This Grown-Up Cinnamon-Sugar Toast Recipe Is Super Easy to Make

To say we look fondly back on the cinnamon-sugar toast of our youth would be an understatement. The easy combo of soft white bread smothered in too-much-butter then sprinkled with a mix of sugar and cinnamon always tasted beyond the sum of its parts. The easiest way to describe its prominence in young life is that French toast is for lazy Saturday mornings, while cinnamon-sugar toast is that special treat for running-late-for-school-get-your-a$$-on-the-bus-here’s-some-breakfast-NOW-GO!

Source: Best Cinnamon Toast Ever

Goes straight into the bracket of “what we like most is either fattening or immoral”.

Give Your Pancakes a Flavor Boost With Infused Maple Syrup

Pancakes, waffles, and French toast are all great, but these breakfast basics are really just a vessel for us to eat more maple syrup, right? While unflavored maple syrup is a delight in its own right, every now and then it can be a real treat to dress it up.

Flavoring maple syrup is a fun way to make breakfast an adventure. Here are five delicious ways to do it.

Source: 5 Maple Syrup Twists to Take Your Pancakes on a Breakfast Adventure

I did something similar recently. I made some blackberry sauce by simmering frozen blackberries with a little water and mushing them through a strainer to get out the seeds. Then I heated the sauce with a shot of my homemade vanilla rum and some maple syrup.

It made a wonderful, fruity, purple maple syrup.

Turn Apple Peels Into a Tasty, Sweet Snack in Minutes

One of the things that made flying cross-country with a toddler a bit more bearable was the free snacks handed out on the airplane. These little bags of treats helped maintain both my blood sugar level and acted as bribes to keep my daughter from roaming the airplane cabin.

My favorite discovery in the basket of snacks was cinnamon-sugar pretzel bites. Sweet and a tiny bit savory, these pretzel bites were addicting but really weren’t the healthiest option. What if I could take the same concept and make a healthier snack instead? Thus roasted cinnamon-sugar apple peels were born!

Source: Did You Know You Can Turn Apple Peels into a Delicious Snack?

Careful not to have to find out you’re allergic to cinnamon 😉

There’s also “apple bark”, which was basically.. this recipe from Martha’s site, with a little bit of nutmeg?

The Kitchn has another good write up from a while back about other things you can do with apple peels. In the fall, when we go apple picking and make about 400 million pies, I save some peels and make a potpourri.

Upgrade a Batch of Chili With Cinnamon, Cocoa, or Even Coffee

Chili is personal, and you have your favorite recipe. I respect that. I’m not here to argue with your one true chili love.

But I would bet that there are some ways that you could make your tried-and-true recipe even better. I’m just talking about little things to add extra flavor here or give some richness there—small tweaks that, when tallied up, amount to a more fantastic chili.

Source: 10 Ways to Make Your Favorite Chili Recipe Even Better

Some will think cinnamon in chili is an abomination. And I like cinnamon. In ice cream. On apples. In chewing gum. But in chili?  It’s worth an experiment – cinnamon can do some interesting things in more savory dishes.

E-cigs Shut Down Lots of Immune System Genes—Regular Cigs Don’t

It’s widely assumed that swapping cigarette puffing for vapor huffing is better for health—after all, electronic cigarettes that heat up and atomize a liquid concoction can skip all the hazards of combustion and smoke. But researchers are still scrambling to understand the health effects of e-cig use (aka vaping) and to track down the variable and undisclosed components of those vaporized mixtures. The most recent data hints at unexpected health effects unique to e-cig use.

Source: E-cigs shut down hundreds of immune system genes—regular cigs don’t

It seems the flavoring and other additives are the biggest issue. Most non-tobacco vape substances I’ve seen have been pure extracts without any additives. Now its possible things left over from the extraction process might be an issue but there’s not much research on that yet probably due to the legalities of it.  Cinnamaldehyde has very strong irritant properties (it directly activates one of the main sensors of nasty chemicals)…

If it suppresses the immune system, I wonder if vaping would actually be beneficial for those with autoimmune diseases? We automatically think of a weak immune system as “bad”, but some people’s immune system is so strong that it’s hurting/killing them.

