Category Archives: Recipes

detailed results of my kitchen experiments

Waffle Iron French Toast

Happy (Belated) New Year! With the lovely cold snap January in DC brings, I’ve been keeping it pretty simple on the food front. It’s hardly the time for grand meals when it’s a bit too frigid to walk to the store. Still, I wanted more than the standard cereal and coffee this morning for breakfast so I thought I’d dust off the Waffle Iron French Toast recipe for another go.

It’s a simple French Toast recipe, cut back to 1 serving for about 2 slices of bread, scale as needed:

  • 1 egg
  • ½ to ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

The first time I tried this recipe, it didn’t come out as I’d hoped and the main reason for that was I was using the waffle iron’s suggested temperature setting for waffles. Today I bumped it up an additional setting (mine has five) and they came out nicely browned & crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. My waffle iron has a red/green light indicator to tell when the waffles are ready, but just in case, I set a timer to 3 minutes for each slice. I kept the finished waffles on a plate in a 200° oven while the rest cooked so they’d be nicely warm and ready to eat!

For a classic waffle maker, using relatively thin sliced bread, I just soaked the slices before cooking. If I had a belgian or deeper pocket waffle iron, I would use thicker sliced bread (brioche? baguette?) and let it soak overnight. Thinner bread always seems to break apart on me if soaked too long. Even transferring bread from the dish to the waffle iron was a very careful operation with a long spatula. This is not a recipe that I’d advise you use Wonder bread! But it took about 25 minutes from cracking the first egg to spreading the butter on the last waffle, so it is very fast and easy.

This recipe/method will likely become a favorite of mine because–confession time–I can’t make french toast in a pan to save my life, pancakes either, truth be told. I can do a baked french toast with no problem, but when it comes to a pan, I’m hopeless. Thankfully it isn’t a vital cooking skill, but every now and again I crave french toast and when it’s 20° or less outside, I’m certainly not heading out into the cold for brunch! It would especially make for a good “empty pantry” or “snowpocalypse” meal when you’re down to the basics but have rushed out to buy plenty of milk, bread and eggs… and perhaps you could make a nice centerpiece out of the toilet paper.

Mulled/Spiced Apple Cider

I’m not much for holiday cooking and baking. I rarely host for any of the big holidays, and about the only thing I’ll bring to potlucks are non-holiday specific desserts. When a friend was throwing down for Thanksgiving and told us that we didn’t need to bring anything, I figured I could at least provide some libations. While wine is a default gift, I also sent ahead spices and ingredients to make mulled cider in the slow cooker. It’s a really simple recipe, but impressive mostly because of the seasonal charm and the fact that it will make your kitchen/apartment smell amazing while it simmers away.

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Continue reading Mulled/Spiced Apple Cider

Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Hotline Cookbook (Free!)

Cover of Martha Stewart Thanksgiving recipe book

As part of her Sirius|XM Thanksgiving hotline radio show, Martha is offering a free PDF collection of Thanksgiving recipes.

These recipes cover all courses of the Thanksgiving meal, from savory turkey to fresh salads and creamy mashed potatoes to sweet desserts. The dishes come from acclaimed chefs, such as Emeril Lagasse, Nigella Lawson, and Mario Batali.

All 30 chefs will be on call to answer your questions on Martha Stewart Living Radio’s Thanksgiving Hotline. The hotline is live from Monday, November 23 to Wednesday, November 25. See schedule for the full list of celebrity chefs and exact times at www.sirius.com/martha.

It’s 56 pages containing 35 recipes and entertaining tips and it’s done in classic Martha Stewart style. Very clean and informative, though a mac & cheese recipe calls for grana padano, which I knew was a cheese, but I couldn’t recall its characteristics to know a good store-found substitute. Even so, the price is right for a good collection of famous/celebrity chef recipes and some contributions from Martha herself. And I think pairing it with the radio show is a great idea, I almost wish I had Sirius|XM to listen in later this month.

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Even if you’re all set for some items, she also offers the download in specific chapters: Soups & Starters, Sides & Salads, Turkey & Entrees, Desserts and Wine, Liquor, & Entertaining. So you might get some new ideas. I believe I’ll be bringing some of those Pilgrim-themed cocktails to my host’s place for the holiday.

And yes, I know… It’s still Martha Stewart and some people place her firmly in the “evil” camp. But if my food novice friends were going to learn to cook from a lifestyle personality, I’d rather it be from one of Martha’s meticulously detailed recipes than one of the Food Network deep-V-neck cleavage crew. I think the book has some good recipes, and they’re not all her recipes, but YMMV.