Fighting Fear with Blueberry French Toast

18 years – I remember when 9-11 happened.  My children were young and in school and my husband was traveling for business.  After the children were in bed that night I felt so helpless – so emotionally exhausted yet I knew I was not ready for sleep.  Turning on the TV would just be listening to words – seeing images I had repeatedly absorbed throughout the day.  I wanted to protect my children from a world that these unspeakable things could happen knowing deep in my heart there are only so many things a mother has control of.  So the question came to my mind – “What do you have control over?”  “How can you love your children in this time of uncertainty?”  For me – it was giving them something they enjoyed – something that had a proven track record of happiness.  For me – this would be accomplished in my kitchen.  And so I set about pulling the ingredients out on my counter for Blueberry French Toast – a lovely recipe that sits in refrigerator overnight and is baked in the oven.  In the past the smell of this baking would bring huge smiles to little faces.  I was just hoping that it would remind us that there have been happy times in the past and in faith and hope we could look forward to good times in the future.  So I cut the french bread in small pieces and mixed up the eggs and milk.  Each task was a balm to my soul. I took each piece of bread and dipped it into the wet mixture and placed it in the greased pan.  Perhaps this is how we would heal – one deliberate task of love at a time.  That recipe encouraged me to move at a time where it would be so easy to get stuck in front of our tvs, computers, newspapers for the next new tidbit of a horrific event. Our country doesn’t need people who sit – no, our country needs people who will reach out and start moving with loving actions one person at a time.

Blueberry French Toast
A wonderful breakfast that can be prepped the night before and popped into the oven the next morning.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Loaf of french bread, sliced in 1/2 inch sliced
  2. 2 Eggs
  3. 1 3/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk or Milk of your Choice
  4. 2 Tbsp Sugar or sweetener of choice
  5. 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  6. 1 1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries
  7. Crumb Mixture
  8. White Spelt Flour or Flour of your Choice
  9. Brown Sugar
  10. Earth Balance or Butter, chilled
Instructions
  1. Prepare a 8 X 8 square pan by spraying lighting with PAM
  2. If using flax "egg" see * and mix accordingly
  3. In medium bowl mix milk, sugar, vanilla, egg, and fruit spread until combined
  4. Take each slice of bread and dip both sides into milk mixture. Place in pan until the bottom is covered with a layer of bread.
  5. Spoon 3 Tbsp of milk mixture over bread
  6. Place sliced apples on top
  7. Repeat with another layer of dipped bread
  8. Using a spatual press down on top to pack down
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 6-8 hours in fridge.
  10. Mix ingredients for crumb mixture in a small blender or food processor.
  11. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  12. Remove from refrigerator
  13. Spread blueberries on top
  14. Spread crumb mixture of top
  15. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  16. Can be eaten out of the oven but it let cool for 15 minutes before trying to cut. It's amazing how much better this cuts if it can cool, sit in refrigerator for several hours and then reheated or served cold as a bread pudding.
  17. May be topped with powdered sugar, whipped soy or dairy cream.
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Kitchen Pantry Makeover

When we downsized 3 years ago, we felt the house had good bones on the most part. I say “on the most part” because the kitchen didn’t have a pantry in the kitchen, but instead there was was what I would have considered a hall closet which was located inside what we are calling the living room. It’s probably because the space we are using as a living room was separated into a small living room and formal dining room thus a closet as a pantry could be considered off the formal dining room.

We have since added a small pantry inside the kitchen in the breakfast nook area but it wasn’t big enough to provide much storage. Back in November I started researching on YouTube and Pinterest what others have done to organize their pantry. I began visiting Dollar Tree, thrift shops, 99 Cent Stores, Tuesday Morning and picking up containers to create general categories of items. I also purchased some chalkboard stickers and tags for labeling.

In January my husband went away for a few days which was the perfect time to pull everything out, go through items and get rid of anything with an expired date.

Here is where I started.


This is where I ended up. The empty spot is where my Instant Pot now lives.

Containers Labels: Bags, Kitchens Accessories, Seasonings, Snacks, Nuts and Seeds, Produce, Bags, Grains, Beans, Extra, and Paper Towels


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It’s now been 5 months since I did this project and I only wish I had done this project years ago because….

  • my cupboards have consistently remained organized
  • seeing what I have on hand or need to replenish is easy
  • allows my husband ease in finding items or putting them away
  • the large tub for Extras provides a sealed space to store items that come in large bags from Costco, etc.
  • placing measuring cups and directions with storage containers for rice and quinoa expedite cooking
  • storing larger items that aren’t used often in the back of deeper shelves is a good use of these space. The front part of the shelf can be used for what is needed most often.
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Instant Pot Recipe Sources

I often get asked where I find my recipes for the The Instant Pot.  In fact my friend, Ellen, asked me a few minutes ago.  It’s been on my list to post so thanks Ellen for the motivation.  For someone who was timid about using the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker over a year ago and sat 20 feet away while I did the water test, it now has a permanent place on my kitchen counter.  I started with the brown rice, quinoa and steel oats recipes from the cookbook that came with the appliance. Soon I wanted a little more and begin branching out into blogs which then led me to some amazing cookbooks.  There are times I’ll take two recipes from different sources and tweak it to my palate.  

Here are two of my favorite instant pot cookbooks.  Also be sure to check out their websites – there is a lot of valuable information and recipes. 

Cookbooks

Instant Loss

This Old Gal’s Pressure Cooker Cookbook

Websites

This Old Gal

Instant Loss

Facebook Closed Groups 

Instant Pot Community

Instant Loss

Affiliate logs are used to help offset the cost of Deliciously Inspired.

Appliances are only as good as the recipes going into them.  Pictured below is Chicken Tortilla Soup from the Instant Loss Cookbook.  This recipe is quick and delicious because everything goes into the pot  at once and 13-15 minutes later it is done.  I am a big fan of homecoming because unlike going out to eat – the cook is in control of what ingredients and how much of those ingredients go in.

 

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