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):

Sage Polenta Bowl with Parmesan, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms

DSC_0562

This time last year: Fall Harvest Vegetarian Stuffing (2013)

DSC_0557

Man, time flies, doesn’t it?

It feels like just yesterday I was at home, filling my plate full of sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, and homemade rolls. Oh my goodness gracious, it was SO good!

I’m telling you all, veggie Thanksgiving is where it’s at. No turkey to make you sleepy, and all of the carbs and homemade goodness you could ever dream up. I can feel myself drooling now.

 

When the weather gets cold and the work load keeps getting harder, I dream of home. I dream about those moments around the table with my family, maybe some jazz music floating therough the speakers, always some kind of sweet potato dish being served (duh!).

When going home is not an option, which is unfortunately, almost always the case, I find myself eating soup instead. (Yes, some of us eat our feelings, and no, soup can not replace the comfort that comes with a family home cooked meal).

I think the warmth of a bowl of soup can push back the coldness of winter just a little bit, which can make the warmth of home feel a whole lot closer.

However, since leaving home 6 years ago, I’ve had a lot of soup, and sometimes you need something else warm.

CUE the Sage Polenta Bowls with Parmesan, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms.

This bowl is seasonal, warm, simple, and delicious. It is filling, while still healthy, and it meets all vegetarian and gluten free diets (two points for the picky eaters!).

Buy the ingredients and make this recipe this week. I promise, you will be so glad you did!

 

DSC_0569

DSC_0565

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts- rinsed, trimmed, and quartered
  • 1- 8 ounce package assorted wild mushrooms (fresh)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
2. Toss the Brussels Sprouts and mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then arrange into one layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk the polenta into the water. Continue to whisk, without ceasing, for 3 minutes.
4. Remove the polenta from the heat, and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, the sage, and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Divide the polenta into four bowls, and top each with 1/4 of the roasted vegetables + 1 Tablespoon of parmesan cheese.

DSC_0568

DSC_0556

Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Oh My Veggies!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below!):

Pumpkin Nutella Muffins

pumpkin

On this day last year: Caramel Delight Chocolate Covered Pretzels (2012)

DSC_0680

Well, I think it is safe to say I have found my new favorite muffin recipe!

I had to bake something for a birthday party recently, so in a very typical fashion, I found myself trolling the internet looking for some cooking inspiration.

That’s when I stumbled upon these pumpkin Nutella muffins, and Woah, they are a game changer!

I have baked and cooked with pumpkin numerous times. Pumpkin  is an extremely versatile ingredient, pairing well with sweet tones as well as savory!

Want to see for yourself? Check out my Pumpkin Spice Bread with Streusel Topping or these Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts.  Not interested in baked goods or sweets? Check out this Vegan Pumpkin Curry or my Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Roasted Rosemary!  Seriously, like I said, pumpkin is versatile!

While I am well acquainted with pumpkin, Nutella is somewhat of a different story.

Some people consider Nutella a critical part of the food pyramid foundation. All signs (such as the chocolate section of my recipe page and my absurdly large sweet tooth) should point me to being on of those Nutella fanatic people, but for some reason I have never been a big Nutella user.

That might have just changed.

In the last three weeks, I have made six batches of these muffins. Wooooops.

In my defense however, I was doing some experimenting!  I tried baking these mufffis with entirely white all-purpose flour, a combination of flours, all the way down the the other end of the spectrum, with entirely whole wheat flour.   I found that all forms of flour combinations worked wonderfully with this recipe! The muffins stay moist and rich in flavor, and the texture differences were not noticeable.  Thus, if you want to lean towards the healthier side, or if you have gluten free needs, feel free to substitute your flour out for something that works for you!

It turns out, pumpkin and Nutella are a match made in heaven.

DSC_0669

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 cups flour* (all-purpose, whole wheat, gluten free, or any combination of those will work!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • Nutella

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400˚F, and line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. (Feel free to sub in Pumpkin Pie Spice for the other spices if needed).
  3. Once mixed, add the remaining ingredients, stirring until blended, and then fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  4. Drop a teaspoon (give or take) of Nutella onto the top of each muffin, and swirl in with a toothpick.
  5. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin can be removed clean. (There may be some hot Nutella, which is fine.  You do not want wet batter!)

DSC_0679

Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 36 muffins (Feel free to half the recipe if desired!)
  • Source: Your Cup of Cake
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links below photos!)

Oven Roasted Balsamic Caprese Kabobs

DSC_0451

This time last year: Vegan Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili with Homemade Tortilla Chips (2012)

Leonardo Da Vinci said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  I think this recipe can attest to that.

With only five ingredients, probably 75% of which you already have in your kitchen, you will be amazed at how delicious such a simple recipe is. And if you’re like me, you’re likely to be amazed that this incredible and delicious possibility has been living in your kitchen all along and you are just now discovering it! Sneaky recipe!

The flavor combination is simple. You’ve had it before. However, as Di Vinci said, there is something about simplicity that can be so beautiful, so delicious, and so right; so give it a try!

In addition to being 100% delicious, this recipe is not going to break the bank, take up too much of your time, and can keep for several days in the fridge! Win-win-win.

SO, what are you waiting for? Get cooking! Something simply delicious is waiting.

DSC_0452

DSC_0450

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of mozzarella balls (I used Bel Giosio Mozzarella balls!)
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil + more for the pan
  • Salt and/or garlic powder (as desired)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil (fresh or from your spice rack!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F, and brush a baking sheet with a light layer of olive oil.
  2. Toss the cherry tomatoes with the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar (add a dash of salt and/or garlic powder if desired!)
  3. Arrange the tomatoes on the baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft, wrinkly, and plump, but not yet popped.
  4. Once cooked, remove the tomatoes from the heat and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Then arrange them on skewers, alternating between tomatoes and mozzarella balls. Sprinkle with basil and serve warm!

DSC_0446

Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen!

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Pancakes

pancake

On this day last year: Mini Okra Frittata Cups (2012)

DSC_0609

DSC_0602

GUYS. Yesterday was the first official day of fall- September 23rd.

It has been circled on my calendar for weeks now, because fall is a beautiful, wonderful, delicious season.

Welcome to it.

In celebration of fall, I thought it only appropriate to share this incredibly scrumptious sweet potato pancakes. If you like pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, sweet potato biscuits, or anything delicious, you’ll love these.

Dig in, do your happy dance, enjoy every bite, and celebrate- because it is the start of a new season, and new starts are always good.

DSC_0600

DSC_0597
Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Cup sweet potato puree
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Chocolate Chips (as many as you want!)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients- flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients- egg, milk, brown sugar, and sweet potato puree.
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well mixed.
  4. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, dole out batter onto the skillet, and cook for about 2 minutes per side. Serve warm and enjoy!

DSC_0600

Notes and Tips!: 

  • Source: Weelicious
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other delicious A Rented Kitchen Pancake recipes! Guaranteed to make your mornings better. (Recipe links found below photos!):