Happiness Project#52: Raspberry French Toast Rolls!

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It’s been a rough week. Or in all actuality, a rough month. From the day I was born 3 months premature, I fought for my lungs. My breath. My Life. And 36 years later, I’m still fighting. For my lungs. My breath. And my Life. In more ways than ever before. And although I am immensely blessed to be surrounded and uplifted by a very strong, loving group of Family & Friends, there are still days and nights where I feel very alone in this battle of mine. Because the truth? Unless you’ve been there, and walked in my shoes, particularly within the last 4 to 5 years, there’s only so much that anyone else can truly understand. And only so many ways that I can try to vocalize the things that I feel and think. Which leads to this week’s struggle with myself and my lungs. Resulting in 2 new inhalers, which leave me shaky, dizzy and horribly tired. As in “I can’t even see straight, more or less stand upright” shaky, dizzy and tired. So needless to say, it’s been one of THOSE weeks for me. One of which I cannot wait to be done & over with.

Anyhow, since you all know that baking is the one form of therapy that keeps me going, when I’m at my lowest, I desperately wanted to whip up something quick & pretty, with lots of taste. With fruit. Because holy geez, am I so READY to indulge in my favorite fruits this season! So. Ready.

Pinterest, apparently, is just as ready as I am, too. Umm, have you SEEN all of the newly pinned fruit recipes this year?? It’s bananas! Literally. Thanks to a newish Blueberry French Toast Roll Ups recipe from Damn Delicious, I was overjoyed to break out the frying pan and whip up my own breakfast dish. With raspberries and strawberries. And more cinnamon-y goodness than you’ve ever beheld. Ready for some fruity happiness in a pan? Here we go…

4 tablespoons salted butter

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

8 slices white bread, crusts removed

3 ounces cream cheese, softened slightly

1/2 cup raspberries, mashed up with a fork, OR 1/2 cup cored and finely diced fresh strawberries

Firstly, after removing the crusts, gently roll flat each bread slice, using either a rolling pin or the flat palms of your hands. Line up each flattened slice onto a flat plate and set aside.

Place the half cup of raspberries into a small bowl and flatten (or crush) each of them up with a fork, until the texture is pulpy and nearly smooth.

Using a small butter knife, spread out about a tablespoon & a half of cream cheese onto each bread slice. Try to spread on the cream cheese as evenly as possible. Now, on the bottom lip of each bread slice, spoon on up to 1 tablespoon of the crushed raspberries. With the tips of your fingers, firmly but gently roll up the bread slice, starting with the bottom lip (with the raspberries), all the way to the top. Once each slice is rolled up, set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Dredge each roll up in the egg batter, covering throughly.

Now to the frying pan! In a medium sized frying pan, on meduim-high heat, drop 2 tablespoons of butter into the pan, letting the butter coat the entire pan. Once the melted butter starts bubbling slightly, drop 2 to 3 french toast roll ups into the pan, turning the roll up over once or twice to create an evenly fried skin. If there’s not enough butter on the pan while you’re working through each set of 2 to 3 roll ups, add in another tablespoon of butter between each set.

While each roll up is still hot from the pan, transfer each piece to the bowl with the cinnamon & sugar mixture and generously coat. Because what’s french toast without a lovely helping of cinnamon-sugar?? Not French Toast, I believe.

Serve immediately. With MORE fruit. Because there’s no such thing as too much fruit for breakfast. Well, to me there isn’t.

*Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious

Happiness Project Recipe #17: Cinnamon French Toast Niblets!

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Oh breakfast! Bacon, eggs, hashed browns, pancakes, waffles and yes, we must not forget the most popular household staple: french toast! Since becoming pregnant 10 & a 1/2 weeks ago, this wiggling, waving little one has demanded so much from me, it’s actually quite astounding. Never before have I felt such a GROWLING need for comfort foods at such random hours of the day (and night)! Particularly in regards to breakfast foods! Up until now, breakfast was just NOT my thing. Give me dessert (any dessert!) & I was good. But since I’m now eating with another one’s appetite in mind, I will desist my snobbish disregard for breakfast foods & go with the cravings, AKA: Baby says, Momma does. Today’s craving? French Toast, which I’ve never had the pleasure of creating before. So French Toast bite-size niblets it is! Hungry? Here’s what you’ll need…

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1/2 cup low fat buttermilk

1/2 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 loaf french or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Your favorite syrup

First, break out your cutting board & a large serrated knife to chop up your bread loaf of choice.

Next, in a medium size bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a 2nd bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk, vanilla and salt until nicely blended. Place the bread cubes in the egg mixture and using a large spoon, toss gently until the cubes are thoroughly coated and the egg mixture has been completely absorbed.

In a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of the butter. Drop half of the coated bread cubes into the pan and cook, turning often, until golden brown on each side, for about 8-10 minutes. When your 1st batch of bread cubes is nicely cooked up to your desired preference, move them to a dry bowl or plate on the side and repeat with the remaining bread cubes and 1 tablespoon of butter.  Once all of your cubes are cooked, sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar, using as little or as much as you like. Now, serve, with your favorite syrup and/or a little spoonful of powdered sugar and nibble, nibble away!

Happy breakfasting, my friends!

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