Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Thanksgiving Traditions: Peas with Roux & Spinach Madeline

My concept of Thanksgiving has changed a lot over the years.  My earliest and most frequent Thanksgiving memories involve a gathering of my immediate family, and my dad's side of the family in Gretna.  Thanksgiving worked like clockwork: we'd eat in the early afternoon, my brother would hog all the rolls, I would stuff myself with my grandmother's mirliton casserole, we'd watch football, wait an hour, and have dessert.  You could set your clock by it and it was a delicious and comforting time, and a cherished memory.

Thanksgiving is about spending time with family, but due to my crazy life, I've spent many Thanksgivings away from my family: college in Shreveport, abroad in Germany, working at Cracker Barrel in Texarkana, grad school in Michigan, with boyfriends and friends.  Because of this, I don't really have a consistent family tradition but I've found a way to bring my family with me wherever I go by making dishes that remind me of home.

The first (not pictured) is peas with roux.  This is a dish my grandmother has been making as long as I can remember and it reminds me of home.  It takes about 5 minutes to cook, and has been known to convert a pea hater into a pea lover, so if peas aren't your thing, give it a whirl: you may be surprised.

Peas with Roux
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tbsp dehydrated onions
1 can le sueur very young small sweet peas

Heat oil over medium for 5 minutes until almost smoking.  Add flour and stir constantly until the color of peanut butter.  Rehydrate onions and add, stir for about 30 seconds.  Add can of peas, and liquid and reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes until peas have thickened.

The next recipe is spinach madeline which my mother made every year to bring to my grandmother's house.  It is cheesy, delicious, and a taste of home.  Add it to your Thanksgiving rotation and you won't be sorry.  Also, it actually tastes better if you make it the day ahead, which is a bonus for your Thanksgiving planning.

Spinach Madeline
2 packs frozen chopped spinach
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup reserved spinach liquid
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 (6 ounce) box of velveeta cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp worcestershire sauce

Cook spinach according to package directions - drain and reserve liquid.  Melt butter in sauce pan over low heat.  Add flour stirring until blended and smooth but not browned.  Add onion and cook until soft but not browned.  Add liquid slowly stirring constantly to avoid lumps.  Cook until smooth and thick.  Add seasonings and cheese and stir until melted.

Remove from heat.  Add spinach and mix well.

May be served immediately or put into a casserole dish and refrigerated over night.  Flavor improves if kept over night: may be frozen.

Buffalo Chicken Dip: A little wrong never tasted so right

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but I have some tried and true recipes to share that I made over the holiday.  I spent a few days with family in Tennessee and had a great, cheese-filled holiday.  I strive for healthy eating in my day-to-day life but I refuse to spend the holidays munching on the vegetable tray.  That's what January is for: work out commercials and remorse, amiright?

This year I made buffalo chicken dip, courtesy of a friend of mine from Murfreesboro, Heather Arrington, as it was a HUGE hit last Christmas.  It would be great for a holiday party, or a tailgate, because it is sinfully delicious.  This dip has ingredients I'm almost embarrassed to share (canned chicken.  gulp), but it's so delicious I just don't care.  The only thing you have to worry about is burning the roof of your mouth because you won't be able to wait to dive in.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 12.5 ounce cans of white meat chicken, drained
1 cup Frank's buffalo sauce
2 8 ounce packages of reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup ranch dressing
1 8 ounce bag sharp cheddar cheese

Drain chicken and put in pan to warm with buffalo sauce.  Add softened cream cheese, ranch, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Stir thoroughly, pour into a 8 x 8 baking dish, and cover with the remainder of the cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stuffed patty pan squash. Thank you, farmer's market!

Shreveport has a great Farmer's Market that sadly had its last market of the season this past saturday: womp womp.  Luckily, I was able to grab a few things, including some patty pan squash and I was very jazzed with the results.

I'd only cooked patty pan squash once before and didn't have a recipe on hand, but based on a brief google search I knew I wanted to stuff it.  This recipe came together by investigating what I had on hand to get rid of before going out of town for Thanksgiving. As they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention," which certainly rings true when throwing together a meal.  It makes me a little anxious to do something completely new, but it's damn satisfying when it turns out well, and let's be real, it turns out well most of the time because of my MAD skillz.

I picked up yellow bell peppers and onion and the farmer's market and decided to use mint, to once again try to hack away at the towering mint plant I have in my yard.  In an effort to do a little pre-vegetarian detox, I tried to go light and vegetarian so I added corn, cheese, and rice, and called it a day.  It was a little time consuming to cook the squash, then scoop it out, but now that I've done it once,  it'll be easy peasy next time because there WILL be a next time, oh yes.  This dish, despite the lack of meat, is also fella approved, when served with a salad.

