Monday, January 23, 2012

Blueberry Baked French Toast

You know how Pinterest is... you see all these beautifully taken pictures of things that you want to eat or make and you repin them thinking you'll make them soon... but then you don't. All of those food pictures sit there for you to drool over and dream about how amazing your sure it tastes. I am determined to make more of what I pin. Whether it's meals, desserts, snacks, crafts, ways to organize, etc. I will do something!
So on the subject of pinterest and drool... I found this yummy looking French Toast. I love breakfast food. Even more I love breakfast foods that are sweet and have some type of tasty syrup or icing.
So this recipe comes from Chef-In-Training. I haven't had a chance to really look at her site but seriously the pics on the side look tempting and delicious! Bookmarked! The original recipe does call for it to be prepared and refrigerated and cooked overnight. I would have known and done this if there wasn't a cell tower down and internet down in my area Saturday night! So come Sunday morning we had to compromise and hope it worked when it was prepared and placed in the oven immediately. Oh my, it is good!

This is a perfect Sunday brunch meal. It is quick to prepare just remember the cook time! My hubby and both boys loved it. Iden especially loved the blueberries :]. If you're thinking about skipping the sauce and using your own store bought syrup... please don't! It is delicious and compliments it well!

Blueberry Baked French Toast
Adapted from: Chef-In-Training

French Toast:
1 loaf of French Bread cut into cubes
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese cut into cubes
1 cup frozen blueberries
12 large eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 TBSP butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice up your French Bread and arrange half of it in a greased 9 x 13 pan

2. Cut up your cream cheese. Sprinkle cream cheese and blueberries over the bread in the pan.

3. Top with remaining bread cubes.

4. In a large bowl; Mix together eggs, milk, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon & nutmeg.

5. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes (or until tops look golden). Top with syrup and enjoy!

Sauce: In a saucepan, cook water, sugar and cornstarch until thickened. Add blueberries and butter, allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Pour over French Toast and Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cheesy Egg Puffs

One way that I am trying to be a better mother and wife is in the kitchen. I tend to cook the same few things every week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My kids are not picky eaters, I love that about them! My kids will try anything I place in front of them... so why am I making boxed mac and cheese again? Because it's easy... because I know I can make it... because I get scared when I see a new recipe!

This needs to change. I need to change. For myself and my kids. I want variety. I want healthy. I want to make my family feel love and joy in the meals that I make. So... here come some recipes! In advance, I'm not a great photographer and most photo's are taken with my phone.

Cheesy Egg Puffs
Makes 4 servings
Adapted from Deceptively Delicious

2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
2 TBS Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
3/4 C cauliflower puree
1/4 C shredded Cheddar Cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 4 ramekins or coffee cups with cooking spray and set on a baking sheet. (I prefer using ramekins... probably because I love my orange ones so much!)

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites, cauliflower puree, cheese, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture evenly into 4 ramekins. Top with extra cheese (my family loves cheese).

3. Bake for 20 minutes or until the eggs are puffed up. 

These are so light and yummy. I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old and both of them loved this! They will be really hot so allow to cool for a bit. I took the egg out of the ramekins for my boys and sliced them up to help them cool faster. Let me know if you try this and what you think!
My oldest son, Iden, goes to an awesome pre-school. He began going here because he had/has a speech delay. I love the teachers so much. I love the things that he learns. I love the small classroom size. I love the 3-4 hours I get at home of not needing to tell Iden where the bad guys are and that he needs to fight them. A very cool thing about his school is that they have special event nights every month or so. We hadn't gone to many the past few years but I'm glad we went last night! We had a blast!

Iden's teachers won a grant that gave each child in their Phonological program a FREE pair of TOMS! I was really excited about that. The kids even got to pick out what color they wanted. Iden chose Red. So, last night they had a 'ONE FOR ONE' night. They provided dinner: Pizza from Little Ceasars and salad, showed the TOMS documentary, the kids sang some songs, they read stories and did some fun crafts! It was a great way to end our week!

Iden decorated his TOMS with googly eyes, buttons, glue, fabric markers.

Super cool idea... but I'm glad he did this to shoes we didn't pay for LOL

We made a guitar out of rubber bands and a shoe box.
Gage LOVED it!!
Seriously, go do this to entertain your baby!
Oh, by the way I got a haircut. Hi bangs!

Another shot of Iden decorating his shoes :]

Making a sock puppet.
He got upset with us when we tried telling him how to do it.
So it's not your traditional sock puppet.

