Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Spring!

"Rabbit in Lilies" by Tina C. Wells, acrylic on canvas
I painted this a number of years ago, and always take it out in the spring. The weather is warming up a bit. Brightest, verdant green is popping out everywhere. My roses are starting to bloom. The birds have returned to their little nest tucked away under my balcony, and I hear their babies chirping. Every few days I catch a glimpse of a bunny scampering under a bush when he sees me coming. It is a beautiful, hopeful time of year. Warm spring wishes.

Cross Collection

A beautiful collection of crosses
Easter is less than a week away and Good Friday, just days away. I always have thought Good Friday was a strange name for remembering such a somber event, the day Jesus was crucified on the cross. The cross has become the universal symbol for the Christian church. It has been portrayed in so many ways, from 2 sticks nailed together to the ornate gold leaf crosses of the high church, and everything in between. A few years back, my sister began a cross collection that hangs on the wall of her living room (pictured above). Here is what she has to say about her collection:

"I think there is a lot of power in symbols and once I was married and lived in my own home, I have always had at least one cross displayed.  It's usually in the main room of the house, and that is what I like about the location for the collection now, is that it's an entry point into the main space of our home.  For whatever reason, this matters to me.  The cross says to me - God lives here.  It says, Friday happened, but Sunday is coming.  Knowing the end of the story is everything.  Lots of days feel like "Friday" to me, but knowing Sunday is coming...knowing that Jesus is coming again and redeeming this world, is everything." 
Happy Easter!

RECIPE: Baked Carmel French Toast

At our annual Easter Brunch, this dish has become a ‘must-have’ tradition. There is really only one word for it...DECADENT! The great thing about baked french toast is that you can make it ahead, which always makes things easier the day of the event.

Baked Carmel French Toast


1-2 loaves challah bread (depending on the size) or 1 loaf Hawaiian bread
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup brown sugar
2 TBS white corn syrup
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier (I have substituted with brandy)
1/4 tsp salt

Spray cooking spray around sides of a 9x13. In a sauce pan on medium-low heat, melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup, stirring until smooth. Pour into 9x13, covering the bottom of the pan. Layer approximately 1” slices of square cut pieces of bread about 2” high in the pan. Squeeze to fit. Whisk eggs, half and half, vanilla, liqueur, and salt. Pour liquid evenly over bread. This can be made the night before and refrigerated, or an hour before baking. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then use a knife to loosen edges. Place a large platter upside down on top of the pan and turn both over. The carmel base is now on top. Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!

*Please note that in the pictures, I made a 1/2 recipe- pieces of bread shown are about 2"x3"

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