Saturday, January 22, 2022

French Toast Monte Cristo


















Okay, I admit it. I've been holding out on you all and not sharing my favorite breakfast recipe in the whole wide world. One of those recipes that is just so cool and so awesome and when you make it you feel such a sense of accomplishment.  Imagine French Toast with a little vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon stuffed with egg, ham, turkey, cheese....just like a Monte Cristo.  OMG, this is just decadent. Slightly crisp on the outside and so moist and tender on the inside and just a touch of sweetness.  Like a Monte Cristo, I usually drizzle some maple syrup over it or some powdered sugar.  Its one of those breakfasts that you eat in the morning and think about it all day. It’s different and it’s so delicious. You probably won't find a recipe like it anywhere might but I don't think so.

 French Toast Monte Cristo

 The French Toast:


3 large eggs

3/4 cup whole milk 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 slices white bread (at least 1/2-inch-thick)

2 tablespoons butter 


The Sandwich:


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 large eggs, lightly beaten 

Pinch of salt 

4 thin slices Swiss cheese 

8 thin slices Black Forest or honey ham 

4 thin slices cooked turkey breast 

Maple syrup, for serving 


Make the French toast:


Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla in a medium shallow bowl. Place the bread slices in the bowl of egg mixture and coat both sides. 
























You need a skillet that will easily hold 2 slices of bread. Melt half the butter over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam and brown slightly on the edges, arrange 2 slices of bread in each skillet. Cook until the undersides have browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, reducing the heat to medium-low if the bread is browning too quickly. Transfer the French toast to a plate and let cool slightly. Wipe out the skillets.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Make the sandwich: Return the skillet to medium heat and add about 1 tablespoon butter. Allow the butter to melt and froth, swirling to coat the bottoms of the skillet. Pour half th eggs into skillet (saving the other half for the second sandwich). Swirl egg on bottom to cover the pan evenly. 




















Arrange two slices of the French toast, slightly apart, in each skillet. Cook, shaking the skillets a little bit so the eggs don't stick. Continue to cook until the eggs start to firm up and come away from the sides, about 1 to 2 minutes.  



















Spread just a little butter on top of the French toast while it is cooking in the pan. This will be the bottom of your sandwich and the butter will help it get crisp. 


The Tricky part.  Slide a spatula underneath the eggs and flip everything over so the buttered French toast slices are now on the bottoms of the skillets. I usually slide a flat spatula under the middle and put my hand on top to hold it in place. Season with a pinch of salt. 





















Layer one of the slices of French toast with the cheese, ham and turkey. I like to use about 2-3 slices of meat and fold over a slice of cheese. 


















Now slide the spatula under the other slice of French toast that has no meat or cheese and fold it over.  You want it to look like a sandwich!






















At this point my cheese usually melts and there is no need to put it in the oven but if you’d like you can transfer the skillet to the oven until the cheese melts and the centers get hot for about a minute or two. 










Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve two halves on each plate with maple syrup for drizzling and dunking. 






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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Apple Fritter Pull-A-Part Bread

Pretty soon it will be that time of year when I love to go to the apple orchards and gather up my favorite ingredient for baking. If you follow my recipes,  you'll find hundreds of apple this incredible pull-apart apple fritter bread.  OMG….how can anything so easy to make be this incredible!  Now this is a treat that will make you forget your end of summer blues for sure!  I give you the choice of two different glazes because I like both so much I could choose which one I like better! 

Apple Fritter Pull-A-Part Bread

1 Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits (8 in a can)
2 medium granny smith apples, finely diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small skillet over medium heat, combine diced apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Open your biscuits and lay them out on a cutting board.  You now want to either cut each biscuit in half or carefully pull each one apart in the middle to make a total of 16 rounds. I use a paring knife and cut each biscuit in half horizontally. You can use either method.  Flatten each biscuit half with your hands to shape and thin them out a little.

Add about a tablespoon of apple filling on each round of dough. Once you have topped each round, stack the dough rounds on top of each other in groups of four. Continue to do this until you have 4 stacks of four using all 16 dough halves.

