Art: The Children Were Nestled by Pat White I remember as a girl when my dad went out of town for work related conferences my mom would let us sleep with her in her room. We wished we could have slumber parties all the time. […]
If you are still not sure what to gift this upcoming holiday season take a look at all the things you can make from recycling items you may already have at home. CraftGossip.com and CraftBits.com is home to some really great quick last minutes gift […]
Photo: courtesy iVillage.com
It amazes me that a single event can seem so far in the distance and then sneak up on me before I know it. Last Christmas I made a goal to be prepared. Unforeseen circumstances crushed that goal into tiny particles of cosmic dust. Christmas cards never went out and planned gifts were never finished while we all suffered retched illnesses the entire month of December. Each year my sister-n-law Jennifer and I renew our vow to complete all our Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. Last year I waited to buy presents in hopes of scoring the best deals late into the season. I have learned my lesson. This year I am a repented saint.
Augusts’ resolution to ‘Make’ is nothing profound unlike the previous months have been. My resolution to make is the practical side of me saying “you only have three months before the flurry of the flu, school projects and holidays get in the way.” I have granted myself two months for planning three birthdays, one the week of Christmas. Then there is the making of Halloween costumes and new garb for the Christmas play I have been writing in addition to finishing all the homemade gifts started last November. I cannot wait for my little niece Lilyanna to opens hers. I will say no more since her mommy sometimes reads my posts.
Making does not have to revolve around crafts. You could:
Vow to make a new friend.
Make a decision you have been putting off until that some day.
Make home repairs. If the emergency overflow drain for your air conditioner has been leaking vow to get it fixed…today.
If you continuously miss your best friend’s birthday make a point to remember it.
Make a new recipe once a week.
Make a family plan that lists the goals you want to accomplish as a family. Come up with a family motto to help you achieve those goals.
Make up family traditions.
Make a list of topics to discuss at family dinner each night.
Make family time a priority once a week.
Make cards for someone in need of a warm gesture.
Make up a package for a soldier at war. Or take it to their family to show support.
Make a picnic lunch to share.
Design and make games and treats for a backyard carnival.
There is no procrastinating allowed during the month of August. It is about choosing to take care of business today.
Ever wonder what to do with left over bread? Make bread pudding of course! Bread pudding is a lovely addition to a holiday dessert table. Or begin a tradition by serving bread pudding on Christmas Eve with a mug of steamy hot cocoa. Even still bread pudding is mighty tasty for breakfast on a wintry morning.
I used a loaf of European French bread I purchased from the bakery. Cut the bread into bite sized cubes. Spread them out on a baking sheet and left them out, uncovered, overnight. In the morning the bread is just perfect for making bread pudding. Do not use fresh bread because the bread will become too soggy.
When cooking milk for longer periods you would want to stir frequently to keep it from burning the bottom. Milk when heated creates a film on the surface. This film is formed when the proteins attach to a fat molecule. The film then serves in increasing the temperature of the milk underneath. Stirring constantly keeps this film from forming and the milk from boiling over. For this recipe we are just heating the milk. Since we are using the film as a guide constant stirring is not recommended.
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup butter
*2/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (use slightly less for freshly grated)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups french bread, cut into cubes
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk just until film forms over top. Add butter, stirring until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm.
Combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined and frothy. Slowly add milk mixture, whisking constantly.
Place bread in a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Pour batter on top of bread. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm. To serve sprinkle with powdered sugar or a bread pudding sauce.
***Note: If you make the sauce to put on top of your bread pudding, adjust the sugar in the bread pudding recipe, change it to 1/3 cups sugar.
Bread Pudding Sauce:
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp flour
dash of salt
Mix everything together and bring to a boil over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside for 5 minutes, then pour on warm bread pudding.
Photo by: ©James Christensen. ©The Greenwich Workshop®, Inc. The legend of Saint Nick began with a real man. And while he did not fly a reindeer-powered sleigh or slide down chimneys, he did become famous for his gift-giving. Saint Nicholas was born in Lycia (modern-day […]
It is not very often our five year old volunteers to help cook. This morning he was eager to take position as my assistant chef. He mashed the bananas, whisked the dry ingredients and then combined the two. This helpful streak of his has been going on all week. He has jumped in tackling tasks without being asked and even though it is not perfect it is a job completed. I love the words, “Can I Help?”.
Whole wheat baked goods often have a pungent after taste and are dense. Many bakers use honey to tone down the robust flavor. The King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook recommends adding orange juice. In this recipe for whole wheat banana pancakes use half wheat and half all-purpose flours. The pancakes are still light and fluffy and the bananas are not over powered by the wheat. For true whole wheat pancakes use 1 cup whole wheat flour omitting the all-purpose flour.
Make sure the griddle is not too hot or else they will burn.
Source: The Kitchen Witch
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 tbsp melted butter
1 large egg
2 mashed bananas (about 3/4 cup)
Extra sliced bananas
In large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk or yogurt, butter or oil, egg and bananas.
Make well in center of dry ingredients and add banana mixture. Stir with fork until barely moistened.
Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Pour a 1/4 cup batter for each 4-inch pancake. When bubbles rise and break surface, turn over. Cook about 2 minutes, until nicely browned. Transfer to plate. Keep pancakes warm in preheated 200 degree oven.
To serve, top with sliced bananas, walnuts and maple syrup.
Makes 12 pancakes.
Apples and cranberries scream Autumn. Wrap the colorful goodness up in a pastry shell and you have got an apple and cranberry strudel. The warm aroma of cinnamon and apples permeate the house. Take a bite and taste the tart cranberries dancing on your taste […]