Weekend Links

Have a great weekend!

Baked Pull-Apart Pumpkin French Toast (Overnight Recipe)

It’s a little difficult to focus on writing this post because all I want to do is head to the kitchen and mix up another batch of French toast for the morning.

I already know I have pumpkin puree in the refrigerator, and Danny sheepishly arrived home from work with two loaves of whole wheat miche under his arm “…in case you wanted to make more of that baked French toast.”

It’s official: we’re completely smitten with this pull-apart Pumpkin French Toast. It bakes up crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, serves up in slices just like pan-fried French Toast, and is marvelous with a homemade Molasses-Cinnamon Syrup.  You have to try it this weekend.

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Small Batch Pear Cranberry Compote

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

By the time November rolls around, the abundance of summer is well behind us. No more mountains of peaches and plums at the farmers’ markets, just pumpkins, potatoes and hearty greens. It’s enough to make a preserver hang up her canning pot until spring.

However, I’ve found that if I spend just a little bit of time searching out ingredients, there’s still a world of delicious things just waiting to be cooked up and put into jars.

All photos by Marisa

Chief among those this time of year are pears and cranberries.

Not only do they both come in a world of varieties, but they make such excellent sauces, jams and butters. I like to cook with thin-skinned pears like Bartlett, Bosc or Anjou pears, because they don’t need to be peeled before cooking.

This is the first year that I’ve combined the two, and I must confess, I’m smitten with the result. This preserve is halfway between a sauce and a butter, making it good both for stirring into yogurt or dolloping atop a short stack of pancakes (or, if I’m being entirely honest, eating straight out of the jar).

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A Vegetarian Holiday Menu

A golden turkey, a glazed ham, a roasted leg of lamb – these are traditional mainstays for holiday menus across North America, but for vegetarians, this is not the case. Around many tables of those who choose not to eat meat, the bounty of the season truly shines in an array of main and side dishes featuring grains, mushrooms, legumes and every variety of vegetable from winter squash to leeks.

For me, some side dishes like Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Parmesan and piping hot Yorkshire Pudding tend to steal the show anyway, so I probably wouldn’t miss the turkey if I were a vegetarian. In fact, I’ve often been tempted to serve up my favorite sides and forget the main protein on our holiday meal, but I imagine I’d get a few complaints from the peanut gallery. Who knows. Maybe if I could make it up to them in the pie department…

Last year I posted a Simple Bites holiday menu, in all it’s traditional glory, but this November, I wanted to spotlight a few options for a meatless meal that is elegant enough to serve to your guests.

So today’s post is a round-up of what I believe would make a first-rate vegetarian holiday menu, either for the upcoming American Thanksgiving, or for a dinner party in December closer to Christmas.

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How to Organize Your Kitchen for the Holidays

Countdown planners and holiday calendars are popping up all over the place as we collectively try to organize ourselves before the big slide into the holidays. I don’t for a minute pretend to have it all together when it comes to prepping for the holidays, but I do have my strengths.

While my good intentions for deep household cleaning might not get carried out, the kitchen is one area where I must be organized heading into December. If the heart of the home is clean, uncluttered, well-stocked and in top working capacity, then anything is possible – or so I see it!

I’m not talking about anything too major – none of us have the time to drop everything and revamp the entire workspace – but I write up a tidy and legible list, stick it to the fridge, and tackle the jobs one at a time over the month of November. If I’m lucky, Danny will team up with me and cross off a few items on his own initiative. The man loves a list.

Here’s what that list looks like.

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