Twisted Tuesday:Bacon and Brown Sugar French-Toast Pinwheels with Blueberry Maple Jam

This Twisted Tuesday idea totally came out of left field tonight… it was a couple  of “how abouts” that turned into a pretty delicious recipe…

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I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to make it to my beloved Wegmans for ingredients today, so I was rummaging around in the fridge this morning to see what I could come up with for Twisted Tuesday.. I found a container of blueberries that I really had to use up soon.  The first thing that came to mind was a blueberry type of French toast…

I am a sucker for French toast. But when I think of French toast, I think of bacon. I’m also a sucker for bacon. Ask my kids, they’ll tell you that I cook with bacon all the time. Maybe I do. But I don’t think I do. Well….maybe I do. Okay…. I do.

So I started thinking about what I could make with blueberries and bacon that has to do with French toast… It just popped into my head… How about bacon and brown sugar French toast pinwheels with blueberry maple jam? I don’t know…is that a twist?  Maybe it’s a twist.. I think it is a twist.  Ok, yeah…it’s a twist.

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But this is what I had in the fridge…
So I had to go with it…
And.. I’m glad I did..

I wasn’t too sure about the maple syrup and blueberries, worried that they might not be a very good match. I was wrong. Like, really wrong. These two little beauties were made for each other!

As the pinwheels cooked, I was pleasantly surprised to find that as the brown sugar melted, it created a beautiful toffee-like crust on both sides. And then, right at the very end, one more thought popped into my head… How about I glaze the heck out of them, and then top them off with crumbled bacon?

Oh man…. Yeah. Crazy delicious.

Life is good. It is truly crazy delicious good…

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Bacon and Brown Sugar French-Toast Pinwheels with Blueberry Maple Jam
Makes 12 pinwheels

A quick note:
I wanted to use just an ordinary loaf of bread for this recipe, because I thought that a heavier loaf would be hard to roll. What I found was that once slice alone wasn’t enough to make the pinwheels large enough in diameter. So I overlapped four slices of bread, spread them with the brown sugar mixture, topped it with bacon and rolled them up.

The bread flattens out a bit after rolling them up, but it puffs right back up as soon as they hit the egg mixture.

The Brown Sugar Filling:
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp maple syrup

In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, walnuts, salt, melted butter, and maple syrup. Set aside.

The Blueberry Maple Jam:
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter

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In a medium sauce pan, combine the blueberries and maple syrup. Simmer on medium heat until thickened (about 1/2 hour). Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla and butter.

The Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp heavy cream (or more, until it reaches desired consistency)

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and heavy cream until smooth and glaze consistency.

The French Toast:
8 slices white bread, crusts removed
10 slices of bacon, fried crisp
2 slices of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

3 tbsp butter

2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place four slices of bread on work surface, overlapping each slice a little bit. Push down on the seams, so that it creates one large slice of bread. Spread one half of the brown sugar filling over the large slice of bread, top with five slices of cooked bacon.

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Starting at the bottom of the bread, carefully roll into a log, pressing the bread back together if it tears while rolling. Repeat with the other four slices of bread, the remaining brown sugar filling and five slices of bacon. Slice each log into six pinwheels.

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Whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a bowl. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a small frying pan. Dip the pinwheels into the egg mixture. Fry in the melted butter over medium/low heat until golden brown, and a toffee crust has formed on each side of the pinwheel. Flip each pinwheel on their side and rotate until all of the sides are golden brown.

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Top with glaze, and serve with Blueberry Maple Jam.

Enjoy!

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Twisted Tuesday: Fruit Sushi

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I know I’ve mentioned before that I tend to get on different kicks at different times. And…I know that I’ve mentioned my tunnel vision on that certain food until I’ve had my fill. It could last a day…it could last weeks…months… and of course, if it’s a yellow cupcake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, then it can and will last for years…

But this isn’t about cupcakes today..
It should be (because you know I love them), but it isn’t.
It’s about sushi.
Fruit Sushi to be exact…

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I’ve been on a sushi kick lately; and in my tunnel vision, I’d eat it every day for lunch if I could! I actually had it for lunch today..

Speaking of my lunch, here is a quick story…

So my boss and I went out for lunch today. We are fairly new working with each other (just under a year), so, naturally I want to put my best foot forward at all times.. or at least show a little class once in a while…

He’s kind of on a sushi kick too, so when he sent me a meeting notice to go to lunch for sushi, I immediately accepted! Well, we went to Fuji Grill, and on the menu are these lunch boxes that include some California rolls, a couple of dumplings, a small salad, and your choice in entrée. Jerry chose the teriyaki salmon. I chose the chicken tempura. When I ordered it, the waitress asked “You do know they’re fried, right?” I answered: “That’s fine”. Red Flag Number One: Went totally over my head.

