My EB Pink Party, Berry French Toast, and a Giveaway

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This giveaway has ended but check the giveaways link up above to see if there are any current giveaways going on!

Before I get on to business, I finally figured out a way to include printable recipes using google documents.  From now on, after each recipe you will see a link that says View Printable Recipe, click on it and it will take you to the recipe in google docs and you can print out just the recipe!  I will slowly start to add in all the recipes here but it will take awhile.  Until then, just follow the directions under PRINTING up in the bar right up on top.

Last month (or maybe it was August) I was contacted by Eggland’s Best to see if wanted to have an EB Pink Party in support of breast cancer awareness month.  I jumped at the chance.  EB sponsored my brunch and sent an amazing prize pack that I will send on to one lucky winner!   We had a great time at my brunch ~ these are my friends from our local dog park.  A few couldn’t make it and we really missed them.   We are a pretty diverse group of all ages AND our dogs all get along!

Between us in this picture, we have 13 dogs and 2 grand dogs.  I’m the 4th from the left if anyone is wondering!  Mr. Meat Eater took the picture so he will remain the mystery man 🙂

I can’t thank Eggland’s Best enough for the chance to have this party and for all they do to help in the fight against breast cancer.  I’m beside myself that they chose me and my blog to help pass along the word and that they have such delicious eggs.  I haven’t used any other brand of eggs in years!

One of the dishes I made was berry French toast.  I am NOT a French toast lover and anything that even LOOKS like bread pudding I usually run away from.  I don’t know what compelled me to try this dish but it has to be one of the best breakfast dishes I have ever made.  It’s super easy and is not the least bit heavy.

The recipe calls for French bread but I used a loaf of challah bread instead and I think a loaf of King’s Hawaiian bread would be just as good.  The other thing I like is that it calls for frozen berries so it can be made all year round instead of just during berry season.  The frozen berries are also cheaper to use.

I think this was the most popular dish at the brunch!

Berry French Toast

1 loaf of French Bread, cubed (I used Challah)
6 egg whites
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 (12 ounce) pkg frozen unsweetened mixed berries
2 tbsps cold butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Places cubed bread in a lightly greased 13×9 baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the egg whites, eggs milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and pour over the bread cubes in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. I have never let it sit that long. I usually make it about 5 hours ahead and put in the fridge until baking time.

Bake, covered, at 350º for 30 minutes. Once you have put it in the oven, take the berries out of the freezer and let sit on the cupboard to defrost a bit.

In a small bowl, cut the butter into the brown sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle berries, the brown sugar/butter over the top and bake, uncovered, for 15-20 more minutes or until a knife inserted near the middle comes out clean.

Serve with maple syrup if desired. It’s really good with the syrup!

Make 8-10 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

More brunch recipes to come this week!

Now for the giveaway.  Here’s what is included in the prize pack:

In the prize pack from Eggland’s Best you will get a set of 4 EB ramekins, 1 EB apron, 1 EB whisk, 1 EB spatula, 1, EB egg timer, 1 EB eco bag, 1 EB plush egg.

For a chance to win, just let me know your favorite dish to make for breakfast!  That’s it ~ very easy!

The giveaway will run until October 17 at midnight.  If you are the winner, you will have 3 days to get in contact with me!  I will use Random.org to choose a winner.

Thank you Eggland’s Best!!!!!!!

Happy Cooking!

Wild Blueberry Pie

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PIE!! Pie is supposed to be this year’s cupcake and while I don’t know if that’s true, I do know I like pie better than cupcakes.  I found this recipe on Epicurious.  It’s really, really good.  Just make sure you have a deep dish pie pan and be sure to put a cookie sheet underneath to catch the drips.  I’m sure you can make this with regular blueberries, but the wild blueberries are perfect ~ they are tiny little blueberries.  I buy mine frozen in a huge bag at B.J.’s.

The reason you will *rarely* see a cut piece of pie picture on this blog is because I wreck pie when I cut it.  I make such a mess that I’m embarrassed to photograph it.  If I had my own cooking show, I would never make pie because then I would have to cut it.

Wild Blueberry Pie

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
6 cups fresh wild blueberries or 3 (10-ounce) packages frozen (not thawed) ~ I went with 6 cups frozen, unthawed, since mine came in a huge bag
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pastry for a double-crust pie
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces ~ I didn’t use
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water ~ I didn’t use

Preheat oven to 425°.

Whisk together brown sugar and tapioca and toss with blueberries and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Fit dough into pie plate for bottom crust.

Spoon filling with any juices into bottom shell, dot with butter, and cover with top crust. Trim top crust, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang of top crust under bottom pastry and press against rim of pie plate to reinforce edge, then crimp and brush with egg wash. Make sure the blueberry filling is completely encased in dough to avoid a blueberry mess.

