• French Toast Casserole

    french toast casserole

    French Toast Casserole

    Make-ahead instructions: Assemble the casserole through Step 4, cover well, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, uncover, drizzle the casserole with the topping, and bake. Baking time will be slightly longer.
    This casserole reheats well, though the chunks of bread on the top will gradually lose some crunch. The best way to reheat it is to bake it in the oven at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes to warm through and re-crisp the top.
    • Prep time:15 minutes
    • Cook time:40 minutes
    • Yield:6 to 8 servings
    INGREDIENTS
    For the casserole:
    • 1 large loaf good-quality French loaf, sourdough, ciabatta, or challah (enough to yield 10 cups of chunks of bread)
    • 1/2 cup (45g) chopped pecans
    • 5 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
    • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
    • Zest from one medium orange (optional)
    • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    For the topping:
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 3 tablespoons (40g) dark brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Optional toppings for serving:
    • Dried cranberries
    • Powdered sugar
    • Maple syrup
    METHOD
    1 Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Place an oven rack in the center position.
    2 Slice the bread into 1-inch slices and then cut them into 1-inch cubes. You can also tear the bread apart with your hands. Leave the crusts on.
    3 Layer the bread and pecans in a baking dish: Lightly grease a 2-quart (if you want thicker slices) or 3-quart baking dish (if you want thinner slices) with cooking spray or butter. Add enough bread cubes to cover the bottom. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of pecans on top. Continue layering the bread chunks and pecans.
    4 Prepare and add the custard: In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together. Add the milk, sugar, orange zest, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and mix well. Pour the egg and milk mixture evenly over all the bread chunks. (I found it easier to pour the mixture into a large measuring cup with a spout first before pouring the mixture over the bread.)
    At this point, the casserole can be baked right away, or covered and refrigerated overnight.
    5 Drizzle with topping: In another bowl, mix the melted butter with the brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a spoon, drizzle the mixture evenly over all the bread chunks.
    6 Bake the casserole for 35 to 45 minutes. I baked mine for about 38 minutes. Leave the casserole in the oven longer if you want the chunks of bread on the top to be more brown and crunchier.
    7 Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.Sprinkle dried cranberries and dust powdered sugar on top, if you like. Serve with maple syrup at the table.
    from Simply Recipes ~ http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/french_toast_casserole/

     

  • A Bowl A Day – Walter Keeler. Functional stoneware always.

    Walter Keeler Salt glazed bowls

    walter keeler

    Walter Keeler is a British potter who makes functional work and primarily salt glazed stoneware pots.  He has been called one of the most influential potters of the 1980’s.  I love this statement that he made about his artwork.

    “The pottery tradition is at the heart of all my work. Pottery for use has been central to all settled human communities. Seldom merely functional, it has been a vehicle for expression and the fulfillment of a delight in the pleasure of handling a sensual and incredibly versatile material; the useful bound up with the intellect and the imagination.”

     

  • A Bowl A Day – Sequoia Miller

    Sequoia Miller bowl

    sequoia miller
    I love the lines and geometry of Sequoia Miller’s ceramic work.  Because,  I love to make houses, I think that is why I am drawn to his shapes.  Sequoia says that he is ” attracted to the idea of practice–attentive repetition toward something small as a way to understand something universal.”  This artist believes that people don’t actually purchase pots–“they buy the exploration, of which the pot is an artifact.” He says his work as a potter is to make pots and to continue the exploration of what pottery is.

  • A Bowl A Day – Ken Standhardt using kitchen tools from last 100 years

    Ken Standhardt ceramic bowl

    ken standhardt

     

    With my first cup of coffee, I begin randomly searching the world wide web for a ceramic artist whose work is new to me.  Look what I found!  Beautifully carved ceramic work by Ken Standhardt.  Ken forms his pots using the potter’s wheel.  Let’s them dry a bit and then uses found kitchen tools from the last 100 years to press into the clay creating interesting patterns.  I love texture and patterns.  This was a great find this morning.  Have a good day everyone.  

