Our Favorite Recipes
Our Favorite Recipes
Or "Now that I have this bread, what do I do with it?!?"
French Toast Waffles (aka, "The Fraffle!")
We recently discovered the joy of making French Toast in the waffle iron. One of our favorite experiments was to use some of our Chocolate Cherry Bread dipped in plain, unsweetened batter. To turn it into a dessert, we topped it with vanilla ice cream and homemade cherry syrup. Holy Guacamole! Was that good! Speaking of guacamole, another idea is to use a savory bread, such as our spicy black bean bread. Use an unsweetened batter and top cooked slices with guacamole, a fried egg, mixed sauteed vegetables (broccoli, onion, cauliflower, spinach, etc), salsa, sour cream, and grated cheddar cheese. Your breakfast guests won't know what hit them! If you like cardamom, try using some of our blueberry cardamom bread and then add extra cardamom to the batter. Combine that with some Michigan maple syrup for a memorable breakfast treat. Mmm mmm!
6 to 8 slices of day-old bread
1/2 cup milk (or milk substitute)
1 to 2 eggs (or equivalent amount of egg substitute), this depends on how egg-y you like it!
1 teaspoon sweetener (sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, etc)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, etc)
1. If necessary, trim the bread so that it will fit in the waffle iron. Two thin slices may even fit side-by-side in the same mold.
2. Preheat the iron while you get everything else together.
3. Whisk the eggs. Add the milk and whisk again.
4. Dip the slices of bread into the batter and flip them around in it a bit. Put the slices aside on a plate and let them soak up the liquid for a few minutes.
5. Cook the slices in the iron until they are the desired color. They may not take as long to cook as waffles do. I like mine crispier, so I let them go the full cycle.
6. Top as desired. Slices may be kept warm in a 200 degree F oven while you prepare other things, but they're best straight from the iron!
Caprese-Style Bruschetta with Grilled Garlic Toasts
Insalata Caprese is an Italian salad traditionally made with fresh basil, ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and olive oil. This is our adaptation and we have used it to make a beautiful bruschetta. It is very simple and unbelievably tasty. Use the most beautiful and ripe tomatoes you can find! Don't skimp on the quality of your olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The cheap stuff tends to taste cheap. Can't eat vinegar? Use fresh mozzarella and leave the balsamic vinegar out. It will still be good. The salad is great as a stand-alone, too.
For the topping (salad):
1 1/2 pounds ripe fresh tomatoes, cut into large chunks or quarter cherry tomatoes
4-5 ounces of marinated & braided mozzarella cheese (or use fresh mozzarella), cut into large chunks
15-20 leaves of basil (depending on size), tear large leaves in half and leave small ones whole
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more or less to taste
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
For the toasts:
1 loaf of crusty bread (you want a drier bread that will soak up the olive oil)
Olive oil, for brushing
1 fresh clove of garlic, whole with the end cut
Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl, tossing well to combine. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the garlic toasts.
Cut the bread into slices. Brush generously with the olive oil. Grill over high heat or broil until the outside of the bread becomes a little crispy, maybe 2-3 minutes per side. Rub warm slices generously with a cut clove of garlic. Serve the slices with the salad spooned on top, bruschetta-style. Suggested wine pairing - a bold red wine, something like a red zinfandel.
You can't forget about the classic BLT sandwich! We only make these in our house during the summer. There's nothing like fat slices of a juicy heirloom tomato (Two of Gail's favorites are Aunt Ruby's Green and Big Rainbow) and crunchy slices of Creswick Farms' applewood smoked bacon sandwiched between two pieces of our crusty bread (like the Peasant!). Did you know you can bake bacon in the oven? All you need is a 400 degree F oven, a pan with sides tall enough to contain the fat that will render off, and about 15-20 minutes of time. Sometimes, we'll even cook it in a pan on the grill. Is it summer yet?
Grilled cheese sandwiches also have a special place in my heart. One of the best things about being next to The Cheese Lady is that we've had ample opportunity to try all sorts of different delicious cheeses. One of my favorite sandwiches is pictured here. It's two slices of our rosemary bread stuffed with some grilled pieces of cottage bacon from Earthscape/Full Circle Farm and some Delft Blue Cheese (it's almost like a cross between a blue cheese and a gouda). We dished it up with some fresh slices of locally grown apple and pear. Who says grilled cheese has to be boring? Let your imagination run wild! Want to be really naughty? Try making a chocolate grilled sandwich (bread, dark chocolate, and raspberry preserves) or a grilled peanut butter and banana!