Pumpkin plays a key role in Season 2 of Stranger Things, so I knew it needed to make an appearance in my menu. I wanted to continue my breakfast theme, and pumpkin hash sounded like the perfect side dish to pair with my Fried Chicken Waffle Cones and Bacon Stuffed French Toast.
Pumpkin hash is a little unusual, but I managed to track down a recipe by Eat the Gains to use as inspiration. Like the original, mine starts with crumbled sausage, cubed pumpkin, and chopped onion (though I used red onion for a little extra color). Then I added a little garlic and sage since I’ve got Thanksgiving on the brain. Stir in some green onion for a pop of color and add some fried eggs on top, and you’ve got a hash Hawkins, IN would be proud to call its own.
P.S. Can I just say that I’m inordinately proud that, in the three recipes I’ve made for this menu so far, I’ve included FOUR kinds of protein? Chicken, bacon, sausage, AND eggs! Whew, I may need to go on a run when this is all over.
P.P.S. That’s a hilarious joke because I have, in fact, NEVER gone on a run.
P.P.P.S. Don’t worry, I won’t be putting meat in the dessert. 😉
My little boy turned 9 months old earlier this month, and I can hardly believe it. When I look back at pictures of him when he was born, it blows my mind that the teeny baby in the pictures is the same adorably chunky kiddo currently zooming around the house on all fours with a floof of brown hair and a grin that’s equal parts charming and mischievous. He’s already an industrious little guy, packing as much activity into his day as possible (Crawling! Trying to chew computer cords! Dumping entire plates of rice on the floor when Mommy isn’t looking!).
He may seem like the sort of kid who’d never sit still to read a book, but story time is among his favorite activities. I tucked a few stacks of books around the house when I baby proofed, and we pull one out a few times a week for reading. And he loves to look at (and chew) them on his own.
I did a post before he was born about the books I wanted to read to him as a baby, but I recently got to thinking about the books I’d like to introduce him to in the years to come. Of course, he’ll have his own favorite books, but there are some I want to be sure to squeeze in there because they’re just too important to pass up. I figured it’s probably a reasonable goal to introduce one of these books each year, so I sat down and made a list! So here are the 10 books I want to read to my son before he’s 10!
The secret’s out: This whole Stranger Things menu is gonna feature breakfast foods! We started out with Spicy Maple Fried Chicken Waffle Cones, and now we’re moving on to rich, fluffy french toast.
This recipe is inspired by the French toast Sheriff Hopper serves to Eleven in Season 2. Granted, the version he made was a little more basic, but you know me—I can resist playing with my food! Stuffed French toast seemed like the way to go, and the bacon stuffed variety was perfect for health-food-hating Hopper.
This was my first time making French toast, so I took inspiration from several recipes: The Kitchn’s basic French toast, Spicy Southern Kitchen’s Bacon French Toast, and Bon Appetit’s tips for avoiding French toast mistakes. Although I’m not the biggest fan of French toast (hence why I’ve never made it before), I feel like this is a really solid recipe. It starts with thick slices of challah soaked it a lightly sweetened custard, filled with fried bacon and cooked in butter until golden. The texture on the inside was rich, faintly sweet, soft, fluffy, and moist without being wet. In fact, the inside of the bread reminded me a lot of a soufflé. It contrasted so well with the salty bacon in the very center. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and a healthy drizzle of syrup, and you’re all set!
We’re continuing our Stranger Things theme this month with a marathon kit! So throw on your AV Club T-shirt, heat up some Eggos, and fire up your Netflix—we’re about to take a trip to the upside down. And if you think I wasn’t able to find a way to tie books into all this, you’re in for a surprise! 😉 Read More
Normally, I try to stick to classic books around here, but sometimes I like to shake things up and make a menu for a TV show or movie. Even then, I try to stick to the classics. Still, every once in a while a show comes along that is clearly an instant classic, destined to remain in our minds and hearts for years to come. Stranger Things is one of those shows.
I loved Season 1, so when Season 2 premiered a few days before Halloween, I watched eagerly with a pen and paper in hand, ready to write down anything and everything the characters ate. There was no way I was letting another season go by without making a Stranger Things menu!