So we’re sitting there talking, and all of a sudden I see the waitress walking across the restaurant carrying a box filled with huge (and I mean huge!!!), claw-like THINGS that were topped off with this massive fried ring of SOMETHING. I thought to myself at the time: “Wow, whoever ordered that must be starving”…

And then she started walking toward our table. Red Flag Number Two: Suspicious Activity Heading Your Way. “Please don’t let it be mine…please don’t let it be mine…” I kept thinking as she was getting closer… and then she stopped in front of our table. Yep. It was mine. Red Flag Number Three: Target Hit.

And as she stood in front of us, in one hand holding a box with the perfect lunch size piece of salmon for Jerry, and in her other hand, a box with that mammoth STUFF for me… Jerry just burst out laughing. Of course he did, as I struggled to maintain any ounce of dignity that hadn’t already drained from my body… What else could I do, but dig in? Have you ever tried to eat a whole chicken with chopsticks? It isn’t pretty. By the time I finished eating, there were tempura crumbs all over the table. Probably all over my sweater, and I’m quite sure on my face.. Absolutely no class at all..

Reality is..it was delicious! Great food, wonderful company, and some serious laughs. Eh, I never really had a best foot to put forward anyway…

Ok, back to the fruit sushi..

My friend Steve came up with the genius idea of making fruit sushi for Twisted Tuesday… LOVE it!! We brainstormed a little bit, trying to figure out what could take the place of rice, what could take the place of nori, the soy sauce, and wasabi. He came up with the brilliant idea of using fruit roll-ups for the nori, and we kind of thought that because this was going to be more of a sweet dessert type of deal, Rice Krispie treats would be a great substitute for the rice, not to mention a great texture feature.

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In place of the wasabi, I made a strawberry crema with peach schnapps.
Orange juice reduced with peach schnapps and sugar worked perfectly in place of the soy sauce.

I do admit I was a little worried about how they would turn out. Would the rice krispie treats be pliable enough to roll, and would it stay rolled? That worry continued on to taste. How would they taste? Would they be mushy? We were pleasantly surprised! I was able to roll them up, slice them, and they stayed in a roll, just like regular sushi should.

Honestly? I’m pleased with the way they turned out. I think they taste really good, and I think they’re very, VERY cute. This is a fun dessert, and the variations could be endless! It would be perfect for a kid’s party, a summer party, or any kind of party for that matter!

Tempura crumbs and fruit sushi? Life just doesn’t get any better…

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Fruit Sushi
Makes about 18 individual sushi rolls, from 3 sushi logs

Just a quick note:  In case you’re wondering when you get to the pictures below… I could only find tattoo fruit roll ups.  I’m sure that they make them plain, but they were nowhere to be found the day I was out shopping!  I think they’re Spiderman!

You will need:
A variety of fresh fruit such as: Strawberries, Melon, Blackberries, Blueberries, Pineapple, Apples, Pears
Fruit Roll-ups
Rice Krispie Treats
Heavy Cream
Peach Schnapps
Sugar
Orange Juice

The Fruit
Thinly slice your choice in fruit into matchstick size pieces. You’ll want to leave the blueberries and blackberries whole, for the middle and topper of the sushi. Set aside.

The Rice Krispie Treats
I just used the recipe from Kellogg’s website (cut in half)

1 1/2 tbsp butter
2 cups mini marshmallows
3 cups Rice Krispies cereal

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat, and add the Rice Krispies. Stir until well blended.

Assembling the Sushi:

On a piece of waxed paper, shape about 1/2 cup of Rice Krispie treats into a square about 1/2 inch larger than the fruit roll-up. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. Add more Rice Krispie treats if necessary.

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Lay a fruit roll-up on top of the square of Rice Krisipies. Line a row of blackberries down the center of the fruit roll-up. Top with matchstick fruits.

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Using the wax paper, roll the sushi up until the Rice Krispies meet, squeezing tightly so that the sides adhere to each other.

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With a sharp knife, carefully slice the ends off of the sushi log. Slice the sushi log into six individual rolls.

Garnish with blueberries. Serve with strawberry creme, and orange juice reduction.

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The Strawberry Crema
1 cup heavy cream
6 whole strawberries
2 tbsp peach schnapps

In food processor, add the heavy cream, strawberries, and schnapps. Blend on high until thickened. Serve on the side with the sushi.

The Orange Juice Reduction
1 cup orange juice
3 tbsp peach schnapps
2 tsp sugar

Pour the orange juice, schnapps and sugar into a small saucepan, and simmer over low heat until reduced by half. Serve on the side with the sushi.

Enjoy!

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