Recipe – French Toast (my version)

Looks fancy, tastes absolutely delicious, and is incredibly easy to make.

French toast is one of those “posh” breakfast items that you think will take too long to make, but really – I just made 8 rounds in 5 minutes (minus the clean up – which I’m going to do after I’ve finished this post).

I first had French toast when I went to stay with my fathers’ friends, in Wisconsin, USA, and it was sublime!  However, when I got home, I couldn’t remember exactly how my host made it, so I winged it…  It worked out well, because now it’s a family favourite – even Donut (aged 2) has just wolfed down two slices!

Ingredients

3 large eggs

A good splash of milk (whole / full fat milk is best)

White bread (this recipe accounts for 8 slices)

Sweet mixed spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, mace, allspice, etc. – readily available in supermarkets, such as Asda, Tesco, etc.)

Coconut oil – for frying

Toppings – golden syrup, honey, seasonal fruit, icing / powdered sugar…

Method

  1. Mix the eggs, milk, and a good shaking of the mixed spice in a bowl – ensure the bowl is big enough to fit a slice of bread, without bending it.
  2. Heat the coconut oil over a medium to high heat, in a frying pan.
  3. Place a single slice of bread in the egg mixture, and turn it over – make sure the round of bread is fully covered.
  4. Add the egg-mix covered bread to the frying pan, and give an extra little shake of the mixed spice.  Leave for 30 seconds or so, then turn it over – repeat the process by adding another little shaking of the mixed spice.  After another 30 seconds, turn the bread over for one final couple of seconds – just to allow the second shaking of mixed spice “cook” a little.
  5. Repeat the process with as many rounds of bread you can…
  6. Serve with a helping of syrup or honey, fruit, such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or icing / powdered sugar.
  7. Best enjoyed hot / warm, although, rather lush cold too, ha ha.
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The French toast shown above is an image found on Google…  My French toast was scoffed before I could even think of getting my camera!

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Sweet Egg Bread Breakfast

As Donut was kind enough to wait until 7am to wake up (very proud), I gave him his bottle, and I wondered what I should make for breakfast this morning.

I have a tendency to buy eggs, pop them in the fridge (although, technically, you shouldn’t store eggs in the fridge – they should be kept at room temperature – it’s just that my kitchen is SO hot!) and then forget all about them.  What usually happens next is that I fancy a fried or scrambled egg, so I go to the fridge, and then cringe as I look at the “use by” date.

Today was no exception…  I opened the fridge, and I starred at the five eggs that were sitting in the fridge.  They were still in date, as I had only purchased them on Thursday evening.  I realised that I had also only 6 rounds of bread left…  Now breakfast is an easy choice when you have these essential ingredients.

If you use 2 rounds per person, this breakfast costs approx. 50p per person.

Ingredients

1 egg per person

Splash of milk

1 or 2 rounds of bread per person

A good portion of cinnamon / sweet mixed spice powder (I only have sweet mixed spice)

Splash of oil (for frying)

Golden or Maple Syrup

Method

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and a good sprinkling of your powdered cinnamon (or sweet mixed spice).
  2. Place enough oil in a frying pan, and heat gently.
  3. Dip the bread – one round at a time – in to the egg mixture, and place in the frying pan.  Sprinkle a little more of the powdered cinnamon (or sweet mixed spice) on to the bread.  **Note:  Do not “dip” more than one round of bread at a time in to the egg mixture unless you have enough room in your frying pan.
  4. Allow to fry for approx. 2 minutes, then turn over.  Add a touch more powdered cinnamon (or sweet mixed spice) to the round of bread, then allow to fry for another 2 minutes.  Turn over once more to quickly “seal” in the powdered cinnamon (or sweet mixed spice).
  5. Place on your plate, and serve either on its’ own, or with a lashing of golden / maple syrup.

This dish is best served hot 🙂

I ended up with excess egg mixture at the end, so I just put a drop more oil in the pan and poured the egg mix directly in.  It was like a sweet omelette.  Again, I poured a little of the syrup over the finished dish.

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Hi. My name is Barbara, and I am a coffeeholic.

Ever since I can remember, I have been a coffee drinker.  My dad used to give me tiny cups (no exaggeration – my mum made me my own little cup in her pottery class – smaller than an espresso cup) of coffee when I was a child (no, there’s no age limit on drinking coffee in the UK).

I can remember waking up on a Sunday morning by the smell of freshly percolated coffee, coming from the kitchen.  Shortly afterwards, the smell of sausage and bacon would follow.  That was my indication that dad was up, and a hearty, full-English breakfast would soon be on the table.  Now-a-days, even though I still love a full-English, it’s known as a ‘heart attack on a plate’.

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So yesterday, I visited a beautiful place called Inglenook Farm (in Rainford, Merseyside) with a friend.  As soon as I stepped out of the car, the distinct smell of lavender hit.

