Day 8: French Toast for Brunch

Day 8 of our 25 Days of Christmas list was make French toast for brunch.  It ended up being an impromptu gathering with a few great friends of ours.  I decided to make it into a “French Toast Bar,” mimosas, pigs in a blanket, and left over mini apple pies included.  Tim’s best friend, Theresa, had an awesome idea to add to our festive afternoon.  “Let’s make a gingerbread house with Liam!”  You don’t have to twist my arm to do anything festive this year, especially with our love bug.  Even though he can’t build the house entirely, he can help by snacking on some of the goodies and say his favorite  word “Wow!”  He also enjoyed eating the mini marshmallows during our snowball fight in the living room.

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The French toast was AMAZING! (recipe below)  Everyone really enjoyed it.. thank goodness because this was my first attempt. Whew!

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FRENCH TOAST RECIPE

What you need:

  • French toast bread (thick kind)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • Hot maple syrup
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Whisk together eggs, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.  On low heat melt butter in pan (I sprayed nonstick olive oil in pan prior so that nothing sticks).  Dip both sides of bread into mixture .  Not too much cause you don’t want it too soggy.  Fry in pan 2-3 minutes on both sides until golden brown.  Then sprinkle powdered sugar on top and finish with the warm maple syrup of your choice!

Viola!  Amazing French toast!

 

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Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pies

The sound of salted caramel pies really caught my attention when browsing for a recipe on Pinterest.  I’m a little hesitant when I have to make the crust from scratch cause I always end of screwing it up.  But these were really fun to make and I love mini desserts!  The only tweaking I have to do is add more apple and caramel pieces to each pie the next time.  Oh, and complete the dessert with vanilla ice cream… YUM!  These cute pies would be perfect for gifts.  Just wrap them up in something festive or pile them into a holiday box and viola!

25 Days of Christmas

Day 6: Bake mini apple pies and give to friends and family.

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Recipe from:  Just  a Taste

Ingredients:

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold sour cream

For the filling:
2 cups small diced (peeled) Granny Smith apples
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
8 store-bought soft caramels, roughly chopped
Large flake sea salt I used regular sea salt
Egg wash (1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water)
Crystal sanding sugar (optional) I used regular sea salt as well

Directions:

Make the dough:

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.

Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.

Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.

Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.

Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8×10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.

Make the filling:

In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

Assemble the pies:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14×14-inch square.

Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles. (You should have approximately 20 3-inch circles.)

Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt. Place a second dough circle on top of each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.

Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional) I used a pinch of sea salt.

Bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough circles.

ENJOY!!

Thanksgiving in Texas

Here’s a recap to our Thanksgiving in Texas.  We started off in San Antonio and stayed there for two days to visit. Then we were off to Corpus Christi to spend the rest of the week with my dad’s side of the family.

I wish I would have taken more photos with everyone, but I think we were just having too much fun!  There is never a dull moment at the Garcia headquarters aka my Aunt Christina’s house.  This is the place where all the family gets together; uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews on my dad’s side of the family.  On my mom’s side, we get together in San Antonio at my Grandma Beatrice house.  She makes the best oatmeal cookies eva!  Wish we could’ve stayed longer in Texas.  I only get to see them once a year,  so it’s always sad to say goodbye.  Anyways, here are a few photos of our memorable trip!

San Antonio

I took Tim to one of the best Mexican restaurants in Downtown San Antonio.  The place is called Rosario’s.  Enchiladas and margaritas are so delicious!  Wish they had an LA restaurant just as good.

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                                   A delicious jalapeño cucumber margarita!!IMG_0192

IMG_0212Liam is so tempted to pull off those ornaments!
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Next stop, the Alamo!  The last time I was here was in 6th grade.  Never once had I thought I’d visit this place again, but Tim was determined to take a tour.  So we decided to make it happen.  It was really cold, but that didn’t stop Liam from having some fun!

