The Baker Upstairs

11.16.2020

Cinnamon Buttermilk Syrup

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This decadent and delicious cinnamon buttermilk syrup is so easy to make!
This decadent and delicious cinnamon buttermilk syrup is so easy to make!
One of my favorite skills as a baker and cook is learning to make something at home that I've always just bought at the store without thinking about it. Things like homemade tortillas, french bread, salad dressing, marinara sauce... all totally delicious when homemade! Syrup is one of those things that I never would have thought I could make at home, but it turns out it's totally easy to make, and tastes way better than store-bought. I've been making this homemade buttermilk syrup for years now, but I decided that since it's fall, I needed to come up with a cinnamon version to top all of my favorite fall breakfasts. This cinnamon buttermilk syrup is perfection! It's buttery and smooth and totally delicious, and so simple to make that you could easily whip it up on a weekday morning. 
This decadent and delicious cinnamon buttermilk syrup is so easy to make!
We enjoyed our cinnamon syrup on baked pumpkin french toast, but it's also delicious on pancakes, waffles, or regular french toast. It will keep well in the fridge for a couple of weeks, and it's easy to reheat in the microwave whenever you want to use it. If you need syrup for a bigger crowd, you could easily double or triple the recipe. Just be careful to use a big enough pot, because when you stir in the vanilla and baking soda the syrup will bubble up quite a bit. This cinnamon buttermilk syrup is a must try!
Cinnamon Buttermilk Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine the sugar, butter, buttermilk, corn syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large heavy pan. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Continuing stirring until the soda is completely dissolved. (Be careful - if your pan isn't large enough it could boil over after you add the baking soda!) Refrigerate any leftover syrup and reheat in the microwave.
This decadent and delicious cinnamon buttermilk syrup is so easy to make!

11.13.2020

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

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This baked pumpkin french toast is the perfect make-ahead breakfast for fall! It's so rich and delicious, and so easy to make!
This baked pumpkin french toast is the perfect make-ahead breakfast for fall! It's so rich and delicious, and so easy to make!
Hey friends! It has been a little while since I posted here! My beautiful daughter Beatrice was born on October 23, and I've just been soaking in all of her baby sweetness and staying out of the kitchen and off my laptop for the last three weeks. Before she was born, I made and photographed a little stockpile of recipes to share with you, and then by the end of my pregnancy I was too exhausted to sit down and write out all of the posts. I'm still in a bit of a sleep-deprived haze at the moment, but some of these recipes are so good that they need to be shared post haste!

This baked pumpkin french toast is one of my family's favorite recipes, and I made a batch a few weeks ago before the baby was born so I could freeze it and have it on hand for another day. The pumpkin flavor is subtle but delicious, and it's totally fantastic in combination with the brown sugar streusel on top. I love using homemade french bread for the base, but store-bought will work well if you don't have time to bake a loaf. It's best if you can let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, but I've baked it straight after pouring the egg mixture on top, and it still turned out well. The recipe makes enough for one 9 x 13 pan, or two 9 inch pie dishes, but it's pretty easy to double or half the recipe depending on how big of a crowd you are feeding. 
This baked pumpkin french toast is the perfect make-ahead breakfast for fall! It's so rich and delicious, and so easy to make!
This baked french toast is pretty sweet on its own, but if you want to make it over-the-top delicious, you can add some homemade buttermilk syrup on top, or (even better!) some totally decadent cinnamon buttermilk syrup! I'll be sharing the recipe for that on Monday (assuming the baby will nap long enough for me to write up the recipe) and it is a great one. The combination of tender, pumpkin-y French toast with crunchy and sweet streusel, and a little splash of cinnamon syrup is heavenly!
This baked pumpkin french toast is the perfect make-ahead breakfast for fall! It's so rich and delicious, and so easy to make!
Baked Pumpkin French Toast

for the french toast:
1 loaf french bread, cut into one inch cubes
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

for the streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside. Cut the french bread into 1 inch cubes and place in the prepared baking dish. In a large bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, half and half, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour the mixture over the bread pieces. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the french toast. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until the french toast only jiggles slightly when shaken and is golden brown on top. Let cool slightly before serving.
This baked pumpkin french toast is the perfect make-ahead breakfast for fall! It's so rich and delicious, and so easy to make!

10.02.2020

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Enchiladas

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These creamy chicken and vegetable enchiladas are an easy and delicious dinner the whole family will love!
These creamy chicken and vegetable enchiladas are an easy and delicious dinner the whole family will  love!
The weather around here can't decide if it wants to be fall or summer, so we've had a bunch of really warm days lately and lots of sunshine. It is totally not feeling like October yet! Now that I'm in the last few weeks of my pregnancy and as big as a house, I was really hoping the weather would cool down, but no luck so far. This is the time of year when I need comfort food and cozy sweaters and lounging by the fireplace, not cranking up the air conditioner and wearing shorts all day because it's too hot to wear anything else. Regardless, I'm going to push ahead with making comfort food for dinner, because it's what I'm craving and I need whatever comfort I can get. :)

Chicken enchiladas are one of my family's classic comfort food dishes, and they are one of those meals that is guaranteed to get everyone to clean their plates. I've made a lot of different varieties over the years (these green chili chicken enchiladas and simple chicken enchiladas are perennial favorites) and I love that they are adaptable to whatever I have on hand. I had some fresh sweet corn and garden zucchini in the fridge this week and decided there was no better way to use them than in these delicious enchiladas! I usually prefer corn tortillas for enchiladas, but I just happened to have some uncooked flour tortillas in the fridge as well, so I used them. I ended up rolling them burrito style because they were so big, but if you are using smaller tortillas, enchilada style will work fine. 
These creamy chicken and vegetable enchiladas are an easy and delicious dinner the whole family will  love!
These enchiladas have such an awesome combination of flavors, and they're really simple to make, too!
Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Enchiladas

2 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups corn (frozen or cut from the cob)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 ounces (1/2 block) cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 soft taco sized flour tortillas, warmed
1 can (19 ounces) green enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 375. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, zucchini, corn, and salt, and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until heated through. Add the cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder, and stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese until it is completely melted and no lumps remain. Let cool 10 minutes.

To assemble the tortillas, pour 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spoon about 1/2 cup of filling into the center of each tortilla, then sprinkle with a little cheese. Roll up the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. When all of the enchiladas have been rolled, pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top, spreading evenly, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Serve warm with sour cream on top.
These creamy chicken and vegetable enchiladas are an easy and delicious dinner the whole family will  love!