It’s a Barn Raising – of Sorts

Both Mr. N and Miss A have summer birthdays. So this year, since we’re in the new house, we decided to get them a swing set for their birthdays. We purchased a beautiful set at a very reasonable price, the catch – we have to build it ourselves. This is no easy feat as you can imagine. There are literally dozens of pieces of wood and hundreds of screws, and nothing is labeled.

This job was beyond dad and I, so much like the barn raisings of long ago, we invited some extra hands to help us put this thing together.

So since we’re raising the swing set and our state this week was Pennsylvania, we decided to whip up a few Amish dishes to get in the spirit of things. We started early yesterday morning with an Amish Stuffed French Toast.

The first step was to cube a loaf of bread.

We placed the bread in a baking dish and then cut up a block of cream cheese and placed it in the bread.

The recipe then called for the use of a pie filling. Instead, we took fresh blackberries that we had frozen from my Grandpa’s garden last summer and combined them with a bit of sugar.

Next we poured them over the first layer of bread.

Then we added the remaining bread over the top. Finally in a bowl we mixed together eggs, milk, vanilla and maple syrup. We poured this over the top layer of bread, followed by a bit of melted butter and cinnamon. The French toast was then refrigerated overnight and baked for 50 minutes at 350F in the morning.

We served the dish with syrup and powdered sugar. However as good as this looked and smelled, it didn’t quite live up to our expectations.

Miss A rated it the lowest with 1 spoon. She barely ate any. Dad and I both gave the French toast 2 spoons. It was okay, but we think would have been better with white bread instead of wheat. And Mr. N seemed to enjoy it the most and gave it 3 spoons. He ate it for breakfast, dinner and again the next morning for breakfast.

As for the barn raising…

after a 12 hour day and having to wait out some rain showers (water and power tools don’t mix), it’s coming along. Here’s hoping tomorrow will be the final day for the “barn raising.”

Print this recipe: Amish Stuffed French Toast

19 thoughts on “It’s a Barn Raising – of Sorts

  1. yumyumyummers says:

    this french toast bake looks delish. sorry to hear it didn’t live up to flavour expectations… ah, the joys of culinary experiments. maybe a nutty bread might make a difference? or when in doubt, add cottage cheese?! 🙂

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    • ChefMom says:

      Now cottage cheese…I hadn’t thought of that. It might work – or even ricotta. I know I’ve had some stuffed French toast with ricotta. One of these days I’ll find the right mix. Either that, or I’ll just have to keep going out to breakfast to eat it. 🙂

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  2. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    I’ve had this french toast before in Amish Country. We go to PA every year in the summer since it’s not far from me. And I can’t wait to see how the swing set turns out. I know it will be beautiful. You really have a beautiful family and I wish you the best Memorial Day

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  3. Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} says:

    This looks delicous. I think this would be perfect for my kids since it’s all ready cut into perfect bite size pieces. I’ll definitely try this one out. I’m a huge breakfast person, I’d rather make breakfast than dinner.
    I remember when my husband and dad put up the swing set play scape in our backyard, my dad called his friend over for some beer….little did he know he’d be putting up a play scape! lol

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    • ChefMom says:

      Yeah, I’m just not sure what happened. Maybe tasting the bread would help. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I mean it was edible. I’d say it was ok. Just not great. Maybe we just had too high of expectations after the few stuffed french toasts we’ve had at B&B’s. Oh so good!

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  4. Charles says:

    “Miss A rated it the lowest with 1 spoon. She barely ate any.”

    No way – this looks so delicious! What part of it didn’t live up to expectations? I’m wondering if smooshing some soft cheese like mascarpone around on the bottom layer instead of the cream cheese would change the result? It looks very good in my opinion anyway – especially the blackberries!

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    • ChefMom says:

      Now that might have been better – white bread with mascarpone. Other than that, I’m not sure what’s missing. I love all of the ingredients (and so does Miss A), so I’m not sure what happened here. I love blackberries too – also made my grandma’s blackberry cobbler for today. That I’m looking forward to! Yum!

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  5. thecompletecookbook says:

    What a task you had ahead of you with the swing and with nothing labelled, doesn’t sound like fun. The first bit looks fabulous – a very smart swing set indeed and in a beautiful garden!
    What a pity about the Amish French toast being a disappointment. It sounds like it should have been very tasty.
    I am looking forward to seeing the second instalment of the swing set.
    🙂 Mandy

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