Caramel Challah French Toast


Materials (makes breakfast for one):

skillet, stove top, spatula, light olive oil (or butter)

two eggs, 2 tbs milk, cinnamon, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Thick sliced challah, caramel sauce


Set the stove to medium heat, greece the skillet with a small amount of oil or butter (light olive oil is healthy and gives a nice flavor). Allow to heat while preparing other ingredients.

Beat two eggs in a medium sized bowl. If designed, thin with up to one table spoon of milk per egg. Add a maximum of 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and sprinkle cinnamon to taste.

Soak one thick slice of challah in the egg mixture for at least 30 seconds. Using your non-dominant hand, pick up a corner of the bread. Using your dominant hand and a fork, scrape off any egg that is clinging to the bread (but not absorbed into it). Quickly plop the bread into the hot skillet. Continue adding slices until all of the egg mixture is used. The amount of slices you need depends on their size, how porous the bread is, and how much egg mixture you have.

Cook all slices thoroughly. You can check if they are done by cutting into the bread with your spatula. The inside should not be slimy.

Transfer cooked french toast to a clean plate, top with caramel sauce (or maple syrup, or powdered sugar) to taste. Enjoy!

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Plum Pudding

I like food, and I like chemistry… but the idea that atoms are structured like plum pudding has always seem hilariously wrong to me.
Every time I study the model in class (any class!) I start to giggle. Looking at the data and the theory behind it doesn’t help much.
Sorry J.J.

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Quick Note on Baking Cookies

At the request of a friend, I’m posting with a quick note about what to do when it comes time to take your cookie dough out of the mixing bowl and put it in the over. A few things to remember:

1) You do not need to grease nonstick baking sheets if the cookie dough contains a lot of butter/fat.

2) When you spoon cookie dough onto the baking sheet each “cookie” should be the same size. Thermal energy is transferred at a constant rate per unit area, so if you want the cookies all be done at the same time you need to make sure they have (roughly) the same area.

3) You get nicer/rounder cookies if you lightly roll each spoonful of dough into a ball. Do this the same way you roll matzo balls, with the palms of your hands and light pressure.

4) Dough expands when it bakes! Leave space between each cookie, and leave more space between larger cookies. When in doubt, leave more space than you think you will need. I usually leave about an inch

5) Most ovens do not transfer heat evenly through the interior. Look inside your oven – does it have a heat element on both the top and the bottom? If one rack is closer to the heat element than the other is you will need to either rotate the baking sheets or adjust the cooking time. If I don’t know a lot about an oven I will check on each sheet every few minutes.

6) Unless you really like broken cookies and burnt fingers allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before transferring them to a plate or storage device.

7) Enjoy your cookies with relish and zeal.

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On the Merits of Soup

I have a Physics midterm tomorrow morning, so some would say that this is not the idea time to be cooking. I couldn’t agree less. Now is when I need to be cooking, I need a little soup for my soul. With that in mind… it’s one hour matzo ball soup time.

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Introduction: This recepie uses a microwave as a part of the preparation process. Microwaves heat food using low frequency electromagnetic radiation. The body of the microwave is a Faraday cage (that’s science speak for an enclosed metal cage) which prevents the microwaves from leaking out into the room. This is the same principle which makes solid bodied cars (not convertibles) very safe places during thunderstorms. If lightening hits your car the electric charge will be guided around the surface area of the car and to the ground and you will be perfectly safe.
Microwaves cook food by transferring kinetic energy from the microwave to the food through the processes of ionic conduction and dipole polarization. Temperature is a measure of average kinetic energy, so this warms the food and cooks it. You can read more about this here (, but basically the charged particles attempt to align themselves with the moving electric field from the microwave. You may have noticed that some foods heat faster than others, this is a result of concentration of ions and polar molecules as well as the ability of individual molecules to align to the electric field.

Materials (makes 15 cookies):
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon salt (quick shake)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 325 F.
Unwrap the butter and place in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high in short intervals until the butter is softened. Try to avoid liquidating the butter. When the butter is soft, blend by hand with the sugar until as paste is formed, then beat in the egg.
Add the salt, vanilla, and baking soda, and chocolate chips. Blend until smooth.
Add the flour and blend in as few strokes as possible to avoid developing gluten. Remember that gluten builds more easily in whole wheat than in white flour.
Spoon mixture onto ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 325 F. Cookies should be brown at edges.

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Slow Cooking

Someone gave me a slow cooker as a housewarming gift! I’ve never actually used one, but I think it might be good for soups. Some soups (especially those with barley) need to simmer for a very long time. I usually deal with this by using pre-made broths, but there is something really really nice about making a soup 100% from scratch. Well, as “from scratch” as you can get without growing any of the ingredients.

Sometimes I have trouble believing that a device which won’t even cause water to boil can cook food and make it safe to eat. This is a little bit silly of me. I know that most organisms can survive in only a very narrow range of temperatures, and the kind of bacteria which grow on meat are probably equipped to deal with standard body temperatures (36 C or 98.6 F). Slow cookers get well above this temperature, and they stay at high temperatures for hours (that’s the slow part). According to the USDA, meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 F, so meat can be cooked safely in a slow cooker (that’s the generic name for a crock pot) even on “low.”

But man, it sure doesn’t feel that way.

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One Hour Matzo Ball Soup

If you need a little comfort food but don’t have the time to make a broth from scratch, this recipe may be for you.


2 Qt Chicken Stock (some will evaporate)

1 Small Onion (more if desired)

1 Chicken Breast (packaged)

Pre-peeled, Pre-washed Baby Carrots (1/2 cup chopped)

2 Eggs

2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Packet Matzo Ball Mix (Manischewitz)

Dried Parsley

Large Pot with Lid, Ladle/Spoon


Begin by pouring the chicken stock into the large pot and bringing to a low boil.



While stock is heating, slice one chicken breast into small, bite sized pieces. Add chicken pieces to the boiling stock, then cover.



While chicken is cooking, prepair matzo mix.Following the directions on the box, beat two

eggs in a small bowl, then add one packet of matzo meal. Add extra virgin olive oil (about 2tbsp, depending on the size of your eggs). The mixture should be thick, with just enough liquid to wet all of the matzo meal. Put mazo meal into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.


While matzo mix is setting, chop one small onion and add to soup.



Chop the pre-peled, pre-washed baby carrots, add to soup. Shake dried parsley into soup.



Remove matzo mix from refrigerator, and carefully roll between your palms to shape into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Balls which are too loose will fall apart, however, balls which are packed too tightly will be dense and heavy in the soup. This is why it is smart to roll the balls with your palms instead of forming them with your fingers.


Transfer the uncooked matzo balls to the soup carefully with a ladle. The mazo balls must remain in the simmering soup for 20 minutes to cook thoroughly. During this time, they will double or triple in size.

When the matzo balls are cooked, remove soup from heat, and enjoy! Cover soup to retain heat.

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