Category Archives: bread

Simple French Toast

Despite being a carbaholic, I rarely buy bread. Sure, I make banana bread and cinnamon swirl bread from time to time, but if I didn’t bake the bread myself, I’d just as soon not eat it. (I find store-bought bread questionable in most cases.)

And, when I do buy bread, I almost always commit sacrilege by letting the bread get stale. Once a chunk of French bread has served its purpose sopping up sauce or soup, the remaining baguette inevitably ends up on top of my fridge, discarded and forgotten.

That’s where French toast comes in. (And croutons, but that’s for another day.) Even when the bread is so dry that I could sand furniture with it, the bread will still soak up egg. (BONUS: When the bread is that dry, the resulting French toast isn’t soggy, but just-soft-enough.)

It’s a miracle of nature that I will never take for granted.

Simple French Toast:
a few slices of stale bread
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 tablespoon butter

1) Whisk eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Dip bread in the dish to cover with the egg mixture thoroughly. (If your bread is really stale, like mine was, soak the bread overnight.)
2) In a pan on medium-low heat, melt butter. Add egg-covered bread slices. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side.
3) Top with anything and everything, like the combination maple syrup, slivered almonds, and a smear of cream cheese shown above. Probably could’ve worked some fruit in there somewhere…

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Banana Bread and a Desperate Plea

Apparently I’m not yet over the concept of breakfast week. Or, more accurately, the bananas that ripened all too quickly in my pantry wanted in on the early-morning action.

Speaking of action, this blog has been seeing a lot of it recently. If you’re new here, or even if you’re an old friend, I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell me about yourself–why you’re here, what you like to eat, whether you live in the Triangle and want to be Real Life friends… let me know!

Pretty please?

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s. I added chocolate chips because there was no reason not to.

Banana Bread:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips, if desired

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9–inch loaf pan and set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl for several minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs and beat to combine.
2) In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir in nuts (and chocolate chips, if you want) and pour into prepared pan.
3) Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of bread cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then place on a rack to cool.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread


For some inexplicable reason, this cinnamon raisin bread is still sitting on my counter, despite being baked on Saturday.

I promise that it’s really delicious; it’s just that I haven’t really been home much, and the granola is so darn convenient, and apparently I have better self-control than I originally thought.

[Pause here implied, as I go cut myself a slice. Okay… two slices.]

I highly recommend setting out a plate of butter next to the bread. Let it get to room temperature so when you cut a slice, and the toaster is simply too far away, no butter melting is required.

I think this days-old bread wants to be made into French toast by now. It’s on the verge of stale, and only beaten eggs and milk can save it. Stay tuned.

This recipe explains the cinnamon-raisin-swirl-bread-making process way better than I ever could. (And there’s more pictures!)

Tomorrow, however, there will be bacon cheddar muffins. I swear it. And just to better prepare you:

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits

This is Andrea. Andrea is my newest food model. (No meat dresses here, though. Sorry.)

At home, the logical next dinner following roast chicken is chicken pot pie. Mom’s orders. Who am I to question years of logical cooking? Leftover chicken practically begs to be combined with gravy and vegetables. Its lil’ carcass gets cold in the fridge, all lonely next to the unfriendly cranberry juice cocktail.

Also, roommate and I are collectively experiencing a cold that is single-handedly (virally?) keeping tissue and decongestant companies in business. So chicken pot pie is also the logical antidote, the ultimate in feel-good meals. (Aside from chicken noodle soup, which I’ll post about Tuesday.)

And, as I always enjoy a good food personification opportunity, sometimes it’s comforting to pretend that I am one of those buttermilk biscuits, steaming away in a bubbling mixture of Delicious Things. I’m quite certain that my recovery would be drastically expedited if I had a chicken pot pie hot tub. My birthday’s in a few weeks, FYI.

Chicken Pot Pie:
2 carrots
2 celery stalks, diced
2 C. peas
1 onion, diced
2 TB butter
2 TB flour
1 C. milk
2 C. chicken stock
2 C. cooked, cubed chicken
1 tsp parsley
salt & pepper

1) Heat chicken stock in medium sized pot. Add carrots, cook until a bit soft. Meanwhile, cook celery and onion with butter until softened. Sprinkle in flour.
2) Add celery and onion to pot. Stir in peas, add salt, pepper and parsley. Remove pot from heat.
3) Once the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in chicken and milk.
4) Pour into a deep-dish pie pan, making sure to leave room for biscuits to expand as they bake. Drop in biscuits (see recipe below) or top with pastry dough. Place pie pan on top of a cookie sheet, in case your pie pan runneth over. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Buttermilk Biscuits:
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 TB sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
6 TB butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 C. & 2 TB buttermilk

1) Combine flour, sugar, baking power, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Rub in butter cubes with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
2) Add the buttermilk until a soft dough forms.
3) Place the dough on a floured work surface. Knead slightly and flatten until 1-inch thick. Cut out biscuits with round cookie cutter or with the opening of a jar. Combine remaining dough and cut additional biscuits.
4) Place biscuits on an ungreased round cake pan so they all touch slightly, or, if adding to pot pie, gently place biscuits on top of pot pie mixture. Follow directions above for baking.
5) Bake any solo biscuits at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

The summer after high school graduation, two of my dearest friends and I made a choice: to live together at the beach before college divided us. (Well, that’s overly dramatic; my roommate for my first two years at UNC was one of my summer sisters.) Our lives could’ve been torn straight out of a Sarah Dessen book, sans the car accidents and messy relationships.

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Courgettes. They sound so sophisticated, so French. Of course, when I first arrived in London, I stared dumbly down the produce section looking decidedly unsophisticated; I felt up several of the green squashes before confirming that courgettes are, in fact, zucchini. Turns out that the British are Francophiles, and I am just a woman who creeps people out while shopping for vegetables.

But I digress. The end of zucchini season means that those lovely green squashes must find their way into new foods. I’m tired of roasting ’em and frying ’em and putting ’em in pasta. They deserve a sweet ending. Plus, chocolate courgette bread sounds so lovely. It smells even lovelier. Plus, zucchini is healthy. By extension, anything that contains zucchini is healthy. So chocolate zucchini bread is healthy.

I made this bread only to give it away. (Hint: if you help me find a job, I’ll bake you something.) Yeah, you can call me Magnanimous Meghan. Because of the gift-like nature of this bread, I have not yet tasted it. (It is pending review by a very well-respected Yelper.**)

See? I have self-control. I really do. Excuse me while I go eat three chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread:
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (with skin)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1) Combine oil, sugars and vanilla. Mix in eggs and shredded zucchini.
2) In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add dry to wet. Beat until combined. Mix in chocolate chips.
3) Scrape batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean.

**Yelper and Meghan approved. Lawdy, is this bread divine.