Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Breakfast; Baked French Toast with Boysenberry Sauce and Broiled Persimmons with Mascarpone


Christmas Breakfast isn't something I've made for awhile.  Kind of like how I haven't updated in awhile.  But I figured I should, since I made some pretty fancy things.  Baked French Toast, Boysenberry Syrup, Broiled Persimmons with Mascarpone topping, and bacon.  The bacon wasn't fancy, but it was delicious.

My little brothers tried everything and even enjoyed it, which is a feat if you knew Ricky, the eldest of the two (pictures Right).  He hates vegetables, and things with strange flavours.  He only got interested in the Persimmons at the very end of the meal, and I had to beg him to try it with mascarpone. 

This was the first time I ever tried Persimmons myself.  Recently, I hung out with a really cool person in Los Angeles who was eating one, I kept thinking it was a weird tomato.  But he enlightened me (what a dope I am, especially for a food blogger).  I didn't try it then, but I later saw this recipe on Martha Stewart for the Broiled Persimmons and I was like, alright.  That's happening.  So it did.


I wanted something fairly easy to make in the morning, because I am also (currently) cooking Christmas dinner.  Thus the baked french toast, which really was easy, even if I ended up spending a lot of time making syrup and mascarpone cheese toppings and persimmons.  All of it was worth it, though, which usually ends up being the case.

Originally I also wanted to use Challah bread for the french toast, but as I came in basically on Christmas Eve, I didn't get to go to the store until then, and everything was sold out.  So I made do with half a french baguette (the other half we ate the night before with a variety of cheeses and meats) and half of a loaf of sourdough.  Both were good, but the french was better-- only, truly, because the sourdough came presliced and the slices weren't quite as thick as we would have liked.  Who cares, french toast is still delicious.

I think that the boysenberry sauce really made it, though.  And the persimmons.  The persimmons were divine, with their variety of sweet-mouth-puckering flavour.  The broiled honey created such a sweet glaze and the citrus dripped on top and whipped into the mascarpone all complemented each other.  Arf, there's one left, I'll probably eat it cold for breakfast tomorrow.

Anyway, I'll post later my Christmas dinner (maybe tomorrow).  It's pretty exciting, prime rib with thyme au jus.  Potatoes au gratin.  Roasted asparagus.  Balsamic roasted carrots and onions.  Yorkshire Pudding.  Pecan pie.  It seems so eclectic listed out!  But I'm excited.

I've never made prime rib before.  Eeeee, commence fingernail biting.



Baked French Toast

8 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grand mariner
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 loaf french baguette or sourdough bread
4 tablespoons butter
1 bag frozen boysenberries
1/4 cup sugar

Whisk together eggs, milk,  heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, grand marnier, salt and spices.  In a casserole dish (approximately 9x13) stack the sourdough, french, or combination bread.  Pour the egg mixture over the slices.  Allow to soak 30 minutes, turn over, and cover.  Refrigerate until the liquid is absorbed (I did it overnight).
>Oven at 350 Degrees.
Brush a rimmed baking sheet with butter. With a spatula, carefully transfer soaked bread to sheet. Bake until French toast is set in center and lightly browned on the bottom, 25 to 30 minutes.  Set your oven to broil and briefly brown the tops of the toast.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the bag frozen boysenberries (or your choice of berries) and sugar.  Allow to simmer and mash with a wooden spoon for five to ten minutes, or until just slightly thickened.
Remove the french toast from a baking sheet, serve with sauce, sugar, butter, or your choices of toppings!


Broiled Persimmons with Mascarpone
Recipe from Martha Stewart


3 ripe persimmons
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
crystalized ginger and/or turbinado sugar
7 oz mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Heat broiler, with rack 6 inches from heat.
Slice the persimmons in half crosswise. Place the halves cut side up in a baking dish and drizzle each half with honey. Broil until the tops are golden brown and caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately drizzle 1 tablespoon lime juice over the top.

