Our Favorite French Toast

I’m a boring breakfast person. I usually eat a poached egg on toast with a cup of black coffee. Ernest almost always makes breakfast for me before he leaves to work, where he has an office with the most amazing views of the Seattle and surrounding areas.

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On weekends, I usually feel like making breakfast. On Saturday or Sunday morning, I’m ready for a more sinful breakfast. The giant fluffy pancakes, patty sausages, crisp bacon, butter, syrup, hash browns, biscuits and gravy. You know, the breakfast so big you don’t feel hungry again until bedtime–kind of breakfast.

After a semi-disaster with my blackberry turnovers, I had quite a bit of the sweet cream cheese filling leftover. I decided to use it as part of my weekend morning breakfast, and it was a hit.

I made French toast the same way I usually do: French bread slices dipped in eggs with a dash of milk, that I beat together with a generous amount of cinnamon and sugar. Next I  fry egg soaked bread slices in small bit of oil.  Serve with butter, a light sprinkling of powdered sugar and hot Grade B maple syrup.

However, this time I omitted the cinnamon and sugar and only used the eggs.

After dipping the French bread slices into the beaten eggs, I pan-fried them in a light bit of oil, then I lay them on a baking rack, set over a baking sheet.  I served it with the  cream cheese filling leftover from the blackberry turnovers I posted here.  Wow!  I knew it would taste good, but I had no idea it was going to be the only way I ever want to eat French Toast again. Plus,I like the fact that there is now added protein from the cream cheese.  No butter or syrup needed. Seriously, you won’t miss it at all!

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French Toast with sweet cream cheese, stuffed zucchini blossom, and bacon

It tastes like a cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting. Next time I’ll add toasted chopped pecans.

Add few fresh berries or berries with a pinch of sugar,  and create another pop of flavor.

Here is the recipe for the sweet cream cheese spread:

Sweet Cream Cheese Spread for French Toast

4 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)

1/4 cup of sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp vanilla (optional)

Mix together until well blended.  I recommend a using a mixer.

That’s it! Easy peasy.

The Dude loves this on French toast, regular toast, crackers, a spoon. He might love it a little too much.

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Fried Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms and Weeping Blackberry Turnovers

After my day at the Edmonds Farmer’s Market I was excited to create something special out of the produce I picked up.

These days I rarely deep fry foods.  But after scoring the baby zucchini blossoms as I posted here, I knew what I had to do.   There are very few ingredients, but get ready for an amazing “Holy Mother of God!” moment when you bite into one of these babies.

The Dude couldn’t stop repeating a line I cannot repeat here, but I can say it starts with Holy but it doesn’t end with Mother of God.  No matter, I know him well enough to know it’s meant as the highest compliment to the cook.

I should also add that I am (was) not a fan of goat cheese at all. I tried it a few times, but it was just too goaty.   A few months ago, Ernest and I ordered stuffed zucchini blossoms as an appetizer at a local popular restaurant and I was scared knowing they were stuffed with goat cheese, but the server assured me they would not taste goaty. They had a hint of the taste of goat cheese, and I loved them. Then I started craving them. I was hesitant for fear mine would not taste as good as the restaurant’s.

I found a brand of Chevre  advertised as mild goat cheese, so I went with it. The recipe also uses cream cheese which I knew would balance it out.
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These stuffed zucchini blossoms are not as difficult to make, as they may appear to be.

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Fried Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Print Recipe Here

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup of sparkling water (do not use plain water)

3/4 tsp Kosher salt

1  1/2 ounces  goat cheese, at room temperature

2 ounces  Cream cheese, at room temperature

You should have approx 1/3 + cup of cheese combined

1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 finely chopped scallion (green onion)

fresh ground pepper

6-8 zucchini blossoms

oil for frying (I used canola)

In a medium size bowl, mix the flour, sparkling water, and Kosher salt until smooth. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, mix the cheeses, chopped basil and onion, and salt and pepper until smooth.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, deep fryer, or Dutch-oven, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until oil reaches 350 degrees F.  I use a deep-frying thermometer.  Dip the stuffed zucchini blossoms in the batter and allow any excess batter to drip off.  Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Allow the cooked blossoms to drain on paper towels. I prefer to set them on a cooling rack that I place inside of a baking sheet lined with paper towels. That way they aren’t sitting in their own oil drippings.

