Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Filtering by Category: "Skillet"

French Toast

French toast is by far my favorite breakfast food! There were many Saturday & Sunday mornings where I would wake up and mom would have made us french toast. She always uses a pie dish to dip her bread in and now that's the only way I do it...I don't know why.  Whenever I started taking cooking more seriously, I took a job working at Nittany Lion Inn and at first I did a lot of early breakfast stuff. This is when I started experimenting with french toast recipes and not to toot my own horn, but I was told that my French Toast was the best  some customers have had (alright maybe I am tooting my own horn). The secret touch is adding in some kind of juice, in my case orange juice. Not only does it give it great flavor, but the sugar in the juice caramelizes and helps give the toast a nice golden crust. 

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Melted butter, to oil griddle
  • 8 slices of texas toast bread

In a baking dish (such as a pie dish) add the eggs and and whisk until lightly beaten. Add in the heavy cream and orange juice, whisk until incorporated. Add in cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract, whisk again until incorporated. 

Preheat the griddle on medium high heat, coat with melted butter. 

Dip bread into french toast mixture and coat on both sides. Let excess drip off and add to the hot griddle. Cook on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes. If you need to work in batches, transfer the cooked french toast to a baking sheet and place in the oven set to the lowest temperature. 

Serve with warm maple syrup and sprinkle with powder sugar. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This is a delicious cornbread recipe that will make for a great side dish. Pair with a rack of ribs like I did in my 72 Hour Sous Vide Ribs or with a hearty soup like chili. Whatever the occasion this simple and cheap cornbread recipe will be sure to impress. An easy twist on a classic Americana recipe. 


  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 cups of yellow cornmeal 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk, shaken
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded and divided 

Place 12" cast iron skill in oven and pre-heat the oven to 450°F

First, slice the top off the jalapeno and seed. Then slice 6 jalapeno rings to top the cornbread with, medium dice the rest of the jalapeno. Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together, then mix in with the dry ingredients. Gently fold in the jalapeno's and 1 cup of shredded cheddar, do not over mix. 

Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and carefully butter the pan (on the bottom and the sides). Pour the batter into the cast iron skillet, top with jalapeno rings and the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test (toothpick should come out dry when cornbread is poked). It should be brown on the top and pulling away from the sides of the skillet. 

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