Tag Archive | Ultra Gel

Overnight French Toast Using Ultra Gel

In the last few months our oldest boy has started working the graveyard shift. This means that instead of just hubs and I having breakfast together we are often joined by our son and sometimes all the kids. This has lead to trying several breakfast options including a cinnamon and brown sugar stuffed french toast which was a unanimous favorite.

This overnight french toast uses Ultra Gel in both the filling and in the egg custard to provide stability and help to hold the moisture close to the bread so you end up with a tender, chewy finished product. You need to prepare this overnight french toast the night before and then it takes about 45 minutes to bake. So it’s very easy and a great make ahead, but there is a timing factor to consider. It’s totally worth the planning because it’s amazingly good.

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Overnight French Toast with Ultra Gel

1 loaf Texas Toast (12 pieces)

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup butter

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cup milk (Or half and half if you want to be really decadent)

1/8 tsp salt

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional: sprinkle of nutmeg and pecan pieces

In a medium sauce pan combine 1 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 cup butter and 1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel. Cook for 2-3 minutes until sugar is dissolved but not burned. Pour into the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch pan. Place one layer of bread over caramel layer, pressing it into the sugar. Top with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Layer the remaining bread on top.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, Ultra Gel, water and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread layers. Sprinkle with nutmeg and nut pieces if desired.

Cover casserole with tin foil and refrigerate over night. The next morning bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

Serve warm. I flip it upside down as I serve it so the gooey sugar serves as the syrup. So yummy.

Spiced Snickerdoodles

We’ve featured snickerdoodle recipes before, but really with such a fantastic cookie who can stop with just one version?

These snickerdoodles are another soft version with a crunchy edge. They get an extra vanilla kick from adding vanilla bean to them, and before baking they’re rolled in sugar and pumpkin pie spice for a bit of extra snap. Ultra Gel is added for tenderness and to help them stay soft longer and, as always, it does this job fantastically. Even if I had to hide cookies from my family to prove it!

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Spiced Snickerdoodles

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

scrapings from one vanilla bean (vanilla bean paste)

2 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

In a large mixing bowl, or bowl for a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until completely mixed. Beat in Ultra Gel, water, vanilla and vanilla bean paste. In a separate bowl combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

Scrape down the side of the bowl of creamed ingredients. Add dry intgredients and mix until just combined.

Preheat oven to 350. In a small, shallow bowl combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll in sugar mixture. Place on baking sheets and bake for about 13-15 minutes until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and try to resist eating until cool.

Mango Chicken Stir Fry

Mangoes have been on sale for the last little bit and I’ve been looking for different things to do with them. Mango Cake is always a fun option, but this time I wanted something savory and light.I had some chicken breast pieces and bell peppers which also needed using so I put everything together to end up with a Mango Chicken Stir Fry. Let me tell you this is a magnificent combination. The dish is chewy and sweet and crunchy with a little bit of spice and goes great over a little baked rice. This was good enough that we ate mango chicken for dinner, and then again for lunch…and another lunch…every scrap was eaten. That’s one of the things I love, a food where the leftovers are just as desired as the first go around!

I found more mangoes on sale this week and I think we’ll be giving this mango chicken stir fry an encore.

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Mango Chicken Stir Fry

1 pound chicken breast, sliced

2 medium mangoes, cubed

1-2 bell peppers, cubed

1 medium white onion, sliced

1 can sliced water chestnuts

2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce

salt

pepper

garlic

ginger

Leftover Teriyaki sauce (optional but gives it a great flavor boost or you can use a dollop of Cornaby’s Peach Habanero sauce if you want more kick!)

Ultra Gel

Heat a large skillet or wok. When the pan is good and hot add 1-2 Tablespoons of oil. Add chicken and cook until mostly done. Add fruits and vegetables and cook until tender. Add soy sauce and spices and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add Ultra Gel as needed to soak up extra liquids. It’s usually 1-2 Tablespoons depending on how juicy your mangoes are.

Serve warm over rice.

Chocolate Mint Poke Cake

Recently I was put in charge of a friend’s birthday party. This lead me to wandering through my cookbooks and Pinterest page looking for something fun and a little different. I ended up combining a few ideas and ending up at this chocolate mint poke cake. This is a fun cake which starts with a box cake mix, though you could apply the idea to your favorite scratch cake too. This is more a matter of method than specific recipe, though I like using my homemade recipes and Ultra Gel to create the best possible cake.

As a note the term poke cake applies to a lot of cakes where you poke holes in the cake while it’s warm and then pour something over the top meant to soak into the holes. Often this is a pudding or warm sauce. You want to be careful with poke cakes to use enough sauce to keep things moist and yummy, but not so much that the cake ends up a soggy mess.

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Chocolate Mint Poke Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix

Ingredients for cake mix + 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel and 1/3 cup mint chips (opt)

1 batch Ultra Gel Hot Fudge Sauce

1 batch Thick Gel Chocolate Pudding

1 batch Ultra Gel Whipping Cream whipped with 3 drops green food coloring

Mint chips for garnish if desired

Process:

Make chocolate cake as per the box adding 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel and 1/3 cup mint chips. After it comes out of the oven allow to cool for 10 minutes then punch with holes. I find it easiest to use the tail end of a wooden spoon.

Pour hot fudge sauce over the cake and allow to fill holes. Give 10 minutes to set.

Layer cool pudding on top of hot fudge sauce.

Layer colored whipping cream on top of pudding and garnish.

Keep cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

My husband doesn’t love cornbread. However, he adores me and I love cornbread. So for the last several weeks he has been working on creating the best cast iron skillet cornbread recipe possible. I am the taste tester, and I have to admit it’s a wonderful job.🙂

We discovered a few important things in the testing process.

  • Make sure the cast iron is hot when you pour the batter in.
  • Always butter, not lard or shortening.
  • Ultra Gel makes the texture much better and hold moisture but means more buttermilk.
  • Honey or jam is good, but not required for consumption.

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup  flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon UltraGel (maybe a little more)

1 egg, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1 spoosh vanilla

2.5 Tablespoons brown sugar

Butter for the skillet (or bacon grease!)

 Place 12” skillet in oven and heat to 400 degrees.   Mix dry team together, then mix wet team.  Just as pan is hot combine teams and add around a tablespoon of butter to the skillet.  Move it around to coat evenly.  Pour in batter and put in oven. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned, the batter pulls away from the sides slightly and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before flipping out onto a wooden board. Serve with toppings as desired.

Mango Chutney

Spring is a glorious time for mangos! They’re not a food which I just like to eat by themselves, however, I love it as an ingredient or a topping. Mango has a unique tart and sweet flavor and a soft, but chewy, texture which goes well with other foods. I’ve had mango several times on top of sushi rolls and love the contrast. The mango chutney recipe I’m sharing today is very good on steak, but also delightful on salmon or other fleshy seafood.

Mangoes are an odd fruit with a large flat seed in the middle. When preparing mangos you want to peel them and slice a small piece off the top and the bottom so you have a flat surface to set it on. Then carve the two large cheeks of fruit off each side and the smaller slices from the edges. Mangoes are slippery and a little sticky, so be careful. You don’t want to lose fingers doing this! Once you have the cheeks off then you can easily work them into slices or cubes. A more traditional way to do this is to skip the peeling and just slice the cheeks off with the skin intact. Then you make a grid pattern through the fruit and flip the skin wrong side out to make the fruit easy to harvest. Either way is fine, but both take a little practice. Look for mangos without soft spots or blemishes and that are relatively heavy for their size. They’ll be the sweetest.

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Mango Chutney

1 mango, peeled and cubbed

2 roma tomatoes, cubbed

juice from one lime

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel (This will be determined by just how juicy your fruit is. Start with 1 Tablespoon and allow the mixture to sit before adding more.)

(A splash of Cornaby’s Peach Habanero Sauce is amazing in this too!)

Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes for flavors to mesh. Serve with salmon or steak, or with tortilla chips. My son loves this as an option for nachos!

Easy Guacamole

This week is both Cinco De Mayo and Mother’s Day! It’s a good week with some great food available. One of my favorite very easy Mexican dishes is Guacamole, but like many other dips as it sits guacamole tends to go very brown and can start weeping, and you just can’t keep it for more than a few hours. A combination of lime juice and Ultra Gel brings both flavor and fridgability.

Now, I’m not claiming this will totally keep your guac from browning a bit. Avocado just oxidizes at the drop of a hat and the only way to stop that is to eat it fast. However, the combination of the juice and the Ultra Gel really does help and it will keep it from weeping in the fridge, provided no one double dips and contaminates your dip!

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Easy Guacamole

4 medium avocados

Juice from 1 lime

1-2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

salt

pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

Remove the flesh from the avocados and crush lightly. Mix in lime juice and Ultra Gel until well mixed. Add spices to taste. Eat. To refrigerate: Cover tightly. I press a layer of plastic wrap right onto the dip which does a lot to keep the air way.