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash (Serves 3)
3 large patty pan squash
2 servings rice (Cooked w/ chicken stock.  Cook w/ veggie or water if desired)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar.
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cayenne
4 ounces manchego cheese, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Heat 1 inch of water in a large sauce pan or stock pot.  Bring to boil, then add squash and cover.  Cook for about 10 minutes until a fork can easily pierce the skin.  Put to the side and let rest and chill for a few minutes.  Carefully slice the top (stem side) off and remove seeds and discard and reserve all of the squash. Add cooked rice, lemon juice, and cayenne, and taste.  Adjust seasons as necessary and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in same pan that cooked the squash.  Add garlic and cook one minute.  Add onions and bell pepper and cook until transluscent.  Add corn, balsamic, and oregano and saute for 2-3 minutes until warmed and add salt and pepper to taste.  Combine this mixture to rice/patty pan mixture and stir thoroughly.  Stir in manchego and mint and taste once more for seasonings.  Stuff squash, overflowing with mixture and cover loosely with foil.  Cook in oven for 10 minutes, until just warmed.

Realize that you actually only needed two of the squash and eat the other one for lunch tomorrow.  SCORE!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti. Your body will thank you.

Spaghetti squash spaghetti is one of my FAVORITE things to cook: healthy, easy, and sneaky.  It makes me feel clever as well, which is a lot to get out of a vegetable.

I had the chance to stop by the Shreveport Farmer's Market this past Saturday and found some lovely spaghetti squash.  For those of you local, the last market of the season is this saturday, so check it out if you have time, 8-12.  There are great produce items, meats, jams/jellies, and you could see yours truly selling some Zombee Candles for my bestie over at Hesson Haus. Hope to see you there!

Anyhoo, back to the squash.  In the past I've always baked it in the oven, but I came across a great post on Steamy Kitchen about microwaving so I decided to give it a whirl.  I'm happy to report that this method was easier and quicker and I will never go back!

Spaghetti Squash is great for satisfying the craving for italian while also bypassing the carby goodness.  Sometimes you feel like a carb, sometimes you don't.  I basically use the same ingredients I would for spaghetti, and bammo, you've got a delicious meal.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti
1 spaghetti squash
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
dried oregano
dried thyme
salt and pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used Ragu this time, whichever one had lowest sodium)
1/4 cup red wine
parmesan cheese
pepperocini peppers

Stab spaghetti squash repeatedly.  Use this as a good time to take out any aggressions.  Be careful, as your squash will have the tendency to roll.  Microwave on high for 12-15 minutes, until tender and easy to insert a knife.  Let cool for 10ish minutes.

Begin sauce.  Heat olive oil to low and add garlic.  Saute for a few minutes and add onion.  Cook until translucent then add bell pepper and mushrooms and cook until veggies are tender.  Salt and pepper at this stage: light on the salt because of the lovely parmesan you'll add at the end.  Add the tomato sauce and stir to warm.  Season at will with thyme and oregano.  Add red wine and let simmer.

Carefully slice open spaghetti squash and remove seeds. Use a fork or spoon to remove all the spaghetti squash.  Add squash to sauce dish and stir to cover.  Sprinkle parmesan on top and serve with pepperocinis on the side for added spice.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kitchen sink tacos: chicken, grilled veggies, pickled onion, etc...

Show me a day of the week and I'll show you a day that myself and my fella are in the mood for Mexican.  As I sit here and try to rack my brain for all the ingredients I used in these tacos, my mouth is literally starting to water.  If I was Guy Fieri, I'd say that I was looking forward to a "one way ticket to flavor town" but I'm not him, so I'll just say this meal was DAMN good. (Sorry mom).

The chicken was grilled on Sunday, and waiting in the wings.  (Hehe.)  I cannot stress enough the importance of grilling and how it can simplify your life by allowing you to cook multiple dishes and not make your kitchen a mess.  Hear my words.  Embrace them.

Most of this dish came together as a hodge podge of fridge leftovers.  Pickled onions and coleslaw were leftover sides from the salmon dish and the grilled veggies (mushroom, onion, and squash) were leftover from sunday's grilling spectacu-lar.  I added fresh onion and bell pepper for some crunch and garnished with cilantro, sour cream, and lime juice.  I'll be having a variation of this for lunch tomorrow and we're going out for Mexican on Friday.  I have a craving that CANNOT be satiated.  Mexican food 4 life.

