Archive for ‘Thanksgiving’

December 20, 2011

Pumpkin Bread French Toast

There are so many variations of Pumpkin Bread. And although it is perfect as it is, or maybe toasted with some cream cheese or butter on it – I knew that I could take it up to the next level!

Our good friends Roger & Jen gave us a loaf of Roger’s awesome Pumpkin Bread. I figured that if I took my basic french toast method and used it on this bread it would be amazing- and we were not disappointed!

Although all of your Thanksgiving Pumpkin Bread is probably gone for now – you can either try to find a loaf in the back of the freezer or bring back the awesome flavors of pumpkin and whip up a loaf for Christmas (or anytime for that matter, I love pumpkin!)

Pumpkin Bread French Toast

(figure at least 2 slices of bread per person and adapt the recipe from there)

  • 2 slices of your favorite Pumpkin Bread
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 pat of butter for your pan
  • Apple Butter & real Maple Syrup (& cinnamon) for topping

Slice your Pumpkin Bread. Mix up your egg(s) and milk. Allow your slices of bread to soak for at least 30 seconds on each side. While your bread is soaking, pre-heat a flat skillet with some butter. Over medium-high heat cook your French Toast – about 3 minutes per side (check at 3 minutes and see how its going – you want it browned but not burned, there is a fine line).

Once your Pumpkin Bread French Toast is cooked you want to top it with some Maple Syrup and Apple Butter and maybe even a sprinkle of Cinnamon!  🙂

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… do you have a favorite way to use up a certain kind of leftover bread or do you ever make/buy a certain kind of bread just to turn it into something else?

November 26, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

Just in case you have not had enough Pumpkin Recipes, I give you… Pumpkin Muffins!

These muffins may look ‘difficult’ but they could not have been easier. (Ok, I guess they could have been easier – but not really, you get what I’m saying?)

We traveled to Delaware for Thanksgiving and I wanted to bring a tasty treat to enjoy while watching the Macy’s Parade and cooking in the morning. These ft the bill perfectly. With the Whole Wheat Flour and light amount of Sugar they were the perfect balance of everything you want in a breakfast that is sweet without making you crash an hour later.

This recipe travels well and can be made sweeter by adding some mini chocolate chips if you really want a sweet breakfast treat. You could even use only all-purpose flour and then make a tasty cream cheese frosting for a hearty treat. I was thinking some grated carrots or raisins could be a yummy addition. Or how about some pecans!? Or just the way they are taken to the next level by cutting them in half, toasting them, and adding some butter to your warmed muffins! However you slice it – these are a tasty muffin!!

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • > 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, or to taste (this worked out for me to be about 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 + teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cloves)
  • 1 tsp. additional ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or applesauce)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white (or just 2 eggs if you are lazy like me)
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese (or regular cream cream lightly warmed/softened in the microwave)
  • approx. 1 TB confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tins with nonstick spray (I made a dozen, worked perfectly). In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese with 1 TB confectioners sugar. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, buttermilk, egg, egg white, and vanilla. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way full with batter mixture. Place a dollop of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each muffin. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes before indulging.

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… what is your favorite type of Breakfast Muffin?

November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese

When I suggested making Pumpkin Maccaroni and Cheese to bring to friends, Rich was pretty skeptical. Then, as I was putting the mac & cheese into the casserole dish to bake he was practically licking the pot with the extra pasta clean! Through mouthfuls he was telling me how much this totally worked even though he didn’t think it would. I’ll take it!

This recipe would work wonders on your Thanksgiving Table (it maybe a bit late for this suggestion, sorry). Everything in this recipe works and is perfect for any of your fall mac & cheese cravings. The pumpkin does not come out and smack you in the face like it would in a pumpkin pie but the flavor balance is spot-on and delicious.

Get out your pots and your stretchy pants, and enjoy some of this amazing savory Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese!

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese

  • 16 oz small shell pasta
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 16 oz grated cheese blend
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree (about half 15-oz can)
  • 1.5 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

In a heavy pot over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk together and cook for thirty seconds. Add 2 cups milk and minced rosemary and whisk until smooth. Add another cup of the milk (reserving one cup) and continue to whisk. Cook for four minutes while whisking. The mixture will get very thick! Add 12 ounces of the grated mixed cheese (reserving about a handful of grated cheese) and stir well so that the cheese melts. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne followed by the additional cup of milk and the pumpkin puree. Once everything is smooth, add the cooked macaroni and toss well. Pour into a 9″13″ casserole pan and top with the remaining grated cheese and the breadcrumbs.
Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling

Yield: 8 servings

*Note – I had a 12 oz container of pasta so I just took out about 3/4 cup of cheese sauce before mixing the pasta in. Then that can get used in a soup (think cheddar soup, pumpkin soup, beer n cheese soup) or to make more pasta another day or on top of potatoes or whatever you like!


And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What food combinations are you not sure will work but then turns out tastefully delicious?

November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Martini

I have been looking at making Pumpkin Pie Martinis for about a year and for some reason just never made them! Tonight I realized that I had not posted anything in a while (sorry – I have cooked things but was away at Punkin Chunkin with my 2010 World Champion Team and did not take photos of the goodies I brought down there with me). Since I am now home from the Chunk – I figured it would be a perfect time to make a Pumpkin Pie Martini!

This recipe is version #1 of this experiment. I would cut down on the Rum here – maybe 1/2 and ounce and bump up the Kahlua to 1 1/2 ounces. Feel free to use some more spices (I added a dash of both nutmeg and ginger). Just as this was attempt #1 at this martini (with changes coming for next time) this is also attempt #1 at these photos – changes coming there too!

Pumpkin Pie Martini

  • 1 oz Malibu rum
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie filling (depending on desired taste)

Blend all ingredients together in a blender with a few cubes of ice.

Serve in a glass rimmed with very finely crushed graham cracker crumbs. To rim the glass – just dip the rim of the glass in water and then have crumbs on a plate and dip the rim right on in!

Sprinkle more cinnamon on top for garnish. Enjoy!


And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What desserts do you enjoy turned into drinks?

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