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French Toast for Two

It can be really difficult to just cook for two people as many couples (both young and the more mature), empty nesters, and seniors will attest. It seems that when I am preparing food for parties where quite a number of people will attend, it is much easier than preparing those everyday meals for just a few people.

With our aging population I believe this group is becoming larger every day and will continue to do so for quite some time.

Cutting down a recipe is often more complicated than simply dividing the amounts of the ingredients. So with this blog I am starting a series on Cooking for Two with tested recipes which are simple to make yet delicious and work perfectly for just two people. Who knows, perhaps you will find here just the recipe for that next special quiet date at home.

With this inaugural blog for the Cooking for Two Series, I begin with a tasty recipe for French Toast.

French Toast for Two



2 Eggs
½ c Milk or Cream
1 T Sugar
1 t Cinnamon
1 t Vanilla
Pinch Salt

4 Slices bread

Combine eggs, milk (or cream), sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Soak bread slices one at a time in egg mixture and place in pan. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for a garnish. Serve with honey or syrup.

Crescent Roll Crust – Asparagus and Ham Quiche

I wanted to prepare quiche for breakfast but was looking for a lighter alternative for the crust since most quiche recipes call for a standard pie crust. Standard pie crusts are made with a lot of fat and tend to be somewhat heavy and have a flaky, crumbly texture.

I considered using puff pastry, but it is very high in fat and would not have provided the texture of the crust I had in mind. Another possibility I considered was phyllo dough, but that would have resulted in a crispy flaky crust. Plus, although phyllo dough itself is low in fat, in order to achieve the layers it is necessary to brush between each, usually with either melted butter or olive oil.

A friend (who not so coincidentally loves them) suggested using crescent rolls for the crust. Unaware of any other examples of using crescent rolls as crust for a quiche, I decide to try an experiment and use them.

Here are the results.

Crescent Roll Crust Asparagus and Ham Quiche


5 Crescent Rolls (I used low fat)

1 T Butter
8 Asparagus Spears, fresh
¼ Ham cubed
2 T Jalapeno pickled, chopped canned
1 c Spinach leaves, fresh chopped

4 Eggs
1 c Cream, heavy whipping
½ t Pepper

Smoked Gouda

Open the package of crescent rolls. Lay out 5 of them into a 9 inch pie pan starting around the top edge and pressing the dough until it forms a complete crust.

Bake crescent roll pie crust in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Trim off the fibrous end of the asparagus spears and cut into 1/2 inch segments. Saute in butter until soft, add cubed ham and cook until lightly browned. Heat jalapeno pieces with asparagus and ham then place in baked pie crust.

Whip eggs with cream and pepper then pour over asparagus, ham, and jalapenos.

Thinly slice smoked gouda and lay over the top totally covering the quiche.

Bake Quiche in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until jiggling the pan indicates the middle is firm. The cheese will also start to brown.

This recipe resulted in a very creamy quiche with a perfect crust. I will definitely make this again.

Pie Crust Shield

NOTE: You will need to either use a collar of aluminum foil or a pie crust shield to prevent the crust from burning while the quiche is baking. I got my pie crust shield for a reasonable price at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Check after 15 minutes of baking and if the crust edge is browning cover with foil or pie crust shield for the remainder of the time in the oven.

BTW – I baked the remaining 3 crescent rolls on a separate pan while cooking the crust the first time.

Basic Review of Ebelskivers

First of all we want to apologize to all of you for our lack of posting last month, we also want to send a HUGE thank you to John for keeping things going.  Tiffany and I got married last month and it had taken a lot of our free time and unfortunately Lukewarm Legumes suffered.  The great news is we are happily married and have a lot of great posts just waiting to be composed!  Now to your regularly scheduled post about Ebelskivers.

I first heard of Ebelskivers in 2009 from Food Networks “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” series.  Celebrity Chef Aaron Sanchez  raved about this delectable little stuffed breakfast style pastries from Denmark.  I’ve wanted to try them or make them ever since, and recently that dream had become a reality.  Tiffany and I were out shopping and stumbled into Williams Sonoma, and picked up their Nordic Ware Ebelskiver Pan while a little pricey it’s a very well constructed pan.  My only complaint would be the design is not favorable for glass top ranges, which is what we have.  That said, as long as you are careful then I don’t think it’s a huge concern, but don’t come complaining to me if you scratch your glass cooktop.  This is more of a stationary pan, bring it up to temperature and leave it there, the only time it is moved is when you are removing the finished ebelskivers and returning it to the stove.

Before we jump too far ahead we want it to be known that we really enjoy ebelskivers and this is the first of a few posts you’ll see on the topic.  We’ve only made them 6 or so times now and all have been sweet, we have yet to gravitate towards the savory, but we will eventually!

The basic ebelskiver batter we use is very similar to pancake batter.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) Sugar
1/2 teaspoon(s) Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon(s) Salt
2 whole(s) Eggs Separated
1 cup(s) Milk
2 tablespoon(s) Butter Melted and slightly cooled

Combine the dry ingredients, in separate bowl whisk together egg yolks, milk and butter, then combine with the dry ingredients – the batter will be lumpy.

