Pumpkin French Toast

Hello everyone– When the kids are home for a visit, my favorite part of the day is breakfast.  Larry starts the coffee and I buzz around the kitchen while people with pj’s and bed hair wander in one at a time.  They squeeze around the small kitchen table and I flip pancakes or pour juice.  It’s the best– talking over the day ahead, easy times together.

So while kids were here last weekend, we sat down to this pumpkin French toast.  Custardy and pumpkin spiced with candied pecans to top it off.  I think you’d love it too!

PUMPKIN FRENCH TOAST
1 loaf soft French bread*
4 eggs
1 cup mik
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
garnish:  1 cup pecans, 1/2 cup sugar

Slice the loaf into thick slices.

In a 9″ baking dish, beat the eggs and then beat in the milk, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Keep mixing til it’s all blended.

Dip both sides of the bread into the pumpkin mixture and set it on a medium hot griddle that has been sprayed with cooking spray, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Keep warm in a low oven until all the toast is cooked.

Garnish– to make the candied pecans put the 1 cup of pecans (whole or chopped and 1/3 cup sugar in a nonstick skillet.  Set it on a medium high burning and stir continuously until the sugar has melted and the pecans are coated with golden brown sugar syrup.  Turn the pecans out onto a piece of foil to cool, separating them with your wooden spoon on the foil.

*Use those spongy French bread loaves from the grocery bakery (not my favorite bread, but great for soaking up eggy French toast mixture).

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Topping

Hello there– It’s Larry’s birthday today!!  I’m 3 months older than him so now he can stop teasing me about my advanced age.  Our parents are coming for dinner– chicken & rice– and we’ll top it off with this hearty cake.  Happy Birthday dear Larry!!

CARROT CAKE WITH COCONUT PECAN TOPPING

Cake:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1  1/2 cups grated carrot (about 3 carrots)
2 eggs

Topping:
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup butter (2/3 of a stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pecan, coarsely chopped

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Then mix in the oil, grated carrot and eggs.

Spoon the stiff batter into a 9″ cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  And pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until a small knife inserted comes out clean.  Let the cake cool.

To make the topping, stir together the milk, 2/3 cup sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a sauce pan.

Then put the pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir until the mixture thickens (2 or 3 minutes).  the stir in the coconut and pecans.  Let it set a few minutes to cool and then heap it onto the cake.

P.S. This is an OLD post– Larry’s birthday is in August!!  But I saved it and the cake was lovely, so I’m passing it along.  Better late than never!!

Nectarine Pecan Crisp

Hello there–  We’re wringing the last bit of summer out of the days here– warm daytimes, sunshine enough for evening walks, and peaches & nectarines still at the market.  I’m trying to to eat our way through all the peach/nectarine recipes I’ve pinned through the year before the peaches give way to pumpkin & apple baking.

So when Mom and Jenon came to dinner this week, it was sweet nectarines coated with crunchy oats and pecans for dessert.  With ice cream– perfect!

NECTARINE PECAN CRISP

Nectarine Layer:
4 or 5 nectarines
1/4 cup flour
3/4 sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 vanilla

Crisp Topping:
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup whole oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup butter, melted

Cut the nectarines into thin slices (no need to peel them). In a mixing bowl, gently stir together the nectarines, 1/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt and vanilla until the nectarine slices are all well coated. Spoon it all into a deep 9″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

In another mixing bowl stir together the brown sugar, 2/3 cup flour, oats, cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. salt and pecans.  Drizzle the melted butter over the top and stir it all together.

Sprinkle the oat crisp topping over the nectarines in the baking dish.  Pop it into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until the topping is golden and the nectarines are tender.

The filling is very hot, so let it cool down just a bit and serve warm with ice cream!  Oh yummmm.

Pecan Coconut Banana Bread

Hello baking friends–  I’ve already posted more than my share of banana bread recipes on this blog.  Blame it on too many over ripe bananas collecting in my kitchen.  But honestly, this one must be the best!  All that coconut and those pecans!

