Saturday, October 22, 2011

Flavors of Fall

Pumpkin French Toast

Delicious fall flavors with home made brioche and pumpkin puree.  Warm pumpkin pie spices make this treat special on a lazy Sunday.

Stress tip relief tip of the day:

Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them. Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe


1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Half and Half
3 Eggs
1/2 cup home made pureed pumpkin or canned pumpkin
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
My brioche thick-sliced and day-old (punch out in rounds)


1. Combine all ingredients except bread
2. Soak bread the night before or six hours before eating. Dip the bread slices in the milk mixture (one at a time) and place the bread in a glass baking dish. Continue until all the bread has been dipped. Store in fridge.
3. Cook by heating 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat or use nonstick cooking spray. Place bread slices in the pan and cook until golden on 1 side, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes longer. Wipe the pan out with paper towels and repeat with the remaining butter, oil, and bread.
4. Serve warm and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Recipe adapted from Carla Hall

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Buttery Brioche

This buttery bread is light, airy and so rich that it seems like it's a cake.  

Stress relief tip of the day:
Do something you enjoy everyday.  Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy.  Whether its taking a walk, going for a drive or singing along to your favorite song.

Brioche Recipe


1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp warm whole milk
1 tsp active dry yeast
3 tsp sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt

1 large egg
2 tbsp milk


Cut the butter into small cubes and place on a plate in the freezer.  Meanwhile, put the warm milk in a cup ans sprinkle yeast and 1 tsp of sugar over the top and let stand for two minutes.  Stir and let stand until foamy for about five minutes.  Whisk the eggs into the yeast mixture.

In a food processor fitted with a plastic dough blade, combine the flour, salt and remaining two tsp of sugar.  Add the butter and pulse 15-20 times to break the butter up into the size of peas.  With the machine running, add the liquid ingredients though the feed tube and keep processing until the dough comes together, about fifteen seconds.  Add milk a few drops at a time until the dough is wet enough to be sticky.  It will look like a paste.  Let is stand in the food processor for five minutes, then process for thirty seconds longer.  Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and let rest for two minutes.  Knead the dough 20-25 times, then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl.  cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Butter twelve fluted brioche molds 2.5 inches in diameter.  Remove dough from refrigerator and shape quickly with floured hands a work surface.  Divide dough into twelve equal pieces and shape into a ball.  Place each ball into a mold.

Place the filled molds on a baking sheet.  Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise at room temperature for one hour.  The dough should slightly increase in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place two racks in the two lowest oven positions.  On the bottom rack place a small roasting pan filled with boiling water and on the top rack place the baking sheet with the brioche.

To make the glaze, beat the egg and milk together.  Brush the brioches gently with the glaze and place on the upper rack.  Bake until golden and firm about eighteen minutes.  Let stand for one minute, then remove from molds and cool briefly on a wire rack.  Serve warm.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rustic and Sweet

Apple Galette
Tender sweet apples en-robed in buttery, flaky pastry dough.  What more could you ask for?

Stress relief tip of the day:
Physical activity plays a key role in preventing the effects of stress.  Make time for at least thirty minutes of exercise three times a week.  Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing stress and tension.

Apple Galette Recipe


Flaky pastry dough:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3-4 tbsp of ice water, plus more if needed

3 large firm granny smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
1 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp of sugar


In the bowl of a food processor, combine the four, sugar, salt and pulse to blend.  Add the butter and pulse 5 or 6 times until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal with butter pieces no larger than small peas.  Add the 3 tbsp water through the feed tube, pulsing once after each addition and adding just enough to make a crumbly dough.  (It will not hold together on its own but will when gather into a ball with your hands.)  If the dough is dry, mix in more water 1 tbsp at a time.

Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk.  Lightly flour the surface and roll out the disk to about 10 inches and about 1/8 inch thick.  (tip: dough can be made ahead and frozen for up to two months.)

Lay the apple slices close together, starting from the middle and working your way out.  Leave a one inch border of dough uncovered along the edge.  fold the edge of the dough up and over the apples, pleating the dough loosely all around the edge and leaning the galette uncovered in the center.  Dot the apples with butter and sprinkle with the sugar.

Measure the circumference of the galette and cut a strip of aluminum foil about 2 inches long and 3 inches wide.  Wrap the foil strip around the edge of the galette and secure the ends by folding them together.  (this will keep the dough from unfolding)  Refrigerate the galette on the baking sheet until the dough is firm 20-30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Bake the galette for 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, 30-40 minutes longer.  Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the galette cool until slightly warm or room temperature before serving. 

Adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sweet Potato Love

Sweet Potato Corn Bread

Fall is all about warm comfort foods.  Add a little yam and we're good to go.

Stress relief tip of the day:
 Spend time with positive people who enhance your life.  A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.

Sweet Potato Corn Bread Recipe


2 organic sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


Bring a saucepan full of water to a boil, add the yams and cook until tender, approximately 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain thoroughly.  Transfer to a food processor and pulse until slightly fluffy.  Scrape into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.  

In another bowl stir together the buttermilk, eggs and butter to the yams and mix well.  Add the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined, be careful not to over-mix.  The batter will be slightly lumpy.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the top is golden grown and the edges pull away from the pan sides, about 30 minutes.  Place the pan on a rack to col.  Cut into squares to serve.

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