Sunday, January 3, 2016

No Baguette Left Behind

This weekend we had an amazing cheese fondue but didn't come close to using up the extra 2 baguette I'd purchased (no I'm not sure why I bought so many either). Yesterday the poor things were nearly rock hard. But waste not, want not so I figured out a way to use them up. 

First, I made an adaptation of the rotisserie chicken with croutons you'd find in Paris. Influenced by Ina Garten's recipe I threw in a hit of lemon and I think it came out even better than Ina's. Imagine that. 

I preheated the oven to 375 and cut a lemon into quarters almost but not all the way through. I spread the quarters and stuck the lemon on the point of my rarely used Staub vertical roasting pan. I then placed my salt and peppered 3.5 lb chicken over that and threw it into the oven. 

Meanwhile, I cut 3/4 of a baguette into 1" cubes. After the chicken had roasted for 45 minutes I tossed the baguette cubes in the bottom of the vertical roaster and turned them until they'd absorbed the accumulated pan juices then returned the chicken to the oven for 20-40 minutes more until it was done (165 degrees in the breast and juices running clear. The temp will rise to 170 as it rests). While the chicken rested, I squeezed the roasted lemon over the croutons and served the two together. Yum! Just like rotisserie chicken with croutons in Paris except without the rotisserie. And not in Paris. I wish I'd taken a picture. Next time. 

But we were still left with 3/4 of a rapidly fossilizing baguette.  So I also cut that into 1" cubes and tossed it with 9 eggs I'd scrambled with 1 cup milk, 1/8 cup sugar, a pinch of salt and good sprinkle of cinnamon. I put the soggy cubes into an 8x8" buttered baking dish, covered with plastic wrap and left it in the fridge overnight. This morning I pulled it out, sprinkled one half with a good handful of chocolate chips to please my teen audience (I'm not such a chocoholic) then tossed it into a preheated 350 degree oven. 45 minutes later we had this beautiful French Toast casserole. 

I served with a liberal douse of maple syrup it was a hit all around. Next time I'd put chocolate chips over the whole thing.  Yum and no baguette left behind. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Oat bran with grilled peaches

I couldn't resist buying a flat of peaches this week. But as always, there are always a few that aren't quite as ripe. This time I couldn't wait for them to come to peak so I cut them up and dusted them with some raw coconut sugar then tossed them on my little George Foreman grill. A few minutes later and they were perfect. 
Delicious!  These, along with some raw coconut sugar were mixed in with my daughters morning oat bran. 

And I have another little tip to share. Instead of scrubbing and sweating over the stuck on food, throughly wet a couple of paper towers, fold them and put them between the plates of your unplugged grill while you're eating. When you're done, the stuck on food will have steamed and loosened and can be easily cleaned. Enjoy! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mexican Cucumbers

Have you ever tried these little beauties?

Called Mexican Gherkin Cucumbers they are my newest favorite Heirloom variety. Approximately the size of a grape and looking like tiny watermelons from the outside, these babies taste just like a normal cucumber. So cute! 

If you would like to try growing them next season you can get the seeds here.  Who could resist anything from the 'Drunken Botanist' collection?? 

Happy growing! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Raspberry soda!

I've got a new favorite drink!

Raspberry soda! I got the recipe from the Torani website and it's so darn good. All you'll need to whip one up for yourself is some Torani Raspberry Syrup and carbonated water. I used seltzer made with my beloved Sodastream but I'm sure you can easily substitute store bought.  

First fill a glass with ice, add 2 oz Raspberry syrup then 8oz carbonated water.  Stir and enjoy! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Simmering sauce perfection

I'm not usually one to rave about processed foods. I much prefer to make my own from scratch but every once in a while I'll come across a product that makes life not only easier, but so much better.  And that's exactly what Patak's Tikka Masala simmering sauce does. If you like Indian food, you have to give it a try.

I'll admit I was hesitant at first (see above usual reservations) but I bought a jar as part of my freezer to crockpot experiment a few days ago. Because that all took much longer than I thought I found myself coming up on dinner with absolutely nothing prepared. Which is pretty ironic given that I'd spent the day prepping food. 

Anyway, my original intention was to freeze the chicken in the sauce to be defrosted later, I chose instead to follow the jar's instructions (which btw were much easier than my plan to freeze, defrost and dump into the slow cooker). The jar said brown the chicken, add sauce and simmer. Toward the end of the simmering I also threw in a healthy handful of frozen peas for a little color. I served it with rice made in my most favorite rice cooker and it was good.  Like really good. Like oops I forgot to take a picture because I was so busy scarfing it down. Oops. 

Luckily there was just enough left over for my lunch today. Which I might sneak down from my office for a little early today because my mouth is watering just thinking about it.