Breakfast in Bed – Delightful French Toast

We’re still celebrating our Mothers!

I am always trying to dream up different and new ways to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day. Let’s face it – she is my world and she is always doing extra special things for me all of the time. One of my favorites when I was a kid was breakfast in bed. Today we are going to be making some super delicious french toast. It is perfect for a very scrumptious breakfast in bed surprise for that very special mother. It is a really simple thing to make and it is just a touch bit fancier than the usual pancakes. So take a leap and do something easy and fun, that will make your mom feel extra special and loved by you. I promise you that she will not forget it.

Delightful French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 8 thick slices of French Bread
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Half & Half
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • Powdered Sugar, for dusting
  • Boysenberry Syrup

Directions:

  1. In a wide shallow dish, combine eggs, half & half, vanilla extract, sugar, and cinnamon. Beat together until combined.

  1. Place bread in egg mixture and let soak for a minute. Then flip to soak on the other side.

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add 4 bread slices to skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Then flip and cook on other side for 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.

  1. Dust french toast with powdered sugar if desired. Add butter and boysenberry syrup to your liking.

Serve to your very special mother while she’s still in bed. She’ll love it!

New Year’s Eve Recipe – Lumpias

My father was working as a chef part time when he met my mother. He was an aspiring actor at the time, but had a talent for whipping up delicious food. When we were kids, my mom did most of the cooking in our home. But on a rare special occasion, my father would cook for us. He had some great specialties – shrimp scampi, jambalaya, chocolate peanut butter fudge. We always looked forward to whatever it was that he was making. Today I am going to share one of his best recipes with you. It was one of my favorites, and the only one I have mastered.

We are going to make Lumpias. It is a traditional Filipino dish. It is their version of an egg roll and it’s made with meat. They are really delicious and pretty easy to make. We serve them with a tangy sweet and sour sauce. It compliments them very well.

Lumpias

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 pkg. of large wonton paper
Vegetable oil for frying
2 bottles sweet & sour sauce, warm

Cooking Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, green onions, water chestnuts, and soy sauce. Mix with your hands until all ingredients are combined well.

To assemble lumpias – lay one piece of wonton paper on a clean surface. Take a clump of your meat mixture (about 2 tablespoons), and roll it into a log. Place the meat extending from one corner diagonally across to the other corner. Leave about half an inch of your wonton paper uncovered.

Next, fold the open ends up and over the meat.

The fold one flap of the wonton paper up and over the meat.

Then tightly roll your lumpia all the way closed. You may need to use a dab of water to close the flap of your lumpia. Repeat until your meat mixture is over. Should make about 35-40 lumpias

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot, place your lumpias inside. Allow them to fry for approximately 12 minutes, turning them to fry on all sides. Reduce heat if they start to darken too quickly. You’ll know when they’re close to being finished, because they will bubble less and less.

Remove lumpias from frying pan and cool on a plate covered with a paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the lumpias.

Meanwhile, heat sweet & sour sauce in a small pot over low heat. Serve sauce on the side of lumpias.

ENJOY!

DIY – Ice Pack Cover tutorial

We all know that kids fall down and get hurt.  It is our defining moment as mothers when we come racing in to save the day.  We kiss the boo-boos to make them better, rub the ouchies when they hurt, we blow on the scrapes so they stop burning, and we ice the bumps so they go away.  Personally, I have always hated it when your homemade icepack begins to melt, and it gets you all wet.  So a few years ago, I made a few icepack covers that I keep in the kitchen.  Between you and me, my husband is always coming home with sports injuries.  He doesn’t realize he’s getting older 🙂  So they come in handy when he needs to ice his bumps and bruises.  I thought I would share these with all of you, because they are a fun way to dress up the healing process.

Before we get started, I was hoping that you all could share some of your favorite ways to nurse your children back to health.  I am always looking for creative ideas.  And I am sure that everyone else could use them too!

