Sorry for the break, me and Rosie have both been under the weather, but hopefully getting better soon!!! Anyways, today my blog will be dedicated to Avi in honor of our Hebrew 2nd Anniversary, (hence the title of the blog today- get it? That's What "HE" Made- cheesy? I think not!) which falls out tonight & tomorrow, the 2nd of Tevet, zos Chanukah. Aka 2 years ago today, hebrewly of course (well, it's a word now), I was on my way to the wedding hall!!!! Those 2 years spedddddd by to say the least!
Though I basically take charge in the kitchen and food department, food shopping, cooking etc., Sunday morning breakfasts are left up to Avi, who makes a mean French Toast, pancakes, waffles, & eggs (which are also his go-to dinner meal when I am too lazy to make dinner, it happens to the best of us! When Avi is lazy, it's a million bowls of honey nut cheerios. Yes I get the super economy huge boxes after the regular size boxes would disappear in a sitting or two). You name it, Sunday morning comes, he'll make it. Well, actually it basically stops at pancakes, french toast, waffles, and eggs- sorry Av, stick to the griddle instead of tackling noodles again, please! In any event, he is also great at eating everything I put in front of him, though, and he is my toughest critic! Needless to say, mushrooms are no longer in my cooking repertoire. Something about eating a fungus that grew by the trees in his old house. Well obviously those aren't the EDIBLE ONES! It's a battle I lost looooong ago. And here is one time my sister-in-law is NOT helpful. Though I love them both.
Anyways, everyone knows Avi is very creative and handy so he always brings that to the breakfast table. Exhibit #1:
pancake molds from Bed Bath & Beyond. Or just call Avi, he'll be glad to oblige for a small fee. ;-)
Exhibit #2: Awwwwwwww
For Avi's birthday last year I bought him this Waring Pro Waffle Maker, (which is wayyy cheaper at Costco). Apparently I struck gold, because as you can see in exhibit #2, he's been making waffles for quite some time. Very cute!!! :-) Then, for one of the nights of Chanukah last year, I bought a glass syrup jar, which I broke the first time we used it. Oh well: RIP syrup jar, never again- glass + sticky maple syrup is not a fun combo to clean up.
Speaking of syrup, here's a vital tip: whether you stack it...
...or set it all out on the table... (is this getting out of hand yet?)
...ALWAYS USE THE REAL MAPLE SYRUP!!!!!!!! It's gotten much more expensive than it used to be, but it's worth it. Leave the sugary, liquidy, fake-maple-syrup behind, and get a bottle of pure maple syrup! (My own tip: I use it in marinades, for chicken or salmon, & the fake stuff just doesn't even come close to being a substitute. It's also great in oatmeal cookies, just swap out a little sugar. So, it's a great versatile ingredient to have on hand in the fridge). You can go for the giant Costco container, or Trader Joe's sells glass jars of maple syrup for a decent price (yes, I dropped and broke one of those too- apparently I don't have luck with glass and syrup).
There are millions of recipes out there for pancakes & waffles, but Avi's go-to "recipe" comes from the breakfast queen herself, Aunt Jemima! I buy the Whole Wheat Blend Pancake/Waffle Mix, which is Pareve (whereas the plain mix is Dairy, just FYI) and you basically just follow the directions on the back of the box, and add egg, milk, & oil. I think the proportions are different for the waffles. This is a great easy way to make pancakes and waffles in a flash, though as Avi says, "it's not just the box. It takes skill & practice"- and patience might I add, because I sure hate making them! He is very methodological (worst word to say) when he makes them. And even though you're using a mix, you can still be creative & add whatever you want. Avi's choice: chocolate chips & cinnamon. Me: blueberries. You can add to the waffles just the same, and the waffle maker is really easy to use (well, what do I know, I never used it). Here is my CRISPY waffle ala Avi (he likes them soft, I like them crispy) with raspberries, blueberries, maple syrup, and granola. I think the only thing it's missing is ICE CREAM!!
I will share our French Toast recipe, though some may say that there's really no wrong way to make it. The key is just good bread (aka leftover Challah)!!!
Cinnamon French Toast
-3 eggs (depends how much challah you are using, but assume 1 egg per 3 slices of bread. It's all relative)
- 1/4 cup milk
-2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar (to make cinnamon sugar I usually use these proportions: 1 tbsp. cinnamon to 3 tbsp. sugar)
-1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
-Whisk all the ingredients together & coat each slice of challah in the egg mixture, and let sit for a minute or two while you heat up the griddle (we have one similar to this by Simply Calphalon) sprayed with a little cooking spray. 2-3 minutes per side, until egg is cooked through.
-Avi likes to sprinkle his with a lot more cinnamon sugar and maple syrup, though I prefer a sprinkle of plain sugar, or a dusting of powdered sugar if you want to get fancy. I also love to eat it with sweet ricotta cheese on the side: mix ricotta cheese with cinnamon sugar, just a sprinkle of orange zest (optional), and you can add a tiny bit of milk just to thin it out a bit- yum! Adjust the proportions to your liking.
So, Happy 2nd Anniversay Av, I love you sooooo much and may we have millllions more Sunday morning breakfasts together (mid-April through January only, of course) for maaaaany more years to come.
I love you to the moon & back^1029832749832520.....!!!!
<3 (it's supposed to be a heart okay???)
Have a great rest of Chanukah, everyone, and in keeping with the Avi theme of this blog, it'd only be appropriate to close with this sequence of Chanukah pictures
And just because I have to...