Everybody is familiar with the expression, “Waste not, want not.”
And everybody knows that when your bananas start getting too ripe, you either make banana bread or end up throwing them all away…
…but don’t stop there…
..also stop wasting your stale bread…by making French toast out of it.
French toast is great because it only requires ingredients that most of us keep stocked always…or have to go to the store or add to our Instacart account quickly…
The perfect French Toast is fluffy, soft, and cinnamon-y,
French toast is also so darn easy to make….and can be made in less than fifteen minutes….and you really fon’t need a recipe…but there are a few tips that are worth knowing.
\So let’s talk about these tips…
Two of the types of people that I envy the most are those people who can play the piano by ear…and those people who can cook without a recipe.
I am an accountant. I have to know exactly how much of each ingredient to use whenever I am cooking ANYTHING…My husband always laughs at me for this fact.
I have made French toast that has turned out soggy or egg-y way too many times to wing it like almost everybody else..
This is what I have found works best for me, for six slices of bread…but of course if you are bold enough to color outside the lines, feel free to experiment until you have found the perfect batter that you yourself like best.
dash salt,,,(yeah, i hate it when recipes use words like that to specify amounts…if you’re gonna specify an amount, be specific…right?!)
We’ve already said that you can use whatever bread you have on hand to make French toast…
But like anything else…. the better the ingredients, the better the food will turn out.
You want a bread that will easily soak up the batter…and breads that are thicker than typical loaf bread seem to work best.
Slightly stale bread…bread that has been sitting around for a few days…seem to work better also.
Breads such as brioche, challah, Italian bread, French bread, challah or brioche tend to make the best French toast.
As far as eggs go, the most important thing to remember is to make sure you beat the batter until you no longer see any traces of egg white or egg yolks….otherwise you’re actually frying an egg that just happens to be attached to a piece of bread…and you’re gonna end up with something that looks like a mini fried egg on the outside of your French toast….go figure?!!
Obviously milk is milk…you would at least think…
But this is not always the case.
In fact, heavy cream will make your French toast taste even better because it has a higher fat content.
And be considerate of those people who are vegan or lactose intolerant…
Other milks or milk substitutes that you can use for making French toast include almond milk, coconut milk, half and half, and oat milk
The Seasonings and Spices
The Cinnamon…but, of course…
The Sugar…As far as making your French toast sweeter, you have several options…including maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, powdered sugar, and simply sugar. Realize that the flavor profile will sllghtly change based on which sweetener you choose.
The Vanilla…Adding vanilla to your batter will make it taste to much better…In fact, the more, the merrier….and use “real” sugar instead of fake or imitation stugar.
The Salt…Salt adds both flavor and sweetness,
Terrific toppings include…
jam or jelly
The Prep Work
Melt butter in a large skillet or on a griddle over medium-high heat.
Place a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Melt ½Tbsp butter in skillet or on griddle.
Butter will add more flavor, encourage a golden brown color, and prevent the French toast from sticking to the pan.
Make sure that your pan or skillet is at the right temperature before starting to cook your French toast.
If the temperature is too low when you add the bread, your French toast will take too long to cook and can even dry out.
If the temperature is too high, your French toast will burn the outside while being soggy in the center.
If you are using a griddle, you should wait until the griddle is at 350 degrees before slapping your bread on it.
Cooking Your French Toast
Whisk together your batter ingredients—eggs, milk, sweetener, vanilla, cinnamon—in a shallow dish that is wide enough to allow you to dip your bread into, such as a pie plate.
Make sure your eggs are completely scrambled so that you don’t end up with streaks of egg on the outside of your French toast after it has cooked.
Dip the bread slices into the egg mixture….being careful not to leave your
If you leave the bread in the egg mixture for too long, the bread will absorb too much liquid…and your French toast will end up being soggy.
Quickly stir your batter before dipping another slice of bread. This will ensure that all of the ingredients are mixed together completely and make sure that the bread is evenly coated on all sides.
Place each slide of bread onto your griddle or into your skillet as soon as you finish dipping into the batter.
Cook for three or four minutes on each side, until the bottom of the bread starts to get golden brown.
Finish cooking all of the slices of bread that you dipped into the batter.
Spray your pan or melt more butter on your griddle between cooking each batch or piece of bread.
Serve warm,…topped with butter, syrup, powdered sugar, fresh berries, and/or whatever toppings you chose earlier.
If you want to keep your French toast warm while you finish cooking all of the bread, stick it into the preheated oven…but don’t leave it in there for longer than about thirty minutes.
