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  1. Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Call for Recipes: French Toast

    I love French toast. So do my girls. Nate? Not so much. But I make it anyway because is it really that torturous to make someone eat French toast? I think not. Plus, he’s lying anyway. Who doesn’t like French toast? I mean, really.

    recipes for French toast

    Years ago I went to my friend Karen’s bachelorette weekend in Palm Springs, where we stayed at the Parker. (Side note: that hotel is funky and crazy and fun. Loved it.) The morning of our departure, we ate breakfast at Norma’s, one of the hotel’s restaurants. The entire meal was amazing. I ordered the “Crunchy French Toast.” Ever since that morning I’ve been on a quest to replicate that freaking awesome French toast. I have a few good runners-up, but nothing has matched. (If you’d like to check out the runners-up, both recipes are really good: Baked French Toast and Crispy French Toast. If you have NOT had Norma’s Crunchy French Toast, then you will definitely not be disappointed.)

    brioche bread

    On a related note, I used to always use nice, soft bread (like Brioche) for making French toast, but for the last 5 years or so, I’ve almost exclusively used crusty breads. I don’t know when or why I made the switch, but I did and and thought that all was well in my French toast world. Then we moved back to San Diego and found ourselves living near the Village Mill Bread bakery. They bake these giant, beautiful loaves of Brioche that make the most amazing French toast EVER. And just like that I’m back on the soft, fluffy bread bandwagon.

    brioche bread for French toast

    Wow. I really must love French toast because I feel like I could keep talking about it all day! But I’m going stop and give you the floor. We would love to hear your favorite ways for preparing and eating French toast. Comments, tips, and recipes are all welcome! Also, if you happen to have a recipe for crunchy and/or crispy French toast that you love, I would really love for you to share!

    French toast lovers unite!

    recipes for French toast

    (Note: Yes, I am aware that I italicized the word ‘really’ 3 times in this post. I guess I was just really feeling the ‘reallys’ today. Make that 4.)

  2. Sunday, April 7, 2013

    Week 324 Menu

    We’re having a very lazy Sunday, complete with feathers all over the kitchen thanks to Anna’s hair accessory creation efforts.

    Okay, I guess I’ll buckle down and plan a menu! Going to utilize some of my cookbooks this week!

    – Spaghetti Carbonara (recipe from Big Bowl of Love)
    – Veggie and bread

    – Chicken and Bok Choy Stir Fry (from Real Simple’s Easy, Delicious Meals)
    – Rice and dumplings

    Island Pork with Sticky Coconut Rice
    – Green Veggie

    – Leftovers

    – Something simple like waffles

    – Eat Out/Take Out

    – White Chicken Chili (from America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook)

    As usual, looking forward to seeing your menu plans for the week. Please share!

  3. Friday, April 5, 2013

    Karma Keeps Me Humble and Cream of Tartar Is NOT Immortal

    Remember that time when I started writing for Babble and was feeling pretty good about myself and all cool and stuff and also suddenly had to create content for that site in addition to maintaining my own blog so I decided to do a post a week on Babble sharing my most reliable and favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes because that would be a service to the world at large and because I’m totally obsessed with chocolate chip cookies and I decided for the first recipe I would share the Amish Chocolate Chip Puff Cookie recipe that was maybe my most reliable chocolate chip cookie recipe to date and I wanted to make them again so I could shoot a new photo for Babble and because they are so darn good but then I procrastinated and made the cookies the day I was scheduled to publish the post and then the cookies came out flat as freaking pancakes and not puffy and Amish-y at all and I realized karma was making sure I didn’t let things go to my head and karma also made sure a mom from school who I had just met and who had just found out I had a food blog was there to witness my awesome kitchen skills?

    Yeah, I remember that time. Just like it was yesterday. Wait, it was yesterday.

    I may have a food blog, but apparently that doesn’t mean anything. Just so ya know.

    P.S. I made the cookies again today, with cream of tartar purchased today instead of 7 (8? 10?) years ago and, turns out, it is a fool-proof cookie recipe! Apparently cream of tartar is kind of important to this recipe AND it does in fact stop working after years and years and YEARS of sitting in the spice cupboard.

    P.S.Again. I did end up getting a nice, new photo of these yummy cookies and wrote about them today on Babble. It’s a great recipe, be sure to check it out!

  4. Thursday, April 4, 2013

    Chopping Green Onions Like My Mama

    There are many things I do in the kitchen that I can specifically remember my mom teaching me. One of those things is chopping green onions. Every time I put a knife to these white and green beauties, I think fondly of my mom.

    chopped green onions

    So, what’s the secret? I’m sharing it today on Babble, so be sure to click through to find out! (I know, I’m such a tease!)

  5. Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    Double Chocolate Milkshake…Move Over, Starbucks.

    The whole reason I was inspired to make homemade cocoa syrup last week was because of my little Anna. Anna is obsessed with the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino® Blended Crème at Starbucks. Every single time she sees a Starbucks, which in America is about 21 times per day, she asks for one. Needless to say her life is full of disappointment.

    Last week she was begging for one and I promised we would go home and try to make it. Which is why I ended up making chocolate syrup, which ended up taking all my energy and we never got around to making the drink! Today Anna and I finally got down to business.

    We nailed it. Totally as good as Starbucks. The syrup that Starbucks uses is mocha, so the taste is a tad different, but it’s a very small difference. Anna is in heaven and wants me to make more. I don’t think I’ve eliminated the begging from my life, in fact it may increase! But at least the occasional indulgence won’t cost me 4 bucks a cup.

    Double Chocolate Milkshake...Move Over, Starbucks.
    Inspired by Starbucks
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Serves: 2
    • 8 ounces milk
    • 2 Tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 cup ice
    • 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup or cocoa syrup
    1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend well. If you have a heavy-duty blender (such as a Blendtec) , the texture will be more similar to Starbucks.

  6. Monday, April 1, 2013

    Call for Recipes: Hard-Boiled Eggs

    We had a few requests in the weekly menu comments yesterday for a special Easter-themed Call for Recipes. Specifically, what are we all going to do with the colorful hard-boiled egg bounty sitting in our refrigerators this morning?

    Bonnie, a loyal commenter, said she trusts us more than she trusts Google or Pinterest, and I have to agree with her! That’s why I love this blog…because you all share your REAL menu plan ideas and recipes that have REALLY worked for you. So, yes, I’m sure there is a plethora of beautiful hard-boiled egg recipe collections out on the Interwebs today, but do we really trust them? Really truly? Not like we trust you!

    So, please, share with us your best, tastiest, most creative uses and recipes for hard-boiled eggs! Bring it on!