Cinnamon Apple Baked French Toast

So the New England Patriots lost the Superbowl. I’m disappointed. It seemed like it was their destiny to win. Eli Manning? A “Superbowl-winning quarterback”? Hardly. I can see Peyton… hey, he comes across as a real leader… but Eli? Come-on! The dude surely does not convey qualities I like to see in a Superbowl-winning quarterback… but I suppose forever he’ll have that title. Almost as bad a “Academy Award Nominated Actress Melanie Griffith.” GROAN

Someone asked if I was going to bake anything special in celebration of the New York Giants winning the Superbowl. My response? “I’m considering baking New England Patriots Consolation Cookies”. Hey, I bake for any reason… and quite often for no reason at all. This weekend I cooked and I baked - as usual - but for an incredibly unappreciative family. DJ (hubs) will pretty much eat anything I put in front of him (with the big exception being shellfish… and the only steak he likes is Filet Mignon) but his kids (previous marriage) love to dine on junk food, fast food and frozen-prepared. Why, you ask? Because that’s basically all their mother and their grandmother ever fix for them. It’s not like I’m serving up haute-cusine consisting of foie gras, escargot and caviar… I’m making chicken, pork chops, french toast… normal fare for a 10 and 14 year old. Stuff I know they eat - I've seen them eat!

When I was growing up, I'd wish my mother would cook for me... something that I'd like... something that I'd ask for. Not a chance. She cooked for my father... meals that he liked and if it wasn't to our liking she’d give us $5 to go to McDonalds. I can’t remember a time when she made us breakfast - we usually resorted to cereal or toast. Maybe she did on special occasions but I don't have memories of it. We also didn't sit down as a family to eat. The kids would eat while my mother was doing something else and when my dad came home he'd eat in front of the tv sitting in his favorite easy chair. I wanted to give DJ’s kids some good memories of growing up having family meals that were home cooked. Ya know… sitting down… at the table… together… devouring a home cooked meal. Kinda like the Norman Rockwell moment I was never fortunate enough to have. I love to cook… and even more I love to bake. But cooking and baking for unappreciative people is disheartening for me. Isn’t it disheartening for you, too? I work full time… yes, I’m an Engineer… I get up at 4:30am… I commute over an hour to work… I’m there from 6:30 - 3:30… I commute over an hour home… and while I don’t cook every weeknight, I surely do cook on the weekends.

I enjoy cooking. I like the satisfaction of knowing the delicious meal being savoured was prepared by ME… not Betty Crocker… not Chef Boyardee… but me. My time, my effort, my care and love that went into it. I have a strong desire to share good food.

Eh… whatever. I’ll just cook for myself. Let DJ fix hot dogs, hamburgers, frozen pizza, frozen taquitos and fast-food tacos for his kids. I’ll make what I want… for me… and I’ll include lots of shelfish! LOL!!!

Today is Super Tuesday. John McCain… or a reasonble facsimile via recording… called me many times this weekend asking for my support. Fat chance buddy - that’s all I can say. Mitt Romney called a couple of times too. But Hillary and Barak ignored us. No matter who wins, I won’t be baking anything to “celebrate”.

Here's the recipe for the Cinnamon Apple Baked French Toast. Maybe you can make it for your brood and they’ll appreciate it. It’s good - real good. I’ll definitely make this again!

Cinnamon Apple Baked French Toast

4 apples - cored, peeled, sliced and cut up
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Splenda
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon nutmeg
4 slices french-toast-cut bread
powdered sugar

In a 9x11 baking dish melt 1 tablespoon of butter and brush it around all sides - generously. Set aside
In a saucepan combine 2 tablespoons of butter, the splenda, brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Add the apples and cook over medium heat until soft.
Pour the apple mixture into the baking dish and distribute evenly.
In a mixing bowl combine eggs, milk, vanilla and nutmeg.
Individually soak 4 pieces of bread in the mixture then lay each in the baking dish on top of the apples. Brush remaining mixture on top of the bread and then generously sprinkle remaining cinnamon.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning bake at 350 for about 45-60 minutes until the bread is cooked and not soggy (test w/knife).
Cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes
Invert onto a serving platter so the apples are on the top
Dust with powdered sugar and serve.