So proud of his creation!

I love that we are able to soak up memories like this. I want to be more craftsy with the boys at home. Finger painting, creating things... I want them to remember these things about their childhood. I need to make more time for them. I was convicted the other day with the thought that too often during the day when Iden asks to do something with me... play candyland, build legos, watch a movie, play super heros... my response is, "Not now honey, Mama needs to clean the house/Mama is too tired/ you need to clean your mess." Who have I become?! This is not the mama that I wanted to be. Then I think about how I would feel with that response from anyone... from my husband, my kids, a friend, from my God.

I need to make time for these precious moments.

The dishes can wait.
The laundry can be folded and put away later.
The mess on the table can wait.
Their mess can wait.
Facebook can wait.
Email can wait.
Blogging can wait.
Pinterest can wait.
My favorite show can wait.

But my children can't. They need the love. The attention. The joy. The laughter. They need these moments as much as I do.
Excuse me while I go play superheroes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Yesterday was a hard day. I feel like I was in a bit of a funk because I knew what was going to happen. We had set the appointment to send our old mutt to "Doggy Heaven". A few months ago we started to really see old age and sickness set in. I took him to the vet after a few doggy accidents, days of not eating and another eye infection. They did some blood work at that time and said that he was in the middle stages of kidney failure. We were told it could progress quickly and he could be with us anywhere from a few days, to a few weeks to a few months. Part of me tried to prepare myself for that... but I kind of jokingly said to myself that he'll stay around for a few more years just to spite my husband.
At that time my son Iden asked some questions about what the "doggy doctor" was doing to Fred, if he was ok, etc. In alot of areas I want to be honest with my son, teach him lessons and not sugar coat the truth (In alot of areas, not all areas. We do try to protect him from alot!). So I did explain that the body parts inside Fred weren't working the way they are supposed to. He might be with us for a little while and all we can do is love on Fred and pray for him. He took that pretty well and became Fred's personal prayer warrior. We prayed for that dog at every meal and at bedtime.
The weeks went by and Fred had his good days and his bad ones. It was turning into more bad days then good. He would often go some days without eating. He was slimming down quick. Then it turned into accidents. Everywhere. Chasing two kids and cleaning up doggy accidents while pregnant is frustrating! Then he had accidents in his bed while sleeping. I knew then that I needed to call and make an appointment but I kept thinking about his good days and hoping that he'd do better. Then I noticed that he was having a hard time getting comfortable when he was trying to lay down, having a hard time getting up, having a hard time moving around in general. Fred also started having tremors in his legs. Lastly, he had accidents while he was eating his food. I knew that it was time.
I didn't tell Iden that Fred needed to go to some farm where he could run and play and get healthy. I told him that we were taking Fred to the vet and that she was going to give Fred something that would make him fall asleep and then wake up in "Doggy Heaven".
I said, "Iden, who do you think is the first person that we will see when we get to heaven?"
Iden: "We will see Jesus!"
Me: "Yes, so who will Fred see first?"
Iden: "He's going to see Jesus first."
Me: "Yes, and now Fred will belong to God and Jesus. They will give him a new doggy body and he won't hurt anymore. He won't have yuckies in his eyes anymore either."
Iden: "I think he'll get doggy wings because he's been a good dog. He's gonna be with us all the time now mom, watching over us."

I like to think that I'll see my dog in heaven one day. I had him for almost 16 years. I remember the fuzzball that he was as a little puppy. In a way he was alot like that dog in the movie "Marley & Me". He would try to run out of the house any chance he could. He would howl and bark. He did not get along with other dogs... he was a smaller dog but thought that he could take on a lab. He would go running with me in high school but it was more like flying a kite because he would be everywhere. He was there for me thru the breakups of bad boyfriends and hard times. He was mad when I brought home my first baby. He did not like Iden at first and did not like the tight hugs Iden would give him... he quickly had to get over that. He moved with us 3 times. He made our neighbors hate us because of his whining and howling. He ended his days getting pet and loved on by both Iden and Gage.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rise Up!

It is already 7:00 in the morning when I begin writting this and I am feeling really great this morning. I began the Hello Mornings Challange today and so far I am off to a great start. So far I have made breakfast for myself and my husband, made him a lunch, got a 2 loads of laundry done or going, and I did my morning bible study. The Challange comes from Inspired to Action and it is to motivate women to do wake up early to do three things: Study God's word, Exercise, Plan. God has been pulling at my heart for so long that I need to be a morning person. This is for me. I can't do this alone but with HIM.
I have never been a morning person but oh how I long to be. I have never been great at being consistent with studying God's word but I want to. I want to exercise. I want to plan my day, my children's days, our meals.