Icepack Cover Tutorial

Materials:

For a Large Square Ice Pack Cover

-2 (12″x12″) Pieces of Fabric (from your scrap pile)

-2 inexpensive wash clothes or 2 – (12″) squares of terry cloth with finished edges

-thread to match

-11″ piece of velcro

***Ice Pack fits a Gallon sized ziplock bag with ice


Small Rectangle Ice Pack Cover

-1 (12″x12″) Pieces of Fabric (from your scrap pile)

-1 inexpensive wash cloth or one 12″ square of terry cloth with finished edges

-Thread to match

-Approximately 3″ by 3/4″ scrap of hook and loop tape

***Fits a Quart sized ziplock type plastic bags

First we will begin by cutting out our fabric and terrycloth pieces into a 12 x 12″ squares.  You should have a total of two pieces each of fabric and terrycloth.  I have used some old bathroom towels in the name of upcycling.  Don’t be afraid to reuse and old towel, because it doesn’t have to look pretty.  It will be on the inside of our pouch, so no one will see it.

Separate the two sides of your velcro. Pin your pieces of to your terry cloth pieces about 3/4″ below the top edge. Each piece of terry cloth should have a piece of velcro attached to it.


Attach the velcro by using a zigzag stitch. Encase the entire piece of velcro and backstitch at both ends.

Place both pieces of your terrycloth on your work table velcro side up. Place your fabric pieces on top of the terrycloth pieces right sides together. Pin them together.

Attach the pieces together with a machine stitch using a 1/4″ seam. Leave a 3″ opening, so you can turn them right side out.

Turn each piece right side out and press flat with an iron.


Now take your two pieces and place them together, leaving the terry cloth sides facing outward. Make sure your velcro pieces match up, so that you’ll be able to close your pouch.

Machine stitch your two pieces together. Begin at the top of the right side of the pouch and stop at the top of the left side of the pouch. Make sure you leave the top edge open. Otherwise you won’t be able to open your pouch.


Turn your pouch right side out, so your print is facing outward. This is what your pouch should look like so far.


Almost finished! Now open your pouch and topstitch along the top edge of the pouch. This will secure the top edge in place. Backstitch at the beginning and the end.


This is what your finished project should look like.You are ready to cover your icepack and ice those boo boos!

Just fill a ziplock bag with ice and place it inside your icepack cover. Seal the velcro and ice all your pain away.

Happy Icing!

Enjoy!!!

DIY – Crayon Roll tutorial

Little Tike’s Crayon Roll Tutorial

Next weekend we have a birthday party to attend.  Our friends’ daughter is turning five and we’re celebrating by going to a petting zoo.  I have been racking my brain trying to determine what we should get for her as a present.  I like to try to be unique.  Plus, it gives me an opportunity to get creative.  I know for sure that I am going to make her one of my really cute ruffled skirts, but I wanted to do something else as well.  We have gone on a few dinner dates with this special little girl, and every time her and I spend most of our night coloring.  Each time it seems like we were always limited with the colors we could use.  So I thought that I could make her a little crayon roll she can take with her all the time.

All kids love to color. And if I’m really being honest, as an adult, I still love to color too. It’s difficult to keep all of your little tike’s crayons together. Here is a great method for storing a set of crayons in a way that is mobile. Crayon rolls are cute and portable. They’re great for car rides, road trips, dinner at a restaurant, and craft time at school. Here’s a quick little tutorial on how to make your little tike a crayon roll.

A Tip for you: Go to a $.99 Store and pick up a set of crayons for 20 cents. You don’t need to spend a fortune on your crayons. Also, dig through your scrap pile and find some fun fabrics. This is a project that can help you deplete some of that excess fabric in your stash.

Material Needed:

-1 (24pack) of crayons

-1 (18½” x 5½”) rectangle of the exterior fabric

-1 (18½” x 5½”) rectangle of interfacing or flannel

-1 (18½” x 12½”) rectangle of the interior fabric

-1 Matching button

-2” piece of ribbon or elastic

-Needle

Begin by cutting all of your fabric pieces. First cut your exterior fabric piece. It should measure 18½” x 5½.” Now cut your Interior piece of fabric. The dimensions of your fabric piece should measure 18½” x 12½.” Lastly cut your piece of interfacing. The dimensions should be 18½” x 5½.”

