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Monthly Archives: December 2011

challah french toast

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Brittany and Katie came to visit last weekend- finally!!  I’m still waiting on Meagan to get her cute butt up here.  ;)

We were running all over Manhattan and Brooklyn the whole time they were here!  We went to Rockefeller Plaza to see the Christmas tree, went shopping at Chelsea Market, had drinks and popcorn at 4th Ave Pub, ate pizza at Fascati’s, took pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge…

Katie and I also went ice skating at Central Park—at the skating rink from Serendipity.  :)

Challah bread was new to me when I moved to NYC.

Challah (pronounced hah-lah) is a traditional Jewish egg bread eaten on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays.

My first experience with challah was at a diner in Brooklyn.

French toast made with challah.

After my first bite I was hooked—so perfect together!

I wanted to share my discovery with Katie and Britt so I made challah french toast for brunch while they were here.

The bread soaks up the egg mixture and the end result is soft, sweet, golden french toast.  dE-licious!

Challah French Toast

5 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 challah loaf- about 12 inches (I used whole wheat)

  1. In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.  Stir in sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Set griddle to 300 degrees.  While griddle pre-heats, slice challah into 1 inch slices.
  3. Dip each slice in egg mixture, flip 2-3 times.  Allow excess egg mixture to drip off into bowl and place on pre-heated griddle.
  4. Cook ~3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  5. Serve warm topped with butter and syrup or powdered sugar.

**To keep warm, set oven to 200 degrees.  Place French toast on a baking sheet or oven-safe plate, cover with foil (optional) and keep in warmed oven until ready to serve.


cranberry walnut oatmeal cookies

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Every year during cranberry season I think about using the berries for decoration… but I have yet to do this.

There are so many creative ways to use them!  They make simple, pretty centerpieces, festive holiday decor and tasty snacks.  Love the idea of putting cranberries in a mason jar.

And I definitely have to try this Sparkling Cranberry Centerpiece – edible decorations!?  Yes please.

And of course, you can substitute dried cranberries with fresh cranberries in a recipe like I did — only when cranberries are in season (and cheaper!) that is  ;)

This recipe specifically says NOT to use instant or quick-cooking oats, but that was all I had AND I didn’t even have enough of that.  I had to use a ½ cup ground oats I had leftover from making pancakes.

This is a light, delicate cookie that falls apart in your mouth.

Wholesome wheat-y, oat flavor with a tangy zing from the cranberries–Yum!  A cookie you can eat for breakfast and not feel bad about.  :D

Cranberry-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

slightly adapted from Cookie Madness

1 cup instant oats, ½ cup ground oats (OR use 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats)

½ cup white whole wheat flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts + 3 tablespoons

1/3 cup fresh cranberries, halved or quartered + 3 tablespoons

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper
  2. Combine 3 T walnuts and 3 T cranberries in a small bowl; set aside for later.
  3. Mix together oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
  4. Using hand mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and blend well.
  5. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and stir together.  Add remaining 1/3 cup walnuts and 1/3 cup cranberries; mix well.
  6. Scoop dough by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet, spaced about 1 ½ to 2 inches apart.  Using the reserved walnuts and cranberries, press a few gently on top of each dough ball.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool cookies on sheet for about 5 minutes before carefully transferring to cooling rack.