Hot Chocolate French Toast with Roasted Hazelnuts

Who doesn’t want to wakeup holiday morning to the smell and taste of hot chocolate and roasting hazelnuts?

You’ll Need:

1 loaf Brioche or and Egg enriched bread, cut into 1 inch thick slices

Unsalted butter 

3 cups heavy cream

6 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

9 large eggs, beaten

2 cups nut milk

1 cup of sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Cinnamon spiked whipped cream

Here’s How:

Generously butter a 13×9 baking dish. Arrange the bread slices in overlapping rows inside the baking dish.

Over low heat, slowing warm the cream, milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Whisk until chocolate is melted, about 5-8 minutes. Once the chocolate is completely melted, remove 1 cup mixture to an airtight container, set aside to cool. Cover and chill until ready to serve. 

In the bowl of your standing mixer, whisk eggs, milk, sugar, and salt in on high speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Slowing begin tempering the egg mixture by introducing the hot chocolate and cream mixture in a slow, steady stream; this will help to avoid the eggs heating too quickly and scrambling. 

Once combine, pour evenly over and between each layer of bread. Push down with your hands to soak the top — cover the dish tightly with foil and chill at least 2 hours.

Chef’s Note: If eggs do scramble, don’t worry, strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

When ready, remove from the refrigerator and allow it to sit about 20 minutes to bring a little closer to room temperature — Preheat oven to 350°F Degrees. 

Bake foil-covered casserole until warmed through, and a knife inserted into the center feels warm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the bread is browned, 35–40 minutes longer. 

Remove and allow to cool about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast hazelnuts in a small skillet over medium heat, occasionally tossing, until golden-brown and fragrant, 3–5 minutes. 

Heat the reserved chocolate mixture until warm.

Serve French toast with chocolate sauce, top with toasted hazelnuts and add optional cinnamon-spiked whipped cream.

Do Ahead:

Assemble one day ahead before baking; cover tightly with foil and chill.

Makes approximately 6-8 servings

Fried Egg Naan with Sambal- Oelek Jam

Heat your Cold Winter Mornings! 

You’ll Need:

For the Chili Jam:

2-4 tablespoons hot chili paste (sambal oelek)

1-2 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1-2 teaspoon honey

For the Egg Naan:

1/4-1/2 cup Plain Greek yogurt

Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper

2-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1-2 tablespoons butter

2-4 large eggs

2-4 pieces Nann bread

Paprika for garnish

Scallions, sliced thin

Cilantro Micro-greens for garnish

Here’s How: 

For the Jam: 

In a small bowl, combine the hot chili paste, vinegar, and honey. Set aside.

For the Egg Naan:

Place Greek yogurt in another small bowl; season with salt. Set aside. 

Heat oil and butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high, crack eggs into pan and cook, shaking pan occasionally to keep eggs from sticking to each other until edges are golden brown, about 2 minutes; season with salt. 

Carefully tilt skillet toward you so oil pools at the front edge of the pan. Spoon the hot oil over egg whites, especially where they are still translucent, avoiding yolks, until set, about 1-2 minutes.

Warm Naan in a large cast-iron pan seasoned with a little oil. Remove to a warmed plate.

Divide the thick, tangy yogurt among the Naan, and top each with a fried egg, chili jam, scallions, microgreens, paprika, and fresh black pepper.

Makes 2-4 servings

High Protein, Low Carb Almond Crepes- Have your Crepe, & Eat it too! 

If you are watching your macros, and counting carbs while increasing fats – this is definitely the crepe recipe for you! These are so yummy! I usually double the recipe. 

Ingredients:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature 

4 large eggs

3/4 cup almond flour

2 tbsp granulated coconut sugar or sugar substitute 

1/4 -1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil or butter 

Few drops of almond or vanilla extract or your favorite essential oil 

Pinch Hymalayan salt

Grape seed oil cooking spray or butter for the pan

Method:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

In a a stand mixer, food processor, or standing blender – combine the cream cheese, the eggs, almond flour, sweetener, nut milk, oil, salt, and extract. Puree or mix until smooth and well combined. Should have the  consistency of a  melted milkshake. Add more nut milk if necessary. If lumpy, strain thru a seive. 

