Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Halloween (& a MUCH need vacation to the Caribbean last week) is over and we are snowballing into the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! I don’t know what the weather is where you are, but here in Georgia we have cooled off, the leaves are finally turning colors, and it’s been a wee bit rainy the last two days as we head into Saturday.

Before the rush of the holidays set in, it’s looking like a great weekend for breakfast or brunch in bed and I have a yummy recipe to fit the season and my mood… Pumpkin Spice French Toast!

Pumpkin Spice French Toast/Fiddle Dee Dee

With a little French bread, fresh pumpkin purée, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice you can whip this up in no time and savor a cozy weekend in.

Pumpkin SPice French Toast

Down time is so important for our health, well-being, and our marriages; we need to slow down and enjoy every moment we find together . I wish I had been better at this when my children were young, but honestly it’s always a good time to take better care of yourself and your relationships at home.

Pumpkin Spice French Toast Breakfast in Bed

There is absolutely nothing wrong with preparing a quick breakfast while in your pj’s and hopping right back into bed to share it with your spouse. A slow, flavorful breakfast in bed with your mate is just the perfect way to relax and enjoy time with one another before y’all become caught up in the busyness of the season! Tell the kids to watch cartoons, turn the phones off (unless you are waiting on a call from your Marine who has been in the field) and y’all laugh and talk together. It’s a cheap date worth taking. When you’re finished eating, toss the tray in the floor, allow the dog to lick the syrup of the plate and y’all take a nap!! Cherish a lazy Saturday morning. I know you need it!

Pumpkin Spice French Toast Breakfast in Bed

Click Pumpkin Spice French Toast to get the full printable recipe!

If you want to elevate this simple recipe, add whipped cream and pecans…. Oh yeah, it’s really delicious, and plan your late morning in bed!

Happy weekend y’all!

img_5691

 

Pumpkin Pandemonium

Nothing says “autumn” more than a plethora of pumpkins scattered around your home in early weeks of fall.  Everywhere you look from the grocery store to a local farm stand there are so many varieties to choose from!  If you are like me, you probably pick several up when you spot the perfect ones that fit your themes or decor.

At the end of the season you’re left with all these pumpkins sitting that just don’t match the Christmas stockings!

Have you ever wondered what to do with all your pumpkins as you start removing your fall decor and beginning to prepare for Christmas?  As our own decor began coming down on November 1st (yes, I know it’s early), I felt bad and a wee bit wasteful just throwing away so many colorful pumpkins!

IMG_1073 copy

Just a handful of our pumpkin decor

Then it began to cross my mind that I know there is more than one kind of pumpkin to cook with; maybe some of mine were in that category!  After a little research using my gardening books, sure enough there were a list of pumpkins to grow for cooking, and ways to use them!

With a little downtime in my schedule this week, it was a perfect opportunity for knocking out this task.

IMG_1084

Do you have any of these?

Many are old European and Australian varieties with a newer resurgence here in the States.  When I was a kid we had jack-o-lantern pumpkins and maybe white ones, but I really love all the colors found in the pumpkin variety of the squash family!

Pumpkins-Varieties | ohfiddledeedee.com

**Blue pumpkins tend to have deep, rounded ridges running from top to bottom. The skin ranges in color from dusky blue-gray to blue-green with a striking deep, orange flesh. Many varieties of blue pumpkin are known for they’re exceptionally sweet flesh which when cooked has a smooth, favorable texture.  Blue pumpkins have several names; the one I recognized most was Jarrahdale, and while you can find these at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, they are really popular in Australia!

Who knew?!

Blue pumpkins go well in pies, scones, and cakes, but these also are great for roasting, as a ravioli filling, or in stews.

{So now I’m hungry}

**Fairytale pumpkins (Also known as the Musque de Provence) are a French heirloom pumpkin that looks just like the illustrations in the old fairytales of past.

bffd7a949e4afac1fb032737c2c8b7a3

{I don’t think parents read these to kids anymore…}

These pumpkins are very sweet and can be used in variety of ways, including fresh when cut from the middle as you would a wedge of cheese and then slicing very thinly. Roasting or grilling only enhances the sweet flavoring and would be wonderful with cinnamon and butter!

