Thursday, June 25, 2015

Challah French's Toast

My daughter Haley's best friend from school, Jessica, LOVES french toast.  She has very few meals she likes to eat.  Jessica spends the night in our home often, and so I make french toast just about every time we have her with us for breakfast.  Since I make french toast so often, I wanted to try something new.  One of my favorite grocery stores sells the best Challah bread ever.  This seemed like the best way to change up french toast.  I purchased it on a whim and made french toast.  I have decided it is the best way to eat french toast ever.  When we lived in California, I would buy french bread to make french toast.  Well, this is so much better.  Believe me, you will want to try this for yourself.  This is a very simple french toast recipe.  In my hometown in California and my friend's home in Maryland, I found Challah bread.   You should be able to find it easily enough.

Ever wonder why we call this french toast?  It is actually named for Joseph French, an
innkeeper from Albany New York.  We should actually refer to it as French's Toast, but
a grammatical error changed history forever.  Not unlike German's Chocolate Cake
being renamed.


Ingredients:

1 loaf of Challah Bread
6 Eggs
3/4 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Slice the challah bread into 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick pieces.

My husband photographed me here. It's
 a very good shot of me cracking eggs into a bowl.

Mix eggs, milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a bowl.  My son Donovan would very
much want to make sure the eggs are very well mixed and no whites are visible.

The custard mixture and bread are ready to join together.

Preheat a skillet over medium heat.  Spray the skillet with nonstick spray. Dip the
bread into the egg mixture and cook until browned on both sides.

Butter the toast and sprinkle with powdered sugar if you would like to create
Jessica's french toast.  

Enjoy!

Challah French's Toast

Ingredients:

Ingredients:

1 loaf of Challah Bread
6 Eggs
3/4 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Process:

Slice the challah bread into 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick pieces.

Mix eggs, milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a bowl.

Preheat a skillet over medium heat.  Spray the skillet with nonstick spray. Dip the bread into the egg mixture and cook until browned on both sides.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stephanie's Kitchen Drawer: My Kitchen

As you remember, my family moved to a new apartment.  We didn't move to a bigger place, which meant my new kitchen set-up needed some help.  Our kitchen is about half the size, and if you have been a faithful reader, you know I have a lot of kitchen gadgets and appliances.  Have you ever tried to find a place for everything in your home when the places for stuff have been drastically reduced? This conundrum had me thinking.  What can I do with my new kitchen?  Good news, I found an answer.  I bought a stainless steel and chrome adjustable shelving unit from Costco and a stainless steel and chrome prep table from Seville Classics.  

Our open shelving has all our appliances, bakeware, and cookware easily accessible.
I have plugged in our appliances in a surge protector.  

My prep table is both storage for my buckets of flours, rice, and whole grains, oils,
and for my children's water bottle and water purifier.  I also have much needed
food preparation space.

Next to the stove is my small counter space that I store cooking utensils in storage caddies
from Ikea. They are organized into three categories: wood, stainless steel,
and nylon/silicone.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Swiss Steak With Root Vegetables

The Swiss Steak recipe I shared with Julia and the NY Daily News I shared earlier was my second incarnation of Swiss Steak.  This recipe is similar to my mom's version of Swiss Steak and it is very good as well.  Do you like an all in the pot recipe?  You might like this incarnation of Swiss Steak.  

This mess of meat and vegetables reminds me of my mom more than my own reincarnation.


Ingredients

2 lbs Chuck Roast
1 Yellow Onion
4 cloves Garlic
4 large Carrots
2 lbs Potatoes
2 pints Brown Mushrooms
3 cups Stewed Tomatoes (San Martzano if you can find them)
1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup Flour
Olive Oil


 Cut chuck into large chunks, dredge in the flour.

Pour oil into a preheated 12 inch skillet, enough to just cover the bottom.  Cook chuck over medium heat until browned on both sides.

 Peel carrots, potatoes, and garlic. Rinse mushrooms.  Cut potatoes and carrots into large chunks.

Place carrots, potatoes, garlic, and mushrooms in a pressure cooker pot or slow cooker.  Place chuck on the vegetables. Pour tomatoes and cream on met and vegetables. 

Cook everything in a pressure cooker on high for 55 minutes or low for 6 hours in a slow cooker.

Enjoy!

Swiss Steak With Root Vegetables

Ingredients

2 lbs Chuck Roast
1 Yellow Onion
4 cloves Garlic
4 large Carrots
2 lbs Potatoes
2 pints Brown Mushrooms
3 cups Stewed Tomatoes (San Martzano if you can find them)
1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup Flour
Olive Oil

Process

Cut chuck into large chunks, dredge in the flour.

