Friday, January 13, 2017

Our Favorite French Toast Recipe

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt
A loaf of Wheat French bread  

(We prefer French toast that is not soggy, so a narrow loaf at Walmart, sliced about a half-inch thick, works perfectly for our preference. I forgot to take a picture this morning, but I'll update the picture the next time I make this recipe. This pic shows slices quite a bit bigger than we make and soggier. It's too soggy for us if it collapses in the middle. I guess we are pretty picky about our French toast.)

I use a heavy-duty, nonstick Scanpan that heats evenly and doesn't burn items easily so that I can leave the toast in longer and get a nice carameled edge. 

Heat up your skillet until it's nice and hot. Then turn the heat to medium. 

While it heats, melt butter in microwave, and then combine melted butter, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until sugar and salt are dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 glass dish. 

My skillet is big enough for about eight slices, so I put all eight slices in the mixture and soak, turning once, for a total of a minute or two. 

Melt some butter in your skillet and place slices of soaked French bread in the skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Serve with warm, maple syrup along with a nice piece of sausage or a couple's strips of bacon. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

British-Style Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Scones

We have had several opportunities to try British scones as we have visited our daughter in England and have so enjoyed scones with clotted cream. Below is a scone recipe using blueberries and white chocolate chips like the scones I normally make but in a more British style. It is hard to find clotted cream in the states, and when I found a bottle it was about six dollars for a tiny amount. I had to drive almost 2 hours to even find a store that carried it. I tried to make it, but that was less than successful. For now, I have decided to save clotted cream for my visits to the UK. Curt recently picked up a jar of blueberry jam at Cracker Barrel, and we have used that along with butter on our scones, but they are lovely with just butter.

We eat one scone per meal, and so I freeze them after the first breakfast. They heat up to taste almost better the second time around! Just take them out of the freezer and pop them frozen into a 300° oven for 15 minutes.

3 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 T. unsalted butter, cut into half inch pieces and softened
1 C. frozen blueberries
1/4 to 1/2 C. white chocolate chips, as desired to taste
1 C. whole milk
2 large eggs

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500°. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. Add butter until fully incorporated and mixture looks like very fine crumbs with no visible butter, about 20 pulses. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in blueberries and white chocolate chips.

2. Whisk milk and eggs together in a second bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons milk mixture. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and, using rubber spatula, fold together until almost no dried bits of flour remain.

3. Transfer dough to a well-floured counter and gather into ball. With floured hands, need until surface is smooth and free of cracks, 25 to 30 times. Press gently to form disk. Using floured rolling pin, Roland disk into 9-inch round, about 1 inch thick. Using floured to a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, stamp out 8 rounds, recoating cutter with flour if it begins to stick. Arrange scones on prepared sheet. Gather dough scraps, form into ball, and knead gently until surface is smooth. Roll dough to 1-inch thickness and stamp out 4 rounds. Discard remaining dough.

4. Brush tops of scones with reserve milk mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 425° and bake scones until risen and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer scones to wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve scones warm or at room temperature.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Twelve Months of Christmas

These are some special young people.
They have amazing memories, they are kind to each other, and they are teachable. 
What a combination!
Kuddos to their parents!

This past week they performed Rachelle's most recent drama,
The Twelve Months of Christmas
They did a splendid job. 
They communicated the meaning behind the words first and foremost.

Rachelle was able to drive down -- 6.5 hours, in the middle of final-exam week -- to hear them perform on Wednesday night. She was overjoyed with how well they did. 

Julia, in blue, is one of our directors. Due to her skills and her heart, Rachelle's writing comes off the page in an amazing way. We are blessed. 

Rebecca, in brown, is our co-director. 
Along with coaching the actors, as does Julia, she is amazing with detailed sets, props, and costumes. 
She helps make our dramas powerful presentations.

Thank You, Julia and Becca for the untold hours you put into these productions! 

Pleasant greeters met us at the front doors. 

An adorable guest. 

The scheming Morris Holland and his very funny side-kicks

The lovely Charlotte Holland

The Victorian sitting room

"Are you okay, Miss Charlotte?
May I help in some way?"

Sweet Penny talking with Charlotte

"I have an idea."

Miss Charlotte and her boarding school students in the sitting room

Three of Charlotte's uncles... a very funny scene

The lawyer, Mr. Lockwood is keepin' an eye on these characters.

Jemima and Eleanor, so cute

What is going on? Who is who?
Who is up to no good, and who is truly good?

The Twelve Months of Christmas is a delightful drama with a wide variety of characters, all with unique personalities. I caught more and more each time I saw the performances.

Thanks, my dear church family for pouring yourselves into yet another Christmas drama.
I pray your efforts will reap eternal benefit for many.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Drama 2016!

Our annual Christmas drama is coming up soon!
Next week, Dec. 11 at 4pm, Dec. 13 at 6:30pm, & Dec. 14 at 6:30pm.

Written by Rachelle, our younger daughter, the drama is promising to be a delightfully funny and yet meaningful and inspiring presentation of what Christmas is really about.

All are welcome. Come and be encouraged in your walk with Christ!

301 S. Broadway
Salem, IL