Set a 10-inch non stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add just enough oil or butter to lightly coat the pan. 

Once hot, add a ping-pong ball size ladle of batter to the pan and swirl or spread into a thin layer that reaches the edges, carefully not to roll up on the sides on the pan. 

Cook until edges are browning and the crepe is non stick to the shaking of the pan. Loosened with a spatula. Loosen all the way around and then lift one edge gently and work spatula underneath and flip it. Or, if you are brave, flip it in the air. Trust me – it’s fun and easy. Might take a few practice runs, but it’s worth it. Give it a go! 

Flip and cook on the other side until lightly browned. Remove and lay on prepared baking sheet, then continue with remaining batter. 

Continue to layer on top of the previous  crepe or on an additional piece of parchment on top of the first set of crepes as more come off the pan.

Fill with you favorite nut butters and homemade jams –top with fresh fruit. 
Whooo hoooo! Eat em’ up! 

Makes approximately 8 to 10 crepes. Each crepe has 3.06g of carbs and 1.16g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 1.90grams per Crepe. 6.30 grams of protein!!!! 160 calories each. 13 grams of delicious fat. 
Photo credit: Julia from, Julia’s kitchen 

Cloud Eggs – An Eventful Mothers Day Breakfast Even a Kid Could Make! 

Cloud Eggs- A culinary staple in egg cookery but are all the rage right now. So fun to make, and eat! Perfect for a surprise breakfast treat! 

Ingredients:

4 large eggs

Pink Himalayan or Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese.( Fine grate )

3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Method:

Preheat oven to 450° and line a large high sided baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

Separate egg whites and egg yolks, placing the egg whites in a large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl. Careful not to break the yolk. Set yolks aside. 

Season the egg whites with salt and pepper. 

Using a whisk or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 

Gently fold in Parmesan, and chives. 

Create 4 mounds of egg whites on the prepared baking sheet and indent the centers of each to look like nests. Bake until slightly golden, about 3 minutes.

After three minutes, and whites are sturdy-carefully add an egg yolk to the center of each egg white cloud. 

Season yolk with salt and pepper. Bake until the yolks are just set, about 3 additional minutes.
Enjoy!

Variations

Add chopped cooked pancetta, crumbled bacon, diced ham, small chipped red bell peppers , scallions–or any of your favorite breakfast foods to the egg whites after they have stiff peaks. Be extra careful not to deflate the whites when folding in. Serve with a classic Bloody Mary. On or off toast. 

Low Sugar, Scratch- Cashew Milk Base Pancake Recipe 

This is a base Pancake mix. Just in time for any morning! Add any flavors you like!

You’ll Need: 

2 cups whole wheat flour or all purpose 

1 Tablespoon monk-fruit sugar granules or organic cane sugar 

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 heaping tablespoon baking powder

2 large eggs, beaten well

1/8 cup melted extra virgin, non-flavored coconut oil or butter 

2 cups nut milk, room temperature 

1/2-1 teaspoon flavored essential oil or extract of your choice

Here’s How:

In a medium size mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. 

Make a well in the center of the flour. Add egg mixture, cashew milk and melted butter. Using a whisk combine well and until mixture is smooth and lump free. 

For cake like pancakes, reduce the amount of cashew milk – for thinner pancakes add additional milk.

Heat a well oiled pan over medium low heat. When warm ladle in 2-3 ounces of batter while making a circular motion with the back of the ladle to form a circle. Allow to cook about 2 minutes until bubbles form and edges turn brown. Flip, and continue to cook for an addition 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Remove to plate to cool. Continue until all batter has been used. 

Variations: For those not watching glycemic index, top with fresh fruit, butter, low sugar maple syrup or eat plain with fresh fruit compote. 


Make-ahead:

Cool, line individually on parchment or silicone mat and freeze for one hour. Once each pancakes are individually frozen. Remove and pack air-tight for quick grab and toast breakfast on the go! 


Makes Approximately 3 3/4 – 4 cups of batter or 10 to 12 , 6 in pancakes

Green Monster Muffins! 