To start things off, I wanted to serve a tribute to the food Hopper leaves for Eleven in the woods at the end of Season 1. He places what looks like chicken wings in a Tupperware container along with some plastic-wrapped Eggos on top. Instead of making straight up chicken and waffle, I decided to try a fun new version. I’ve seen fried chicken in waffle cones popping up on Pinterest, so this is my interpretation of that trend.
I started with the breading from my fried catfish recipe and used it to bread some cubed chicken breast. Then I fried them up, glazed them with a mix of maple syrup and sriracha, and scooped them into some waffle cones. Easy and delicious—perfect for the strangest of season premiere parties! 😉
A lot of bibliophiles love a bit of seasonal reading, especially around Halloween time. There’s something about curling up with a big blanket, a mug of cocoa, and a super spooky read that turns the early darkness of chill autumn nights into something cozy and fun. I always like to save recipes from books like this for my October blog menus, because this is just the right time of year for them. Some of my fondest blogging memories are of making recipe posts for books like Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, various Edgar Allen Poe titles, and most recently The Phantom of the Opera. They allow so much room for creativity, and I often get to use fun colors and plating styles that normally wouldn’t fit the tone of other books.
Below are my Top 10 Bookish Halloween Recipes, a roundup of my favorite blog recipes from Octobers past. I hope you all enjoy them and that they make the spookiest day of the year just a little bit sweeter! 😉
I first heard of opera cake almost a year ago, and I’ll never forget how floored I was by the elegant appearance. It’s traditionally a thinly layered torte composed of joconde sponge cake, coffee syrup, coffee buttercream, and chocolate ganache. The delicate, refined style and the rumor that it was created in honor of the Paris Opera House had me transfixed. I knew when I got around to making a Phantom of the Opera menu, this HAD TO BE my dessert.
But truth be told, I was thoroughly daunted by the time and energy required to make such a cake (we’re talking joconde, flavored syrup, buttercream, and two thicknesses of ganache!). I had no idea how I’d manage it will a little baby on the verge of crawling, and I had a feeling a lot of my readers would consider it too much work as well.
I searched online for an easy version and couldn’t find one, so I decided to create my own! I went with a chocolate strawberry theme, in honor of the red, black, and white motif so closely associated with Phantom of the Opera. This recipe uses frozen pound cake from the grocery store, strawberry jam, vanilla buttercream, and chocolate ganache. I made my own buttercream, but you can even use the stuff in the can to save time. So in the end, the only thing you HAVE to make from scratch is the ganache! The final flavors are a delicious combo of sweet buttercream, rich pound cake, sweet-tart jam, and bitter-sweet chocolate. Sooo delicious!
I’ve been eager to share this recipe for weeks! When I first started planning my Phantom of the Opera menu, I came across this recipe, and it was just too perfect to pass up. The black and red color scheme and wicked theme made them just the side dish I needed!
They may look complicated, but they’re actually very easy to make. Just whip up your favorite bread dough (I used a basic bun recipe I developed for my cookbook) and create a black rice flour mix to go on top. Spread on the topper, bake, and you’re all set to enjoy some piping hot bits of brimstone! 🙂
Hey, everybody! We’re due for another cookbook update, and what a grand one it is: I FINISHED MY MANUSCRIPT!
I’ve spent the last month or so making final tweaks to recipes, fine-tuning instructions, and finalizing photo choices. My perfectionist streak truly made itself known. I can’t tell you how much time I spent staring at two virtually identical photographs, trying to decide which one I liked better!
Then at 2:20 am (!!!) on Monday morning, I hit send on the final document. It was such an incredible moment…but also strange, realizing I’d completed something I started over a year ago. All of a sudden, I felt like a real author. Despite the early hour, the Little Mister was awake for the occasion…which I’m sure was because he wanted to share the big moment with me. 😉
I haven’t gotten word yet from my editor about what she thinks, but I’ll probably hear from her by the end of the week. There’s still a lot of work ahead, but it’s such a relief to have cleared this first big hurdle!
Here’s a rundown of some new things I added to the manuscript:
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt—“Ten Yummy Foods in Books”—seemed tailor made for my blog. After all, food in books is what I DO. As excited as I was to tackle the prompt, it only seemed fair to up the ante and make it a bit more challenging. So instead of ten yummy foods, I chose ten books (some of them are series) that all have iconic dishes associated with them. In the end, I got closer to 20 foods than 10, but everything’s better when there’s more food, right? Hope y’all enjoy! 😉