Welcome to my third blogging experience...created in order to keep my other blogs free of my crazy rantings. This space will be dedicated to the day to day trials and tribulations of motherhood and life in general...as well as the experiences that come with trying to rediscover the many basics of life that have been lost to the constant hullabaloo and cookie cutter mentality that has become the 21st century.

I am a proud mama to our first born, Gracie, who waits for us in Heaven, and her very lively little sister, Jenna. I am a semi-crunchy mama who works full time outside of the home. If you come here to read, expect to find posts related to cloth diapering, breast feeding, homemade baby food, organics, cooking and recipes, day care & working outside the home, baby wearing, natural childbirth, general fitness, general nutrition, environmental topics, etc.

Feel free to ask questions, share valuable information that you might have or share your thoughts and/or opinions. Please do not come here to attack the things that I believe or the way I live. I will respect your opinions as long as you respect mine, even if it means agreeing to disagree!! :-)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Upside Down Banana Pecan French Toast

This recipe is used as a demo recipe during Taste of Greeley cooking school (put on by Taste of Home).  There is nothing healthy about it, other than the bananas and pecans, but it is out of this world delicious.   I have a very sweet tooth, and this was sweet enough that I didn't need to use maple syrup. 

Upside Down Banana Pecan French Toast
Yield: 10 servings | Prep Time: 15 minutes + chilling | Bake: 45 minutes

2 packages wheat pull-apart dinner rolls (I used homemade rolls - recipe below)
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup corn syrup (I used homemade simple syrup)
4 medium, ripe bananas
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half  (I read reviews that said whole milk could be used here.  I used the half-and-half.)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Maple syrup
Fresh sliced strawberries

1. Butter (or spray) bottom and sides of a 13-in. by 9-in. baking dish. Slice rolls in half and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, and corn syrup and mix until smooth. Spread mixture into an even layer in bottome of prepared baking dish. Slice bananas thinly and place over brown sugar mixture. Scatter pecans over bananas. Place sliced rolls on top, cut part down. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, and vanilla. Pour mixture over rolls. Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 45-50 minutes or until golden.
4. Cool slightly. Run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen sides and carefully invert pan onto a large platter, or slice and serve as is. serve with warm maple syrup and sliced strawberries.

Sweet Dinner Rolls
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45degrees C)
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

Place water, milk, egg, butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start.  When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in 16 evenly sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

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