There are a few shops at the farm –

  • African Dream, which sells ‘fair trade’ items such as ornaments, hanging decorations, jewellery and clothes.  The lady that runs the shop visits Kenya and South Africa regularly, and purchases the items directly from the people who make the items.  That way she ensures all monies are going directly to supporting the creators.
  • Boonric Gallery, where beautiful, original paintings and drawings are displayed and sold.  We met one of the artists there, and had a bit of a chat to her whilst admiring her work.
  • The Makery.  Unfortunately this was closed, but it had a sign in the window that stated it had arts and crafts for kiddies.
  • The Farm Shop.  Now, this was a bit of a “bank breaker” for me.  If I had the money, I probably would have bought everything in there.  From fresh, organic fruit and veg grown on the farm, to chocolate and cakes made there.  From handmade, cold-compressed soaps to pure essential oils…  All were made on the farm.  This is where I bought the coffee.
Image courtesy from the Inglenook Farm website

Image courtesy from the Inglenook Farm website

On a shelf, towards the exit of the shop, it was there.  Jars of coffee beans, each with their own distinct flavour, were available to open and smell.

The two coffees that I recall had unusual names…  “Witches Brew” had a coffee strength of “4”.  It smelled strong, but to me, it was more of a Columbian scent of a bean.  Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of Columbian coffee.  The second coffee that I recall was “Devil’s Delight”.  This had a strength of “5”, and a beautiful smell.  I think I could have just eaten the beans directly.

Two options were available for the Devil’s Delight.  Whole beans and ground, for a cafetiere.  I had to purchase the latter, as I am not privileged to own a percolator.

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I did intend on trying the coffee last night, although with having a little Donut around, I thought it best for me just to go to bed instead, ha ha.

This morning, hubby dearest had made me my usual Kenco coffee, but a fussy Donut meant that it had gone cold before I actually managed to drink it.  I was then offered a fresh cup…  I asked him to make a batch of the Devil’s Delight, as I wanted to see what it was like.

The packet was opened, and the smell leaked out of the bag.  Hubby pulled a face, exclaiming “that’s potent!”

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The cafetiere was filled enough for two mugs, and left to stand for a little while.  It was thick – just how I like it…

I’ve always joked, saying that I like my coffee strong enough to stand a spoon up in it.  Looks like I got what I like.

cup

Well…  I’ve finished my cup.  Yep.  I think it was strong, but I can’t comment.  I’m still feeling as ‘alert’ as I did before.  Which was half asleep.

So now I’m left with an even more grumpy Donut:

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and an incredibly skanky cup to try to clean…

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I’m starting to think that I am immune to the effects of coffee.

My 3 year old photographer – Pic heavy

At the beginning of the month, the hubby took Gning away for the night, in a lovely little country inn, just outside the town of Penrith.  Now, my little man absolutely loves technology.  Because of his interest, hubby gave him his old Olympus digital camera (14MP), with fully charged batteries, and a blank SD card.

The following pictures were all shot by the Gning himself…  Bear in mind that he is only 3 years old.

(For a clearer view of each picture, you can click on each image to make it larger.)

The classic "foot shot"

The classic “foot shot”

Easy Peasy Oven Omelettes – Makes 12

I have fallen in to a bit of a trap.  I love having eggs in the house…  They always come in handy for last minute dinner ideas, or for baking; but for the past few months, whenever I buy eggs, I seem to forget about them.  Then, when I fancy one for brekkie (for example), I notice the date on them.  Well, being heavily pregnant, I daren’t eat an egg that’s out of date.

Anyway, the point I am getting to is to provide you with a really easy recipe and method to create these amazing little omelettes that you bake in the oven!  They’re fab for breakfast; lunch, served with a salad (or veg); or a side for your evening meal.  They’re great to eat hot or cold, so also great to pop in a lunch box for school / work.

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Easy Peasy Oven Omelettes

I had my little chef (my 3 year old little man) do this all by himself…  Well, apart from the oven and presentation parts.  And just look how great the omelettes turned out!  Absolutely delicious, and really light & fluffy too.

Ingredients

5 medium sized eggs

Good splash of milk

Salt & Pepper

Tinned Garden Peas (optional)

Cheese (use your favourite…  I used Red Leicester)

Method

1.  Preheat your oven to 210C (190C for fan assisted ovens).

2.  Grease a 12-piece cupcake tin with butter.

3.  Crack the eggs in to a mixing bowl, add the milk, and salt & pepper to taste.

4.  Using a hand whisk, or fork, mix the eggy liquid together until it all combines together nicely.

5.  Using some form of spoon (I gave my llittle chef a 1/4 cup measuring spoon to do this), scoop out the mixture in to the buttered cupcake tins.  Do not fill to the top…  Ensure you only fill to approx 3/4 of the way up the sides.

6.  Grate your cheese (if required), and add a pinch to each cupcake section.

7.  (OPTIONAL)  Add a pinch of the peas to each cupcake section…  My little chef added approximately 7 or 8 peas to each.

8.  Pop the tray in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

9.  When done, and when you remove the tray from the oven, you will notice that the omelettes will sink.  Don’t worry about this at all…  Use two forks, or a fork and a spoon to remove each mini omelette from the tin, and present any way you choose.

10.  Enjoy, and share the recipe!