**The Cinderella pumpkin is also a French heirloom pumpkin.  When I look at this pumpkin I immediately think of the Disney version of Cinderella and imagine the Fairy Godmother swishing her wand with a “Bibbity Bobbity Boo” creating an elegant carriage to whisk Cinderella off to the ball!

1cf6e70b459b6a6d685b8ba264f05406

{I’m still enthralled by my recent visit to Disney World}

The Cinderella pumpkin is known for its sweet flavor and creamy texture making it ideal for use in pies, breads, cookies and cakes. Slice length wise and roast or grill to enhance its sweet flavor. Puree cooked Cinderella pumpkin and use to make pumpkin ice cream. It is also ideal cooked down when making pumpkin butter.

**Galeux D’ Eysines pumpkins (I couldn’t find a nickname for these) are a pinkish-orange color with little “warts”.  A little scary at first glance (Audley is afraid he’ll get warts from them… MEN… sigh!), this French heirloom pumpkin is quite unique indeed.  The “warts” are caused by sugars in the flesh  seeping through the skin; as the sugar content grows, the more nodes appear on the outside of the squash. The more “warts” on your pumpkin, the sweeter the squash.

IMG_1070

This sweet pumpkin is used in soups and for baking.  As you know, pumpkins are in the squash family, so think roasted or even grilled!  This pumpkin purees well making it ideal for pumpkin butter or a pumpkin cheesecake.

IMG_1058

**Boo, Ghost, Moonshine or lumina pumpkins are white and range from small to quite large; squatty to rounded and are so common in neutral autumn decorating.  These pumpkins don’t last as long as other varieties, so often they will begin to lose their coloring or go bad early in the season.

These pumpkins can be used in any traditional pumpkin recipe, but I have discovered that sometimes they have a lot more fiber which makes them not puree so easily.

The white pumpkin I cut had a white flesh, and after cooking it, shredded like a spaghetti squash, and tasted really good.

IMG_1100

**Who knew Tiger Stripe pumpkins were good for eating?  I’ve always used these in a centerpiece or scattered around a bookshelf, but according to my Momma (and you know Momma is always right!) these little pumpkins are excellent hollowed out and stuffed as you might stuff an acorn squash.  Tiger Stripe pumpkins don’t have a lot of meat to them, but these also make for great serving bowls for soups or dips at a party.

I think I will hang onto mine for when the in-laws visit for Thanksgiving dinner!

Believe it or not the hardest part of cooking and preparing pumpkin for culinary purposes is cutting it and cleaning out the seeds.

{I hate that part.}

IMG_1090

If you want to know how to prepare pumpkin, you can click here for easy instructions.

If you need ideas for cooking with pumpkin, try:

**Pumpkin cheesecake

**Pumpkin butter

**Pumpkin Spice Trifle

**Skinny Pumpkin Mousse

**A Healthy Autumn Bread

**Pumpkin Bisque

Or Pumpkin pie.

How do you use your leftover autumn decorations?

Signature

A Pumpkin Spice Trifle

‘Tis the season for everything pumpkin and I have an absolutely delicious dessert to share with you that will be a hit no matter what office party/ family gathering/ dinner with the kiddos/ hiding away on the sofa with a bowl & spoon situation you might find yourself in!

To top this delicious bowl of heaven off is the fact it is so easy to make that you can let a child assemble it while you handle the more difficult tasks of the moment …. Like maybe sipping a cup of tea while reading Southern Living magazine.

Pumpkin Spice Trifle

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Bread, cubed (I used Williams-Sonoma Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Quick bread mix)

1 1/2 pints heavy whipping cream, whipped & sweetened with 1/2 cup of organic sugar

1 can organic pumpkin or 16 ounces of fresh pumpkin, pureed

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Heath Bar Bits

Pecan halves

Cinnamon

A large glass bowl

Pumpkin Triffle Ingredients

Putting it all together:

Before beginning to assemble the Pumpkin Spice Trifle, fold in the can of pumpkin with the cream you have whipped.  Be careful not to beat or mix it in too heavily or you will break down the whipped cream!

