Mrs. GLP has been kicking around the idea of starting up a blog lately but hasn’t fully committed to it yet. So, in the meanwhile, she’s going to write the occasional post on here. This one is about the menu box she created for our house this past weekend and the Bourbon Ball French Toast that’s recently been adopted as a signature breakfast item in our house.
The whole family came down to celebrate my birthday this past weekend and we served Bourbon Ball French Toast-and a lot of it! We were inspired to create this dish (and turn it into a family traditional breakfast) after visiting Lynn’s Paradise Café in Louisville, KY. The café has been featured on shows like Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Man v. Food Nation. We highly recommend stopping by if you happen to be in the Louisville area.
The dish is somewhat complicated and has multiple steps, but is well worth the work if you can muddle through it. It helps to have a sous chef to assist in the process and in this instance it was me! While assisting Mr. GLP whip the bourbon whipped cream I became inspired to create a menu box for our weekly cooking escapades. I went online and browsed through pictures on several blogs and Pinterest to find a possible template. Everything out there was either too girly or gaudy and did not fit the Classic Midwest Décor of our home. Therefore, I decided to take it upon my crafty self to create something Midwest-inspired to house our weekly recipes. Below you can find both the ingredients and directions for the Bourbon Ball French Toast (Courtesy of foodnetwork.com and Lynn’s Paradise Café) and the Midwest Menu Box. I hope this inspires you to create some new traditions for your Midwest Family from ours.
Bourbon Ball French Toast Recipe (courtesy of Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, Louisville, Kentucky)
Ingredients (Yield’s Approximately 6 Servings)
• 6 eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/4 cups milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 (16-ounce) loaf firm textured bread, preferably a baguette
• Canola oil, for frying
• Bourbon Vanilla Custard, recipe follows
• Chocolate syrup
• Bourbon Whipped Cream, recipe follows
• 1 pint fresh sliced strawberries
• 1 cup toasted pecan halves
For the batter: Beat all batter ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
For the French Toast: Slice the baguette into 18 thick slices. Soak the slices in the batter for about 3 minutes, turning to coat evenly on each side. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Lift the bread from the batter and place it in the hot pan. Add only enough slices to fit easily in the pan. Sauté on both sides until golden brown. Keep warm until all slices have been cooked.
Place 3 slices on each plate. Drizzle with warm Bourbon Vanilla Custard. Garnish with chocolate syrup and Bourbon Whipped Cream. Top with sliced strawberries and toasted pecan halves. Serve immediately.
Bourbon Vanilla Custard:
• 2 cups half-and-half
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 4 teaspoons cornstarch
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/3 cup bourbon
Heat half-and-half and whipping cream in a small saucepan over low heat, until the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a stainless steel bowl for about 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens and lightens in color. Slowly pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and bourbon. Serve immediately or hold over a hot water bath.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups
Bourbon Whipped Cream:
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
• 3 tablespoons bourbon
Whip cream in well chilled mixing bowl just until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and bourbon and whip just long enough to incorporate. Taste and adjust flavors. Chill until ready for use.
Midwest Recipe Box
• One shadow box of your choosing (I used a toffee colored 12×12 one as I only cook 4 nights out of the week)
• One Pack of Americana Dimensional Stickers
• White Flower Stickers (used for labeling the days of the week; you could also use stars or copper circle stickers, etc.)
• Martha Stewart Cupcake Sticks in a circle white eyelet pattern
• Sticks of dried wheat/flowers (extra sticks can later be used as a centerpiece)
• White Pearl Head Pins (mine were around 2-3 inches but you could definitely go smaller)
• Medium Thickness Malleable Copper Wire
• Wine Corks
• Note Cards with Eyelet Pattern Flap on Front or scrap book paper with an eyelet edge
• Index Cards (May need to trim for a good fit into pocket)
1. Mold your copper wire in the letters required for your “Menu” and attach them to the shadow box with your head pins.
2. Create the desired number of pockets (I created mine out of note cards I found with the perfect front flap with an eyelet design so I just cut them apart from the note card and placed them on my shadow box). You will need to fashion them out of your material and use double sided tape and head pins to secure tightly around the edges to form a pocket.
3. Secure all decorative materials including cupcake sticks, dried flowers/wheat, wine corks, etc. with double sided tape and head pins.
4. Write your days of the week on the stickers of your choice and place at the bottom of the pocket to identify the day’s meal(s).
5. Write down your menu and corresponding recipes on your index cards and place inside.
6. Use an extra koozie to house your recipe cards and pens and place on top of the shadow box (I used a Chicago Belt Co. koozie to tie into the Midwest theme).