Monday, September 17, 2012

Pumpkin French Toast

It's almost AUTUMN! To celebrate season change and family visiting us, I made a Pumpkin-Stuffed (eggless) French Toast this weekend and it was divine. What did you do this weekend?
We enjoyed an amazing art festival downtown where we viewed a lot of awesome local art, sampled a variety of international foods and enjoyed a bit of time in the Beer Garden, where my favorite brew was an Indian Spiced Ale.
We also celebrated more family (existing and soon to be part of our family) with a party honoring the upcoming marriage of my Sister-in-law and future Brother-in-law (fun!). Altogether, our weekend was family-rich, fun and FULL of good eats and drinks.
To finish off the weekend, we hosted a fun brunch where I toyed with a recent tinkering of stuffing breakfast foods with amazing additions to create hearty, satisfying foods to honor the colder months to come. Featured below was a (successful!) new recipe that I would love for you to try.

Pumpkin-Stuffed (eggless) French Toast
Mix 7 ounces of cream cheese, 2 cups of pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice and an additional 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Cut a hearty, crusty bread (french, sourdough, etc) into 8 slices (to serve 4).
Spread pumpkin mixture on 4 slices of bread and top with additional 4 slices to form sandwiches.
Heat griddle to 375 degrees, or medium heat.
Fill a casserole-type dish with 1 3/4 cups of milk, 1/2 a cup of pure maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Put sandwiches in maple syrup milk mixture to soak, 4-5 minutes on each side.
Put butter to melt, in griddle. Transfer the bread to griddle and cook until golden brown, with a caramelized texture from the syrup soak. Repeat with remaining bread.

Warm in oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees while waiting to serve. This will give it the final crunch.

One of my recent birthday presents was a variety of olive oils and vinegars. I served this french toast with seasonal fruit drizzled with a balsamic vinegar that has been aged for 25 years. Also, a side of bacon for my carnivorous diners, cooked to perfection.

We ate candlelit brunch with the lull of "Postcards From Italy" Pandora station in the background, a soft breeze coming through open windows and reminding us of the hopeful days of Fall. Served generously with mimosas (of course always recommended for a leisurely Sunday brunch).

I hope your weekend was relaxing, upbeat and enlightening. What was your highlight? I love a weekend like ours where there are too many to choose just one. I hope your weekend was similar in that way. Happy Monday morning-I'm ready for a coffee refill already...are you? :)

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