besides the butter.
  2. Place croissants in bowl,and coat each croissants with egg mixture. Let croissants sit in bowl for at 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, then melt a small amount of butter.
  4. Cook the croissants on each side for about 4-5 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  5. Remove from skillet and top with cranberry sauce or maple syrup.

Cranberry Apple Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cranberries (frozen/fresh)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Heat a sauce on medium  heat.
  2. Add all ingredients, and stir to combine.
  3. Cook for about 30 minutes, add more water if the sauce dries out too quickly.

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Pumpkin Pancakes (Gluten Free)

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On Thanksgiving, I tried this gluten free pumpkin pancakes recipe, and I was surprised how much I loved it, plus my gluten loving friend was wowed by these pancakes . I have also made these vegan by using chia seeds instead of eggs. This recipe is from Cookie and Kate, and I only made a couple of changes, but it’s definitely a must try and making the oat flour is pretty simple.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup oat milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 small lemon, juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs or 2 tablespoons soaked chia seeds.
  • 1 cup oat flour (Add about two cups of old fashion oats (not instant) to a food processor and mix until preferred consistency. I made the flour a little chunky.
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, milk, coconut oil (or butter), lemon juice and maple syrup (or honey). Beat in the eggs. (If your coconut oil goes back to its solid state like mine did at this point, just warm the mixture for short 20 second bursts in the microwave, stirring between each, until it is melted again.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  3. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a big spoon, stir just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not overmix! Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet/non-stick pan over medium-low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the surface of your pan with coconut oil, butter or cooking spray. If you’re using a non-stick electric griddle like mine, you might not need any oil at all.
  5. Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Let the pancake cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cake.
  6. Once the underside is lightly golden, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point.
  7. Serve the pancakes immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Day 242-Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I am still on my Caprese salad kick, but yesterday, I needed some comfort food. What’s more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich?  Recipe below:

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Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Pour olive oil in skillet and turn burner to medium heat. (Note: someone gave me a cast iron skillet for Christmas and I cannot use any of my other skillets. Cast iron skillets are the bee’s knees).
  2. Toast one side of each slice of bread. Once one side is toasted, spread pesto on toasted side of each slice (This keeps the inside of the bread from getting too soggy).
  3. Layer mozzarella and tomatoes. Then put sandwich together.
  4. Cook until both sides are toasted and cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

Day 241-Cool Down Lemonade

Yesterday, we hit 98 degrees! With no A/C, I definitely needed something refreshing and cooling. I made a Mint Blueberry Lemonade and it really did help me beat the heat! Recipe below:

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Mint Blueberry Lemonade

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a pitcher, add mint, juice of the two lemons, and honey. Pour about a cup of hot water (not boiling) and stir ingredients together.
  2. Fill pitcher with cold water. Then add blueberries, slices of juiced lemon and ice.

Enjoy!

Day 240-Spinach Caprese Salad

I ate at an amazing cafe, and both things I had were phenomenal: the green caprese salad  and chocolate flourless cake. I have not tried to recreate the chocolate flourless cake yet, but I have had a chance to the make the green caprese salad. I have made it three times in the last week. The dressing is perfect, and super easy to make! Recipe below:

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Basil Dressing:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined.
  2. Depending on consistency, you can add more olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

Salad:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large plate, put spinach layer first, then add tomato halves.
  2. On top add mozzarella, the grind fresh pepper.
  3. Finally, pour dressing over salad.

Note: I made extra dressing, and the longer it sits in the refrigerator the better it tastes.

Day 228-Carrot Fries

I have new obsession: coconut oil. SERIOUSLY, this stuff is amazing; not only did it help heal my allergic reaction on my face, but it is delicious as well. The first thing I made with coconut oil was roasted carrot fries. Recipe below:

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Ingredients:

  • 8 peeled and sliced carrots
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place carrots on baking sheet. Rub carrots with coconut oil.
  3. Toss in chopped thyme, salt and pepper with carrots.
  4. Bake until carrots are soft and crispy (30 minutes for me).

 

 

 

Day 166-Vegetarian No-Chicken Noodle Soup

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All of my New Year’s Resolutions have been put on hold for about a week caused by the dreaded stomach flu. Nothing puts a stop to your enthusiasm for the New Year like the stomach flu.

So after four days of the ginger ale and saltine diet, I was finally hungry and really wanted chicken noodle soup; I needed comfort food. As a vegetarian, chicken noodle soup is something I miss. I decided to make a vegetarian chicken noodle soup. Recipe from Oh My Veggies.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, frozen overnight, thawed, pressed for 30 minutes and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 quarts no-chicken broth
  • 12 oz. dried wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for 3 minutes; add tofu. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened, but not browned.
  2. Add broth and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, add egg noodles and simmer for 8 minutes. (The noodles will be slightly undercooked, but don’t worry–they’ll continue cooking after removed from heat. This way, the noodles won’t be mushy.)
  3. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley before serving.

Day 88-Delicious Lunch

Today, I tried a new restaurant (Shine) in Boulder, well new for me anyways! The entire menu is gluten free which might scare some people, but the food was really flavorful, and I loved the gluten free bread.

I had the tempeh burger with side salad; the best part is the sunflower seed and garlic pesto, it was so tasty! My friend had the grilled cheese sandwich with avocado, a weird combination, but she said it worked!

Day 83-Apple Butter

 

According to the news, today is the official start of autumn, so to celebrate I made apple butter. Canning for the first time proved to be very interesting and a little time consuming. I adapted the recipe from Simply Recipes:

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs of good cooking apples, I used golden delicious apples
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • Sugar (about 4 cups, see cooking instructions)
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Equipment Needed

  • 1 wide 8-quart pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining)
  • A food mill, or a chinois sieve and immersion blender
  • A large (8 cup) measuring cup pourer
  • 6-8 8-ounce canning jars

Method

Preparing the Fruit

1 Cut the apples into quarters, without peeling or coring them (much of the pectin is in the cores and flavor in the peels), cut out damaged parts.

First Stage of Cooking

2 Put them into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Measure out the purée and add the sugar and spices

3 Ladle apple mixture into a chinois sieve (or foodmill) and using a pestle force pulp from the chinois into a large bowl below. Measure resulting puree. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add a dash of salt, and the cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Second Stage of Cooking

4 Cook uncovered in a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth (about 1 to 2 hours). A small bit spooned onto a chilled (in the freezer) plate will be thick, not runny. You can also cook the purée on low heat, stirring only occasionally, but this will take much longer as stirring encourages evaporation. (Note the wider the pan the better, as there is more surface for evaporation.)

Canning

5 There are several ways to sterilize your jars for canning. You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher. You can place them in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don’t touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.

6 Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal. If you plan to store the apple butter un-refrigerated, make sure to follow proper canning procedures. Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids. I use a hot water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a good seal.

As an alternative to stove cooking the puree you can cook uncovered in a microwave, on medium heat to simmer, for around 30 minutes.

Yield: Makes a little more than 3 pint jars.