Bourbon French Toast for the Lost Soul

If you put bourbon on French toast, does that make you an alcoholic or are you just Cajun? Cause you know, bourbon is a southern drink and Cajun people are Southerners who are French.

Don’t get it? It’s ok, I just drank ate too much Vanilla-Bourbon French Toast from Cook This, not That. 

Look I’m not coping well with the state of my nation and I haven’t cooked or written a blog post in so long and to top it off, my phone decided to stop acknowledging any touches on it’s screen which means I can’t access the photo of my drunk toast.

Sigh…I need to make this again to drown my lost soul with bourbon toast.

If you feel similar, here’s what you’ll need

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup of bourbon (or the whole bottle, it’s ok, I won’t tell)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 loaf of day-old country bread, preferably whole wheat, cut into 8 slices
  • Butter for pan
  • Syrup for serving

The first step in making drunk French toast is to pre-heat the oven to 225. This is for those of you who want to keep your first batches of cooked toast warm while you finish the rest.

The next step is to combine eggs, milk, bourbon, vanilla, sugar, and nutmeg in a shallow dish. Combine by whisking. Once everything is whisked away soak each slice for 30 seconds on both sides.

After your bread is sloshed soaked, heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt a small slice of butter on it to coat the pan. Add as many slices as you can fit into the pan and cook for about three minutes. Repeat this process on the other side as well.

You’ll know when they are done by the color and firmness of the bread. Ideally they should be golden brown and firm, but not necessarily toasty.

Once your first batch is cooked, you can place them in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest.

When all the toast has been cooked, serve with syrup and powdered sugar.

Or just a whole handle of bourbon. Why not?

Don’t really do that, that could possibly kill you and I don’t think it would actually be good anyway. So it’d be a waste of bourbon and your life.

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Drunk toast, photo not mine because I lost my photo due to phone issues.

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Long lost footage of lost bread, retrieved from old phone!

Mile-High, Southwest, Western, Denver Omelet

This omelet is brought to you by Cook This, Not That and its official name is Mile-High omelet aka Denver Omelet aka Western omelet aka Southwest Omelet.

Why there are so many names for this omelet? I do not know, but every diner I’ve been to flip-flops on what to call it. My best guess is that some diners are jealous of Denver. The Western and Southwest omelets don’t even want to acknowledge that it’s a Denver thing and the Mile-High ones are trying to be sneaky about it. I imagine a conversation between a Denver citizen and a Mile-High omelet diner goes like this, “So…why didn’t you just name it a Denver omelet?”

“Oh, but we DID! We named it Mile-High because you are the Mile-High City!!!”

“……some people might not know that though. I feel like you’re trying to trick me.”

Mile-High Diner stammers and flashes fake smiles to hide their infinite and envious jealousy. They make up some lame excuse so they don’t look bad and Denver is annoyed, but Denver is used to it. Denver’s motto is “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

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Denver doesn’t have time for Mile-High games

Anyway, some people say to make an omelet you’ve gotta break some eggs. That is true. In my case you break a lot of eggs and brutally murder two omelets. “Third time’s a charm” has been proven to also be a true statement.

What you’ll need (For 4 Servings)

  • 1/4 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 oz cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 oz smoked ham, cubed or sliced into thin strips
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar

The first step is to heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute the bell pepper, mushrooms, and onions for 7 minutes. The vegetables should soften up and be lightly browned. When this happens, add the ham and cook for a minute. Season with salt and pepper to your liking once the ham is cooked.

You are now ready to break some eggs!

Break the eggs into a bowl and add the milk. Whisk this mixture until it’s slightly frothy and season with a bit of salt. (If you are just making an omelet for yourself, I like to use only two eggs and I just splash a bit of milk)

Now here comes the challenging part, making an omelet that doesn’t fall apart. The best advice is to use a skillet that is as non-stick as possible. Heat that skillet over medium heat with a dash of olive oil. Swirl the oil in the pan so that it can act as extra non-stick protection. Then pour one-quarter of the eggs in the pan. As they cook, take a wooden spoon and scrape the outer edges. This is to even out the eggs as well as a check to see how settled the omelet is. When the eggs are almost fully cooked, you will add one-quarter of your filling and one-quarter of the cheese on one half of your eggs.

