A conversation that just happened after today’s breakfast. “There are new toy dolls, Mommy! They are so cute!” Child at computer ready to show me examples of the dolls.
“Mm-mm.” Me at my laptop contemplating baked donuts. How do you make donuts without a donut baking pan or a frying pan full of hot oil? I love donuts. Especially sour cream donuts. We all love donuts. We are out of donuts. Hmmm. I can think of nothing but donuts.
“We have nothing to do at inside recess, and could I play with these and then put them back in my backpack when I’m done.”
“What’s that.” Maybe sour cream donuts are too ambitious. Maybe sour cream coffee cake would be easier.
“Here they are.” Turns computer to me.
“Those are troll dolls.” There are a dozen crazy-haired, crazy-eyed tiny toys creatures staring from the screen.
“They are so cute. I have money to spend and I can pay for them myself.” Big brown eyes hold mine.
“You must still save some your money.” My muscles loosen to this idea, my brain warms to this small request.
“Even if I buy them, I’ll still have money saved. A lot of money. Could you get this for me today? Please?” Cue the cute puppy eyes and face.
“Perhaps. Now let’s study for your science test. And brush and braid your hair.”
And so we do.
Despite a two-hour school delay and record-breaking temperatures in Ohio, it is sunny skies, light winds. Roads and parking lots are clear. A small request. Perhaps, my girl, I’ll find a troll doll for you.
In the meantime, time for a sweet experiment. I hope it turns out okay….
Dessert Hack: Baked Donuts
No donut pan? Don’t want to mess with hot oil? No worries: Use a muffin tin. In the center of each muffin stand a tiny tube of aluminum foil. Spoon small amount of batter around the tube. Bake as directed and cool for a few minutes before removing the foil. Let cool.
Thought for the day: Be ready to improvise! Try something different, even if it’s a small something, and see what happens.
Today was a snow day, meaning a house full of girls home from school. Plus, the carpet in the living room and a bedroom was replaced this morning, which meant lots of moving furniture all around the house.
After throwing together the world’s easiest and tastiest slow cooker meal–Italian sausage and a jar of chunky marinara–I got out a loaf of Italian bread. It was stale and about one hour away from growing new life forms. Fortunately, I had a bowl of whipped cream (leftover from strawberries and cream from the night before. The strawberries went first!). Plus, there was half of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and enough sugar and eggs to bake something yummy.
I decided it was time for an experiment. Warm bread pudding seemed like the perfect dessert, especially after a day of cleaning and rearranging furniture on a cold and snowy day.
Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
1/2 loaf Italian bread, chopped
3 T butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup prepared whipped cream (I made 16 oz. heavy whipping cream with 1 T sugar)
1 T vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, spread out the chopped bits of bread. Bake 5-10 minutes, until golden and toasted. In an 8″ x 8″ glass baking pan, melt 3 T butter. Swirl it around to coat the pan. Put in the toasted bread and drizzle the milk on top to help the bread absorb liquid. In a medium bowl, whisk prepared whipped cream, vanilla, eggs, and sugar. Pour over the bread, pressing down with the back of a spoon to help absorb liquid. I scattered chocolate chips and brown sugar on top. Bake for 1 hour or until it is puffed and set in the center. Serve warm with ice cream or more whipped cream.
Thought for the day: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. We can make the best of any situation by staying flexible and open to new possibilities.