I want to be intentional.

That is what it comes down to. I want to be more and do more. Not for myself. I want to be more and do more for my God because that is what He has called me to do.
I want to be a better wife.
I want to be a better Christian woman.
I want to be a better mother.
I want to be in better shape (after baby of course).
I want to be healthy.
I want my children to be healthy.
I want to have purpose and fulfillment in my days.

It is the new year and many people have made resolutions (I'm sure many have already ended their resolutions). I did not make any. Partially because there are so many things that I want to change daily or monthly. I have goals that I have not written down but need to. Yesterday in church our pastor said something that has stayed on my heart:
"Setting a goal to make a name for ourselves does not impress God."

I want to look at my goals and determine if it is truly just for me or is it ultimately for the glory of God. I want to impress God. I want to do something more with myself even though in this season of my life I am only a stay at home mother and wife. God change me, use me!

I'm looking forward to the changes that will be coming.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yummy Tummy Smoothie

My game plan this morning was to make some yummy and healthy muffins. I didn't read the recipe last night and I didn't wake up early enough this morning to get it started. The oats for the muffins needed to soak in milk for 1 hour. The boys were already up and hungry! Think fast mom! I am trying hard to add more healthy choices into our meals throughout the day and also more variety (there is only so much oatmeal and cereal a woman and two boys can take). So I looked at Iden and said, "smootie?" His eyes lit up and he shouted while jumping in the air with his fist up "YEAH!". Man I love his enthusiasm!

I tried looking on pinterest for a smoothie recipe and couldn't find anything I liked or anything that I had everything on hand of. I looked on my favorite cooking/baking sites and the same thing. So we created our own and Iden gave it the name: "Yummy Tummy Smoothie!"... because it is yummy in his tummy DUH!

Yummy Tummy Smoothie
Makes enough for a hungry preggo mama, a 5 year old and a little for a 1 year old.

1 cup milk
2 TBS yogurt (we used Strawberry yogurt)
1 TBS honey
2 TBS protein powder (vanilla flavored) (optional)
1 banana
1/2 apple
1 cup strawberries
2 handfuls of spinach
1 cup ice

Blend it up and enjoy! Both of my little men enjoyed it so much I had to give them some of my portion.

What are your favorite types of smoothies? I'm thinking about making more to give me and these little men more fruits and veggies!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Right Now...

There are toys covering the living room.
A high chair that needs to be cleaned.
Dishes that need to be taken out of the dishwasher.
Dishes that need to be put in the dishwasher.
Little shoes that need to be put away.

There are hiccups going on inside me.
Two sweet boys sleeping.
An old pup curled by my feet.
Books and blogs to read on my kindle.

Today I laughed with Iden over his silly joke that he remembered:
"Mom, why do chickens sit on their eggs?"
"I don't know Iden, why?"
"Because they don't have chairs!!"
I can still picture him laughing. His eyes get squinty and he tilts his head back.
Gage was sitting in the highchair trying to imitate Iden by making a silly face.
I am so in love with my children.

Today I didn't just carry Gage as we took Iden to class.
I let him walk. He grasped a few of my fingers in his tiny hand.
He held on to me so tight.
And he looked around. Curious as can be.
He watched for big brother.
He watched the little girl putting her stuffed puppy down the slide.
He watched the little boys chasing each other.
He was cautious.
He looked up at me and I smiled down at him.
He smiled back then took off toward the playset.
Iden was there with open arms to guide him and protect him.
I am so in love with my children.

At the end of today I was and am feeling like a failure. I yelled at Iden. My house is not as clean as I want it to be. Dinner did not come out the way I wanted it to. I'm up later than I want to be.

Before I laid Iden down to sleep I said, "Iden, I love you. Even tho I get mad and yell, I love you. There isn't anything that you could ever do that will ever make me stop loving you. Sometimes we have bad days, but we start over in the morning. I love you."
I could tell by looking in his eyes that he heard me. That he believes me. "I love you too mom". Music to my heart. God is so much greater than our bad days, our crummy days, our emotional/hormonal days. God, help me to put this day behind me and start fresh in the morning. Help me to be a better mommy and wife daily.