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Easy Homemade Breakfast for Weekend Guests

Hooray, I survived this very long but fun weekend. My friends from San Jose visited, as well as my sister. I love to have people over because it gives me the motivation to cook something new and explore areas of my city that I don’t go to nearly enough on my own. We definitely feasted this weekend and enjoyed the warm, sunny California weather. 80 degree weather in the winter time? I’ll take that any day. We were seriously wearing t-shirts and shorts in the middle of February! As a farewell breakfast for our friends who visited, I decided to go to my trusty cookbook from Pioneer Woman. Knock on wood but none of her recipes has failed me yet. What I also like about her is that I don’t have to special order ingredients that are hard to find in your local store. In her original recipe here, she made a berry butter to go with the french toast but I found it just fine without making that part of the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 French loaf of bread (Trader Joe’s has a presliced French loaf that was great in this recipe)
  • 4 whole Egg Yolks
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Maple Syrup For Serving – I used plain ol’ honey
  • Sifted Powder Sugar, For Serving (optional)
  • In case you want some berries on top, grab one cup of frozen mixed berries (Costco sells a nice big bag)

Instructions:

  • Cut bread into 1/2 inch thick slices (unless you already purchased presliced bread like I did).
  • In a dish that has about 1 inch in depth, mix together egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • Dip bread slices in mixture, coating both sides, then remove from dish and set it aside. Repeat this step until all bread is coated.
  • If you want to put some berries on top, do this following step. In a small saucepan, boil about 1/4 cup of water with a tablespoon of granulated sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, pour the frozen berries into the pan. Let it simmer for about two minutes and then turn off the heat.
  • Heat iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Cook French toast on both sides until golden brown, being careful not to burn. I liked it a little brown on both sides. Once done, set it aside.
  • To assemble, just stack your French toast bread and then pour the berries on top (with or without the liquid) and drizzle lightly with some honey and dust it with some powdered sugar. Bon Appetite!

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20140219-120811.jpgToasty bread!

20140219-120819.jpgYummy berries!

20140219-120828.jpgDeliciousness!

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Happy Anniversary To My Blog!

Hip, hip, hooray! I began this blog two years ago and here’s my attempt to keeping it a living, breathing thing. I met with a friend the other day and she told me that I should keep on trying with this blog. In the past three months since my last blog, I have baked several items, cooked many dishes, fostered a few dogs and went on a trip to Asia. After all the rest and relaxation that I had in December through January, I am ready to bounce back on my blogging project. I’d like to share a recipe that I took from Smitten Kitchen – The Triple Berry Summer Buttermilk Bundt. It’s so easy I made it twice.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (355 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (20 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups (340 grams) granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk (I made the buttermilk by pouring 3/4 cup of milk and mixing in one teaspoon of lemon juice)
  •  3 cups (350 to 450 grams) mixed berries (Smitten Kitchen uses fresh berries but I used a bag of frozen berries from Trader Joe’s)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 10-cup Bundt pan – I used nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift 2 1/2 cups flour (leaving 2 tablespoons back), baking powder and salt together and set aside.
  • In another large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and impossibly fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then, with the mixer on a low speed, add your eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Beat in vanilla, briefly.
    20140202-225816.jpgThe lemon scent is amazing!
  • Add 1/3 flour mixture to batter, beating until just combined, followed by half the buttermilk, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk and remaining flour mixture. Scrape down from time to time and don’t mix any more than you need to. 
  • In the bowl where you’d mixed your dry ingredients, toss the berries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. With a silicon spatula, gently fold the berries into the cake batter. The batter will be very thick and this will seem impossible without squishing the berries a little.
    20140202-225831.jpg
    20140202-225839.jpg I love this purple hue.
  • Plop the cake batter into the baking pan and use the spatula to spread it flat and smooth.
  • Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, rotating the cake 180 degrees after 30 (to make sure it browns evenly). The cake is done as soon as a toothpick comes out clean after sticking it into the bundt.
  • Set cake pan on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes, before inverting the cake onto a serving platter to cool the rest of the way. Cool completely.
  • If you’d like to make a glaze for the bundt, whisk together two cups of powdered sugar, juice of one lemon and one tablespoon of butter until smooth and very, very thick. (If you’d like it thinner, add more juice, but I like the thick drippiness of it, seen above.) Spread carefully over top of cake, letting it trickle down the sides when and where it wishes.
  • Serve the cake the same day. I served the cake about one hour after it came out of the oven and people liked the moistness and warm of the cake. Instead of making the glaze, I microwaved some vanilla frosting (for 20 seconds) and poured it over the bundt. The first time I made the bundt, I sprinkled some powder sugar on top of it to make it lighter on the sweet side.
    20140202-225853.jpg
    I hope that you enjoy this cake as much as I did!

As always, enjoy your dessert with some coffee (or wine).

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