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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Project Happily Ever After — Because life after "I do" isn't always so charming

This lady has a really great blog. While trying to practice some diplomacy recently, I found a wonderful entry about diffusing anger in others to improve your relationships and reduce your overall stress:
How To Diffuse Anger

 Here's her blog:
Project Happily Ever After — Because life after "I do" isn't always so charming

Check it out!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

French Toast Casserole a la Mama Lion

This morning, while looking for something to feed the littles, I found a VERY stale loaf of french bread courteously left for us by a weekend guest! I was planning to slice it up and do french toast but it practically crumbled under the knife. Pulverizing it and bagging it up for bread crumbs was an option, but I'd had my heart set on french toast, so I did what I usually do in these situations. Google it! A few online recipes and personal adjustments later and VOILA! French Toast Casserole. The smell wafting through the house was intoxicating. Add fresh strawberries from our Tara Firma Farms CSA box and a drizzle of maple syrup and it vanished like a ninja at midnight.

Now, one of the key differences here for me is that most of the recipes I found call for bread cubes. They say nothing about the moisture content of the bread. Personally, I like my bread to be as dry as possible for french toast so that it can soak up lots of the egg/milk mixture. My mom does it this way, I do it this way, it works. This loaf had been sitting on the counter in an open bag for two days and it was on the verge of rock hard. If you don't have a loaf like that you can try to dry it out in the oven as though you were making croutons OR when you do have a loaf sitting around getting stale but you don't have time to cook, cube it up and freeze it for later.

I wish I'd taken pictures of the steps, but the finished product will have to be good enough!

French Toast Casserole a la Mama Lion


5 cups bread cubes
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons sugar (I used maple sugar), divided
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, softened


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly butter an 8x8 inch baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Mix the bread cubes into the egg mixture so they are completely covered; let stand for 10 minutes.
3. Pour the egg/bread cube mixture into the buttered dish and dot the top with the remaining butter. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Bake in preheated oven about 45 to 50 minutes, until top is golden.
4. Let cool out of the oven for about 10-15 minutes and enjoy!
This is amazingly delicious. Next time I might cover the dish with foil for the first 10 minutes and cook for an hour total. This would prevent over-browning while letting the dish cook a little longer to avoid mushiness. 
Still, a total winner.
The moment of flavor recognition...


Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Birthday

Yesterday I turned the ripe old age of 36! When the Monkey Man asked me what I'd like for my birthday I looked around and realized that the last thing I needed was more "things". So this year for my birthday I requested that people donate to my charity of choice, Charity:Water. I started a campaign so that people could donate in my name for my birthday:

In case you don't know about Charity:Water, they are a great organization that actually makes a difference and does exactly what they say they do. Unlike some charities out there. I have to say, I got kind of a weak response, only three donations, but my campaign is running until Sept.30, so I'm hoping some people will still contribute! As they say, any amount helps.

Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Goodbye, Facebook.

In these, my last two hours of Facebook life, I feel the familiar pang of regret. I can't back out though, in the long run my life (and my family's lives) will be better for it. T-minus 2 hours and counting. This guy pretty much sums it up.

"Less is more. I’m on a mission to simplify life, to slow it down to a pace at which it can actually be consumed, not just tasted. I don’t want to hide behind the ubiquitous, “I’m really busy” as a badge of honor. I want a lower cost of living (not just financially) and a higher quality of life. I want to limit the number of [things] that compete for my attention so that I can apply more attention to those [things] I care the most about. Less is the new more."
-Tim Maurer "7 Reasons I Dumped Facebook"

Follow me on Twitter: @ColdNoseRanch

Goodbye, Facebook.