Monday, October 29, 2012

Overnight Pumpkin French Toast Bake!

Sandy is still coming - when I woke up this morning and looked outside I have to admit - this is it, this is just rain - my kids are missing school for rain??  However, Al Roker has promised that it is going to get worse as the day goes on! I also have to admit that I wish we were getting the blizzard that the mountain regions of NC are getting....I mean really, I can at least send the kid out in the snow when they start bouncing off the walls - which has started and it's only 10AM!  Looks like it is going to be a board game/card game/craft making kind of day!

There is something about being housebound that makes me want to cook and bake!  I mixed this up last night and thought how nice it would be to have a leisurely breakfast this morning - one that does not involve me repeating myself 25 times with, "Hurry up and eat your cereal the bus is coming down the road....". 

So, this morning at breakfast (the leisurely one I mentioned above) I was told, "Boy, Mom this is delish....".  Delish???  When did they pick up on cooking slang? 

Overnight French Toast Bake
(recipe from: Minimalist Baker)

1 Loaf Pepperidge Farms Brown Sugar Cinnamon Bread
7 Large Eggs
2 Cups Milk (any kind, I used 1%)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 C. Pumpkin Butter (or pumpkin puree*)
4 Tbsp. Brown Sugar (for topping)
Pecans (optional)
DIRECTIONS:  Cut bread into 1" cubes and spread into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.  In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk vanilla and pumpkin butter until well combined.  Pour over bread and bush down with a spoon until it is soaked into the bread.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Next morning - pull pan out of refigerator.  Preheat oven to 350.  While oven is preheating - sprinkle brown sugar over the top of dish and top with nuts.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Serve!

*  If using pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin) you may need to compensate the flavor by adding more puree and pumpkin pie spice.  (Pumpkin Butter is a lot more concentrated in flavor.  I found my pumpkin butter at Stauffers of Kissel Hill - Rohrerstown).


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Granola!

Why have I never made homemade granola before?  It sure is easy and a whole lot cheaper than the fancy schmancy stuff at the grocery stores!

I chose pumpkin pie granola because, well it is October - season of all things pumpkin!!  While this was baking the house smelled fabulous!   The smell alone brought the kids from all areas of the house.  This brings me to the point of loving and hating have non-picky eaters!  I made this granola thinking it would be a nice healthy treat for me to top my yogurt with or munch on......well, the kids immediately dove in and then proceeded to ask for yogurt with that "granola stuff" you made on top.  *Sigh* - at least someone is eating a healthy snack!! So, I love that they are healthy eaters - I hate that they eat my snacks...... :)

Here is what you need and how you make it!

Pumpkin Pie Granola

5 C. Rolled Oats
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
3/4 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Pumpkin
1/4 C. Applesauce
1/4 C. Syrup (like pancake syrup)
1 tsp. Vanilla
DIRECTIONS:  Heat oven to 325.  Line a tray with parchment paper - set aside.  Combine oats and spices.*  Whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, syrup and vanilla.  Pour over the oat and spice mixture.  Combine thoroughly.  Spread onto baking sheet.  Bake for 60 minutes - stirring every 20 minutes.  Turn oven off and allow to cool in the oven.  If you want a "chewier" granola - you can remove the tray and allow to cool on the counter.  I like crunchy granola......

*  If you don't have pumpkin pie spice you can mix your own by combining -
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ginger
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
1/8 tsp. Allspice


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Baked Spasagna!

So this recipe is one from my pinterest addiction!  I cannot get enough of the pinterest, it intrigues me - all those creative ideas in one handy place.  I mean really, who could ask for more?

Baked Spasanga was pinned from this blog: !

Here is the recipe:

24 oz. Spaghetti, cooked
32 oz. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz. Ricotta cheese
8 oz. Sour cream
1 1/4 C. Half and Half (I used skim milk and it was fine)
1/2 C. Grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Oregano
                           } I used 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning in place of the oregano and basil
1 tsp. Basil     

1/2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 jar (26 oz) Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb. Ground beef, browned
DIRECTIONS:  Prehea oven to 350.  Cook spaghetti according to package directions, drain.  In large bowl, stir together sour cream, ricotta, 1/2-1/2, mozzarella, seasoning and 1/4 C. parmesan cheese.  Add cooked spaghetti and toss until well coated.  Pour spaghetti into a 9x13 pan, that was lightly coated with cookign spray.  Top with remaining parmesan cheese.  Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  While pasta is baking, prepare meat sauce by browning ground beef.  Add sauce and simmer until pasta is done.  Remove pasta from oven.  Cut into squares and top with sauce.  Enjoy!