Saturday, December 27, 2008
Inactive Prep Time:
8 hr 0 min
6 to 8 servings
1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
8green onions trimmed and thinly sliced
3/4 cups sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cups sesame seeds, toasted
2 packages Ramen noodles, uncooked (discard flavor packet)
Combine cabbage and green onions in large bowl. In a separate bowl combine toasted sesame seeds , almonds and ramen noodles. Just before serving combine the two bowls and toss with the dressing.
1 cup salad oil (Canola)
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
REAL BUFFALO CHICKEN WING DIP
4 chicken breasts (or any kind of boneless chicken meat)
1 bottle blue cheese sauce or ranch
1 package cream cheese
1 small bottle Frank's hot sauce or coat chicken with Texas Pete hot sauce shredded mozzarella cheese
Boil (or simmer) chicken in water (or optionally, chicken broth) for 30 minutes or until cooked.Heat oven to 425°F.
In an oven safe dish, spread cream cheese along the bottom. Shred chicken into a separate bowl. Add blue cheese sauce and Frank's hot sauce (depending on how hot you'd like it).
Spread chicken mixture over the top and sprinkle with mozzarella (too much cheese will make it hard for dipping).
Cook for 20 minutes or until cheeses becomes bubbly.
Serve with tortillas or Triscuits.
Can you tell we are exhausted? Countless hours of shopping, hundreds of $(we have 9 kids), 100's of miles on the road going to find gifts, countless nerves fighting the traffic and crowds, today we are finally done shopping !!!!
But the time we spent together to see our kids smile on Christmas morning........ priceless! Making memories for our kids is well worth any exhaustion I may feel. Christmas morning at the Holcombe house will be a blast or totally, let's just say busy..Breakfast is at 10am if your hungry or just brave!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
>I'm invisible.>>It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. >>Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!>>One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this.">>It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.">>In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work. No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.>>A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees.">>I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for Me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.">>At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.>>When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there.">>As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.>>Great Job, MOM