Derek Johnson Muses

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Coffee Bread, Microwave French Toast, and Corn Flakes Treats: New Adventures in the New Kitchen

Early evening light coming through the window...

Early evening light coming through the window…

Everyone tells me that my new kitchen is spectacular, and truth be told, it does dazzle. Its subtle orange color scheme is more out there than most kitchens (certainly brighter than my last two kitchens), and it has an old-fashioned, swing into the room window which looks into my utility room widow. But as a frequent cook, I love spending my evenings tweaking old recipes and trying new things.

As a coffee junkie, I have been considering ways that I could integrate leftover coffee into my cooking. I decided to substitute the coffee as water in making basic bread in the machine. Since I envisioned the bread as ideal for toast with eggs, I added brown sugar and cinnamon. It turn out to be the perfect volume of sweet, like a warm muffin, and the conversion of water to coffee was exact. It did go well as toast, but I still had brautwurst on it too.

Mix up the same

Mixes up the same…

DSCN9844

Same Delicious

And after cutting some makeshift hotdog buns out of a few slices of bread, I experimented in making a single serving of French toast in the microwave. (Side note: if you live alone, making pancakes and/or French toast for just yourself is always such a dilemma.) I simply broke up the ends into smaller pieces and mixed up about a cup and a half of milk with an egg, cinnamon, and peppermint syrup instead of vanilla. (Really have to remember to move that here too.) Two minutes in the microwave, and I have French toast for one.

French toast out of the microwave...

French toast out of the microwave…

I also took a new approach to making granola, using marshmallows instead of honey as the sticky substance to hold the dry ingredients together like Rice Krispie treats. My friend Marian had given me some Corn Flakes when I moved in, so I used them with the Cheerios instead of oats. On the second batch, I found out it took half the bag of marshmallows to get the treats to stick together. But totally worth it, although I really should just break down and buy the specialty honey I like.

The base

The Base…

The Sticky Stuff...

The Sticky Stuff…

The Delicious..

The Delicious..

Yeah, my new kitchen rocks.

Bread Pudding with Coconut Milk

Whenever my mom leaves, there is always something odd left in the fridge. One time in the last couple of months, she left me half a bottle of coconut milk. (Personally, I think it should be called think coconut water, since I assume it doesn’t come out of an animal. Anyone know if lactose intolerant people can drink it?) So I busted it out and made a loaf of bread with it; the loaf was creamy think, an unique product

Squeeze that coconut.

So with a new loaf of bread, I decided that I would make bread pudding with the 1/4 of the old loaf, which was starting to crumble in the Tupperware. Happy coincidence. I broke up the bread, and mixed some raisins, almonds, and cinnamon, and set it aside.

Bread and Berries.

I decided this shouldn’t be any ordinary bread pudding: it should have apples, sauteed on the stoves, then mix in the coconut milk.

Softening the Apples

As you can see, coconut milk is rich and deep, which makes for a filling pudding. It’s even a pleasure to mix.

The Meat of the Pudding

The add in the bread mix and work until it has been saturated through. Then I put it in the fridge to let it absorb the flavor.

The Mix-Up

After about half-an-hour in the fridge, I put in the oven at 375 degrees and check it at half an hour. The middle is still soft, so I give it another twenty, checking at ten. Then it’s well-cooked and juicy, and makes for a perfect dessert after a small meal, or as just a snack or a breakfast food. Just pour on some regular milk prior to reheating.

Finished Product: Gooey Goodness

I love cooking

My Recipe Book and Apple Bars

Once again challenged for a post-Bible study dessert, I did what all great cooks do: opened my recipe book.

Yes, all my important recipes are taped to inside of the kitchen cupboards. It’s the only way for me to keep track of the recipes I find on the internet that I really like, and besides, I wouldn’t have anything else on those cupboards otherwise. From there I retrieved my recipe for fruit bars:

The Base:

1/2 C. Butter

1 C. Brown Sugar (This time, I misread the recipe and used white sugar. Still turned out fine.)

1 1/2 C. Flour

1/2 TSP Baking Soda

1 1/2 C. Oats

To spice it up, I added some hazelnut syrup and cinnamon.

Base

The Middle:

2 C. Fruit (Apples in this case)

1/2 C. Sugar

In the Cut

I use half of the base on the bottom, then layer the apples. Because I used apples, I busted out caramel topping to layer on the apples. It works on muffins! Then I use the rest of the base on top and bake for about thirty minutes The results:

Delicious; it was like a sweet bread with apples.

My Recycled Omelets Adventure

I have to make a confession: I love to eat eggs for lunch, often with bacon. Odd, probably, but when you can cook your own lunch at home most days, you develop certain tastes, and bacon and eggs cook really easy and give you great energy for the rest of the day. I also love to cook omelets, and recently, I decided that I would take use some odd leftovers to try something new.

The day before I had tried a new recipe for a pork sirloin roast in the crocke pot (apple cider vinegar and brown sugar base) and roasted potatoes in the oven using a combination of olive and Roast Rub spice from Holen One Farms. It was delicious, and I decided to use the leftovers for an omelet.

My ingredients: the pork loin, potatoes, and brown eggs (natural, of course.)

I just break the eggs, shred the pork, and dump it all together, mixing with a spatula. After a few minutes, I shovel out the results and break out the ketchup.

My omelet, with accompanying toast.

And that’s how I get through my day. (More Cooking Posts).

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