Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Banana Bread French Toast with Berries







Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was exactly as I had hoped, uneventful and relaxing. I read two books, baked a few treats to send to friends for Easter( which by the way is this weekend), made Easter baskets for the grand-kids and that is about it. 

What about you?




If you are like me when you bake, you always bake extra, either to give to friends or to freeze for later. Sometimes I bake when I am the only one home and my eyes are bigger than my stomach, for instance when I made banana bread last week. I am not sure why I thought I needed to eat an entire loaf during the week. Needless to say I got a little tired of banana bread.





Not wanting to waste all of my hard work, I decided to use the leftover bread to make Banana Bread French Toast this weekend, and it was delicious! If I do say so myself. This recipe could not be a easier and frankly, you can use any bread that you have, pumpkin, cranberry, blueberry, banana or whatever. You can even buy a loaf at the bakery or store and then make this breakfast treat. I think it would be an excellent addition to your Easter or Mother's Day breakfast!






Banana Bread French Toast

2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 slices of banana bread
Butter, for pan and toast
syrup
berries 
powdered sugar

In bowl mix eggs, milk and cinnamon, whisk until mixture is well blended. Pour into shallow bowl. 
Heat pan and add a pat of butter, when melted dip banana bread into the egg mixture. Allow bread to sit for a bit then flip. Place slices in the pan and cook until brown on one side, then flip bread over and allow to brown on other side.

Place on plates and serve with berries and powdered sugar, or syrup. 

Enjoy!






 If you try this recipe let me know or if you have another French Toast recipe please share, as it is one of my favorite weekend breakfast treats!


Have a great week!



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Silent Sunday 3-29-2015






Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday Favorites from Tea and Cookies, Plant Propaganda, Have Some Decorum, Classy Cooking and More!


Good morning! I say this every Friday and this one will be no different, I am so happy it is Friday! I cannot wait for the weekend because I have nothing on my agenda. I just want to relax and do nothing. Ok, maybe not nothing, I want to read and each junk food and relax.





I have a few personality quirks and one of them is that I like to have take out or make "junk food" or comfort food on Friday, it is how I know that the weekend has begun. Typically we go out to dinner or order in and one of my favorites things to eat is pizza. 


Spinach Artichoke Pizza

I would not be exaggerating if I said that I could eat pizza everyday,  that is how much I love it. I prefer just cheese and diced tomatoes but I will experiment. While perusing Pinterest this week I came across this delicious looking, Spinich Artichoke Pizza made by Cooking Classy. I think it would be an excellent way to start my weekend. 


Ragu by Tea and Cookies

Or perhaps a plate of pasta? Another one of my favorite meals. 

Tea and Cookies is one of the first blog that I ever discovered and I love seeing a new post pop up, especially with a little comfort food, like a bowl of Ragu pasta. This looks delicious and is now on my "must try" list. Tea has a new book coming out and I think you need to put it on your list as well as her blog if you are not familiar with it. 


Image Roses and Rust


Have you ever dreamed of owning a vineyard in Napa, California? Or living there? Or are you just content with visiting? Whatever the case,  Sharon at An Enviable Life by Roses and Rust had a great post this week profiling Kelly Flemming and her family, who live and produce wine in Napa, California. After reading this post and looking at all of the beautiful photos I am itching to plan another trip there ASAP. 


Tulip by Pine Cones and Acorns


I discovered two new to me blogs this week. Plant Propaganda, a beautiful and informative horticultural blog. And Have Some Decorum a witty, unapologetic, mostly interior design blog, written by a Ellie. Ellie suffers from ALS, resides in Paris and lives an adventurous life. 



Image Pine Cones and Acorns


Speaking of Paris, for those of you who will be spending a little time in Paris this spring, make sure to check out this article on where to shop at the markets for luxury goods, HERE.

This week I watched a few movies, here are a couple I thought you might like. My Old Lady, about a man that inherits an apartment in Paris that comes with...an old lady!




It's me Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise, a documentary about the man behind the iconic Eloise. Interesting because as he points out he illustrated many other books and the only thing he is known for is Eloise. 

And last but not least, did you see this? It is so cute.  A Seal Pup Befriends Surfer and plays with him for an hour.

I hope that you found something interesting here this week, as always, please share your weekly finds  with me!

Have a fabulous weekend!






Thursday, March 26, 2015

15 Easter Brunch Ideas

Good morning! Easter is fast approaching, and I am gathering a few ideas to celebrate the day. I always enjoy brunch because there is something for everyone, a little savory and little sweet and a little healthy too. Not to mention that after brunch and then a rest there are always leftovers to enjoy later on in the afternoon!




These are a few of my picks for Easter brunch, ham, salads, fruit and more. 


