Friday, April 13, 2012

Cinnamon Kisses

Well maybe not literal kisses but it might as well be. Because deeeelicious!

As mentioned I (yay!) hosted my first family gathering this weekend. Quite fun. And luckily enough it was only Easter Brunch, a simple meal that I could do mostly hands free (another YAY! Cause you know this girl doesn't like dishes).

The Menu:
- Coffee (of course...who can live without it)
- Fruit Salad
- Bacon
- Cinnamon Baked French Toast

Fruit salad: (if you can call it that)
It's a family tradition for any breakfast type gathering consisting of whatever fruit you prefer (usually a combination of oranges, apples, grapes, bananas, and cantaloupe) mixed with yogurt (we LOVE Greek God's greek yogurt with vanilla and honey, if you haven't tried it you haven't lived) and lime juice and zest.

  1. Fruit of choice (two or so of the "round" fruits - apples, oranges, one cantaloupe, half a bunch or so of grapes)
  2. 24 oz yogurt of your choice, I'd definitely recommend a vanilla flavor
  3. 2 limes (zest and juice) 
Mix together and you're good to go! So tasty!

You might wonder why I'm doing a how to of bacon. But this is damn good bacon, especially if you like it crispy. And no dishes. LOVE
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Lay parchment paper out on cookie sheets. Parchment paper is key, wax paper will not do. It will burn in your oven and not only stink but set the smoke detector off. Trust me, it's from experience! 
  3. Lay bacon on parchment paper, you can also put bacon on a cooling rack on the cookie sheet so that it's not laying it its own fat/juices if you want. Don't overcrowd. 
  4. Put bacon in oven for about 10 min, keep an eye on it. Depending on how hot your oven actually gets it might take a little less or a little longer. After 10 min take bacon out (if you put bacon directly onto parchment paper you can drain the juices) and flip, at this point you can drizzle maple syrup over bacon if you like, pepper etc as well. YUM.
Cinnamon Baked French Toast
(Came from - Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
Now this came from Pinterest. I love me some one dish prep ahead dishes.

    1 loaf French Bread
    8 large eggs
    2 cups milk (we used skim, but Ree uses whole)
    ½ cup heavy whipping cream
    ¾ cups granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons vanilla extract

   Streusel Topping:
       ½ cup all-purpose flour
       ½ cup brown sugar
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      ¼ teaspoon salt
      1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

Maple syrup and whip cream - for serving

Immersion Hand Blender
  1. Spray 9 x 13- inch baking pan with cooking spray. Tear French bread into chunks and place evenly in the pan.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla extract. I used an immersion hand blender. Works wonders.  Pour evenly over bread. Cover pan with saran wrap and store in the fridge for several hours or overnight - Realistically you can put in the fridge for even half an hour, you might just have to bake it longer so the middle doesn't come out soggy (what happened to me)
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add butter pieces and cut into the dry mixture using a fork or your hands. Combine until the mixture resembles chunky sand, ideally it will be like sand with a few pea size chunks but no matter how long I mixed it it never got there. Cover and store mixture in the refrigerator.
  4. When ready to bake French Toast, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove pan from fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 40-55 min or until the French Toast is set and golden brown.
  5. Whip up the rest of that heavy whipping cream (if you so desire) while the toast is almost done baking.
  6. Serve with maple syrup and whipping cream if you like.

What is your favorite breakfast treat? 

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