Saturday, March 26, 2011

Embracing Breakfast

I am trying to open up my reportoire of cooking to include breakfast foods, as foreign as they are to me, it only makes sense as an early riser that I would actually embrace breakfast foods in all their glory. But I digress, as a child (ask my parents) I pratically refused to eat breakfast foods, (except for toast,  hashbrowns and the occasional biscuit and gravy); however if we were dining out I almost assuredly would order a cheeseburger or maybe even spahgetti, gasp! My dad used to comment "That's Un-American." He would grumble and I would happily eat dinner for breakfast.
Well my tastebuds have actually matured and I won't go as far as to say breakfast is my favourite meal, but I have embraced pretty much all things breakfast, even eggs if they're smothered with cheese, bacon, etc. I like belgian waffles particularly with berries and nuts, omelettes, and pretty much everything breakfasty. So with that said french toast has never been one of the things I even enjoy as a breakfast convert, so I set out to find a recipe that would enable me to enjoy it.
Pain Perdu:  french for lost bread, meaning it would have been thrown out if not for the ultimate save of the french toasting. I got the recipe from one of my favourite sites Allrecipes, and made a few tweaks to make it my own:

Pain Perdu


  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 12 thick slices day old french bread, brioche, or challah


  1. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, milk, brandy and orange zest. Beat until thick and foamy. Pour mixture into a shallow pan. Soak bread slices in the mixture for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are thoroughly soaked through.
  2. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Lightly spray griddle with cooking spray. Cook the bread slices 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve hot.
I put butter and sifted powdered sugar over the top, syrup might take away from the orangy goodness. The happy french toasting conversion has commenced.

Que' Magnifique!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In Honor of all things Irish. . .

So aside from making corned beef and cabbage to honor and celebrate good ol St. Patrick, I'm going to make an honest attempt to read Joyce again, that is James Joyce. A few years a go I bought Ullyses, along with the Bloom's day guide(which everyone says you need to understand the esoteric language and inside allusions)  but alas. . . .it wasn't meant to be.  I just couldn't get past the first two pages without reading it over and over again, with no comprehension whatsoever. Last summer I decided to finally read Angela's Ashes and thoroughly enjoyed the way McCourt opened up about a childhood of  hardships and utter destitude in Ireland in the early twentieth century. With that mindset, I tried  again to read Ulysses, only to fail yet again.
So,  apparently I'm  a Joyce wimp;  I am going to start with Joyce's  Dubliners, a book of interconnected short stories and then hopefully move onto Portrait of an Artist and then maybe this summer take another stab at the ever elusive Ullyses. I can do this! Do I  sound convincing?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

out with the old. . . .

So I changed my blog title; it was all new to me at first and I was just learning how it all works. My old title was too limiting and not at all, all encompassing of my many loves, I mean  baking is just one of many things I love, so in case anyone cares, here's my little spiel, not at all intended to persuade anyone well except maybe, myself.

These five firsts, all seemingly so unrelated yet are all things I so dearly love and rather not breathe as to live without them. They are all the one thing each that started my love of all things related, well except the man, (there's only one,) but it's interesting how very much they are intrinsically so carefully woven together by those I love.
My husband, well self-explanatory, he enables and supports me. . . . why I don't know.
The kitchen aid was one little or big appliance that inspired me to bake(a gift from my mum) and well the rest is history and I have no formal training, but it's a hobby that yields just rewards.
And the one dog, a tiny Pomeranian, who taught me the significance of all living creatures, great and small. She loves me unconditionally and in turn I've devoted myself to help and rescue those in need. She, along with the five more we've since taken in has opened my eyes to a whole new world of animal rights and advocacy for those who have no voice to speak for themselves.
I cannot express how much I love running which extends to pretty much any solitary exercise activity. When I was younger I enjoyed the physical changes in my body that was the result of hard training, but as I age I'm enjoying the beauty of my strength, whether it be through pole dancing or cardio endurance.
The literature class, just the one was not only the beginning of my career as an English teacher and the beginning and end of two English degrees but my love of language and how it enables us so many endless possibilities to communicate on various levels.
These are just a few, (well five) of my most favorite things, makes me feel like breaking out in song.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hamlet in Rewrite

Since I have little time to bake as grades are due on Thursday and I'm bleary eyed from essays I thought I'd string together a chronology of today's essays greatest hits to create a revisionist writing of Hamlet from various students' perspectives (like a students' Picasso of Hamet, if you will), not mocking, okay just a little, but I have to I was forced to read so much drivel that only more wine or purging out of my own soul, to expel it all, so that I may start anew tomorrow will cure me.

I'll try to keep it semi-chronological, so you may follow:
So this may be less revisionist, because even Hamlet continually shortens the span between his father's death and his mother's hasty remarriage to his uncle Claudius, but what we don't know is that Cladius actually married Gertude the same day as Hamlet Sr.'s death. And he actually had a sibling, (name unclear) but this sibling was not on the same course as Hamlet and apparently less indecisive. The aforemntioned issues with dad's death and mom's quick remarriage led to Hamlet's diagnosis of manic bipolar disorder.
Later we find out that he wasn't mentally sick; Hamlet was just using his fake madness as an escape goat from reality. Hamlet packed all his troubles into a knapsack, jumped on his goat and traversed to a place far, far away.
        Of course, he realized he had to face his problems eventually and returned to find his friend Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus in the closet. Because he's such a great orator and friend to Horatio,  he was able to coax them out and there they remained.
     Much later. . . .we  arrive to a scene on a stage strewn with dead bodies and we find out it is there that Hamlet has murdered Claudius and he's ready to take his own life;  he gives his famous "To be or not to be" speech, contemplating suicide as the poison simultaneously pulses through his veins.  Horatio, since he's now "out" wants to follow Hamlet to his death, but Hamlet doesn't allow it; he must live to retell Hamlet's story, again and again.
      And who, but the dead Laertes returns from the grave to take over as the new King of Denmark, promising to give Hamlet an honorable burial.

And that concludes today's greatest hits and I am purg'ed.