Ham from Martha Stewart


Tomato Tart from Country Living



Tomato Salad


Gingered Fruit Compote from Better Homes and Gardens

Blackberry Salad from Better Homes and Gardens


Sweets

Almond Sweet Rolls


Vanilla Peach Coffee Cake


Cream Filled Vanilla Cake with Berries


Cinnamon Coffee Cake


Italian Cream Cake


Drinks

Bloody Mary from Country Living


Morning Mimosa from Martha Stewart


What are your plans for Easter, do you make a big lunch, have brunch, go out or dine with friends? I hope that if you are hosting the celebration this year that you found something here that you ight want to make. If you have some family favorites or other fabulous recipes then please share with the rest of us!

Have a great day. 






Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Almond Sweet Rolls




Good morning! I hope that you had a great weekend and enjoyed some Spring like weather. We had a little bit of Spring like weather, and the crocus are popping from the ground but for the most part it is still feeling cold, rainy and bleak to me. 




Easter and Mother's Day are fast approaching and I love to make a beautiful breakfast for both, with both sweet and savory dishes. Typically I make Cinnamon Rolls or Monkey Bread but this year I wanted to try something else and decided on Almond Sweet rolls. 




These rolls are so easy and they are FABULOUS! Seriously, you will eat the entire pan right out of the oven, so be sure to make a double or triple batch so that you have some to share with your guests.

The dough is light, fluffy and yeasty, and the center is like melted marzipan.  Finished off with a little or a lot of sugary glaze and some crunchy almond sprinkles and you have the perfect  sweet roll for your buffet!




Almond Sweet Rolls 
Recipe from Crazy for Crust


Dough

21/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar, divided
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting

Filling

1 70unce tube of almond paste
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

Glaze

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1-2 tablespoons milk
Slivered almonds for garnish






Instructions

Heat milk in microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until it is about 120 degrees F on thermometer. Add yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar, stir and let sit for 5 minutes to proof.

Place 1/3 cup sugar, butter, salt and egg in the bowl of a stand mixed fitted with paddle attachment. Mix until the butter is distributed, it may still be a little lumpy, then pour in the yeast mixture and stir for a few seconds. 
Add flour and stir with paddle attachment just until the mixture starts to stick to the paddle. Change attachment to the dough hook and continue mixing on low until dough forms a ball in the center of the bowl. The mixture should be a little sticky, if it is too wet add a little flour.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough into the bowl, spray top of dough with spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit in a warm, draft free area for 1-2 hours or until the mixture is doubled in size.

Make the filling: break paste into pieces and place in food processor, add the sugar and egg and pulse until it is smooth and creamy and no lumps remain. If you do not have a food processor you can use the mixer.

When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll into a 10x14" rectangle, spread with the paste mixture and roll tightly. Using a serrated knife cut into 12 small rolls to fit a 9 x 13 pan or 9 larger rolls to fit a 9x9" pan. Spray pan with cooking spray and place rolls in pan.

Here you have 2 options:

Let dough rise in the pan for 30 minutes and then bake on 350 for 25-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown. 

Or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning remove from oven, let sit on counter for 30 minutes and then bake for 25-35 minutes. 

Let rolls cool for 15 minutes then frost, sprinkle with nuts and serve.

Frosting:
Whisk melted butter, powdered sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Add milk a little at a time until glaze is the consistency that you like. 







What do you think? Don't they look and sound delicious? I think they will be the perfect addition to your Mother's Day and Easter brunch or frankly as a treat any day!

Have a great week!



Linking to: Stone Gable

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Friday Favorites from Sprinkles Bakes, Alexandra's Kitchen, Camille Styles, and More!


Good morning and a warm, sunny, happy Friday, Happy Spring to you! Sadly, it is going to be rainy and cold here but luckily, no more snow. How about your neck of the woods?

As Spring has come and gone here I am going to focus on other great things this week. 


Image from Sprinkles Bakes

Do you know how certain foods or smells take you back to special times in your life? Well, bear claw pastries are one of those foods that hold special memories for me. They are the pastries my mom use to get for my siblings and I each weekend to eat while watching cartoons. And the reward after a 5 mile walk(one way) on the Florida beaches, on Saturday mornings with my husband;  bear claw for me and a cinnamon roll for him from our favorite bakery, which sadly it is now an art gallery. 


Since moving from Florida I have been unable to find a good bear claw so I have been in search of a recipe to try and replicate my own, this week I discovered Bear Claws from Sprinkles Bakes. The recipe looks fairly easy and I can't wait to try it.



Image from Alexandra's Kitchen

I discovered a beautiful and fabulous blog this week that you have to check out! Alexandra's Kitchen is visually stunning, and beautifully written. If you like great recipes and beautiful food photos I think you will love this blog as much as I do!



 Image from Bittersweet Colours



Are you ready for Spring? It will be here in a few days! Here are 10 Gorgeous Green Items for Spring

Last week we lost an icon in architecture, Michael Graves, although many will know him only for his toaster. This is a beautiful tribute to Michael Graves by CBS Sunday Morning is one of my favorite finds this week.