Here comes the other hard part. Take a spatula and carefully fold over the empty side of your omelet. My best advice to accomplish this is to use the wooden spoon and the spatula. You can also tilt your pan as you lift the empty side of your omelet.

Once flipped, I like to let it cook a little more so the cheese is a melted, gooey deliciousness but feel free to take it off for consumption as soon as possible.

I’m not sure what to say about the taste. It’s your standard omelet and I love omelets so that’s my lazy way of saying that it’s good. Whether you successfully flipped your omelet or not, the final taste will be rewarding.

I did get super excited about that final omelet though. I still haven’t mastered omelet cooking, but I love to eat them, no matter what they are called.

 

 

 

 

 

Monkey See, Monkey Do, but Monkey Don’t You Dare Eat Healthy Banana Pancakes

My latest recipe comes from Cook This, Not That. For once, I have to say I’d rather eat the fattening thing, and not cook and eat that.

It’s such a let down when I don’t like a recipe that looked scrumptious and delectable. My disappointment was amplified due to the fact that it’s also supposed to be a healthy alternative. It wasn’t disgusting, but the cookbook claimed that with cottage cheese and yogurt as a base, my pancakes would be fluffy and scrumptious. They were more like bland, crumbly, and dry. The only saving grace were the bananas. I forced myself to eat my leftovers the next day and I just smothered that pancake in bananas. Syrup would help too, I bet, but I didn’t have any syrup.

If a pancake is fluffy and buttery enough, I actually prefer to eat without syrup. I used to smother my pancakes with syrup, like most mid-westerners, until I realized I wasn’t sure what a pancake tasted like without all the bells and whistles. So one day I tried it without and came to the conclusion that syrup wasn’t always necessary. I tried the same thing with sushi and found that I loved the taste on its own. In fact soy sauce ruins the taste for me now, so I never use it.

My mini food experimentation made me realize that with many foods, we learn to automatically eat it in a certain way. We aren’t even sure if we like it that way, we just copy what our culture taught us. How do you know if it’s better that way, if you don’t try it plain first? For the weight conscious, you’re just automatically adding calories for something you might not even like all that much. So why eat everything the way society tells us to? Branch out. Rebel. It’ll be ok.

You will fail sometimes. It’s inevitable, but taking risks is what makes life enjoyable. I failed when I tried to make these healthy banana pancakes, but at least I know. Right?

What you need are, 1 cup of plain 2% Greek yogurt, 1 cup of low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese, 3 eggs, juice of 1 lemon, 1 cup of white whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 2 sliced bananas.

The first step is to make your pancake batter. To do so, whisk the yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Once your two bowls are mixed, combine bowls to unleash your ultimate pancake batter power.

The next step is get your pancake skillet out. I know you all have one. Do what you normally would do with pancakes, except this time around add three to four banana slices soon after your batter hits the pan. The next steps are normal pancake cooking steps. In case someone out there doesn’t know how to cook pancakes, all you do is cook one side for at least 3 minutes and then flip it and cook the other side for about 3 minutes.

I would like to mention a useful tip that this cookbook provided as well. I actually do the same thing whenever I’m making pancakes or appetizers that take awhile to cook through the whole batch. While you are waiting to cook the rest of your batch, set your oven to 200 degrees and place your cooked pancakes in the oven. This temperature setting keeps the pancakes warm and won’t result in overcooking. That way, when you are finally finished nothing will have gotten cold in the process.

