Baked French Toast

Weekday breakfasts for me are usually just something fast and simple, but weekend breakfasts can be special. Without work or school to rush off to, it’s so nice to sit and really enjoy your first meal of the day! As far as “special” breakfasts go, I’m a pretty big fan of french toast; it’s easy, delicious and you can add almost anything to it. Well, this baked french toast takes even less prep time but is still lovely enough to serve for an occasion.
You can put it all together and leave it in the fridge overnight, then all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the oven! I think everyone can handle that.Ottawa is getting it’s second weekend of beautiful weather in a row, and I can’t get enough of the sunshine (although my lobster red shoulders might disagree).   This long weekend is the perfect time for a languid breakfast in the sun — hope you can take advantage of it!

This baked French toast was part of our Mother’s Day brunch… it was a delicious morning and I have so much love for my wonderful Mum & Nana! 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…start baking!

Spanish Sweet [Lemon Ricotta Pudding]

One of my best friends is leaving for Madrid to be an au pair for the next few months.  I am so excited for her, but selfishly I will miss having her in town this summer! She came over for an impromptu dinner the other night, and while the meal was not Spanish I thought it would be fun to serve a Spanish inspired dessert.

My parents gave me this beautiful cookbook for Christmas, The Food Of Spain, and I’ve been dying to try some of its recipes.  I’m excited I finally have!
I didn’t have a lot of time to whip up dessert when I came home from work, but this recipe actually turned out to be perfect for the occasion.  Four ingredients and almost no prep-work later, we had some delicious Spanish Cheese Pudding on our hands. (In the cookbook it is just called “cheese pudding”, but I think Lemon Ricotta Pudding sounds nicer…!)
This simple dessert is the perfect accompaniment for the colourful fruit that is starting to abound at the market and a little drizzle of honey.  The lemon flavour comes through lightly and will be great for easy breezy sunny days, this one is definitely on the “make again” list.
Love you, Laura — buen viaje!! xo

La receta

Get Him To The Greek [Tzatziki]

Mum's spanikopita, tzatziki & tortilla chips, complimentary hair colours, and a beautiful cake from our friends!

A few weeks ago some family friends of ours came over for dinner and we went with a Greek menu.  It was lovely to catch up with them and as you can imagine I always enjoy getting ready for a little feast.  I was asked for the recipe for the tzatziki and promised to send it over right away, but of course with my great organization skills during exams that didn’t happen.  So here it is, only three weeks late!

Tzatziki is a traditional Greek sauce/appetizer/dip, depending on how you serve it. We like eating it with souvlaki and grilled meat, veggies, bread and crackers, or just straight out of the bowl.   

Until today I had never actually measured what I was throwing into the tzatziki, so it’s quite easy to just make it to your own taste. If you like Greek food, you really can’t leave out the tzatziki! Tzatziki Recipe

Mum’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if the meal isn’t skipped altogether we tend to just grab something we can eat on the run.  I’m not saying that we need to cook a feast every morning, but isn’t it nice to actually sit down and enjoy the first meal of the day?  These pancakes are a cinch to whip up in the morning,they’re healthier than your average pancake, and if you make extra just freeze them for later…easy!  My Mum’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica.

 

Dwight Schrute would approve of this salad. Actually, it’s probably a little too high maintenance for him (but it’s really easy, I promise!). This winter salad features beets, citrus, fennel and onions — might not sound like a winning combination, but let yourself be surprised.  The contrast in textures, flavours and colours make this something special.

Blood oranges star alongside beets in this Moroccan inspired salad.

Try it out!

Jazz and Tapas

The Bytowne Theatre lights up a cold night.

After hearing so much about the darling film of Cannes, The Artist, I finally saw it last week…twice. I enjoyed it so much that after seeing it with a couple of girlfriends I got my parents and grandmother out to the theatre as well. I may or may not have tap danced out the theatre (I totally did).What can I say, it’s a crowd pleaser!

The charming leads in the silent film "The Artist".

My parents took me out for post-movie drinks and a bite to eat (I love my parents!). So on that cold, snowy night we warmed up with some tapas at “Trio” a tiny, but great, place in Westboro. The food was inventive and delicious and there was good music to boot.

Chili Lime Toasted Peanuts at Trio

Make your own tapas!

What do you do with stale bread?

Make French toast, of course!  With a loaf or hardened baguette on my hands and some left over challah, I got to work this morning! Just to clarify, I mean stale as in the bread is a little dry and not super for a sandwich, not stale as in there is mould on your bread…

If you google “French toast recipe” you will find a seemingly endless supply of recipes for the classic breakfast, some traditional and some with their own twist.  There are French toast soufflés, baked French toast, some with Grand Marnier, French toast BLTs…

They all sound delicious, but I just went for an easy brekkie and made Pomegranate Orange French Toast with Orange Sauce and Pecans & Classic French Toast with Raspberries, Bananas and Maple Syrup. A super tasty way to start of the day! What are your favourite French toast combinations??  See recipes here!

Quick Quesadillas

How many people have included to eat healthier in their new year’s resolutions? If you want to get going on that, try these super tasty, super easy and super quick quesadillas.

There is really no end to the possibilities of fillings for these quesadillas; the only essentials are tortillas, some kind of sauce, and some cheese.  From there, the rest is up to you!

I used a yogurt-pesto sauce (three quarters plain, non-fat yogurt, to one quarter pesto) on a whole wheat tortilla and filled it with sliced chicken, shredded cheese and tomatoes. Fold over your tortilla and pop them in the oven at 425 degrees for about eight minutes and you’re all set. Doesn’t get much easier! Here are some more filling ideas!

Never Too Late for Latkes!

Hanukkah has come and gone and I almost missed out on latkes! In the end though, I was able to make time to fit in these bad boys, and oh MAN am I glad I did! Crisp and golden on the outside with a fluffy potato center; this recipe for the Hanukkah specialty was a winner.

Latkes crisping in olive oil on the skillet.

Never having made latkes on my own before, I chose a pretty simple recipe. We happened to have parsnips in our fridge, so this variation was a pleasant surprise. Another great thing about this recipe? You can make it healthier! Simply sub in whole wheat flour instead of white flour and there you go! You won’t taste the difference, but you’ll have heart smart latkes.

The eggs, the potatoes, parsnips and scallions, and whole wheat flour -- all together make delicious (and healthy) latkes!

These were so tasty and so easy to make, I can’t imagine I’ll wait til next Hanukkah to try them again…. Check out the recipe!