Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pioneer Woman: Bagel and Cream Cheese Baked French Toast

As host of the book club meeting where I prepared Dorie's vanilla cake, I also served Pioneer Woman's Bagel and Cream Cheese Baked French Toast (from the New Year's Day section of A Year of Holidays). This recipe was perfect for morning-time company, because the bagels, cream cheese, and grated cheddar are supposed to soak in the cayenne and mustard egg goodness overnight. There's also supposed to be chives in there, but I had none.

This was delicious and filling. My friend's mom who was visiting her and came to book club asked for the recipe. I had to use Thomas' bagels, which are an affront to everything this Brooklynite holds dear, but they worked okay here. My husband would have killed me if I baked my homemade bagels and then ripped them apart and used them in this manner.
Leftovers reheated pretty well
I'm certain that this breakfast would be amazing with fresh bagels--but preferably ones purchased from a shop. I am certain that I'll be trying this again when I move back to the states.

Conclusion: Liked it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Vanilla Beans are Better Spent in Cake

I didn't deliberately coordinate this, but the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe and the French Fridays with Dorie recipes that I've made recently both involve vanilla beans.

First up, the Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake from Baking, Chez Moi. This cake was really easy to throw together. The only problem was that I burned the first batch of browned butter and started over. Not that big of a deal, and an easy problem to solve.
I baked the cake to serve to my book club gals, and served it with barely-sweet whipped cream. I thought it was a bit dry without the whipped cream, but with it? SO delicious.
Hell yeah!
Last week's FFwD recipe from Around My French Table was Vanilla-Butter Braised Lobster. Unable to get my hands on lobster, I poached my bag of frozen shrimp in the vanilla butter. It was fine. I felt greasy after I ate it, though. I think eating all the little shrimp amounted to more surface area than a lobster tail would, so maybe I'd feel less disgusting if this was prepared as written. That said, the vanilla flavor was very subtle. I'm not sure it's the best use of a bean. I'd rather eat cake.

(The shrimp looked like shrimp. I didn't bother taking a picture.)