Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cinnamon Spice French Toast

Early morning hot yoga class. Check.
Coffee to help refresh me even more after hot yoga. Check.
French toast that I've had on my mind pretty much the entire week. Check. Check. Check.

Cinnamon Spice French Toast..done & ready to eat
One thing I remember about weekend mornings while living at home with my mom, is the smell of french toast frying on the stove, waiting to be smothered with syrup or whatever else we felt like, just waiting to be eaten. I happened to read a post about french toast some time this week, and then I couldn't get it off of my mind. With this "low carb" fanaticism kicking through our society, I have this inclination now to try healthy meals that don't include bread. But in reality, healthy doesn't mean "no bread". There are so many ways to help make things we love to eat just a little healthier, and just as tasty.

This morning, my french toast craving turned into a baked cinnamon spice french toast. I got the idea of baking it from one of my co-workers, which actually helped really make the dish what it turned out to be...delicious. And I can say it was delicious with the utmost confidence....considering that my husband actually really liked it!

Topped with maple syrup...simple but good.
3 slices of Portuguese Cornbread cut in half (you can use any bread here and make the slices whatever size you want)
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp of yogurt
1/2 tsp of cinnamon (or adjust to your liking
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
1/8 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

**these measurements are pretty much estimates as I was kind of just throwing things together and eyeing the amounts I used

1. Beat the eggs.
2. Add the milk and yogurt and beat until combined.
3. Add the spices, and beat a little more until it's all mixed evenly.
4. Place the bread slices in a pan and pour the egg mixture onto the bread.
5. Turn the bread slices over once so that the other sides can get some egg coating.
6. Turn the bread over again and place into the fridge for about an hour.
7. Turn the bread over and place into the fridge again for at least another 20 minutes to half an hour.
8. Preheat your oven to 400F.
9. Grease a baking sheet, and place the soaked bread slices onto the baking sheet.
10. Bake for about 15 minutes, then flip bread slices onto the other side for about another 15 minutes.
11. Take out of the oven, top with anything you want, and enjoy the crispy outside and warm middle of the cinnamon goodness!!!
A little bit of honey and sliced pears go a long way.

**I left the bread to soak while I went to yoga in the morning, but leave it in the fridge for however much time you have. You can probably even leave it to soak overnight. Just make sure to flip it at some point so that both sides get to soak in some of the egg mixture.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Saturday Morning Zucchini Pancakes

So this whole week, for some reason, I had pancakes on my mind. I was just waiting for the weekend to come so that I could wake up in the morning and make them. I couldn't wait for the smell of pancakes and coffee to waft through the house, in anticipation of the breakfast/lunch that would follow.

The batter awaiting its pancake fate.
This week I also happened to come across a recipe for "Cottage Pancakes" thanks to 101 Cookbooks. I love pancakes and all, but sometimes the amount of flour and "breadiness" of them is hard to handle...well at least when you try to keep eating even when you know you can't really eat anymore. So these pancakes incorporated cottage cheese and cauliflower instead of lots of flour.

So in my ready to make pancakes mode and my work with what I've got attitude, I put my own little spin on her pancakes (meaning I had to use yogurt and ricotta cheese since I was out of cottage cheese, and I was too lazy to blanch cauliflower so I used raw zucchini). I think they turned out pretty good...since I ate most of them. My husband wasn't a huge fan. But I still think that's because he just had to know what was in them before he even tried them...once he heard the word zucchini he was out.

1/2 cup yogurt
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped zucchini (into tiny pieces)...or just grate it
2 Eggs, separate yolks from whites
1/2 cup flour
So close...but not done yet.
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

1. Mix together the yogurt, ricotta cheese, zucchini and egg yolks.
2. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder and salt.
3. In a small bowl, beat or whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks begin to form.
4. Combine the flour mixture into the yogurt and zucchini mixture, and mix until blended nicely.
5. Fold the egg whites into the pancake mixture.
6. Put your griddle or pan on medium-low heat, and place a bit of butter on it to grease it up.
7. Put 3 Tbsp of the mixture on the pan for one pancake.
8. Once they begin to brown and cook on one side (may be a couple of minutes), flip over to cook the other side.

Top them up and enjoy!
This should make about 8 pancakes that can be topped with anything you'd like. I went for some peanut butter and bananas, to ricotta cheese and chickpeas, to my mom's homemade plum jam. My husband stuck to his regular maple syrup.

Have fun with making pancakes and trying your own thing...the just add egg and/or water boxed versions really aren't any easier. This way, you know what you're getting.