My Favorite “F” Word


MY FAVORITE F WORD
TGIF & MY FAVORITE “F” WORD IS… WHAT IS YOURS?

Happy Friday My Friends (also another favorite “f” word) I hope everyone is enjoying a nice fun filled Summer! Sorry I have been slacking on the posts. It’s been so hot & humid I have had no desire to do much cooking and baking, forget about it,  totally out of the question!

What are your “go to” dinners when the weather is on the warmer side? We’ve been doing a lot of grilling. Cold sandwiches. Salads. Take out…

I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can start cooking & baking again!!! I think that is the real reason Fall is my favorite season. HEY! Another favorite “F” word! Fall 🙂

I promise to post soon!!! I have some recipes I am wanting to share, just need the photos to go along with the posts – which means actually cooking – so SOON! I promise!!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer & let’s all celebrate the kids going BACK TO SCHOOL!!!

Cheers!!!
-Pam

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Deviled Egg Pasta Salad


This is the pasta salad that I make the most for my family, because everyone chows it down! It’s super easy to make and if you and your family love deviled eggs or egg salad, I really think that you will enjoy this particular pasta salad as much as we do.

Another bonus, I always have the ingredients on hand, so that is another reason it’s my “go to” pasta salad.

Of course you could tweak it, too. A little bacon crumbled over the top wouldn’t be a bad thing. I use dill pickle relish because that is what our family likes, but if you prefer sweet pickle relish you certainly can use that. Coarsely chop up some baby dills or gherkins to make the pickle more prominent.  I use the brine from the sweet relish jar, to give it some sweet twang. You could always use vinegar. If you use dressing instead of mayo, I won’t judge! Play around with it. Use the ingredients that you like to use when you make deviled eggs. To me, this recipe just has a great balance.

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1 pound Cavatappi Pasta ( I used half bow ties & half medium shells, because that is what I had on hand when I made this )
6 Large Hard Boiled  Eggs, chopped*
2 cups Mayo
3 Tbsp Yellow Mustard ( a mix of yellow & dijon is also yummy! )
1/3 cup Dill Pickle Relish
2 Tbsp Sweet Pickle Juice
1 tsp Sugar
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish

Optional for those that don’t have picky eaters:
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Vidalia Onion
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Celery

Cook your pasta in salted water until al dente.
Drain and let cool in the strainer, but do not rinse with cold water
In a large bowl add the mayo, mustard, dill relish, sweet relish brine, sugar & chopped eggs ( onion & celery if using )
Mix thoroughly. Add pasta to the mixture and give it a good mix.
Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
You could add more sugar, too if you find that it is too tart or tangy.
Transfer the pasta to your serving bowl and evenly sprinkle the top with paprika

Cover and place in fridge until completely cooled and ready to serve.

Enjoy!!!

*If you are looking for a “no fail” way to prepare hard boiled eggs, this is what I do:

Place eggs in a small pot ( one that has a lid ) and cover eggs with water.
Bring to a boil, uncovered. Turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and leave the pot of eggs alone.
In a medium size bowl add 6 ice cubes and about 3 cups of cold water.
When the timer goes off, with the lid on the pot, drain the hot water off of the eggs.
Give the eggs a good shake with the lid still on the pot, to crack the shells.
Drop the eggs into the ice water and let sit for 10 minutes.
Peel the eggs while holding them under the water.

To easily chop the eggs, use a cooling rack.
Place the rack over a bowl and press the eggs down through the grates.
Easy, breezy & you’ll never chop eggs any other way 🙂

 

 

Overnight French Toast Bake


Over Night French Toast Bake - Fluffy & Moist Inside. Crunchy & Chewy Outside
Fluffy & moist inside. Crunchy & chewy outside

This is the epitome of comfort food right here! So fulfilling & good for the soul kind of breakfast to start your day off on the right foot. It’s so easy to make and the best part? You don’t have to do much work in the morning to have breakfast ready to feed a small army! You have to love that. Who wants to wake up and have to slave over the stove first thing in the morning? Not me that’s for sure. I’d rather sleep in and have an easy make ahead breakfast ready to go so I can enjoy it as well.

So go ahead & make sure you have everything you need for this the day before. Prepare it while you relax with a glass of wine at night. The next morning, pop this bad boy in the oven and chill with a cup of coffee while it’s baking away making your entire home smell heavenly!