Now carefully gather each stack of four and lay them in the loaf pan, arranging it so that it fills the pan. Don’t worry about making them even or that they are not the same size. They will all rise together later.

Cover the loaf pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest on a cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes. Then flip it upside down on your rack to let it continue to cool. While the bread cools make the glaze.

White Glaze

1 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup half and half or more if needed
1 teaspoon vanilla

Simply whisk together the powdered sugar and half and half a little at a time to get the consistency you want. I like my glaze thick so I don’t use a lot of liquid. Once you get the right consistency, add the vanilla and whisk again. Drizzle generously over fritter loaf.

Or for a real treat make the cream cheese glaze.....

Cream Cheese Glaze

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 15 second intervals until it is softened enough to stir it together. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until fully combined. Drizzle over bread and enjoy!

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Monday, January 10, 2022



I have always cooked a lot with fresh herbs and I found them to be very expensive and hard to keep fresh. So last month I bought this Aerogarden so that I could grow my own. It came with little seed pods for basil, dill and oregano and all I had to do was add some water to the little tank and put the seed pods in the water. Turn on the grow light and within days they began to sprout! I was so excited! They grew very quickly and so I moved them to this little pots on my window sill so I could have fresh herbs whenever I want them. I just snip off what I need and they continue to grow.
But I wanted more herbs.... so I ordered more little seed pods. This time I got Rosemary, parsley, and cilantro. Now they are sprouting! I do nothing....other than put a few drops of plant food in the water once a week. And Voila I have herbs. So today I bought another Areogarden and I plan to plant more herbs and lettuce! 
Love this little gadget. Its on sale this week at Amazon so I just bought another one!  If you want one, please click on this link and you can use the Welcome Home code that helps me feed the homeless, both four legged and two.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Steak Tacos


Who doesn’t like tacos now and then. Sometimes I just crave these things…whether I make them with chicken or shrimp or fish, I always have room for tacos. This weekend I made steak tacos with an easy citrus marinade. I love this recipe for the most tender grilled or stove top steak tacos!




  Steak Tacos


 For the  Steak and Marinade 

1 pound flank steak, (or use Sirloin) trimmed of all excess fat
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
Juice of 1 medium orange (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of 1 medium lime (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
salt, for marinade and for grilling the steak
black pepper, for marinade and for grilling the steak
Canola oil, for coating the grill or butter for skillet

12 small corn or flour tortillas



















Shredded Monterey Jack cheese              
chopped fresh cilantro
diced onion  
diced tomatoes

In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the olive oil, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Lay steak in dish and pour marinade over the steak. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 5 hours (do not marinate for more than 5 hours or the steak will break down and soften too much).

When ready to grill, remove the steak from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while you prepare any toppings and preheat the grill. 

To cook on the grill:

Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat.  Brush the grill grates with oil. Remove the steak from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Grill the steak for about 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once, until medium-rare. Move steak to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes (this allows the juices to sink into the meat), then cut the steak into thin, 1/4-inch slices, slicing it across the grain.


To cook on the stove:

Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add butter and IMMEDIATELY add the steak to the pan. Sear for 3 minutes without moving the steak. Turn and cook for 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare to medium (or cook longer for desired doneness). Remove from pan and allow the steak rest on a cutting board, covered with foil, for 5 minutes.



While the steak is resting, warm the flour or corn tortillas. I like to double up on my tortillas but you can use one or two.

To warm the tortillas: place them in a dry skillet heated over medium-high or heat them on the grill for about 30 seconds per side, until warmed through. Or you can use the microwave and warm for 10 seconds.

While the steak is resting, warm the flour or corn tortillas. I like to double up on my tortillas but you can use one or two.

To warm the tortillas: place them in a dry skillet heated over medium-high or heat them on the grill for about 30 seconds per side, until warmed through. Or you can use the microwave and warm for 10 seconds.

Assemble the tacos: fill the tortillas with a few slices of beef. Sprinkle with cheese and any desired toppings. Enjoy immediately.

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