Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Uncle Fred and Aunt Elaine made a wonderful brunch for everyone at the house.  It was a french toast casserole and a fruit compote.

The fruit compote recipe is:
1 can each of peaches, pears, pineapple, apricots, and dark sweet pitted cherries - all light syrups.  Drain all of them - but save 1/2 cup of fruit juice (whichever you prefer).  Put all the fruits in a greased 9x12 baking dish.  Add 1-2 t cinnamon, 1/4 cp orange liquor - or 1t orange extract and 1/4 cp brown sugar. Mix.  Dot with butter and bake up to 45 minutes at 350 - 400 - whatever your oven likes. 15 minutes before completion add 3T cornstarch with the remaining fruit juice - pour it over the fruit and bake for the last 15 minutes. It is a very forgiving recipe.

Here is the recipe for the french toast casserole -

1 loaf of challah
8 eggs
1 cp milk
2 cps half and half
1 T vanilla
Pinch of salt
¼ cp sugar
1t cinnamon

Heavily buttered 9x12 dish.
Combine ingredients, except bread.
Layer bread in 2 layer in dish.
Pour liquid mixture over bread.
Fridge overnight with Saran wrap on it.
Place pats of butter on top.
Place in cold oven.
Turn to 350.
Bake for 50-60 minutes – put foil on it if it gets too brown.
The french toast casserole is so light and fluffy inside, but crispy on the outside.  And with the fruit, it made for a very special homemade meal.

We went to breakfast at a restaurant in Springfield, MO.  It is Gailey's - 220 East Walnut.  It was a hip place to be - very interesting dressed people with interesting hair colors. We got there around 9:30a and had an half an hour wait.  Then once we ordered it took about half an hour for our food to get to the table.  Everyone was getting very antsy.  At least they had good coffee - though we did have to flag them down many times to get refills.

Once the food did come it was very good - but since we waited so long - that tainted everything.  I had the "Downtown Breakfast".  2 eggs, 2 pieces of meat (I had sausage patties), hash browns (you have the option of regular or sweet potato), and biscuits and gravy.  The hash browns were very good - they were VERY finely shredded and nicely browned.  And the biscuits and gravy was SOOO good.....and SOOO bad for me.  It was wonderful pepper and a nice amount of sausage.  The biscuit was nice and fresh.
Our middle daughter ordered peanut butter and chocolate chip pancakes.  They were delicious!  There were chips in the pancake. Melted over the pancakes was peanut butter and more chips sprinkled over. What a treat!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A classic breakfast this morning....Waffle House!!! Not only was the food good, but the time spent was great.  I went with just our oldest daughter.  It is great to have time alone with each kid. This picture is a memory of time alone with my daughter having time to talk.
We went to a Chinese food restaurant last night - what else would be open on Christmas day?! It is called Mr. Yen's in Springfield, Missouri.  What a huge place....it cost 3 million dollars to build and it shows.  They had such a cute Christmas tree.  They hung the containers from the branches and put the chopsticks in the handles.

The food was good, but we had some problems.  We had our own room - which was great since there were 18 of us.  But the food took over one hour to get to us.  The server was great and they did give us a break on the bill without us asking.
 This is some kind of soup they brought us...with shrimp in a tomato base.  You can see the vegis that were in it also.  It was just ok.
This was the best of all the dishes I had.  It was garlic eggplant.  It was delicious!  Slivers of garlic and you can see the wood ear mushrooms.  What was great is that the eggplant was mushy - it still had nice body.  I wish someone in my family liked eggplant.  I would make it all the time.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My mom made the best Chanukah food for a party for the whole family.  She made brisket, turkey breast, kishke, and latkes.  I need to get the brisket recipe from my mom.  It is a huge hit every time.

We had a huge pot luck at work for all us that worked Christmas Eve.  Everyone brought in all different kinds of food.  I brought the cookies that we had made the day before (you can see that post a few days before).  You can see the different things people brought - cookies, dips, bagels and spreads, tamales, salads and some slow cooker dishes.  

Here is what I had for lunch.  Shredded pork, meatballs and tamales.  The tamales were brought in by Juanita.  They were chicken with jalapenos.  Spicy - but just the right amount of spice.  Made your nose run and your mouth smile!  She got them at La Luc in Mundelien.  I have tried to find that place before and couldn't.  I will try again!  I have the recipe for the shredded pork and meatballs - but will need to post them at another time.

I work with the best people! They even gave me presents.  Got these cute slippers from Juanita - and teared up when she gave them to me.  I am wearing them here in the car for our trip.

We went to a new restaurant (for us) the other night with another family.  It was called Hamburger Mary's.  It is on 5400 North Clark Street, Chicago.  And let me tell you....those burgers were great!  All burgers were 1/2 lbs of "juicy, delicious beef" (quoted from my oldest daughter).  I really wish I could just eat whatever I want whenever I want without ever thinking about what it would do to my body....oh well.

Our niece had a "Daddy Mac".  She let me have a bite and it was AMAZING!  Ir was a burger with mac and cheese and cheese with bbq sauce.  SOOOOO good!!!!  And see those onion rings!  Shouldn't be missed either.

I had the "Steakhouse Burger".  I asked for it with no bun and sweet potato fries.  And as you can see, I like it rare.  If you ask me...rare is good.  It has crispy onions, provolone, and portobella mushrooms with bbq sauce on it.  It was delicious too - but I do wish their were more mushrooms on it.

I had an amazing gingerbread manhatten drink.  It was gingerbread schnapps,  Southern Comfort and apple pucker liquor.  It was rimmed in cinnamon sugar.  Now that is a drink that could get you in trouble.  It goes down so smooth and is so tasty!  I might have to try to reproduce it.

The service there was great and the restaurant it really cool - with fun colors and neat pictures on the wall.