Here is a picture of batter before folding in the beaten egg whites – please note this is a half batch.

ebelskiver batter

Whip the egg whites until stiff, fold in 1/3 at a time.

That’s it!

We typically add an extract to our batter, we’ve enjoyed coconut extract and vanilla extract but your creativity in balancing the filling to the batter is totally in your hands.  If you’re planning on a savory Ebelskiver then don’t use any extracts.

Next comes the cooking part, different people have different techniques but what I’ve found works best is to heat the pan to a med-low heat, have your filling ready, use a nonstick cooking spray or butter in the pan and then spoon in a generous tablespoon of batter into all of the ebelskiver openings. I’ve found it’s much better to under fill with batter than over fill, remember when you add your filling it displaces batter and fills up the rest of the cup.  Once the batter is in the pan quickly get your fillings into as close to the center of the batter as you can.   If you find you’re rushing too much turn the heat down a little.  As I mentioned before it’s much easier to have them a little on the small side than overly huge, however, as you’ll see in the image below the cups do fill up when you add the fillings.

Ebelskivers cooking

Another little trick I’ve been using since our first batch is that once the fillings are in I use my finger and kind of push the filling down and make sure it’s covered with batter.  The reason I do this is it typically produces an ebelskiver that is less likely to leak.  The image above is a cherry and chocolate sauce in coconut extract infused batter.

You’ll notice some bubbles when they are cooking, unlike with regular pancakes this is not an indication that they are ready to turn, even when the bubbles remain.  This just takes a little practice but after your first pan full you’ll have it down.

They sell a pair of sticks to flip/turn ebelskivers at Williams Sonoma for $13, we opted to just use wood skewers, the kind you use for grilling.  We also tried a high temperature slim silicon spatula and it didn’t work at all!  To flip them all you do is gently poke along one side and they should sort of start turning on their own, carefully help it make the complete flip and if you’ve over filled them gently, and carefully squish them into the pan.  You’ll know what I’m talking about if you do it, if you over fill them this is where it will become a problem.  When you try to flip an over filled ebelskiver it doesn’t fit back into the pan, the baking soda reacts and they grow when cooked.  If you do this and don’t squish them into the pan you end up with a most likely leaking ebelskiver that resembles a mushroom – they still taste great but it’s not a great demonstration of the technique used create what should be a uniform and sealed ebelskiver.

I typically plan for a single turn, that’s not to say you can’t flip them back over if you think they need more cooking but it shouldn’t be necessary if you are patient enough.  The finished product looks like what you see below.



You’ll notice some of these leaked and there is some uneven cooking, this was 100% my fault, this batch is one of our very first batches and we’ve gotten a lot better.  You can dip them in syrup, eat them as is, dust them with powdered sugar, whatever you feel is appropriate.

As I mentioned earlier we have become a big fan of these and we will follow up with additional posts on our success and failures (there have been a few), in the mean time we strongly suggest giving these tasty little stuffed pancakes a shot!




Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Filling

For me there is nothing quite like a freshly baked cinnamon roll first thing in the morning for breakfast with a freshly brewed cup of hot coffee. This recipe, with the addition of orange flavoring, adds a significant twist that I think you will find refreshing.

Orange Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Filling

2 ¼ t Yeast
½ c Water, warm (110 degrees)
¼ c Sugar

½ c Milk, scalded
½ c Butter, melted
2 T Honey
1 t Salt, Kosher
2 Eggs

4 c Flour, bread

½ c Sugar, powdered
¼ c Sugar, brown
6 oz Cream cheese, at room temperature
½ c Butter, at room temperature
1 t Vanilla extract
2 T Orange juice reduction *
2 T Cinnamon, ground
¾ c Pecans, chopped

4 T Butter (melted)
2 c Sugar, powdered
1 t Vanilla extract
2 T Orange juice reduction *
3 to 6 T Hot water

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and set aside.

In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth.

Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 ½ hours.

TIP: To facilitate the rising of the dough, place a cup of water in the microwave on high and bring the water to a boil. Immediately remove the boiling water from the microwave and place the bowl with the dough in the microwave uncovered. Check the dough after one hour. If necessary, repeat the process, but only leaving the dough in the microwave for an additional ½ hour. Do not turn the microwave on while the dough is inside. The purpose of this process is to provide the moist, warm environment that is perfect for the yeast to do its work causing the dough to rise.

After the dough has doubled in size roll out on a floured surface into a 10 x 15 inch rectangle.

Spread the filling evenly over the rolled out dough, leaving an inch at the bottom uncovered. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired.

Beginning at the 10 inch side, roll up dough and pinch edge together to seal. With a very sharp knife cut into 8 slices.

Coat the bottom of two baking pans with butter and place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and place in the cold oven.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

Meanwhile, mix together the glaze ingredients adding hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle over slightly cooled rolls.

Orange Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls Pan

* To make the orange juice reduction, place 1 cup orange juice and ¼ cup sugar in a pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook until liquid has been reduced to ¼ cup (8 tablespoons).