Apples and honey french toast, two ways

Apples and honey french toast | Me & the Moose. Stuffed or plain, this french toast combines fall flavors of apples and honey for a delicious breakfast or dinner. #meandthemoose #fall #frenchtoast #roshhashanah #apples #honey #breakfast

This post is a study in life with children. The once-round challah is squished from trying to coax M up the stairs and no matter how I tried, I couldn't keep his hands out of the honey. And he took a bite out of my prop apple. AND this was also supposed to be a Rosh Hashanah post, but here we are waving goodbye to Yom Kippur and I'm just now getting around to it. KIDS, AMIRIGHT?  

Apples and honey french toast | Me & the Moose. Stuffed or plain, this french toast combines fall flavors of apples and honey for a delicious breakfast or dinner. #meandthemoose #fall #frenchtoast #roshhashanah #apples #honey #breakfast

Anyway, tis the season for leftover challah, so hopefully this breakfast-for-dinner (or breakfast-for-breakfast) treat comes in handy. Since this one contains a lot of honey, remember not to feed it to those under age 1.

Apples and honey french toast | Me & the Moose. Stuffed or plain, this french toast combines fall flavors of apples and honey for a delicious breakfast or dinner. #meandthemoose #fall #frenchtoast #roshhashanah #apples #honey #breakfast

French toast with apples and honey butter

My go-to recipe for basic French Toast
Leftover challah (Cut into 4 thick slices)
1 Tbsp butter
3 eggs
½ cup milk
½ tsp cinnamon (heaping)
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Honey butter (Adapted from here)
¼ cup butter, softened
3 Tbsp honey
pinch sea salt

2-3 apples, peeled (optional) and chopped

Apples and honey french toast | Me & the Moose. Stuffed or plain, this french toast combines fall flavors of apples and honey for a delicious breakfast or dinner. #meandthemoose #fall #frenchtoast #roshhashanah #apples #honey #breakfast

First, peel and chop the apples. In a microwave safe container, cook on high, uncovered, for 1 minute. Check and continue cooking on high for 30 seconds at a time until apples are soft, but have a little bite and shape left.

Next, make the honey butter: Firstly, if you're like me and always forget to take out whatever needs softening/defrosting, here is a really good tip for quickly softening butter. Seriously, this method has changed my life. Thanks, Buzzfeed Food! Smoosh the softened butter around with a spatula. Add the honey and a pinch of sea salt and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a frying pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter. In a separate container, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, spices, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Dunk both sides of the bread slices in the egg mixture (as many as will fit into your frying pan) and leave for a few seconds to let the bread soak in the liquid. When your pan is hot, cook the bread slices until golden brown. Flip and repeat until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with all of the bread. The liquid should be enough for 4 large slices of french toast.

Serve with a spread of honey butter, some apples, and a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of sea salt on top.

Apples and honey french toast | Me & the Moose. Stuffed or plain, this french toast combines fall flavors of apples and honey for a delicious breakfast or dinner. #meandthemoose #fall #frenchtoast #roshhashanah #apples #honey #breakfast

Apples and honey stuffed french toast

Adapted from this stuffed french toast recipe
Leftover challah (Cut into 4 thick slices)
1 Tbsp butter
3 eggs
½ cup milk
½ tsp cinnamon (heaping)
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Stuffing
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
2 tsp honey
1 apple, chopped into small pieces
Pinch of sea salt

To make the stuffing, combine the softened cream cheese, apple sauce, honey, and salt. Put the cream cheese mixture into a plastic bag and put in the fridge until needed.

Starting at the top crust, make a cut down the middle of each thick bread piece but stop an inch from each side and the bottom to create a pocket in each slice. Cut enough so that you can get some filling into the pocket, but leave enough room around the edges that the bread won't break and spill the filling.

