Monday, November 14, 2011

Eggnog Crepes!

Autographed Kitchen Breakfast Cookbook
Image source: Stonewallkitchen.com

The eggnog madness began recently with the Crunchy Eggnog French Toast, and it continued this morning with Eggnog Crepes!  The refrigerator was empty of many breakfast ingredients, so my options were limited. In desperation, I turned to a cookbook that my boss gave me on my birthday called "Stonewall Kitchen- Breakfast". I flipped through the cookbook eyeballing recipes I could create in one variation or another. I got towards the end of the book and came across a crepe recipe. I nearly jumped out of my chair in excitement until I realized I did not have regular milk. My creativity got flowing and I decided to experiment and give Eggnog Crepes a try. This recipe I tweaked based based on what I had available in my kitchen.

Recipe- (makes about 4 crepes)
3/4 cup of eggnog
2 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon, or nutmeg....those would all work)
1 tbsp sugar

Mix the ingredients in a bowl for about five minutes. Heat up a skillet with a small amount of butter. I cooked my crepes on medium heat. Put about two ounces of batter into the pan. Swirl the batter around so that there is a thin layer of batter in your pan. Cook until the edges of the crepes are golden brown, then give that baby a flip! Once both sides are golden brown, its time to have some fun and add the toppings!


In my crepes I had vanilla yogurt, blueberries, banana, raspberry jam, bananas, and a touch of syrup. I love toppings so I tend to use them in copious amounts.

For my first crepe making experience, I am happy to announce that it was both EPIC and a SUCCESS. I will create multiple variations of crepes in the future. This was only the beginning.

Happy crepe making!

~Becky

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crunchy Egg Nog French Toast

Last Christmas my family and I went up to Bellingham, Washington to visit my grandmother and my aunt Sally. My sister, Kim, had found a recipe for Egg Nog French Toast online. The recipe she found was by a man named Harold Dieterle. This is the recipe that gave us inspiration to make this delightful breakfast for my family. I have been telling gobs of friends about the recipe over the past year, and this morning I finally made it at home for Beau to enjoy.


Ingredients:

Rum-Raisin Syrup:
1/2 cups of dark rum (I used Myer's Rum)
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cups maple syrup

French Toast:
4 cups of egg nog
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 dark rum
3 cups of cornflakes
1 loaf of challah bread (sliced in 1/4 inch slices)
Butter (for pan frying)

Sweet Butter:
1 cup of butter (room temperature)
4 oz of mascarpone cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Rum-Raisin Syrup
Simmer the rum raisins in 1/2 cup of dark rum, then let steep for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pour the rum raisins over the maple syrup and set aside.

French Toast
In a bowl, whisk the egg nog, eggs, vanilla extract, and dark rum together until frothy. Set aside.
Pour 3 cups of cornflakes onto a plate and crush the flakes with your hands a few times.

Tip: It is VERY beneficial to set this up as an assembly line. At the start have the egg nog mixture, followed by the cornflakes and ending at the pan.

Next, turn your pan on and melt enough butter so that there is a generous amount for the french toast to cook in. Now, the fun begins.......

Take a piece of the challah bread and dip it in the egg nog mixture, then toss it around in the cornflakes so that there is a nice, even cornflake coating over the bread, then drop it in the pan. Let the french toast cook until each side is golden brown.


Place the crispy pieces of the Egg Nog French Toast onto a plate. Add a dollop of the sweet butter to each piece, top with the syrup and ENJOY!



This Egg Nog French Toast recipe will satisfy the tastebuds of your family. It is also a perfect addition for a special holiday morning, or heck, any morning! I hope that you will enjoy this recipe as much as I have.

Happy cooking!

-Becky

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ode to Hot Toddies!

This is the time of year when everyone is sniffling, coughing and whining about being sick. I fall into that category a time or two, however, as soon as I feel that cold coming on I don't reach for Dayquil, but I tend to reach towards the liquor cabinet for the whiskey to create a Hot Toddy! A Hot Toddy is one of those "old wives tales" drinks that the old timers swear by. I am a huge whiskey girl, and when I was introduced to a hot toddy in my early drinking years, I was in LOVE. At first, I will admit, I thought it was a myth. I thought there was no way a whiskey drink can help a cold, or help relieve the symptoms of a cold. Today I too swear by them! I have tried multiple ways and multiple ingredients in many of my excursions of Hot Toddy creations, but I now have a recipe for my favorite Hot Toddy~ Becky Boo style.

