Baked French Toast

Baked French Toast

Today is cold with traces of yesterday’s sleet still on the ground. These will probably be the last cold days of winter here.  It was perfect for trying something that I’ve been wanting to try for a long time:  Baked French Toast.

Our Sunday afternoon was free after our plans were cancelled due to the weather.  We started off with our favorite cinnamon bread recipe but instead of making a loaf, we split it up into 8 equal parts and made mini loaves.  My 13 year old helped with the rolling and preparing of the dough.  These small bits of dough are a lot easier for kids to handle.
Baked French Toast - dough

We rolled them and put them into the mini loaf tin to rise for 3 hours.

Baked French Toast - rising
Then last night I baked the bread.  The house smelled great.  After it cooled, I poked each loaf full of holes with a toothpick and put it in an egg and milk mixture (with a little salt and sugar added – just like French Toast).  I flipped it a couple of times and let it soak all night.  *The best way to do it would have been to cut them in half and let them soak (explained below).
Baked French Toast - soaking

When I woke up this morning, the kids were waiting.  They had skipped their normal breakfast and were in the school room working, all wondering when the French Toast would be ready.  The nice thing about these recipes that take a long time is that by the time the food is done, the kids have been waiting, salivating, and waiting some more.  The anticipation makes the experience of eating that much better.

I cut open one loaf and saw that the egg mixture hadn’t penetrated through to the center of the loaf like I hoped.  I cut the loaves in half and let them soak a few more minutes cut side down.  I stuck them back in the oven for 30 minutes and they were done!  The egg mixture around the edge had cooked up nicely as well.  You can see it stuck to the bottom of the piece below.
Baked French Toast

I had 1 half loaf.  The kids each ate FIVE!  They certainly are growing boys.  So this isn’t a recipe post, but a post to encourage you to try something you haven’t tried before but have wanted to.  There are Baked French Toast recipes out there, but most of them look like bread pudding and I wanted to use my little loaves.  So I did.  And love how they turned out.  Breakfast isn’t a meal that we usually sit around the table to eat, but today we did and it was special.

Economy Block Quilt

Remember back in the good ‘ole days of blogging when we just went shopping and took a picture of our pile of new fabric and called it a post?  There’s is nothing keeping me from posting like that these days except myself.  I feel like the bar is set higher – like I have to produce something really nice before I can post.  If that item is a quilt, then well, it takes many many hours of sewing to produce a project.  And while sewing is fun, it isn’t the same kind of fun as say, shopping for fabric.

economy 1

This quilt took me over 20 hours to make.  I know this because I’ve been trying to improve my Mandarin and I watched 21 episodes of a Taiwan soap opera pieceing and sewing these blocks together.  It was filled with dramatic moments which included love, brain injury, amnesia, recollection of said love after many years.  Not normally my cup of tea, but if you want to watch free Taiwan soaps, you take what is available on the internets.  So my soap opera wrapped up and I still hadn’t started the quilting!  All this for a small baby quilt which I can’t sell because no one will pay over $200 for a baby quilt.  But I digress.

economy 3
This was fun sewing.  Fun because almost all fabrics came from the scrap bag.  I did panic a little when I thought the blocks might clash with each other, and I think they do, but the busy clashing seems to work together okay.  I put my least favorite blocks along the outside.

Positives:

- Super cute quilt block.
- Those fabrics that have stand-alone images?  They are perfect for the center square of this block.
- All fabric for the quilt front can come from your scrap basket
- Tutorial is well done and easy to follow.  Find it here.

Negatives:

- Time – each 5-inch block has 9 pieces.  After working several hours I had enough blocks to make a small pillow.  The above quilt is 40″x40″.  I would have made it larger, but at the point the decision needed to be made, 17 more blocks felt like too many.
-Using anything thicker than quilting fabric can create problems during the quilting process.  The points where all the seams come together get very thick.

Check out the Flickr group for ideas.  There are some super cute quilts over there!

Happy President’s Day!

Mount Rushmore2Original Mount Rushmore image credit: bbadgett via Wikipedia.  Remixed under Creative Common’s Attribution – Share Alike 3.0.

I am Sensei Wu.  Happy President’s Day to my American friends!  Today I went to Mount Rushmore.  The presidents are quite handsome, are they not?

 

Dish Towels

Over Christmas break I went on a cinnamon bread making spree.  Baked and baked, trying to master the recipe again.  It had been a really long time since I’d made it.  The neighbors and several friends got a loaf of bread wrapped in a flour sack towel.  A strip of patchwork sewn across one end made it a little special…

dish towels

 

SO special that a couple of people ate the bread and tried to return the dish towel.  All patchwork was from the scrap basket which always feels good.  And cinnamon raisin bread french toast tastes good.  And finally, a few weeks after recovering from big family meals and rich traditional dishes, I’m feeling good, too!  A little late, I know, but Happy New Year!

Quilted Checkerboard

Last minute Christmas gift:  pieced and quilted Checkerboard for our friends’ kids.

Checkerboard

I sewed a little zipper pocket into the back so that they could keep all their pieces with the board.

Checkerboard - back pocket
First saw this super cute idea over at IHeartLinen, but didn’t actually use her tutorial.

And in case you didn’t know, there’s a sale in the shop!sale

Spray Painted Acorns

sprayed acorn

There is an oak tree in the park by our house that drops the largest acorns.  We collected some this fall and turned them into ornaments.  I sprayed the hats with glitter paint and the balls with a gold satin.  After a couple of weeks of letting the fumes dissipate in the garage, they were easily turned into ornaments for the tree.
Spray-painted Acorn Christmas Tree Ornament

I personally prefer the ones with bigger hats.

Finding twins are a rare treat.

acorn twinsI know, I know, Christmas trees are pine trees and acorns are from oak trees.  Haha!  Does it have to make sense?  I hope not, especially since our tree is actually fake – made out of plastic.  Yep, plastic + acorn = pretty. :)

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Hope you have a wonderful time with friends and family!

Doggie Bed

I love my little dog, Peanut.  He follows me everywhere:  sleeps next to me when I’m migraining, sits under the desk when we are doing school, goes for walks with me, and always finds a soft pile of fabric scraps or batting to settle onto when I’m sewing.  He loves batting – scratching at it until it shreds, then curling up on it for a nap.  It was time for him to have a special place in the sewing room just for him.  A well-deserved doggie bed – he’s earned it.

Doggie Bed

Being a small dog that looks like he has eye lashes, Peanut often gets mistaken for a girl.  But he’s all boy – no girly bed for this guy.  Fabrics are all a year or two old, I think:  Parson Gray (Curious Nature) and A Stitch In Color by United Notions.  I quilted some pieced strips and sewed it around a gusseted people pillow.  Then. I. waited.  It took 3 days for him to figure out that he could sleep on it before I was able to get some pictures.  It’s been cold here so Peanut was wearing his sweater.

Doggie Bed

I did some fake piping along the edges.  It helped the cushion cover to keep its shape.  For a dog that came to us without any knowledge of basic commands (sit, stay, etc), it is really hard to get a picture of him.  The minute I get down close to the ground, he tries to climb in my lap.  For that reason alone, I’m really happy with the shot below.  He stayed.  I mean he really stayed in one spot long enough for me to take the shot.

Doggie Bed

 

He takes his new doggie bed seriously.  Very seriously.


Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 10, 11, and 12), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
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