Pumpkin French Toast Bake

 DSC_0190
DSC_0203
This time last year: Superfood Guacamole (2012)

DSC_0208

It’s finals week. Usually during finals week I turn into a barbarian, quickly running out of clean clothes, coffee, and devolving into a sleep deprived mess that eats popcorn three meals a day because there is no other food in the house.

Shining moments, I know.

However, this year, be proud of me, I am prepared! Last night I stayed up to ungodly hours doing all my laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking up a storm! (Literally, there was flour flying around the air. God bless my patient roommates.)

Moral of the story, this weary student will not go hungry this week, and I have some delicious recipes to share with you! So, add this to your “to-cook” list. It would make for a wonderful holiday breakfast dish over the holidays!

And for all my  student friends out there, I know y’all are trolling the internet, because it’s finals week, and everything feels better than studying. So, troll on through this site, and definitely book mark this recipe! This french toast bake is worth getting out of bed for.

Happy baking, and come back soon!

love, a rented kitchen

DSC_0202

DSC_0191
DSC_0207
Toast Ingredients:
  • 1 day old French bread, diced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 Pumpkin pie spice
Streusel Ingredients:
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • ½ cup cold salted butter, diced

Directions:

1. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Arrange the bread in the pan evenly and set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the remaining wet ingredients- milk, cream, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well, and pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or preferably, overnight.
3. Preheat the over to 350˚F.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, pecans, and pumpkin spice. Add in the butter, using your fingers or a fork, until small clumps form.
5. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the toast, and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked through. Add a layer of aluminum foil over the top if the toast layer browns too quickly.
DSC_0194
DSC_0189
Notes and Tips!:
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Source: Little Spice Jar
  • Like this recipe? Try these other dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (recipe links below photos):

Berry Quinoa Salad with Citrus Honey Dressing

DSC_0313

This time last year: Cranberry Field Roast Panini (2012)

DSC_0314

Oh Hello again!

It’s been a while. My b.

Once again, life got crazy, and I am now in my THIRD rented kitchen. What’s up, change?

I could give you a whole host of reasons why I have not been able to post much in the last two months, but who has time for that? The real point is that I have so many fun summer recipes I want to share with you guys, this one in particular is scrumptious, and after almost two months away, you have to start of big. Cue Berry Quinoa Salad with Citrus Honey Dressing.

DSC_0325

DSC_0320

Summer is the perfect time for dishes like this, because they are so refreshing, they use seasonal ingredients, and they are best served chilled- perfect for a summer day picnic or a porch dinner.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and I hope you are able to share it with someone you love.

I have come to realize recently, how special that exchange really can be. Here’s to nourishing your heart while nourishing your body.

With love,

a rented kitchen

DSC_0326

Citrus Honey Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups strawberries, cut in half
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup roughly chopped honey roasted cinnamon almonds or mixed nuts*
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped basil

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside for later.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss the quinoa, berries, almonds, mint, and basil. Drizzle the salad with the dressing, and gently stir once more. Serve fresh and enjoy!

DSC_0315

Notes and Tips!:

  • If you cannot find red quinoa, regular quinoa will work as well! Feel free to make it a day in advance, as long as the quinoa is cool prior to making the salad.
  • Blue Diamond, as well as stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market, carry honey roasted cinnamon almonds and/or bags of mixed nuts! If you cannot find that exact combination, aim for something similar, or substitute with sunflower seeds or mixed nuts!
  • Source: Two Peas and Their Pod 
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen (Links below photos!):

 

Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad

DSC_0138

 

This time last year: Stuffed Breakfast Tomatoes (2013)

DSC_0140

This time of year, it seems as if every other week I have a potluck or a picnic to go to (because who wants to do school work when it’s so nice outside?!). I have absolutely zero complaints about this potluck schedule; however, casual group gatherings do involve some strategy regarding what dish to bring. Ie: something that might not need heating or isn’t too messy to enjoy while sitting on a picnic blanket. Choices, choices!

This recipe is one of those ideal dishes for a potluck or picnic. I introduce you to this scrumptious Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad! (you’re welcome).

This pasta salad is so easy to make. It only takes ten minutes, five ingredients, and two bowls max. In addition to preparation ease, this dish is also a win in flavor! This pasta salad is beautifully rich and light, with the beautiful smell of the fresh basil, sweet taste of the strawberries, and the delicious flavor of the balsamic glaze.

You can’t go wrong here folks!

Enjoy this pasta salad, and come back and see me!

Happy picnic season 🙂

 DSC_0145

DSC_0146

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry pasta
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 ball mozzarella, diced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and roughly torn
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic glaze

 Directions:

  1. In a large pot, cook the pasta according to packaging instructions.
  2. Once soft, remove the pasta from the heat, drain, and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking any further.
  3. Transfer the pasta back to a serving bowl and toss with the strawberries, mozzarella, and basil.
  4. Drizzle the pasta with half of the balsamic glaze, and stir to incorporate. Once incorporated, drizzle the remaining half of the balsamic glaze over the top of the pasta, serve, and enjoy!