Personally, my favorite everyday whiskey is Pendleton Whiskey. This is a whiskey I can shoot straight or have on the rocks. I prefer this whiskey "straight up with no chaser"; but this is not a whiskey that I prefer in my hot toddy. The whiskey of choice for my Hot Toddy is none other than Maker's Mark. I have found that this whiskey creates a Hot Toddy that has flavors that compliment each other very well, and the whiskey does not stick out like a jagged dagger.


Now for the recipe~ Please note that I don't use exact measurements for this. I adjust to my taste buds. I hope that you do the same. With that said~ here it is!

Hot Toddy~ Becky Boo Style
1 coffee cup. It can be big or small. It all depends on how much hot toddy you want!
3/4 of your coffee cup with hot water
1 packet of green tea or black tea
Add at least 1 shot of whiskey
Lemon juice (varies depending on your taste)
At least 1 tsp of honey

The first thing you need to do is fill your coffee cup with hot water. Next, be sure to steep your tea for a couple of minutes, and for a couple of minutes only!
After the tea is steeped, add the honey, whiskey, and lemon then MIX!
The trick with this hot toddy is to add more of the ingredients until you find what fits your taste buds. If there isn't enough whiskey flavor, add a little more. If its not sweet enough, add more honey. If you don't feel like you have enough lemon tang, add more lemon juice.


In my Hot Toddy's I tend to go with about 1/4 of my cup with whiskey, a tablespoon of honey, and a teaspoon or so of lemon juice.

Remember: these measurements are not precise. Be sure to experiment to find what works best for you!

~Cheers

Becky

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shabu Shabu + Gruner Veltliner, What A Pairing!

On November 2nd Beau and I took part in a grüner veltliner tasting with the "#winechat" folks on Twitter. My job was to figure out a suitable food pairing for the grüner veltliners lineup. We had almost settled on doing something with shrimp and rice when a huge light bulb lit up in my head and the words "shabu shabu" flashed into my mind; I knew then what we were going to make.

For those who are unfamiliar with what shabu shabu is, here is a brief description: it is a Japanese style of a hot pot where you have a hot broth that you use to cook meats and veggies.

We took a trip over to a local Asian grocer called Uwajimaya to find our meats and produce. I could literally spend hours in this store, it gives me that "kid in a candy store" feeling. Each of the four locations is stocked full of unique goods, beautiful produce, a fantastic meat counter, and a stunning sea food selection.



During our excursion at Uwajimaya we collected carrots, potato, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, scallions, Carlton Farms bacon, thinly sliced grass fed beef, thinly sliced pork, chicken broth and rice noodles. We also picked up a variety of sauces such as hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sweet chili pepper sauce, and a black bean garlic sauce.


To get started, Beau did the dirty work of de-veining the shrimp. Next, we broiled bacon strips and shrimp to have with the first few grüner veltliners. The bacon was flat like a plank, with a pink shrimp perched on top, and it went with the grüner veltliner perfectly. Gruner is a very food friendly wine, specifically with lighter foods which is why shabu shabu was a great choice for this tasting.

When prepping food for shabu shabu, it is important to slice the produce and meats thin so they are easy to cook in the broth.




The way shabu shabu works is that you have a very hot broth that you essentially cook your meats and vegetables in. This makes a fondue pot or a hot pot VERY handy. I had access to neither so I used a pot that I would bring to a boil then would bring to the table for us to cook our meats and veggies in. Once the broth had cooled a little bit, I would bring it back to a boil on the stove then bring it back to the table. Tedious yes, but it did the task! A small wire basket came in handy for adding and removing cooked pieces from the broth.



This meal was a very fun meal to make and it was fun to enjoy at the dinner table while sipping on a line up of eight grüner veltliners. We found that the grüner veltliner was a great match for this entire dish, specifically when the meat or veggie was dipped in hoisen sauce. Its extremely easy to get creative with this recipe by using a variety of meats and veggies. The key to shabu shabu is to keep the broth hot and the ingredients thinly sliced.