     

  • A Bowl A Day – Jesse Jones Oregon Potter

    Jesse Jones is a potter outside of Eugene Oregon.  When I learned of his pottery, all I could think was “Wow”!  I wish I had he and his partner’s energy.  They own four wood kilns and a gorgeous working studio.  Check out the inside and underside of his bowl.  

    wood fired bowls Jesse Jones

    Did you know that one way to learn how a pot was fired is by looking for wadding marks? This will tell you that the potter put the pot up on wads of alumina, ball clay, and kaolin to allow for the wood ash to move around the kiln.  See the five marks on the bottom of this bowl?
  • On the 12th Day of Christmas – 10% off all Handmade Ornaments & 12 Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

    12 days of Christmas 2016

    All handmade ornaments or gift tags

    Today Only 10% off all Handmade Ornaments

    (Wednesday, December 21, 2016)

    Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

    Chocolate crinkle cookies are usually tooth-achingly sweet, with just a couple of wide gaping cracks instead of a crackly surface. For cookies that live up to the name, we use a combination of unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder (plus a boost from espresso powder) for a deep, rich chocolate flavor.

    Ingredients:

    1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

    ½ cup (1 ½ ounces)unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    ¼ teaspoon baking soda

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 ½ cups packed (10 ½ ounces)brown sugar

    3 large eggs

    4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter

    ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar

    ½ cup (2 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

     

     

     

    Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Recipe

    Directions:
    1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in bowl.
    1. Whisk brown sugar; eggs; espresso powder, if using; and vanilla together in large bowl. Combine chocolate and butter in bowl and microwave at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 3 minutes.
    1. Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined. Fold in flour mixture until no dry streaks remain. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
    1. Place granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar in separate shallow dishes. Working with 2 tablespoons dough (or use #30 scoop) at a time, roll into balls. Drop dough balls directly into granulated sugar and roll to coat.
    1. Transfer dough balls to confectioners’ sugar and roll to coat evenly. Evenly space dough balls on prepared sheets, 11 per sheet.
    1. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), about 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cool completely on sheet before serving.
    MAKES 22 COOKIES
    Both natural and Dutch-processed cocoa will work in this recipe. Our favorite natural cocoa is Hershey’s Natural Cocoa Unsweetened; our favorite Dutch-processed cocoa is Droste Cocoa. Our preferred unsweetened chocolate is Hershey’s Unsweetened Baking Bar
    Chocolate crinkle cookies are usually tooth-achingly sweet, with just a couple of wide gaping cracks instead of a crackly surface. For cookies that live up to the name, we use a combination of unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder (plus a boost from espresso powder) for a deep, rich chocolate flavor. Using brown sugar instead of granulated lends a more complex, tempered sweetness with a bitter molasses edge that complements the chocolate. A combination of both baking powder and baking soda gave us cookies with the right amount of lift and spread, helping produce good fissures on the outside. But the real key was rolling the cookies in granulated sugar before the powdered sugar. It helped produce the perfect crackly exterior and kept the powdered sugar coating in place.
    Chocolate crinkle cookies are usually tooth-achingly sweet, with just a couple of wide gaping cracks instead of a crackly surface. For cookies that live up to the name, we use a combination of unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder (plus a boost from espresso powder) for a deep, rich chocolate flavor. Using brown sugar instead of granulated lends a more complex, tempered sweetness with a bitter molasses edge that complements the chocolate. A combination of both baking powder and baking soda gave us cookies with the right amount of lift and spread, helping produce good fissures on the outside. But the real key was rolling the cookies in granulated sugar before the powdered sugar. It helped produce the perfect crackly exterior and kept the powdered sugar coating in place.
    When enough new crystals form, they begin drawing out moisture once again. The upshot: a cookie with a faster-drying surface that is more prone to cracking.
    From Cook’s Illustrated.

     

  • On the 11th Day of Christmas – 10% off all Glass Tree Ornaments & 11 Ohio-State Buckeyes

    12 days of Christmas 2016

    Glass tree ornaments

    Today Only 10% off all Hand Blown Glass Tree Ornaments

    (Tuesday, December 20, 2016)

    Ohio-State Buckeyes

    No-bake goodies named for the look-alike (but inedible) nuts of the state tree of Ohio.

