Posts tagged ‘almond’

April 20, 2011

Not Your Grandma’s French Toast

French toast on a Wednesday morning?

I know. I’m so bad =P

Now, before we into the nitty gritty of this divine breakfast, let me be very clear. Challah bread French toast with crispy, buttery edges, delicately drizzled with pure maple syrup, and warm strawberries spread on top is the s%$!. In fact, this is exactly what I used to get at the Route 9 Diner in Hadley all throughout my undergrad years. It was even my last meal there on the day before my graduation.

Always with a side of homefries, naturally.

Delicious as Route 9’s French toast was, it’s not exactly the long-lasting brain food I need before a day brimming with work, school, the gym, homework…you get the idea. So what’s a girl to do when she wakes up craving that buttery, cinnamon-crusted, smooshy goodness?

I think I’ve found the perfect compromise.

‘Not Your Grandma’s’ Almond French Toast

serves 1

2 slices whole grain bread (I used TJ’s multrigrain sprouted bread)

1 egg

3 tbsp. milk

1/2 tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp. almond extract

small bit of butter (~1/2 tsp)

Note: I really don’t ever measure those last 4 ingredients. Just do what looks right…you’ll get the hang of it.

Method:

  • Heat a large nonstick pan/griddle over medium-high heat.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the egg, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and almond extract in a wide, deep dish.
  • Dip both sides of the bread slices into the egg mixture, making sure to completely cover both sides.
  • Allow the bread to sit for a moment to absorb all of the liquid.
  • Melt and spread the butter in the hot pan and then add the soaked bread. Check after about 1 minute and flip if golden brown. Cook the other side until it also is golden brown and crispy on the edges.

Toppings:

1 tbsp. raw almond butter

1/2 large banana, smashed

shmear of raspberry jam on each slice

You can top your FT with whatever you like. I chose raw almond butter because I knew it would enhance the almond extract and not overpower the other wonderful flavors associated with FT.

Speaking of almond extract…growing up, my mom’s French toast was, without question, my favorite dish. My brother was the pancake man but I was a mama’s girl through and through, I guess, always asking for the French toast come Sunday morning. The almond extract in the mixture was an incredibly happy accident and I never looked back. Forget about the vanilla. That’s child’s play after you taste this revelation of a breakfast. Got that?

This was a far cry from the traditional heavy, fried concoction that is usually found floating in a vat of fake syrup (note: this was not Rt. 9 diner…just other diners that I’ve experienced). Incredibly delicious and made that much healthier and filling by the use of whole grain bread and the addition of nuts and fruit. I love me some maple syrup but it has its time and place – it’s good to switch things up =)

Staler bread works best for FT but, wait, there’s great news! If you’re like me and refrigerate your current loaf, it will work just as well as the stale stuff! You just want bread that isn’t going to dissolve into baby food as soon as it hits the egg mixture. As for the egg mixture, I usually say 1 egg for every 2 slices of bread. If you’re looking for a lighter option, using more milk or substituting 2 egg whites for every whole egg works really well and the flavor remains unchanged.

French toast isn’t exactly rocket science but using good bread, letting it absorb the liquid for a spell, and getting that pan perfectly hot are all key to a fantastic meal.

As good as this was, it made me miss my oats…is it any wonder that breakfast is my favorite part of the day?

April 9, 2011

Because it’s Ladies’ Night…

Remember that scene from the wedding singer?

I’ve been singing this song ever since my roommates and I decided Friday night margaritas were definitely in order.

The lighting in the restaurant was terrible and my pictures even worse. Nasty food pictures may make my stomach turn more than anything else so I’ll spare you the gory details. I ended up having a nice cold glass of Allagash White with a slice of orange, not a ‘rita! I always love the idea of ‘rita but I only like the frozen variety – with all that sugar, I figured a beer was a better call. It definitely hit the spot!

My girlies and I also split a plate of nachos with the best guacamole we have ever had. We could not stop taking little tastes trying to figure out what the mystery zing was at the end of every bite. They definitely added lots of garlic, which is unusual for guac, but that secret something is still eluding us. Guess we’ll just have to go back 😉 Restaurant nachos are definitely not an everyday or even every week kind of food but some weeks just call for the girls to get a little crazy. Besides, my beer would have been lonely with out a snacky friend to hang with.

I bought room darkening curtains a few months back and even though they usually work wonders, I think the long week of early wake-ups ruin Saturday mornings for me! Despite not getting into bed until 11:30 last night, I was still awake at 6:30 with breakfast on my mind. Maybe it’s because I knew this was waiting…

I taught a spinning class last night and that always leaves me absolutely ravenous the morning after. Beer (even just one) just adds to the rumbley tummy! Fresh, fruity oats were calling my name.

Today’s Bowl

In the pot:

1/2 c. rolled oats

1/2 c. unsweeted vanilla Almond Breeze

1/2 c. water

1/2 sliced banana

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 egg, stirred in at the end

On top:

1 large teaspoon raw almond butter

sliced kiwi (!!!)

a few slices banana

sprinkle Nature’s Path Hemp Plus Granola

SB’s House Blend on the side!

Have you ever had raw almond butter? Most almond butters feature roasted almonds but let me tell you, raw is something special. It’s almost like cookie dough in flavor! Can’t go wrong there =)

I realize most of my posts have featured oatmeal and it reminds me of a comment I read on KERF the other day. A reader said that Kath posts waayyyy too many pictures of her oatmeal – nobody needs that many and they are her least favorite part of KERF. Of course this led to a slew of people defending not only the wonders of oatmeal but the need for thousands of photographs of this miracle breakfast. I have to admit, I’m an oatmeal photo junkie. Beautiful photographs of oatmeal pull right on those heart strings.

A friend once told me to never apologize for the smell of my tuna fish sandwich and I think this advice probably holds for photos of oatmeal, too! You won’t be seeing this lady quit the oat photo shoots any time soon.

Have a great Saturday!

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