Image HERE

Have you heard of Lizzie Velasquez? I first heard of her while watching a TED talks, she suffers from a rare disease that do not allow her to accumulate any body fat, among other things. Sadly, she was labeled and bullied both online and off and called "the world's ugliest woman." I am looking forward to seeing her new documentary because she is an incredible and inspiring woman!

I am also looking forward to seeing Helen Miriam in The Woman In Gold, are there any movies that you have on your "must see" list?

What did you find that was interesting, informative or fun this week out in the world? I am always interested in new recipes, books, movies and adventures and love your suggestions.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend.





Thursday, March 19, 2015

Garden Wedding Dress Ideas Please

Good morning! I hope that you had a great St. Patrick's day, did you go out and celebrate or just stay  in an enjoy a little Irish fare? I stayed in and was a little boring with a good book.




Image Etsy



I am going to a garden wedding this summer and although I typically wear a "little black dress" and have lots of then I am searching for something new and differen , so I though I would ask for your help.

I like dresses that have a flared skirt, I have an hour glass figure and am not really a sheath person. I am also looking for something that is out of my comfort zone, something perhaps with flowers that says...summer!




 Have you seen anything interesting out there? If so let me know because I can use all the help I can get!

Have a great day!



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vanilla Bean Tapioca Pudding with Raspberries


Good morning! How was your weekend? What did you do, anything exciting or just relaxing? I am Spring cleaning, I think I made about 10 trips to the donation center, and things are looking a lot fresher around here.  Then it was off to the kitchen for a break.






I love dessert and if it is quick and easy that makes it all the better. Don't get me wrong, I also enjoy complicated desserts or dough that has to "marinate" for 24 house, but sometimes you just want something that take no time and taste delicious. 







That is where this Vanilla Bean Tapioca pudding come in, this recipe from start to finish is less than 30 minutes, cooling time is additional so if you like your pudding chilled add another hour. 





As I am sure that you do I have other recipes for Tapioca pudding that you use large pearls that you soak for no less than 12 hours and those recipes are great, this is not that recipe. This recipe uses instant tapioca and I think it tastes just as good, if not better.


Vanilla Bean Tapioca Pudding

1/3 cup sugar
3. Tablespoons instant Tapioca
23/4 cups of milk
1 egg, well beaten
11/2 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Berries for garnish

Mix the sugar, tapioca, milk and egg in a medium sauce pan and let stand for 5 minutes. 

After 5 minutes, cook over medium heat, string constantly until mixture comes to a full boil. Then remove from heat and stir in vanilla bean paste.

Cool for 20 minutes and then stir. You can serve warm of chilled. If you would like creamier pudding be sure the put plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding while it is cooling. 

Garnish with berries and enjoy!





What did I tell you it can not be any easier and this pudding is creamy, tasty and delicious. The berries add the perfect taste of spring and summer. 

Please do not leave me any negative comments if you are a tapioca purists, I think there is room in all kitchens for preparing the pudding both ways. But if you have a great recipe please share it. 






I hope that you have a great week!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Silent Sunday 3-15-2015




Have a great day!




Friday Favorites from the Relished Roost, Closet Cooking, My Man's Belly, and More

Good morning, I hope that you have had a great week! I was a little sluggish all week, I think it must have been loosing an hour of sleep with daylight savings? Or it could have been that I stayed up too late every night watching movies. Either way I am ready for the weekend.





As has been the case for many of us the weather here has been odd, 70 one day, then 40 the next then 65 then 35. Tonight we are supposed to get a freeze, thankfully I restrained myself from buying any plants and I do not have to lug them in.




This week my mind is on St. Patrick's day, not only because I love Ireland but I love celebrating with tasty food and drinks!





I have traveled extensively in England and Scotland but sadly have never been to Ireland, it is however on my list of enchanting places to visit. If you are planning a trip to Ireland or have that on your dream list then be sure to check out the beautiful houses the Karolyn of The Relished Roost posted this week, they are all enchanting and available for rent. 


Image HERE


If you are staying in this weekend and would like a few recommendations for The Top 10 Ten Irish Movies, my favorite is Waking Ned Devine. If you have yet to see it,  I highly recommend it,  is is FABULOUS! 


Image from Closet Cooking 


I do not know if I have ever mentioned this before but potatoes are my favorite meal, french fries, mashed potatoes, potato salad, au gratin potatoes, if it has potatoes in it I will eat it, and go back for seconds. This delicious dish of Bangers and Colcannon with Guinness Gravy from Closet Cooking would be the perfect dish for me on St. Patrick's day, potatoes and sausages! Yummy!


My Mans Belly


Of course no weekend or holiday of any sort would be complete without a little chocolate and this Chocolate Guiness Milkshake from My Mans Belly is right up my alley. 
If you are looking for something  baked then perhaps these Chocolate Guiness Cupcakes from One Upon A Chocolate Life would be to your liking?


I always love an intereting story and this one is a good one is A Remarkable Story indeed!

What are you plans for the weekend? Something interesting? Something relaxing? Or perhaps and adventure?

Whatever the case I hope you have a safe and wonderful weekend!



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