While persimmons are broiling, whisk together the mascarpone, vanilla, and remaining tablespoon lime juice in a medium bowl. Serve persimmons hot, each half topped with a dollop of mascarpone mixture and sprinkled with ginger or sugar, if desired.  Or both, which is probably the right and best way to do it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Champagne Supernova

Did I ever show you guys these champagne cupcakes I made?
With Champagne Buttercream Frosting?


They were good.  A little dry.  Someday I'll have the recipe for you guys.  
Actually, I can't promise that.
This was for Valentine's day this last year.  Can you believe that? I hardly can.


Also look at my blue hair.  It's actually faded a lot since this.  
A friend of mine is getting married in August and she requested I have normal hair for the wedding.  
I compromised on silver blonde.  But I miss the blue already.


I decided to format this entire post centered.  Isn't it weird?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Avocaffles


I will happily count this meal as a sweet one, though there were some savory aspects. Let's see if I can do this!! When I was given this giant bag of avocados by my pal Jack, I did some reasearch on all the ways I could use them. I came up with a recipe for Avocado and Buttermilk Waffles at Avocado.org, and was prepared to make it!

After losing and then retrieving my waffle iron (which I was very happy about, Kyle had kindly been holding onto it for me) I made these this morning. They were a great way to start off a long day ending with a short journey. Plus, I'm excited to have avocado waffles in my freezer when I return. I will be eating all of them with a smile on my face!

Of course, I had some problems.... I realized I was out of milk (I refuse to buy anything perishable before a trip, even if the trip is for three or four days. I can't handle the idea of it spoiling. I even unplugged my Playstation 3 and Wii and all my other electronics! I washed all my dishes and took out my trash! I know things are fine for three days without me, but I guess I am too prepared...) so I had to improvise. For an afternoon snack I was going to make myself some greek yogurt with honey and almonds... but into the waffles it went. It actually did really well; originally I was going to use milk soured up by some apple cider vinegar, but greek yogurt's already got the tart. The finished waffles were a little heavy, but also super light and creamy and rich. It really worked well.

Give them a try! The avocado/orange combo is actually really, really tasty. I was surprised!
I even brought some to my friends at work and they said it was pretty terrific. It's nice to be cooking again. Should I make my little brothers and my parents some food when I get home?
Only if my brother Chris doesn't fatten me up instead...


Avocaffles
Extremely adapted from The California Avocado Commission

2 large eggs, yolks and whites divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash cinnamon
1/2 an Avocado
6 oz 0% Greek Yogurt
Approximately 1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melted Butter

1/2 an avocado
1/2 an orange, cut into 8 segments
Bacon!!!!!
Maple Syrup!!!!!!!

Mix egg whites until foamy and gradually add sugar, mixing until the whites form stiff, glossy peaks. While the egg whites are beating, in a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In another bowl, mash the avocado. Add the egg yolks and stir. Whisk in the yogurt, water, and vanilla.

Add the mashed avocado mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just incorporated. It will seem dry. Fold in the stiff egg whites.

Brush the waffle iron with butter. Pour the batter into the waffle iron and make as you would normally make your waffles (I hope this isn't your first time).

Serve with slices of avocado and orange, butter, and maple syrup!!

Avocado Tuna Salad


I'm back again. This is becoming a trend. It's late and I'm watching Mad Men so I don't really want to make a big fuss about this post. Just like with dinner. I didn't want to make a big fuss with it. I wanted something healthy (ish), something light. So I reheated my rice from last night and made this light avocado tuna salad. The tomatoes were a random inspiration (was it random? I'm not sure) and I'm glad I had them.

This recipe made plenty of salad. Two large servings for me. I put one in an avocado shell and wrapped it tightly with saran wrap and have it backed with one and a half tomatoes and some more rice for lunch tomorrow. Since I'm leaving to Colorado, I also put my yogurt, a banana, and some almonds in there.


Tomorrow morning is my plan to make avocado waffles. So.... hopefully that'll finally be a nice post.

