Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Something Sweet

Hard to believe that we are well into 2010 and that January is flying by. I'm very grateful that we have been having rainy weather since the water table needs the help and most of our year's drinking water comes with winter rains. That said, the last couple of days have been rougher weather than I like. Thunder and hail made work interesting yesterday. Today there was flooding down the street and all around the area from what I hear. Fortunately I was able to stay home and have fun in the kitchen. Tried a couple of new recipes (coming soon to this blog) and shut down the computer when the winds sounded too fierce. We often have power outages in the winter, but so far are still electrified :)

Found an excellent deal on an Epson all-in-one printer combo a few weeks ago. My old printer...and it is really old folks...finally died before Christmas, so I truly needed a new one. Never being one to do things in a simple way, I used the new toy as a carrot in order to get myself to clean up my office area. It was like archeology...first the things from this winter and fall, then last spring, a pile from last Christmas with a few catalogs and some Christmas cards (quickly thrown in the much easier for a pack rat like me to throw out when it's a year old), then into three years ago and all the way back to some Zip drives full of projects from classes taken in 2003. Found lots of good stuff along the way :) Threw out bags and bags of old stuff, too. Still finding homes for a few things, but my work space is so much nicer and easier to work in. Good thing the printer died. Do you find sorting and keeping up with organization as daunting as I do?

One of the things that took some time but will really be a joy later was organizing my photo CDs. I have dozens of them, including some with full resolution photos for some of my blog photos, and now I know where to lay my hands of specific images. Woot! January weather that keeps me indoors is good for this kind of long overdue sorting.

Looking over January's posts it looks like I have given up on sweets. Never. My sweet tooth is alive and well. It's just that the sweet bounty of the holidays has continued to provide for the sweet tooth, so nothing new was needed. The recent arrival of a killer chocolate cherry brandy bread from Second Sister Down and family, plus Michigan chocolate covered dried cherries added to the delightful sweets on hand and lack of need to bake myself.

Finally we are down to the last of the Christmas goodies. Also I have baked some great multi-grain bread. One loaf went into the freezer and, once thawed, yielded thick delicious slices perfect for French toast. To top the French toast I made some Maple Cinnamon Apples. Their sweet spiciness was perfect with the warm eggy French toast. Didn't have any bacon, but it would have been a great addition for a wonderful breakfast. Sure brightened a gray January morning for me.

French Toast

6 thick slices bread - use home baked bread if you have it
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 cup of milk (non-fat, low fat and full fat are all ok...and so is unsweetened evaporated milk)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
butter for the pan

If the bread is very fresh, dry it a bit in a low oven (200 degrees F) for 5 minutes. Otherwise, just set aside.

In a shallow bowl (I use a pie plate) mix together the egg, milk, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick or seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. As the skillet heats, soak a piece or two (if both will fit flat in the shallow bowl or pan) in the egg milk mixture, turning to soak the other side after 2 minutes. After second side has soaked two additional minutes, remove the soaked slices to the heated pan with a slotted spatula. Replace the removed slices of bread with more slices, again soaking each side for two minutes. Keep soaking the slices as you remove the soaked one to the pan until all bread slices have been soaked.

Cook the bread slices until golden brown on one side, then turn to cook to golden brown on the other side. Remove as cooked and keep warm in a low oven on an oven safe plate.

Once all slices of toast have been cooked, serve, topped with Maple Cinnamon Apples, additional maple syrup if desired, or a topping of your choice.

photo taken on a sunnier day

Maple Cinnamon Apples

1 tablespoon butter
2 large apples (Fuji, Gala and Braeburn are my favorites, but use the apple you like best), washed, cored, and sliced thinly
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more if you really like cinnamon)

In a skillet, over medium-low heat, melt the butter.

Add the apple slices, maple syrup and cinnamon. Stir to thoroughly coat the apples with the syrup and spice. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples soften, about 4 minutes. Uncover and turn heat to high. Cook, stirring often, until syrup thickens slightly, about 4 minutes. Take care. Syrup is very hot.

Serve over the French Toast. Also good over cooked oatmeal or vanilla ice cream.


  1. i love love french toast and now am craving this. looks really good!

  2. Love the printer story! Yes, I do use just such carrots at my house!
    I'm drooling over the apples! So good.

  3. French Toast is always lovely and even better with Maple Syrup apples!! So glad that your sweet tooth is alive and well...

  4. High fives to you for getting all that cleaning and organization done. It's tough for me to part with stuff (I might need it someday!!), but I always feel better when it's gone.

    That french toast looks tremendous. I must close this window quickly before any of my family sees it and expects something this wonderful for their breakfast.

  5. Apple, cinnamon and maple syrup.
    A classic and failsafe combination. ;)

    I don't have a printer at my place but I agree that every now and then you need a carrot to sift through the stratified paperwork of the last months.

  6. Thunder, hail, downpours and in our area, tornados! Crazy weather. Wish I could have had this for breakfast, it would have made going to work today much easier.

  7. i love this recipe i wanna try it

  8. Delicious! Love the look of the apples to tone down some of the breads sweetness.

  9. Watch me as I move the bread aside and gorge myself on those apples!

  10. looks good kids will love it

  11. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the chocolate cherry bread, and of course, the chocolate covered cherries. I was lucky enough to take a slice from one of the 'leftover' loafs, and was amazed into silence.

    I hope to try out some of your recipes while I'm here in Athens, I'm sure my new roommates will be pleased.

    xo, M.M.M.