As much as I love holiday evening festivities (sparkly dresses, champagne, cheese plates!) I think I love holiday mornings even better. Family gathered around the kitchen, pj pants and fuzzy socks, nibbling on leftover desserts from the night before, filling up coffee cups one by one, planning the day ahead…yes, that’s my favorite.
Our holiday mornings traditionally involve a baked blueberry french toast. My mom or aunt will make it the night before, let it soak overnight, then pop it in the oven as everyone is coming downstairs in the morning. It’s one of the best smells to wake up to. I’m partial to the blueberry (I’m a sucker for traditions), but I also love this sweet pumpkin pecan version I made recently too. It’s a chinch to make so you won’t be spending whole a lot of extra time cooking (better spend that time watching movies with your cousins). I’m thinking this is perfect breakfast for the morning after Thanksgiving or Christmas…especially served up with a side of bacon and hot coffee.
Pumpkin Pecan French Toast
- 1 baguette, sliced
- 7 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
- 1 cup chopped pecans for topping
- Slice day-old baguette into 1-inch thick slices. Line a large baking dish with slices.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin puree and spices until well combined. Pour mixture over bread and push down with your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar, additional cinnamon and pecans. Bake for about 40 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet. Serve immediately for breakfast or with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.
…but won’t because I have nightmares about finding dead mice all over my kitchen. Gah. I need to just grow up and stop being a frustrated wuss about this, right? I’m working on fixing the problem, but in the meantime I need to just get over it and let the pumpkin and apple smells take me over. I’m trying. Really. So, if I wasn’t totally turned off by baking at home, here are a few things that I’d particularly like to make for you.
pecan pie bars | snickerdoodle pumpkin ice cream sandwiches | caramelized apple tart | stacked applesauce cake with cinnamon whipped cream | mini apple pies | apple beignets with caramel sauce | brown butter pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel frosting
Life is moving at a million miles right now, but I actually love it. There are so many things keeping me on my toes and going non-stop: traveling, time changes, fun little adventures, new friends, new work, catchy pop songs, and (the best thing) the onset of spring weather!
I have so much energy and I’m exhausted at the same time. Which is why I randomly baked 60 of these chocolate chip, pecan, oatmeal cookies the other night. I typically have a pretty early bedtime, but I found myself starting to play around with random ingredients in my pantry and make these little guys around midnight. Maybe it was daylight savings messing with me. Maybe I’ve been itching to get creative in the kitchen. Maybe I wanted a few more hours in the day to listen to “Call Me Maybe” on repeat?
These aren’t the best cookies. I mean, they’re good, just the recipe isn’t anything special, which is why I’m not sharing it. Because that’s not the point. The point is that I love life right now. It’s warm and random and adventurous. Just like the cookies. I love life enough to stay up way past my bedtime and do things I wouldn’t normally do. I love it enough to forget a few blog posts here and there.
And it seriously feels so good.
If I disappear for a little while, don’t fret. I’m just skipping down cherry-blossom lined streets in a flouncy spring dress, shamelessly dancing to One Direction, with an iced coffee and cookie in hand. If anything, it’s all wonderful inspiration – exactly what I need in life and for this space right now.
This Thanksgiving was a simple and fun holiday at home with family and friends. I made three easy desserts and I know it’s over a week late, so I’m going to just share the photos now.
Chilled Pumpkin Cheesecake with Homemade Whipped Cream
A creamy and smooth no-bake pumpkin cheese cake topped with fluffy whipped cream. A little twist on the traditional pumpkin pie.
Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie
I didn’t think I liked pecan pie, but boy was I wrong! This dessert was super sweet but I loved the gooey texture of it. I’m starting to try more bourbon things these days too.
Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
An old favorite and an easy recipe, so I whipped these up quick. Small bites of pumpkin heaven.
Now on to Christmas cookies!