Sunday, March 7, 2010

Strawberry Almond French Toast Casserole

While searching a healthy French toast recipe, I found one for Blueberry Almond Baked French Toast on a site called Mr.Breakfast. It was pretty healthy looking, but I made some adaptations to ensure it was low in Weight Watcher points. This is 7 points per serving, and it is a generous portion. It is made with whole wheat grainy bread, delicious maple syrup and crunchy almonds.
This is a delicious and filling brunch food!

Strawberry Almond French Toast Casserole adapted from a recipe from Mr.
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup strawberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
Prepare a 8x8 baking pan by spraying the inside with cooking spray.

Place the bread in a single layer in the baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and egg whites with the milk, vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the bread in the pan. Scatter the strawberries evenly over the top and sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (at least 4 hours).

Bake for about 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

To keep it healthy, serve with some applesauce instead of butter and maple syrup.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Blogging Fail and Weight Watchers

I fail in blogging. I haven't blogged since August, and it is now March. When I came back from San Franisco school started. I had a new school, a new grade, grad class, etc and I just couldn't get back into blogging.
Since January I have been going to Weight Watchers meetings. I have been losing weight and I feel really great! I still love to cook, I am just trying to do it healthier now.
I am going to try to blog more about my healthy recipes starting tomorrow. I am making a baked french toast casserole so stay tuned...

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eating in and Around San Francisco Day 3 Half Moon Bay

Yesterday we drove down the Pacific Coast. We saw the ocean, some surfers, and thick blankets of fog rolling off of the hills. 

It was beautiful! Then we ate some beautiful food. In a coastal town called Half Moon Bay we walked around the shops (I bought an apron and matching oven mitt at a cute kitchen shop called Toque Blanche) Then we ate dinner at Pasta Moon.
We started dinner with an antipasta of lightly battered romano beans, parmesan cheese on top, that we dipped in a light lemon aioli. This was a fantastic dish. Not heavy or greasy, and the aioli was very good and complimented the beans.

Then I had a sweet corn soup. I liked the one from the CIA better, it had a much purer flavor. This soup was enjoyable, but had more going on. It had some vinegar in it which I am not sure I liked. 

I should have ordered the fava and pea salad instead.

It had mint and cheese, and was very light and fresh tasting. A great summer salad.

For my entree I had Tagliatelle Jumbo Prawns, Sweet Corn, Roasted Red Peppers, Garlic, Speck, Lemon, Parmesan, Cilantro. This was good, but I think it needed a flavor boost. I still enjoyed it. 

Jake had Linguine Rare Pan Seared Ahi Tuna, Garlic, Capers, Oil, Cured Olives, Red Pepper Flakes, Anchovy. This pasta a great punch of flavor. 

Also, the bread was made in house and they had two varieties served with oil and vinegar that I could not stop eating! We also had an Italian wine that we all really enjoyed. What I liked about their wine list is that they have a description and tasting notes for each wine. So if you are not familiar with the nuances of different Italian wines (like me) then you can read the notes and make an informed decision. I picked our table's wine based on the fact that it had a good Wine Spectator rating and an intriguing description. We all liked it, and I wish more restaurants would include these descriptions. 
For dessert I had a Meyer lemon parfait.

A little too sweet for me, but a good lemon flavor. Jake had an affogato, which is espresso poured over vanilla gelato.

I should have listened to Jake's aunt and uncle when they told us how amazing the butterscotch pudding is there. I thought, how great could butterscotch pudding be? Well since they insisted I taste it (several times) I understood that it can be amazing.

Unlike this photo, which is blurry. What can I say, I was excited to eat dessert! It was thick, and such a great butterscotch flavor. Totally unlike artificially flavored pudding. 
Overall a great experience. I would recommend the romano beans, a salad, the tuna, and the butterscotch pudding for an amazing meal!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Eating in and Around San Francisco Day 2 Napa and Sonoma

Today our adventure in California continues. We drove to Napa Valley, bordered by mountains on both sides. It has the advantage of having the bay on the southern border, so at night we wet, cool air rushes right through the valley and helps cool the air down and give moisture to the vines. We toured Mondavi's winery. 

These are cabernet sauvignon grapes.
We learned a lot! We got to taste the grape varietals right off of the vine.

 We saw the barrels of wine aging. 

We then got to taste three wines. We tasted their 2007 CHX Napa Valley Chardonnay. It was very good. It had notes of vanilla cream, pears, and key lime pie. ( I got that off the tasting notes, to be honest. My palate isn't that refined!) Then we tasted a 2007 Napa Valley Fume Blanc. I liked this one a lot, it had citrus and floral notes and a nice mouth feel. 

The third one was a Cabernet Sauvignon, which I learned is the most grown grape varietal on the Mondovi estate. This was a 2007 Carneros Cab, a little pricier and it was nice to taste but not my favorite. (Very tannic). We bought a Pinot Noir there that isn't available in Pennsylvania, and are excited to try it!

For lunch we went to the CIA-the Napa Valley branch of the Culinary Institute of America. We sat at the counter of a round open kitchen.

It was a great view.

Sweet white corn soup with basil oil. I had this as a first course. It had a lovely, pure fresh corn flavor and was absolutely fantastic.

Jake's first course; Burrata- Creamy fresh mozzarella, local heirloom tomatoes, olive relish. The creamy cheese went well with the tomatoes and olives.

Watermelon and watercress salad with ricotta salata, pine nuts, and lime vinaigrette. The cheese in this dish was fantastic.

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with baby zucchini, patty pan squash, romano beans, cherry tomatoes, with yellow tomato au jus. I don't even like plain zucchini and summer squash that much and this was delicious! They made the gnocchi by putting the dough into long cylindrical tubes, steaming them, and then cutting off pieces and pan frying them. We got to figure this out  by watching them cook.

Here I am with some of the CIA chefs!

We had dinner at a restaurant in Sonoma called "The Girl and the Fig" Unfortunately, my camera battery died so no food pictures. But it is a charming restaurant, with delicious olives and a nice variety of cheese, both local and from France.

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