Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

Nostalgia struck me the other night and made me think of the cinnamon swirl bread my mom used to make when we were younger and a friend of mine that absolutely loved it.  I also came across a very fun blog Fiesta Friday, who encourages a Friday recipe share.   Thus, inspired I set out to make this tasty bread, delicious on its own but knowing Friday, a meatless day for us would be arriving just in time for any leftovers to be slightly stale and perfect for French Toast!

First the bread:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Dough:

8 oz warm water

8 oz warm milk

2 tsp yeast

2-3 Tbsp sugar (the recipe works perfectly with 2, 3 makes it a little sweeter)

2 tsp salt.

3 1/2- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl add the warm liquids, sugar, and yeast.  Allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of flour and mix at a medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed and gradually add more flour until a soft dough ball forms.  On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it forms a smooth, but soft to slightly sticky ball.  Place into a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise 45-60 minutes or until doubled.  Prepare two bread pans by buttering liberally.

In the mean time, prepare the filling

Cinnamon filling

1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed

2 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbps butter, very soft

Mix together the sugar and cinnamon.  Retain butter for spreading.

 

Divide the risen dough into 2 equal sections.  On a well-floured surface, roll the first section out into roughly a 12-inch square, making sure it doesn’t stick to your surface.  Spread about half of the butter over the surface of the dough.  Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar recipe.  Roll the dough, snug but not tight.  You should get about 3-4 rolls.  tuck in the ends to seal them and place into your prepared bread pan.  Repeat with the second section.  Brush the top of the loaves with melted butter and allow to rise until doubled again (about an hour).  During the last 15 minutes of rising preheat oven to 425’F.  Bake bread for about 20 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding.  Allow to cool 15-20 minutes before turning out of pans.

 

Slice and serve!

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Should you have leftovers, and I recommend you do, you can make the most wonderful French Toast!

French Toast

8-12 slices of bread (the number of slices will vary depending on how large, thick and stale the slices are)

4 eggs

3 tablespoons milk (the richer the milk the richer the French Toast, I do not recommend using all cream)

1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg (optional)

pinch salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla in a pie plate.  Preheat a griddle to 400’F and butter.  Dunk each piece of bread into the egg mixture until coated and flip to coat both sides.  Place onto the griddle.  Repeat until the griddle is full.  After a couple minutes check the toast if it comes up easily and is lightly browned flip.  The second side will cook slightly faster.  Remove from the griddle to a warm plate.  Keep warm until serving.  Repeat until bread and egg mixture is gone*.

Serve warm with powdered sugar, maple syrup or any topping of your choice!

*Leftover egg mixture?  Not to worry!  Simply pour them onto your griddle and make sweet scrambled eggs, believe me, your children will adore them!

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Nantucket Pork Chops

What a busy time it has been!  I have been working on exciting new things for the farm and my new soap business!  I have also been working on a very special article with a farming friend that is in the final stages of editing and it should be posting soon!

With so much activity and so much lousy weather (it has been a wonderfully warm February here in Michigan, but it has come with a lot of sloppy, muddy rain).  What is a busy lady supposed to cook her family on days like these?

I have been turning to an old family standby. Nantucket Pork Chops, they are so simple that they are deceptively delicious. With minimal ingredients and dishes it comes together quick and is hearty enough to satisfy on a cold, damp day.  No, I have no idea how they got their name!

This recipe can be adjusted slightly, but we have found that when trying to make it for more than six, it just doesn’t turn out as well.  Four chops is kind of the magic number, cooking for one or two?  It freezes great with a pat of butter on the top!

Nantuckets’

Serves 4-6

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

4-6 pork chops

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp ground thyme (optional)

3 Tbsp Olive oil

5-7 peeled potatoes (figure 1 average potato per person plus one)

1 large onion (or two small ones)

salt & pepper

1/2-1 cup water

Butter (optional)

Directions:

In a large skillet with a cover, heat the olive oil (uncovered!) over medium heat.  Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt, pepper, thyme and mix well.  Coat the pork chops in the flour and allow them to rest for a couple minutes before placing in the hot oil.  Brown on both sides, but do not cook all the way through.

While the chops are browning, thinly slice the potatoes (about 1/4 inch thickness, too thin and they will stick the pan and too thick they will never cook).  Slice the onion into thick rounds.

Once the first side of the pork chops are browned, flip them over and top with the onions and then potatoes.  Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, top with butter if desired. Reduce the heat to medium-low and carefully pour in about 1/2 cup of water.  The water should come up about half the thickness of the chop.  Cover and let cook another 20-25 minute or until potatoes are tender.  Remove lid and allow the liquid to thicken slightly before serving.

 

Hot Fudge Cake

This is a family go-to recipe, especially in the fall and winter.  It is rich and chocolatey and will warm you up in no time.  Recently featured at one of our Tuesday Dinners, I thought I would share the recipe with you!

 

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour (or cake flour for a lighter cake)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 salt

1 1/2 TBSP cocoa powder

2 TBSP butter

1/2 cup milk

Topping:

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 1/4 cup boiling water

 

Directions:

I use a separate container to mix the dry ingredients for the cake in.  I find it is easier to shake them all together in a Tupperware than try to mix them in the baking pan.  You will need a 9-inch square pan or an equivalent.

For the cake, mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder (not baking soda, that ends in disaster), salt and cocoa.  Soften the butter (I do this by adding it to the milk and microwaving for about 30 seconds).  Add the butter in milk to the dry ingredients and stir until blended.  Spread the batter evenly in the pan.

In a large measuring cup pour in the boiling water.  Add the sugars and cocoa and stir until there are no (or very few) lumps.  Gently pour over the top of the batter. (You could also pre-measure the sugars and cocoa into a bowl and add the water over top, then stir. Either way be careful, it is boiling water.)

Bake in a preheated 350′ oven for 25-45 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch. If the cake part giggles if you wiggle the pan, it needs a couple more minutes.

Alternatively, this cake also microwaves very well and makes it a quick last minute dessert.  Microwave on high power starting at 6 minutes.  Microwave 2-minuteute intervals until the cake is springy to the touch.

Cool slightly and serve with whipped cream or ice cream as desired.

Baked custard

Looking for a little comfort on this chilly fall morning? Look no further than this rich and warm baked custard.

This custard is the one my mom would always make when we weren’t feeling well as kids and to warm everyone up as an after dinner treat.

The custard you see here is a little modified from the original recipe as I wanted to make it as “farm-to-table” as I could using our cows milk.   I also used fresh eggs from a local chicken raiser.

I hope you enjoy and this recipe becomes a comfort food favorite for your family!

 

Baked Custard

3 large eggs

1/2-3/4 cup sugar

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Two 12 oz can evaporated milk or 16oz farm fresh milk

small dash nutmeg

cinnamon

Beat eggs and sugar in a 1 quart oven proof bowl. Add the milk,vanilla and nutmeg. Mix well with a spoon. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and bake in an oven preheated to 325’F for 45 – 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve warm or refrigerate

Serves 4-6

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