Friday, November 7, 2014

Candied French Toast Recipe

Since the holiday months are full of cooking homemade goodies, I thought it would be fun to share some of my own recipes, favorites around our house. 

I was quite good at the lab component of chemistry. That could be why I am excellent in the kitchen, since cooking is just chemistry. Or, I just listened really well to my mom. In either case, I don't say this to brag, it's just a talent that I have been blessed with and love to share with everyone. I am finally ready to share some of my secret recipes with you that have kept family and visitors in our home coming back for more. The recipe I am going to start with is candied french toast.

What you will need:
Bread: I like Nature's Own Butterbread, but the Texas Toast size slices are the best for french toast

5 eggs
2 Tbls of milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp nutmeg
(Combine above in one dish).

2 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
(combine above in a small dish or a spice container that you can sprinkle the mixture out of).

*Do not mix the cinnamon and sugar in with the egg mixture like traditional french toast recipes.*

Mix the eggs, milk, vanilla and nutmeg together in a pie plate. It's easiest to soak bread slices in a flat pie plate.

Soak the bread slices for just long enough to coat both sides, then put it in the preheated butter pan.

With one side cooking, sprinkle the sugar mixture on the raw egg side of the bread. Now, the point of this is that you want the sugar to be on top of the mixture, not mixed in with the egg. You want the sugar coating on top to have immediate contact with the heat. Why? What happens to sugar when it is heated? The white sugar turns to a hard coating and the brown sugar caramelizes.

The reason I don't sprinkle the sugar mixture on the first side that is cooking while it is soaking in the egg mixture is because I don't want to get any of the sugar and cinnamon in the egg mixture. With adding more as you cook, it could get overwhelming in flavor if you add it to the egg mixture as well.

Turn your bread slices over so the sugared part can caramelize and the egg mixture can cook. 

Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture on the cooked side of the bread. When the other side is done cooking, flip slices again for just a moment so that the other side can caramelize. This will happen immediately.

I always sprinkle the finished product with a bit more cinnamon sugar on top for good measure ;) Can't have too much.

Happy tummies make for happy dinner table conversations and a happy day!

If you try this, let me know how it comes out. I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November sponsor: Film Funding and update on October sponsor

Another month has passed for the Meli family, and I hope they are doing well. We had a successful month and were able to donate $285.00 to their family. The Window Treatments by Melissa family wishes them the best and hope this small amount will help them.

This month we are helping a budding film director, Jared Cooley, fund his first full length film, taking him to the next step in his career as a film maker! A few years ago we helped Jared with a short film project called "The Black Bird." The Black Bird film is about a young boy in elementary school who becomes witness to a series of coincidences between his fellow classmates and a strange black bird that seems to target the next to die.

You can check out the Chattanooga Film Festival Recap podcast here where at 26:46 it is said about The Black Bird, "... It looked like a professional film shrunken to 14 minutes. . . the story was clever. . . . . the highlight of that segment of short films. . . ." Statement by Scott Phillips. I'm excited to see what Jared can do with a full length film! 

Here are some fun facts about the film The Black Bird:

The animal trainer for the "cravens" used in the film were trained and handled by David Sousa(The Matrix, Harry Potter films, Thor, Game of Thrones). We had them for one day and cost most of the budget. A storm came in causing the script to be slightly rewritten because of a location change.

It took four days to shoot, one of which was reserved entirely for the climax scene.

The Film was shot on a RED One MX camera.

The band Jukebox The Ghost allowed the use of their song "Devils On Our Side."

Jared says:
I was very fortunate with the making of The Black Bird with the crew and talent involved in making it come to life. The obvious one would be with the black bird itself. I met the animal trainer, David Sousa, on a previous set I was working on. He told me about birds he was raising and training that needed set experience. From that point the gears were turning and six months later the script took shape. There was no question of who I was going to for the bird in this film. David's long list of work speaks for it's self and my experience with him and his animals were phenomenal.

I also need to mention my cinematographer, Devin Keebler. I have known him from the beginning and there is no one else I would rather have behind the lens with me. His passion and vision is beyond anyone I've encountered in the field. His work with the colorist on this film is unbelievable.

Visual FX on this film came for an intern from Valencia College. No one would know but there were many visual fxs that are seamless: guide wire removal for the bird, sky replacement, and window replacement with entire outside environment and rain created.
Last but not least my actors John Corbin(Billy) and Bill Huggins(mystery character). First John was leaps and bonds the best child actor I have ever worked with. Amazing talent and can't wait to work with him again. Now, Bill had never acted in anything at all and exceeded my expectations. He worked weeks on his character and only had one shooting day. He mastered everything I was looking for and made the character real for the scene.

Jared's next film is underway with casting, set locations, script writing, etc. And we're going to help on the funding end of the project! It's going to be a mystery thriller and is set to film in May. We're excited to help out on Jared's film and hope our small donation will get him that much closer to achieving his dream.

For the month of November, domestic sales can get free shipping in our etsy store. Custom window treatments can get pricey to ship since they are unique sizes and often mounted on heavy mounting boards. Our shipping prices START around $15.00, so take advantage of this coupon code:


This code will be good through all of November on domestic US shipping. 

We're so glad to be a part of this film project and hope to be a support in reaching this goal and dream! Good luck, Jared! The film is going to be amazing!