Like kissing your…brother?

An oft-repeated quote in sports goes like this: “A tie is like kissing your sister.” A google search attributes the origin of the quote to former Texas football coach Darryl Royal, Alabama coach Bear Bryant, Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty, or Navy coach Eddie Erdelatz, but regardless of who said it first, it sure fits. A weird combination of completely unsatisfying, and could have been worse. We had a tie in last year’s Banana Bread challenge, and needless to say, we weren’t eager to repeat that again in our French Toast Challenge this year.

The final showdown pitted the top two seeds against each other, with #1 Bermuda French Toast taking on #2 Blueberry Stuffed. Bermuda struggled in the first round, but ultimately just had too much and managed to avoid the upset. Blueberry Stuffed prevailed in a tough battle in its previous match-up to earn its spot in the finals. Both recipes were at their best on challenge day, and it was clear when we got them both on the plate that we were in for an entertaining and enjoyable challenge. Continue reading

Tricks and Treats

Happy Halloween! I know we promised the recipe for the Cuban black beans and rice, but we’re not going to post that today. That’s the trick. But don’t worry, we have a treat in store instead – Pumpkin French Toast with Apple Cider Syrup. And yes, this latest challenger for our French Toast Madness, is as good as it sounds. Continue reading

The FTC – Gettin’ Figgy with It

 

We were at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago and got some wonderfully ripe peaches and black figs. I had never seen figs at our farmer’s market before, so I snatched them right up. Believe it or not, those little gems are hard to come by. In fact, one time, Miss A and I hit five, yes five, different grocery stores to try to find them. It was an epic journey that included a down pour, stopped freight trains and a grumpy woman that literally blocked us from the figs with her cart and took every last one of the pints (and there were at least 10!). Now it’s become a running joke that we need to grab the figs before “figgy lady” finds them. (Miss A was certain she emptied out the first three stores too!)

So on our way home from the market I started thinking that the figs and peaches might be pretty good together. Then I remembered that I had clipped a bit of my mom’s sage the day before…my wheels were spinning. A quick internet search and I saw a recipe for seared figs and peaches with balsamic vinegar. Then it hit me – French toast! Continue reading

Off and Running

One of the great things to come out of these cooler temps we’ve been having lately is my running season is off to an early start. I don’t like to run in the summer. Temps above 75 are just not for me, which is odd because I spend at least two to three times a week in hot yoga with temperatures between 95F and 105F degrees. Anyway, today was my first morning run of the season and it was a good one. Temperatures hovering around 60, not a cloud in the sky, sun shinning, flowers still blooming – it was perfect. In fact it was so perfect, I ran farther than I ever have before (without stopping to walk) and was just getting to the point of winding down when I looked up and saw a coyote about 100 feet from me. Needless to say, my run did not wind down, but rather picked up to a speedy pace (amazing what a little adrenaline will do) and I ran back toward civilization (thank goodness for early morning golfers).

I know that coyotes are probably more afraid of us than we are of them, but I wasn’t about to hang around to find out. He never came closer, but did run parallel to me, tracking my moves until I came within range of the golfers and golf carts. Then he disappeared and I ran on home. So now that I’m all wiped out (but mentally exhilarated from an exciting first run), I’m going to turn today’s post over to Mr. N. He had a “write a blog post” on his list of things to do this summer. Take it away Mr. N… Continue reading

The FTC Romanian Style

By the “FTC,” I’m of course referring to the French Toast Challenge and would you believe when I was searching for Romanian recipes I came across a Romanian French toast? It was meant to be and so it was…our anniversary breakfast.

Mike and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this past weekend. I can’t believe it’s already been 12 years. We’ve had our ups, we’ve had our downs, and I can honestly say, I love this man more today than ever. We celebrated our anniversary in style (Eva – I wore my pink and orange stilettos!) with a delicious dinner, a great bottle of wine and a lovely late night walk (not in the stilettos). I may try to recreate one of the appetizers from our dinner soon. It was too delicious not to – bacon wrapped dates, stuffed with blue cheese and topped with a balsamic reduction. Oh, my, my, my.

But I digress. Back to the Romanian feast of the day. While the Ciuperci pe Friganele doesn’t exactly scream romantic breakfast, we figured it was best to whip up the mushroom laden French toast while the kids were at Nana and Papa’s. We are slowly converting them, but mushrooms would not have screamed breakfast of the year to the kids; plus Mike and I like making breakfast together while the kids are out. It’s a little something reminiscent of days gone by. I still remember the first time Mike made me breakfast. It was of course French toast; however, it didn’t start with chopped mushrooms. Continue reading