Holiday Leftovers: Egg Nog French Toast

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I saw this idea on-line and thought, Yep– That sounds good. Plus I always need recipes for leftover egg nog. Before Christmas I buy up egg nog like we’re going to run out and there’s always a full bottle hanging out in the fridge until New Years. I think I inherited some kind of egg nog scarcity paranoia. And who truly wants nog after January? If you do, than thank goodness. Come over. I have some for you.

Here’s my version of the recipe…and this is the LAST holiday recipe for this year, I promise.

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Ingredients:

1 cup of egg nog

2 eggs

6 slices of bread (I like thick a French loaf or Italian bread)

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar

1/4 a teaspoon of nutmeg

How-to:

Slice 6 pieces of bread and set them aside.

Grab a casserole dish or baking pan that’s big enough to lay all your slices flat on the bottom (Spread them out. No overlapping). I went ahead and set my bread in the pan to make sure it was the right size, then took my slices out.

In the same empty dish/pan, crack your eggs and pour your cup of egg nog. Use a fork to stir them together until well combined.

Set your bread into the pan just like you did before, but now it’s taking a nice nog soak.

Using a fork, press each slice down so it absorbs the egg nog mixture. Let it sit for a minute, then flip the slices. Press them with fork again and let them sit while you prep the stove.

Rub your butter lightly over your skillet. Leave the butter on the skillet and turn the burner heat on medium low. Wait for the butter to melt and bubble slightly.

Using the fork, add your slices to the buttery skillet. (You may have to do batches depending on the size of your skillet).

Cook the first sides until golden and brown, then flip them over.

Once both sides are toasted, sprinkle each slice with the cinnamon sugar and the nutmeg!

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I know this is french toast blasphemy, but you don’t even really need syrup! But you might want a little more nog to go with it.

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Holiday Brainwash: My Repeatedly Forgotten Recipes

Yep, every year I forget how to make the same two recipes: cranberry sauce and roasted chestnuts.

I know. The holidays are over. It’s January for cooks-sake. BUT I am going to document these puppies before I misplace them AGAIN. I’m not kidding. For the past three November’s, Thanksgiving shows up and I find myself asking, where’s that cranberry sauce recipe my family loves? This year, I couldn’t find it at all and had to try another one (which wasn’t a bad thing really). December arrives and I’ve suddenly got fresh chestnuts rolling around the grocery card– and once again, I can’t figure out how to roast them in the oven…sigh. I suffer from holiday brainwash.

No more my food friends– I will be bookmarking this page for next year.

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My Go-To Apple Cranberry Sauce Recipe:

1 12 ounce bag of cranberries

2 large Honey Crisp Apples, diced

1/4 cup of water

¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ cup of granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon of ginger

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Stir, and simmer until cranberries burst and apples soften. Continue to simmer until sauce thickens. From initial boil to thickening takes around 10-20 minutes. As I remember, you have to keep an eye on it and make sure the sugar doesn’t burn. Let it cool and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it!

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I couldn’t find my usual recipe in time for the holidays this year, so I tried a new one, a Pear-Ginger Chutney. I think I liked it even better!

Pear-Ginger Chutney Recipe

1 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries

1 cup of granulated white sugar

2 ripe pears, peeled and diced.

1/4 cup of diced crystalized ginger

1 minced jalapeno (minus the seeds)

1 tsp of freshly grated ginger

1/4 tsp of salt

Combine cranberries and sugar in a medium saucepan. Coat the cranberries in the sugar, then set saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until cranberries start to burst and sugar dissolves. It took about 8 minutes. Stir in the pears, crystalized ginger, salt, and jalapeno. Stir and cook until pears are softened. It took about 8-10 minutes. Let it cool, then refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it!

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Perfect Oven Roasted Chestnuts

That’s right– this recipe is perfect. Or almost. Trust me. After as much trial and error I’ve had, let me just give you this recipe and you can go about your chestnut oven roasting business.

This works on any quantity of chestnuts– that’s up to you. I always add a few extra just incase a few of the nuts refuse to peel.

1) Preheat oven to 375

2) Fill a bowl (big enough to hold all the chestnuts you’re going to roast) with water.

3) Grab a casserole dish with a lid (something you can put in the oven).

4) Pick out the chestnuts you want roast.

5) There will be a rounded and flat side to the chestnut. Find the flat side. Using a paring knife, cut a small X through the shell of the chestnut. This will keep the chestnuts from exploding in your oven (yeah).

6) Drop each scored chestnut into the bowl of water.

7) Let them all soak in the water for 3 minutes. This will help the nuts steam in the oven.