Bake pie on a baking sheet in oven 30 minutes, then cover edge with a pie shield or foil to prevent over browning or burning.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes more. Mine took the whole 50 minutes.

Cool pie completely on a rack, about 4 hours (filling will be runny if pie is still warm).

Makes 8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Raspberry~Blackberry Muffins

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This recipe is really just a raspberry muffin recipe but I had about half a cup of raspberries and blackberries that needed to be used up so I put both in.  I don’t see why you couldn’t use any kind of berry in this recipe.  Use 1 cup of berries total whether you are using one type or two or three.  The muffin itself is very tender and the topping is just right.  It doesn’t have too much sugar in it either which is a plus.

Raspberry  ~ Blackberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries

STREUSEL:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
3 tbsps sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsps cold butter or margarine

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the egg.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream, milk and vanilla. In another small bowl, combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture just until moistened.

Gently fold in raspberries and blackberries.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

For the streusel: Combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins

Happy Cooking!

Red, White, and Blue Trifle

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In honor of the Olympics, I decided to make my red, white and blue trifle for dessert last night.  It’s so easy to make and I used all sugar free products so that I could have some.  This recipe uses lots of help from the grocery store but you can always make homemade versions instead of store bought. I end up using the pint of blueberries and a whole package of strawberries and I never add the banana.

This is also a nice dessert to make for the Fourth of July or any patriotic holiday.

Red, White, and Blue Trifle

1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 (4 ounce pkg.) cheesecake flavor instant pudding
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
16 ounce frozen pound cake, thawed
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup sliced banana

Mix together the milk and pudding mix and beat with a wire whisk for 1-2 minutes or until well blended. Gently stir in the thawed Cool Whip.

In a trifle bowl or large glass bowl, layer half the cake cubes, half the fruit, and half of the pudding/Cool Whip mixture. Repeat layers, ending with pudding/Cool Whip mixture.

Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

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I am sorry for the absence ~ I just haven’t been cooking anything exciting.

We did have our annual Christmas party this past Saturday so I’ll be posting some of those recipes ~ at least the ones I remembered to take pictures of.  I like to have at least one fruity appetizer on my table and this one is so good ~ I could just eat the fruit with a spoon!

This recipe can be found all over the internet with all kinds of ingredients.  I like this combination best.  I think this started out as a Pampered Chef recipe but I’m not positive.

Tomorrow I’ll post a recipe showing what I did with the leftover fruit salsa.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Salsa:
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 large Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries, washed, cored, and diced
2 tbsps white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsps fruit preserves, any flavor (I used a blackberry, raspberry, blueberry combo)

Cinnamon Chips:
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2/3 to 1 cup cinnamon sugar

In a large bowl, gently mix all the salsa ingredients together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Coat one side of a flour tortilla with the spray and sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges with a pizza wheel. Carefully place wedges on a cookie sheet and spray the wedges again with the spray. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Continue until all tortillas are used up. Let cool completely ~ about 15 minutes.

Serve with fruit salsa.

Makes at least 10-12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Berry Crostata

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I’ve seen these types of recipes called crostatas (or crostadas) and galettes and I was wondering which is right.  According to wikipedia, a crostata is a free-form pie Italian in origin while a galette is French in origin and is more like a free form thin pancake with a savory filling.  I guess you can choose which name you like better and since crostata is a free form pie, I’ll go with that.

I didn’t follow a recipe for this crostata.  I had a bunch of berries in my refrigerator that had to be used up and I didn’t really feel like doing anything complicated so I decided to do a crostata, as low in sugar as possible.  It turned out great!

Of course you can use whatever ripe, summer fruits you like but if using berries, when you clean the berries, make sure you dry them off good before putting them in the pie because you don’t want too much juice overflowing the sides of your crostata.

Crostata CW

Berry Crostata

1 unbaked pie crust, homemade or store bought
1 pint strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1 pint blueberries, cleaned
1/4 cup Splenda blend or 1/2 cup sugar (more or less depending on how sweet your fruit is)
1 tbsp flour
small amount of milk to brush on sides of crust
small amount of turbinado sugar to sprinkle over crust

Preheat oven to 425º.

Cover a pizza tin with parchment paper and place pie crust on the parchment.

In a bowl, mix the berries, Splenda blend and flour together gently. Pour berry mixture into the middle of the pie crust, leaving a good 1-2 inch edge on the pie crust for folding.

Fold the edges of the pie crust over the berries.

Brush milk on the edges of the crostata and sprinkle turbinado sugar over the milk.

Bake at 425º for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Makes 6 servings.

