Monday, May 21, 2012

French Toast Kabobs

Good morning everyone!

Its Monday morning and I'd like to start this week off with an amazing breakfast recipe.  I recently saw a recipe for french toast kabobs on the Martha Stewart website.  The recipe looked great but it called for so many ingredients that I didn't have and didn't want to go out of my way to get (one of them being a thick sliced loaf of bread).  So I put a twist on her recipe and it tasted amazing.  What's unique about this french toast is that I created a thick slice by making a cream cheese sandwich with two slices of bread. That alone, my dear friends, is enough to make my stomach happy.  The exact steps to this deliciousness follow below.

French Toast Kabobs
Serves 4

4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk pinch of salt
pinch of sugar and cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 loaf white bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons cream cheese spread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 pint fresh blueberries
1/4 pint fresh raspberries
1 bananas, sliced
1/4 cup strawberries

Step 1:  Beat eggs with milk, salt, and vanilla extract.  Cinnamon and sugar are optional but I recommend you put them in because french toast always tastes better sweet.

Step 2:  Spread 2 slices of bread with cream cheese, sprinkle sugar on both sides, and make a sandwich out of them.  Cut off the crusts and cut the sandwich into one inch cubes.

Step 3:  Melt one tablespoon of butter on a pan.  Dip the cubed bread in the egg batter and place the bread mixture in the pan; cook it while turning the cubes occasionally with a spatula, until it's browned on all sides. Cook the remaining cubes with the remaining butter.  Dust the cooked cubes with powdered sugar.

Step 4:  Thread the french toast cubes on to skewers alternating with the fruit.  Top the skewer with a strawberry and serve immediately with whipped cream or maple syrup.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

On Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a special day when people all around the world honor their mothers and motherhood.  Children will give their mother's presents and do something special for their mothers on this one day out of the year.  But for me, everyday is Mother's Day and I'll appreciate my mother everyday.

So, Mom, I'll give you a kiss today and tell you that I love you, and then I'll tell you that I love you tomorrow, and the day after, and then the next, and so on.  I'll clean your room nicely today and then clean it again tomorrow.  I'll pick some flowers for you today and then when they wilt, I'll pick some more for you.  I'll make you breakfast today and then I'll make you breakfast again whenever you want me to.

And I want you to know that I appreciate everything you do for me, every single moment of my life, even if I don't show it all the time.

Mushy gushy stuff aside, what you see in these pictures is the lovely blueberry cream cheese coffee cake my little sister made today.  It is quite possibly the best thing that ever happened to me.  You should smell my kitchen right now -- it smells like melted cream cheese with a tinge of blueberry.  Which smells heavenly.  The first picture is so you can appreciate the cream cheese cubes in the cake.  The second picture is there so you can appreciate the crumbly sugary topping.  And this last picture is so you can appreciate the flowers I picked from my backyard. ;)

This post is a little different from my usual posts and I won't be giving you the recipe.  However, here is the link for the recipe my sister followed from the blogger Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.  Make sure you try this recipe out for breakfast, lunch, or even dessert.  It's a keeper.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trifle Pudding Cups

Hello everyone!

How was your weekend? Mine was awesome! If the photo above doesn't hint to that already, there was something else special that went down this weekend. My grandfather, who I haven't seen in a couple years, came to visit from Pakistan! And if this wasn't exciting enough, my relatives came over and stayed till midnight eating good food and catching up with my last surviving grandparent.

Of course, such an auspicious event calls for a beautiful dessert to go along with it.  Let me tell you, even bakers and bloggers succumb to cooking with box mixes and store-bought whipped cream when a combination such as this tastes so delicious. Now let me just make it clear right now: I am a full supporter of store bought mixes, but I try to keep them off of this blog. It's just that there are a couple desserts that are so easy to make but yield such amazing results that I cannot stay away from them.  So here I am, sharing this super simple but beautiful and mouth-watering dessert with you (made from all store-bought ingredients).

Strawberry Trifle Pudding Cups
Makes around 10 individual cups

1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 Sara Lee pound cake diced into 1/4" cubes
1 box whipped topping
1/2 cup diced strawberries
sliced strawberries and blueberries for decoration (optional)

Step 1: Prepare all the ingredients.  Follow the instructions on the box of the pudding.  Whip the whipped topping on high speed in a chilled mixer bowl until soft peaks form (almost hard).

Step 2: Alternately layer all the ingredients in the pudding cup until you reach the top.  Make sure the pudding is the last layer.  Top the mini trifles with whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries for a burst of color.

A variation of these trifle cups is made by using brownies, crushed Oreo cookies, whipped cream, and one box of Oreo pudding mix -- heavenly!  That looks something like this:

Oreo and Brownie Trifle Pudding Cups

Actually, Chocolate Overload Trifle sounds just as good and gives a more accurate description of the flavor of this trifle in my mouth.  If you couldn't already tell... I was pretty darn happy eating that trifle.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Hi everyone! The past week has brought unusually chilly weather to Southern California. A while ago, Wardah sent me a recipe for soup that she wanted me to try out. So I decided to finally try it. This recipe for cauliflower soup from The Pioneer Woman is easy to make, fills the house with heartwarming aromas, and is deliciously satisfying. It's perfect for those cold, rainy days.

To make it, you'll need some veggies: a head of cauliflower, one carrot, a couple stalks of celery, and half of an onion.

Chop the cauliflower into small pieces. Dice the carrot, celery, and onion.

Melt four tablespoons of butter in a stock pot and add the diced onion.

After a few minutes of stirring the onion around, throw in the carrot and celery.

After another minute, add the cauliflower to the veggies in the pot.

Stir. Add two tablespoons of parsley (fresh or dried).

Stir, cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, pour in 2 quarts of broth (chicken broth or vegetable broth). Bring the soup to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer.

Now for the white sauce!
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan.
Pour 2 cups of milk in a bowl and whisk in 6 tablespoons of flour.

Pour the milk/flour mixture into the melted butter. Stir to combine. The sauce should thicken. Remove from heat and mix in one cup of half & half. I didn't have this, so I used evaporated milk instead.

Pour the white sauce into the simmering soup.

Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes, and you're done! You can add some salt if you feel it necessary (I didn't).
Enjoy with crackers, bread, or someone you love :)
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