Sunday, August 31, 2014

Recipe - Blueberry Oatmeal Streusel French Toast

So this mornings menu consisted of
Mango and cherries topped with Cherry Sorbet, 
Jelly Doughnut Muffins
Blueberry Oatmeal Streusel French Toast
drizzled with Warm Maple Rum Sauce
Honey Mustard Sausage links

The votes came in that everything was great especially the blueberry french toast and all three guests requested the recipe. So below find said recipe!

serves 8
12 1- inch thick slices french bread 
1 pint blueberries
8 large eggs
3 cups half and half
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
1 T. ground cinnamon

1. Coat a 9 X 12 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes and layer evenly in baking dish.
3. Sprinkle blueberries on top of bread cubes
4. Combine eggs, half and half, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and beat for 2 minutes on med. speed. Pour mixture over bread.

1 cup toasted pecans
1 stick softened butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 T. dark corn syrup
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1. Place pecans in single layer on cookie sheet and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
2. Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup and mix on medium high speed for about 2 min. until creamy.
3. Fold in pecans, oats, and nutmeg and mix just to combine.
4. Dollop topping on top of  bread. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning:
1. Bring the dish to room temperature while preheating oven to 375 degrees
2. Place dish in oven with rimmed baking sheet underneath to catch drippings (It will drip!)
3. Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes.
4. Remove foil and bake another 10 - 15 minutes until set.
5. Lower oven temperature to 275 degrees and leave for another 10-15 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 20 minutes until firm.
7. Drizzle with warm Maple Rum Sauce

Makes 2 cups
11/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup plus 3 T. spiced rum
3 tsp. cornstarch 

1. Combine the cream, sugar, maple syrup, and 1/3 cup rum in sauce pan and bring to a boil SLOWLY over low heat.
2. Dissolve corn starch in remaining 3 T of rum.
3. Whisk the cornstarch mixture, lower the heat, and cook for another 2 minutes, until thickened.
4. Remove from heat. Serve warm. Store in refrigerator for few days or freeze up to 3 weeks.

 Recipe adapted from The Art of Breakfast by Dana Moos

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cooper International Piano Competition

This clip is just a few seconds of music from the Cooper International Piano Competition which was held at Oberlin College during the week of July 19-25, 2014.

The music being played by this performer was, to my untrained ear, astonishing and superb and sounded completely flawless! She is just 13 years old but has the confidence and poise of a mature adult. She even placed flowers on the road to apologize to the composer Franz Liszt for the mistakes she made while playing his music! We just heard perfection in her playing!

This performer that I am speaking of is Miss Allison To who, with her mother Stephanie and teacher Ethan Dong, spent the 10 days of the competition with us here at Hallauer House. She advanced through to the 40 minute Concerto Round where she played Chopin, Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op.11, Allegro maestoso, Romanze-Larghetto, and Rhondo-Vivace. We were so thrilled for her performance but were sorry to  learn that she did not advance to the recital finals but, the good news, she says she will be back in two years for the next Cooper Competition!  

As I mentioned above, Allison is just 13 years old but she has performed at The Beverly Hills Hotel in California, the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in Utah, and concert stages in Tennessee and Ohio. She has performed a solo recital at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Yamaha Salon in New York.        From Oberlin she will return to her home and then make a journey to Germany for another piano competition. The New York Concert Review described Allison as "one of the most refined and artistic players for her age and perhaps any age."

It was also a great pleasure to meet Allison's teacher, Ethan Dong who is a concert pianist in his own right and who is more than willing to share his talent with the next generation. And Stephanie, Allison's mom, is raising a remarkable daughter. Her daughter is a talented competitor but still centered and grounded as a normal teenager.

The International Cooper Competition at Oberlin College will bring in talented violinists next year and then in 2016 we hope to welcome back our Allison To. Good luck in Germany and all the other competitions between now and summer of 2016. And remember, we'll keep the lights on for you! You rock!  Stay in touch! See you soon!!!!