What’s cookin’?

Confession time: I am a hoarder.

Let me be more specific. I am a recipe hoarder.

I rip them out of newspapers. I cut them off of food packaging. I print them from websites and I gather them from friends and family (especially my mom). I buy cookbooks. I have multiple files of recipes on my computers. I usually have a couple sitting in my printer waiting for me. I have a stack sitting on top of my microwave. I have a Longaberger basket (I know, right?) filled with recipe cards. And a few years ago I organized a big binder full of all those clippings and whatnot. Periodically I gather up all the strays littered around the house and add them to the binder.

This might lead you to believe that I cook a lot. Sadly, that is not the case. I’m kind of lazy, and cooking for one doesn’t often seem worth it.  Plus, when it’s just me the yield is such that it better be something that either freezes well or that I like well enough to eat for several days in a row.

However, a few weeks ago I was browsing for cookie recipes for Sunshine’s and my annual Christmas cookie fest, and I decided enough is enough. I need to make some of these things I’ve been clipping. In fact, given the timing of this, perhaps that should be a resolution for the new year. If I were feeling super inspired, I would aim for one new recipe a week, but who am I kidding. Based on how much I actually cook, that wouldn’t leave any room for recipes I already enjoy making (and eating). Howsabout once a month, a new recipe? Dig it, I can get on board with that.

Anyway, this epiphany of  “I should cook more” came when I was reading a page of brunch recipes I had torn out of the newspaper several years ago. And I thought ok, but who makes brunch for one? And then I said to myself, “Self, I’m gonna DO that!” There was a yummy sounding blueberry cream cheese French toast recipe that I determined I was going to make just for me on Christmas morning. Momentarily forgetting, of course, that Klondike was coming up on Christmas. But his arrival time was undetermined and I decided fuck it, I was making it for myself and if he was here, great, and if not, he could have leftovers. (Sorry, babe.)

As it turned out, he was here, and it was great, and it was decent the next day as leftovers, and I sent another big hunk of leftovers home with him. Perhaps next time I will halve the recipe. But hooray for new endeavors in the kitchen!

And since some of my friends asked for the recipe, here it is. (I snipped it from Eileen Goltz’s column in the Journal Gazette, eons ago.)

Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast

  •  1 loaf egg bread, cut into cubes (I don’t know what “egg bread” is – feel free to enlighten me. I used one of those bake-and-serve loaves of Italian bread, except I didn’t bake it – it was fully baked, it just wasn’t browned and crispy, it was still a bready bread, and it worked great.)
  •  1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, slightly softened
  •  1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries, tossed lightly with 2 tablespoons flour (The fresh blueberries were ridiculously expensive, so I bought some nice frozen ones and they worked just fine. I didn’t defrost them, since I knew they would have plenty of time for that, just coated them with the flour.)
  •  Cinnamon
  •  8 large eggs
  •  1-1/2 cups milk
  •  ¾ cup maple syrup (Please, for the love of god, use real maple syrup. Not just for this, but for every maple syrup opportunity you run across. You can thank me later if you haven’t already been using it.)
  •  6 tablespoons butter, melted
Midway through the layering - pretty!

Midway through the layering – pretty!

Coat a 13x9x2 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer one half of the bread cubes in the baking dish. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and scatter over bread. Layer the coated blueberries over the cream cheese. Cover the blueberries with the remaining bread. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. In a bowl, combine the milk, maple syrup, eggs and butter. Whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the bread and press the mixture into the bread with a spatula. This will help the bread soak up the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight (I went the overnight route). Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Serves 8.

Next time I make it, I will use more blueberries – at least 2 cups (total), maybe more. Probably more. I really love blueberries. I also might use a little less bread on top. Like a handful less, maybe.

Hold me to the resolution, k? And if you have something delicious I should be making, please send the recipe – I’ll add it to the pile!

Ciao, babies! Happy New Year!!!


Comments on: "What’s cookin’?" (13)

  1. Holy Cow. That looks and sounds amazing. I am like you, in that I am a kitchen utensile hoarder. I don’t cook much either, but it you need a kitchen gadget, I’ve got it. Avocado slicer? Got it. Pastry cutter? Got it. Cheese grater, deep-dish baker, pie pan, garlic press, cheese spreader, cheese grater, cheese slicer, egg slicer, meat pounder, hand-blender, wire whisk, 3 sets of measuring cups, bamboo stirrers, pie-slicers, pizza cutters, butter knives — whew, you name it. I’ve got it.

  2. As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! I have stacks and stacks of recipes that sounded good — but that I haven’t actually tried. Every now and then I do pull one out and try it. And it’s also so easy these days to find recipes online that I keep acquiring more! And by the way, silly girl, “egg bread” is challah — often suggested, along with brioche, as the best bread for french toast.

    • Oh for crying out loud….why wouldn’t she just call it that, then? And also, totally not necessary to go to the trouble (around here) of finding challah for this one.

  3. I, too, am a recipe hoarder. I keep thinking I will have time one day to make all this fabulous food, but tat day has yet to arrive. And my Mom is the same way. She has several binders full of recipes she has saved. Some day……

  4. Yeah, I get this: I used to think that I liked to sew….turns out I mostly just like fabric. A former co-worker’s daughter was the beneficiary of that bit of self-awareness, since she ended up with the sewing machine once I determined that I’d never use it again.

  5. Sue Brown said:

    Yeah, a fellow recipe hoarder. I love, love, love trying new recipes. Some become favorites I make often, some never see the light of day again. Then there are those I have yet to try.

  6. Nicholle C. said:

    I had to laugh to myself when I first started reading this post – I’m a recipe hoarder too!! It’s gotten to the point where I’m not even ashamed of it anymore. Pinterest has enabled my vice to a point where it’s crazy – there isn’t a place in my home where I don’t have a printed recipe (yes, even in the bathroom – not sure how they get in there!). Thankfully I do try many new recipes and force my family to be guinea pigs, and occasionally we stumble across a new recipe that we all love and consider to be a keeper so I think it’s all totally worth it.

    Thanks for the Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast recipe – it has been printed and will make it to the top of my pile of ‘breakfast’ recipes at home. =)

    • I live alone, and I’m lazy, so I don’t cook that often but I’ve been trying to make myself work through the recipe pile. So far I haven’t ventured into Pinterest – I think I’m scared of feeding my addiction! Although it might be easier to corral than the stack of printouts piled up on the microwave! 🙂

      • And also, I just printed a recipe as I was typing this. Mushroom risotto. Sounds yummy. 🙂

      • Nicholle C. said:

        Pinterest is for lazy people! It’s perfect – I have a ‘board’ for about 15 different food categories, and it’s all based on pictures which I love because I very rarely want to try a recipe that does not have a good picture to entice me. I ‘eat’ with my eyes before anything else – I’m the same way about any cookbook I buy – if it doesn’t have great pictures it won’t find it’s way onto my over-flowing bookshelves. =)

      • All right, I definitely need to check it out. 🙂

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