RECIPE: Overnight French Toast

This delicious baked french toast is what we had for breakfast this morning.  It is so yummy with it’s own syrup and it’s always a hit with the family!

Overnight French Toast

12-14 slices French bread – 1″ thick

8 eggs

2 c milk

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

Topping:

3/4 butter, softened

1 1/3 c brown sugar

3 T corn syrup

1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

1.  First you’ll need to slice the bread.  The slices need to be 1″ thick.  I try to be consistent so they all cook evenly.

2.  Layer the bread in a greased pan.  I needed 13 slices to fill this pan but it depends on the size of your bread.

3.  Crack all the eggs into a large mixing bowl.  Mix well.

4.  Add milk to eggs and mix.

4.  Add cinnamon to the mixture.  It calls for 2 tsp but I’m not much for measuring when it comes to cinnamon so I just dumped it in.

5.  Then add the vanilla.  Again not much for measuring this either but you certainly can.

6.  When you mix it well it will look like this.

7.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan.  Try to make sure that you pour a little over each slice so it is evenly coated.  Then cover it with foil and place it in the fridge overnight.

8.  In the morning when you are ready to bake, take the pan out of the fridge and let set for 20-30 minutes.  This is according to the recipe but honestly I’ve never done it and it turns out just fine.  While you are waiting though you’ll need to make the topping.

9.  Place your softened butter (1 1/2 sticks) in a mixing bowl.

 10.  Add the corn syrup to the butter.

11.  Then add the brown sugar.

12.  Mix the ingredients well.  The mixture will be VERY thick.

13.  Spread the thick mixture on top of the slices of bread.  Coat it evenly as this is your ‘syrup’.  Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

14.  When it is done it will look yummy and bubbly.  Let it sit for a few minutes for all the yumminess to get thickened and for it too cool some.

15.  Dish up and SERVE!  Enjoy!

I love this recipe and so does everyone who’s tasted it.  It is quick, easy, and delicious!

Pirate Birthday Party

I know, I know it’s taken me SO long to get this post written.  I am SORRY!  But I’m here to finish telling you about Avery’s pirate birthday party!  I had a really good time getting this all ready.  I enjoy these parties more and more each time I plan one!

The Invite:

I took some inspiration from several different invites I had seen online and designed my own.  I did a search for clipart online and came up with some a great compass!  I used Photoshop Elements to design this.  I used the Rapscillian font for ‘Captain Avery’ and I used HP PSG for the rest of the lettering.  The grandparents had quite a good time with this party invite.  We got mail addressed to Captain Avery!

The Decorations:

I took a black table cloth and covered the table.  I then took a red table cloth and some burlap and put it in the middle of the table for a ‘center piece’ of sorts.  I got red plates to stay with the pirate theme.

Of course we had this banner too.  If you missed my tutorial for it you can find it here.

The Games:

No good pirate party is complete without a treasure map!  We played ‘X Marks the Spot’!  I took a 12 x 12 piece of tan scrapbook paper and ripped the edges so it looked old.  I suppose you could burn the edges too but I took the safe route!

Then I made a red X and put each child’s name on it for them to place on the map.  I just free handed the X.  We blindfolded the kids and spun them around and let them ‘pin’ the X on the map.  Closest kid won!

We played a couple rounds of pirate bingo too.  Easy for the kindergarteners and fun too.  I found them on this site and printed them out.

We also did a ball and chain game where we tied a balloon to each child’s leg and they had to pop each other’s balloon.  This one was great but I got no pictures as they were all running around.  Also a word of caution my older son got a little carried away and stepped on and held his brother’s balloon so the string cut into his leg a little.  It was a crying fit at his own birthday party!  Not sure what the remedy would be for that.

 The Food:

For a snack I prepared blue jello and poured it into clear cups a little less than 1/2 full.  Once the jello was mostly set I shoved a couple colored Swedish gummy fish into the jello so it looked like they were swimming.  After trying them I would recommend putting them in at the last minute as the fish got kinda gross.  I think if you just cut a slit in the jello it would work just fine.

The cake turned out really well!  It was a litlte different than I envisioned.   My inspiration was this cake. I am not a fondant girl so I didn’t do the white dots on the bandana but it still worked.  I also thought he needed a little scruff since he is a pirate after all so I used some chocolate sprinkles to give him a little beard.

Along with the pirate cake we had some pirate cake pops.  I dipped them in white and then dipped the top in red to make the bandana but couldn’t for the life of me get the edible markers to work on them so they didn’t get a face.  I also did cupcakes with little pirate flags on them if you look on the left side of the picture.

I didn’t take a picture but we served ‘pirate fingers’ (pigs in a blanket) for the kids’ meal.  They were a big hit!  Easy to make and something different!

The Fun Stuff:

These were waiting for the kids when they arrived at the party!   Then my husband had a little tattoo parlor to give them each a pirate tattoo.  I found those at PartyCity as well as the eye patches and earrings.  I had a friend tell me to check the elastic on the eye patches before the party as she had once bought them and they didn’t fit the kids at all.  Luckily these were great!

Each kid had a compass by their plate that they got to take home with them.  Every pirate needs a compass!

The birthday boy had a pirate hat because he had it from his Halloween costume.  So many more things i could have done for this party but it was great just as it was and fun was had by all!

COPY CAT RECIPE: Cinnamon Muffin Melts

I think the tastefully simple people probably hate me.  I am always trying to save money but still have delicious food.  I absolutely LOVE these muffins.  They are heavenly, so I’m going to share my version with you!

CINNAMON MUFFIN MELTS

1 1/2 c Flour

1/2 c Sugar

1/4 c brown sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 c Milk

1 Egg

1/2 c Oil

COATING:

1 stick butter

2/3 c sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1.  Sift together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

2.  Combine egg, oil, and milk.

3.  Add dry ingredients to milk mixture.  Stir just to moisten.

4.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.  You don’t want liners on these because you will be rolling them in sugar and butter later.  Bake at 400 degrees (375 if you have a dark pan) for 13-15 minutes for full size muffins, 8-10 minutes formini muffins, until toothpick comes out clean.

 4.  Once the muffins are cooled melt the butter in a shallow dish.  Place sugar and cinnamon on a plate and mix.  Roll all sides of the muffin in the butter, let excess drip off.  Then roll in sugar mixture.  Enjoy!

2012 – The year of Organization!

This coming year is going to be my year to get myself organized.  I always make that resolution but this year I’m SERIOUS!  Yesterday I finished writing out ALL the birthday cards for this year.  I put them all in my filing system (more about that in another post) by month so that when that month comes I can put them in my daily filing system and mail them on time!  I’ve been told that I need help but I think it is just being smart!  I have to get my chaotic life under control.  I have big plans for our basement and my daycare area.  I can’t wait for it to all come together!

Here is my list of what I am going to get organized with this year…in hopes that I follow through!

– Paying Bills

– Balancing the checkbook

– Kids’ chores (working on a chore chart I will share with you soon)

– Sports scrapbooks for the kids

– Scrapbook for someone special (it’s a surprise so I can’t share yet)

– Photo books for the kids

– Ordering and uploading photos each month

Most of these things are on my list every year and I have gotten better but I am making a major commitment to getting organized this year.  As our kids get older it is only going to get harder to keep our chaotic lives in order so I might as well get in the habit now.  I’ll be sure to share any helpful tips along the way!

What is YOUR resolution?

Happy New Year