Friday, November 29, 2013

{FFWD} Sugar Crusted French Toast {TWD} Challah



 I know, I know, I am combining French Fridays with Dorie and Tuesdays with Dorie this week. But, I have a good reason! The Challah recipe from Baking with Julia is the recipe for this coming Tuesday. Knowing it was a brioche I thought it would be perfect for the Sugar Crusted French Toast from Around My French Table. I am using an unfamiliar oven this week so of course I have to give myself room for error on some things. I started the dough early on Wednesday and let it go through all 3 rise cycles. I was at a high elevation so I was a little worried about high altitude baking issues. The dough rose really well though. Things I would change for next time: use a stone instead of a baking sheet and try to braid a little more evenly. I was very disappointed when I pulled the Challah out of the oven and the bottom of both loaves were burned to a crisp. Thankfully, I was able to trim the burnt part off with a good bread knife. My sister has chickens so she took the burnt pieces and gave her cluckers a treat. Of course her dog really wanted those burnt tidbits and tried to break into the chicken coop to get them.

It was up to me to make breakfast for everyone this morning and Sugar Crusted French Toast was on the menu. My dad made bacon while my mom fired up the griddle for me. I was a little skeptical of the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler at first but when the plates popped off and were able to be washed in the dishwasher I was hooked! As a quick sidenote, I love my griddle but I despise cleaning it. Easier cleaning makes me happy.

Everyone, of course, loved this sweet french toast. Who couldn't love french toast that has a caramely, sweet coating on it? The Challah was the perfect brioche to make this with. I have actually made this recipe several times. Once was for Christmas breakfast last year and once was for my husband's band that was over practicing at our house one night. It is definitely a keeper of a recipe.The best part of course was sharing this with family that I love! I used half and half instead of heavy cream this time as there was no heavy cream to be found this morning. It worked out just fine. If you haven't tried this before I highly suggest picking up Around my French Table and Baking with Julia and making these right now! Enjoy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Suja Juice Cleanse Giveaway!

Way back in September while I was at IFBC we had the opportunity to live blog while tasting a bunch of products. One of those products was Suja Juice and I got to taste the flavor called Fiji. It has apples and ginger in it and was memorable!  Suja is a company out of California that does cold pressed juices. They have regular juices, smoothies, and 1, 3, or 5 day cleanses. All of their juices are 100% organic and made to Kosher standards and the bottles are recyclable.

One of the perks of being a conference attendee was that Suja  provided anyone that was interested with a free 3 day cleanse to try. Now that I have completed my 3 day cleanse I get to give away a second 3 day cleanse to one lucky reader! For a 3 day cleanse you get 18 bottles of High Pressure Processed  juice and instructions on what order to drink the juices. My favorites were Fuel, which has carrots and oranges in it, and Vanilla Cloud, which has coconut and almonds in it. I have to admit, the first day I had a bit of a headache but I think that is because I recently picked up the caffeine habit again. By day two though the headache had disappeared. I was not hungry during the 3 day cleanse because the juice really did fill me up. It is about 1200 calories for the 6 bottles. The hardest part of the three days was cooking for my family...so I made them eat out....not every meal! I also made muffins for one of my classes on one of those days but was a good girl and didn't eat those either. My kids and students had to let me know if they tasted ok. :)

One major benefit for me was that I slept better those 3 days than I had in a few weeks. I am sure that is partially from detoxing from the caffeine. I also liked not having to worry about what I was going to eat for those three days.

Now for the good stuff! The giveaway will run from today until next Saturday November 30th. There are several ways to enter this giveaway. Check out the rafflecopter below and enter away! Several of the options are daily so come back and enter again. You can leave a comment, tweet, follow me on twitter and on Facebook if you don't already. I don't know about you but after a week of Thanksgiving overindulgence I would definitely do this again! For more information on Suja Juice you can go to their website, Facebook page, twitter, instagram, and Pinterest!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 15, 2013

National Bundt Cake Day - Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake- I Like Big Bundts

In case you didn't know, it is National Bundt Cake Day! My children have been running around gleefully yelling "butt" cake and using it as lyrics in all manner of songs. Mary over at Food Librarian has baked bundts leading up to this day for the last several years. A couple of years ago Jenn at Just Jenn Designs made pins for everyone that participated in the bundt round up that, appropriately, said "I like big bundts"!

Last time I participated I made a Milky Way Bundt cake. This year I looked in my pantry..if shelves attached to the wall leading to the basement can be called a pantry...and spotted a can of pumpkin. I remembered seeing a Pumpkin Bundt cake recipe on Jamie's blog, My Baking Addiction, and thought I would give that one a whirl. Make sure to click on the link in her post to make your own pumpkin pie spice as well!

Confession, I made this last night, not today, so I could take it to my daughter's girl scout meeting. They were having their bridging ceremony. I managed to grab plates but did not get forks. Good thing bundts are easy to eat with your hands.

Instead of cream cheese icing, you need cream cheese to make that and I didn't have it, I made white chocolate ganache. This is the easiest recipe ever! Make sure to head over to Mary's site and check out all of her bundt's under the "I Like Big Bundts" tab!

For the Cake:
Click My Baking Addiction

Ingredients:
1 cup white chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
1/4 cup heavy cream


Instructions:
Bring the heavy cream to a slight boil in a saucepan
Pour over chips
Let sit for several minutes
Stir and pour


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Coconut Chicken

Way back in August when Bobby and I were doing Whole 30 I made coconut chicken and then added it to salad. Yes it is as easy as you think it is!This particular salad was especially tasty with the lovely ripe strawberries and blueberries! I think I added a little bit of red wine vinegar to finish this off.

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Flaked Coconut Unsweetened
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
fresh berries
prepackaged salad mix

Instructions:

Cut chicken into bite size pieces
Place coconut in a small bowl and coat the chicken with it
Melt the coconut in a small pan over medium high heat
Cook chicken until no longer pink
Place coconut chicken on top of lettuce and garnish with berries
Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Cascade Ice Giveaway Winner Announced!

The winner of the Cascade Ice giveaway is Justin W! Soon you will be enjoying a prize pack of Cascade Ice! :)

Monday, November 04, 2013

IFBC Roomies

Ashlee, Jesseca, Me, Carolyn
OK, this may be my last IFBC post for awhile. I think I could write a ton more. One of the best parts of the conference for me was meeting so many talented cooks/writers/photographers! Of course finances was a huge part of this trip so when I saw Jesseca was looking for an extra roommate I sent her a message asking if I could join her. She and Ashlee flew in together on Friday and were able to get checked in. They were not there when I got into the room so I had a few minutes to call Bobby and let him know how things were going. They came back soon after though and introductions were made. Later that evening I got to meet Carolyn, with whom I was sharing a bed.

I have to say, I gained a lot of insight from the different workshops I went to but just sitting down with these three talented ladies in our room, talking about analytics, and sharing tips (them a lot more than me) about how to do this food blogger thing was probably the most helpful thing for me!

If I get to go to another conference in the future I hope I will get to room with these ladies again!

Check out their websites to see their gorgeous food photography and their scrumptious recipes!
Jesseca - One Sweet Appetite
Ashlee - I'm Topsy Turvy
Carolyn - All Day I Dream About Food