Yet every morning I am expected to provide a healthy and satisfying breakfast for the “resident five year old” every single morning…and that most likely does not mean tossing him a granola bar on the way out the door and expecting him to eat it in the car on the way to school…(actually it’s simply a walk across the street since we just moved)…
I have found that, like any other meal, making many breakfast foods at one time is so much smarter than every single morning having to decide what to make and then taking the time to actually make it.
Doing this can not only save you time, but can also mean that you are eating healthier meals in general.
The perfect breakfast sandwiches are healthy, hearty and satisfying…contain your choice of the perfect ingredients—such as English muffins, scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese…cheaper because you are not forking out how much money to drive through and grab a breakfast that consists of the same exact ingredients that you already had at home.…not to eve mention the fact that these homemade breakfast sandwiches have no processed and unhealthy ingredients…unlike the breakfast sandwiches you would get at a fast food joint on your way to work—such as the Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s. Rather, they
…and finally they are very easy to make…simply consisting of delicious ingredients—such as crisp and buttery English muffins eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheese.
12 large eggs
1/2tsp sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
1Tbsp sour cream or yogurt
12 slices cheddar or mozzarella cheese
12 English muffins or bagels
meat of choice—12 deli slices ham or turkey or 6slicesbaconcut in half or 3sausage patties
The Prep Work
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Sprasy 9″x13″ with nonstick cooking spray.
Baking your eggs instead of frying them will make them softer, more fluffy, and moister.
To bake your eggs…
Whisk the first six ingredients listed above together in a large mixing bowl.
Pour mixture into a greased 9×12 pan.
If you really are concerned about the shape of your egg “patties” and only want them to be circles…instead of squares…you could bake them in 10oz round ramekins with one egg per cup….and then bake for about fiftteen minutes.
Bake for about twenty minutes…be careful not to overcook the eggs…you want to cook them just until the center is set because the egg will cook more when you reheat your sandwich…and if you cook the eggs too much, they will be tough.
Let the eggs cool.
Cut them into twelve squares.
To make your breakfast sandwiches better for you…use egg whites, not the entire egg. This redeuces the cholesterol content and number of overall calories.
As for the meat, you have several options—such as sausage, bacon. Canadian bacon, and ham.
To make your breakfast sandwiches healthier, you could use low sodium, sugar free ham or turkey.
To cook your meat…
Place the bacon or sausage on a large baking pan.
Bake for ten to fifteen minutes, alojng with eggs that we have just talked about.
Cook until the meat has cooked through and the bacon is crispy.
Set cooked meat on paper towel to drain some of the excess grease off.
Choose a cheese that melts well and will complement the other ingredients.
As far as the bread, you can use whatever you’d like—such as bagels, English muffins, or sandwich thins.
To toast them…
Slice the bread and place the halves on large baking sheet.
Brush butter evenly over the top of each slice.
Bake for about five minutes…until crisp and slightly toasted on the top.
To make your sandwiches healthier,
avoid breads that claim to be bleached, enriched, or enhanced
choose breads that contain at least three grams of fiber per serving.
look for breads that list whole grains or whole wheat as the first ingredient
Adding vegetables to your breakfast sandwiches will not only add valuable vitamins, minerals, and fiber…but will also help the sandwich seem even more hearty!
Add any vegetables you like—such as mushrooms, onions, peppers, spinach, zucchini—to the eggs before baking.
Lay down square sheets of aluminum foil for each sandwich…one that is big enough to hold one sandwich each.
Then put a layer of Saran Wrap on top of that.
Layer the ingredients in the following order…
Bread…English muffin or bagel half
Cheese…about 1/2 ounce per person
Meat…about two ounces
Bread…English muffin or bagel half
Wrap the sandwich tightly in the plastic wrap, then again tightly in the foil.
Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
If you are planning on eating your breakfast sandwich right away, bake the sandwich at 350 degrees for about five minutes…until the cheese melts.
Now that you have finished assembling and wrapping each sandwich, it’s time to stick them in the freezer with whatever other frozen assets you have added to your freezer meal account…(more ideas later)…
Place the sandwiches in a gallon-size freezer-bag or in an airtight storage container.
You could also keep them in your refrigerator up to a week.They will stay good in your freezer for up to three months….assuming that they haven’t all been eaten before then.
You could also keep them in your refrigerator up to a week.
These Breakfast Sandwiches can be reheated both while they are still frozen…and if they have been thawed out first.
You could also reheat these freezer breakfast sandwiches in a toaster oven or regular oven….using common sense to know whey they are heated through.
