There are few things in life better than a chocolaty, fudgy, warm brownie. I’m pretty sure they possess some sort of power that evokes sunshine and fuzzy feelings. You can’t be mad and eat a brownie at the same time. Not possible.
These brownies are fudgy, chewy, and the added chocolate coffee glaze really knocks it up on the decadent scale.
That’s one scale I don’t mind going up.
Make sure you have a glass of milk handy. You’re going to need it.
How does a buttermilk biscuit sound, with a slab of sweet butter and a fair amount of jam or honey drizzled right on top? Yea, I see you drooling. I’m not going to lie, I’ve paused my writing to contemplate making another batch in the middle of the afternoon. These biscuits have a way of making you do things you wouldn’t normally do.
I began making biscuits regularly when my dad asked for them one Father’s day a couple of years back. Thinking that they would be a pain to throw together, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were quick and easy to make. I’ve been able to tweak and play around with different types of flours since that time.
Biscuits really are easy to make, I promise. I think the sheer fact of having to roll out dough and cut it into circles makes people shake in their aprons. But honestly, you can throw these little nuggets of love together in less than 30 minutes. It’s really a matter of learning a couple tricks that can help in making a beautiful biscuit.
First, have a pastry cutter – you can certainly use two butter knives, but I really find it easier having a pastry cutter…it just gives you more evenly crumbly dough. Second, freeze your dough for at least 5-8 minutes after you’ve cut your butter into the flour. Having really cold dough aids in the rolling out process.
This particular biscuit recipe uses cake flour, and let me tell you, they make a huge difference. They give that biscuit the light yet biscuit-like taste that we all love. I think we get in the mind set that cake flour is used for just that, cake. But really, the flour is great for all sorts of baked goods.
So instead of mercilessly slamming the tube of biscuits on the side of the counter, take the extra twenty minutes to make homemade ones you’ll love so much more.
We’ve flipped out a couple of pancake recipes (1,2) and waffle recipes (1,2) so it’s about time we got a french toast recipe up in here. Don’t ask what has taken so long. It’s a breakfast mystery.
So, I finally hit the kitchen and got to work cooking up a french toast recipe that has everything there is to love about this breakfast favorite…crunchy outside, eggy middle, thick bread, and for some extra love, cinnamon coated pecans.
Oh yea. This is why breakfast rocks.
This recipe is simple but does include an extra step or two than your normal, run-of-the-mill french toast.
Don’t worry. They are easy steps. I wouldn’t make something you do before noon too difficult.
The key to getting an evenly cooked, pecan crusted bite is to cook the toast over medium low heat. You want that eggy bread to cook without burning the pecans.
French toast? Good. French toast crusted with pecans? Better. Always better.
6 slices thick bread (I used country, but any thick, hearty bread will do)
nonstick cooking spray
maple syrup, for serving
fresh fruit, for serving
In a shallow dish, combine the eggs, milk, salt, vanilla, and sugar and whisk until well combined.
Place the pecans and cinnamon in another shallow dish and stir until pecans are fully coated with cinnamon.
Coat a large griddle or skillet with cooking spray and place over medium low heat. Dip the bread, one piece at a time, in the egg mixture on both sides. Allow excess to drip off then place bread in the dish of pecans.
Gently press the pecans onto both sides of the bread. The bread doesn't have to be completely covered, just make sure enough pecans stick to get the crunch you want.
Place on the griddle. Cook the first side of the bread until browned, about 2-3 minutes, applying light pressure with a spatula to help with even cooking.
Flip and repeat with the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
Serve drizzled with maple syrup and fruit, if desired.
A couple months ago I met Chris in St. Barts after one of his races. We spent the week swimming in the ocean and eating some of the best food I’ve ever had. Living in Ohio, the chances of eating grilled lobster and sushi on the beach are slim, so I made sure to enjoy every bite.
Though those meals are unforgettable one of my favorite stops was a small deli and juice shop that was down the street from where we were staying.
Most mornings we would go and pick a few salads from behind their counter and pack them in our cooler to take to the beach for lunch that day. They had so many but my favorite was a delicious mango and tomato salad with a lemon vinaigrette.
I’ve had it on my to-do list to recreate it and I think I finally nailed it. Taking a bite of this instantly takes me back to tropical weather and blue water. Not a bad place to go.
I love making light and bright recipes like this to bring to the summer picnics and cookouts that are about to be in full swing. When you show up with a dish this pretty and flavorful, people will be waiting in line to get the recipe from you.
To make the vinaigrette, put the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, garlic clove, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk everything together. Let it sit for about 3 minutes and then which again. Remove the garlic clove and set bowl aside.
In a medium sized serving bowl, add the mangos, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and use a wooden spoon to toss until the salad is coated with the vinaigrette.
Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 3 hours and then serve.
It’s May and 90 degrees outside. Now, that’s not a complaint, but my body is playing catch up trying to acclimate to the warmer weather, given that it was just in the 40’s a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been drinking like it’s my job…water that is, with maybe some Riesling in the mix. But the point is that I’m kind of sick of chugging water, and have been craving some hydrating juice.
I think we can all agree that juice is quite the craze, and Columbus is killing it with some really great juice shops. But paying 5-7 dollars each trip can really add up, so I’ve concocted my own super hydrating juice that will certainly be a summer staple.
It has three simple ingredients: cucumber, strawberries, and mint. Sounds refreshing, right? I know that not everyone owns a juicer, but if you do or decide to invest in one, I highly suggest making this juice on a hot summer, or in our case, spring day.
If you’re doing the Bikini Series like us, then this juice would be a great post-workout drink.
So stay hydrated with this juice, and maybe the occasional Riesling.
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