Pumpkin French Toast Bake

This time last year: Superfood Guacamole (2012)


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


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


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.
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):

Vegan Italian Vegetable Casserole



As a vegan, you can not eat cheese (obviously). For this dairy-loving girl that part of veganism has been quite a challenge. I love sprinkling some good cheese over a salad or pasta, and having cheese slices with my apple! Mmmmm Mmm!

However, when my boyfriend and I decided to be vegan for lent, as a measure of respect and gratitude towards the environment, we committed to no cheese. What I am learning, is that despite real cheese, there are other ingredient combinations out there that can create the feeling and appearance of cheese, in a healthier and equally delicious way! (whhuuut?! I was shocked too.)

Take this recipe for instance. The fresh zucchini and eggplant slices are stacked in between layers of tomato sauce and a creamy bean, spice, and spinach blend. This creamy sauce, although completely vegan friendly, makes an excellent cheese substitute that adds great nutritional value and flavor. You have to trust me on this, but I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t the truth! Now, get cookin!




  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced thinly*
  • 28 ounces of prepared pasta sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup spinach, firmly packed
  • Chopped parsley, garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse and peel the eggplants and zucchini to allow for easier cutting and serving later! Slice the eggplants into ¼ – inch thick slices, and slice the zucchini into thin coins.
  3. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until the slices are shriveled, but not brown or crispy.
  4. While the eggplant is cooking rinse the spinach and remove the stems from the leaves.
  5. Combine the beans, basil, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and spinach in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  6. Reduce the heat of the oven to 425˚ F (after the eggplant is done cooking and has been removed).
  7. Spray a medium-sized casserole dish (11 x 7 inch, or a quiche dish) with nonstick spray and spread a thin layer of pasta sauce in the pan.
  8. Arrange a layer of eggplant slices over the sauce, and then spread a layer of the bean filling over the eggplant. Position a layer of zucchini slices over the bean filling. Drizzle lightly with pasta sauce.
  9. Repeat step 8 until all of the vegetables and bean filling have been arranged in the pan. Top the entire casserole with another layer of pasta sauce, spreading to cover the eggplant completely.
  10. Bake the casserole uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables have cooked all the way through and the sauce has thickened.
  11. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!


Notes and Tips!:

Sweet Potato Casserole

With November fast approaching, it seems only appropriate for Thanksgiving to be our minds. However, with the tragedies of hurricane Sandy continuing to impact thousands of lives, I know being thankful may be more difficult now than ever.

I live on the east coast, however just last Wednesday I flew home to the Midwest to visit my family. Halfway through my trip I learned of Hurricane Sandy as I watched the news show Sandy’s devastating energy headed directly for the eastern shore.  Needless to say, my flight back to school was canceled, and my trip in the Midwest was significantly extended.

I decided there was no better way to spend those extra few days home, than cooking up some classic comfort foods. This casserole in particular, is hands down, my favorite food in the world. My mom has made it for me for every thanksgiving, sick day, and birthday that I can remember.  I wanted to share it with you all, because this dish, more than any other dish, reminds me of home. It reminds me of family, of being gathered around the table, and of the incredible list of things I have to be thankful for in my life. With the devastation of Hurricane Sandy lingering on our hearts, I think we could all use a little more home.

Casserole Ingredients:

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup butter or margarine

Topping Ingredients:

  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Rinse the sweet potatoes.  In a large pot, cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender.
  3. Allow time for the potatoes to cool, and peel.
  4. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash.
  5. Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, 1/2 cup butter, and milk to the mashed potatoes. Using an electric mixer, cream together until smooth.
  6. Transfer the potato mixture to the prepared baking dish and smooth with a spatula.
  7. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, oatmeal, flour, and 2 Tablespoons butter. Crumble and mix together until well combined.
  8. Sprinkle the brown sugar and oats mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes and Tips!: