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Birthday Breakfast in Sonoma County

Hi Friends! I know, I've been MIA for the last 4 months. I could give you a laundry list of reasons but I wouldn't want to bore you senseless. Regardless, I'm back in action with a snazzy new laptop that I've finally figured out how to use after about 2 months. 

I thought I would start things off with a few easy posts and catching up on a few things I've done while I was away from the blog, starting with my birthday in early May! We headed up to Calistoga for a spa day at Indian Springs Resort. On the way there, we stopped at a fabulous roadside diner in Sonoma County, The Fremont Diner. We enjoyed everything thoroughly but that shrimp and grits was the BEST I have ever had. Not to mention the biscuits and burnt ends hash...did I mention there were only 2 of us? #yolo







Chocolate French Toast

Save this one for your Valentine's(or Galentine's) Day celebrations. This borderline dessert is pretty indulgent, but hey, you only live once! Keep your eye out for more chocolate recipes in the next week to come.

Chocolate French Toast(Serves 3-4)
Ingredients:
4 slices of 1 inch thick brioche bread or challah
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
2 eggs
2 Tbs cocoa powder
1.5 Tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
butter(for pan)

Chocolate Sauce:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup cream
1 Tbs maple syrup or corn syrup
1 Tbs butter
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan until melted through.

Toppings(optional):
raspberries or strawberries
powdered sugar
maple syrup

Directions:
In a wide bowl, combine milk, cream, eggs, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Whisk until completely combined. Dip bread slices for a solid 1 minute per side(make sure it's soaked through!). Heat a griddle pan over medium low and add butter to cover. Griddle french toast slices until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Serve with fresh berries, chocolate sauce, and maple syrup. Take a nap and begin a productive day tomorrow.

Coconut Granola - Follow Me on YouTube!


Hi Friends! If you know me personally, you will know that granola is nearly a daily ritual during my work week(unless it's oatmeal season...). I posted a similar recipe for granola last year but this one has even more coconut flavor. Watch the video for the how-to, ingredients are listed below!

Coconut Granola (adapted from Alton Brown)
3 cups whole rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pecans, crushed (or whatever other nut you choose)
1 1/2 Tbs sesame seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs maple syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs brown sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup coconut chips(added after cooked)


Breakfast Baked Potatoes

Fresh off of the inauguration and what feels like a 20 day rain storm, I could definitely use some comfort food. I can't believe I hadn't seen this before. It's got potatoes(a breakfast staple around these parts), bacon, roasted tomatoes, and cheese. It's basically a hug wrapped in carb-loaded heaven. Enjoy!

Breakfast Baked Potatoes (serves 2)
Ingredients:
2 russet potatoes
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
pinch of dried or fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon butter
3 eggs, beaten
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp then chopped
1 ounce jack cheese(or any other salty-melty cheese you have lingering in the fridge)
salt & pepper

Directions:
Wash and pierce your potatoes with a fork. Microwave on the baked potato setting until soft all the way through(each microwave is different but it took about 6.5 minutes for me). While the potatoes are cooking, heat a small saute pan over medium/high heat. Add olive oil then tomatoes, cut side down. Add a pinch of salt and keep an eye on them turning once until caramelized. Add garlic and thyme the last 2 minutes of cooking. This will only take about 5 minutes.

Move tomatoes to one side of the pan and add cooked potatoes to crisp up the skin.

In another pan over medium/low heat. Add butter to melt, then add your beaten eggs. Scramble until desired consistency(we like a soft scramble). Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble, cut potatoes down the top/middle and push ends inward to open. Season with salt and pepper before adding eggs, cheese, tomatoes, and bacon.



Biscuits with Sausage and Bacon Gravy

I'm not big on new years resolutions but I have been eating healthy throughout the week. Weekends are my days for indulgence and I have zero guilt about these bad boys. Enjoy!

Biscuits with Sausage and Bacon Gravy (serves 4-6)
Biscuit Recipe (adapted from Food.com)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons frozen butter
3/4 cup milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl then add salt. Grate the frozen butter on a large grate cheese grater. Use your hands to rub butter into flour a bit more. The mixture is done once the butter is about the size of a lentil.

Add the milk gradually, stirring as you go until the mixture just barely comes together. Turn out onto a clean and floured work surface. Gently bring the dough together so it is no longer crumbling(do not over work the dough it or it will lose its tenderness!). Using your hands, gently pat the dough into a 3/4 inch rectangle. Cut out your biscuits(I used a 3 inch biscuit cutter and got 6 biscuits). Place on a silicone mat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown.

Gravy Recipe:
2 slices of bacon, cut into small cubes
3 ounces of breakfast sausage
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add bacon pieces and breakfast sausage, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon. Once browned, add butter then flour. Whisk until the flour and fat come together. Let cook for about 30 seconds. Heat your milk and chicken stock in the microwave for about 1 minute. While whisking, slowly pour the liquid into the pan until a smooth mixture forms. Continue stirring until all of the lumps are gone. Cook over medium/low heat until the gravy is bubbling. Taste for salt and add pepper.