Tag Archives: fall

Apple and Cranberry Baked French Toast.

This week’s swap theme was Breakfast, which is great since I’m always looking for new ideas.  Usually, I’m more of a savory flavor kind of girl, much preferring omelettes and benedicts over pancakes and waffles.  But there is always a time and place for the sweet stuff and this dish hit the spot.

I made a double batch in order to have a pan to freeze for later (the recipe below reflects just one pan).  I’m looking forward to pulling out the extra one the morning after Thanksgiving!

Apple and Cranberry Baked French Toast.


  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Butter, melted
  • 3 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3 Apples, peeled, cored and finely diced (I used Golden Delicious)
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 Loaf Hawaiian Bread, torn into pieces
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla


In a 9x13 baking pan, combine brown sugar, butter and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Add the diced apples and cranberries and toss to coat. Spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan. Arrange torn bread pieces on top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and remaining 2 tsp. cinnamon. Pour over the bread, making sure it is completely soaked.

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375. Bake covered for 40-50 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

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Bourbon Pear Pecan Stuffing.

I don’t know about you but alcohol plays a big role in our holiday celebrations.  The Husby’s family is Irish, and the Irish?  Well, they like to drink.

I was intrigued by the bourbon that was called for in the recipe so I decided to give it a try at the “Friendsgiving” dinner we hosted earlier this week.  It was by far everyone’s favorite side of the evening.  Sauteeing the pears in the touch of booze provided a sweet-smokiness to the otherwise savory dish, and the toasted pecans lent a welcome crunch.  I think it would be excellent to use homemade toasted bread cubes as the original recipe called for in lieu of the stuffing mix, but I was lazy and it still came out wonderfully.  It would certainly be an elegant dish to add to your Thanksgiving table.

Bourbon Pear Pecan Stuffing – slightly adapted from Food Network

  • 6 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Sage, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2 Bosc Pears, diced
  • 1/2 Cup Bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Package Unseasoned Stuffing
  • 1 Cup Toasted Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots, celery, sage, and thyme and cook for 5 minutes, until soft.  Add the pears and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Pour in the bourbon and simmer 2 minutes, then add the chicken broth.  Return to a simmer another 5-10 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the eggs and parsley in a large bowl.  Add the stuffing and pecans, then the hot mixture.  Toss gently until combined.

Spoon the stuffing into a buttered 9×13 baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Blue Cheese and Roasted Apple Mashed Potatoes.

I’m participating again this month in the Crazy Cooking Challenge!  This month’s challenge was to find the ultimate mashed potato recipe.  I’m really excited to see what everyone has come up with since mashed potatoes are such a staple item in many households.


I was excited to find this recipe from Baked Bree, a blog with drool-inducing recipes and photos that I read fairly regularly.  As soon as I stumbled upon this one, I knew that it would be the winner.  While it may seem like an unusual mix of flavors, they complemented each other perfectly.  I loved the slight sweetness of the roasted apples and honey, and the sharp bite of the blue cheese.  I served it alongside porkchops, and it was a wonderful, hearty meal.

So don’t be afraid to try something different next time mashed potatoes end up on your menu.  You won’t be disappointed.  And make sure to check out the other entries at the end of this post for even more mashed potato goodness!

Blue Cheese and Roasted Apple Mashed Potatoes – slightly adapted from Baked Bree

  • 3 Lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 Golden Delicious Apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • Generous drizzle of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
  • 1 8 oz. Package Cream Cheese
  • 5 oz. Blue Cheese
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Chives, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the chopped apples in a piece of foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Wrap the foil around the apples, creating a packet.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until apples are soft.  When apples are done baking, leave the oven on.

While the apples are baking, boil the potatoes in a large pot of water.  Cook until a fork inserted into a potato comes out easily.  Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the apples to the bowl.

Add the butter and milk and mash well until the butter has melted.  Doing this step first will help to prevent your potatoes from becoming gummy.

Add the cream cheese, blue cheese (reserving a small handful for topping) and honey and mash until combined.  Stir in the chives.

Transfer potatoes to an oven safe dish.  Sprinkle with reserved blue cheese.  Bake until the potatoes get bubbly and the the top becomes golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional chives before serving.

Crockpot Chinese Five Spice Applesauce.

Remember last year when I posted this recipe for crockpot applesauce?  Well, this is just an update to that recipe.  I changed up the flavors just a bit with a delicious result.

We finally made it to the apple orchard, and even though we went really late in the season and the trees were mostly bare, we still came away with 18 pounds of apples!  The Fruitaholic had a great time running through row after row of trees, sampling the goods along the way.  And since we were leaving town shortly thereafter, most of those apples went into making this applesauce.  The rest?  Well, we ate those as they were.  :)

I really liked the unexpected flavor that the Five Spice added.  So if you’re looking for something different to do with your applesauce, give this one a try!

Crockpot Chinese Five Spice Applesauce – base recipe originally seen on Prevention RD

  • 16 Apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • Juice of 2 Oranges, plus Zest from 1 Orange
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water

Combine ingredients and put into crockpot.  Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.  Mash with a potato masher or fork to your desired consistency.