banana · bread · breakfast · brunch · brunch ideas · burger · burger patty · french toast · fresh bread · ripe bananas · stuffed

Fresh Bread Smells and Stuffed Food Smiles

fullsizerender-21This weekend I spent some time remembering the smell  of fresh bread walking down the streets of Paris. Since lately I’ve been on this kick of eliminating artificial preservatives I decided to do some research and make my own bread at home, bring the smell of Parisian bakeries to my home. So, I started with one goal in mind, dinner. Ever since last summer, I’ve wanted to try to duplicate the a delicious pork burger I tried at Yard House while visiting Southern California. So I decided to take this pork deliciousness to another level and make some brioche buns for it.

I found a recipe on The New York Times Cooking page. The recipe makes 6-8 buns so since I was only cooking for two I ended up making my own brioche loaf with oats and flax seeds on the side. The outcome? Two beautiful golden brown buns and a delicious loaf of bread with pretty hues of gold and oat shimmer.

I utilized my fresh bread in two different ways: for dinner and brunch the next day. It has been a while that I’ve wanted to make bread so I’m super excited that I got over my fear of yeast and can make it now whenever I want. Note: The only challenge with making bread is time. The amount of time the dough needs to rest is what may discourage, but believe me when I tell you that it is worth it!

img_5467My version of the burger from Yard House: A fresh brioche bun burger with a pork patty stuffed with mozzarella cheese, blueberry ketchup, non spicy candied bacon and spinach.  I think I liked my version much better. Perhaps it was the fresh bun or the pork burger patty that I stuffed with mozzarella cheese; all I know is that I am adding this one to my must-have burgers this summer.

The next day I was looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth. There were two things I absolutely needed to use, 2 ripe bananas that have been begging me to use them before they go back and my fresh loaf of bread. I’ve probably never mentioned this, but even though my boyfriend loves everything I make, there is one thing that he’s never liked and that is my french toast. Now, maybe it’s because I enjoy a good challenge or perhaps my competitive nature kicked in, but today would be the day to make him change his mind. Honestly, the thought of my french toast not satisfying anyone has bugged me for years!

My strategy going in was to use the loaf of bread (you can’t deny the power of homemade), stuff it with a banana and maple syrup mix (2 ripe bananas and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup), and revamp my egg mixture. img_5466I replaced my old egg mix with this: 2 Eggs, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and sugar, a splash of almond milk ( which I made a couple of days ago), a pinch of nutmeg, 1 tsp of vanilla-bourbon extract and a splash of heavy cream. First I cut slices of the loaf of bread, about 1 inch. Then I cut down the middle to create pockets for the mashed bananas/maple syrup mixture. Once I stuffed the bread slices, I dipped in my new and improved egg mix. I buttered a pan and cooked in medium heat for about 5-8 minutes making sure each side is evenly cooked.

Once done I sprinkled with some powdered sugar, fresh blueberries and maple syrup. img_5463-1

These were absolutely delicious and just in case you’re wondering I wasn’t the only one to think so. Yup! after all these years, the french toast redeemed themselves! Ah, the sweet smell of victory is almost as good as the sweet smell of fresh bread. Or is it?

bacon · breakfast · brunch · brunch ideas · bun · California · concert · creative dishes · dinner · dreams · eggs · foodithinkiloveyou · green onions · hotdogs · jam · lunch · meal ideas · sausage party · wine

The Breakfast Hot Dog of My Dreams

If you’ve ever been to a concert or sporting event (at least in California), you’ve enjoyed a bacon wrapped hot dog afterwards as you’re walking to your car. Right? If you haven’t, make a mental note and next time you see the small stand with the guy grilling bacon wrapped hot dogs, stop and have one (or four!). You will not regret it, I promise. 
Just a few weeks ago at a family gathering, they made bacon wrapped hot dogs. I was so excited because I absolutely love these and yes, maybe I was salivating a just little. I guess you had to be there. The buns slathered with sour cream (stay with me), ketchup over the crunchy bacon wrapped hot dog, chopped tomatoes and white onions on top with one more small dollop of sour cream (Mmmm). In my opinion there is no need for mustard or anything else. These ingredients together are absolute perfection. My mind, much like my hot dog, was wrapped up in deep thought as I was savoring each bite. I couldn’t focus on the chatter around me. Right there and then I had an amazing idea, breakfast hot dogs?? [angels singing]. How can I make a hot dog that will produce a breakfast party in my mouth with one single bite? Was it possible?? Yes!