Pour oil into a preheated 12 inch skillet, enough to just cover the bottom.  Cook chuck over medium heat until browned on both sides.

Peel carrots, potatoes, and garlic. Rinse mushrooms.  Cut potatoes and carrots into large chunks.

Place carrots, potatoes, garlic, and mushrooms in a pressure cooker pot or slow cooker.  Place chuck on the vegetables. Pour tomatoes and cream on met and vegetables. 

Cook everything in a pressure cooker on high for 55 minutes or low for 6 hours in a slow cooker.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I shop at Costco on a regular basis, especially with a family of seven to feed.  The thought of being a mother to five children surprises me whenever I have it.  Back to my story, on occasion I bring my friend Whitney and her daughter with us to Costco.  We went to her home after Costco, and she shared the most delicious butterscotch cookies.  You might be asking yourself why I'm telling you about butterscotch cookies when clearly the title of the post is double chocolate cookies.  I used Whitney's recipe is a wonderful base recipe to add any sort of chips.  The double chocolate is actually white and milk chocolate chips in these cookies.  You can do what I did and add whatever chips you would like, semi-sweet, white, butterscotch, the choices are yours.

I have tried a multitude of chocolate chip cookies, these are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made.

Ingredients

1 1/2  cup Butter 
1 1/2 cups White Sugar
2 cups Brown Sugar
3 Large Eggs
2 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
4-6 cups Flour
1 1/2 cups Milk Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 cups White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit

 Combine baking soda, salt, sugars, and butter in mixing bowl.  Mix with a whisk until combined.


 Fluffy sugar, this is known as creaming the butter and sugars.

Crack eggs into bowl and whisk until combined.

 Add flour starting with 4 cups or more depending on the consistancy and whisk on low until combined.  Flour helps give cookies structure, to little creates flat cookies and too much creates dry cookies.

 Add chocolate chips and whisk on low until combined.


 Using either a cookie scoop or a spoon create 1 1/2 inch balls of cookie dough.  Place cookie dough on ungrossed cookie sheet, leave room between balls to allow them to spread.

Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes.

You will have A LOT of cookies, really you will if you make this cookie dough.

Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2  cup Butter 
1 1/2 cups White Sugar
2 cups Brown Sugar
3 Large Eggs
2 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
4-6 cups Flour
1 1/2 cups Milk Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 cups White Chocolate Chips

Process:

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit

Combine baking soda, salt, sugars, and butter in mixing bowl.  Mix with a whisk until combined.

Crack eggs into bowl and whisk until combined.
Add flour starting with 4 cups or more depending on the consistancy and whisk on low until combined.  Flour helps give cookies structure, to little creates flat cookies and too much creates dry cookies.

Add chocolate chips and whisk on low until combined.

Using either a cookie scoop or a spoon create 1 1/2 inch balls of cookie dough.  Place cookie dough on ungrossed cookie sheet, leave room between balls to allow them to spread.

Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Swiss Steak

Back in January Julia Xanthos from the NY Daily News came to our home.  Julia had found this blog/website and was asking if I had a recipe I would share in a food feature.  With my three daughter's we shared the process of making Swiss Steak and Julia filmed us.  She asked a lot of questions for her article and took photos of the recipe process as well.  Today my recipe was featured on EthNYC Eats, isn't that so cool!  Maybe being the mom of five children makes my recipe an especially good choice for Mother's Day.  Who knows why my recipe was chosen, but the video turned out really well.  If you get a chance check out my recipe here.   The video is below as well.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spring Salad Balsamic Vinaigrette

For my son's 5th birthday in December last year, I made a salad to go with the homemade pizza.  The salad was sort of like a salad my sister-in-law Kandi made for family holiday dinner's.  Our friend Carmen asked me for the recipe.  I told her I would be posting it, and here we are months later.  I'm sorry Carmen, this took way too long to post.  This salad even won over her husband Tom, go figure! If you happen to be like my friend Angela, and love salads, then this is for you. 

 If you like salad, and your into everything in your salad, this will fit the bill nicely.


Brown Sugar Pecans Ingredients

1 cup raw Pecans
3 tablespoons Butter
1/2 brown Sugar


 Place a medium size skillet over medium heat.  Add butter to pan and allow to melt.

 Add brown sugar to butter and stir.

 Allow butter and sugar to melt and bubble.

 Place pecans in pan with melted sugar.

Stir pecans until coated and shining.  Allow to cook for a couple of minutes.
Be careful they will burn.

Pour pecans on a piece of parchment paper on the counter to cool.  Break up when cool.


Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients

2 tablespoons Honey 
1 tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard 
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt 
1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed Black Pepper
1 large crushed Garlic Clove
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar 
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


 Place all ingredients in a pint size mason jar with lid and ring screwed on.
Shake the jar to combine.


Spring Salad Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients

Brown Sugar Pecans
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Spring Salad Greens
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
1/4 cup Feta


Rinse and dry spring salad and place in a large bowl.  Add pecans, cranberries,
and crumbled feta.  Toss with Balsamic Vinaigrette.   Add as much you prefer.


Serve with pizza or any other entree.  

Enjoy!

Brown Sugar Pecans Ingredients

1 cup raw Pecans
3 tablespoons Butter
1/2 brown Sugar

Process

Place a medium size skillet over medium heat.  Add butter to pan and allow to melt.

Add brown sugar to butter and stir.

Allow butter and sugar to melt and bubble.

Place pecans in pan with melted sugar.

Stir pecans until coated and shining.  Allow to cook for a couple of minutes.  Be careful they will burn.

Pour pecans on a piece of parchment paper on the counter to cool.  Break up when cool.


Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients

2 tablespoons Honey 
1 tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard 
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt 
1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed Black Pepper
1 large crushed Garlic Clove
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar 
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Process


Place all ingredients in a pint size mason jar with lid and ring screwed on.  Shake the jar to combine.


Spring Salad Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients

Brown Sugar Pecans
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Spring Salad Greens
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
1/4 cup Feta

Rinse and dry spring salad and place in a large bowl.  Add pecans, cranberries, and crumbled feta.

Toss with Balsamic Vinaigrette, add as much you prefer. Serve with favorite entree.

Enjoy!



Chili Macaroni & Cheese

We have been really busy, my family moved to another apartment here in Queens.  Moving is a huge undertaking here in NYC and add a baby and it becomes almost impossible without a lot of help.  I apologize for not posting sooner, but cooking is difficult when your kitchen is being packed or still being unpacked.  I made this recipe before we moved thankfully, but the pictures were on my external hardrive and so I had to get our computer set up and working before I could find them.  Did I mention my baby is super cute and likes to take 5 minute power naps?  Yes she isn't very helpful in my attempts to get anything done.  Without further ado, here is my recipe.

My dad makes something similar to hamburger helper without the box from the helper. He used a special blend of spices and herbs to flavor it (aka Lawry's Spaghetti Mix). My husband even liked it, I don't use dried flavor mixes very often, so I wanted to try to make my own version. This is a spicier version of my dad's hamburger helper, it even passes the husband and children test. This particular recipe does depend on a certain chorizo that is awesome. Yes my secret ingredient to this extremely simple recipe is chorizo. Sort of a chorizo flavored sausage, not really the typical dried chorizo.  You could make this recipe with ground beef and bypass the chorizo altogether, I wouldn't be offended I promise.

Cheese and just the right amount of spice and pasta, such a wonderful comfort food.


Ingredients:

3/4 lb. Elbow Macaroni
2 cups Crushed Tomatoes
1 lb. Chorizo Sausage (ground beef nay be substituted)
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack Cheese
Kosher Salt

The chorizo I use is a flavored sausage.  It isn't a dried chorizo.  This chorizo is the best!
Remove chorizo from the casing and brown in a large skillet. 

Beautiful browned chorizo, if you could smell this you would, well anyway, it is really yummy.

Pour the crushed tomatoes onto the chorizo and cook on medium heat until it boils.
 Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce.

Bring a large stockpot full of water to boil over high heat and sprinkle with salt.  Start this
process just before cooking the chorizo.  Boil macaroni according to package instructions.
 I cooked the full pound of macaroni.  My sons are very picky eaters, who will only eat
buttered macaroni, so I separated the pasta accordingly after it was cooked.

Drain the macaroni.

Add macaroni and grated cheese to sauce.  Stir and cook over medium heat until cheese melts.


Serve in a big bowl, and 

Enjoy!

Chili Macaroni & Cheese

Ingredients:

3/4 lb. Elbow Macaroni
2 cups Crushed Tomatoes
1 lb. Chorizo Sausage (ground beef nay be substituted)
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack Cheese
Kosher Salt

Process:

Remove chorizo from the casing and brown in a large skillet. 

Pour the crushed tomatoes onto the chorizo and cook on medium heat until it boils.  Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce.

Bring a large stockpot full of water to boil over high heat and sprinkle with salt.  Start this process just before cooking the chorizo.

Boil macaroni according to package instructions.


Drain the macaroni.

Add macaroni and grated cheese to sauce.  Stir and cook over medium heat until cheese melts.
Serve in a big bowl.

Enjoy!