Saturday, March 27, 2010

Juj-Style Stuffed French Toast

A friend wanted the recipe for the French toast I made the other day, and because I sort of guessed at everything, I don't have exact measurements or instructions.  But- if you know even a hair about baking you should be fine with the following recipe.  As always with baking, you don't need exact measurements because it isn't an exact science.  So you your best judgements. 

So, depending how many people you are going to be feeding, you have to adjust all of my guestimates. I made four pieces and one piece is two pieces of bread, plus the filling. One is enough for one person.

You will need:
Thick or heavy bread (Italian or raisin bread works)
Eggs (3+, depending on faces you are serving)
Cream cheese
Powdered sugar
Vanilla/nutmeg/cinnamon/almond extract (pick one or two, vanilla is needed for filling)
Any fruit or jam you might want for the top or filling

Pre heat oven to 350.

Start with three eggs, and probably little less than a cup of milk. Beat the eggs and milk like you would for regular French toast, add some vanilla extract (a tablespoon, more or less for taste).

The bread needs to be thick, or sort of stiff. I used homemade raisin bread because it's really heavy and won't fall apart in the egg mixture. Soak four pieces in the eggs mixture, and put them in a nonstick pan (be sure to use baking grease on your pan- I learned the hard way nonstick does not really mean nonstick). They need to be REALLY soaked.

So, while those are sitting in the pan, go over to your bar of cream cheese. You need to beat the shit out of this if you don't have a mixer, and you may have enormous muscles when you're done. Add half a cup of milk to it. Depending on how thick you want the stuffing to be, you can add more. Once it's semi-beat to death, add a quarter cup of powdered sugar, and two tbs of vanilla extra, or you can use whatever you'd like- nutmeg, cinnamon, almond extract. Make sure this is good and mixed. If you want, you can also add some jam to flavor it, or even a mashed banana or two.

Once you have this done, spread out the filling on top of the bread in the pan. You can put as much as you want or as little. I put a few scoops per slice. Next, soak your next pieces of bread for the top. Slap them on them on there. You may or may not have a lot of egg mixture left, but pour the remaining over top of the bread. Doesn't matter if there is some in the bottom because the bread will soak it up, or the eggs will just bake.

Stick it in the oven. Depending if you LIKE butter on it or not, you can pull it out at 20 mins to dollop some butter on it, and some cinnamon or powdered sugar. Stick in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. You will know it is done when the top is browned. I stick a knife in the center to see how mushy the bottom pieces of bread are, as well. It's hard to tell when they are done, but you will know.

And, it's ready to serve! Make sure you separate them and take them out of the pan ASAP because otherwise they will dry to the pan. Of course you can put fruit, syrup, etc on top. They are VERY filling though, so don't make any heavy sides. Maybe some turkey bacon or something. Plus, if you're on a diet- unless you use lowfat everything, it's going to be a bit on the high cal side.

That is my recipe! Tell me if you end up making it. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Finding It Hard To Feel

I've never been one for affection.  I was never hugged and kissed as a child; I never had parents that praised me or made it known that I was in fact loved.  It may hurt them to know I realize this now, as an adult, because I find it had to show affection to anyone I love.  Of course, I still say 'Love ya,' to my friends, closest family, et cetera; but real affection?  Unheard of.  I do not know what it feels like to want to express that part of myself.

This is all hitting me very hard because there are certain people in my life I wish I could say and do affectionate things towards.  I am feeling lately like they may take it as rejection when I don't return their gestures.  It's not that I don't want to, or that I don't feel it.  It is that, well...I don't know how to and still feel comfortable with myself.

I've always been closed-hearted despite how very big-hearted I am.  I let people in all the time- if I like you, you find a place in my heart.  At the same time, it's rare to find me opening that part of myself up to just anyone. 

Why is this?  I think if I could solve this problem about myself, I could solve my problems in life, period.  Maybe if I could feel and let in a little bit more love...affection...I may be a bit happier with myself and my life.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Art of Dissection

Sometimes I believe that this journey we all go through called Life is nothing more than a sick joke created by Man himself to amuse his days and nights.  Other days I realize this couldn't possibly be true, because despite the fact that some scenes here on Earth are hilarious, and sometimes heart warming, others are completely wretched and heart breaking.  No sane entity would enjoy watching the suffering of others.  Yet there is so much of it today.

Without tragedy, we'd have no way to judge our happiness.  It seems like a contradiction in itself.  Why couldn't we all live in complete oblivion of what happiness or sadness was?  Why is it that we have been bestowed upon with these these flutterings and flappings of feelings?  Feelings, feelings...

The very essence of them both drags and lifts me in a hundred different directions while still managing to hold me down in the very spot I wish to be far away from.  If I could fly, I would do so in a heartbeat, but I know that at the same time, I'd long for Earth once I was in the sky.  Isn't that the way it is, though?  You hate the very place you're in only because you are there- if you were somewhere else you would want to be back where you were before.  Sort of like how I long for Michigan but dreaded it while I was there.

The only way to fix this knotted rope of crazy feelings is to accept them as they are and move on in life.  I cannot keep holding myself down because I don't understand something.  I could ponder and wonder and disassemble and reunite every piece of emotion that I feel and it would accomplish nothing.  I'd still be a bundle of confusion.  I think this goes for everyone.  Others are just more accepting of the fact, and instead of trying to figure everything out they go on about life.  I always thought one of my greatest talents is being able to say exactly how I feel.  Maybe it is one of my greatest faults as well, for if I wasn't so great at doing so, maybe I would spend more time living life instead of dissecting it.

So far, it's done nothing good for me.  I love to dwell.  I could probably put it as one of my favorite past times.  I'm good at it.  In parting ways with Arizona, I want to teach myself to forget dissecting and instead enjoy everything as a whole, not as pieces of something larger than myself.  Though parts of life have seemed cruel jokes, life altogether is not.  It is sad, and crazy, and lame, and sometimes disastrous, but it is great.  I think I will toss away my knife for now and forget taking things apart.  Maybe it will make more sense to me then.