My stance on getting sneaky in the kitchen is very simple. I don’t like to lie about food, especially to children. I also know how hard it can be to get little ones to eat green. Fun holidays like, Halloween or St. Patricks Day and year end holiday are a great time to get green. Or flex your parental power and establish a “green food “ day of the week and introduce new green foods on that day.



Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose or gluten-free flour

1 cup cane or coconut sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups raw baby spinach

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups butter

3 over ripe bananas

2 teaspoons good quality vanilla
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350’F degrees and prepare 2 regular sized muffin tins with non-stick, organic cooking spray. Or cupcake liners. Or, prepare 2 loaf pans

2.In a blender, combine spinach and bananas. Blend until spinach changed to a liquid state.
3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and allspice. Mix well. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and butter, mix on high speed until creamy and sugar crystals begin to dissolve- about three to five minutes. Add eggs, one at a time mixing well in between each addition.

 

5. Slowly beat in the spinach – banana mixture. Add vanilla.

 

6. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix well to combine.

 

7. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins or two prepared loaf pans.

 

8. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes or until muffins spring back to the touch and are slightly browned on edges. 60-90 minutes if baking loafs.
Test for doneness by running a toothpick in the center. If if pulls out clean, loafs are done. Makes approximately 2 dozen medium muffins, 1 1/2 large and 3-4 dozen mini muffins or 2 loafs.

Homemade Bacon-Maple Butter

Delicious on just about anything including a good grilled steak. Love this on my recipe for homemade pumpkin spiced flap-jacks, or extra toasty waffles. The best part about making this homemade bacon-maple butter, is that your entire house will smell like holiday ( Insert big, happy sigh.)

unspecified-2

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. unsalted butter, cut into approximately 1 inch pieces and frozen

4 strips of bacon, cooked crispy. (1 Tablespoon of fat reserved)

1 Tablespoon bacon fat ( optional )

1-1/2 cups grade A medium maple syrup

1/4 tsp. Kosher salt

Method: 

In a medium sized, 3-4 quart heavy bottomed,stainless-steel saucepan,rub the inside rim with 1/2 teaspoon of the butter. (This will help prevent the maple syrup from boiling over.) Add the Maple syrup to the sauce pan and cook without stirring on medium high heat until the syrup reaches 235”F Degrees on a candy thermometer. About 8 to 10 minutes. When the syrup begins to boil gently tilt the pan so the syrup covers the thermometer bulb to get an accurate reading.

Once syrup comes to temperature, remove from heat and add the frozen butter 1-2 pieces at a time. Make sure to stir constantly with a wooden spoon until each addition of butter has melted before incorporating more. Repeat until all the butter has been added.

Once all the butter has been incorporated, add the salt and the bacon fat.Stir to combine.

Pour the syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer, or use and electric hand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until cooled and lighter in color and about 10-15 minutes. Gently crumble, and fold in bacon bits until just combine or add before pressing for a smoother bacon texture.

Pour the bacon maple butter into clean mason jars, recycled food safe jars, or BPF free plastic containers. Allow to cool to room temperature. Seal air-tight and refrigerate. Can be stored up to, two weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

 

Makes approximately 1 pint.

Variation : Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and for a spicy finish– add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Or both! You decide.

 

 

Pumpkin Spiced FlapJacks with Bacon Maple Butter

This recipe is best when made with fresh pumpkin puree. Pancakes won’t be so orange and the batter will result in a lighter, fluffier pancake. If pumpkins are not in season, or you are rushed for time– it’s fine to use canned pumpkin.

pumpkinpancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour or, all purpose flour or gluten free flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup  fresh pumpkin puree or good quality canned pumpkin puree

3 large eggs, separated

1  cup whole milk or nut milk

1/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Organic Canola for the cooking pan

Maple syrup or honey, warmed

My bacon maple butter recipe ( see my recipe here )

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda with the salt. Mix well to combine.

In a medium bowl whisk  the milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla with an electric mixer beat on high speed two minutes to blend well.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin and egg mixture and beat on low speed until batter is smooth but thick. About 1 minute. Set aside. Wash beaters with soapy water and clean well of any remaining batter. In a large bowl using your electric mixer with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.

With a rubber spatular, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the pumpkin batter in 2- 3 additions.