Once they have been reheated, you could add any additional ingredients/toppings that you would like—such as salad greens, avocado, your favorite sauce, mayonnaise, guacamole, Sriracha, Tabasco hot sauce, sliced avocado, fresh spinach leaves, freshly sliced tomatoes—so that it won’t seem so much like a freezer meal.
To reheat them while they are still frozen…
Microwave…Remove sandwich from wrapper. Wrap loosely with a paper towel. Microwave for 1.5 minutes, Flip, Microwazve another 1.5 minutes. Let it stand for one minute…until the sandwich is hot all the way through and the cheese is melted.
Oven…Preheat oven to 350. Place frozen breakfast sandwich in the oven for about fifteen minutes.
To reheat them if they are already thawed out…:
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, Remove wrapper. Placesandwich on paper towel-lined plate. Microwave one minute or just until hot.
One of the hardest things for me to do in the morning is to wake up…just to wake myself up…to wake up and function before having my normal two pots of coffee…
But now that the “resident five year old” is going to “real” school, I am expected to not only wake up myself…but wake “the resident five year old” up, get him dressed, feed him breakfast, and get him to school in time.
I have only been doing this for a week…and I have to do this for how many years before I can have the empty nest that most couples my age already have…
Oh well, being the Army wife that I am, I must do what I have pretty much always have done…what my husband and his Army buddies said they they had to do when they were deployed…
“Shut up and color”
So instead of complaining about the fact that I have to feed the numchkin before sending him out the door, let’s develop a strategy that will make feeding him breakfast every single morning for eternity not such a big deal…and not him having to dread the same old boring bowl of Corn Flakes every single morning like I did when I was growing up.
When it comes to breakfast, there are a few categories that we can use to create out game plan…types of food that are served om the typical breakfast buffet.
I play piano for church quite a bit…and have worked with severaql differeent singers and other instrumen talists…
And the one thing I have learned is that the songs that everyone knows and everyone and their brother requests that you sing—such as Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Aft…those songs that you’ve sung or played for only how long now….always end up being the hardest to put together because we take them for granted and each have our own version/expectation that we think that everyone else should prefer also.
The fact that the simpler and most common things are often the most difficult holds true in the cooking world as well.
Most of us have been boiling macaroni since pre-puberty and became brave enough to start boiling eggs the day after that.
You would think that we would all have the art of egg-boiling down well-mastered by now…
But are we really making the most perfect hard-boiled eggs that we could possible make…
Would we even know the perfect hard-boiled eggs if we ever saw it?
The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg
Before we start learning how to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs, let’s first consider what we expect from the perfect hard-boiled eggs…as far as color, the shell, texture, and the yolk.
Color…no nasty gray ring around the yolk
Texture…firm whites and yolks, but not rubbery
The Shell…slips right off, making peeling the eggs quick and easy
The Yolk…creamy and mellow
Obvously the first thing that you will need to have whenever you are making boilee eggs is an egg. In addition to the eggs, you will need cold water, Ice, and salt.
As far as quipment, you will need…
Large slotted spoon
Saucepan or stockpot with a fitted lid
Bowl for the ice water bath once the eggs have boiled
Place a single layer of uncooked eggs in a large saucepan or stockpot. Do not stack the eggs on top of each other or overcrowd them.
Add enough cool water until there is about an inch of water over the eggs.
Add a pinch of salt.
Cover with a lid.
bring water to a rolling boil over high heat; Many people claim that adding salt, vinegar or baking soda to the boiling water makes the eggs not only easier to peel, but also helps them taste better….so if you are going to use any of these, add them now.
Reduce heat to medium-high..
Once the water has reached a rolling boil, set the timer for the desired time. ..typically this will be anywhere from five to sevcen minutes…and boil them.
To be more specific…
3 minutes for very runny soft-boiled eggs with just-set whites
4 minutes for runny soft-boiled eggs
6 minutes for creamy, custard-y “medium”-boiled eggs
8 minutes for firm (but still creamy) hard-boiled eggs
10 minutes for firm hard-boiled eggs
12 minutes for very firm hard-boiled eggs.
Other Cooking Methods
Unlock and remove the lid.
Place wire rack inside on the bottom of pot.
Pour 1C water into the Instant Pot.
Carefully place eggs on top of the rack,
Secure the lid back on,
Make sure the pressure release is set to “sealing” and not “venting.”
Plug in your Instant Pot,’
Select “Manual” program.
Use the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons to adjust your program to fivce minutes.
Oncwe your five minutes are up, use tongs to move the pressure release switch from “sealing” to “venting.”
Once all the steam is released, remove the Instant Pot™ lid.
Transfer cooked eggs to an ice bath.
Using a safety pin or thumbtack, prick the bottom of the egg…if you don’t, the egg will explode.
