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breakfast

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Waking up to breakfast smells is probably one of the best ways to wake up. I don’t have a personal breakfast chef, so if I want breakfast at home, then it’s up to me. Overnight oats are terrible lie of a breakfast, but overnight French Toast (which is really just a lightened up bread pudding with a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg) is a fantastic alarm clock for your olfactory system.

Enjoy a scoop with some greek yogurt and maple syrup and you’re pretty golden.

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No hard and fast recipe:
Half a loaf of old bread, sliced.
Whole Milk
A little bit of sugar.
2-4 eggs. I probably settled in the middle at 3. Also a good way to use up yolks.
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Vanilla extract if you want it.

Heat the milk and sugar up, temper the eggs and add to the milk & sugar. Toss in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Butter/oil up a baking dish. Layer the bread slices.

Pour milk and egg mixture over bread slices. Cover, let soak overnight.

If you don’t have an oven that you can program to bake at set times, sorry, you’ll have to wake up in order to bake this. Otherwise bake it at 325-350 for an hour before you want to get up. Take off the foil 20-ish minutes at the end of baking to firm up the top.

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Deanna Fox is an amazing woman – she recently whipped up brunch for a few folks when Innae was in town.  LOOK AT THE TABLE! It is so beautiful!
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When I walked in to her beautiful farm kitchen, I peeped her hash-making skills.
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Squee – table of deliciousness! I seriously love the foliage.
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A stack of fluffy cheddar dill biscuits.
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Citrus salad. Oh, the effort that goes in to delicately peeling these.
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Apple Cider Doughnut Bread Pudding, which in my circle of friends, seems to be pretty popular this year. Fall 2014’s new it-dessert?
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Soon it was time for us all to sit around and chat, chat, chat while we ate, ate, ate. When I was a kid I remember HATING how long the adults would take just sitting around the dinner table TALKING about stuff that wasn’t Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sesame Street, or Disney movies. But now I get it – there’s SO much to talk about it. So much to catch up on, and just plain giggling and joking to have because we don’t see each other all that often.
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I’ll take one of everything, please! Just the night before I’d made a maple ice cream with burnt caramel swirl that went really well with the apple cider doughnut pudding. And a lovely gram masala muffin, too!
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And since we were just coming off of the final Tournament of Pizza , and Innae was a previous pizza judge, Deanna made breakfast pizza with puff pastry! Food friends, and tons of French press coffee. Love it!

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This homeownership thing is starting to catch up with my blogging. I always have something to do (which I like), which means blogging takes a way side sometimes. I’m learning new ways of time management, and trying to accept what I cannot change. Overnight cinnamon rolls are great for busy times. Make them the night before, pop them in the fridge, and then bake them off in the morning.

I made these red velvet cinnamon rolls from the Law Student’s Wife. They were pretty tasty, but I may knead it a bit less, or try to make them a bit more tender.
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I also made the gourmeted cinnamon rolls I loved 4 years ago, but didn’t feel the same way about them this time. They were fine, but… Maybe I just wasn’t in much of a cinnamon roll mood when I made these.
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I do like overnight ferments of pretty much any bready things lately. It helps develop a little more flavor, and while it spreads out the prep time, it makes it easier for me to plan out when I want it ready.
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Mornings like this make me smile, though. Mornings when I pretend I’m a housewife who Betty Crockers it up and totally didn’t have to take off the toilet from the base to find roots, then self-rootered them out, and cracked a tile reattaching the toilet to the bolts. At least I’ve got a somewhat decent knack for toilet plumbing, though I wish it would have extended to click lock flooring. Sigh. Epic sigh. Deep breath. Not a big deal. It’s not a big deal. We’ve got a cement slab, and it’s just a bare slab now, so my house has a Halloween theme going on in parts of it. Yes, that’s it – Halloween house. I think I’m more bothered that this bothers me, than not actually being good at it (which is progress in and of itself).
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Cream cheese frosting also helps. I’m also happy that I live near new friends, so I can ninja-drop cinnamon rolls in their garage.

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Hodgson Mill posted a recipe for “Gluten Free Baked Beignets“. I used quotes because there is no way you can all these beignets in any way, shape, or form.  However, they are perfect as gluten-free scones. Not as light as wheat-based scones, but pretty decent for coconut flour scones. Hodgson Mill took my criticism well on Twitter. But seriously, don’t confuse these for beignets. It’s like calling a dinner roll a funnel cake. Two completely different things.

I don’t have any issues with gluten, but I will jump on any recipe that uses coconut flour. I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Baking in my Bathing Suit has been gluten-free lately, and she came over to help me make these.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

2T Warm Water
1 t yeast
1/2 t sugar
(Proof the three above ingredients if you want, otherwise just toss it all together)

1 C Gluten Free AP Flour
1/2 C Coconut flour
2 T Sugar
1 t baking soda1/2 t xanthan gum
3 T coconut oil, melted
1/2 C milk
1 t lemon juice
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

Combine all of the dry stuff, then drizzle in the melted coconut oil and mix so it evenly distributes and looks kind of clumpy. Then add in the liquids (including the proofed yeast, if not, toss in the yeasty trio now). Mix well.
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Here’s what it looks like when it’s all combined and mixed. Then you cover it and let it rise for about an hour.

