Apple Cinnamon Baked French Toast

This is a mix up or recipes. It’s kind of a combination of apple cobbler, cinnamon rolls and French toast rolled all into one.

Our family has a tradition of breakfast for dinner on Sunday nights. I use this as an opportunity to experiment a little with breakfast options we’ve never tried before, or to make up and test new recipes. This was the later.

Here’s how I did it.

First mix up a basic baking powder biscuit dough with some cinnamon and sugar added.

Baking Powder Biscuit Dough:

2 cups all purpose flour (or your flour of choice)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbls baking powder

2 tbls sugar

1 tbls cinnamon

Cut in 1/2 stick of butter with pastry blender.

Add 1 cup of milk. Stir until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and pour out on to a floured surface. Knead just until smooth and let rest.

Apple filling:

4 Gala apples (or your favorite baking apple, or whatever is in your fridge), chopped into 1″ pieces

Melt 2 tbls butter in a large skillet. Stir in 3 tbls brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt, and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Stir in apples and cook about 3 minutes.

French Toast Mix:

2/3 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

Whisk together in a 2-cup measuring cup.

Put it all together:

Butter a large cast iron skillet or a big casserole dish.

Roll your biscuit dough into 2″ balls and space evenly around your skillet or casserole. Next, pour the French toast mix over the biscuit dough. Spoon your cooked apples over the top of everything. Bake for 25 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Serve with your favorite pancake topping – maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, whipped cream…. the options are endless.

Spicy Herbal Chai – Cleansing Tea, Safe for Pregnancy and Nursing

So, I’m picky about my teas. I’ve experimented for months to get a combination that I like. Too many herbs – too weak. Too much black tea – too much caffeine. Too many cloves – too strong. Too much black pepper – too spicy. Too much dandelion – too bitter.

This is just right. It’s sweet and spicy, hearty and robust. And it is a gentle cleanser for your liver and digestive system. The addition of dandelion, red clover, and milk thistle are gentle cleaners and liver protectors of for your liver. Dandelion, red clover, and nettle add excellent vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to your body.

These herbs are not only cleansing, but safe for pregnancy and nursing. Most are suggested herbs for using to add nutrients to your diet when pregnant and to your milk when nursing. As always, you should consult with your doctor or midwife before using any herbs especially if you take any medication.

Wanna try it…. here’s the recipe.

Spicy Cleansing Herbal Chai:

This recipe makes approximately 2 cups of loose leaf tea.

8 tsp loose leaf black tea

6 tsp dandelion leaf

5 tsp red clover

4 tsp nettle leaf

2 tsp mullien

2 tsp cinnamon sticks, crushed

2 tsp dried ginger

1 tsp stevia leaf

1 tsp dried orange peel

1 tsp cardamom pods, crushed

1/2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed

1/2 tsp whole cloves, crushed

1/2 tsp milk thistle, crushed

Mix all the ingredients. Add 2 tsp of tea mix to a tea strainer and steep for 5 minutes in boiling water.

Drink and enjoy!

My Garden – Late Summer 2019

Some of my best blooms this summer! Hope to do even better next year. I’ve already got my next years garden planned out and order with plants arriving for fall planting.

DIY Bug Spray – Insect Repellent

We are in the middle of another stretch of hot weather. I went out two evenings ago to water the flowers in the backyard and was immediately besieged by a swarm of mosquitoes. I could literally watch five of them land on my leg at once. I suffered through watering as quickly as I could while waving them away and swatting at the ones that actually landed on me. When I came in I counted 20+ mosquito bites on my arms and legs. The next day, I thought to put on my homemade bug spray first. I was out for longer this time and I watched to see how many would land on me. Only ONE mosquito even attempted to land on my bare legs and arms. I came in after watering for over half an hour with zero bites! Amazing isn’t it. Click the link above and then scroll down for the recipe. It’s easy. Grab a 2 oz. spray bottle from the travel sized toiletry department at Walmart, add a carrier oil, add in the essential oils of your choice, spray directly in your skin (avoiding clothing and eyes), rub in, and watch the mosquitoes stay away from you.

Note: The oils pictured above are the five that I find work the best at repelling mosquitoes. However, you should use Rosemary and Citronella with caution on children and young babies. Use a high dilution ratio for these oils as well as lemon as it is photosensitive and can cause sunburn when exposed to sunlight. Other safe oils to include if you would like to substitute something else for one of these oils would be geranium, catnip, cedarwood or vanilla. Visit http://www.hopewelloils.com to research safety information.

5 Grain Hot Breakfast Cereal

I’ve been trying to come up with new breakfast ideas lately. When you have to eliminate eggs, oats, nuts, and pork you really aren’t left with many options.

I raided my pantry and gathered up all my different bags of grains that I use for various things. Here’s what I came up with.

Rolled spelt, barley, millet, buckwheat, and quinoa.

I used the following proportions, but you could adjust the measurements or types of grains to suit your preferences.

5 Grain Breakfast Cereal:

1 cup quinoa

3/4 cup spelt flakes

3/4 cup barley flakes

1/2 cup mullet

1/4 creamy buckwheat cereal

Mix the grains together and store in a quart size jar.

To cook, use 1 1/2 cups of water for every 1/2 cup of cereal mix. Serving size is 1/2 cup of cereal mix per person. Simmer in water until the millet is cooked. Serve with butter or cream, and brown sugar.

