Thursday, May 21, 2009

Things I Love Thursday – Cook’s Country Magazine


Southern Living used to be my favorite magazine.  I still love it, but now my life practically stops when my Cook’s Country comes in the mail!  This latest June/July issue was the best I have seen in a while.  By the time I finished reading it, the whole thing was highlighted and dog-eared to pieces!


Here’s 5 things I love about each issue:

  1. Kitchen tips – These smart tricks are golden.  I’m “ooo-ing” and “aah-ing” over each one.  
  2. Ask Cook’s Country – Readers send in questions and the food scientists on staff provide detailed and complete answers.
  3. Recipes – Oh, boy.  Each issue is chock-full of delicious recipes, complete with step-by-step pictures.  It’s impossible to mess them up!  I also love the “makeovers” when they take a traditional comfort food and re-make it into something a little healthier and just as delicious!
  4. Taste Tests/Product Ratings – This is like a Consumer Reports for cooks!  They give blind taste tests on various processed foods and kitchen tools, rating them in order of preference.  This month’s issue contains reports on canned baked beans, frozen strawberries, canned corn, chimney starters, and paper plates.  Note:  ***The most expensive products are NOT always best!***
  5. Troubleshooting – They take common kitchen problems and offer solutions to fix them.  This month they’re talking about grilling techniques for chicken, making the perfect pie crust (Hello, this was written for me!), and frying onion rings.

I’m including a Cook’s Country recipe/method for make-ahead French toast.  My husband is going to be SO HAPPY when I make this over the weekend for his breakfasts next week!  He’ll be able to pop frozen slices in the toaster and have perfect French toast in a couple of minutes!  (While I’m still sleeping at 6:00 in the morning.)

Make-Ahead French Toast

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or use salted butter and reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (You read that right…freezing sucks the flavor out)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 slices hearty white sandwich bread (should be dense and firm…they recommend Pepperidge Farm Hearty White)
  1. MAKE CUSTARD.  Heat butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Off heat, whisk in half-and-half, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt; transfer to a 13x9 inch baking dish.
  2. PREPARE BREAD.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat broiler.  Set wire rack inside rimmed baking sheet.  Arrange bread on rack and broil until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.  Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Soak half of toast slices in custard mixture until just saturated, about 30 seconds per side.  Return soaked bread to rack and repeat with remaining toast.  Bake until center of bread registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 8 minutes.
  3. FREEZE.  Let toast cool on rack 10 minutes and then freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.  Transfer slices to zipper-lock freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month.  When ready to eat, toast in toaster on medium power until heated through.  Serve.

For more Things I Love Thursday posts, check out The Diaper Diaries.


Whitney said...

I've never heard of this magazine. Thanks for sharing!

Kim H. said...

I heart french toast!! I'm going to have to try this recipe. :-) Thanks for sharing!

Rhen @yestheyareallmine said...

I feel the same way about my Countryside magazine!