In a frying pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter on low heat. In a separate container, whisk together the eggs, milk, spices, and vanilla. Take out your bag of cream cheese mixture and cut one bottom corner to make a piping bag. Open each slice of bread and fill with about 2-3 Tbsp of cream cheese mixture. Squish the bread and filling together a bit. Working with one slice at a time, dunk both sides in the egg mixture and let the bread soak in the liquid. When the pan is hot, cook the bread slices until golden brown. Flip and repeat until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with all of the bread. The liquid should be enough for 3-4 large slices of french toast (the slices here are larger than those in the other batch of french toast, but I let them soak less because of the filling, so I was able to eek out a fourth slice, but barely).

Serve immediately with a drizzle of honey on top.

 



 

Quick to meddle, slow to help.

Friends, I need to take a break from cooking posts to talk about something that has been grinding my gears. I've learned from experience lately that, "It happened so fast" isn't something people say to absolve themselves of neglectful parenting: Even the most watchful and concerned toddler parent misses something going into the mouth or a wrong step on the playground because it happens approximately 700 times a day and most of us can only handle 699 incidents.

But let me back up. A few weeks ago, M, who is fascinated by elevators, attempted to make a solo journey in our local library. The entire first floor is a kids' section, which means that the elevator's gaping maw is right beside the board books. As we sat on the floor reading stories, the elevator opened and he made a run for it. I wasn't far behind, but several adults watched my then 16-month-old streak into an empty elevator alone and made no attempt to help. No one stuck a hand out to keep the door open, no one engaged M before he ran through the doors, nothing. Luckily, I'm also quick, but I could definitely have used an assist.

Cut to last week, my mother-in-law was watching M at a nearby bookstore that has a great kids' section. Not surprisingly, there is always a scrum of strollers parked near the entryway. In order to find our stroller, my MIL had to put M down for a second and he ran right out of the bookstore's (VERY EASY TO OPEN) door. Again, she was right behind him and disaster was averted, but a few more seconds and he could have run into traffic on Columbus Avenue. And again, several bookstore employees and patrons as well as people passing on the street just watched as my MIL ran after a very small child darting from a bookstore. When she told me about it, she was most upset that no one had helped.

And then this week, M fell on the playground and skinned his nose. Certainly not a catastrophic injury and something that happens to everyone, but I can't even count the number of people-- strangers at street corners, cashiers in stores, etc-- who have asked about it. The drugstore cashier was the worst, asking if M had been BURNED. I'm sorry Dr. CVS, MD, but what the hell? It's a scab! It looks terrible and is in the middle of his face, so I understand that people will see it, but COME ON! If he had been burned, that would have been a terrible story that I certainly wouldn't want to share with a random stranger ringing up my deoderant and water. 

At first I fought my irritation telling myself, "You can't have it both ways." If I want a village to help raise my kid, I can't pick and choose when they get involved, right? WRONG! The people asking about M's nose weren't trying to help. They were being nosy (pun!) and judgemental. (Maybe I'm just projecting my own guilt that I couldn't stop M from getting hurt, but I don't think so. I live in the real world where the internet is to judgment what standing water is to mosquitoes.) But those watching as M ran away from his caretakers could really have helped and yet they stood by and did nothing. 

Is it the Kitty Genovese theory that college students learn in intro psych classes? You know, the one where bystanders assume that someone else is helping and therefore, do nothing? Are people that afraid of lawsuits that they won't grab a toddler running into the street if it isn't their toddler? Well I say, FUCK THAT. If I see a kid about to fall or get hurt, I'm going to stick out a hand. If I see a little one leaving the playground unattended, I'm going to ask where their grownup is. And when I hear about or see someone else's injury or tragedy, I'm going to remember that just because that particular injury or tragedy didn't happen to me, it's probably not because I'm a better parent. Who's with me?

Candy sushi!

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

You will certainly find more professional-looking candy sushi out there, but who cares?! I was pretty pleased with how easily this came together. I made it for a 1st birthday pool party because pool party=swimming=fish=sushi? It made sense to me. Also, I was looking for something fun and egg-free (just make sure to check your labels to ensure that the gummy stuff is clear of eggs).

