Monday, August 27, 2012

Art & Fabulously Fantastic French Toast

It's hard to capture the essence of the pink and purple-ness that was my fireplace one week ago.

But here it is in all of it's glory; a real work of art. It takes effort to produce such a masterpiece.

As I stood in front of it with my father-in-law a week ago, trying to imagine how I could pretend that it was pretty, he said straight up, "It's ugly." And honestly, it felt good to hear him say it. Because it was the truth. And when the truth is spoken, it's liberating.

The truth meant that something HAD to be done to fix it. Hallelujah.

I put a brown basket on top of the fireplace so that the contrasting colors would stand out a little better. That little brown basket is a slightly darker brown than the color I was shooting for.

Does this at all shed light upon the anxiety that filled my stomach and knocked the air out of me every time I came into my living room? My stomach still tenses when I look at these pictures.

So here is our new fireplace! YAY!

Pretty fireplaces are almost like valium. A total relaxer.

Of course this color is still not what I was shooting for. I thought I was going to have a disaster round two on my hands when I originally saw the workers painting it. The colors of the purple and pink were showing through on the first layer of paint, and it looked horrible.

It didn't help that the sweet workers that were trying to cater to my IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE nature were trying to get my affirmations and kept saying in their Spanish accents, "Chalk-o-latte, no? Yeah? Chalk-o-latte!" No! I wanted to yell. It is not chocolate! It doesn't look like chocolate, and I don't want any chocolate!

Yes, not even chocolate could solve this problem.

But a second coat of paint did! What do all of you artists think? Is it kicker or a keeper?

AND. And and and. Our appraisal came out low. VERY low. Talk about $100,000 dollars-less-than-the-actual-value-of-my-home low. The appraiser must have been the laziest man in New Mexico. He simply calculated the square footage of our home and then found the homes with the same square footage in our area. He averaged out what they had sold for in the last 30 days, and then gave our home the sticker price of their average.

Normally this would be OK. But we live in the mountains/country, where the number of homes within a 10 mile radius are about 20. And the number of homes in our price range in a ten mile radius? About 3. Or less.

So now we have to have our house RE-assessed.

You can see us jumping for joy as we frantically run around our house, hiding things that make it look like we actually live here.

We are hiring maids to come because the appraisal is tomorrow. There is just not enough time to do it all by ourselves with everything else that is going on.

And I wanted to share with you, just briefly, this french toast recipe that I found and love. I am short on time, so please forgive me for not having more pictures.

When I started out on my hunt for the perfect plant based french toast, it was because of one of the families (that's you, Carly!) that was going plant based with me really loved french toast in their recipe rotation.

She and I tried different recipes with not very promising results. Some called for mashed banana in place of the eggs. Some mixed mashed banana with orange juice in place of milk. They all came out soggy, bloated, and downright mushy-yucky. That's my new word for nasty french toast.

And then I ran onto Dreena Burton's vegan french toast. Of course it's by Dreena Burton. If you know me, you know that I think she is amazing. Her french toast is absolutely brilliant. It is crispy-delicious with a warm center. My children love it and it is VERY easy and fast. It's not bloated or soggy at all.

Just like fireplaces and appraisals, sometimes it takes a few trial errors before finding the right stuff. The right color, the right texture, the right price. And this french toast is all of that.

Leftovers are fantastic when toasted in the toaster.

& VEGAN FAST FOOD (less than 30 minutes prep and cook)

By Dreena Burton
Note from Dreena Burton: Growing up, my husband and I both loved French toast. We also love this recipe because the combination of flax meal and tofu give a texture similar to an egg batter for a traditional tasting – better tasting, actually – French Toast!


1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk
2 tbsp flax meal
1⁄2 cup silken firm tofu
1⁄4 tsp cinnamon
1⁄8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1⁄8 tsp sea salt
1 tsp neutral-flavored oil
8 – 9 slices bread of choice (see note for wheat-free/gluten-free)
2 – 3 tsp organic neutral flavored oil (or more, if needed, for frying)


Using a handblender or in a blender, purée the non-dairy milk, flax meal, tofu, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and canola oil until very smooth and thick (it will get thicker as it sits a little while and the flax absorbs some of the liquid).

Dip a slice of bread in the batter. Turn over and let it sit for a few moments to soak, then remove and place on a plate until ready to fry.

In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil when hot and reduce heat to low/medium-low. Fry bread for 4-6 minutes on each side, until lightly brown (try to flip only once so that the batter will set and brown nicely on the bread).

Serve with pure maple syrup.

Note: For a wheat-free option, use a kamut or spelt bread, and for gluten-free, choose a rice, coconut, or other gluten-free bread.

Try some of my other favorite vegan breakfasts, all part of our VEGAN FAST FOOD SERIES:

Baked Rice Pudding
Orange Blaster Green smoothie
Purple Power Smoothie
Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal


  1. That fireplace is ridiculous! How can I color mix-up like that even happen?! It just means no one is safe...

    But, the brown looks fabulous. I was having anxiety wondering if you had fixed it or what. Pink fireplaces are the things of nightmares. I'm crossing my fingers for that appraisal tomorrow!

  2. Thank you, Katie!! We are all double, triple crossing our fingers, and feel like we are on pins and needles! It hurts, ow! JK. I am just not looking forward to doing this all over again...

    Can you believe that the man who helped us paint it honestly thought that the pink/purple color was pretty? I guess I live in New Mexico. Land of crazy colors. That's why it felt so good to have my father-in-law confirm that it was ugly.

  3. the end result looks perfect! i would definitely cry out in pain and say EEEEEEK! every time I saw it in the purple/pink color!!! I really miss you guys and hope school starting is a smooth transition for ya'll. I hope your appraisal went better than the last one! Love ya'll....

  4. Oh, I am so glad you like it, Carolyn! I am still unsure about the color, so it is nice to hear your thoughts. And I aim to write about school and our appraisal, today hopefully. Love ya! And I hope you are doing well, too!

  5. I made your blog, yay!! We will definetly try this recipe. I have just been avoiding french toast. I love reading your blog and trying your recipes. Thanks Ashlee!!

  6. Yes, you should definitely try this! When I found it I was so excited to give it to you. How are you all adjusting to Utah? I got to read some of your beautiful blog, too! The schools and parks sound so nice.