Baked Orange French Toast with Chocolate Sauce

This recipe materialized from me not having any food in the house and a loaf of stale bread… I sometimes feel that my best recipes come when I have LESS to choose from. I had also just made a big batch of orange marmalade and was trying to figure out a way to incorporate it with something. I love orange marmalade but its one of those things that you get a hankering for at first and then lose interest after your 10th piece of toast. So I was trying to figure out how to utilize it and came up with this. Anyway, it turned out great. Its pretty adventurous with the bite from the orange rind and chocolate sauce. Next time you have a stale loaf of bread, give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

Baked Orange French Toast with Chocolate Sauce Recipe:

1 Loaf French Bread (Day Old Preferably)

4 Cups Milk

4 Eggs

¼ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

¾ cup orange marmalade

Cut french bread into medium pieces. Place in a greased casserole pan.

Combine milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange marmalade. Whisk to combine. Pour over bread. Move bread around in pan to ensure each piece gets soaks in the mixture. Refrigerate for 3 hours or over night.

Bake at 350 degrees for ½ Hour.

Chocolate Sauce:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 Tbs unsweetened chocolate powder

Combine water and sugar in a sauce pan. Put on medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce by half. Reduce heat and add two Tbs of unsweetened chocolate powder. whisk until smooth. Continue to simmer until reduced another half and slightly thick and syrupy. Put into a vessel of your choosing for drizzling over the french toast. Sift powdered sugar over the french toast if desired.

Chuck Roast

Many a Sunday growing up we would have chuck roast at my Grandparent’s house for Sunday dinner. There was always something so cosy about walking into the house with the smell of a roast cooking. It was the smell of love, family and peace. I’m so lucky to have such a caring family that have made so many efforts to create lasting memories through food and togetherness. I just have have one little baby right now who doesn’t eat chuck roast. But I literally can’t wait for the day when my kids say, “Mom, can you make chuck roast for dinner? Its my favorite!” Creating togetherness from food is probably the main reason why I love to cook so much. And a good ol’ roast is usually just as heartwarming to others as it is to me.

Recipe:

2-3 lbs Chuck Roast

2 Cloves Garlic

wochstershire Sauce

1 cup red wine

largely chopped golden potatoes

baby carrots

largely chopped onions

salt & pepper

Buy a 2-3 lbs chuck roast bone in or out. On a cutting board, slice two garlic cloves thinly. On the roast, slice small pockets in the meat every 2 inches and place sliced garlic into pockets. Rub both sides of the roast with cooking oil. Salt and pepper both sides. On a stove top heat a large pot or dutch oven. Place roast with garlic side down in the pot and brown for two minutes. Turn and brown the other side. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce and add 1 cup red wine. Turn oven to 350 degrees. Cook roast 2 ½ to 3 hours. Cover pot with lid. Check to see in one hour if roast goes dry. Add water ½ to 1 cup if desired. 1 hour before roast is done add  potatoes, carrots, onions. Add additional salt and pepper to season the veggies. After an hour, remove the roast and vegetables. Slice the roast and serve with vegetables.

Fondant

I have a love hate relationship with fondant. Mostly hate actually…I had  no idea how difficult it is to learn how to use fondant. People swear to me that after you get the hang of it its actually easier the just straight icing but my first attempt was riddled with rips and tears. I do have a vision of doing a pink ruffled fondant cake for my baby Georgiana’s first birthday so we’ll see if it happens…Since I’m in the wedding industry I’m always blown away by the wedding cakes that I see. Below is a cake done by the amazing Sylvia Weinstock for my good friend Ariel Yve’s wedding. This cake was FLOWN into Santa Barbara from NYC and had an innumerable amount of sugar flowers. Wedding cakes are art! Do you think my cake compares? ;)

Pink Ruffled Apron Design

I’m sort of obsessed with pretty girly things and feel like kitchen aprons are the perfect way to express the ultimate of femininity. What was that song from the Disney movie, “Summer Magic”? “Femininity, femininity, thats the way to catch a beau!” I love it… And even though I already caught my “beau” I never get enough opportunities to wear fancy frilly things so why not wear them while cooking? Its the perfect way to have fun and play dress up while being productive and feeding the fam. This design is my personality to a T. Pink, Ruffles, Bows on an Apron = perfection. I designed  it and my friend an amazing seamstress Mercedes Trump sewed it for me. ;)

Bacon Scalloped Potatoes

My Grandma often made scalloped potatoes for Sunday dinners. When my sister compiled our family recipes we found out that she made them out of a box! She totally had us fooled for years. Here is my “non-box” version of her scalloped potatoes. Oh…and I added bacon!

10 strips thickly sliced bacon

⅓ cup chopped onion

2 tbs butter

2 tbs olive oil

5 tbs flour

1/12 tsps salt

½ tsp pepper

5 cups milk

6 cups thinkly sliced potatoes (peeled)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saute pan fry bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Chop up and set aside.

In a large saucpan saute onions in olive oil and butter until tender. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper until blended. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until sauce is thickened.

Place half the potatoes in a greased 3-qt baking dish. Pour ⅓ of the sauce over the potatoes and spread evenly. Sprinkle half the chopped bacon. Layer more potatoes, pour ⅓ more sauce and sprinkle remaining bacon. Layer final potatoes and pour remaining sauce. Bake, uncovered for 60-70 minutes or until potatoes are tender and top is lightly browned. Enjoy!