Though I'm too tired to be very snarky tonight.



Avocado Tuna Salad

1/2 Avocado
1 can tuna packed in water
1/4 a lemon juiced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped roasted red pepper (the kind packed in water, I get TJ's)
1 medium/hard boiled egg
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Fox Point Seasoning
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
pepper to taste

Mash Avocado and lemon juice together. Combined rest of ingredients and mix well. Serve in shell of avocado, chilled, with a drizzle of olive oil with Braised Tomatoes and Rice.

Braised Tomatoes

2 small tomatoes, halved
Extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Set oven to low or high broil (I used a combo of both). Slice tomatoes in half, hamburger style. In an oven safe dish, place tomato halves, seed side up. Drizzle with olive oil, break the rosemary sprigs in half and place on top of each, season with salt and pepper. Broil until warm and starting to brown a bit.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Poached Tilapia With Things


I know, I said I'd be sardonic if I posted savory recipes. I'll try. Three glasses of wine in, I find it hard to be sardonic, and easier to be jolly. But not sweet, never sweet.

I made this delicious meal tonight off the top of my brain. Well, that may not be true. I technically have been concocting the recipe since yesterday, when I had the idea, carefully planning and then winging what I didn't know last minute. It turned out lovely.

What's this meal, you ask? What are the things? Alright, fine. I'll tell you. Since you insist.

This is tilapia. Tilapia poached in (get ready for this) butter, coconut oil, olive oil, mirin, lemon juice, orange juice, rosemary, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and chives. It's served with a bed of rice, fragranced by lavender and chervil, mixed with peas and pearl onions. The side is braised heirloom carrots, their purple colour the only distinguishing factor from regular carrots. The sweet crunch is the same. On top is a mango-avocado salsa.

It was, I kid you not, a pretty decent meal.

I was having a hard time figuring out how sweet it might be, versus how salty. I have a tendency to undersalt fish because I think... well, it should be salty, right? Even if it's freshwater fish. This is a problem of mine. But I figured if I made the tilapia mild, buttery, rich, but not overpowering, the salsa on top would shine through. On top of the fragrant and flowery rice?

Deep sigh. I'd eat that meal a hundred times.


My friend Jack came over to help me make it. He provided the wine, the carrots, and the tilapia (and the coconut oil, which I won't lie, I'm also going to use for my blue hair and my wrinkles) and I provided the cooking. We've been watching Space Ghost and I convinced him to wash the dishes. He too thought this was an enjoyable meal (as he should, he gets to take it home as leftovers; I cannot. I have a flight to catch Tuesday and I'll never finish it with all that I have to do and all the avocados left in my fridge to eat).

Anyway, jeez, you guys don't want to read all this stuff. It was really good, please make this. It's so good and it'll probably do something healthy for you. Coconut oil and olive oil are good for you. So is citrus. Butter who knows.


Poached Tilapia with Lavender Scented Rice and Heirloom Carrots

Poached Tilapia

3 fillets tilapia
1 orange, halved
1 lemon, 1 half sliced into thirds.
3 garlic cloves, skinned
1/3 onion, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, divided into thirds
3 tablespoons butter, divided into thirds
3/4 cup Mirin, divided into thirds
3 Sprigs Rosemary
9 or so sprigs of chives, divided into thirds
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heavy Duty Tin Foil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

These directions are for each packet of tin foil. Separate each ingredient evenly into each packet. Layer first the onion pieces and garlic, then a section of butter. Then the tilapia. Then the coconut oil and the rest of the butter. Then the chives and rosemary. Coat with salt and pepper. Squeeze orange and lemon juice (from the halves) on the tilapia. Pour olive oil and mirin on top. Top with a lemon slice and fold up the aluminum packets into thirds with room on top for steaming. Make sure the ends are tightly wrapped and closed, like a little package.

Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until fish is tender and flaky. Don't check these packets every two minutes if you get antsy; they're steaming and poaching in their. You'll let out that deliciousness and then you'll really be sorry.

