Days Left: 356
Recipes To Go: 589
The idea of making a large breakfast sounds delicious, hearty and a great way to start the day out (if you live on a monster farm and can burn all the food back off). Being a morning person usually helps in promoting a big breakfast with everything (I am "not" a morning person). Have you looked at a Bon Appetit or Gourmet magazine, seeing any one of their breakfast layouts? Pages of pictures later, you get to the recipe section (also about 4 pages long) of a smorgasbord large enough to feed 50 people; but of course the magazines will picture 6 people eating small plates of food.
What is your breakfast ideal for the weekend? Do you wish you were making a table full of food or are you happy with 1 or 2 items?
I think my Mom making breakfast EVERY morning when I was growing up combined with the admiration of the Amish idea of breakfast has caused me to feel guilty that I struggle with making breakfast on the weekends. I have cookbooks and television to thank for putting the ideal in my head about how the Amish cook a huge spread with every dish made from scratch (including homemade bread and preserves).
My solution has been to find recipes requiring easy assembly the night before (who really wants to make breakfast on a Friday night, adding to the dinner dishes?) and refrigeration. The next morning, with a sigh of relief when waking up, take breakfast out of the refrigerator and bake. Small side dishes, like Julia's scrambled eggs are so much more do-able (I have no idea if this is a word but I am making it one today).
The recipe for Grand Marnier French Toast is as Good, if not Better, then any restaurant will serve. From the first bite, orange, baked butter, chewy, crunchy, maple, not-overly-sweet but sweet enough, flavorful that keeps adding layers of flavor as you chew. Delicious and elegant yet easy and down home.
Guess what else is incredible? Fast preparation Friday night, slid into the refrigerator and out of mind, hardly "any" dishes and I woke up this morning actually looking forward to making breakfast . . . I know, shocking. I mentioned earlier I am NOT a morning person and I have to drag my butt out of bed before 8 am just out of guilt. If the guilt was not a riding factor, I probably would try to justify sleeping till 9 or maybe 10. (I can't believe I just typed that out loud.)
Grand Marnier French Toast
(I did not ever state this was low calorie but you have all day to burn it off)
4 cups heavy cream
4 Tablespoons Grand Marnier (you can substitute orange juice)
4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons orange zest
French Bread (I also use Peasant bread)
Put 10 - 12 pieces of French bread in a baking dish. Mix ingredients together and pour over bread. Put in refrigerator overnight. Turn slices after two hours.
Next day, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees/ Butter cookie sheet and transfer bread. Bake 30 - 40 minutes, turning halfway through. (You will want a baking dish on the rack below to catch any melted butter after you flip the bread.)
Set French toast on a serving tray and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Serve with maple syrup and orange butter (recipe below).
6 oz. butter (softened)
Juice of one orange
1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Orange zest from one orange
Soften butter. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Form a ball and refrigerate. **I had a problem with this forming a ball. The liquid wants to separate. My solution, refrigerate, then before serving, melt for 30 seconds in the microwave and drizzle over French toast when serving. Was delicious like this and looked very pretty.**
I took on Julia's scrambled eggs as if I was going to learn something new this morning and I did learn something new and something I will not repeat the next time.
Scrambled Eggs p. 125 (Julia Child)
First, beat 7 or 8 eggs plus 2 egg yolks with a wire whip. I used my hand blender (there is no where stated in doing this challenge that I am not adding modern kitchen toys for ease).
Smear the bottom and sides of a skillet (7 or 8-inch) with 2 tablespoons of softened butter. Pour the eggs and set over moderately low hear. Stir slowly and continually, reaching all over the bottom of the pan. Nothing will seem to happen for 2 to 3 minutes as the eggs gradually heat. Suddenly they will begin to thicken into a custard. Stir rapidly, moving pan on and off heat, until the eggs have almost thickened to the consistency you wish. They remove from heat, as they will continue to thicken slightly.
Just as soon as they are of the right consistency, stir in the enrichment butter or cream, which will stop the cooking. Season to taste, turn out onto the platter and decorate with a few sprigs of parsley, and serve.
I used butter to stop the cooking and wish I had used cream. I think the scrambled eggs tasted more like butter, textured with scrambled eggs. I was not expecting that part BUT the consistency was light, silky, and perfect. Julia's difference for me is stirring the eggs constantly. I pour the eggs into the skillet and let sit until the eggs start to show a custard like texture, then start stirring. I think the stirring creates a lighter egg.