I know I already let the cat out of the bag that I was disappointed in these pancakes, but I wouldn’t mind trying it again. I think I might have messed up with the type of flour I used. I had some white whole wheat flour, but it’s probably kind of old. I’m guessing that might have affected the texture a little. Also, I’m curious to see how it would turn out if I used ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese.

If all else fails and you find yourself disappointed like I was, smother them with bananas. The bananas will save you. That’s why monkeys like them so much.

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Crumbly, bland banana pancakes

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Sad banana pancakes

Huevos Rancheros or Rancher’s Eggs, for the Gringos

I was excited about this Huevos Rancheros recipe in Cook This, Not That. Even though it’s fairly simple to make, this gringa has never attempted to make it before. That’s not a huge shocker though. I love eating breakfast, but I don’t like making it. Why? I don’t why, I just don’t.

Ok fine, it’s because I’m terrible at making omelettes. I realize this is not an omelette, but it’s related. I either get impatient and don’t wait long enough or I wait too long. Plus, I’m not a morning person. I’d rather drink coffee and have people give me breakfast then make it for myself. Walt Jr, would hate me if I was his mother. I mean what would he do in Breaking Bad if I was his mother?

Anyway, this recipe is a healthy alternative, but it doesn’t require a whole lot of tweaking. Not frying your eggs and tortillas is the basic major change. I’m a gringa that grew up in the mid-west, but something tells me it’s not an authentic recipe either. Like I said though, I’m just a white girl, what do I know about these things?

What you’ll need to make this is, 1 16oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, 1/2 of a chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle pepper, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, juice of 1 lime, 1 16oz can of black beans, pinch of ground cumin, 8 eggs, and 8 corn tortillas.

I should note that this serves 4, but you can still prepare most of it as it’s written. The eggs and tortillas can be adjusted accordingly.

Your first step is going to be making the salsa. To do so, place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chipotle, cilantro, and half of the lime juice in a food processor. I should note that I just had some lime juice in a bottle. I think I added two tablespoons, but I admittedly don’t remember exactly. It’s not something that’s too difficult to eye though. Anyway, you will blend those ingredients until it’s slightly chunky.

The next step is to prepare the beans. The beans don’t require much, you just need to mix them with cumin and the remaining lime juice. Again, you can eye this if you don’t have a fresh lime. Once that’s mixed, feel free to season with salt and pepper and then mash lightly with a fork.

You are now ready to assemble your eggs!

Coat your skillet with some Pam and break open however many eggs you want. Cook the eggs over easy style.

Meanwhile, on another skillet, heat up your tortillas. Generally a minute on each side will do the trick.

Once that’s done, you add it all together for heavenly egg glory. To do so, spread the beans on the tortillas first, then the eggs, and finally the salsa.

If you’re feeling frisky, you can also garnish with cilantro. I do recommend this.

I also recommend stocking up on as much cilantro as possible when you visit El Pollo Loco if you are cheap like me. I mean, why not? You can have some tasty chicken the day before and then the next day use your free cilantro for whatever you need it for.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you enjoy this recipe, because I did.

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Rancher’s Eggs!

Live from Storage Room B, it’s Smoothie Time!

I’m not a bum anymore! Well I’m temporarily not a bum. I’m currently working as a validation/baggage/coat check girl downtown in LA. If you’re worried I’m going to get in trouble for writing this, don’t fret! I was given permission to read and/or write while I work. Truthfully if that wasn’t allowed this would be a slightly inhumane job.

I think my employers know this and would agree. I mean, otherwise I’d be spending most of my time staring at this glass door with some random decal of a dude. I suppose I could pretend he was my friend and we could gossip inbetween our duties. That seems a little bit crazy though. Just a little. He’s got a nice smile.

My only friend

I’m actually doing ok down here but the customers like to make jokes about how I’m in a dark cave by myself, down this long hall, outcasted from society. I always want to joke back, “That’s my life in a nutshell, I’m used to it!”

Instead I just smile and say, “I’m fine, I get to read, it’s cool.”

