Monthly Archives: September 2014

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

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Let the pumpkin frenzy continue! I’ve been making pumpkin recipes as often as I have time for lately. Even the morning oatmeal can be easily turned into pumpkin spice oatmeal, yum!

This recipe is perfect for Sunday brunch. You can make it ahead the day before,  pop it in the oven in the morning and relax in your pj’s until it’s ready. 🙂

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

  • 1 loaf of bread (I used sourdough, but ciabatta or french would be great as well), torn into bite sized pieces
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • pure maple syrup, for serving

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Directions:

  1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 casserole dish. Place the bread in the dish and spread evenly.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spices. Pour this mixture evenly over the bread chunks. Cover dish and refrigerate overnight (if you don’t have all night that’s fine, just let the bread soak up the liquid for at least 30 minutes on the counter).
  3. To make the streusel topping combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter or fork, until the mixture has a crumbly texture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook the casserole.
  4. When you’re ready to bake the casserole preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the french toast mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the french toast is set and beginning to golden.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod

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Filed under Breakfast, Sweet indulgences

Chicken and Black Bean Chipotle Soup

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I was excited to pull out my slow cooker this week for the first time in a while. We use our slow cooker on a weekly basis in the fall and winter. I love making soup and stew in the cooler months, so you can anticipate many of those recipes in the months to come.

This recipe originally did not have any meat. I have been eating a lot less meat lately (not really intentionally, but I am kind of enjoying it). The chicken was a good addition, but I wouldn’t have missed it too much if I left it out.

I love the warm and distinct chipotle flavor, which is what really makes this soup unique. Also, unless you want it super spicy, don’t do what I did and add three chipotle peppers. For some reason I always think more is better… not the case with these spicy peps!

Chicken and Black Bean Chipotle Soup

  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red and 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of diced green chilies, drained
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • pepper, to taste
  • cilantro and monterey jack cheese (optional for topping)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients (except for toppings) in a large slow cooker. Cook for 6-8 hours on low until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
  2. Serve and top with cilantro and cheese.

Makes about 8 servings.

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Filed under Main dishes, Soups & Stews

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze

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Pumpkin season is officially here! One of the most wonderful flavors in my opinion is pumpkin. Pare anything pumpkin with a crisp and sunny fall day and a happy gal I will be! Fall is absolutely my favorite season. All seasons have their pros and cons, but the sights and smells of fall are the best. The leaves changing, football, cool nights, apple orchards, cozy fires, I could go on and ON!

This recipe is one of my pumpkin treat staples. The cookies are much more cake-like than cookie-like. How can you go wrong with a little portable c00kie-cake?! You can also add a little pure maple syrup to the glaze if you’re feeling fancy.

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Directions:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the pumpkin, vanilla and egg and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and combine until incorporated.
  2. Spoon into heaping rounds onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until just set in the middle and starting to golden on the edges.
  3. Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, cinnamon, butter and vanilla. Slowly add the milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Cool the cookies on a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath. Spoon the glaze on top of the cookies.

Makes approximately 22-24 cookies.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

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Pizza Cauliflower Casserole

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When I first tried this recipe I basically had zero expectations that it would turn out. It just sounds weird, doesn’t it? I’m really not even sure why I made it. I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised! Pizza is one of my favorite foods and I love making my own crust from scratch (my pizza crust recipe is posted here). But in an effort to reduce carbs this recipe is a great alternative!

The topping options are endless. Top it with any and all of your favorite pizza fixings. Listed in the recipe are the ones I used,  but you can change that however you would like.

I should also mention if you aren’t a big cauliflower fan, give this a try anyway. I didn’t even think I liked cauliflower until I gave it another shot recently, and I love it!

Pizza Cauliflower Casserole

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used skim)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • pepperoni slices, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup pizza sauce
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • pizza toppings of your choice (I used green peppers, onions, mushrooms and pepperoni)

Directions:

  1. Steam cauliflower in a steamer for about 10 minutes, or until tender. (You could also boil or microwave the cauliflower, but steaming helps to keep all of the nutrients in the cauliflower). Put the cauliflower, milk, butter, 8 pepperoni slices and 1/3 cup mozzarella in a blender of food processor. Blend until smooth with some chunks of cauliflower. Stir in the spices and salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the cauliflower puree into a buttered 8×8 casserole dish. Top with a layer of pizza sauce. Followed by 3/4 cup of mozzarella and pizza toppings.
  3. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until all the cheese is melted and it’s beginning to bubble.

Adapted from I Breath… I’m Hungry…

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Super Easy Fudge Brownies

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Do you want to know what it takes to survive a stressful job?

1. Awesome coworkers.

2. Lots of good chocolate!

3. Daily exercise and vegetables to balance out the stress and chocolate consumption.

Vooala, that’s it! Well not really, but it’s a good start 😉 But seriously I am lucky to love my job and the people I work with. Tomorrow we are saying goodbye to one of our awesome team members, so of course we will need chocolate to properly send her off 🙂

These brownies are easy, peasy, squeezey. They literally take 10 minutes to make. I have to say I usually don’t care for a brownie that doesn’t have a super delicious frosting, but sometimes you just don’t have the time, so you make do without. And with the rich chocolate flavor in these babies you won’t miss the frosting too much.

Super Easy Fudge Brownies

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (I actually use a little more than 1/4)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Make a well in the middle of the bowl. Add the butter, eggs and vanilla to the well and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. Butter an 8×8 baking dish. Pour the batter evenly into the baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  3. Allow to cool. Cut, serve and enjoy!

Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food 

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