Before adding more blossoms to the hot oil, make sure you allow the temperature of the oil to return to 350 degrees F.

NOTE:  I gently open petals of the blossoms with the tips of my fingers and turn them down to make it easier to fill. After I stuff, I gently lift the petals back into place and gently twist the tips together to hold in the filling. It gets messy, and don’t worry if a little cheese mixture is sneaking through.

…and now for the blackberries.

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I also bought 4 half pints of jumbo blackberries. Berries are probably one of my favorite fruits.

The night before I went to the market, I had a dream about giant blackberries. In my dream they were the size of plums. When I saw the jumbo berries at the market, I figured I had to buy them or maybe I could be struck by lightning or break a hip. You never know, and I didn’t want to tempt fate.

The recipe I followed uses puff pastry cups. I couldn’t find them at my grocery store, and I was too lazy to go to another store, so I bought puff pastry sheets. Next time I will use the cups. Why?

Just take a gander at the photo below.

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Granted they’re not purdy, but let me tell you brothers and sisters, these are the tastiest tarts I’ve ever eaten. Seriously, the filling is a sweetened cream cheese filling with blackberries. Unbelievably flavorful and almost too simple to make–if you don’t make the same mistakes I made. The moral to this story?  Don’t be lazy and don’t over stuff your pastry.     image

I had leftover filling because I didn’t use the two sheets of puff pastry. I came up with another idea of what to use it for.  It has changed my life forever. More on that tomorrow.

CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE

Thank you for reading my blog.  If you haven’t had a chance to watch this video, please do! Sean is an amazing talent. Click here for “Black and Blue For You”

WATCH THIS!!! 

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My son Sean (Mark Sean) Movie Director

Edmonds, Washington Farmer’s Market

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Goodies peeking out of the trunk of my car

I’m grateful to live in such a beautiful little town in Washington state.

Edmonds is my favorite town in western Washington.  Not just because I live here, but because it has an old-fashioned charm I can’t seem to find anyplace else.

Health freak that I am, I drove down to the waterside to take my morning walk along the beautiful Puget Sound. I didn’t get far before I started craving a doughnut. By not getting far, I mean, I parked my car and locked it.

I rarely eat doughnuts, but the Edmonds Bakery makes French Crullers every Saturday. My craving grew and grew until I finally surrendered and decided my hands were tied and I had no choice!

I practically pushed people out of my way to feast my eyes on my beloved crullers, only to discover they were not there! The young man behind the counter told me they will be finished in an hour.

An hour? By then I could waste away. Again, my hands were tied.

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An Old Fashioned glaze and a cup of coffee. The second best doughnut.

Looking out the bakery window I noticed a herd of people walking by. Then I remembered the farmer’s market is today.

The Saturday farmer’s market shuts down two streets. There are artists, farmers, and beautiful flowers. Conventional and organic fruits and veggies are weaved throughout the booths. Smoked salmon, homemade jams, fresh-baked breads, you name it, they’ve got it.

As you can see in the picture at the top of my post, I decided I would walk off my doughnut by shopping at the market. I picked up a bouquet of beautiful cut flowers for five dollars! A steal. I also bought half a dozen baby zucchini with their blossoms and four half pints fully loaded with giant blackberries. I hauled the bounty back to my car and walked the few blocks back to the market to pick up a beautiful loaf of sourdough bread.

I didn’t go shopping with a plan, as I find it rather fun to just pick out what appeals to my eye, haul it home and come up with a plan.

The zucchini blossoms will be stuffed with cheeses and herbs, then deep-fried until golden. I will serve them alongside the leftover angel hair pasta dish I made for dinner last night.

The blackberries will probably end up in a dessert I’ll make with store-bought frozen puff pastry. The sourdough bread simply heated, sliced and served with butter.

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Ain’t she perty?

As shown, a beautiful bouquet of flowers will adorn the dinner table. I shouldn’t buy flowers, as I’m allergic, but I couldn’t resist. In a few days they will go out on the patio table and I will be able to breathe freely again.

I’ll update with recipes and photos of what I turn this week’s goodies into.

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Thank you for reading my blog.  If you haven’t had a chance to watch this video, please do! Sean is an amazing talent. Click here for “Black and Blue For You”

WATCH THIS!!! 

19666945803_8eda17bbec_n

My son Sean (Mark Sean) Movie Director