Archive for January, 2011

Worlds Best* Gluten Free French Toast

When I made the new bread recipe yesterday, I immediately thought that it would be perfect for French Toast, so this morning the boys enjoyed one of their favorite breakfasts! 

Growing up, French Toast was one of the few things my mother made from scratch, if you can call dipping slices of store bought bread into beaten egg “from scratch”!  I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and boxed mixes and frozen dinners were di riguer for us when “eating in”, but I really remember us subsisting mostly on fast food: takeout pizza, Jack In The Box, McDonalds, Taco Bell and Chinese carry-out.  At least I can say that our fast food diet was varied.

Anyway, Mom always told me that the reason her French Toast was better than others was the Nutmeg –  just a dash -that she added to the egg mixture along with the Cinnamon.  I don’t really know if its true that most recipes for French Toast don’t already call for Nutmeg, since I guess I’ve never searched for a replacment.  I’ve just always made it Mom’s way, and now I can carry on the tradition to my kids by making the claim that my French Toast is The Best and passing along the family secret to them. 

To make the Worlds Best* French Toast, you’ll need:

1 Tbsp Butter

4-6 slices bread, White or French (Gluten Free or Regular)

2 Eggs

1/4 cup Whole Milk (Half & Half or Cream would work well, too)

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Vanilla

Dash (or two) of Nutmeg

What to do:

Break eggs into a shallow dish and add milk, Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Vanilla.

Combine together with a fork or wire whisk until frothy.

Melt butter in skillet or griddle over medium heat.

Dip each slice of bread into the mixture, first on one side,

then the other.

Lift carefully onto prepared pan.

Cook each side until crispy and browned, then flip to cook other side.

Serve hot with butter, powdered sugar, and syrup or any other of your favorite toppings!

*According to Mom. 

Oh…and if any of you are inclined to set me straight on this, I really dont wanna know.  I’d like to remain blissfully oblivious, thankyouverymuch! :-)

Gluten Free “White” Bread

I haven’t tried any new bread recipes in a while, but I think my son has been growing bored with the selections I usually bake to keep on hand.  We’ve actually been buying Udi’s Gluten Free Bagels quite often lately.  Have you tried these yet?  They are expensive (about $7 for a pack of 4 at Whole Foods) but they are really, really good.  I’ll have a great sandwich recipe featuring those posted here on the blog soon.  In the meantime, I have a new bread recipe to share with you.  I just tried this for the first time today, and this is a very close adaptation of a recipe from Easy Gluten Free Baking, by Elizabeth Barbone.  I’ve tried her recipes before, and they always turn out fabulously.  One of my very first posts here was her Gluten Free Sandwich Bread, and recently we tried (and loved!) her Belgian Waffles.  My Mock Wheat and Mock Rye loaves are both adaptations of that Gluten Free Sandwich Bread recipe.

The only modification I made on this particular recipe was the omission of the Sweet Dairy Whey Powder.  I subsituted more nonfat dry milk in it’s place and although I don’t know how it would have turned out as written, I am very happy with my results!  So is my son, and that is the most important thing! :-) 

To make this, you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour

1 cup White Rice Flour

2/3 cup Nonfat Dry Milk Powder (original recipe calls for 1/3 cup of nonfat dry milk and 1/3 cup dry sweet dairy whey)

1/3 cup Cornstarch

1/3 cup Potato Starch

2 Tbsp packed Brown Sugar

4 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 1/2 tsp Salt

1 3/4 cups Warm Water (110 degrees Farenheit is perfect)

2 large Eggs

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted Butter

1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) Active Dry Yeast

What to do:

Lightly grease (use nonstick spray or canola oil) a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Place brown and white rice flours, dry milk powder, corn and potato starches, brown sugar, xanthan gum and salt in a medium bowl. 

Combine with wire whisk until well incorporated (you might have to use your hands to break up any brown sugar lumps).

Combine wet ingredients- warm water, eggs, melted butter and yeast  – with a whisk in bowl of stand mixer until yeast is dissolved. 

Place bowl on mixer stand, add flour mixture to bowl and combine using beater attachment for one minute on low speed. 

Scrape down sides of bowl.

Mix on high speed for 5 minutes.

Spread into prepared pan, using a wettened metal spatula to smooth the top.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap which has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and let rise for 40 – 60 minutes, until dough reaches just past top of pan.

Remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 55 – 60 minutes (or until quick read thermometer reads 208 degrees).

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.

I think this bread will make a fabulous French Toast, so I am going to put that on the menu for our Sunday breakfast tomorrow!  I can’t wait!

Have a wonderul weekend, Everyone!

A New Year & A New Recipe: Fiesta Black Bean and Corn Salad

Happy New Year, Everyone!

How did YOU spend your last evening in 2010? 

We celebrated at home with a little party just for us, teaching the kids to play poker and eating snacks.  I made Layered Fiesta Dip and The Evil Dip for all of us to enjoy with Tortilla Chips while we homeschooled the kids in the fine art of bluffing and knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. 

It’s kind of fun to take advantage of the rookies.

We stayed up until Midnight, pouring glasses of “Champagne” just before the ball dropped.

When 2011 made it’s debut, it was time for a toast and kisses all around, and then we were all off to bed.

I started off the New Year the next day with a new recipe that was good enough to share.  Simple, too!

Unfortunately, there are no Black Eyed Peas in this one, so I’m not sure how our luck will run for 2011, but the Black Beans were delicious when combined with corn  (leftover from dinner a few nights ago), red pepper, green onion, cilantro and lime juice.  I’d say that’s a lucky combination anyday!

To make this, you’ll need:

1 cup cooked or canned Black Beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup Corn, canned or frozen, drained

2 Green Onions, chopped

1/3 Medium Red Sweet Pepper, chopped

3 Tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro

Juice of 1 Lime

1/4 tsp Salt

What to do:

Place Black Beans and Corn in a medium bowl.

Add chopped Green Onion, chopped Cilantro, chopped Red Pepper and Salt.

Add Lime Juice.  Don’t be like me and try to take a photo while pouring or you’ll end up with Lime Juice on your counter like I did!  Oops!!

Stir to combine all ingredients together.

Place in serving dish, and enjoy!

This salad is great all by itself, or served beside a sandwich (try it next to a veggie burger topped with melted pepper jack cheese, salsa, shredded lettuce and guacamole) or as a component of an awesome Taco Salad. 

May your New Year be as wonderfully colorful as this salad! Cheers!!!