pumpkin spice french toast

The Pumpkin Spice Pinterest Roundup

Happy October, ES friends! It’s time to really start focusing on our favorite fall recipes… including, of course, the ubiquitous pumpkin spice. Believe it or not, October 1st is actually National Pumpkin Spice Day. Whether this flavor is a friend or foe to you, you can’t deny that it’s become an integral component to our cultural fall narrative.

And of course, pumpkin spice goes hand-in-hand with another favorite… Pinterest. Yes, these are two P’s in a pod. We trolled Pinterest to find the best, funniest, and weirdest PSL/pumpkin spice recipes trending this year. All of these puppies are certified Pinterest-viral right now, and for good reason. Whip one up if you’re feeling fall-ish and festive!


Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Covered Pretzels 
originally from Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Chocolate covered pretzels? Good. Chocolate covered pretzels with pumpkin pie spice? Great!

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Endless Road Trip: Collingswood Pop Shop

There is more to South Jersey than the Real Housewives: there is food. We were recently visiting  to celebrate my future sister-in-law”s birthday and went to the Pop Shop in Collingswood, NJ. The name “pop shop” insinuates great ice cream floats, milk shakes, and fountain soda. However, I noticed that every waiter was wearing shirts touting their love for cheese. The shop was featured on Food Network”s Throwdown with Bobby Flay for their grilled cheese. The menu features the sandwiches from the show so some of us got that, while future sister-in-law ordered the trophy of dessert breakfasts – s”mores french toast. Then of course, we all gorged ourselves with desserts. Enough chit chat – on to the food.

S”mores French Toast:


Under the heading of “Fantastic French Toast Dreams,” you will find cinnamon bun french toast, banana”s foster, and even ham and cheese. But then you see the s”mores french toast on the menu and by chance see a waiter flaunting a pile of french toast, graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow on what has to be a silver platter. Clearly someone at the table is ordering the s”mores french toast. Sister-in-law ordered it with a small amount of persuasion from the table and offers to give up half of their sandwich for a bite of the gooey french toast.  Well I got my bite in a trade for some bacon and cheese fries. The bite included savory fresh french toast  soaked with chocolate sauce. Then the marshmallow sauce that glues the stack of french toast together hits you. Your bite must include a piece of the top of the stack, since that is where the crunch of the graham cracker comes from. While I would never be able to finish an entire dish of it, I would suggest someone at my table order it again.

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Extreme Mother's Day Brunch Recipe: Francois Payard's Chocolate Brioche Pain Perdu

Brioche Pain Perdu

You”re not really gonna make plain old French toast for Mother”s Day are you? If you”re looking to kick that up a few notches, chef Francois Payard offers this Parisian take on Mother”s Day brunch, with an at-home recipe for his world-famous Chocolate Brioche Pain Perdu.

A counterpoint to American-style French Toast, Payard”s version is more of a sandwich with a chocolate chip filling, topped with sauteed bananas and whipped cream. OK wait, maybe it is pretty American after all. I mean, whipped cream and chocolate chips for breakfast? Doesn”t get any Yankier than that.

Best yet, this decade break-sert can be made ahead of time by freezing the sandwiches overnight (once assembled and soaked thoroughly), and then baked for 10 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Brioche Pain Perdu

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Graham Crackers Gone Wild! Top 10 Ways to Use Your Leftover S’mores Ingredients

It’s time to stock up on chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers. It’s s’mores season. Typically you’ll see the chocolate go first, then the marshmallows, but every year those poor graham crackers are left over to stale up. It’s a shame…rarely does someone crave a plain honey graham cracker. I actually enjoy one with some peanut butter spread and dunked in an ice cold glass of milk. But I digress. For the rest of you who don’t like the poor old “boring” graham, here are some ideas for what to do with them (other than s’mores of course):

10. Graham Cracker Peanut Butter Bars


Recipe: The Wannabe Chef

Last time I did a top ten, I offended some by offering unhealthy choices. Well, as the humble person I am, and very thoughtful I may add, I found a choice that is gluten free. Gluten free, yet still scrumptious. Peanut butter, chocolate, graham crackers. You’re welcome.

9. Graham Cracker Chicken Bites


Recipe: My Kitchen Snippets

I bet you thought these would all be deserts. Well, yet again you are wrong. Screw corn flakes—let’s add some sweet honey graham crackers to the mix and impress guests of all ages. This really is sweet and savory. Maybe for desert, you can get out the mallows.

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Crispy French Toast Strawberry Shortcake

My car stereo has been on the fritz this week.  So, unless I listen to my iPod with one earphone in (for safety, people), I’m kind of forced to think on the way to and from work.  Let me just preface this by saying that I’m really weird.  But whatever.  I embrace it. Well, what I have been thinking about lately is tweeting.  More accurately, I have been thinking about tweets I would tweet if I tweeted.  I don’t have Twitter, nor do I have any desire to.  But, still, this is what is on my mind:

Does {the rapper} Pitbull have any actually albums of his own?  It seems like he is on everyone else’s songs.  Does he have time to do songs alone?  How does he sell records?


I raced home and put my swimsuit on the other day and I totally did not even get in the pool.  I felt really loser-y sitting around in a non-functional swimsuit.  It’s like putting on a prom dress and sitting on the couch.  What the heck?


What would happen if you combined cornflake encrusted angel food cake French toast with roasted strawberries and made a play on strawberry shortcake?  Um, my head might explode.


That last fake tweet was clearly onto something.

Crispy French Toast Strawberry Shortcake

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Pop-Up Filipino

Everyone in the foodie world is always looking for the newest, coolest cuisine, and these days that usually means the weirdest. Well in terms of far-out food, it’s hard to beat Filipino. If you think Korean tastes are funky, wait ’til you try Filipino. These folks eat every part of their animals, they marinate their pig in soft drinks, and they prefer their eggs, um, shall we say…developed. More on that later.

So predictably, Filipino food is having a bit of a moment, with trendy new restaurants like Brooklyn’s Umi Nom and San Francisco food trucks Adobo Hobo and Senor Sisig. But it’s not a food trend until it has a pop-up restaurant. Enter Maharlika, which started a few months ago as a Saturday and Sunday only pop-up restaurant, serving brunch at Resto Leon in New York. This week it moved to the larger 5 Ninth, still serving only brunch.

The dish above is arroz caldo — a traditional Filipino rice porridge with shredded chicken, ginger, garlic and omasum (the third chamber of a cow’s stomach, if you must know). Hungry yet? Oh we’re just getting started.


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How to Make French Toast for a Crowd

You really shouldn’t be surprised that I have another breakfast dessert. After all breakfast is the meal of champions right? Following that logic I’ve whipped up a sweet hand-to-mouth breakfast exercise that will build your biceps and get your day started right with some sweet goodness.

But let’s clear something up first — that’s no muffin. That, my culinary enthusiast, is an Apple Walnut French Toast served in a cupcake liner with a walnut and graham cracker streusel.

My idea was to make French toast for a large group without running two or three pans and trying to time it so everyone is served in unison. Now of course you can opt for a large French toast casserole, but the problem I have with those is the center is always soggy — and well, that’s no good. So I decided to scale things down for more even baking.

Result: Loveliness between the pleats. (I know — it’s a recurring theme for me). No soggy mess and pretty much no leftovers.

Small note – Almost any bread will do for this recipe. You can use a plain loaf like an Italian or French bread type or a flavored one like I did. For this recipe I used an Apple Walnut bread from one of my favorite local bakeries. Alternatively, if you use plain bread, a quick flavor adjustment can be made by using a flavored dairy creamer instead of regular milk or cream.

Apple Walnut French Toast

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