Tag Archives: fail

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Eggs Rothko Fail

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Here is a pretty picture I took during a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.  So much prettier than the Eggs Rothko, aka toad in the hole, aka one eyed Jack.  It’s eggs in a piece of bread with melted cheese.  The recipe is from Breakfast Recipes to Wake Up For.  Or, as I like to call it, Breakfast, recipes for which you should wake up.  It’s a little clunkier that way, but what can you do?

The problem was that I took a really simple recipe and tried to improve it or complicate it by making my own bread.  And to do that I have to overcome two major obstacles – altitude and the fact that sometimes I don’t let the bread rise enough.  Long story short, I had to make a small hole for the egg in my too short bread.  It spilled over and was a giant mess. The end.

Ok here’s a picture.

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Fancy Breakfast Friday: French Toast Casserole

My food photography isn’t quite there, but I can’t go wrong with nature photography in my neighborhood.  Enjoy this mountain view and use your other senses to imagine french toast casserole.   This was a multi-day multi-recipe effort that turned out “OK”.   I had read a recipe for Granola Bread in The Breakfast Book that sounded amazing.  Day one was to make the unsweetened granola for the bread.  This recipe made the world’s saltiest granola.  It was unbelievable.  Dave said if we added worsteshire it would taste like chex mix “in a good way”.  I put the granola away because even though it was salty and weird, “people” were eating it out of the pan.  Step two was to make the granola bread.  It turned out OK.  Nothing to write a cookbook about.  It never browned, so I may have over cooked it.  It was sort of a beigey gray.  The first loaf was eaten quicly, with butter, as toast, and as grilled cheese.  But there was the problem of the second loaf.  I had planned to make it into french toast casserole from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, but it seemed a little risky to use so-so bread in fancy recipe.  But then what to do with the bread?  Well, I think french toast was invented to use up old bread so I went with it.

This recipe was one that I should have read and started the night before, but I didn’t.  First you toast the bread in the oven with butter and cinnamon and sugar.  That was amazing.  Then you arrange the bread beautifully in the pan and pour the custard over it and let it sit for some long period of time.  I skipped that because I didn’t have time.  I did try to arrange it beautifully, but the bread refused.  And, I have to say, I halved the custard.  I wasn’t emotionally and intellectually committed to this recipe enough to use 6 eggs in it.  Long story short, reviews ranged from “yum” to “it was OK.”    But it was a big step forward for me because I found myself starting to make another loaf of bread for the French toast so it would be perfect and then I thought, “No, that’s crazy.”    I’m sane now, people.

Ok, here is a picture.

Fancy BreakfastFriday: Fluffy Caramel Coffee Cake

I think what sold me on this recipe was the name.  It sounds so good.  Fluffy. Caramel.  But the theme of my life last week was “cooking things in the wrong size pan” and consequently I made some delcious things that were not pretty enough for a photograph.

Fluffy Caramel Coffee Cake was from the book The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham, which was a gift from my friend Laura, and I love it.  It’s one of the only cook books that I like to read just for kicks.  In fact the very first FBF recipe for waffles 11 weeks ago was from the book.  I like that Marion says what to do the night before and how to handle the rest of the steps in the morning.  Exactly what I was wondering about two weeks ago.  I also like that this is a yeast bread which gives it a cool flavor and creates the fluffiness.

Alas – the recipe called for a 10 inch pan, and I made it in an 8 inch pan.  This caused some spill over and also too high of a topping to cake ratio that made it way too sweet.  This is partially my fault and also the fault of the universe cursing me for making fun of my midwest upbringing.  See, I went to a “hot dish party” on Halloween and I made cheesy pototoes, which I thought was gross as a child and now see as “midwest”.  I’d link to a recipe, but I didn’t follow one, and when I went to the source (Mom) for info it was too late and my casserole was gross.  (Undercooked with no buttery corn flake topping.)  I will say that during the party the hostess tried to unmold the jello and was heard to moan, “Oh noooooooooo” from the kitchen.  That made me homesick and was straight out of an family holiday party.  Ironically, I just read the book Kitchens of the Great Midwest, and there is an amazing chapter making fun of today’s locally sourced, dairy free, wheat free, blahbity blah foodies, and honoring the midwest bakers of peanut butter bars. (I will be making those.)

The problem is, I brought a 9×9 dish to the party and I left with an 8×8.  So I thought my pan was a little too small but it was a lot too small.  I woke in a cold sweat, worried about the size of my pan and the bread overflowing.  I told myself, “Self.  Measure the pan.  If its 9×9, just go with it.  If it’s 8×8, move the whole thing to a 10 inch spring form pan.”  Well, it was 8×8 but I could clearly see that trying to move the dough would cause a massive deflation and would not be worth the effort.

Long story short, it was good, but too sweet.  Jack said it was the perfect amount of sweetness and that the cake had a sourness to balance it.  He was sort of right because of the yeast flavor, and the sour cream in the topping. But I had to eat mine with bacon and black coffee to balance the sweetness.  I made a note “too sweet” and I probably won’t make it again.

I’ve already staged my comeback with another coffee cake for next week.  I had planned croissants at Laura’s request, but all the birthday baking I have going on got in the way.  What else do I need to make?  Scones? French toast?  Frittata?