Chipotle Marinated Chicken (adapted to serving size from Cooking Light community)
2 garlic cloves
2 chipotle chile
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/8 tsp ground cumin
black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Place all ingredients in small chopper/process.  Pour over chicken; cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.  Grill chicken over medium-high heat, about 8 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in center.

Firecracker Rice (adapted from my pal Jennifer Laurent)

Rice (4 servings)
1 can chicken stock
1 poblano, (roasted, skin peeled, diced)
4 ounces manchego cheese, chopped
2 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 tbsp smoked paprika

Cook rice according to package directions using chicken stock and a bit of water in a rice cooker.  If you don't have a rice cooker, go to the store and buy one.  Trust me: it's worth it.  Once rice is cooked, let cool for a few ingredients, then stir in all other ingredients and serve.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup: My Way

Yesterday I had the misfortune to wake-up with a pretty significant headache: not my preferred way to start the day.  There were a few things I had to get done at work, so I went in for about an hour and then came back home to wait it out.

I started to feel better around lunch time but the headache was still lingering.  (Don't worry.  In the battle of Ashlie vs Headache, eventually, Ashlie reigns supreme.)  I wanted something to eat that I couldn't normally have at work, and something that would make me feel better on an otherwise ick day.  Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich was just the thing.  This meal is probably my #1 thing to eat in the world.  IN THE WORLD. (Ok.  It may be tied with homemade nachos.  I can't pick just one #1 that would be crazy!)  There is something about the simplicity of tomato soup and grilled cheese that hits the spot.  This is "my way," for today only, because I change it up based on what I have around.  This time, I had manchego, cheddar, and arugula.  So. Good.  I had never had manchego cheese before but for some reason it caught my eye in the grocery store.  It's a sheep's milk cheese, creamy and a bit tart, sort of like a tamer goat cheese.

Before I give you the recipe, I need to alert you to something.  Are you sitting down?  Prepare yourself, because I'm about to drop a bomb.  My tomato soup starts with...Campbell's.  That's right, peeps, Campbell's condensed, full of sodium, tomato soup. Could I make it from scratch? Probably.  Even so, there is something about this can that just makes my heart happy.  I used to make tomato soup back in my college days and there is just something classic about it, that I can't abandon.

Tomato Soup
1 can campbell's condensed tomato soup
1 can organic low fat milk
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
7 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Black pepper
Sriachi to taste

Make soup according to can instructions: pour can contents into small pot.  Add one soup can full of milk, and put over low heat.  Add ingredients and let simmer for 5 minutes until ingredients blend. Add tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir to taste.  (Note: normally I say always add salt to your dish, but this canned soup is naturally pretty salty, so you should do fine to omit extra.)

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 pieces whole wheat bread
Brummel and brown yogurt butter
2 ounces manchego
Small handful of arugula
2 ounces cheddar

Butter both slices of bread and heat non-stick skillet to medium. Assemble sandwich on bread, butter side down, with manchego, arugula, and cheddar. Put other piece of bread on top, butter side up and cook 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted.  Flip sandwich and let cook for 2 more minutes.  Serve and bask in its deliciousness.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spoil yourself: lamb burger!

Once again, the lovely weather combined with a desire for keeping the kitchen clean lead to grilling on a warm Sunday evening.

Weather sidebar: if mother nature could quit being so manic, I would really appreciate it.  It's disconcerting to be bombarded by Christmas commercials while your AC is cutting on and off.  I mean, I know I live in Louisiana and hot weather in November is to be expected, but this doesn't mean I have to like it, damn it.  The bright side is that we can grill every weekend, and for that, I'm happy.

Lamb for me is a every-now-and-then protein.  It tastes great, but it's high in fat and pretty pricy; however, it is one of my fella's favorite meats, so I can't help but fix it every now and then.  Spoiled bugger.

One of the tricks I keep in mind when fixing a component that is unhealthy is to keep the rest of the meal light so I don't get caught in a food shame spiral.  Of course, if you're a dude, this doesn't seem to matter as you can just eat things and not give it a second thought.  What's that like?  I bet it's cool.

I kept the burger very simple, just yogurt sauce, lettuce, and pickled onions from my dish earlier in the week.  On the side I had a few Zapp's potato chips and grilled onion, squash, and mushroom with fresh tomatoes.  Overall, I'd say this dish was a big success because it was simple to throw together and delicious, which is exactly what I'm looking for on a Sunday.

