Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow Day


We had our first big snow storm of 2011 blow through here earlier this week. The Boston area got hammered - with almost two feet of snow dumped on our house and neighboring towns. It came to no surprise to hear school would be canceled on Wednesday. This would be my Kindergartner's first official Snow Day. We hooted. We hollered. We slept in. And continued with our day.

But then we got the call that school would be canceled for a second day. Crikey! I needed to come up with some new activities and meals that would make the second snow day just as memorable and fun as the first one the day before. After a busy morning traipsing through the many, many inches of snow and shopping for a new sled, it was time to make use of the leftover Monkey Bread and make lunch (sort of).

First, what the hell is Monkey Bread you ask? I was first introduced to this utterly additive breakfast treat by my MIL. It is typically made with frozen pastry dough, rolled into little balls, covered in cinnamon and sugar, and baked in a cake pan. It is a sticky, gooey mess, but oh so delicious.

Russo's Monkey Bread

Russo's makes their own Monkey Bread - except they make it with brioche, bake it in a loaf pan, and add raisins, cinnamon and sugar. They call it cinnamon raisin bread, but ask for Monkey Bread and they know exactly what you are looking (jonesing) for.

So here's a French Toast recipe using Monkey Bread that is to die for. And a great way to celebrate a snow day with the kids.


Monkey Bread French Toast
adapted from Alton Brown's French Toast Recipe

INGREDIENTS
1 cup half-and-half
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 (1/2 inch) slices day old monkey bread (or brioche or challah)
4 tablespoons butter

DIRECTIONS

1. In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.

making the custard

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

might need to soak a little longer depending on how thick (or stale) the bread is

move soaked bread onto a cooling rack over a sheet pan

3. Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Cook until golden brown (just as you become really really hungry)

4. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup or fruit.


Love this - check out my boy licking the maple syrup off his french toast :)

The Good: Easy to make and so delicious. It also freezes well and is great for those quick, non-snow day mornings.

The Bad: Because the way monkey bread is made, pieces can sometimes break apart. Best when it is stale or left out overnight.

Grade: A+. We love this recipe and make it on special occasions. Perfect fuel too for a full day of sledding and making snowpeople!

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