Weekend Fare: Stuffed French Toast

My husband and I lived in West Palm Beach, FL for a year when we were first married. Only a year but we loved it! And we had a favorite breakfast/brunch spot – John G’s. The omelets were delicious and the fresh squeezed juice always amazing but the french toast…oh the french toast! We, too often, made weekend treks down to the beach front restaurant to stand outside and wait in line for a seat in the popular restaurant. It was worth it…every time.

So today, I’m sharing my version of a stuffed french toast which reminded us very much of the Raisin Cream Cheese French Toast. This recipe received rave reviews from my loyal fan club of my three boys and husband. They loved it!

CINNAMON RAISIN STUFFED FRENCH TOAST
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8 slices cinnamon raisin bread
3 eggs
1/4 c. milk or cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tb. butter

In a pie plate, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat until fully mixed.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. milk or cream
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium size bowl, combine cream cheese, honey, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Melt butter on a griddle on medium-high heat. Spread 4 slices of bread with cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining slices of bread to create four sandwiches. Dip each sandwich in the egg mixture – front and back. Place in pan and cook until browned turning once. Top with powdered sugar if desired. Serve with pure maple syrup.

Serves 2-4.

Weekend Fare: Irish Feast

These Irish recipes are simple, traditional, and great for weekend cooking or for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration!


CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE*
(Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)
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2- to 2-1/2-lb. corned beef brisket
1  tsp. whole black pepper*
2  bay leaves*
4  med. potatoes, peeled & quartered
5 med. carrots, peeled & quartered
2 med.- lg. onion, cut into 6 wedges
1 sm. cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
Salt and black pepper (optional)

Trim fat from meat. Place in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven; add juices and spices from package of corned beef. (*Add pepper and bay leaves if your brisket doesn’t come with an additional packet of spices.) Add enough water to cover meat. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours or until almost tender.

Add potatoes, carrots, and onion to meat. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 min. Add cabbage. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 min. more or until tender. Discard bay leaves. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter. If desired, season to taste with salt and black pepper and serve with horseradish or mustard. Makes about 6 servings.

*You can use a larger piece of meat and more vegetables, just add the seasonings listed in addition to the packet included in the meat.

This homemade horseradish sauce made the meal! So delicious and so easy!

HORSERADISH SAUCE
(Recipe from Food Network Kitchens)
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3/4 c. mayonnaise
3/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. plus 2 Tb. jarred grated horseradish (with liquid)
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, zest, and 2 teaspoons salt. Season generously with pepper to taste. Refrigerate the horseradish sauce for at least 30 min. before serving.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

This bread is amazing! So moist and flavorful. It does not have a strong beer flavor – simply wonderful. We especially liked it warm with a little butter.
GUINNESS BREAD
(Recipe adapted slightly from allrecipes.com)
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1 c. regular rolled oats, plus 1-2 Tb. additional
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. melted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. buttermilk
1 (12 oz.) can or bottle Guinness® beer

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.

Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, stir together the butter, vanilla, buttermilk, and Guinness® beer. Pour the flour mixture into the beer mixture, and gently stir until well blended. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan, and sprinkle with additional oats.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 min., then turn the temperature down to 400 degrees F and bake for an additional 10-15 min. until knife inserted comes out clean and top is a dark golden brown. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

This cake calls for 2 lbs. of raisins and makes a HUGE cake. I didn’t have whisky on hand, so went without – really, it would be better with! It would make it so moist and wonderful! I also think a lemon sauce or creme fraiche or even freshed whipped cream would have been so delicious with it.

IRISH RAISIN CAKE
(Recipe from Food Network – Ann Rafferty)
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2 1/2 c. of buttermilk
2 c. of sugar
5 c. of flour
2 sticks of butter
5 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. baking soda
Dash of salt
1 (16-oz box) of brown raisins
1 (16-oz) box of golden raisins
1/2 c. whiskey, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a Dutch Oven. Cream sugar and butter in large bowl. Add in eggs one at a time. Add seasonings. Mix baking soda into the buttermilk. Alternate adding flour, buttermilk and raisins into mix. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. in covered Dutch Oven (I baked mine in a greased, covered family size skillet – not cast iron – and it took about 1 1/2 hrs. Cake is finished when knife inserted into middle comes out clean.

Optional- pour 1/2 cup of whiskey over cake immediately after removing from oven. Cake is best when cut after a few days.