8) Place the scored and soaked chestnuts in the casserole dish with the lid. Put the lid on- don’t forget it!

9) Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

10) When time’s up, take the lid off and let the chestnuts cool for 5 minutes in their casserole dish. You still want them to be warm to touch. If they completely cool, there’s no way in heck to peel them.

11) Use the same small knife, and possibly a hand held nut cracker to help you peel the shell and the “furry” skin off the soft chestnut meat. Be careful with that nutcracker the chestnut could mush on you, so only use it on stubborn chestnuts.

12) Set the nuts aside until you are ready to saute or eat them. I always saute mine in some olive oil, a dash or two of freshly ground pepper and garlic salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped rosemary.

Fresh unpeeled chestnuts must stay refrigerated and last for a week or two, just depending on how fresh they were to begin with. I love to put pan sautéed chestnuts on top of my winter salad.

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Well, there they are, the holiday recipes I forget every year. Problem solved– I hope.

Christmas Eve Springfield Style!

The past few years I’ve tried to create a new traditions for our family– having “Springfield Style” Cashew Chicken our Christmas Eve dinner meal. I have to admit I stole this from my childhood neighbors, The Muetzels, but good traditions come from good people. The challenge for me of course is that we can’t just go out and buy Springfield Style– Toto, we’re not in Springfield anymore. So each year we’ve made it ourselves using the most accurate recipe Lyn and I have found. I think we’ve blogged about it before so I won’t go into details of the recipe.

This being my first christmas as an almost vegetarian I also made Springfield Style with crispy fried tofu– still good people, I swear!

Once the crab rangoon and fried goodness were gone, we broke out our only long-term, unique-ish Christmas tradition… The Christmas Game.

 

I can’t even remember when we got The Christmas Game it’s been in our family for so long. I think it came from Skaggs AKA Osco AKA CVS. The game, like Christmas, is all about collecting gifts and ridiculous moments of chance that are very holiday specific and sort of realistic when you think about it. We love it, even dad, though he grouses sometimes about playing.

We have friends who are honorary family members and Jessica (Lynley’s best friend) has been an honorary Farris the longest. As many of you know, she and Lyn have been best friends since they were 3, so Jess basically grew up with The Christmas Game too.

During the game, there are Santa cards that help you out, Scrooge cards that are a humbug because something bad most likely will happen and reindeer cards (which are my favorite) where you have to roll the dice to find out if something good or bad is coming your way.

We had to play in pairs which is not the normal way of playing and I think how people got paired up might not have the best mix for a “friendly” game…but it’s the holidays, a time when anything goes! Let me ask you this, have years of being friends made Lynley and Jess competative…you decide.

And the winners were….

Cheers to Springfield Style and the Christmas Game– long may you be a Farris Family tradition!

 

 

The Dinner before Christmas Eve….Noodles, Old Maids and some Whiskey

Mom, Dad, and Lynley showed up at our house a couple days before Christmas, which was great because it gave us more time to cook together. Our first official Farris Family cooking experience of holiday 2011 involved mashed potatoes, grandma’s noodles, brussel sprouts with garlic tempeh, carrots and Blueberry Hill chicken. The Blueberry Hill cookbook is becoming on of my personal favorites and even though I don’t eat chicken much anymore, I was excited for dad to cook one of the inn’s most popular recipes.

Mom watching the cooking action.

 

Lynley knitting, observing and suppling the tunes.

 

Grandma's noodles cooking away in veggie broth. I make them huge, more like dumplings, but that's the way I like them and it's my house!

 

Mom cut all the potatoes and carrots. Good job mom!

 

Lightly pan frying the chicken.

 

Dad was in charge of the chicken.

 

My garlic tempeh brussel sprouts with some of dad's left over raw onion.

 

I’m not going to lie to you, but while the chicken baked for 30 or so minutes so drinking happened…

 And then some singing and dancing occurred – to this song in particular….

John came home from a long busy day at work to find us acting crazy in the kitchen, so he had to join in.

The potatoes were mashed and we were ready to eat.

Dinner with Blueberry HIll wine and chicken b with purple gravy!

 

Dinner with brussel sprouts and garlic tempeh

After dinner we played Old Maid– oh yes we did. If you haven’t played Old Maid since you were a kid, give it a try. It’s way more fun than you remember and  you can sort of strategize in really silly ways.

My hand.

Dad and Lynley at the bitter end…the crazy camera work only lasts for a few seconds.

I guess I don’t have to tell you who lost the second round…

Stay tuned for more hearty eaters holiday fun!