Tag Archives: challah french toast

Weekly Menus: Birthday Edition, Week of 6/9/2013

Gentle Reader, what a week. I didn’t think it was possible to overdo on Challah French Toast, but it is. After an amazing trip to NYC, fueled by sampling some of the oddest things I’ve ever tasted, I just wanted to eat cereal for breakfast. Also, I discovered that my Challah French Toast easily bested any I had in New York. Thank you Cook’s Illustrated.

Challah French Toast from Grey Dog.

Challah French Toast from Grey Dog.

For the extreme tasting, may I introduce you to balut. Things to note, I do not always pay enough attention to the fine print. I heard “duck egg” and at a Filipino restaurant, “not containing shellfish.” What I missed, “fertilized.”

Thanks to @lynxbat for this before picture. Duck eggs, looking innocent. Balut @ Jeepney.

Thanks to @lynxbat for this before picture. Duck eggs, looking innocent. Balut @ Jeepney.

I will do a full review of Jeepney soon (really amazing experience, great food), but meanwhile, special thanks to my partner in crime, @Lynxbat, who offered to name our appetizer halfway through. It was the highlight of the trip, though I only managed three bites before I backed down.

The whole patio stopped to watch. I have not yet realized what I've signed on for.

The whole patio stopped to watch. I have not yet realized what I’ve signed on for.

So this week features a return to normal, with cake for The Youngest Practical Cook Jr. The weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 6/9/2013

Weekly Menus: 6/9/2013

The Four-Square Grocery List (note that The Youngest TPC Jr added “pairs” as a request, in the right place even!):

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/9/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/9/2013

Which all means:

Sunday: Ribs and Cornbread
We are planning ahead, and have a big day. So simple and easy is best–we bought ribs prepared, and we’re going to add something green plus cornbread for The Youngest’s celebratory birthday meal. There will be travel, soccer, and swimming in this as well, and one of two cakes (Birthday Carrot Cake!) plus ice cream, so easy wins.

Real Vanilla Beans: The key to an amazing cream cheese frosting

Real Vanilla Beans: The key to an amazing cream cheese frosting

Monday: Pizza
We have leftovers, add a salad, and call it a day. I love summer.

Tuesday: Veggie Quesadillas
Whatever is left in the fridge will be chopped and roasted, slapped into a tortilla, covered with cheese, and served. Sliced avocados make it fancy.

Wednesday: Salmon and Quinoa
What can I say, we’re fans of the high-protein light meal. Add broccoli and everyone’s happy.

Salmon and Arugula over Quinoa: It rocked

Salmon and Arugula over Quinoa: It rocked

Thursday: Beans and Rice
This will probably be just black beans and rice, optional tortilla. A favorite and easy to take outside.

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Friday: Leftover delight!
I suspect this will involve eggs to stretch the bits and pieces of the week.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Currently seeking the best chicken and waffles, and new and different pork offerings. I may be traveling to discover this. Woot!

The Youngest TPC Wrote and Illustrated a Story about NYC: I love this

The Youngest TPC Wrote and Illustrated a Story about NYC: I love this

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Post a comment, send a tweet, share a condolence or two. I’m listening.

Send your extra birthday wishes, questions, and chicken and waffle suggestions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday: Cereal in Review: Chocolate Almond Granola from Trader Joe’s

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French Toast, Perfected, or “Wow Mama, You Weren’t Kidding.”

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook has long been a fan of French Toast. It’s a great way to use up stale bread, a perfect maple syrup conveyance, and did I mention it’s a natural bacon sidekick? Anyhoo, there are many styles. I grew up on the one egg, some milk, and a splash of vanilla kind using standard loaf bread.

Challah Y'all!

Challah Y'all!

Then I started reading Cook’s Illustrated. If you’ve never experienced their French Toast, you have never eaten French Toast. It was my go-to, but I’d never made the challah version. Until now. I told the Eldest Practical Cook Junior it would be the best she had ever eaten. She was still reeling from a French Toast and fried chicken experience from months ago at a local shop called Sandwhich (I know, apple:tree, what can I say.)

Challah French Toast, Perfected

Challah French Toast, Perfected

Her answer after tasting one bite: Wow, Mama, You Weren’t Kidding. I am not.

French Toast, Perfected

If you don’t have challah, go buy some and let it sit out. Pretend it was an accident, then make this recipe, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. You can thank me later.

1 egg
2 Tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup milk (I’ve used whole fat, skim, whatever you’ve got works)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (don’t skimp)
2 Tablespoons sugar (not a health food people)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
about half a loaf of day-old challah, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

1. Preheat oven to lowest temp, and put a baking rack on a baking sheet in the oven. Heat 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. It will get hot, proceed with caution.

Hot buttery cast iron skillet is key to great French Toast!

Hot buttery cast iron skillet is key to great French Toast!

2.  Meanwhile, beat egg lightly in a shallow pan, whisk in butter, then milk and vanilla, then sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk until smooth.

Saturate, but don't drown your Challah French Toast.

Saturate, but don't drown your Challah French Toast.

3. Soak the challah without drowning it (you don’t want total disintegration here), then fry in butter in the hot skillet. Work in batches, and keep the cooked French Toast warm in the oven.

Keep the French Toast warm in the oven while you finish cooking the batch.

Keep the French Toast warm in the oven while you finish cooking the batch.

Serve alone, or with fruit and bacon. (Recommended.) You will not have leftovers.

Keep your French Toast company with some bacon, and grits, and eggs, and . . .

Keep your French Toast company with some bacon, and grits, and eggs, and . . .

Are you a French Toast fan? What’s your bread of choice?

Send challah, queries, and serious blog challenges to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Up next, Cheesy Rainbow Pasta Toss. (Unicorns not included.)

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