Crostata CW 2

Crostata CW 3

Happy Cooking!

My Signature

Fruity Tossed Salad

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In my most recent issue of Simple & Delicious magazine there were several recipes that I wanted to try and I chose this one to try first.  I served it with salmon and asparagus and we loved it.  I’ve always been a fan of fruit on my salads so this was right up my alley. Poppy seed salad dressing goes really well with fruit and it fabulous in this recipe. I didn’t put down any amounts because I just added whatever amount “felt” right.

Fruity salad CW

Fruity Tossed Salad

4 cups of your favorite salad greens
sliced fresh strawberries
unsweetened pineapple tidbits, well drained
mandarin oranges, well drained
fresh blueberries
chopped pecans, optional
poppy seed salad dressing, your own or purchased

Arrange salad greens among four salad plates. Top greens with fruit and nuts (if using) and drizzle with salad dressing.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

My Signature

Mixed Berry Cheesecake ~ Barefoot Contessa

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Ina made this cheesecake on the Food Networks Thanksgiving Dessert show that I watched last week and when I saw it, I knew I had to make it.  It’s beautiful and delicious.  I used low fat cream cheese, fat free sour cream and splenda blend (1/2 sugar and 1/2 splenda) for the cake.  For the topping I used Simply Fruit raspberry spread and fresh fruit.  Now, the recipe says nothing about using a pan of water underneath it in the oven to prevent cracks so I didn’t but next time I will since it cracked terribly.  Once I put the topping on, you couldn’t see the cracks but still ~ I know it’s cracked, LOL!

This would be fabulous for Christmas or New Year’s dessert.

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Ina Garten’s Mixed Berry Cheesecake

Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Topping
1 cup red jelly (not jam) such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
1/2 pint sliced strawberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 pint fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss berries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves about 12 depending on the size of your slices.

mixed-berry-cheesecake-003

Happy Cooking!

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Blackberry~Raspberry Pie

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This pie is so easy to make and since it uses frozen berries, it can be made all year long. I make it in the spring and summer before I can get fresh berries ~ just to whet my appetite for the fresh ones.

This pie is super juicy so make sure you put something in your oven under the pie plate to catch the juice or you will have a mess on your hands (don’t ask!).

Blackberry~Raspberry Pie

1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tbsps quick-cooking tapioca
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups frozen raspberries
2 cups frozen blackberries
2 tbsps butter
pastry for double crust pie

In a large bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, and cornstarch. Add berries and toss gently until coated. Let stand for 15-30 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed but still icy.

Transfer berry mixture to pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Place remaining pastry over filling. Trim and crimp as desired.

To prevent the over browning of the crust, cover edge of pie with foil.

Bake at 375º for 50 minutes. Remove foil from edges and bake for 20 to 25 more minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

There will be lots of juice in this pie.

Happy Cooking!

Grand Marnier French Toast with Berry Compote

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Happy Father’s Day!

If you want a special breakfast, this is it. It’s easy to make but tastes like you’ve been cooking all morning. The recipes makes ALOT of berry compote. I am going to freeze the leftovers to use on pancakes or to make a berry shortcake dessert. I used King’s Hawaiian bread because this area is not a hotbed of culinary ingredients so sometimes I have to make do with what I can find. It would be better to use challah if you can get it. I also used thawed frozen mixed berries.

The recipe came from the July issue of Bon Appetit. I did feel that there was too much vanilla in the egg mixture so I would cut it down next time to 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp. Sorry about the picture ~ I never said I was good photographer 😉

Grand Marnier French Toast with Berry Compote

Compote:
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup spiced rum
2 tbsps cornstarch
2 tbsps water
6 mixed mixed fresh berries or thawed frozen mixed berries

French Toast:
8 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tbsps Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup orange juice
8 1-inch slices of challah, brioche or other egg bread
butter
confectioner’s sugar for garnish

Compote: Place orange juice, sugar and rum in a large saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Stir cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and add to orange juice mixture. Boil until thickened, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add the berries, reduce heat to medium, and stir until berries soften and are heated through, about 3 or 4 minutes.

French Toast: Whisk together first 4 ingredients, then whisk in orange juice. Transfer to 15×10 glass baking dish. Add bread slices to the egg mixture; turn to coat. Let stand until bread absorbs most of the egg mixture, turning bread occasionally.

Heat griddle or large heavy frying pan over medium heat. Melt butter. Cook French toast until browned and cooked through (firm to touch in center), about 3 minutes per side. Keep warm in 250º oven (on a cookie sheet) if needed while cooking rest of toast.

Divide French toast among the plates, spoon compote over the top and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Serves 6 to 8

Happy Cooking!