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 →
First out of the gate was the Blueberry Stuffed French Toast, and it brought its “A” game this weekend. Kristy sliced up the bread and made the blueberry syrup and pecans, while Mike whipped up the stuffing and tucked it into the bread pockets. We stuffed them a little fuller than we did the first time we made them, and that proved to be an excellent strategy. Continue reading →
While the rest of the nation has been filling out their brackets with their favorite college basketball teams, we’ve been stuffing our brackets (and bellies) with French Toast. About this time last year, we announced our French Toast Challenge, and since then French Toasts from around the globe have been battling it out for French Toast supremacy. We made 13 in all, but only four can be selected for the big dance.
But before we get to the competitors, it wouldn’t be March Madness without some controversial snubs by the selection committee. Miss A and Mr. N did a fantastic job on the selections, but two French Toasts found themselves on the wrong side of the bubble despite having strong performances. Romanian French Toast, a savory style French Toast surprised everyone, but fell just short of making the cut. The most controversial decision, though, was the omission of Bananas Foster French Toast. A top pick in the preseason, they fell short as the committee decided that two banana recipes was too many. Fans of Bananas Foster complained of the committee’s hypocrisy and argued that if they were in the top four, they should have been given a bid. Mr. N and Miss A were having none of it, though.
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 →
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 →