These are probably really poor instructions. If that's the case I'll fix them later.

Lavender Scented Jasmine Rice

1 cup Jasmine White Rice
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup peas and pearl onion frozen vegetable mixture (I know, I know...)
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
1/4 teaspoon dried chervil
1 tablespoon butter
salt to taste

Boil rice and water for twenty minutes or according to the package of your bag 'o rice. At the tail end of boiling, add in peas and onions, butter, lavender, chervil, and salt to taste. Serve!

Mango Avocado Salsa

1/2 cup mango, neatly chopped
1/4 onion, neatly chopped
1 avocado, cut into those neat cubes in their shell
1 jalapeno pepper (I actually used half of one red one and one green one), finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 roma tomato, chopped
Leftover juice from the orange from the tilapia recipe.

Mix together. Chill and serve atop tilapia or just eat it! Just eat it!!!


Roasted Heirloom Carrots
Recipe Provided by Jack Cusomano

When Using Gigantic Heirloom Carrots, use 1 1/2 and chop. These are huge.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Herbs de Provence
2 Garlic Cloves, rough chopped.
Salt to Taste

Heat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Place carrots and garlic in glass baking dish, coat generously in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and Herbs de Provence. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until tender and starting to brown.
coat in olive oil, rough chopped garlic, salt and herbs de provence, roasted at 400 degrees for


I bet you can imagine how to serve this. Put some rice on the plate, put the carrots on a plate, unwrap the fish, put the fish on the plate. Drizzle with a bit of sauce. Top with salsa. Enjoy with some mascato. Or something else.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Be Fancy By Yourself Eggs



Hey Blog.
I bet you didn't see this coming. An Update, By Moi?

You've been with me through a lot, blog. Break ups, make ups, lost love, more love, Genuine Insanity, unemployment, success. Let's not talk about those things. Let's talk about waking up Saturday morning (afternoon) and making yourself some eggs.

Not you and someone else. These are for you. Just for you. Treat yourself nice. Make yourself something fancy. For me, my normal breakfast is cereal. Sometimes it's cheese and bread. Often it's egg sandwiches.

This is a nice breakfast. Just make it, eat it, drink a cup of coffee because it's the only thing fueling you anymore. Heaven know's life isn't going to get you running, but this bitter brown concoction will.

I find it funny that my iphone takes better pictures than my camera ever did, and with instagram I have to do two seconds of editing and not all the work I put into photoshop. The photos might downgrade from what they once were, but if I use my iphone, maybe you guys will get more food. Maybe less sarcastic and bitter paragraphs to go with it.

How about this, I'll write with realistic bitterness if it's a savory dish, but unbridled happiness if it's a sweet one? I promise you a sweet one next.

Be Fancy By Yourself Eggs

1 slice of bacon (as long as it's butcher's cut, if you use regular bacon maybe you want more.)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cream (or milk) - I secretly just splash this and the water in.
2 teaspoons water
four dashes hot sauce
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
3 spears asparagus, cooked however you want to cook your asparagus
Extra Sharp Cheddar and Swiss Cheese, I use approximately a half sandwich slice each.
1/2 an Avocado, sliced the usual way
2 slices of bread

Fry the bacon up in a pan until brown and bacony. Soak up the grease with a papertowel and toss it out, because you don't want all that in your digestive system.
In the pan that the bacon had been frying in, toss in the onions and asparagus. Heat and cook in what's left of the bacon grease, which for me is usually not a lot.
Mix together the eggs, cream, water, rosemary, chives, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and hot sauce.
Pour over the vegetables and scramble, I try to do it at a low heat with minimal disruption because I want big fluffy egg pieces.
Remove from heat once cooked thoroughly. Cover with slices of cheddar and swiss, tear the bacon into chunks and layer over the cheese, then top with the avocado slices. Sprinkle leftover chives on top with a little salt and pepper.

I'll assume you know how to make toast.

Serve yourself. Don't forget the coffee.