IMG_0470The Mitchell family feat around the world!!
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Little guy on the move!IMG_0217 IMG_0227

Corpus Christi

IMG_0303Have I mentioned how much Liam LOVES books?  Let’s just put it this is, he prefers his books over his toys.  His cousin Olivia reads one of his new books from Grandpa… One Fish, Two Fish…

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They don’t have ice cream trucks in LA! Liam’s first orange push-up!  He was so excited. 🙂
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Good times at the grocery store.  IMG_0359 IMG_0366 IMG_0381Last day in Corpus we joined the family at my cousin Olivia’s birthday party.  It was held at a huge gym where all the kids could run, jump, and do cartwheels.  What a great way to end our day before our 2 hour drive back to San Antonio.

Grandma and Liam

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I swear that is not my middle finger! It’s actually my pointer…pointing to the frosting all over Liam’s face. lolIMG_0466 IMG_0396

The birthday girl!IMG_0409What a stud. He can’t keep the girls away!IMG_0436 My favorite cousin Monica and I.IMG_0441 IMG_0467 IMG_0468 IMG_0469I’m also bummed that I didn’t capture the huge Thanksgiving feast we had.  As always, we had our bellies full and our hearts filled with love.   We are so grateful for family, food, and much more! We also never miss a game of Taboo.  It’s a blast when all of us play while drinking several cocktails.   It was nothing but fun and laughs the whole way through.  Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving as much as we did!!  🙂

25 Fun Things to Do This Christmas!

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We made it back to LA from Texas! What a great Thanksgiving week with the family.  Lots of food, love, and laughter made it so unforgettable!  I can’t believe how time flies when you are having fun.  I am already looking forward to the next year!  Photos coming soon. 🙂

Now, it’s time to get ready for the holidays!  My absolute favorite time of the year, besides Thanksgiving, is Christmas.  Even though we won’t be here, it doesn’t stop us from doing the usual holiday decorating, gift giving, and baking holiday desserts.  We also watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and drink eggnog with Brandy……

Clark: “Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.”

HAHAHA!! This is one of my favorite quotes!

There is so much fun stuff to do so I decided, for the first time, to make a 25 Days of Christmas list.  You can check out daily photos on my Instagram.

Day 1:  Last day in Texas to hang out with the family before heading back to LA!

Day 2:  Take silly family photo at the airport.

Day 3:  Set up small Christmas tree and other holiday decor around the house.

Day 4:  Finish Liam’s custom made toy chest.  Add letters, stain, and chalkboard paint to complete the look!

Day 5:  Take photo with Santa Claus at the Los Angeles Grove!

Day 6:  Bake mini Christmas donuts.  See day 16.

Day 7:  Take family Christmas photo to send to family and friends.

Day 8:  Make french toast and listen to Christmas music.

Day 9:  Shop for family gifts.

Day 10: Donate toys and clothes to a local charity.

Day 11: Make a holiday Christmas ornament with Liam.

Day 12: Make a romantic candlelight dinner for the hubby.

Day 13:  Watch National Lampoon Christmas Vacation and enjoy Christmas cocktails.

Day 14:  Take Liam to a snow day with friends during the day and eat Christmas cookies.

Day 15:  Host a christmas gathering with a few friends, play board games, and drink egg nog with Brandy.

Day 16:  Bake salted caramel pies and give to friends.

Day 17:  Buy new holiday PJ’s for Liam and myself.

Day 18:  Snuggle and read holiday books with Liam.

Day 19:  Get a manicure with a new red nail polish.

Day 20:  Listen to Christmas music while packing our bags for our 2 week trip in Wyoming.  It’s 16 degrees there! Burrrrr!

Day 21:  Fly to Wyoming to see the family for Christmas and New Year’s! Another silly photo at the airport.

Day 22:  Make snow angels and drink hot chocolate, aka snowman soup.

Day 23:  Chop down Christmas tree and make a snowman!

Day 24:  Take part in a White Elephant gift exchange with the family Christmas Eve.

Day 25:  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Open gifts and have Christmas dinner!

PS.. Reggie is here for a visit so he will be joining the fun too!