It’s 2017 and I haven’t posted in three weeks but I’M BACK! With a French toast recipe that doesn’t rely on ground flax seeds or mashed bananas and a list of things I hope to accomplish over the course of the next twelve months.
But let’s talk about last year. 2016 was a rough one for a lot of people. Hell, it was a rough one for the world. On a personal level, however, 2016 wasn’t all that bad. In fact, I’d venture to say it was one of the better years of my adult life despite the fact that I hit rock bottom right around this time last year (the holidays always put me in a funk and last year’s funk was one that almost got the best of me). We went to Europe, got a brand new kitchen, and Alchemy finally became something more than just a wild idea. And even though I hit a few potholes early on, those potholes are what encouraged me to try my hand at mastering the art of self-acceptance. So I did. And you know what? I’m better for it. I’m stronger. I’m happier. I’m healthier. And, at the end of the day, I really couldn’t ask for more from a year that dealt a lot of people I love a pretty shitty hand.
I ended 2016 in the same way I ended 2015: by compiling a list of goals for the new year. Ones that should be pretty easy to incorporate into my daily grind (meal planning, spending less money, etc.) and others that will probably to take some getting used to (drinking more water, stretching, etc.). I surprised myself last year, exceeding each and every goal on my list so I figured I’d do the same for 2017 because it’s just really (reaaaally) nice to be working toward something (even when that something is as small as drinking more water). And it’s even nicer to look back at the end of the year and be like HELL YEAH, GIRLFRIEND! YOU DID IT.
In 2017, I’mma try to:
– Stop being such a slob.
– Spend more time in the kitchen with my dude.
– Stop waking up at 4AM unless I actually need to wake up at 4AM.
– Start meal planning.
– Spend less money on stupid shit (if I don’t need it, it’s probably stupid shit).
– Keep lifting heavy things.
– Get a good pillow.
– Send more hand written notes.
– EAT DINNER AT THE GODDAMN TABLE.
– Ask Thom as often as possible, “what can I do to make your life easier this week/today/right now?”
– Post at least once a month on OH LADY IS BAKED.
– Read more; browse the WWW less.
– Do more to advocate for those in need.
– Purge the apartment of useless belongings at least once a month.
– Start stretching and rolling (’cause I’m getting old and I can feel it, you guys).
– Take more baths.
– Bake more cinnamon rolls.
– Exceed the goals Thom set for Alchemy.
– Drink more water. A lot more water.
– Speaking of water.. aim to be glass half full.
I’m curious, do you set goals for the new year or aim to resolve things on 1 January? Or are you the kind of person who doesn’t need a new calendar year (or month or week or day) to start making improvements to your life? I used to be in the latter camp but have recently come around to the beauty of goal-setting in the new year, and I decided I’d set them until they no longer serve me. Because what’s the worst that can happen? I discover that being a slob is an inherent part of my being?
Notes: Don’t have stale bread? Leave it out overnight on a wire rack. Works like a charm! If you don’t have cashew butter on hand, you can use any nut butter so long as it’s not gritty – it’s gotta be SMOOTH. For raw cashew butter, this is the brand I recommend (and the only one I use). If you’re looking to make just enough French toast for you and a +1, halve the recipe. But let it be known that leftovers can easily be frozen and reheated in the toaster. I like to use them to make a French toast sandwich – you know, with nut butter, fresh fruit, etc. It’s perfect when you’re in a hurry or on the go.
More early-morning goodness: Banana bread French toast, coconut oil cinnamon rolls, and my favorite overnight chia pudding (with the works).
CASHEW BUTTER FRENCH TOAST
Cashew butter batter
1/4 cup (60g) raw cashew butter (see notes above)
2 teaspoons (8g) suncoco oil (or any flavorless oil)
1 tablespoon (15g) pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (20g) potato starch
Heavy pinch of ground cinnamon
1 cup (220g) unsweetened vanilla almondmilk
You’ll also need
8-10 slices basic whole wheat sandwich bread, stale (see notes above)
Coconut whipped cream
Nut butter (I used homemade cashew-pecan butter)
Pure maple syrup
In a small shallow bowl, whisk together the cashew butter, oil, and maple syrup. Add the potato starch and cinnamon, and whisk until smooth. Add the almondmilk in 1/4 cup increments and whisk until combined. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes (this is a crucial step as it promotes thickening).
Once the mixture has chilled, give it a good stir then heat a large frying pan (or griddle) over medium-low heat. Oil appropriately. Dip the bread in the cashew butter batter, making sure to cover both sides; scrape off excess then transfer to the hot pan and cover with a couple shakes of ground cinnamon (if desired). I cook my slices for 3-4 minutes on each side but, depending on the strength of your stove’s flame, it may take more/less time. To keep the French toast warm, put the slices in a 200˚F oven (on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack) until you’re ready to serve.
Serve French toast with with coconut whipped cream, banana slices, nut butter, pure maple syrup, flaked coconut, pecans, or any of your other favorite toppings.
Yield: 8-10 slices