baking

French Toast: Solution for day-old sourdough

DSC_2311

By Tiffany Young
I’m trying to be more mindful of wasting food. As someone generally cooking for one, this is difficult to do. I typically go to the grocery store once or twice a week and try not to buy too much, but inevitably, I’ll think I’m going to eat dinner at home most nights per week and then end up being home about once during the week. This means I definitely can’t get carried away buying all the fruits and veggies I want. It also bothers me when I end up with a can or a 1/2 cup of something random that sits on the shelf for months upon months. For this reason, I’m trying to evaluate what food I have in the house on Sundays and determine what needs to be used and what items I should buy at the store to go with what I already have.

DSC_2320
That being said, this week I had almost a loaf of sourdough left on Sunday and it was the “baked fresh” bread from the bakery–i.e. no preservatives, i.e. gonna go bad if I don’t use it pronto. I thought about ways to use it up quickly and came up with either 1) croutons or 2) French toast. And with my sweet tooth, you know which one I was leaning toward.

And that’s how I came to make a lot of French toast this morning. So much, in fact, I’m freezing some and planning on taking some into work a few days this week to heat up for breakfast.

DSC_2336

For the recipe, which promises (and delivers) crispy, not soggy, French Toast, visit Sweet Pea’s Kitchen. I subbed coconut milk for the milk and completely didn’t see it called for brown sugar until just now, but it worked out all the same. I’ve never done this before, but they have you bake the bread for 8 minutes on each side to keep the bread from getting too soggy when you dip it in the egg mixture. Also, I thought it was brilliant that they have you keep all the toast in the oven after you’ve put it on the griddle so that you can serve it all warm. I’m going to have to tell my parents about this! We always just eat pancakes and French toast one at a time when it’s ready so that it doesn’t get cold, but this way makes way more sense! It sucks to be the one cooking and watching everyone else eat while you’re still flipping food.

I will say French toast takes a lot longer to make than I had thought–You have to cook each slice of bread 3-4 minutes per side, with about 10 slices of bread puts you at 30-40 minutes, not to mention the pre-toasting time. Luckily it tasted so yummy I didn’t mind, and hopefully the grab-n-go breakfasts may save me some time in the mornings.

I’ll have rum with that bread pudding

Bread PuddingBy Tiffany Young

Chef Bren Young shows how to make an easy recipe to eat during the holidays: bread pudding with rum sauce.

Bread pudding
1 day-old loaf of bread, cubed
1/3 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c milk
Dash of cream
1 tsp. salt
Cinnamon to taste
1/2 c “conditioned” raisins (Raisins soaked in rum for about 20 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

BreadPudding1

Put bread in a 9 x 13″ casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Whisk together eggs, sugars, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread and sprinkle with cinnamon. Take a spatula and push bread down until it soaks up the  egg and milk mixture. Bake in oven 45 minutes.

Sauce:

Take 1 stick of butter and melt in a sauce pan. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of regular sugar. Stir until melted and smooth. Add cream and mix thoroughly. Take off heat. Add rum to taste.

Serve pudding warm and drizzle with rum sauce.

Yum yum!

Note: You can also use brandy or grand marnier in place of rum.

Cupcake Wars Audition!

In September, my mom got a call from a casting director of Cupcake Wars asking her to make an audition tape for Season 8. She was a little overwhelmed and kept saying “I’m not ready, I’m not ready!” But I told her, “Yes, you are!” So, I drove six hours to Texarkana to help her with her video and here it is. If she gets on the show, I will be her assistant. We are hoping to hear back from them any day now. I have been practicing my baking skills just in case, because if we get on we will have to make a lot of cupcakes really fast! Enjoy!

Cupcake Wars Audition

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Spooners would like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s day!

We hope your lives are filled with love and adventure.

Today, we share with you the cookies my (Tiffany’s) mom made us for Valentine’s Day. She had to mail them, so there are a few cracks, but beautiful none-the-less. And tasty! Enjoy!

Put Another Candle on My Birthday Cake

So, I turned another year older last week. Some people dread that day as they get older, but I take it with pride—I got to live another year? Beats the alternative! As we’ve noted, my parents came to Austin to celebrate with me.

The delicious birthday cake my mom made me.

We went to dinner at Technique Restaurant, the local culinary school’s training kitchen (review to come soon). When we got there they pointed us to a table and in the center what did we find? A beautiful pink cake!

My mom is a pastry chef instructor at North East Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant, where she teaches students all about baking breads, cakes and other desserts. So she surprised me with a homemade cake. And what I mean by homemade is not what most people mean when their mom makes them a cake!

This view shows the pretty buttercream ruffles.

This layered cake included vanilla, red velvet and then another layer of vanilla with red raspberry filling and buttercream frosting between each. Butter cream frosting also coated the outside in a beautiful design that reminds me of a pink, satiny dress.

Our waiter told us everyone in the back admired the cake as it was cut and we sent him with a piece of cake of his own. As we walked out of Technique two women stopped us to tell us how gorgeous the cake looked.

Everyone enjoyed the cake, me included, and I’m still eating leftovers!