Lamb Burger
1 lb lamb
2 tbsp feta cheese crumbles
1 sprig fresh mint (about 2 tsp chopped)
salt and pepper

Mix in feta and mint with lamb: be careful not to overmix the meat.  Season both sides with salt and pepper and grill, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
1 8 ounce container plain greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Peel cucumber and slice in half, lengthwise.  Save one half for a delicious snack at a later date.  Scoop seeds out of the half you're using, then chop very fine.  Mix all ingredients together and chill.  Make ahead if possible: the longer it sits, the better the flavors will marry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Crispy Skin Salmon with Fiery Asian Slaw

Salmon is one of my favorite fish to cook, although (fun fact) it's one of my least favorites in sushi form.  This recipe in particular is a big hit in my household and one that I picked up from the September 2009 issue of Cooking Light magazine.  It has secured a spot in my permanent dinner rotation: quick, delicious, and healthy.  What are you waiting for?

I make the recipe pretty much as is and serve with rice as a side.  For tonight's version my fella made the basmati rice and slaw while I dealt with the salmon.  I also threw together some pickled onions and used a wheat tortilla to put all the ingredients together to make one slammin' fish taco.  The first five times I made this dinner I would say, without fail, "This would taste great as a taco," at which point I was reminded that I said the exact thing the last time I made this dish. Eventually, my taco dream came to fruition and it was fabulous.

Taste the slaw as you go and adjust quantities of ingredients to taste.  I wouldn't even bother measuring: life is to short to clean tiny spoons.  This slaw would be great with other proteins, or taste delicious the next day for a work lunch, accompanied by a salad.  In fact, I try to think up other things to make to go with this slaw, much like I go to Deli Tini (a lovely sandwich shop on Youree Drive) for the avocado potato salad and then try to find a sandwich to go with it.  And yes: I said Avocado.  Potato.  Salad.  Swoon!  But I digress.

Crispy Skin Salmon with Fiery Asian Slaw (4 servings)
4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and Pepper
Cooking spray
1/4 cup of orange juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 (16 ounce) package cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle salmon fillets evenly with salt and pepper.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add salmon to pan, skin side down; cook 4 minutes.  Turn salmon over; cook 3 minutes.  Add orange juice to pan; cook 30 seconds or until liquid almost evaporates and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

While fish cooks, combine rice vinegar and next 5 ingredients (through honey) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add a pinch of salt, cilantro, and coleslaw; toss well to coat.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Polenta w/ Veggies and Tomato Sauce and a side of growth

Mmm...polenta.  Tasty, warm, and perfect for a chilly day.  It's a great alternative when you are burned out on pasta, but in the mood for a great tomato sauce, and a simple way to have dinner at home for your 2 year 6 month, monthiversary (say it with me, "Aww.")

If you haven't eaten polenta before, it has the consistency of firm grits, and is super easy to cook, just stock and polenta, and you are good to go.  While I like to be a making-it-from-scratch kind of gal, today, I went with prepared polenta because that's what I had on hand.

My fella and I switch out grocery shopping every week and this weekend was his turn.  He bought the prepared polenta, although I would've preferred to make it from scratch. I'm the first to admit I can be particular and down right anal about items from the grocery store, but I've learned a thing or two in 2 years and 6 months.  If I make a fuss about the type of polenta he bought, then he will feel bad, and eventually, I'll feel bad when I realize how incredibly stupid I'm being.  In addition, if I try to project my particular craziness onto him, that's not going to work and he'll eventually refuse to go to the store, because I'm being crazypants. Sometimes, you need to just tone down the diva.  I'd like to say it's a lesson I always remember, but hey, at least I remembered it this time!

The benefit of prepared polenta for this dish is that it makes life simpler.  If you make the polenta from scratch, you'd need to cook it, which take about 15 minutes, then refrigerate it, THEN slice it and sear in a pan. As my fellow blogger and HILARIOUS woman, Eimear commented in her post for pot pies about using prepared puff pastry vs from scratch, "Now tell me who in God's name has a) the time, or b) the inclination to do that?  Just buy it.  You're keeping someone in a job.  Good for you." So what I'm basically saying in a very round about way, is that my fella actually did me a solid by buying the prepared polenta, but I won't give him the satisfaction of saying so.

