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Dad’s Sunday French Toast

In my mind, I thought that country French cooks didn’t waste anything.  And I think this is why and how French toast must have originated.  By taking what was left over from yesterday, and using to create a substantial meal for today.

So then, French toast must have been made with French bread right?  Oh yeah!

Here in Florida, Publix supermarkets (Where Shopping Is a Pleasure – you know), they have wonderful bakeries.  Not as good as, say, fifteen years ago, but the bakeries are pretty good – and they make great baguettes.

Slice your baguette

Slice your baguette

I took a whole baguette and sliced it on an angle.  I let the sliced baguette soak for a few minutes in custard made of:

Three eggs beaten

¼ cup of whole milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ tsp cinnamon

(OK, I know you only see two eggs in the picture, but actually used three!)

Whisk all that together in a bowl or casserole dish (something deep) large enough to hold and soak about four of the slices of bread.

On the stove, using a heavy skillet at med/high temperature – place a tablespoon of vegetable shortening and let it melt (or use vegetable oil) and let it come up to temperature.

Soak the French bread in the custard

Soak the French bread in the custard

Drop in the custard soaked baguette slices – fry until just past golden (or as you like it) about two minutes on each side.  Remove and set aside on another ovenproof plate in the oven at 300 to keep warm until all of the French bread is made.

Put two or three slices of French toast on a plate, smear with some room temperature butter and dust with powdered sugar – top with fresh or thawed fruit and drizzle with real maple syrup.  Some pork or turkey sausage pairs well with it.

Happy Sunday!  (OK, OK, if you must, you can make this on Saturday too!)

Fry the French bread

Fry the French bread

Dad's Sunday French Toast

Dad's Sunday French Toast

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Stuffed Cabbage and Perogies

You will need to set aside some time to make this recipe. I usually start in the morning so that this can be for supper. Other times I’ve started this at night, and let it cook all night. Yup… the house smell like cabbage but it smells like heaven!!

large head cabbage or two medium (save the scraps)

1 pound ground chuck

1 pound of ground pork

1/2 cup rice instant rice cooked to yield one cup (a little more if you like)

1 medium onion chopped very fine

2 stalks of celery chopped very fine

2 garlic cloves chopped very fine

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

3 or 4 bay leaves

5 slices of bacon

Cut the core out from the bottom of the cabbage; Place into a very large kettle of boiling water and cook the cabbage pulling off the leaves every 4 minutes or so. Once you have all of the leaves off, with a small knife, cut the large stem flat so that the cabbage leaf is the same thickness all the way down. Stack all of your leaves and let them cool.

Save all of the scraps of cabbage and toss them into the bottom of the large pot that you are going to cook your cabbage rolls in. This is in case any should scald or burn, you’ll only burn the scraps and not the cabbage rolls. But, you will only cook these on low heat, so burning should not be a problem if you pay attention.

Combine evenly the ground chuck, ground pork and the cooked rice. Add the garlic, onion, celery, salt and pepper and blend all of this with your hands so that it is completely mixed together. Scoop the meat mixture into the stem end of the cabbage leaf – lay it on the counter and roll up the leaf from the bottom while tucking in the sides until sealed. By trimming that think stem, you’ve made it easier to roll the leaves and not have to rely on toothpicks to hold the rolls together. (You’ll notice later when the rolls have been cooked that they hold nice and tight). Fill all of the leaves in a like manner. YES – you are filling the leaves with the raw meat mixture – don’t worry, they will cook just fine – and the taste will be magnificent.

In bottom of large pot or dutch-oven, place the cabbage scraps. Arrange layers of cabbage rolls, seam side down – repeat til the pot is full. Pour in the crushed tomatoes then shake the pot so that the tomato liquid settles throughout. Lay on the strips of bacon and toss in the bay leaves. Bring the pot to a slow simmer and keep covered the entire time you are cooking. Once the pot simmers, you will need to cook this on low heat for at least 4 hours. Make sure that the liquid bubbles very slowly. Good food takes time. That’s why your Bobcha was always hanging out in the kitchen… the golomkie (or goo-um-key) took most of the day.

Make a pot of mashed potatoes or perogies and serve with your stuffed cabbage. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with marble rye or pumpernickel bread and butter. ENJOY!

Perogies

If you choose Mr & Mrs T’s Perogies, I boil them as directed on the package. Then I fry them in 3 tablespoons of butter and one large onion chopped. Fry until the perogies are brown and the onions are caramelized and/or crisp. Delish!!!!

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Chef Joe’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe courtesy Chef Joe Randall
Show: The Best Of
Episode: Prix Fixe

Chef Joe's Baked Macaroni and Cheese
 
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Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally until it is almost tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, 1/4 cup melted butter, the cayenne pepper, and a teaspoon of salt.Put half the macaroni into a buttered 2-quart casserole and top with half the cheddar cheese. Repeat. Pour the milk mixture over the macaroni and cheese.In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the paprika, the remaining butter, and the Parmesan. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the macaroni and bake until brown and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.

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We had company from Cincinnati last night and a big request for pizza. Since we follow the dictate of – no meat of Fridays during Lent, I made three excellent meat-less pizzas.

1. Caramelized Sweet Onion and Baby Bella mushrooms with homemade pizza sauce and provolone cheese – got rave reviews on that one.

2. Greek Pizza – with the obvious – homemade pizza sauce, pre-cooked spinach w/garlic, chopped Kalamata Olives (pitted), fried eggplant, and Feta cheese.

3. Pepper Pizza – Slivers of Red and Green Bell Peppers with rings of Cubanelle Peppers – homemade sauce, provolone cheese as well.

I always dust the pizza (no matter what the toppings are) with garlic powder and dried oregano before putting them in the oven at 400 (for 25 minutes).

Try these… they were a real hit last night.

Sorry I don’t have any photos – I was so busy serving – and I might have had too much wine 😉

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We had chili earlier in the week and the leftovers last night. Didn’t have any good crusty bread to have with it, so I worked on this cornbread recipe. I might not be the healthiest of recipes, but if you think of “moderation” then it will taste all the better.

ENJOY

THEEEE Best Cornbread Ever!

1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 15oz can of sweet kernel corn – drained
Bacon grease

Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan or medium cast iron frying pan with bacon grease.

In a medium sized glass bowl, melt butter in microwave at high for 45 seconds and let this cool a bit – then whisk in the buttermilk and eggs.

Mix all of the dry ingredients in large bowl. Blend in wet mixture and the can of corn. Pour this into the prepared pan or frying pan.

Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

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For weeks I’ve been trying to make the lemon-i-est lemon pound cake. At first I thought the Lemon Pound Cake from Starbucks was the best. But now I’ve found one better. Lemon Lovers Pound Cake at allrecipes.com is the one!!!

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I found out one critical thing.  I greased the baking pan, but I forgot to flour it as well.  As a result, when it came time to remove this from the pan, parts of it stuck – so remember – flouring your pan is extremely important.

This cake is very lemony and tangy and delicious.  Get some coffee or tea and enjoy.

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Ok, it ain’t Saturday night yet!  But I got this recipe for SATURDAY NIGHT BAKED BEAN SUPPER from the Cape Cod Today website  (scroll about half way down and you’ll find it).

The beans turned out swell!  I can probably save some of it when Saturday actually comes around.

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