Slow Cooker Nutella French Toast Casserole with Caramelized Bananas

As most of the U.S. has been dealing with seriously cold weather and snow, I thought it was time to share another French Toast recipe. Without fail, people always go out before a storm and stock up on bread, milk, and eggs so French Toast is the perfect meal on a snow day. This recipe is based off my Slow Cooker Apple French Toast Casserole, but incorporates Nutella and tops it off with caramelized bananas for good measure. I love using my slow cooker for French Toast because it makes a bunch of servings to either share with a group or pack up and enjoy all week! Ingredients: 1 loaf challah bread (about 1 pound), cut into cubes 6 large eggs 2 cups vanilla almond milk (or normal milk) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 heaping tablespoons Nutella, plus more for topping Pinch salt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 4 bananas, sliced 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Cherry-Ricotta Bruschetta

I continue to struggle with looking at a bunch of ingredients and imagining a meal. In general, I follow recipes and make a few changes to account for ingredients available or to suit my tastes. But yesterday, a friend and I came across fresh ricotta and the most beautiful fresh cherries. The cherries were slightly tart so I thought they would make an amazing “dessert alternative” or a somewhat sweet appetizer. We topped toasted baguette pieces (also from the market) with some of the ricotta, pitted cherries, mint, and a touch of honey. Ingredients (serves 4, multiply as needed): 1/2 a baguette (or 8 pieces) 1 teaspoon olive oil 2 oz fresh ricotta 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon mint, chopped 24 cherries, pitted 1 teaspoon local honey

Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! One of my favorite memories growing up was my mom making Irish Soda bread during March. It is a fairly straightforward bread and is really quite easy. The bread uses baking powder and baking soda instead of yeast as its leavening agent. Irish Soda Bread is also made with buttermilk that reacts with the baking soda to make it rise. Soda bread is a mostly savory bread, but it usually has some kind of dried fruit in it (raisins, currants, etc) that add a bit of sweetness. My mom’s version has caraway seeds in it that add a little bit of an anise flavor to it (caraway seeds are typically found in rye bread) and I just love it. I wanted to make this with currants but couldn’t find any, so I used raisins. Feel free to substitute golden raisins or currants.   Ingredients: 3 cups coarse wholemeal flour 1 cup all purpose flour 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature 2 tablespoons caraway seeds 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit 2 cups buttermilk, or more if needed

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