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Put some parchment paper on the baking sheet you intend to use. Sprinkle with some gluten free flour
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Plop the risen dough on this sheet, then knead/fold it for a little while so the dough comes back together.

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Then roll it out into as much of a rectangle as you can make, he he. (Straight lines are not my strength)

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Then cut into triangles. Or however you want them shaped.

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Spread them out a bit on the parchment-lined pan. Then cover and let them rise another +/-30 minutes. (note: I made these in winter, so my house is cooler and a 30 minute rise time is normal. In the summer this may be reduced to less than 30 minutes)
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Here’s how they look after poofing for a half hour. Wow, lookin’ pretty scone-y.
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And here they are fresh out of the oven. 400F until the edges just start to get a slight tan. I think this was about 8 minutes for my in my convection oven.
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Figured I’d try them tossed in powdered sugar in the spirit of beignets. Also because these aren’t very sweet.
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They looked pretty, but you can leave the powdered sugar off your own. Not much stuck to them.
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But these gluten free scones were great with some freshly macerated fruit!

 

P1030032I usually suck at making bread pudding. But for some reason I lucked out with this iteration. Something like 2 cups of milk, 3 eggs, splash of vanilla extract and about 1/2 c of sugar all whisked together. Then toss in some unsweetened shredded coconut, and pour all over your cubed bread.

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I let them all sit together overnight, then popped it in the oven until it all set. About 350F for something like 30 minutes (covered).

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I think the overnight soak is what helped nail this. It gave the bread enough time to absorb all of the liquid. Also, use a lot of liquid. I think in the past I’ve been skimpy with the liquid, which resulted in not-really-bread-pudding crunchy results.

The loaf I used was a green tea swirled tea cake. It was okay as it was, but better as bread pudding.

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Fall is here. What comforts you in this weather? Big bowls of soup? This weekend I was thinking of cinnamon. Cinnamon used to be low on my list of spices, but lately I’ve been digging Penzys’ Cinnamon mix. It’s a blend of China, Vietnamese, Korintje, and Ceylon cinnamon. It’s got warmth, kick, and brightness. I know A Southern Grace loves cinnamon as much as I love Hello Kitty. I guess our palates can change over time.

I’ve been so busy with house stuff lately that baking has seemed like this overwhelming task, but this recipe is quick and easy to make – mix it all in one bowl. I didn’t know there would be so many “must” fixes when owning a house and the fun stuff like baking and cosmetic replacements would have to wait until, say, a bathroom floor got put in. But still, I’m lucky to have these decision and repairs to make.

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I’m still loving Chobani greek yogurt and wanted to incorporate that in a loaf to cut some fat, increase protein, and increase tenderness. This is probably a mix of coffee cake, donut, and quick bread. I still don’t eat wheat as much as I used to, but this was a springy, soft, comforting nibble in the morning.

One benefit of this weather is that I can leave it outside on the patio fence to cool off quickly. If you slice into baked goods without letting them cool off, more moisture will evaporate from the cut and the good overall will be drier than if it’d cooled off on its own (whole).

Enjoy this with a piping hot cup of tea, coffee, or even a scoop of ice cream.

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Cinnamon Donut Loaf Recipe
Dry
2 C AP Flour
1.5 t baking soda
1.5 t baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 C white sugar
1 T cinnamon

Wet
1.5 C greek yogurt
2 eggs
2 T maple syrup
2 T melted butter or oil

Streusel Topping
2 T melted butter
1/3 C white sugar
1 t cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in the bowl, then add the wet ingredients, stir to combine.
Put in an 8″x8″ square baking pan.
Top with melted butter, cinnamon, & sugar mixture.
Bake 350F until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center, about 40 minutes.

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Went to the Wolf Rd Diner on a Sunday morning, at a rather busy time for them. It’s the diner closer to the airport on Wolf Rd (219 Wolf Rd, Albany, NY 12205). Coffee is fine for diner Coffee. Our waitress was forgetful and overall not that great. You’d think she’d try to remember our orders and get it right the first time she forgot something, but after a while we gave up trying to remind her about the stuff she forgot because she’d apologize, say she was going to get it, then get distracted with other tables and never bring us the thing she forgot.

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Any way, they use real butter on their toast (yay, not margarine) and do a pretty decent fry-up on the home fries and hash. The eggs were a properly runny over easy.

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Challah french toast with ham. Wow, that was super yellow. No maple syrup, only breakfast syrup. But plenty of butter, so that was good. If you get there before 11 AM (I think) you can do a breakfast combo where your meals also come with coffee/tea and juice. Grapefruit juice was good – not too tart or sugary.

I still prefer Bob‘s over the Wolf Road Diner, but in a pinch, this wasn’t too bad.