Eat, Uncategorized

Easter Brunch French Toast

I recently made an overnight french toast recipe that I found while searching through stacks of recipes.  I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I added a couple ingredients, adjusted some of the measurements of the ingredients I kept, and omitted a few things.  I have to admit that I really liked it and it was simple.  I will be adding this to my Easter brunch menu this year because of the simplicity, taste and the fact it can feed a lot of people.  The secret to this french toast is the delicious challah bread and added butter!  I used almond milk because I don’t drink regular milk and oftentimes don’t have regular milk on hand, but you certainly can use regular milk.  Full disclosure: this is not a healthy recipe, BUT it’s a fun dish that is suitable for the holidays and should please a crowd!!! Make it your own by adding a layer of your favorite fruit on top like bananas, blueberries or apples.

I actually doubled the recipe, if you would like to do that just double all the ingredients listed below…

Ingredients:

1 loaf of challah bread

6 eggs

1 1/2 C almond milk (vanilla flavored)

1/3 C white sugar

1 tsp bourbon vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

butter

For Glaze:

1/2 C white sugar

1/2 C brown sugar

1/4 C flour

1/2 C butter

1/2 C almond milk

2 tsp vanilla

Tear bread into 1 1/2 inch thick slices and place in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, beat eggs with 1 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup white sugar, and 1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla. Pour egg mixture over bread slices.  Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons white sugar over bread and egg mixture. Dot entire dish with butter, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bake toast in preheated oven until golden brown, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup white sugar, flour, and margarine. Stir in brown sugar, 1/2 cup almond milk, and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook until thick. Serve French toast hot with warm sauce.

 

 

 

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Travel, Uncategorized

Three of my favorite Quick Service restaurants at Epcot’s World Showcase

IMG_4233Yorkshire County Fish shop – $11.49
There is only one entree option at this quick service restaurant but it’s a great one. The fish and chips are crispy on the outside, flakey on the inside and fabulously greasy straight out of the fryer… Certainly nothing healthy about it, but well worth the risk.  Just make sure to walk off all those extra calories – that should’t be a problem at Epcot! The fried fish is served with extra large steak fries and an assortment of condiments. Probably my favorite thing about this place is the outdoor patio seating. The tables are located to the right of the restaurant on the water. It provides a beautifully manicured view of the water and England Pavilion, just beware of the insanely hungry ducks and egrets lurking under every table. This is a nice stop for a quick snack to share with someone or enjoy for lunch or dinner. Our trip is not complete unless eating our beloved fish n chips at the England pavilion in Epcot!IMG_3276

Pro: Good food and ambiance
Con: Hungry birds galore!

IMG_4413Les Halles boulangerie patisserie: located in the back of the France pavilion in Epcot. It opens in the morning to provide a wonderful breakfast option. Add a piping hot cup of coffee or espresso and your in business. We usually eat here for a late afternoon “pick me up” snack. My favorite snack here is the mousse which costs $4.50. The mousse is chocolate, decadent and absolutely divine, it has a perfectly rich consistency and is absolutely delicious. The seating is not ideal at this quick service location in my opinion. It is an extremely popular restaurant and is usually very crowded. The inside seating area lacks some of the Disney ambiance that we have become accustomed to. You’re essentially dining in the France Pavilion gift shop. It’s quite difficult to even score a table at the eatery, it’s not unusual to have people pacing and waiting to lunge as soon as those with a table swallow their last bite. There are some quaint outdoor tables which provide a better Disney dining experience and has the beautiful Disney “esque” theming that we all know and love. This restaurant also offers a wide variety of sandwiches, quiche and an assortment of breads and cheeses as well.

Pro: Opens early with park opening – Most of World Showcase is closed until later in the morning but Les Halles opens early to provide a wonderful breakfast option.
Con: Seating is limited and difficult to obtain

IMG_4390-2936797681-1549312952298.jpg

 

La Cantina de San Angel, located in the Mexico Pavilion: My favorite go to menu item here is the Tacos de Pescado – Seasoned Fried Fish, Homemade Corn Tortillas, Mexican Rice, Refried Black Beans, Slaw, and Habanero Aïoli – $12.50.  The portion sizes are not super huge, but definitely big enough for a decent lunch. The tacos taste fresh and the entree comes with all my favorite sides. I love the location, the tables are outside and several are right on the water with spectaculars views of the World Showcase Lagoon.  It’s a great location to watch the fireworks show, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”, if you can time it just right and land the perfect table. The lines can get very long at this quick service restaurant and tables are sometimes hard to come by but If you love Mexican food, you can’t go wrong here.

Pro: Great location on the lake and for watching fireworks
Con: Long lines to order

Eat, Uncategorized

Eggnog Waffles for a Crowd!