Made it with my baking buddy, Jenna, and we downed it with mugs of tea at the kitchen table and agreed it was delicious.  Hope you give it a try…

PECAN COCONUT BANANA BREAD

Topping:
6 tab. flour
6 tab. brown sugar
1/4 cup (4 tab.) butter
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Bread:
2 bananas
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
3 tab. canola oil
1 egg
1  1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp, baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Melt the butter in the microwave.  Then in a small mixing bowl stir together the 6 tab. flour, brown sugar, butter, 1/4 cup coconut and 1/4 cup chopped pecans.  Set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl, smash the bananas with a fork. Then stir in the yogurt, oil and egg.  Next mix in the 1 1/3 cup flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup shredded coconut.  Mix just until it is all blended.

Spoon the batter in to a 9″x 5″ loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray (I used two smaller half size pans).  Put it into a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes until it’s gold brown and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Banana Pecan Waffles

Good morning Breakfast Eaters–  We’re still experimenting with our new waffle iron.  There’s been some hits and misses.  But this has been a favorite so far (and I’m pretty sure you may see more waffles float by on these pages in the future!).

The sweetness from the bananas, a little pecan crunchiness and a light texture from beating the egg whites, make it a winner!

BANANA PECAN WAFFLES
2 ripe bananas
3 eggs, divided
1 1/2 stick butter (3/4 cup) melted, cooled for a few minutes
1 1/4 cup milk
1  1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tab. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
garnish: maple syrup & fruit

Smash the bananas to a paste with a fork in a mixing bowl.  Separate the eggs.  Put the whites in a new mixing bowl (set it aside) and the yolks in with the bananas. The mix in the milk and butter with the bananas.

Then add in the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt to the banana mixture.  Stir it all together. Fold in the pecans

Next take the egg whites, and beat them with an electric mixer until they are foamy.  Then add in the sugar and continue to beat on high speed until they are glossy and stiff peaks form.  Be patient.  This takes 4 or 5 minutes.  (Best done with the whisk attachment of your mixer).

Then gently fold the egg whites into the banana batter, mixing until there are no white streaks.

Pour about one cup of batter into a hot waffle iron that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Cook according to the directions on your waffle iron (mine takes 7 or 8 minutes for each waffle and made 6 medium waffles).

Serve them up with syrup and fruit and big mugs of tea.  Delish!

Maple Pecan Baked French Toast

Hi there– Every single Sunday morning while we were growing up, my Dad would take to the kitchen and griddle up piles of French toast while my mom got 4 little kids ready for church. We loved those hot syrupy slices.  I can’t think of French toast without remembering my fun-loving father.

So here’s a new version of that old French toast– with maple in the custard and a maple glaze on top for sweetness, plus pecans for a little crunch.  The nice thing is that you can make it a little ahead in the morning — or put it together the night before and keep it over night in the fridge until your ready to bake it.

MAPLE PECAN BAKED FRENCH TOAST
1 baguette
5 eggs
3 cups milk (or half & half)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pecans

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

Slice the baguette into thin slices (about 1/2″ thick).  Arrange them in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish (I used a large round tart dish) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for a minute.  Then whisk in the milk, 1/2 cup maple syrup and salt.

Pour the egg mixture over the slices of bread in the baking dish.  Cover with foil, tenting it up so it doesn’t touch the bread and let it sit for an hour (or overnight) in the fridge.

Bake the covered bread for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Remove the foil and then sprinkle the pecans over the bread and bake for 20 minutes more.

While that’s baking, mix together the powdered sugar and 1/4 cup maple syrup.  Pour it over the hot French Toast as it comes out of the oven– serve it up hot and sweet!!

Blueberry Broccoli Avocado Salad with Poppyseed Ranch Dressing

Hi all– Should I apologize for the extra long title of this salad??– I just wanted you to know the yummy components and plus also the lovely dressing on top!

Took this salad along to my brother’s house for our Easter dinner.  And liked it so much we had it again last night!  It’s bright and fresh and I can say it works well with Easter ham or a slice of mushroom pizza!

BLUEBERRY BROCCOLI AVOCADO  SALAD

Salad:
5 cups of your favorite salad greens
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Poppyseed Ranch Dressing:
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Layer the salad ingredients in a pretty bowl.

Then stir together the ingredients  for the dressing until they are thoroughly blended.  It makes more dressing than we needed on our salad, so there’s more in the fridge for another day.