Wednesday, December 26, 2012

French Toast Bake

Family traditions, every family has their own around the holidays... One recipe that brings back memories... Here we have Portuguese French Toast for Christmas... Usually fried, but not this time! These are baked and  made the day before, so all you have to do in the morning is to turn on the oven!

First time I saw this recipe was on Pinterest, so I repinned it and followed the link to "Rach's blog," that gives a detailed explanation of how to fix this delicious breakfast dish. I used demerara sugar instead of brown sugar because in Brazil the brown sugar makes a very thick sauce. And I also added milk caramel in between layers... and that made all the difference!
French Toast Bake
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1 cup demerara sugar
1 loaf Texas toast - I used 12 slices of white bread, no crust
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Ground cinnamon, white sugar and  confectioner's sugar for sprinkling
Milk caramel for the filling, if you like.

1) Melt butter in microwave and add demerara sugar, stir until mixed.
2. Pour butter/sugar mix into bottom of 9 x 13 pan
3) Lay single layer of bread in pan, sprinkle sugar, cinnamon and add a dollop of milk caramel on top of each slice
4) Beat eggs, milk, vanilla and 1 tbs sugar
5) Spoon half of egg mixture on bread layer
6) Add second layer of bread slices
7) Spoon on remaining egg mixture, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top
8) Cover and chill in fridge overnight
9) Bake at 350° F (180° C) for 40 minutes
10) Sprinkle powedered sugar and decorate with strawberries or not...
11) Serve with warm maple syrup or plain.

Pour butter mixture, spread around, add slices of bread on top

Add half the egg mixture, sprinkle sugar and cinnamom. Adda a dollop of milk caramel

Add second layer of bread, add remaing egg mixture and top with sugar and cinnamon.
French toast bake... ready to be served and add some beauty to your breakfast table!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My little fabric Christmas tree

This year I started to make some fabric trees to fill in some empty spots around the house and I found an easy way to fold them. 

Cut a circle - around 12in (30 cm)
Fold in half - then fold a triangle on top
Turn the fabric around and fold again
Keep folding
And you have a fabric tree!
Use a cinnamon stick about the size of the tree
Open carefully your folded tree and run hot glue along the cinnamon stick, close and press a little
Use a small vase or styrofoam covered with fabric to make the base
Hot glue the cinnamon stick into the whole, and add a few trimmings 
Decorate some empty spots around the house with your fabric Christmas tree!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Clementine Upside-Down Cake

Oh my darling, clementine cake is so good! My mommy friends and I meet for our MOPS@ breakfast meeting and each week we bring different recipes to the table... Here is one of our good finds from Susie at Food Blogga. While we eat we share tips on how we can be a better mom!
Clementine Cake
From: Food Blogga

1/2 cup butter (8 tablespoons)
1 cup brown sugar
2-3 clementines, peeled, with white pith removed, and sliced crosswise

1 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons fresh clementine or orange juice
2 teaspoons clementine or orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F - 180°C.
1) Place butter in a 9-inch-round baking pan, and place inside of a warm oven until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter. Add the clementine slices, fitting them close together.

2) In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and stir. Using a hand mixer, beat egg whites at high speed until fluffy. Set aside. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks with sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add juice, zest, and vanilla extract, and beat well. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat until well combined. Fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Pour cake mixture evenly over the fruit, and smooth with the spatula.

3) Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert carefully onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter crafts and food

The clients who ordered my aluminum foil lunch box cakes for Easter received these bunny and egg motives that I made using fabric and felt. 

When making any cake recipe, you can pour the batter directly into the aluminum foil lunch box, no greasing necessary! Bake them and while the cake cools, decorate the covers using fabric and felt cutouts. Place them on top of the covers and glue them. To glue felt to fabric I use styrofoam glue and it works great! 

Also, for an Easter lunch I wanted to share this cute idea I got from Pottery Barn Kids. Fill clean terracota or glazed pots with any kind of dip, sprinkle seasoned salt or paprika on top, pepper and basil leaves. Top with carrots, celery or any other vegetables.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celebrating Valentine's in a lunch box

Besides cooking I also enjoy fabric crafts and card making. Here on this project I decorated the cover of an aluminum foil lunch box with fabric, lace and heart made with 4 layers of felt. Lately I've been adding crafted projects to my food items. The inspiration for the felt heart came from the blog Crafty Pod and the printable cards are from June Lily
Brownies, coffee cakes,  chocolate truffles... all go well in the lunch box
Cakes ready to be delivered 
Then the cover may turn into a card!
Or the lunch box into a keepsake!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Eggplant Antipasto Cake

The first time I made this recipe we had guests coming over and I realized I had no time for grocery shopping. So I came up with this cake using something I already had in the fridge: eggplant antipasto. With a few ingredients you can turn something that looks ordinary into something delightful and that will dazzle your guests.

The eggplant antipasto can be substituted with other toppings, like sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and oregano, roasted red peppers, etc. 

Eggplant Antipasto Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

10 oz (300 g - about 1 cup) antipasto eggplant (recipe here)
3 oz (100 g) of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).

1) In a medium bowl combine milk, oil and egg until well blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until smooth. Batter must be thick.

2) Spread the batter into a greased 11" x 2" round pie plate or pan. Top with the eggplant antipasto and  then the cheese. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.