Cover the bowl with a microwavable plate.
Microwave for 3 minutes.at 50% power.
Leave the eggs in the water for about three more minutes before peeling.
Preheat oven to 350.
Put one egg in each cup of a muffin tin.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Pace cooked eggs in an ice both for about ten minutes! Simple!
Remove eggs carefully from the pot after the desired cooking time is over. Submrge the eggs in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes. This will make the eggs stop cooking, make them easier to peel, and help prevent them from tasting rubbery. Let the eggs cool until cool enough to peel…about ten minutes.
Peeling Your Eggs
Peeling the egg after it has been cooked and cooled off can actually be the hardest part of making perfect boiled eggs.
One method of peeling eggs involves…tapping one end of the egg on a hard surface, cracking the shell slightly…rolling the egg gently roll on the hard surface to shatter more of the shell….holding the egg under running water or submerging back in the ice bath,,,,and then peeling them, starting from the cracked end.
Your goal is to carefully get under the thin membrane between the shell and the white so the water can help separate the two as you go.
You can store cooled eggs—peeled or unpeeled— in the refrigerator for about four to seven days .
Refrigerate in their original carton…this will keep them from absorbing stinking…and write the date on the carton so that you keep track of when the eggs were cooked,
If you have already peeled the egg, place the egg in a Ziploc bag or an air-tight container instead.
Now that our family is having to change our eating habits and stop cooking like the Southern Baptists from the deepest of the Deep South, all in the name of middle age and type 2 diabetes, are we to live the rest of our lives totally without the Trinity of Deep Southern Cooking—cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter?!
So not happening!!!
Nothing makes my husband smile nearly as much as a Sour Cream Pound Cake fresh out of the oven.
But we have been trying to limit how many caloriess and how much added sugars and saturated fat we consume since becoming more health-conscientious.
Thankfully there are a few suggestions out there that will make your baking supposedly healthier, while keeping it delicious…techniques that will help cut heart-harming fats, refined sugars, and empty calories.
So just in time for the upcoming holiday season, and in time to start completing this year’s Christmas Notebook, here are some ideas…
But first, the recipe for Sout Cream Pound Cake, the one and only recipe that I have actually memorized after my thirty-plus years of having my own kitchen, not to mention my very own KitchenAid miser.
Three cups of sugar, six eggs, one cup of sour cream…perhaps a type 2 diabetic from the Deep South’s greatest temptation ever…
Sour Cream Pound Cake
1 tsp vanilla
1/2tsp baking soda
1C sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 °F….Cream the butter and sugar together…Add sour cream…Sift the baking soda and flour together…Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating in each egg 1 at a time…Add vanilla…Pour the mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan…Bake for 1 hour.
Now taking all of the ingredients in this cake, let’s see if and how we can hopefully make this cake a little less deadly, while keeping it delicious…
Time and time again, I have read to simply replace the white flour called for in a recipe with the same amount of whole wheat flour. While whole wheat flour is not as heavily refined and processed as regular white flour, I just don’t want to end up with a sour cream pound cake that tastes like rye bread.
Honestly, I don’t even know that I could replace up to half, or even a spoonful of the all-purpose flour in this recipe with whole-grain flour, That almost sounds like the ultimate kitchen sin.
If you are willing to start using whole grain flours instead of white flour, try first substituting whole gtrain flour for only half of the flour originally called for in the recipe.
Another option is to try experimenting with flours that are a little more our of the ordinary—such as chickpea or almond flour.
But perhaps the best way to reduce the amount of fat in baking recipes is to use high-quality, low-gluten flour—whole wheat, oat, brown rice––such as King Arthur Brand.
Sugar…So many baked goods contain completely and entirely way too much sugar in the first place. So as a general rule, you can typically go ahead and reduce the amount of sugar called for in a given recipe by about 25% right out of the bat.
Two other options to help reduce the amount and impact of sugar in your baked goods would be to…
Increasing the amount of other spices—such as ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg—to make up for any sugar that you may be taking out of the recipe will often allow the finished product to still taste good.
Try other sweetener alternatives—such as honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar, pitted dates, or molasses.
Butter…A few substitutes for the “bad fats” often called for in recipes—such as butter, stick margarine, and shortening—would include
Canola oil or any other type of “heart-healthy oil”
Ground flax seeds
Low-fat sour cream
Prepared all natural nut butters
Eggs…As far as eggs go, try one of the following ideas…
Replace one whole egg in any given recipe with ¼C zero-fat, zero-cholesterol egg product substitute, such as ConAgra’s Egg Beaters.