May 9, 201207:40 AMEditor's Blog
Weekend Fun in Tulsa & a Mother's Day Brunch Recipe
The weekend is fast approaching. Happy Mothers Day in advance to all you moms reading this blog. As you plan the rest of your week and the weekend, I have some fun ideas for you.
It's National Public Gardens Day, and Tulsa is beautiful this time of year. If you want a fun way to get outside to enjoy one of the most gorgeous areas (in my humble opinion) in Tulsa, you can go on a Garden Scavenger Hunt at Woodward Park on either Friday or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Just go to the Tulsa Garden Center or to the Linnaeus Teaching Gardens on the South side of Woodward Park and get your scavenger hunt cards. It's free and fun. Woodward Park is such a great place to roam with your kids. It's a little different from the "playground equipment" type park but the beautiful natural setting, the overly-friendly squirrels (they'll come eat right out of your hand), the stone steps (perfect for climbing), the water (perfect for tadpole catching) make the urban wilderness of Woodward one of my favorite places to go.
If you want a little more action in your weekend, head over to Broken Arrow for the annual Rooster Days festival. The fun starts at 5 p.m. on Friday and goes through Sunday. They'll have live music, arts & crafts, food, a parade and carnival rides.
Another festival this weekend is the Stilwell Strawberry Festival on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Stilwell. Go for the free strawberries and ice cream, and then hang around for the games, music, carnival rides and the rodeo!
Sometimes it's hard to find things to do with your baby or toddler. Check out Gilcrease Museum's Museum Babies I and II from 10 - 11 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Thursdays is Museum Babies I for infants up to 12 months with a parent. Museum Babies II is for toddlers with a parent and is every Friday. The program is great for the kids because it stimulates their senses in a variety of ways, but it's also good for moms and dads to get out, enjoy the beautiful Gilcrease setting and meet other parents.
On Sunday, you might want to take the whole family to Gilcrease for FUNDAY SUNDAY beginning at noon. The museum will have open art stations, an art hunt activity in the galleries and they'll be showing the KID FLIX film "A Boy, A Dog and A Frog."
This Saturday is the second Saturday of the month, so it's FREE FAMILY DAY at Philbrook. This Saturday they're doing something a little different. The Bank of Oklahoma is sponsoring a children's book swap. Just have your child bring a book to the museum that he or she would like to trade and then your child can pick out a different book to bring home. Literacy and art -- it doesn't get much better than that!
If you like musicals, the classic "The Fiddler on the Roof" is showing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. If you want to enjoy some super kid-friendly community theater, go to Spotlight Children's Theater for a performance of "Wipe Out: A Musical." It's Friday, Sat. and Sunday. Spotlight Theater is fun for kids because it's small, casual and intiimate. The actors involve the audience in the performances, and you will feel comfortable even if your kid is a little wiggly. It's a great way to introduce children to live theater.
Finally, I'd like to invite you, on behalf of TulsaKids Magazine and BookSmart Tulsa, to meet cookbook author and mom Katie Workman on Monday, May 14 from 7 to 9 at Blue Moon Bakery on Peoria. Katie's coming from NYC to talk about her latest cookbook "The Mom 100 Cookbook." You can get some tips from her on kids and cooking and also purchase her book and have her sign it. I have the cookbook and it's great. I've already used several of the recipes. They're easy and delicious. Here's one for Mother's Day breakfast. I made this last week and everyone loved it! I didn't use raisins or dried fruit because I don't like raisins, but I did put some chopped pecans in the middle and served it dusted with confectioners' sugar, warm maple syrup and fresh blueberries. It as seriously good, and it's easy because you make it all the day before, then just stick it in the oven.
LAZY OVEN FRENCH TOAST
4 cups milk (you can use either lowfat, whole milk or even replace one cup of the milk with cream or half-and-half)
6 large eggs
2 Tbls. granulated sugar
2 Tbls maple syrup, plus more maple syrup for serving
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher or coarse salt
1 large loaf challah bread, preferably slightly stale to soak up the milk and eggs, sliced 3/4 to 1 inch thick
3/4 cup whole raisins, chopped dried fruit, or chopped nuts (optional)
Fresh fruit such as berries, sliced peaches or pears, and/or confectioners' sugar, for serving
Grease 13 by 9 inch baking dish with butter or spray with cooking spray. Place milk, eggs, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl and whisk to mix well. Set aside. Arrange half the bread slices in the prepared baking dish, cutting the bread so that it fits in a solid layer. Pour half of the milk mixture over the bread, then evenly distribute about half of any dried fruit or nuts, if using, on top. Repeat, creating a second layer of bread and then pour the rest of the milk mixutre on top. Distribute the rest of the dried fruit or nuts over the bread. Lightly press the bread down into the liquid. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Uncover the baking dish and if there are dryer looking pieces on top, take them off and carefully tuck them underneath the bread on the bottom so that the more milk-soaked pieces are now on top (this is messy but it all works out in the baking). Note that any dried fruit sitting on the top fo the French toast will get pretty chewy when baked and nuts on top will get toasty.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Bake the French toast, uncovered, until it is puffed and golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the French toast sit for 5 minutes to firm up a bit, then cut it into squares and serve it hot with your choice of maple syrup, fresh fruuit and/or confectioners' sugar.