Anyway, that has been my life the last couple of days.

Let us move on to a recipe. Today’s recipe comes from Cook This, Not That!, which is one of my favorite cookbooks because it’s healthy options for comfort foods and more. For the last few recipes I was in the breakfast/smoothie section, but this Papaya Strawberry Smoothie is the last of the smoothies listed in this book. So goodbye smoothie section! It’s been real!

Like the other smoothies I made this wasn’t difficult to make at all! My biggest problem was finding frozen papayas, which I wasn’t able to find, but that wasn’t a huge deal because there were at least fresh papayas at Von’s. So I cut my papaya into bits, removed the seeds, and stuck 3/4 a cup into my blender followed by 3/4 a cup of frozen strawberries. Then I added half a cup of OJ and half a cup of milk followed by a tablespoon of mint and blending, naturally.

The end result was good, but I have to admit it was my least favorite of the smoothies I have made. I mostly tasted the oj and the strawberries, which isn’t a terrible thing. It’s just the other smoothies, comparitively, were better.

Ye olde smoothie

For Your Health; Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

This smoothie comes from my Cook This, Not That cookbook. I have one more smoothie to go in this cookbook, which I’m eager to get to because after the smoothie section is a Huevos Rancheros recipe.  I love Huevos Rancheros so this is a big deal for me.

I like smoothies too, but making them isn’t too exciting. I mean I don’t have any jokes to make about this recipe nor any tie ins to ramble about.

I’m kinda sad about that. I bet I’ll find something though. I really good at going off into tangents.

Anyway, this recipe calls for yogurt, frozen blueberries, pomegranate juice, and flaxseed. For the most part it’s pretty healthy. The flaxseed is what really jumps it into healthy territory. Apparently current studies show that flaxseed might help with breast cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It also may aid in weight loss. I’m always skeptical about health trends myself, so I take these things with a grain of salt. Except garlic and tea. I truly think garlic is a  magical healing food and when I think I’m getting sick and drink about a gallon of tea with honey, I tend to not get sick. That could all be in my head though.

The only tip I’ll point out is that I recommended adding the blueberries last in your blender. When I made this smoothie the fist time, I added them first and my blender kind of hated me for it. So be nice to your blender and don’t bombard it with blueberries.

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Smoothie in Blue and Pomegranate

Caffeinated Banana

This admittedly is a boring recipe to talk about. The good news is that it’s another easy and delicious recipe. It comes from a book called Cook This, Not That. It’s another cookbook that focuses on cutting out calories and making better decisions on ingredients and etc.

I like it because it compares its recipes with chain restaurant counterparts. It’s a little shocking how many calories, fat, and sodium can be punched into some food items.

I also like that they divide the recipes up by breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Right now I’m in the breakfast section. They start each section showing off the worst breakfast items in major chain restaurants. For example, I’m in a smoothie section and apparently there is a smoothie at Smoothie King that is almost 2,000 calories! Granted this a 40oz sized drink, but it still blows my mind. If you don’t know how much 40oz is and you’re an alcoholic it’s the same size as a Colt 40. This is why Colt 40s are called Colt 40s by the way. Hopefully you do know that though, because if not, then you’re either sheltered, poorly educated, or not observant. If you are these things I have faith in the powers of self-improvement and I’m sure you will be able to overcome your flaws.

If I’ve made you feel bad, just check out my grammar in this blog. It sucks sometimes because I’m not good at paying attention to detail and I’m too lazy to brush up on my grammar. We all have our flaws, it’s ok kids.

We should be jealous of the caffeinated banana though. It’s a slim and attractive drink of 300 calories. All you have to do to make it is blend a sliced banana, peanut butter, a bit of milk and coffee and a pinch of agave syrup with ice. Mix them all together, rub your blender, and a caffeinated banana will magically appear and grant you three wishes.

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Magical Smoothie of Caffeine and Bananas