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French toast, fettuccine with chicken and decadent cheesecake in Milk Calendar

11/11/2013 06:00 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
Here are three recipes from the 2014 Milk Calendar.

Baked Nutty Berry French Toast

This recipe was created by Catherine Agar of Kouwenberg Dairy Inc. in Salford, Ont., who says she makes it when hosting visitors for breakfast. Assemble it the night before and bake in the morning. Serve warm with maple syrup.

This is a recipe that even kids can prepare (with supervision for younger ones). Cracking eggs, measuring, whisking, pouring and sprinkling are all easy techniques.

Buy a loaf of dense, bakery-style bread and cut thick slices. If the loaf is freshly baked, let them dry at room temperature for a couple of hours before assembling the dish. Better yet, use bread that is a day or two old (but not stale or spoiled).

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Refrigerating time: 6 to 12 hours

Baking time: 35 to 40 minutes

6 thick slices bread (about 2 cm/3/4 inch), preferably whole wheat

4 eggs

175 ml (3/4 cup) packed brown sugar, divided

1 ml (1/4 tsp) each ground nutmeg and cinnamon

500 ml (2 cups) milk

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

250 ml (1 cup) chopped pecans

50 ml (1/4 cup) butter, melted

1 l (4 cups) mixed berries (thawed and drained if frozen)

Butter a 3-l (13-by-9-inch) glass baking dish. Arrange bread in a single layer in dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon until blended; whisk in milk and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).

In a small bowl, combine remaining 50 ml (1/4 cup) sugar, pecans and melted butter. Spread berries evenly over bread mixture; sprinkle with pecan mixture.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until bread is puffed in the centre and fruit is bubbling.

Makes 8 servings.

Variation: In the topping, replace the brown sugar with 50 ml (1/4 cup) granulated maple sugar. Use different soft fruit as it comes into season; try cherries, peaches, apricots and nectarines along with berries or instead of them.

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Fettuccine Alfredo With Chicken and Vegetables

Recipe creator Henry Stam of Rehoboth Farms in Grunthal, Man., says his family adds steamed broccoli or sliced sweet red and green peppers to this dish for a touch of colour if they're on hand.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 375 g/12 oz), cut into thin strips

30 ml (2 tbsp) butter, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

15 ml (1 tbsp) dried Italian seasoning

300 g (10 oz) fettuccine pasta noodles

1 small onion, diced

4 to 5 small mushrooms, sliced

30 ml (2 tbsp) all-purpose flour

2 ml (1/2 tsp) pepper

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

500 ml (2 cups) milk

125 ml (1/2 cup) 10 per cent cream

250 ml (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese

75 ml (1/3 cup) grated Parmesan cheese

2 tomatoes, diced

125 ml (1/2 cup) sour cream

In a large skillet, melt 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the butter over medium-high heat; saute chicken, garlic and Italian seasoning for about 8 minutes or until chicken is browned and no longer pink inside. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta for about 10 minutes or until al dente, or according to package directions.

Return skillet to medium-high heat; add remaining butter. Saute onion and mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Sprinkle with flour; stir in pepper and salt and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in milk and cream; cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until creamy, smooth and thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheeses.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour in sauce, reserved chicken, tomatoes and sour cream and toss to coat.

Makes 4 servings.

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Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Professional home economist Jennifer MacKenzie developed the recipe for these decadent fudgy treats, found in the baking section of the calendar.

"These are really wonderful and I happen to know that they're really delicious even straight from the freezer," she says.

Extra brownies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up 3 days, or wrapped in plastic, then frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking/Baking time: 40 minutes

Cheesecake

250 g (8 oz) brick-style cream cheese, softened

125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar

30 ml (2 tbsp) all-purpose flour

1 egg

30 ml (2 tbsp) grated orange zest (2 to 3 oranges)

75 ml (1/3 cup) orange juice

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

Brownie Batter

250 ml (1 cup) milk

175 ml (3/4 cup) butter, cut into cubes

400 ml (1 2/3 cups) granulated sugar

250 ml (1 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder

2 eggs

50 ml (1/4 cup) orange juice

10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract

425 ml (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Line a 3-l (13-by-9-inch) metal baking pan with foil, leaving a 5-cm (2-inch) overhang at each end; lightly butter foil. (This makes for easy cutting and neat, tidy brownies.)

Cheesecake: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in flour until blended, then beat in egg, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla. Set aside.

Brownie Batter: In a large saucepan, combine milk and butter; heat over medium heat, stirring often, for about 3 minutes until milk is warm and butter is melted. Alternatively, heat in a glass measuring cup in a microwave on medium (50 per cent) power for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cocoa powder; gradually whisk in warm milk mixture until blended. Whisk in eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Sprinkle flour and salt over top; whisk until blended.

Spread about two-thirds of brownie batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Pour cheesecake batter evenly over top. Drop remaining brownie batter in dollops over top and swirl with the tip of a knife.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until edges are set and a few moist crumbs cling to a tester inserted in centre. Let cool completely in pan on a rack. Using foil overhang as handles, transfer to cutting board and cut into squares.

Makes 24 brownies.

Variation: For Malted Milk Cheesecake Swirl Brownies, omit orange zest and juice in cheesecake and brownie batters. Increase milk in brownie batter to 300 ml (1 1/4 cups); add 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk and 125 ml (1/2 cup) malted milk powder (Ovaltine) to cream cheese mixture.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada, MilkCalendar.ca

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