This year Mr. J and I got some great food and cooking related holiday gifts and I wanted to share them! Here’s a roundup of these fun items. Our families know us too well.
Cast Iron Skillet for the grill, and an authentic deep dish Pizza Pan from Lou Malnati’s in Chicago. I’m so excited to whip up some pizza soon! We can’t grill outside the condo, but someday we’ll own a house and can grill year-round (or when there isn’t snow covering it).
I asked for bakeware and this one is so fun! I love the yellow. You’re sure to see some posts come out of this.
We got some tools as well. 3 Wooden Pampered Chef spoons & spatulas, a set of new whisks, and a nifty little spoon to get to the smallest quantities.
I got a set of 3 CorningWare baking dishes with covers. Great sizes. Now I have options to whip up double batches and freeze them.
Lastly, we got a set of everyday dishes from Bobby Flay…or from Mrs. E & Mr. T but made by Bobby who will always have a special place in our hearts since we got engaged at his restaurant, Bar Americain.
Mr. J and I got a few cook books and some fun ingredients that I’m sure will make an appearance soon.
This recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis. I know her recipes are supposed to be amazing, but this one must have a mistake. There is wayyy too much liquid. I adapted it and then baked it a second time to help with the consistency. Baked french toast is definitely the way to go. It means everything is ready at the same time! I’ll probably give it another go, but guessing the liquid amounts is probably a better method.
-Butter, for greasing (I used non-stick spray)
-6 eggs (I used 3 eggs)
-3 cups whole milk (I used 1 cup soy milk & 1/2 cup heavy cream)
-3/4 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving (I used 1/2 cup)
-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon
-1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
-1 lemon, zested (I used 1/2 tsp lemon juice)
-3 (1-inch thick) slices (8 ounces) day-old challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used about 6 slices of day old, oversized, French bread)
-2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen, thawed, and drained blueberries
-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest. Add the bread cubes and mix until coated. Stir in the blueberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the egg mixture in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is set.
I baked for about 60-minutes and then let it cool/set. It definitely had too much liquid so we ate the crispy top parts. For round two, I baked it again in ramekins with another dusting of cinnamon sugar.
I love pizza in all forms. You’d think my family had pizza night growing up. Since we didn’t, I seem to make it a lot or at least make calzones a lot. This pizza was a great fall flavor and was adapted to use ingredients on hand. Mr. J doesn’t eat mushrooms so I out they went and we had some red onion so in that went!
I’ve tried dough of all sorts. I still claim that fresh-refrigerated dough is best. The refrigerated dough in a can comes in third. Today, I gave Jiffy Mix a try which was a surprising 2nd choice. The dough instructed me to mix with water and then keep it at 85-degrees. I put it on the back burner where the oven vents. I found it extremely sticky and feared too much flour would make it wicked hard. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray to keep it where it belongs.
- pizza dough
- wheat germ for the bottom of the pizza so it doesn’t stick
- 2 links of sweet Italian sausage
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 small granny smith apple, sliced thin
- 1 cup of cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella and cheddar)
- 1 cup of beer (I used Blue Moon)
- About two tablespoons of coarse grain mustard
- About 1 tbs sour cream
Remove the casings on the sausage and brown it in a skillet. Add onion half way through Remove the sausage and onion and add the beer. Let it reduce by half and then add the mustard and black pepper. Let the sauce cool a bit and add the sour cream. Meanwhile by rolling out the pizza dough into some flour until it’s evenly thin. Sprinkle wheat germ onto the pan before spreading dough out. Top it with some sauce before topping with sausage, onion, apple and cheese. Drizzle with the beer/mustard sauce. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Nothing is more fall than pumpkin bread BUT with walnuts and Craisins that fall factor was just amped up about 10 times. I don’t bake much but bread seems more manageable than cookies. I have to say, while it won’t make me a baker, I’m quite proud of the results! Can you say breakfast for the week?
-1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
-1 cup vegetable oil
-2/3 cup water
-3 cups sugar
-3 1/2 cups flour
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-1 1/2 teaspoons salt
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 cup Craisins
-1 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 7×3 inch loaf pans or one regular and 2 mini loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and pumpkin pie spice. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.
Pour into the prepared pans. Add Craisins and walnuts to taste. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.