Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The last minute gift and general Christmas musings

I broke down and did it. Made a last-minute knitted gift. No further details at the moment, but it was no more than 6 hours start to finish, including some crochet edging.

Pictures of that and my mother's stole after Christmas.

And...the Christmas Spirit is trickling in. The office lunch was fun; I love it when we take a few minutes and relax over food together. Nat King Cole's version of "The Christmas Song" is playing at the moment, and I just wrapped a last-minute present for someone here (they come running and plead—Scotch tape and wrapping paper are a mystery to most).

Tonight I'll wrap a few things for DH (we cut way back on gifts to one another this year, but I have a few things to put under the tree).

All the packages have been sent out, and yesterday I got all of the Christmas dinner and brunch and Boxing Day food shopping done. There were excellent sales at the market. Half off on the meat, and I had a nice gift card from work. The final bill was more than 50% off! We'll have enough to also make beef pot pies on Boxing Day, and a nice brunch then, too—I'm thinking cream cheese stuffed French toast, bacon, Champagne cocktails and juice. (Recipe for the French toast follows.)

Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Day-old or dry bread in thick slices (challah, raisin bread or other sturdy bread)
cream cheese (8 oz.)
honey (1 tsp. per every 8 oz. of cream cheese)
2 eggs for every 6 slices of bread
vanilla extract (1/8 tsp. for every egg)
half-and-half (2 tbl. for each egg)

Following the proportions marked, beat eggs with half-and-half and vanilla.

Whip cream cheese with honey. Add additional honey, if you like.

Slice into thick slices from one end, stopping about 1" from bottom of slice. (Don't cut all the way through; you want a pocket, not two slices of bread.) Spread a generous tablespoon or two of the sweetened cream cheese into the slit and press closed.

Place bread into batter; allow to sit for at least one minute each side (longer if you like).

Fry in a large skillet or on a griddle (don't crowd or they will not brown; you can keep those that are done in a slow oven to keep warm). Use a mixture of butter and oil (butter alone will burn). Fry until golden on both sides.

Serve with maple syrup or fresh fruit or fruit sauce or powdered sugar or whatever it is you like on your French toast.

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