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Easter Sunday 2012

April 9, 2012 09:40 by ehouston

We had a pretty packed, yet somehow relaxing Easter Sunday this year.  It started with a slight freak-out over the midnight visit from the Easter Bunny.

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In fact, most of my shots were even more blurry than this because he was jumping around so much.

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I tried to get him to take his loot to the kitchen table to deposit his newly gained candy in the treat bowl leftover from both his Preschool Easter Egg hunt, as well as, the one we had at the house on Friday with is friends.  Not only did he still manage to spill jelly beans all over the floor, but he also took the time to pretend nibble each piece of candy before putting it with the rest, all the while mumbling about “CAHN-DEE!” and getting more and more giddy.  Seriously, it’s like a drugs for toddlers.

After negotiating him down to eating just two medium sized pieces before breakfast I was able to feed him something decent and get him out the door for a mid-morning Easter service at church.  This also included lots of fun take-a-ways for the Sunday School Two’s group, which thrilled my son to no end.  Apparently candy is the currency of choice in more places than just my home, and second occasionally only to stickers.

This year I remembered to take some pictures of us in our nice clothes before ripping off the hose, tossing the dress and pulling the Little Guy out of his button-down shirt.

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The photo session started sweet, with some questions about the Easter Bunny and then some belly love shots.

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There was a moment of calm and then the crazy took over,

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and things got a bit rowdy.

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Lets just say someone’s cute, newly made, seersucker pants headed straight to the washer after only about an hour on his skinny little legs. 

But that was fine since egg dyeing was next on the agenda and no matter how well I plan it seems I am never prepared for the mess he is able to make.  We only had one snafu when I barely looked away and he pulled an egg out of a dye bath with his bare hand. Not horrible, but the near wipe of the bright orange dyed hand across his light green shirt would have really made the moment. I caught his arm just in time.

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I love this picture because it shows the sheer determination by which he went about decorating his eggs.  I was actually trying to talk to him and get him to look at me, but he was in the zone and totally unaware that I existed in the same space.  Just look at that bottom lip jutting out.  Sticker placement is an intense art not to be interrupted.

We finished our day with a lovely dinner at a friend’s house, where we stuffed ourselves to the gills.  It was a beautiful day, filled with lot’s of low-key but fun activities. 

Hope you all had a wonderful time this holiday weekend!

Kitsch Krafts


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Eating : French Toast Casserole

July 25, 2011 07:39 by ehouston

If I could live off bread and pastries without becoming gigantic, I absolutely would.  I LOVE pancakes, French toast, bagels and cream cheese, crusty quiche, heck even simple toast with cinnamon sugar sends me to heaven!  Seems I cannot get enough of the sugary carbs.  If only The Mister shared my love we could be 350 pounds together!  ;o)  Since I am not so lucky (or, actually I AM) I only allow myself to indulge in the above mentioned bakery treats once in a while.  Last year I decided to try out a French toast casserole, not only to indulge my sweet lovin’ palate, but to save time in the morning as well.  I had heard that Mrs. Dean had a recipe, but it was almost sickening sweet so I decided to just Google it.  There are so many varieties of this casserole out there that you can definitely find one that meets the needs of your particular taste.  I decided to make things easy and just create a recipe as if I was about to make traditional French toast on the griddle top, but put the ingredients into a baking dish instead.  After lots of trial and error this is what seems to work best for us:

French Toast Casserole, Retro Style

1 1/2 loaves of Italian sweet bread (I find mine on the day old, super cheap rack in the Kroger bakery and freeze them for later use.  ‘Cause I’m cheap, I mean frugal!)

6-8 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon (mmmmmm……)

1 Tbl sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup milk  (We usually have whole milk around here since we are growing an active toddler, so it’s nice and creamy.)

1/4 tsp salt

Optional Extras:  Thinly sliced bananas, chopped nuts, brown sugar, butter

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Start by deciding how big you want this thing to be.  I have been taking things down a notch and using loaf pans so that we don’t eat this casserole for days on end.  Sometimes just a taste is really all you need to get past the cravings, am I right?  Butter up that dish and set it aside.  Slice your bread no wider than 1/2 inch each. 

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OPTIONAL EXTRAS: If you decide to enhance the gooey-ooeyness of this casserole lay down a layer of thinly sliced bananas on the bottom, along with a mixture of chopped nuts, brown sugar, more cinnamon, and a little butter. Now, proceed to the next step. (This will melt together and make a nice topping to your inverted loaf once the baking is complete.)

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Place the bread slices in overlapping layers, cutting to fit the space of the dish, until you have filled the pan to within about 1/2 inch of the lip. You don’t have to stuff the pan tightly, just don’t leave really big gaps in the layers.

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Mix your remaining ingredients and whisk until slightly foamy. Pour over the bread, but do not fill to the top. This amount of liquid mixture should be enough for two loaf style or one 9” X 13” inch pan. The key to the whole process is that the dish must sit in the refrigerator overnight so the bread can soak up the liquid. If you use too much it won’t set up in the oven before burning or drying out the top layer.

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The next morning, remove your dish from the refrigerator and let stand on the counter while preheating the oven to 375 degrees F.  (Take the second loaf and place in the freezer for another time.  Just defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed the next morning.)  As soon as the oven is ready, put in your foil covered dish and set the timer for 30 minutes (20 for the loaf pans).  After the timer goes off, remove the foil and cook an additional 10 minutes or until brown on top.  Because ovens are different you will want to also check for doneness by giving the whole thing a little shake.  If it wiggles a bit, the egg mixture has not set up yet.  Just keep giving it a few more minutes (maybe 3-5 at a time) until it is done. 

When cooked through, remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

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(OPTIONAL EXTRAS, sans the nuts, pictured above.  MMMmmmmm……)

Enjoy!

Kitsch Krafts


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