I’ve been on a real egg nog kick this week!  Although I’m not the biggest fan of drinking eggnog, I really love eggnog flavored sweets.  Yesterday I blogged about the eggnog pound cake I make every year for Christmas.  The other eggnog recipe we have come to thoroughly enjoy in our home this time of year are delicious eggnog waffles.  I’m including this recipe that is large enough to make for a crowd.  I love this because if you are hosting family or friends at your home for the holidays and need something simple but festive for breakfast or brunch…look no further!  I will usually make this much for just my little family of four.  It’s great to refrigerate or freeze the left overs for my boys to have for the next couple of days or at a later time.  These waffles are simple and will certainly impress your guests.

This recipe makes twenty 4-inch waffles

4 C All-purpose flour

4 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons baking powder

1 Teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 Teaspoons salt

1 Teaspoon Baking soda

3 1/2 C Egg nog

2/3 C Vegetable oil

4 Large eggs

Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well blended and smooth in texture.  Let your batter sit for at least 5 minutes before using.  Prepare your waffle maker (I use setting 4 on mine).

Pour 1 1/2 cups of batter onto preheated waffle maker and spread batter evenly over the grid.  Allow batter to bubble for about 10 seconds, then cover the lid and wait for your waffles to be ready.  (My waffle maker will display a green light when waffles are finished).  Carefully remove waffles when ready and repeat until batter is gone.

Serve immediately or freeze to use at a later date.

Suggested toppings: maple syrup, fruit syrups, cinnamon butter, fresh berries, chopped nuts, powdered sugar, whip cream, egg nog ice cream

 

Eat, Uncategorized

Eggnog Pound Cake

Christmas is just around the corner and I’m getting all my favorite holiday recipes out of hibernation, I’m making my grocery list and checking it twice!  It wouldn’t be as delicious without our traditional eggnog pound cake to spice up our Christmas morning family brunch.  This cake is simple but elegant, with all the amazing spices that we come to love this time of year.  It makes the kitchen smell just like the holiday season should smell!  I love having this pound cake on hand to share with a friend over a cup of coffee or snack on while wrapping Christmas gifts.  You can make it in advance and freeze it.  Consider adding this to your holiday menu this year, you will not be disappointed!

kitchen cake backe backing
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

1 1/4 C butter, softened

3 C sugar

6 Large eggs

3 C Cake flour

3/4 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 C Eggnog (I may add a bit more)

2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 tsp. Ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. Allspice

1/2 tsp. Ground cloves

Powdered sugar

Icing: 1 C powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons whipping cream and 1 tsp vanilla extract

Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

Beat butter at medium speed about 2 minutes or until creamy, gradually add sugar while beating 5 to 7 more minutes.  Add eggs one at a time to creamy mixture.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to butter mixture alternately with 1/2 C of eggnog.  Beat at low speed and stir in vanilla.  Add spices to mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 – 55 minutes or until wooden spoon appears clean.  Cool on wire rack.

Place cake on a cake plate and dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with icing.

ENJOY!

 

Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Memories

We had an exceptional Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends.  I had some apprehension for a couple of weeks leading up to Thanksgiving because of it being the first one without my dad.  There were many conversations with God, asking Him to give us strength as a family this holiday season.  Not only did God answer our prayers, but He blessed us with a beautiful day of making new memories and honoring those that couldn’t be with us on that day.  It may sound strange, but I felt my dad’s presence with us throughout all of Thanksgiving Day.  I know he would be happy that we enjoyed much needed quality time with sweet family that day, laughing and playing games, watching football and eating until we couldn’t possibly take another bite.  Family came in from out of town and everyone pitched in to make the day happy and memorable.

My sister and beautiful niece helped set and decorate the table the day before, using pumpkins, candles and fresh greenery from my backyard for one table and assorted beans, moss, pinecones and candle for the second table.  I found the cutest little metal turkey candle holders at a local boutique called Dodson’s while we were out shopping the day before Thanksgiving.  The best part was that they were on clearance so I was able to get several and add them to our table decor.

The tables were set, the turkey was fried, ham was sliced, all the sides prepared and it was time to finally eat.  The refreshing white grape and elderflower sparkling cider from World Market was a huge hit with all the kids, as well as the adults.  Baba’s (Grandma Higgins) chocolate pecan pies didn’t last long and her sausage and apple stuffing was a definite crowd favorite.  Grandma Tingwald’s sweet potato fluff and apple pie were delicious as well.

Watching the cousins connect through playing games, ukulele strumming and ping pong playing was probably a highlight for me, I know it would have made my dad smile and laugh to see them all together having fun.  As they grow older, it’s so wonderful to watch them all still be able to hang out and spend time with each other, enjoying many different activities together from the oldest to the youngest.

On Friday, we loaded everyone up for some gaming time at Game On Gaming Center in Virginia Beach, VA.  I know for my nephews, it was the highlight of their Thanksgiving weekend.  It’s a fantastic place to take a crowd of all ages, some of us girls even played “Just Dance” while the boys indulged in their Fort Nite obsessions.

 

Overall, our Thanksgiving weekend was a success and I loved every minute of it!

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