Pumpkin Triffle Steps

The whipped cream will take on a pretty and festive orange hue.

The whipped cream will take on a pretty and festive orange hue.

Now onto assembling your dessert!

Scrumptious freshly baked pumpkin bread .... it's so difficult not to nibble while assembling all of these sweet goodies!

Scrumptious freshly baked pumpkin bread …. it’s so difficult not to nibble while assembling all of these sweet goodies!

Layer one is a solid layer of pumpkin bread covering the bottom of your bowl.

Layer one

Layer two is drizzling a half can of Sweetened Condensed milk over the layer of pumpkin bread.  I use a spatula to help spread it as evenly as possible.  I also use fat-free Eagle brand, well, because it keeps me from feeling so guilty.

Layer two

Layer three is  a nice fluffy layer of the pumpkin laced whipped cream.  Use your spatula to help spread it across the layer of bread and milk.

Layer Three

Layer four is 3/4 of your package of Heath bits.  Cover your whipped topping with these to the bowl’s edge.

Layer Four

Layer five is a second layer of pumpkin bread.

Layer Five

Layer six is the other half of your can of Sweetened Condensed milk.

Layer Six

Layer seven and eight is a thick, fluffy layer of pumpkin laced whipped cream with a little cinnamon sprinkled across the top.

Layers 7 & 8

Add the remainder of your Heath bits and a handful of pecan halves for a garnish and

VOILA!

Pumpkin Spice Triffle 3

Now you have a dessert that looks pretty, tastes great and your guests will think you spent HOURS making it so special for them!

Pumpkin Spice Triffle2

And in case this is a little more trouble than you want for an easy dessert, here are a few shortcuts and ideas to make it even easier or change it up a little!

*Pick up pumpkin muffins from your local grocery store bakery for the pumpkin bread layers.

*Use 1 1/2 tubs of cool whip instead of whipping your own heavy cream.

*Instead of Heath bits, use Pumpkin Spiced latte M & M’s.

*Try using nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon.

*If you need a workout for the gym after indulging in this sweet trifle, I can write one for you.

Pumpkin Spice Triffle

If you want to see me assembling this, check out my Periscope broadcast from over the weekend.  Just keep in mind, I changed my college major from broadcast journalism to Public Relations for a reason.

Enjoy!

Skinny Pumpkin Mousse

I know, I know;  It’s Christmas Eve, you have everything all ready to serve on Christmas day and now I’m going to post a recipe. It’s nothing difficult by any means, but something quick, easy, a bit on the lighter side (yet not completely flavorless and dull), and quite a pretty presentation on the holiday buffet.  It’s also a great way to use the very last of the pumpkin from Thanksgiving.

This Skinny Pumpkin Mouse was a recipe that I found in Shape magazine in October and I couldn’t wait to make it, after I altered it just a little.

And it was totally worth the wait!

PumpkinMousse

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whipping cream

4 tablespoons sugar

3 egg whites

15 ounces pumpkin (fresh or canned)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

fat-free Redi-Whip for garnish

Put it all Together:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the cream and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.  Using an electric mixer, beat cream until it holds soft peaks.

SkinnyPumpkinMousse

2.  Wash and dry the beaters.  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and remaining sugar until soft peaks form.  Add pumpkin and the spices, gently combining with a rubber spatula.

SkinnyPumpkinMousse2

Add the beaten cream and sugar mixture and carefully fold in until no streaks of white remain.

SkinnyPumpkinMousse3

3.  Spoon the mousse into four dishes and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

SKinnyPumpkinMousse4

Top with a small dollop of Redi-Whip and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon.

Serves 4.

SkinnyPumpkinMousse5

With a total prep time of 25 minutes (including chill time), I told you it was easy.

It’s also pretty; which we all love a dish that makes a pretty presentation!

SkinnyPumpkinMousse6

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Eve!!

ENJOY!

9BC920CC6823471E78F010232F661C22