Once you have cut all of your pieces, we will begin assembling your crayon roll. Begin with your piece of interior fabric facing right side up. Measure 5½” down from the top of the short side of your interior fabric rectangle and draw a horizontal line (from one side of the fabric to the other.

It should look like this:

Fold the fabric along this line, right sides together. Lay your fabric down with the slightly larger side should be on top with the fold at the bottom. Now, mark a horizontal line from one side to the other 3½” up from the fold.

Mark parallel vertical lines from this line to the fold about 1” apart along the rectangle Make your first line about ½” in from the outer edge.

Sew along the lines you just marked and backstitch at each end.

Your project should look like this when you’ve finished:

Now fold your fabric. Pull the top raw edge of your fabric down and match the edge with the folded edge. It should cover the lines that you have just sewn.

Time to break out your iron and ironing board. Attach the interfacing to the wrong side of your exterior fabric rectangle.

Next, line up the interior and exterior rectangles right sides together. Before you pin the pieces together, pin your small piece of elastic or ribbon to the right side of one of your pieces of fabric. Make sure the raw edges of your loop are matched up with the raw edges of the fabric. It should look like this:

Machine stitch around the edges of your crayon roll with a ¼” seam. Leave a small opening on the other short side, so you can turn your roll right side out. Make sure that you catch the edge of the elastic loop when you sew that end.

Almost finished! Turn your crayon roll right side out and press it flat with your iron.

Top stitch around the edge of your crayon roll with a ¼” seem. This will close the opening.

It should look like this when you’re done:

It’s all coming together. Time to put the finishing touches. Slide your crayons into their slots. Roll up your crayon roll to determine where you want to place your button.

With a needle and thread, sew your button onto your crayon roll.

Fasten it closed and you’re ready to go. Your little tike is going to love it.

Enjoy!

Communicating with baby – Baby Sign Language

While I was pregnant with Aaliyah, I read different pregnancy and parenting books. I wanted to be as educated as possible about what was going on with my body and my baby. I was flying blind. I had never done anything like this and I knew absolutely nothing. As I read through all those books, I began to formulate a plan for becoming a mom and raising a child. Things like breastfeeding, dual language learning, homemade baby food, co-sleeping, etc. This plan I had formulated was filled with my ideals for being a parent. I had no idea how well my plans would workout or if they would fit into our lifestyle, but I wanted to try.

One of the things I really wanted to incorporate into our parenting strategy was baby sign language. I took a few sign language classes while I was in school. I wanted to learn a third language that could be useful, and it seemed like the most useful. I was incredibly pleased when I learned that it could be used to communicate with my daughter. It takes me so long to determine her new cues and sounds, and she comes up with new ones every week. So it becomes difficult to keep up at times.

There are several benefits to using baby sign. Infants rely on crying, smiling, and cooing to communicate before they are able to speak. They use nonverbal communication and cues to express themselves, because they do not possess the skills to speak. Baby sign language is an excellent method for communicating, because it is based on these same nonverbal cues and gestures. It is a great way to connect with your baby and initiate a strong bond.

There are also more long term benefits to using sign language. It helps increase children’s vocabulary. They are able to retain more words and spell more proficiently because they can physically spell out the words with their hands. Sign language also encourages children to communicate. They are able to use both verbal and nonverbal methods and it allows them to be more expressive.

Aaliyah has just reached nine months and it is the optimal time to begin using sign language. I am excited to begin this new chapter. I really do hope that it will be a successful endeavor. We’re going to start with just a handful of signs (about five). The ones that we would use most often in our daily routine – mom, dad, milk, more, all done. I am a little excited to see if it takes. I would love to be able to communicate with her, no matter how little until she is able to speak. We all know how frustrating it can be as parents at times, trying to decipher the meaning of a baby’s grunts and gestures. So for the few months, I will be using these signs while I speak to Aaliyah, and we will see if she picks them up. I’ll keep you posted on the success of this latest endeavor.