PUMPKIN BREAD FRENCH TOAST

It's that time of year when everything featured at the grocery store has one special ingredient: pumpkin! From pumpkin granola to pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin is the main event. But what do you do when you buy the large 32 oz. can of pumpkin because it's on sale for the same price as the small can but your pumpkin pie recipe only calls for a 16 oz. can? Or what about when you have a pumpkin craving you need to satisfy before Thanksgiving rolls around? Or when you want some pumpkin for breakfast?! This recipe can help you solve all of those problems: pumpkin bread french toast.

The inspiration actually came from my housemate. I got a text from her a couple of Sundays ago asking if we had cloves and I immediately crossed my fingers that she was going to make pumpkin bread. Sure enough, I came home to the wonderful smell of perfectly spiced pumpkin bread! The loaf was amazing- so, so good. I think I ate 3/4 of it... In exchange for the amazing bread, I decided to surprise my housemate with some breakfast the next morning! What did I make her? Pumpkin bread french toast. Yes, pumpkin bread french toast. It might not be a real thing.. but it should be. Imagine the most perfect loaf of pumpkin bread and then the most perfect french toast. Now combine them. That's how good this is! Hey, you can go for just the pumpkin bread if that's what you're feeling, but this french toast is truly amazing.  It takes all of two minutes once you've got your loaf baked too because all of the flavor is already in the bread, so it's nice and easy even on a weekday morning!


pumpkin bread french toast

pumpkin bread:

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 16 ounce can pumpkin
2/3 cup water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl. Then combine the sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin, and water in another and mix to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Pour into two prepared loaf pans and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before removing from the pans and then serve warm or make into french toast once completely cooled!





pumpkin bread french toast:

1 egg/4 slices of toast
2 tablespoons of milk
Butter to coat the pan

Heat a non-stick, large pan over medium heat. Beat the egg with the milk in a wide bowl. Slice the pumpkin bread into 1/2"-3/4" slices and soak each side in the egg mixture. Melt some butter in the pan and place the soaked pumpkin bread in the pan. Let sizzle until the egg has set and begun to brown on the side touching the pan, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and let sit for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan, drizzle with syrup, and serve!





COSTA MESA BRIDAL SHOWER

If I could live indefinitely inside a party, let the record show, it would be this one. Why? Because every gorgeous detail - from the colorful cocktail bar to the mini glittered donuts - is basically my dream. Hosted by my friend's two awesome maid of honors, this boho-chic shower made me want to 1. Run home and make dozens and dozens of minnie donuts and 2. Shower my home with colorful flowers, glassware and pillows... etc. And as far as events go, this one wins. Here are some snaps from the event. (Taken by a slew of her bridesmaids and shared with me today).


























































































































































































































































































These party favors tho....

CAST IRON SKILLET MUSHROOM, GOAT CHEESE, AND ARUGALA QUICHE

I know I've already posted a favorite quiche recipe, but I'm excited about this new one that is a little lighter and, in my opinion, more fitting for fall! It's super easy and really attractive when baked in a cast iron skillet like I did! Just a note, I used an 8" skillet, which was great for serving 4 people. If you have a larger skillet and want to serve more people, double the recipe and you should be in good shape!


cast iron skillet mushroom, goat cheese, and arugula quiche

Your favorite pie crust recipe, enough for one crust
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup arugula
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 thyme
1/8 t nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup ricotta

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Roll out your pie crust to the size of your cast iron skillet. Place the mushrooms, arugula, and goat cheese on the bottom of the crust. Combine the remaining ingredients in a standing mixer and beat on medium until frothy. Pour over the vegetables and cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. I topped mine with a bed of arugula and some extra goat cheese and would recommend it!








HONEY, RICOTTA, and PEAR TART WITH AN ALMOND CRUST

While Caroline is getting 80s and sun in LA today, we're in the 50s and surrounded by falling leaves in Baltimore. As much as I love 80s and sun, this might be the first fall I've really appreciated the season. It helps that it's a lot longer than the fall I was used to in the Midwest! But I think I am also just enjoying the change. Change is a crazy thing. I think one of the greatest pieces of advice I was given was to learn to accept change as a constant. It's a hard lesson to learn, but I think it's a great goal to strive towards. Even my yoga instructor yesterday was talking about it. She said that uncertainty is just an opportunity for an adventure. Isn't that a beautiful way to look at it? The same way we look at the golden and crimson leaves on the trees- would we really admire them as we do if they were there year round? I don't think so:) I think we get mesmerized by the fact that each day we walk outside, the tree across the street from our front door looks different. So why can't we look at each day as a great, new, and beautiful adventure? We can, we just have to try a little harder until it becomes the practice. Just like the fall comes every year, so does change. We just have to learn to expect it the same way we expect the leaves to start falling come autumn! Anyways, the whole point of this is that I've finally welcomed fall and I'm super excited to let the autumn baking begin!

Here's a great recipe for a fine dessert that's not too rich or sweet overall, but has a buttery almond crust and caramelized pear slices on top to perfectly satisfy a sweet-tooth craving after a nice meal. It's adapted from a New York Times Cooking recipe and ready to impress!







honey, ricotta, and pear tart with an almond crust

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest from one lemon
1/2 cup butter, cold
1 egg, slightly beaten

1 3/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tablespoon strong honey
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 red D'Anjou pear
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar

First, prepare the tart crust. Add 1/4 cup flour and the almonds to a food processor and process until fine. Add the rest of the flour, powdered sugar, salt, and lemon zest and pulse to combine. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process to a fine crumble. Add the egg and pulse until the dough comes together. Press into a disk, wrap with plastic, and chill for an hour (or overnight). 

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425. Slice the pear into thin slices, coat with olive oil and sugar, and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, flipping half-way. If your slices aren't caramelized yet, you can put them under the broiler for a few minutes until they look nicely roasted.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness and line a 16" tart pan. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Make the filling while the crust is baking by combining the mascarpone, sugar, and cinnamon in a standing mixer. Beat on medium for a couple minutes until fluffy. Then add the ricotta, egg, egg white, honey, and salt. Mix to combine, then pour over the crust, place the caramelized pears on top, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20-30 minutes until the filling is just set in the center. Let cool at room temperature and then serve with honey drizzled on top!






AUTUMN STEMS






































The temp might still be in the mid-80s in Los Angeles, but we are finally feeling all the fall vibes on the west coast. We were super inspired by all of the fun Halloween decor around the city and therefore, decided that we couldn't get rid of our carved pumpkin for at least another week. Luckily a hollowed out pumpkin also substitutes for a perfect vase for your stems. And depending on the size of your pumpkin, you may be able to fit an entire bouquet inside... creating the ultimate Fall-inspired centerpiece.

























































We loved these bronze stems paired with a full bouquet of greenery. We didn't mind the delicious smell of the eucalyptus one bit!

After about a week we opted to move our stems into our recently carved pumpkin. Keeping both the pumpkin and the flowers outside (in cooler weather) will help both last a bit longer and will leave your neighbors feeling oh-so envious!