Over Night French Toast Bake | Blueyedsoulfood

That cinnamon, sugar & butter crust topping is crunchy & chewy. A perfect contrast to the super moist & fluffy bread inside!

Here is what you need to make this glorious concoction:

FRENCH TOAST:
2 Tbsp Butter, For Greasing 9 x13 baking dish
1 loaf French Bread – sliced into 1″ pieces
10 Medium Sized Eggs (or 8 large)
2 1/2 cups Half & Half
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

TOPPING:
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces

This is how we do it baby:

For the French toast: Grease the baking dish with butter. Layer the slices of french bread in 2 rows. I had about 10 pieces on both sides and then filled in the middle with a little extra bread, from the ends that I tore into pieces. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. With a hand mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, half & half, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the baking dish tightly and store in the fridge overnight.

For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon & salt in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, or 2 knives, and mix it all together until the mixture is crumbly. Cover the bowl and stick that in the fridge until ready to use.

When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes. If you prefer a lighter, bread pudding like texture bake 45 minutes. If you want it well done with a firmer texture, bake 60 minutes. I like it in the middle, so I bake it for 50 minutes. Cooking times could also differ depending on the type of dish (glass, ceramic, metal, etc.) you are using, so just check it after 45 minutes to see if it’s done to your liking.

Let it set for about 10 minutes then it’s ready to serve! Scoop out individual portions. Top it with whatever you like! We like it with raspberry sauce or good ol’ maple syrup.

Baked French Toast
I personally like it with raspberry syrup. It’s so good you could eat it plain, too! It’s even better if you have a few slabs of bacon on the side 🙂

Serves a lot. 8-10 depending on the portion size.

 

Pannukakku {Baked Finnish Pancake}


Pannukakku
Pannukakku Topped with Raspberry Sauce

This is an authentic Finnish pancake recipe. I grew up having this when we had large family gatherings, so it has a special place in my heart! Starting when my Gramma would make them for us, then it spread out into the generations to follow.

You already have everything in your pantry to make this, I promise. It’s super easy to make. You can make more than one pan at a time so it’s easy to make a lot if you need to feed a crowd. It will be YOUR favorite when you make this and realize how little work goes into it. It will be your family’s favorite because they can customize it with whatever toppings they like. It’s delicious with maple syrup. Fruit sauce/syrup. Fresh fruit & whipped cream. Fresh squeezed lemon & powdered sugar. Serve with a side of bacon and/or sausage and you have a delicious sweet & savory breakfast.

It puffs up a lot, like a souffle, in the oven. It’s cool to watch it grow! The kids get a kick out of it, too.

Pannukakku
Pannukakku, right out of the oven & still a little puffy

Then it will deflate as it sets for a couple of minutes. Time to slice that baby up into 8 pieces and serve!!! I cut it right down the middle, lengthwise and then in half the other way, then I cut those pieces in half. Nice generous sizes!

Pannukakku
Pannukakku, after a couple of minutes it sets a little bit, now it’s ready to serve!

In a 9×13 glass baking dish*, put half stick (1/4 cup) of unsalted butter in the middle of the dish. If you use salted butter, decrease the amount of salt to 1/2 tsp in the recipe.

*It is important to use a glass baking dish when making this. It’s the only way have I have ever made it. If you don’t have a glass baking dish I’m sure a ceramic or non-stick dish would work fine, but the timing will probably vary from this recipe so keep an eye on it.

Start with a cold oven, put the dish in the oven and preheat the oven to 425. The butter will melt in the dish as the oven is heating up.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine:
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat with hand mixer until very frothy. The batter will be a thin consistency

When the oven is ready*, immediately remove the dish with melted butter, swirl it around a little to coat the bottom and then slowly pour in the batter. The butter will go up over the sides and into the batter. CAREFULLY place the baking dish in the center of the oven.

*You want to make sure to take the dish out and be ready with the batter as soon as the oven is preheated. You don’t want to burn the butter! Browned butter is yummy. Burnt butter is bitter and nasty. There’s a fine line!

Bake 20-22 minutes. It will be puffy when you first remove it from the oven, but it will deflate a bit as it sits for a few minutes. Cut into 8 squares and serve with desired toppings

ENJOY!!!