DSC_0136

DSC_0143

Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Source: Gimme Some Oven
  • Gluten Free? Use gluten free pasta!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes form A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links found below!):
  • Parmesan Pesto Pasta with Roasted Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes
  • Strawberry and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Mint and Caramelized Onion
  • Balsamic Mushroom and Fruit Summer Salad

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Lavender

brussles

DSC_0021

In case you missed it, it’s Lavender Week! (YAY!)

Every once in a while I like to host a weeklong series. There was the week of the 5 Summer Treats to Beat the Heat, the week of Hot Chocolate, my Let’s Taco Bout It taco series week, and most recently, Pumpkin Week!

It may seem repetitive, but when you have to use one ingredient or one theme all week long, you get to know that ingredient pretty well! Thus, when I started to realize the possibilities that come with edible flowers, lavender week became a thing.

In the last three days I have brought you one lavender drink, a lavender and chocolate combo, a lavender cake, and now a second lavender vegetable dish! I am excited to say that is still only the beginning though. Get ready for more of these edible flowers hitting your table soon! 🙂

I hope you like these roasted brussles sprouts as much as I did! Make sure you check back tomorrow for another delicious lavender recipe!

DSC_0026

DSC_0017

Lavender Week!

Day One- Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

Day Two- Roasted Yukon Potatoes with Lavender

Day Three- Lemon Lavender Loaf

DSC_0023

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs Brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Cup hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
  2. Prepare the brussels sprouts by slicing in half, and then toss with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
  3. Arrange the Brussels sprouts evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until crisp and lightly brown on the outside, and soft on the inside.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter and sugar in a medium sized frying pan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar has been fully incorporated. Once melted, add the nuts, and stir until they are evenly coated. Cook for a few minutes longer, and continue stirring to further coat the nuts.
  5. Stir the lavender into the pan and toast for an additional minute. Then remove the pan from the heat and spread the nuts out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so that they are in one layer.
  6. Sprinkle the nuts with salt and nutmeg and place in the freezer for ten minutes, or until crisp and crunchy.
  7. Remove the nuts from the freezer and break apart with your hands.
  8. When the Brussels sprouts finish roasting, remove from the oven and toss with the candid hazelnuts. Serve and enjoy!

DSC_0033

DSC_0027

Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Adventures in Cooking
  • Vegan option: Replace the butter in this recipe with a vegan alternative, such as Earth Balance!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below!)

Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

 

lavender week

 

On this day last year: White Bean Hummus with Lime, Parsley, and Cilantro (2014)

Lav. Hot Cocoa

DSC_0050

One of my very nerdy culinary dreams is to have a beautifully organized and fully stocked spice rack. I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. Ever since I started cooking I have drooled over the magnetic spice racks, the ones you label yourself, with all the little bottles. I’m truly revealing my inner organized nerd.

One of the spices I have always wanted to have in my stock, is a little jar of dried lavender buds. Lavender is a very affordable herb, but takes real intentionality to get. You are not likely to find it at your regular grocery store, unless you shop at Whole Foods!

I think part of the reason I wanted a little jar of lavender in my reserve, is due to its’ rarity. I had never tasted anything lavender flavored before! And who doesn’t want to incorporate edible flowers into their meal- helloooo?!

Thus, despite the fact that my little rented kitchen does not have an organized spice rack, yet, I have decided to bust the secrecy of this fragrant herb through a series of lavender food posts.

So, hold onto your apron, because this week is bringing you a series of scrumptious, sweet, and fragrant lavender meals!

On your mark, get set, lavender!

DSC_0044

DSC_0049

DSC_0039 2

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate (70% cacao)
  • 3 Tablespoons milk chocolate (I used chocolate chips!)
  • ¼ teaspoon lavender buds

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon granulated white sugar

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the cold cream, vanilla, and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form (should take a few minutes!). Refrigerate until read for use.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and lavender buds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the milk begins to simmer.
  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and allow the milk and lavender buds to steep for five minutes.
  4. Strain the lavender buds from the milk, and return the milk to the saucepan. Stir in the chocolate and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted and fully incorporated.
  5. Whisk milk mixture until frothy, about 20 seconds.
  6. Prepare the whipped cream by beating the cold cream, vanilla, and sugar with a hand mixture in a small bowl, until stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated until ready to use, and then add a dollop of whipped cream to each mug, and sprinkle with a few lavender buds! Enjoy!

DSC_0042

DSC_0038 2

Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: a la mode
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious hot chocolate recipes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe Links found below!)