Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tonight in Hillsboro...

Tonight in a tiny town called Hillsboro...

-As I complained about swollen ankles and an empty stomach, she succumbed to the cancer that ravaged her young body.

-As I mindlessly thought ahead to tomorrow night's plans with my mother, sister and grandmother, her children and siblings were struggling to imagine what life would be like tomorrow without her.

-As I watched the clock in anticipation of going home to snuggle in bed with my husband, her husband was kissing the love of his life goodbye.

I'm so sad tonight at the death of one of our church members. Certainly to us it seems as though her life was much too short. Our feeble minds try unsuccessfully to understand the purpose and meaning behind such a cruel death. I am trying to remember that death is really just another part of life. I am not naive enough to think that any one of us is lucky enough, rich enough or strong enough to cheat death, so why is it still so hard to lose the people we love? Perhaps it reminds us of all that we have yet to do and say. It reminds us of wrongs that we have yet to right - or rights we want to right again.

Being in ministry during times like these always seems hard. I watch as Matt walks along side these friends of ours, and see how much it affects him. He may not have the overflow of emotions like I do, but the pain he experiences with these families is plain to see.

We must have faith, though, that God is true to His word; that He works in all things for GOOD. It's not good that this friend is gone, but we KNOW that God will work in this situation for GOOD. He always does - and we know that He will continue to do so. I am thankful tonight that this woman knows the lord, and that tonight she is with him in paradise. For Christians, death is always a sad thing, but we rejoice in the fact that this is NOT THE END. There is something more - something better - waiting for us.

I am mourning for this family tonight friends. My heart breaks for them....

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

-Casting Crowns

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast with Powdered Sugar and Strawberries

Apparently this is a big hit, so I'm putting down the recipe for you all to have and enjoy. Just be forewarned: I don't usually cook from a recipe, so these measurements are approximate. Feel free to put your own spin on it! The name is really misleading, because I technically didn't stuff anything. It's more like a French Toast Sandwich, but whatever...

Here's what you'll need:
8 slices Texas Toast (or another thickly sliced bread)
4 large eggs
2-3 tablespoons of milk (although, I was out of milk, so I used coffee creamer!)
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 brick cream cheese - room temperature (you can put it in the microwave on defrost for a few minutes to soften it up if you don't want to wait)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1-2 cups cut strawberries - depending on your taste

Crack the eggs into a bowl that is big enough to dip your bread into. Beat the eggs with a wire whisk, add milk and cinnamon, and beat some more. Dip your bread into the egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides of the bread. Lay the bread on a griddle that has been heated over medium-high heat (make sure you spray your pan with cooking spray!). Keep an eye on your bread, and flip the slices as they become golden brown. Burnt toast isn't as good (and it makes your smoke alarm pretty upset too).

In another bowl (or your stand mixer if you have one) mix the cream cheese and sugar together until the mixture comes to a nice, smooth consistency. I love my stand mixer for this, but if you don't have one, just be patient - it will come together before you know it.

Once your toast is done, take two slices and spread the cream cheese mixture between them - like you're making a peanut butter sandwich. I like a lot of the cream cheese on mine, so I used probably around 2 tablespoons for each sandwich. You use what you like. Sprinkle the powdered sugar over the french toast, and top with strawberries.

This would be really good with blueberries, raspberries or cherries too! You don't really need syrup on this, but if you want to add that, it's up to you. Ooooh...it might be yummy to try adding cocoa into the cream cheese mixture, making a chocolate cream cheese french toast....I'll have to try that one next time!