This is the third installment of The Cookbook Series with The Can’t Cook Book by Jessica Seinfeld. This week we’ll be looking at three recipes. The first, is one of my favorites and the reason I originally bought the cookbook: Shepherd’s French Toast. My family loves french toast, so I was very happy to find a recipe that knocked their socks off. The next is Couscous Salad with Chickpeas, Tomatoes & Mint. This is a nice side dish or a light lunch. The last is Butter Lettuce Salad with Pine Nuts & Parsley, fresh and light and a bit fancier than a green salad but super easy to make. Let’s start with Shepherd’s French Toast…
Shepherd’s French Toast
This is super easy and really delicious.
Here’s what you’ll need: 2 large eggs, 1 cup low-fat or whole milk, 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 4 (1-inch-thick) slices challah or French bread (or whole wheat bread)*, 1 T. unsalted butter, Fresh berries, maple syrup, or confectioners’ sugar, for serving.
* I use Cinnamon Swirl Bread and leave off the fruit because it would be too sweet.
Crack the eggs into a large baking dish. Add milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and whisk together.
Slice the bread into 1-inch-thick slices (if not presliced). I really like using Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Swirl bread which is already presliced or Costco also sells a nice Cinnamon Swirl bread. You want nice thick slices for this.
Add bread slices of bread into the egg mixture and let them soak for about a minute, then flip each piece and soak again.
I like to make all my slices of bread ahead of time and stack them on a baking sheet. I learned this little trick from watching Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show. It’s makes it much easier to cook a lot of french toast at one time, that way everyone can eat at the same time.
The original recipe called for butter to be melted in a skillet and to cook the bread on the stove. You can do this but I prefer to use an electric griddle. It allows me to cook many pieces at the same time and again, lets everyone eat together. When using the griddle I do not need to use the butter and I set griddle on 350 degrees.
Cooking multiple slices on the griddle. Each piece took 3 minutes to cook on each side and came out perfect.
I like to sprinkle powdered sugar over the french toast and drizzle on maple syrup. I also like to serve French Toast with eggs. The protein helps with all the sweetness of the French Toast, otherwise it feels too much like a sugar high after you eat it.
I really like it with an egg on top!
This really is delicious and easy but feels like a special treat.
The next two recipes will not have directions but I’ll tell you a little about them.
Couscous Salad with Chickpeas, Tomatoes & Mint
This was really easy, no cooking required. The fresh ingredients made this a light dish with a nice easy feel to it. The mint gave it a nice punch of flavor and I like that the chickpeas gave it some protein. It was a very nice dish I would give a 7 out of 10. Definitely I would serve as a side dish. My family enjoyed it. Very nice year round but I think it would be really lovely in the summer months when you want to eat light.
Fresh chopped veggies and fresh squeezed lemon.
Lastly I made…
Butter Lettuce Salad with Pine Nuts & Parsley
This was a nice surprise. For the first few bites I wasn’t too sure but them it all came together and I was hooked. The pine nuts are deliciously roasted and add a nice warmth to the salad and the fresh vinaigrette made me wonder why I ever buy salad dressing because fresh dressing is so much better. This is really simple to make. You could make the vinaigrette ahead of time and it nicely makes enough to make two large salads. I bought the Butter Lettuce already prepared in a bag, so this couldn’t have been easier. This would be wonderful served with chicken or a steak or for vegetarians/vegans with some nice grilled veggies. I will definitely make this again, it different than any salad I’ve ever had.
I made the dressing in a mason jar that way you can shake it up real well and the left overs can be saved in the refrigerator for the next salad. This was a nice trick I learned from the Pioneer Woman. Love her!!!!
Hope you enjoyed this third installment of the Cookbook Series with The Can’t Cook Book by Jessica Seinfeld. Her easy but fresh recipes have been great so far and the cookbook itself is really lovely, with lots of pictures and good practical advice. I’ll be back next week and try a few more recipes.
Until then, see you tomorrow.
All the best,