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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Creme Brulee French Toast

Happy Mother's Day! We had family over today, and I made this easy recipe from the old Sara Moulton show on Food Network, Cooking Live. It was a huge hit, as always (except with Alex - oh well). I've copied the original recipe with my variations in parentheses - I can never leave well enough alone ;)

Creme Brulee French Toast
Serves 8 to 10

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 (8 to 9) inch round loaf Challah bread (I used a large loaf of brioche)
5 large eggs (I used 6 eggs, since I felt I was using more bread than the recipe called for)
1 1/2 cups half and half (I used about 1 3/4 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier (I left this out)
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.
2. Cut 6 (1-inch) thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. (I trimmed the ends but left the crust on.) Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
3. In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring bread mixture to room temperature. Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Alex's Apples

For the last few months, I've been dealing with a challenge just about every parent has to deal with at some point: getting Alex to eat his fruit and veggies. He's consistently rejected fresh, raw apple, so I came up with this recipe for a lightly cooked apple, which he loves. You can eat it as is, or mix it with some yogurt, or bake the mixture in a baking dish with a streusel or crumble topping for a yummy dessert.

Alex's Apples

4 apples, peeled and diced (I like to use Gala apples)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until apple is the desired consistency.

NOTE: If you eat a lot of apples, consider buying organic because apples are one fruit that retain a lot of pesticides.


Monday, May 08, 2006

First Years Teether Recall Update

A few months ago, I posted that The First Years had recalled a liquid-filled teether, and that you could send the teether in for a replacement and gift. I finally did send in Alex's teether about a month ago, and just last week, we received the replacement teether and a rattle toy. Both are Winnie the Pooh toys, but I can't find them on The First Years website to post a picture. I suppose it's not surprising that they're appropriate for about the same age group as the teether, but that means they're no longer appropriate for Alex (who has moved on to books, puzzle pieces and anything dangerous). Nevertheless, I'm quite pleased with how promptly we received the replacement items and will continue to buy The First Years products.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Metal Charms Recalled

Twentieth Century Fox has recalled silver-colored metal charms that were packaged with certain Shirley Temple DVDs as a free giveaway. The charms contain high levels of lead and should be returned in exchange for a free DVD. Click here for the full press release and here for directions on how to return the charm (you'll need to scroll down and click "continue").