Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Simple Things That Make Me Smile

In a world where we're often busy, stressed and tired, it's good to remember to take a step back and think about simple things that make us smile. So here's a list to get us started. You all add to it, and I bet we're all smiling a lot today.

1. The bunnies that live in our neighborhood. I've seen them in our yard and our next door neighbor's. I love bunnies, and so they never fail to make me smile.

2. The squirrels that chase each other across our roof and through the trees and yard. They're so cute.

3. The fact that Dairy Queen's mini Blizzards are on sale for a $1.99 this month. :)

4. LOLCats at ICanHazCheeseburger

funny pictures - An den, dey gabe me a baf.... it wuz awful.  snif.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

5. My favorite YouTube videos, including this new favorite that I can't seem to stop watching.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter...

...to all of our wonderful American Romance readers!

However you spend the day, whether you’re at home or away, whether you’re with family and friends or on your own, I hope you have a happy and peace-filled day.

Easter and springtime are all about new beginnings, so I want to share this delightful vignette with you.

I captured this scene from the White Rock Bald Eagle Nest web cam, where two eaglets were welcomed into the world this week—the first on Wednesday and the second on Good Friday.

Those who know me well know I’m a bit of a nature nerd, and White Rock is now one of five bald eagle web cams conveniently iconed on my desktop.

Yes, I’m hooked. But can you blame me?

For me, family dinners are all-important, and this is one beautiful family dinner.

While I’m on the subject of feeding families, I thought I’d share my absolute favorite and super-easy recipe for make-ahead, oven-baked French toast.

And it's seriously easy!

You make it the night before, put it in the fridge, then pre-heat the oven the next morning, pop it in...and half an hour later brunch is served!

Lee’s Oven-Baked French Toast

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
8 one-inch-thick slices French bread
4 eggs
1/2 cup light cream (10%)
1/2 cup milk
1/ 4 cup orange juice

Spread the melted butter in a 9" by 13" baking pan. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle half the mixture in the pan. Arrange the bread slices in the pan. You might have to squish them a bit, but make sure they don’t overlap.

Beat the eggs, then add the cream, milk and orange juice. Slowly and carefully pour this mixture over the bread, being sure the bread is evenly coated.

Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, remove the plastic wrap from the pan, and bake the French toast for about 25 minutes. Delicious when served with maple syrup and fruit compote.
By the time you read this, it will be too late to make this for Easter brunch, but it’s also great for Mother’s Day brunch or any other day brunch you can think of.

I hope you enjoy it!

Until next time,
The Christmas Secret (Nov. '11)