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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Stewart

The Little Red Toaster

New Years has always been a mystery to me. I think in my mind I have always started over. Like start the calendar all over again and let’s walk down this path a different way. Throw out the old and begin with the new! But what if we looked at it differently? And just looked at New Years like a continuation… things like using the old. Because the old worked just as good last year and the year before. Like taking the same path but approaching it with more positivity? More bravery? Or with a little more Pep in your step?? Instead of flipping the calendar pages over, we keep the same calendar up and just add to it. One day at a time.

Today has become a shockingly sad day in my household… My little red toaster died. It has been with me for what feels like a lifetime. That thing has seen two cross country moves, probably a couple dozen different apartments, so many cabinets, boxes, and 1,000’s of bagels, frozen waffles, and “rustic” bread items. Who knew I would be so sentimental about a TOASTER. I often think of my friend, Ellen Crabill, who would write me letters and it never failed that at the very end would ask me if I still had the red toaster. And I met her in 1999. My goodness. A 22 year old Toaster. Way to go Oster!!!!!!

I suppose I could go on now about keeping this little old toaster and making something really cool out of it… and if my husband were writing this blog he would be on top of that!!! But, alas, I am not. I will be throwing out this guy and buying new. But this little red toaster is a reminder to me of things that keep working for us. That keep functioning so we can function. To allow us to keep turning the pages of the calendar… no matter what day of the week it is. Or what year we’re in. And those little things, large or small, make me so happy.

I’m about to imbibe you in your childhood favorite breakfast food… and give you a recipe from The Spruce Eats (Another favorite to follow) of a homemade Toaster Strudel!!! Because well, that sounds delicious in January doesn’t it? This one uses a premade crust… and as much as I love making my own, I just do not always have the time! And this recipe makes it look super fun and easy!

Raspberry Toaster Strudel


  • 1 (17.3-ounce) box puff pastry sheets

  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 egg (beaten)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk (plus additional if needed)

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

· Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Thaw the two puff pastry sheets in the box according to package directions.

· Place one sheet of the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut into 6 rectangles.

· In a medium bowl, combine the raspberry jam and cornstarch until smooth.

· Place the puff pastry rectangles on the prepared baking sheet. Evenly divide the jam among the 6 rectangles. Spread out the jam, leaving about a 1/2-inch rim around the edges.

· Brush the beaten egg around the edges of each rectangle.

· Cut the second sheet of puff pastry into 6 rectangles and place each top of the jam-coated puff pastry rectangles.

· Use a fork to press the edges to seal.

· Brush the tops of each assembled strudel with the remaining egg. Bake in the 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

· Remove to a wire rack and cool slightly while preparing the drizzle.

· In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract. Add more milk or powdered sugar as needed to achieve the desired drizzling consistency.

· Spoon the icing into the corner of a small resealable plastic bag and twist the end. Snip a small piece off the tip with scissors and drizzle over each strudel.

I’m about to blow you away with the artist I’m going to pair my Raspberry Strudel with… I remember meeting her in LA once and serving her band mates a drink and talking about their next album. At the time I had never heard of her and raced home to look her up. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are the complete package. And she’s got some pipes! Her song, The Lion The Beast The Beat is the BEST way to start the New Year.

I found the heart of a lion

In the belly of the beast And I held it in my hand and I could feel I could feel, feel the beat”

I mean WHAT?!!! Bring the house down Grace!!! And bring us all with you!!! Please check her out in this incredible video.

I’m fully prepared to breathe into this New Year with a heart like a lion and walk with it full of “grace”, courage and fearlessness. It’s never easy to bring in the same energy like we do in January into June or perhaps even into September. And even after an incredibly difficult year like 2020 our calendar pages might have flipped even quicker this time. I’m often reminded like the little red toaster of how strong we actually are. How, we as humans, can power through anything. Challenges only make us stronger. Difficulties only allow us to be better humans. And with things like Grace Potter and a simple strudel recipe, we can dominate 2021 one day at a time.

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