    Ingredients:

    1 cup (9oz) creamy peanut butter
    ¼ cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
    ½ cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup (6oz) semisweet-chocolate chips, melted

     

     

     

     

    buckeyes

    Directions:
    Line 2 cookie sheets with waxed paper. Beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla in a medium size bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar and flour until well blended. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls into 1-inch balls. Arrange on prepared cookie sheets and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Spear one ball at a time with a wooden pick and dip in chocolate to cover about two-thirds. Arrange chocolate side down on prepared cookie sheets. Smooth over toothpick holes. Refrigerate about 15 minutes until chocolate is set. Store tightly covered in refrigerator up to 2 months. Makes 60.
  • 10th Day of Christmas – 10% off Michael Kifer Ornaments and Fudgy Oatmeal Bars

    12 days of Christmas 2016

    kifer ornaments

    Today Only 10% off any Michael Kifer Ornament

    (Monday, December 19, 2016)

    Fudgy Oatmeal Bars

    Ingredients:

    2 cups packed brown sugar

    1 cup butter, softened

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    ½ teaspoon salt

    3 cups quick-cooking or regular oats

    1 package (12oz) semi-sweet real chocolate morsels

    1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk

    2 tablespoons butter

    1 cup chopped nuts

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    ½ teaspoon salt

     

    fudgy oatmeal bars

    Directions:
    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease jelly roll pan. 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1 inch. Mix brown sugar, 1 cup butter, the eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt; stir in oats. Reserve 1/3 of the oatmeal mixture. Press remaining oatmeal mixture in pan.
    Heat chocolate morsels, milk and 2 tablespoons butter in 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate morsels are melted. Remove from heat; stir in nuts, 1 teaspoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread over oatmeal mixture in pan. Drop reserved oatmeal mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto chocolate mixture. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. While warm, cut into bars, about 2×1 inch. 70 bars.
  • On the 9th Day of Christmas – 10% off Glass Ornaments and Pound Cake Package Treats

    12 days of Christmas 2016

    Eli Zilke Glass ornament

    Today Only 10% off any Eli Zilke Glass Ornament

    (Sunday, December 18, 2016)

    Christmas Packages

    Ingredients:
    To make the packages:  Use a frozen, mix or homemade pound cake.  Turn kids loose with the frosting. 1 prepared pound cake.
    Frosting:
    1 pound confectioners’ sugar
    ½ cup warm milk
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    Green food coloring
    3 tubes red decorating gel

    Pound Cake treats

    Process:
    Cut pound cake into 1 inch squares. Arrange squares on wire racks set over sheets of waxed paper.
    In small bowl mix frosting ingredients and stir until smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle frosting over cake squares. Let extra frosting drip onto waxed paper. (Return drips to bowl to use again. Stir until smooth, adding ½ teaspoon water if necessary.) Keep drizzling on frosting until cakes are frosted on tops and sides. Let cakes dry, about 1 hour. Use decorating gel to make ribbons on packages. Makes 3 dozen, about 90 calories each. 
  • On the 8th Day of Christmas – Chocapocalypse Cookie Recipe and 10% off any Michael Kifer Ornament

    12 days of Christmas 2016

    Lamb Ceramic Tree Ornament

    Today Only 10% off any Michael Kifer Ornament

    (Saturday, December 17, 2016)

    Chocapocalypse Cookies

    Ingredients:

    6 ounces 54-percent bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

    2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

    1 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

    6 ounces light brown sugar

    2 large eggs, at room temperature

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    3 ounces 70-percent bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

    3 ounces 40-percent milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

    2 ounces cocoa nibs

    chocapocalypse cookies

    Directions:
    Place the 54-percent bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in a medium glass mixing bowl and microwave on high for two 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval. If still not smooth, heat for 10 additional seconds at a time and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to 90 degrees F, approximately 15 minutes.
    Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together, transfer to a paper plate and set aside.
    Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until combined and looks like wet sand, about 2 minutes.
    Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix to combine. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until integrated. Add the 70-percent bittersweet chocolate, 40-percent milk chocolate and the cocoa nibs and mix until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Scoop the dough using a 1 1/4-inch-diameter ice cream scoop onto parchment-lined half-sheet pans, placing 2 inches apart, 12 cookies per pan. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes. Do not over-bake; the cookies may look wet and doughy.
    Cool the cookies on the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer on the parchment paper to a cooling rack to cool completely.
    Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2011