Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Apple Cranberry French Toast

Back at the beginning of June, I visited a beautiful scrapbook retreat for a 3D Travel Company training weekend. During that weekend, we were fed so well! One morning we are this delicious Apple Cranberry French Toast. I made it this week to feed my family. The kids did not eat the fruit, but loved the french toast. Hubby and I loved the whole meal!

DSCF1079  DSCF1080 Psssttt…Don’t look at my ugly dishes…

Focus only on the lovely breakfast!

Apple Cranberry French Toast

by The Sisters’ Hideaway

  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 3 t. cinnamon
  • 3 tart apples (Granny Smith) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 1 loaf Italian or French bread cut into 1” slices (I bought a pre-sliced loaf of Italian bread.)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla

Combine brown sugar, butter, and 1 tsp of cinnamon in a 13x9 dish. Add apples and cranberries, toss to coat well. Spread apple mixture evenly over bottom of dish. Arrange slices of bread on top.

Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and remaining 2 tsp. cinnamon until well blended. Pour mixture over bread soaking completely. Cover and refrigerate 4 – 24 hours.

Bake covered with foil at 375 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm with syrup.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Movie Marathon

There was a Pirates of the Caribbean movie marathon 4th of July weekend. My guys settled in to watch the trilogy together.


Emma was quite perplexed! She couldn’t understand why the guys kept watching Pirates over and over again. Every time she went through the living room – all day long – they were still watching Pirates. I had to explain they were watching 3 different Pirate movies throughout the day. Her face lit up as she said “Oh”. I think she thought they were a bit weird watching the same movie over and over again all day long.  =)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A girl and her dreams…

Exactly why did we decide to get two guinea pigs? Well, I’ll tell ya a little story about a girl and her dream…

When Emma was little (like 2 or 3) we visited a pet store to just look around. She fell in love with the bunnies. She loved petting them and decided she wanted one. NOW! Well, I wasn’t buying that toddler a rabbit that I had to take care of (in addition to the three kids, dog, and hubby)! So, to put her off I said, “We’ll talk about it when you’re 8.”

Has anyone ever told you about a child’s memory?!? I knew that children remember the odd things for a VERY LONG time. “Mom, remember that day 200 years ago when we xyz?”  “But Mom, last Thursday at precisely 2:16AM you said I could xyz!” (How they can remember oddball comments/facts/etc. but can’t remember to change their underwear or brush their teeth is beyond me!!) Anyway, Emma remembered that comment. And, she reminded me of that comment about every month (at least) for the next 5 years!!  No kidding! She really did! She could frequently be heard saying “I can’t wait ‘til I’m 8, because I get a rabbit.” Really! I’m so.not.kidding!

So, for her 7th bday (in June), we decided she could have a rabbit. So, we headed to Petsmart to look at rabbits and to determine how much said rabbit would cost. Well, guess what…Petsmart doesn’t sell rabbits. But, they do sell guinea pigs. After holding several, Emma changed her mind and decided that she wanted guinea pigs instead.

See yesterday’s post about her dream come true…

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The newest members of the family…

Introducing…Molly and Sally…

Emma got two guinea pigs for her birthday. She loves them so much! And, I am surprised at how responsible she has been in taking care of them. She talks to them every time she passes their cage. She pets them through the bars of the cage. She feeds them daily, and holds them during their ‘floor’ time. It’s too sweet!


It all started with a trip to the pet store…


This little girl fell in LOVE!


Making sure they’re comfortable for the ride home…


Introducing the girls to their new homes…


This is Molly.          


This is Sally. DSC_0803

This is a little girl who loves her pets!

Friday, July 9, 2010

July Freezer Cooking

Yesterday was a rainy day here in Northern TX. I decided it would be a perfect time to stock my freezer with frozen meals. And, that’s just what I did. Here’s what I was able to accomplish yesterday. Below that list, I will list what I still need want to do.

  • I made a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread for a quick breakfast. I sliced the loaf, bagged it, and popped it in the freezer.
  • I made a batch of white bread dough in the bread machine. I made yeast rolls from this dough. After flash freezing the dough balls (prior to 2nd rise), I bagged them. When I’m ready to use them, I will take out the amount needed and let them rise on the counter. Then, I’ll bake them.
  • I made 3 dozen strawberry muffins.
  • I made pizza for dinner last night. I browned a lb of italian sausage. I used half for dinner, and froze the rest for a future pizza night. I also portioned out enough cheese and sliced onion for 2 pizzas. (Our 2nd pizza is always a pepperoni pizza, but I don’t freeze the pepperoni.) I bagged each ingredient in small zipper bags and froze them together in a larger bag.
  • I made a crockpot full of pinto beans. I bagged beans in 2-cup portions. I also mashed half of the pot of beans into refried beans. These I will use in burritos during my next cooking day.
  • I used THIS recipe to make a meat mix. From this mix, I made 2 meatloaves and several dozen mini-meatballs.

To do on my next cooking day:

  • Add taco season to 2 lbs ground beef
  • Use ground beef, refried beans (above),and cheddar cheese to prepare burritos.
  • Make several marinades for chicken. I have 10 lbs of chicken to prepare. I plan to just use several marinades mixed in gallon-size zipper bags. I’ll add the chicken breasts, and freeze them. Then, I can pull the bags out to thaw in the morning and cook them for dinner.
  • I also want to make some blueberry muffins or a blueberry loaf.

**COMING SOON: I made Cranberry Apple French Toast for breakfast this morning. I have pictures and a recipe to share. It was to.die.for!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July Mantle

Thought I’d share pics of my holiday mantle before I pack it away.


My mother-in-law gave me the basket hanging above my fireplace, and she filled it with fern leaves and flowers. I like how it looks with the patriotic decor. DSC_0718

The candle is from the dollar store, and I bring it out at Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and 4th of July. The stand was part of a hurricane, but Emma broke the hurricane. Now, it’s a perfect candle holder. The charms are from a cake plate that my MIL got Emma on QVC. The frame is from my MIL, too. The pic is 2 years old.


The pails behind the ‘welcome’ sign are from Target’s dollar spot (thanks, sis!). The red, white, and blue ‘things’ behind the ‘welcome’ sign are balloon weights from the Dollar Tree. The ‘welcome’ sign is from Kohl’s (thanks, MIL).


The white bird is from Michaels. The little dessert bowl is from Dollar Tree. The stars filling the bowl are from Hobby Lobby. And, the candle sticks are my latest Goodwill treasures.


This is my entry table. Yes, it’s pretty bare, but this was all I had left to decorate patriotically. The pail is another one from Target filled with the Hobby Lobby stars and flags from Dollar Tree. The frame holds a picture of my sweet niece, Allie. The blue vase is from Goodwill.

I love to decorate the table and mantle seasonally. When I pack the patriotic items away, I plan to decorate in a ‘beachy/seashell’ theme. Can’t wait to get started on it this week. I’ve got some craft projects in mind. I’ll post pics as I switch out the stuff.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

S’mores on a Stick

I can’t remember whose blog I saw this idea on, but I loved it. I couldn’t wait to do it with my crew today. See, I’ve been a bit busy lately, and I couldn’t wait to have some ‘family time’ today! So, we headed to Walmart to buy the supplies, and came home to make our snack. We’ll take these with us tonight when we go watch fireworks.

These are super-easy to make:

Insert a lollipop stick into a jumbo marshmallow. Dip the marshmallow into melted chocolate or white chocolate. Roll the chocolate-dipped marshmallow in grated graham cracker crumbs and/or sprinkles. Lay on was paper to set. Enjoy!

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