Good Morning! Welcome to another beautiful spring day. Today is the first Saturday of the month. Do you know what that means? Today, and every first Saturday of each month, is National Play Outside Day. Can you imagine that? A National Day to play outside.
Growing up, we didn’t care if it were raining or freezing or a beautiful spring day, the idea of staying inside was foreign. Outdoors, in the fresh air was all that mattered. And not just to participate in organized sports that monopolized our chore-free time. We ran, we hung out at the school playground, we rode our bikes and had picnics along the creek. No one we knew had a built-in pool yet we all managed to swim every chance we got. We swam in rivers and creeks and ponds. We played in the sprinklers and splashed about in wading pools. I swear to you, those bologna sandwiches and cold milk from a thermoses tasted so much better outdoor. I remember wishing I were a boy because girls spent far too much time playing dress-up or playing with dolls inside while the boys spent their time outside. I wanted to be outside too, hanging up-side-down on the monkey bars or riding my bike or fishing for crawdads. Today we need to set aside one day a month to remind our children to unplug and get outdoors. I’m sorry, but that’s just too sad.
Did you know that the Saturday before Mother’s Day is also National Birth Mother’s Day and Baby Sitters Day? While I understand the concept and importance of both these days, I’m not sure they should be celebrated on the same day. Just saying . . .
Finally, the first Saturday in May is also National Join Hands Day. While you might think it’s to encourage people to join together, you’d be half right. National Join Hands Day is to encourage a bridging of the generation gap. Teens are encouraged to volunteer at senior centers to read or play cards with the residences. They are also encouraged to volunteer at a community garden run by seniors. Guess we have National Join Hands Day around our house fairly regularly. While Kiddo is no longer a teenager, he works in the garden with us, his grandparents, and plays cards with my dad, his great-grandfather. Multi-generational activities builds character.
Before we go running out the door to soak in all that glorious sunshine or plant a garden or whatever this day has in store, it’s always special to start the day with a beautiful breakfast. This amazing French Toast Bake is sure to please.
French Toast Stratas with Fresh Berries
1 cup Blueberries
1 cup Blackberries
1 cup Strawberries
1-1/2 tablespoon Sugar
Heat oven to 350-degrees. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
Rinse blackberries and blueberries, place in a large mixing bowl. Clean strawberries, slice and add to the bowl. Sprinkle fruit with sugar, toss, and set aside.
French Toast Stratas
6 slices Artisan Style Bread
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Half-and-Half
2 tablespoons Honey
1-1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
Cut bread into 3/4-inch cubed pieces. Divide bread cubes evenly among muffin cups. Set aside.
In a blender, mix eggs, milk, Half-and-Half, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Carefully ladle egg mixture over bread cubes, pushing down lightly with the back of a spoon to soak bread cubes.
Note: If all egg mixture doesn’t fit into cups, let cups stand up to 10 minutes, gradually adding remaining egg mixture as bread cubes soak it up.
Place in the heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until centers are set. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups, arrange on a plate.
If desired, butter Stratas with soft butter. Top with maple syrup. Place fresh berries in a small bowl to serve with the French Toast Stratas. Enjoy!