Category Archives: Cooking Good

Step-By-Step French Toast

Do your kids (or anyone you know) need a new idea about what to cook themselves for breakfast? Here’s a step-by-step recipe for making French Toast.  If they are not used to using the stove on their own, stand next to them while they follow these steps.

French Toast on an Electric Stove

Part 1

  1. Crack one egg into a bowl. Add pinch cinnamon, one small shake vanilla. Mix with fork.
  2. Cut with butter knife or fold in half one slice of bread.
  3. Soak bread in egg mixture until egg is gone from bowl.

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Part 2

  1. Put frying pan on burner, turn stove on high, set timer for one minute.
  2. Put small slice of butter in pan.
  3. Turn down heat to four.

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Part 3

  1. Put egg-soaked bread slices in frying pan.
  2. Turn timer on for two minutes. Watch carefully. Using a spatula, lift slice.
  3. If it’s golden brown, flip. If not, leave for one or two more minutes.
  4. Repeat #2, #3.
  5. When toast is done, turn off burner, put French Toast on plate.
  6. Eat. Yum!

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Fresh Spinach, with Roasted Red Peppers, Almonds, and Blue Cheese

Long ago in a time I can barely remember, I ate lunch at a place in Hartford, Connecticut called the Arch Street Tavern. In my just-twenties, looking for a restaurant on a work lunch hour, I found this cafe. On the menu was a spinach salad with roasted red peppers, blue cheese, and toasted almonds.

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I think they tossed it with bacon dressing. It was the only thing I ever ordered there. Recently while “gathering” at a local market, red peppers catch my attention, and I remember this lunch experience. Inspired by the memory, I recreate the salad, sans bacon dressing. Gorgonzola cheese replaces the blue. IMG_5128

Ingredients:

Two roasted red peppers

Twenty almonds, sliced, and lightly roasted

Three cups fresh spinach

¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Directions:

Roasting Red Peppers –. Place red peppers on a cookie sheet. Use top oven rack; put tray of peppers under broiler until lightly blackened on all sides. Turn frequently. IMG_5125Remove from oven. Put in bowl and cover tightly with plastic. I repurposed a produce bag and pulled it tight across the bowl. Leave about 15 minutes. Cut peppers in half; remove innards, seeds, and stem and peel. Slice lengthwise into 1/8-inch pieces, cut these pieces into thirds. Set aside. (Or buy a jar of roasted peppers and slice.)

Almonds – Slice  lengthwise into about four pieces each. Put in dry frying pan. Turn pan on high and shake until almonds are an even brown.  They will smell good. (You could also buy pre-sliced almonds and roast.) IMG_5129

Spinach – Place in salad bowl.

Cheese – Crumble onto spinach.

Toss in almonds and half the peppers. Use the other half for sandwiches or another salad the second night!

Gently toss all ingredients together. No dressing needed. Yum

Wondering in the Pancake Aisle (with more parentheses)

IMG_7528Sometimes I wonder, in this supposed season of wonder, if my family would notice if I served them pancakes for dinner every night during the next three weeks. Something tells me my kids would be thrilled, especially if I used white flour.

The reason I wonder is, for nearly six months, meal ideas are unbelievably bereft. The refrigerator is empty too. If you took a peak (now you can) about all you’d find is a jar of pickles, a dozen egg box with only one left, half a bottle of milk, a dehydrated bunch of parsley, one-quarter bowl of left over cranberry sauce, various jars of several-year-old containers of jams, jellies, and mustards, an almost empty tube of wasabi, and an empty butter dish.

In the bread drawer are several empty bags (reminds me of the butter dish) with only the heal remaining.

But the bean drawer is, well, full of beans, and millet, and barley, and a bunch of other grains that, while on a vegan jag in June, and in a bit of inspiration while standing in the bulk food isle, I bought and, for a time soaked and cooked regularly, and now I am sick of beans.

Up until this summer, right around the time of the vegan vacation, for years, I cooked chickens (the indoor kind) two or so times a week and had a regular supply of broth and makings for stews and sauces. We’d eat something different every night. I’d pour over cookbooks (sometimes literally) looking for interesting recipes, and then cook them, enjoying nearly every minute of the creativity.

Of late, (and probably only me cause I don’t think my family notices) I am amazed when I can still put something on the table, cause inside I’m wondering if it will actually happen.

Food is an issue for many people these days. Most of my mom friends share they too live in a desert for ideas. And speaking of that, is it our job to create meal after meal that’s interesting? No! So onward to pancakes, and no I’m not going to puree and then add spinach and kale so the kids will get “their” vegetables. Because then I won’t get the meal prep reprieve I’m craving.

Here are three questions:  Any place in your life where there are no more ideas? Oh and what’s for dinner? Could we join you?