Brush large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat.

Working in batches, with a large ladel pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Use the back of the ladle to make a circular motion in the batter and shape the pancake to about a 4-5 inch circle.

Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with oil between batches.

Top with my recipe for, Bacon Maple Butter and serve with warm maple syrup or honey.

 

Drunken Bacon for that “Grown-up” Sunday Brunch you’ve been longing for ! (This Bacon is Hot, Sweet and Sticky, so be prepared to have   “Breakfast in Bed!” )


Clothing optional ! I’d serve these sexy bits of heaven with a side of warm melted chocolate – but that’s just me. #ParentsDayOff 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup good quality pure maple syrup

1/4 cup good quality Bourbon 

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 pounds, 3/4-inch-thick slices of skinless slab bacon

Method:

Preheat oven to 350’F Degrees. 
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon and orange zest. Place bacon strips into the whisky marinade and toss until the bacon is evenly coated. Allow to rest a minimum of 20 minutes, up to one hour.

Line a 2 high sided baking sheets with foil and place a cookie cooling rack on top of each sheet. Spray cookie cooling racks with non-stick cooking spray.

Lay bacon on the racks in a flat even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy. 

Watch closely the last 5 minutes because the bacon will burn very quickly towards the end of the cooking process. 

Cool before serving.
Enjoy 

It’s all about the dressing

Summer salads are a great way to explore what’s in season while introducing your little one to new flavors. Dips, dressings, that little something extra is what makes a difference from the little one turning his or her nose up to diving right in. Dressing doesn’t need to come in a bottle. It’s something you can make at home with your little ones. Get them involved. See which flavor they like. Then, try mixing the dressings with produce. What do you like with the raspberry vinaigrette? Is there something that the balsamic is better with? (Try strawberries, feta and spinach with the last one. It’s a simple, warm weather healthy addition to any meal.)

Today, it’s all about the dressings. Maybe you end up with a variety of them in your home to meet individual tastes. That’s OK!! These are homemade and fresh. Each recipe makes enough to dress salad for four. If you find one that everyone likes, consider doubling or tripling the recipes and storing it in a mustard or jam jar. Before to shake before serving. These dressings should stay fresh for a week.

Citrus vinaigrette

  1. In a saucepan, simmer ½ cup of orange juice, ¼ cup lime juice and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice for 4 minutes or until 1/3 cup remains. Pour into a bowl.
  2. Whisk 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar, minced red chile, a large minced shallot, chopped mint, ½ tsp. each grated orange and lemon zests, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. Whisking continuously, slowly add ¼ cut extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified.

 

Balsamic vinaigrette

  1. Whisk together 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (white or dark), 1 ½ Tbsp. warm water, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard and ½ tsp. of each minced garlic, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Whisking continuously, slowly pour in 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified.

 

Mustard-herb vinaigrette

  1. In a blender, puree 1 hard-cooked egg yolk (this makes the dressing extra creamy, 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp. each grainy Dijon mustard and water, and ½ tsp. each of minced garlic, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. With blender running, slowly add 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified. Pour into a bowl; stir in 2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon, chervil, basil or parsley.

 

Fresh raspberry vinaigrette

  1. In a blender, puree ¾ cup fresh raspberries with ¼ cup reduced sodium chicken broth.
  2. Scrape puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and discard seeds.
  3. Into the puree, whisk 2 Tbsp. canola oil, 1 Tbsp. each of apple cider vinegar and minced shallot, 2 tsp. Dijon honey mustard and ¼ tsp. each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper until emulsified.

 

Sesame-ginger vinaigrette

  1. Whisk together 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp. each of minced garlic and sugar, and 2 Tbsp. each of rice vinegar and soy sauce.
  2. While whisking, slowly add ¼ cut peanut or canola oil and 1 Tbsp. toasted Asian sesame oil until emulsified. Stir in 1 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives and 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds.

 

Chipotle-honey-lime vinaigrette

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk 3 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce, 1 ¼ tsp. each or honey and ground cumin, and ½ tsp. each of minced garlic and kosher salt.
  2. Whisking continuously, slowly add 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified. Stir in 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro.