Pancakes … or French Toast?  This is one of the most difficult questions.  Why are the simple things sometimes so difficult to decide?  I am staring at the pantry (a hole in the wall with some shelves shoved in, literally).  Vanilla and LOTS of cinnamon, my favorites; I’m sold, French Toast it is! 

When bread gets stale (or “lost”) it is perfect for French Toast, also known as Pain Perdu which means lost bread.  French settlers in Louisiana became famous for this dish.  My grandmother often made this sweet breakfast.  She acquired the recipe from my Grandfather’s mother, a French woman who immigrated to, you guessed it, Louisiana.  

I often helped my Grandmother cook early in the muggy morning.  If my memory serves me well, I can make this sweet, cinnamon(y) breakfast.  But I don’t have any stale bread.  I don’t have any thick bread.  In fact, all I have is an unopened loaf of cinnamon raisin bread.  (It was on sale).  That’ll do, that’ll do just fine.  Extra Cinnamon Raisin Lost Bread:
Cinnamon Raisin Bread (or any other bread)
1 egg (for about half the loaf of bread)
Milk   +   Butter   +   Vanilla
Salt   +   Sugar    +   Cinnamon
Powdered Sugar
(Warm) syrup

what TO DO
HEADS UP: My Grandmother rarely measures, she just dumps.  Consequently, so do I.  So use your taste buds.  And smell it – really – if it smells good, it most likely will be.  If you like your food sweet, add more sugar. 

Heat griddle.

Whisk egg in a sizeable bowl. 
Add milk (add a little more) whisking until you’ve got a pale yellow.
Add about a tablespoon of melted butter.
Add: about a tablespoon of vanilla, a dash of salt and 3 (or more) tablespoons of sugar.
Add a LOT of cinnamon.  Keep adding until the mix is brown from specs of cinnamon.

Butter hot griddle.

Drench the bread in the mix, piece by piece, and place each on the hot griddle.
Cook for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Remove.  Add a slice of butter (yes more butter, trust me).  Coat with powdered sugar.  Top with warm syrup.

EAT immediately 

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Summer.  It’s hot – very hot.  What to cook?  Something simple, something easy, something that does NOT require the oven … Pasta Salad!  My mom always made pasta salad, as a side, but it always turned into a meal.  So here’s my attempt to do her recipe justice.  Pasta Salad:  

the STUFF:

Tri-Color Rotini 
Red Pepper                                     Green Pepper 
Black Olives                                    Broccoli 

Olive Oil                                           Italian Salad Dressing 
Fresh Ground Black Pepper       Parmesan Cheese

what TO DO:

Bring water to a boil, salt slightly.  Cook the pasta.
Chop the peppers into medium sized bits.
Chop the broccoli.
Half the olives.

Mix the pasta, peppers, broccoli & olives in a larger bowl.  
Dress with 2 parts Italian Salad Dressing to 1 part Olive Oil.  
Add Fresh Ground Black Pepper.  Grate Parmesan Cheese over.  

Vary the quantities to taste.  My personal preference is a LOT of Parmesan Cheese.  
Mix, cover, refrigerate & EAT!

Eat as a side, eat for lunch, eat for dinner – even eat as a late-night snack. 


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