Wizards Make Great French Toast

“Welcome to Hogwarts!” she shouted as the door’s swung open.

Well, at least that’s what I imagined hearing. Unfortunately, I’m not attending school for "witchcraft and wizardry" but if you do consider cookery a form of magical craft then by all means... Although similarly to the mythical school CIA has its giant snakes to battle and extravagant buffets to tackle. 

Within the last 2 months I’ve managed to write for the school paper, start a coffee club, be a group leader and explore potential externship sites. Try that on for size Mr. Potter! (Okay, enough with the references!) All of this is a handful, especially while your trying to sculpt a potato into a 7 sided football (a tourne). In addition, trying to be a college student isn’t exactly the easiest recipe to conquer. However, I’m not complaining. Each day brings something completely new to my attention. 

To compensate for the madness I enjoy sitting back and watching the leaves fall from their branches or the ripples in the Hudson as a cargo boat passes bye. In all the heat and frenzy that happens within the schools walls so much “beautiful nothing” lays on the outside; which brings me to the Rhinebeck Famers Market. 

One of the ways I like to relax here has been to pick out seasonal produce at the market on Sundays. Rhinebeck is a pleasant and historical little town that will instantly remind you of the perfect soap opera setting. The town where everyone knows you, even if you don’t know them. The market is held in a small parking lot that is quaint but magically transformed into an outdoor affair. Crates are full of seasonal produce, goat cheese is readily available  (a good sign), and fresh foie gras if your lucky. There’s also flowers, bread, oils and honey! This past weekend they offered hot apple cider with doughnuts and provided live folk music. 

On my last trip, I decided to bring home ingredients to make pumpkin french toast. I don't know what it is lately but I've been craving breakfast for dinner. Since the pumpkins were calling my name and the Lacinato Kale caught my eye...I conjured up a seasonal breakfast (for dinner) in the kitchen of my dorm. 

Here's a wonderful recipe, for my wonderfully amazing readers who have been patiently awaiting for me to finally post something new! 

Keep on Cooking, 


Spiced Pumpkin French Toast with Lacinato Kale Chips
 Serves 4-5 

1 small pumpkin or 1 8 oz can pumpkin puree
6 eggs 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp nutmeg 
1/2 tsp allspice 
pinch of kosher salt 
1/2 cup half & half 
3 tablespoons honey 
8-10 (1 inch) slices of brioche or challah 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter 

1 cup creme friache 
2 tbsp powdered sugar 

Honey, for garnish 
Pumpkin seeds, toasted & unsalted (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. 

Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and quarter each half. Place the pumpkin flesh side up on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes until tender. Let cool completely. Remove cooked flesh from skin. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, spices, salt, half & half, honey. Add in the pumpkin and beat. This also works well with an immersion blender or potato masher. 

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches of 2, dredge slices in the the egg batter. Cook each slice 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel. 

Plate up the French toast with a dollop of creme fraiche, a generous drizzle of honey, and a few toasted pumpkin seeds. 

Baked Kale Chips 

There's really nothing to this crunchy delicacy. Lacinato Kale is a superb cooking green that really shines when prepared simply. 

Pre-heat the oven to 300

1) Tear the leaves from 2 bunches of Lacinato Kale
2) Toss with a few tablespoons olive oil 
3) Lay leaves out flat on a baking sheet 
4) Place in the oven and let crisp up  for 20-25 minutes 
5) Sprinkle with sea salt and serve 

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