My Garden – Late May 2018

Here’s what has popped up in the last couple of weeks and what I’ve planted in the last few days. We’ve had a rainy week, so I took advantage of it to plant my annuals and the last of my perennials for the year.

For annuals this year, I chose mixed green begonias, lavender vinca, white alyssum, and mixed impatiens.

In the perennial category, I added a few chrysanthemums, gaillardia, daylilies, ajuga, more lamium, and my new recent favorite, several varieties of agastache.

New to bloom since I posted last are perennial geranium, iris, more azaleas, honeysuckle (which I forgot to take a picture of), and the peony is so close to blooming.

So, let’s get on with the pictures.

Red azalea – such a bright, beautiful color in the front flower bed. (Also pictured, tulip foliage, iris and chrysathemum daisy rose.)

Shocking Pink Azalea – my favorite azalea color I think.

Purple azalea. My grandmother grew azaleas this color in her front yard.

Light pink azalea.

A new baby azalea to match the large shocking pink on the other side of the flower bed.

Flower box outside our front window. Pink begonias and white alyssum.

Pink begonias, white alyssum, lavender vinca on the bottom.

Annual lavender vinca.

Our pansies and orange impatiens grown from seed. They were hard to start so I’m pretty proud that they grew.

Bushel basket filled with a white begonia, white alyssum, and three mini chyrsanthemums from Trader Joe’s, one which we overwintered.

Red geraniums and white alyssum.

Begonias green basil, and purple basil in the large pot. Two lavender vincas in the little one.

Annuals – red begonias, white alyssum. Perennial – aster coming up in the center of the pot. I transplanted the aster out of the flower bed last fall.

Red pot includes annual begonia and white alyssum. Perennials pictured from behind the red pot moving clockwise are iris, Echinacea Tomato Soup, Agastache Summer Glow, salvia, fading muscari, lamb’s ears, Daylily Holiday Song, Chrysanthemum Daisy Red. In the center of the bed are Coreopsis Moonbeam, Chrysanthemum Mickey, Agastache Rosie Posie.

Annuals – begonias and white alyssum.

Pictured clockwise from the mailbox are iris, red azalea, Echinacea Pow-wow, lantana, fading muscari, lamb’s ears, wooly yarrow, Sedum Pachyclados, white alyssum, lavender vinca, lavender, rudibeckia, Agastache Champange. In the pot are begonias and white alyssum. In the center of the bed are red perennial salvia, begonias, chrysanthemum daisy pink, and annual lavender vinca.

Iris.

Perennial geranium.

The peony is so close to bloom.

Clockwise from top: Echinacea Mama Mia, Agastache Rosie Posie, Liatris, Gaillidaria Arizona Sun, Chrysanthemum Daisy Red. Pictured on the left side are the edges of the peony leaves.

The big clump is Black-Eyed Susan, peas and tomatoes along the side, and minature roses in the front.

Begonias, lavender vinca, white alyssum, and on the far right a sprig of transplanted Chrysanthemum Rose Grenadine.

Excuse the mess, we’re preparing to build a sandbox for the kids. Along the edges I’ve planted Ajuga Burgundy Glow and Ajuga Bronze Beauty as a ground cover to fill in the dirt under this shade tree.

Clockwise from top left: Pulmonaria Dark Vader, Astible Plumila, Tricyrtis Tojen, Ajuga Burgundy Glow (bottom right), Impatiens, and Fern (center of bed). Two other ferns and cyclamen are planted in this bed too but haven’t woken up yet.

From right to left: Daffodil foliage, Helleborous Pink Frost, Lamium White Nancy and Hostas across the front mixed with annual Impatiens. Far right is Lamium Orchid Frost. In the back are Spanish Bluebells and Bleeding Heart.

Hosta, Lamium and Impatiens.

Clockwise from bottom left: Phlox Amazing Grace, Rose Quietness, Cosmos and Carnation seedlings, Sweet William Cherry Jolt, Yellow Sedum, Lavender Vinca. Center: Sedum Firecracker, Sedum Autumn Joy.

Annual basket I received as a gift full of petunias and verbena.

Purple pansies.

Our pansy and orange impatiens seedlings with our little spring bird decoration and a sweet little girl for cuteness.

My Garden – Early May 2018

Our new House has a few flower beds, so I’ve spent the last couple of years reading, experimenting, and learning about gardening. I hope to compose a few upcoming blog posts highlighting some of the things I’ve learned, mistakes I’ve made, what’s worked and what hasn’t, etc. But until then here’s some pictures of what’s growing in my garden (zone 6b) so far for Spring 2018.

Lamb’s Ears

Daffodils.

Tulips.

Hellebore Pink Frost.

Ajuga Burgundy Glow.

Plumonaria Dark Vader.

Rose Wild Ginger.

Forsythia.

Red Tulip.

Red Tulips and Peony srouts in the background.

Vinca Minor. Evergreen perennial Periwinkle.

More Periwinkle.

Overwintered red Geranium.

Overwintered pink Geranium.

Red Tulip and Muscari or Grape Hyacyinth.

Mixed Tulips with perennials coming up around them.

Phlox Blue.

Purple Tulips with an Azalea that is about to burst.

Phlox Amazing Grace.

Lettuce.

Radishes and spinach seedlings.

Tulip Pretty Princess.

Bleeding Heart.

Crabapple.

Yellow and red Tulips.

Cherry blossoms!

Bright pink Azalea.