Polenta with Veggies and Tomato Sauce
Prepared polenta, one tube (Look for it in the refrigerator aisle)
1/2 tbsp and 1 tsp Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 yellow squash, chopped
1/2 cup of mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 cup tomato Sauce
1/4 cup red wine
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Peperoncini Peppers (optional)

Slice polenta 1/2 inch thick. Begin searing, 2-3 minutes per side in a hot non-stick pan with 1 tsp oil.  Keep warm in oven as you prepare the sauce. While polenta is cooking, heat rest of oil in a skillet.  Saute garlic for about 1 minute, then add onion.  Cook until translucent, 2-3 minutes, then add squash and mushrooms.  Cook until mushroom and squash begin to break down, and add oregano and salt and pepper to taste.  Add tomato sauce and red wine and simmer for 5 minutes to develop flavor, longer if you have the time.  To serve, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and have peppers on the side for added flavor.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Homemade Granola!

I love making things like granola.  There is something about making something from scratch that is readily available in the store that makes me feel fancy.  Especially with ingredients like "flax seed" and "agave syrup."  I know, right?  Who am I, Ina Garten?

Greek yogurt and granola make a great snack or a great breakfast and making a big batch of granola ensures time for breakfast when you are lazy to get out of bed, which for me, is most of the time.  It's not MY fault the bed is so comfy...stupid bed.

Making granola healthy can be tricky since syrups and sugars can abound, and this one is no different, but as long as you don't eat the whole batch at once, the healthy factor outweighs the sugar content. Overall, I think the granola was a little sweet for my taste, so next time I made it I'll make some adjustments.

Since it was the first time I made it, I stuck pretty close to the recipe but made some substitutions/omissions for things I didn't have on hand.  I found the recipe in my January/February 2011 issue of Food Network magazine and it can be found online.

I left out pumpkin seeds, because I didn't have any, and used dried cranberry instead of mango.  Overall, it was tasty and crunchy.  The recipe says it makes 4 servings, but I think I'll get 8-10 servings because I'm not a giant, so I won't be eating massive fistfuls of granola.

Shrimp with Chimichurri sauce

Shrimp are one of the easiest things to cook: quick to defrost, quick to cook, and can hold up to big flavors.  Grilling is one of my favorite ways to prepare food because it's healthy and more importantly, my boyfriend is the grillmaster so all I have to do is prep the food and relax with a beer.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

We fixed this last weekend but with all the craziness of work, I haven't had time to post it.  Stick with me, faithful readers, and I'll be more on point in the future.  Homecoming is now over so my life will resume a more normal pace, at least as normal as it can when you are a student life professional.

The whole reason I wanted to cook shimp was actually for the chimichurri.  I needed something to do with the mint that is taking over my flower bed, and possibly the greater Bossier area.  Chimichurri is an Argentian sauce, typically just herbs and oil, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand.  This bright condiment can also be used on other proteins.  For the shrimp, I made a seasoning blend with some of my favorite flavors.

Shrimp with Chimichurri Sauce
Shrimp                          1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp Garlic Powder    Chili Powder
Canola Oil                    Salt and Pepper to Taste
Wooden Skewers

Mix all ingredients in bowl.  Pat shrimp dry then stir into the seasoning.  Soak wooden skewers for 1-2 minutes to prevent a possible fire issue while grilling.  Put shrimp on skewers and grill for 2-3 minutes, per side, until firm.

Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 cup mint                   1/2 cup cilantro
1 tbsp Lemon Juice        One clove garlic
Olive Oil

Put first four ingredients in a chopper or food processor until smooth.  Add oil (start with 1/4 a cup) until a sauce forms.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Treat Yourself to French Toast

Well, hello there, internet.  How goes things? It's been a while.  Things got crazy with travel for work and planing homecoming, and then my iPhone camera decided to go kaput.

Fun fact: if your iPhone camera gets out of wack like mine did, the only apple recommended solution is to restore the phone to factory settings, thereby serving as a significant inconvenience and forcing you to email yourself 500 photos to yourself, 5 photos at a time.  Fun like a fox!

All complaints aside, I made this french toast forever ago and am happy to share it with you now.  French toast is beyond simple, and a useful recipe since it tastes best if you use old bread.  I had some delicious whole wheat sour dough from Whole Foods that fit the bill.  Also, since I'm not a sweet fanatic I like the balance of sourness that sour dough adds.

French Toast
Bread (white, wheat, whatever)      1/2 Cup of Milk      
Vanilla                                            1 Egg                      
Cinnamon                                       Butter

The basic ratio to remember is 1/2 cup of milk to 1 egg, per serving.  Add in a touch of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon and put all ingredients in a dish big enough to soak the bread. Soak the bread for a few minutes, too long and the bread could be soggy.  Heat a skillet with a little butter and cook the bread 3-4 minutes per side.  Serve with fresh strawberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

A breakfast like this could be over indulgent, but if you use low fat milk and don't go overboard with toppings or syrup, it can satiate a craving for sweets without cause a complete guilt spiral.