Pumpkin French Toast

I whisked in 1/4C of my pumpkin butter into a standard french toast batter (a couple of eggs, a little milk, a bit of sugar, dash of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla). I sliced the bread about 2 inches thick and let them soak for about 30 minutes. Browned both sides of the toast in a lightly greased pan and then placed the pan in a 350 degree oven so they would cook through. They tasted fantastic and the house smelled like pumpkin!

Steel-cut Oatmeal with Dried Fruit and Cream

Steel Cut OatsFew things beat warm steel-cut oatmeal on a cold morning. Not only is it hearty, filling and delicious, it’s also healthy. Normally I don’t have time in the morning to wait 30-45 minutes for oatmeal to cook, but with this recipe I can wake up and breakfast is warm and waiting for me.

This recipe makes quite a bit, but it keeps wonderfully in the fridge for about a week. Trader Joe’s sells cooked steel-cut oats that are frozen in individual portions; I haven’t tried it but I bet that would work with this recipe too. If you try it let me know how it turns out!

1 1/2C Steel cut oats
6C water
3/4C Half and half
3T Brown sugar
1C Dried fruit (I like using a mixture of dried cranberries and golden raisins)
1tsp Cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
Butter for greasing the crock

Butter the container for the slow cooker. Add all of the ingredients and give a gentle stir. Turn the slow cooker on to warm, cover and cook overnight.

If your slow-cooker doesn’t have a warm setting you might want to place a clean tuna can under the crock so it is above the heating element and set it tocook at low.

Butternut Squash Soup with Spicy Pepitas

An easy  fall soup that can be made with just about any winter squash you can find. The entire soup can be made in under an hour, or even faster if you use frozen squash.

3 Shallots, diced
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Butternut squash*; peeled, cored and diced
½ teaspoon Cumin
3-4 Cups Chicken stock

¾ Cup pumpkin seeds
3 Tablespoons Powdered sugar
½ teaspoon Cumin
½ teaspoon Cayenne

1 Lime

In a large pot sweat the shallots in butter. Add the diced squash, cumin and 3 Cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. While the soup is simmering prepare the pumpkin seeds. Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat; add the seeds, cumin, sugar, cayenne and a pinch of salt. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Pour onto a plate to cool. When the squash is soft puree and adjust consistency with chicken stock if needed, and taste for seasoning.  Serve the soup with a few pepitas and a little lime zest.

*You could substitute frozen pureed squash, about 2#, for a super fast meal!