Have Granola Whenever You Please With This Super Quick Stove Top Recipe

The only drawback to homemade granola (superior to store-bought, on all counts, in my book) is finding the foresight to make large batches of it in advance. Maybe it’s just me, but my motivation for making anything is pretty closely tied to how soon I’m going to scarf it down.

Source: The Shortcut to Homemade Granola

The basic sequence of events is this: Add your fat and sweetener to your pan over medium-low heat and blend until everything is nice and liquid. Add in the grains and a pinch of salt and toast until golden (8-10 minutes). Mix in whatever nuts and seeds you like and cook for another couple of minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle with your favorite spices (or toasted coconut and chocolate chips!) and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Break it up and throw it in some yogurt or milk and you have a tasty homemade breakfast.  Or anytime snack; granola shouldn’t be confined to the morning.

Transform Your Hot Chocolate by Simmering It With a Banana Peel

You’ve probably had a hot chocolate recently. And it probably came from an envelope. Today, we’re going to push that envelope. We’re going to push it far, far away.

The gold standard hot chocolate recipe is creamy, sweet, and a little rich. It’s almost perfect as is, but it can get better. Much better. Here are eight ways how.

Source: 8 Things You Can Do To Make Your Hot Chocolate Better Right Now

For lactose-intolerant, stir up your own hot cocoa mix with:

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder mixed with
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice optional

You can reduce the sugar a bit to taste. 2 1/2 tablespoons of this stirred into a cup of hot lactose free milk or soy milk or almond milk or whatever makes a wonderful, winter treat!

Infuse Melted Butter with Spices for Tastier Baked Goods

You probably already know that toasting spices or sizzling them in oil or butter helps their flavor bloom—and the same principle applies for baking, too. For recipes that call for melted butter, just heat that butter with whole or crushed spices, like a split vanilla bean, a broken cinnamon stick, or a few crushed whole cloves or cardamom pods. With heat, the essential oils from the spices make their way into the browned butter and the two swirl around and become one tasty mess. Besides spice, this method creates toasty depth in the butter, a guaranteed flavor booster.

Source: How to Spice Up Your Christmas Cookies (Literally)

That’ll make for a killer pancake recipe…  Don’t forget about using eggnog to make French toast.

Q: Could you do this for recipes that call for solid butter by cooking the spices in then re-cooling the butter?

A: You will boil off the water when browning the butter, so – no. Even if you just melt the butter and don’t brown it, you will lose water content.

Upgrade Store-Bought Applesauce With a Bit of Maple Syrup

If you have no love for plain applesauce, don’t give up on it as a topping for latkes, a partner for seared pork chops, or even layered with Greek yogurt for a breakfast parfait. Instead, use one of these simple tweaks to transform that innocent apple flavor into something way more deliciously adult. Each of these strategies will upgrade one cup of unsweetened “natural” applesauce…

Source: How to Make Store-Bought Applesauce Taste Amazing

  • If you want a sauce that’s sweet and a bit sour, add a splash of apple cider vinegar in there too.  This combination is particularly tasty with a ham.
  • If concerned about already-sweetened/HFCS applesauce, use fake maple flavour.

The Best Way to Bake Your Pies Isn’t With Vodka—It’s Like This

We’ve entered pie season—and with that also comes the season of people telling you their secret pie crust ingredient. For most people, that secret ingredient means one thing: vodka. I know because I used to be one of them. Until I found something much, much better.

Source: The Best Way to Bake Your Pies Isn’t With Vodka—It’s Like This

One of the store I shop at sells vanilla vodka, so I use that in the crusts. It adds that extra bit. But it seems to me that the best crusts have a long flake to them that you get from hand-mixing. The vodka crust is flaky but crumbly, like cheesecake crust. Still, I’m glad the vodka crust is so reliable.

I have a pie crust recipe that doesn’t use any alcohol, including vanilla extract.  It’s served me well.