Monday, March 2, 2015

Washington and Overnight Pumpkin French Toast...

Yes I'm at it again...another PUMPKIN RECIPE...
Keep reading...its at the end of my blog! 

Also, I know the pictures that I'm posting today aren't too great from my trip...all of these pics were taken with my camera is upstairs and right now I'm sitting with my laptop typing away listening to the rain outside and I'll be honest...I'm just too too lazy to go upstairs and get the camera with all my pics.  I'll post better pictures, maybe later!  LOL 
 Its just one of those lazy kind of days out right bow.  

At the beginning of February I went to Gig Harbor, Washington to visit my brother, Dan and nephew, Caleb.  
I have to tell you I was really nervous about going...why you ask...
Cuz everyone had me believe I was going to FREEZE!!!  
Anyone who knows me knows I don't do COLD...ANY WAY...SHAPE...OR FORM!!!  
So I had to prepare...So because of this I OVER PACKED!!!  
2 coats, 3 sweaters (ok maybe 4 or more), 4 pairs of shoes (need different shoes for different activities in the cold), and of course lots and lots of long sleeve shirts and sweaters! 

Well, was I in for a wasn't too bad at all!!  Now it rained everyday I was there...lots and lots of rain, more than Washington normally gets and you know I was OK with that.  I really do LOVE the rain!!  It didn't get any colder than in Phoenix when it gets really cold!  It was in the 50's and 60's the whole time!  Kinda perfect weather if you ask me!!  

I had a GREAT TIME!!
Dan showed me Seattle...
I've never been to Washington before and it was beautiful!!
Dan lives in Gig Harbor which is about 30 minutes from Seattle.  It was like a combination of green mountains, lots of pine trees and grass and the ocean and the city all rolled into one place!!  

Our first stop was of course the Space Needle.  I don't think you can visit Seattle without making a trip to the Space Needle!  It was pretty neat but it was crazy windy and rainy at the top!  
Our next stop that day was to the EMP Museum, which was really cool.  Lots of music and movie memorabilia but what was really cool about the Museum was the special STAR WARS costume exhibit they had...I think Dan and I were totally geeking about about this!!! I'm pretty sure Caleb thought we had lost our minds!!  Now seeing the costumes from the PRINCESS BRIDE came in a close second on the coolness scale!!!  

 The next day we took a Ferry ride...My first ferry ride and it was pretty cool. Theres lots of islands all round the Seattle area and it was pretty nice going by each one.  

 I think by far the coolest place we went was to the Underground Seattle...the stories and history that was shared was so amazing!!!  What a crazy history Seattle has!!! I could do this trip again!!

While there we went to Pike Place Market...Oh the food and the shopping...its a good thing we didn't stay too long there, I could of done so much damage to my check book!!  As it was I had a hard time getting everything I bought home in my bags!!  

Dan also took me to my very first Cirque de Soleil show and can I just say...I AM A FAN!!!  The show, the music, the costumes...way way amazing!!!  
Over all I had a terrific trip to see my brother and I really can't wait to go back and see them and more of their town!!  

Thanks for a great time Dan and Caleb!!!  

Now I'm sure your wondering how my trip to Washington to see Dan has to do with PUMPKIN FRENCH TOAST...well now I'm gonna tell you!   Over the years my brother has become quite the cook!  In fact for Christmas my mom got him a subscription to a cooking magazine "Taste of Home."  Love this magazine a tone.  I've been getting it for years!!  

So of course while I was there we had to make some of the recipes and this one was so good I had to remake it when I got home for the family!!

from Taste of Home

~1 loaf (1 lb) cinnamon-raisn bread  (I've also used cinnamon swirl)
~1 pkg (8 oz) reduced fat cream cheese, cut into small cubes 
~8 eggs
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk 
~1 cup pumpkin  (I use fresh but you can use can) 
~2/3 cup packed brown sugar 
~1/2 cup milk 
~2 tsp ground cinnamon 
~1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 
~1/4 tsp ground ginger 
~1/8 tsp ground cloves 
~1/2 tsp salt 
~1/2 cup chopped pecans 
~Confectioners' sugar 
~Maple syrup 

 ~Cut each slice of bread into quarters.

 ~Arrange half of the bread in a greased 13x9 in backing dish. 

~Layer with cubed cream cheese

~Add remaining bread, press down slightly.  

~In a large bowl, whisk eggs, evaporated milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, spices and salt.

~Pour over top and refrigerate, covered, overnight.  

~Preheat oven to 350'.  Remove casserole from refrigerator while oven heats.  Bake, covered, 40 minutes.  Uncover; sprinkle with pecans.  Bake, uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

~Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.   

  ~Dust with confectioners' sugar.  Serve with maple syrup!!

I think the next time I make this I might melt the cream cheese a bit and pour it in so that the cream cheese will be evenly in it.  
This was super good and hit the spot just right!!  ENJOY!!!

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