This week my taste buds attended that breakfast party and the feedback was: success. I had so much fun putting this meal together, although the wine could have played a part, but it was mostly the cooking. I used chicken hot dogs, wrapped in bacon and cooked in a pan until the bacon was mostly cooked. Then I popped in the oven (325 degrees) until the bacon was nice and crispy. I used multigrain buns, which I also popped in the oven until they were warm and had slightly crispy edges. The over easy egg is probably the most important component of this dish because you want that yolk to be runny so when it pops it spreads all over the hot dog and in between the bacon (YUM!). I slathered some sour cream once the buns were done, snuggled the hot dog inside, positioned the egg on top, popped the yolk and chopped some green onions. I added some raspberry-habanero jam to give it that slight sweetness you get from a well rounded breakfast bite and it was delicious. Great for breakfast, brunch or even lunch and dinner if you’re like me and can have breakfast at anytime!
addicted · berries · breakfast · brunch · challah · french toast · fruit · fun meal · lost bread · maple syrup · pain perdu

French Toast, You Complete Me

My favorite meal is definitely breakfast. Maybe it’s because I don’t usually have it as it ought to be during the week or maybe because I have the option to choose between a savory or sweet meal. Regardless, when the weekend comes I look forward to our time together.

When I do crave a sweet breakfast I tend to go with something that also has fruit. One of the most satisfying and most drool-generating options is French Toast with berries. Not only is it super easy, but you can play around with it and add all kind of fun things like papaya, strawberries, bananas, coconut flakes (that combo has been tried and it’s amazing!) blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with some powdered sugar (pictured), chocolate chips and strawberries, dulce de leche instead of maple syrup, etc. Have fun with it! Another interesting way to change up your version is by using different types of bread. I personally love Challah bread because it’s soft and my toast ends up slightly crispy on the outside but super moist on the inside. Optional: serving it with a side of bacon or your favorite kind of sausage will add that salty flavor in case you crave it after a few bits of sweetness and it will balance the flavors in a way your taste buds will love you for!

What I use to make this delight:

  • Challah bread
  • Eggs- mixed (just enough to dip your bread)
  • Vanilla-bourbon extract (I find this a Trader Joe’s and add 1 tsp it to my egg mixture)
  • Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
  • Powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar)
  • Organic Grade A Maple syrup (never ruin your meal with dangerous-sugar-filled tables syrups)
  • A cup of hot coffee (oh wait! that’s just me envisioning my weekend morning…aah. While this is optional, it is totally recommended!).

breakfast · brunch · healthy · quick meal · sandwich

Vegetarian Brunch Date Sandwich

There is really something very special about a meal that happens between breakfast and lunch. It’s the perfect middle for those of us who love to sleep in, but absolutely love breakfast. It’s happened so many times that I wake up too late to make it to the good restaurants with the breakfasts and brunch you don’t want to miss. Most places stop serving their early wonders by 2 P.M. I have never understood why…after all it’s the weekend! Are we not entitled to sleep in AND have a good meal too? Must I be forced to a lunch menu and miss out on my coffee and eggs?! I say NEVER.
That’s why I came up with a perfect quick fix.After all, why rush out of the house when you know you will be that first to hear those words you dread to hear, “We’re sorry, just are no longer serving breakfast.”  (Ahhhhh!)

First thing is to prepare the egg just right. I prepared mine over-easy because I love to place the top bread down and the deliciously warm, yolk will ooze all over and create the sauce type consistency that ties together the flavors in every bite. For those of you who don’t like the yolk as much I (apparently) do I’m sure it will still taste good if you fry your eggs. I used a slice of american cheese and let it melt over my eggs, then I toast some honey wheat bread to add some sweetness to my sandwich. I slice some tomatoes, crack some black pepper over top it with some greens and Voila!
If you are a meat eater I would recommend using a slice of turkey or chicken, cook the slice over  pan until it’s warm and place over the cheese so it can all stick together nicely. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.