Unfortunately, I had grand plans for a time-lapse video to help with the how-to, but I CAN'T KEEP CANDY IN MY HOUSE. Lesson learned. I took photos of the ingredients and immediately ate them.

Candy sushi is made for summer birthdays. Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

The difficulty of self-control around candy notwithstanding, I highly recommend making these for your next kids' party. It's easy, cheap, and a serious show stopper.

How to turn candy sharks into candy sushi | Me & The Moose. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

You'll need:

3 Tbsp butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
10 oz large marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the marshmallows and melt, stirring frequently. When the marshmallows have mostly lost their shape, add Rice Krispies and stir to coat. Let cool until the mixture can be handled.


3-4 Twizzlers or Red Vines per "roll"
4 Red Mike 'n Ikes per "hand roll"
1 Large Swedish Fish per piece
1 Gummy Sharks per piece
Orange sanding sugar
Joray green apple fruit rolls

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

Tools:

Pizza cutter
Water
Coconut oil spray
Plastic wrap

To assemble:

For the rolls: Lay a square of plastic wrap on a clean countertop and spray with coconut oil. Wet your hands and place a handful of the rice krispy/marshmallow/butter mixture on the plastic, patting it down into a thin layer. Unwrap and place a fruit roll onto the cereal layer (reverse these steps for an inside-out roll). Lay three Twizzlers or Red Vines in the middle and using the plastic wrap and wet hands, make a roll out of the three layers, really squishing the ingredients together. Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll into five pieces, reshaping as needed. For the "inside out" pieces, roll the cut pieces in 2-3 Tbsp of orange sanding sugar.

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

For the hand rolls: Lay a square of plastic wrap on a clean countertop and spray with coconut oil. Unwrap and place a fruit roll on the plastic. With wet hands, shape a large handful of the cereal mixture into a log and place in the middle of the fruit roll (these particular fruit roll-ups are round when unrolled, which is easier than the square variety). Wrap the fruit roll over the log of cereal mixture and side of fruit roll together with some water. Cut the entire thing in half shape with wet hands, as needed. Add red Mike n' Ikes.

For the pieces: Unroll a fruit roll and cut into 1/2 inch strips with the pizza cutter. With wet hands, roll a small handful cereal mixture into a ball and squish into more of a rectangle. Wrap a strip of fruit roll around the whole Swedish fish/cereal combo and secure the ends of the fruit roll strip with a few drops of water.

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

For the roe pieces: Unroll a fruit roll and cut into slightly thicker strips with the pizza cutter. With wet hands, roll a small handful cereal mixture into a ball and squish into more of a rectangle. Wrap a strip of fruit roll around the outside of the cereal mixture and secure the ends of the strip with a few drips of water. Let dry for a few minutes. Pick up the entire piece and dip the top into 2-3 Tbsp of orange sanding sugar.

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

For the "sashimi": Using your sharpest knife, slice one of the gummy sharks into 5-6 pieces. Place on top of a log of the cereal mixture.

And voila! Candy sushi. I can't wait to do this with M when he gets older.

For more candy sushi inspiration: Super professional candy sushi / Candy sushi birthday party / Molded fish candy sushi

Modern Dino 1st birthday

A first birthday is really for the parents. I mean, keeping a tiny creature alive (especially when it's your first time at the rodeo), while also staying married and not completely ghosting on friends and family, is something to celebrate. In that vein, I went crafting and baking crazy (link below for DIYs and inspiration photos) because crafting and baking are my favorite things. If this party had actually been for Max, the theme would have been "cheese, books, and remote controls" because those are his favorite things. That actually might have been a decent party...

Plastic dinosaur toys from Amazon; spray-painted white; hot-glued on tiny party hats made from paper and poms from Michaels. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Roooooaaaaarrrrr. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Paper fan wall! All paper and tissue paper bought at Michaels. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Paper fan wall! All paper and tissue paper bought at Michaels. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Paper shape garlands. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Paper shape garlands. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Cake! Don’t forget the chocolate rocks underneath. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Smash cake! #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose