Pecan Pie French Toast Bake


Thank you to Advocate Magazine for featuring me in the December Magazine and Kathy Tran for the awesome photo shoot!!!!  

PECAN PIE FRENCH TOAST BAKE……Yessss!!!  So after Thanksgiving, I thought I was done with pies for a little while.  I was ready to move on to Christmas cookies, but Pecan Pie French Toast Bake is the answer that we all need for all of our holiday brunches…I promise you will fall in love!  

French toast can be made with a variety of different breads, but my go to is challah bread.  This eggy, soft and rich bread, makes the most fluffy french toast that is sure to impress all of your guests.  



Pecan Pie French Toast Bake
Serves 10
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French Toast
  1. 1 Loaf Challah Bread, cut into 1" cubes
  2. 8 large Eggs
  3. 2 cups Milk
  4. 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  5. 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  6. 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  7. 3 Cups Pecans
Pecan Pie Filling
  1. 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  2. 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  3. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  4. 1/3 Cup Butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the pecan pie filling and set aside
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla, and pecans
  4. Add the chopped bread into a deep casserole dish (9x13) and pour the egg mixture over to bread to cover completely
  5. Gently stir bread to get each piece coated in the egg mixture
  6. Evenly pour the pecan pie filling on top of the bread mixture
  7. Bake fore 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and cooked throughout.
  8. Serve warm with maple syrup and fresh whipped cream!
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Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

muffin 3With summer in full swing, I have tried to stay creative with our breakfast options!  As well as being the most important part of the day, it always navigates the attitude; happy, tired, silly, or grumpy.   I can promise you…these  Double Chocolate Banana Muffins made for one happy morning!!!  muffin 1IMG_4364

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
Yields 12
Rich chocolate banana muffins for the perfect morning pick me up!
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  1. 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  3. 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  4. 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 2 Eggs
  7. 3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  9. 1 Cup Banana, Mashed (approx. 2 Bananas)
  10. 1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare muffin pans with butter or paper liners
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda into a mixing bowl
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract
  4. Slowly add egg mixture into dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined
  5. Fold in mashed bananas and chocolate chips to the batter until fully combined
  6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  8. Serve immediately or store in air tight container
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Crawfish Boil….Ending with the best ever Bourbon Bread Pudding

crawfish boiCrawfish season is one of our favorite times of the year. It’s time to get our backyards set up to enjoy spring weather and family get-togethers.

April is a month full of birthdays in our family, and it has become a tradition to host a casual backyard crawfish boil to celebrate. It’s so relaxing to spend time with the people we love most, eating on paper-lined tables piled with spicy crawfish, shrimp, corn and potatoes and listening to music. There is nothing fancy about this, but it brings everyone around the table for the first time after a busy winter.

Throwing a crawfish boil is easier than you might think. Here are answers to typical questions:
When is crawfish in season?
What equipment do I need?
The first step to hosting a crawfish boil for a large group is investing in a large stockpot with lid, basket and burner. If you plan to host a crawfish boil every year or several times in a year, it is worth the purchase. (These stockpots can also be used to fry a turkey.) An 80-quart pot will boil 30 pounds of crawfish.
How many crawfish do I need?
Although there are social crawfish eaters and veteran crawfish eaters, a good rule of thumb is around 2 to 3 pounds of mudbugs per person. Don’t worry about leftovers — there are many wonderful recipes you can make with them.
Where do I get crawfish?
Crawfish has to be cooked alive, so ordering from your local seafood market will be your best bet. (We went to Rex’s Seafood, You will typically need to order early in the week and pick them up the morning of your boil. While you are at the seafood market be sure to pick up your crawfish seasoning and liquid crab boil. Don’t be afraid to add fresh shrimp and crab legs to the mix.
How much time does it take?
Hosting a crawfish boil is a very social event — lots of talking, cooking and drinking beer. While you are waiting on the crawfish to boil you should enjoy the weather and your friends. It takes about an hour total.
How should I serve it?
This is the fun part! Cover a large table in paper, dump the hot crawfish boil on it, and start eating. Make sure to have the music on, beer on hand and empty bowls for the shells. If anyone is new to a crawfish boil, be sure to teach them the tricks. To finish off the night, serve Bourbon Bread Pudding for dessert. (see recipe below)bread pudding

What do I do with leftovers?
If all the crawfish is not consumed, do not throw them away. It will take you a little bit of extra time, but you must clean and remove all the shells in order to save the meat. Refrigerate or freeze the leftover crawfish meat to enjoy later. Some of my favorite crawfish dishes are crawfish mac and cheese, crawfish fritters, crawfish cakes or traditional crawfish étouffée. You will not regret having leftovers

Crawfish Boil
Serves 15
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  1. 1(16-ounce) package powdered shrimp and crab boil seasoning
  2. 1(8-ounce) bottle liquid shrimp and crab boil
  3. 3(4-pound) boxes of salt
  4. 1(30-40 pound) sack of live crawfish
  5. 8 large lemons, halved
  6. 4 large oranges, halved
  7. 1 bag small red potatoes
  8. 8 large heads garlic, not peeled, tops cut off
  9. 6 to 8 onions, cut in half
  10. 1 large pack of mushrooms (optional)
  11. 1 pack of smoked sausage (optional)
  12. 8 ears of corn (frozen)
  1. Fill crawfish pot about half full of water and bring to a boil. Add powdered seasoning, liquid shrimp and crab boil, and two boxes of salt to the pot.
  2. In a large washtub, add crawfish, water and half a box of salt to purge the crawfish. After 5 to 10 minutes, empty water, add remaining salt and wash them a second time. Make sure to remove any dead fish, grass or trash from the crawfish at this time. Making sure the crawfish are purged and very clean is essential to ending up with a tasty product in the end.
  3. Once water has come to a rolling boil in the pot, squeeze the juice from the lemons and oranges into the pot and toss in the rind. Add potatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms and sausage to the pot, and boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Add crawfish to boiling water, cover the pot and bring back to a rolling boil. From the point that the water comes to a rolling boil, boil for no more than about 3 to 5 minutes depending on size of crawfish.
  5. After the crawfish have boiled, turn off burner and add the frozen ears of corn.
  6. Let crawfish soak for about 20 minutes or desired seasoning level. The longer they soak, the more seasoning they absorb. Never do less than 15 minutes or more than 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!
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Bourbon Bread Pudding
Serves 10
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  1. 5 cups French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 4 cups whole milk
  3. 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 2 cups sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 1/2 cup raisins
  8. 1 cup pineapple, crushed
  9. Bourbon Caramel Sauce (see recipe below)
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place cubed French bread into a large bowl. Pour milk onto the bread and allow the bread to soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon together in a separate bowl and pour over milk and bread mixture; stir to combine.
  4. Fold in raisins and crushed pineapple until fully combined.
  5. Pour mixture into a 9x13 glass dish and bake for 35-45 minutes or until custard is set.
  6. While the bread pudding is baking, make the Bourbon Caramel Sauce.
  7. Serve bread pudding in a bowl with sauce poured on top.
  1. Bourbon Caramel Sauce: Combine 1 cup unsalted butter and 2 cups sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir consistently until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and slowly stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons bourbon.
Adapted from Fishmongers Seafood Market
Adapted from Fishmongers Seafood Market
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The Perfect Pie Dough


The holidays are nearly here and we must start prepping our kitchens for our Thanksgiving feast!  Although you might think it is easier to buy your pie crust this year, I challenge you to make your own.  It seems intimidating to get the perfect crust, but with a little bit of love and attention, you will impress your guests with a buttery and flakey pie (and you will never buy store bought dough again!)

Ink-FoodsMegan_Weaver_09A few things to remember as you are making pie dough:  
1. I prefer to make my dough in a food processor or using a pastry cutter to allow the butter to stay cold and create a crumble texture rather than a creamed butter.  
2. Cut butter into small cubes and keep in the freezer until ready to use
3. Do not over knead the dough…it will get very tough and will be hard to roll out
4.  Make sure to chill the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight before using
5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface
6. Bake in your favorite pie plate & ENJOY! 




These hand stamped pie plates are a must have for your holiday dinner and need to be on your gift list.  Designs by Kace creates these adorable 3″ or 9″ pie plates with hidden quotes!  Order today! 


The Perfect Pie Dough
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  1. Pie Dough
  2. 2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  3. 1 tsp Salt
  4. 1 tsp Sugar
  5. 1 Cup Butter, chilled and cubed into small pieces
  6. 1/4 Cup Ice Water
  1. Place flour, salt, and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Slowly add the chilled and cubed butter to the flour mixture and pulse in between each addition until it looks like course meal
  3. Continue pulsing and add ice cold water at a slow stream and process until the dough comes together into a ball
  4. Remove the dough from the food processor and place on a floured surface
  5. Knead the dough until fully combined and reaches the perfect consistency (add flour if needed)
  6. Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece with plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours or overnight
  7. Remove the dough and let it sit out for 20 minutes to slightly soften but the dough needs to remain cold
  8. Roll out pie dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8” thick and place in pie pan of your choice
  9. Bake pie dough according to the pie recipe of your choice.
  1. Yields: 1 9” Double Crust Pie
  2. 2 9” Single Crust Pies
  3. 8-12 3” Individual Pies
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 Pie dough recipe as well as all the wonderful fall fillings are also featured in The Dallas Morning News!
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Baked Apples


Baking Apples are a family tradition that will bring out the best flavors of the season. For a simple and warm dessert to end the evening, baked apples are the way to go. Using honey crisp apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and a can of orange soda, this recipe brings back wonderful memories from my Nanny’s kitchen.


This recipe and two other wonderful apple recipes can also be found in The Dallas Morning News!

Baked Apples
Serves 6
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  1. 6 Honey Crisp Apples, cored
  2. 1-Cup Light Brown Sugar
  3. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  4. ½ tsp ginger
  5. ¼ tsp nutmeg
  6. ½ Cup Butter, softened
  7. 1 (12-ounce) can Orange Soda
  8. Oatmeal Crumble Topping
  9. 1-Cup All Purpose Flour
  10. 1-Cup Rolled Oats
  11. ¾ Cup light brown sugar
  12. ½ tsp baking soda
  13. ¼ tsp salt
  14. ½ Cup Butter, melted
  15. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x13 glass dish
  2. Core each apple, leaving the bottom of the apple intact In a bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and softened butter
  3. Spoon the mixture into the center of each apple
  4. Place the apples in the prepared baking dish and pour orange soda over each apple
  5. Top each apple with oatmeal crumble topping
  6. Bake, uncovered for about 1 hour or until apples are tender
  7. Serve warm and top with vanilla ice cream
  8. Enjoy!
  9. *Oatmeal Crumble
  10. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt
  11. Melt butter and stir in vanilla extract
  12. Add butter into flour and oats mixture and stir until crumbly
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Tis The Season of Pumpkin


It is finally Fall and if you are like me, you have waited all year long for pumpkin season to officially begin. From savory to sweet, there are endless pumpkin recipes to get you in the spirit, including a classic Pumpkin Roulade with sweet Maple Cream Cheese Icing.IMG_3908IMG_3926

Pumpkin Maple Roll Cake
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  1. Pumpkin Roll Cake
  2. 6 Eggs
  3. 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  4. 1 ½ Cups Pumpkin Puree
  5. 1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
  6. 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  7. 2 tsp Baking Powder
  8. 1 tsp Salt
  9. ½ tsp Nutmeg
  10. Maple Cream Cheese Icing
  11. 1 stick (8 Tbsp) Butter, Unsalted
  12. 1 Package (8 ounces) Cream Cheese
  13. 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  14. 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 13"x18" (½ sheet) pan and cover with parchment paper
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar until light in color
  3. Add pumpkin puree
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and fold into pumpkin mixture
  5. Spread the cake batter onto a prepared 13"x18" sheet pan
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until cake springs back at the touch
  7. Allow cake to cool before spreading a thin layer of maple cream cheese icing to cover the entire top of the cake
  8. Roll the pumpkin cake to make a log and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the icing to set
  9. Spread the remaining maple cream cheese on the top of the log
  10. (Optional garnish: sprinkle with chopped pecans)
  11. Serve at room temperature, Enjoy!
  1. Maple Cream Cheese Icing
  2. Combine butter and powdered sugar and beat until crumbly
  3. Add in cream cheese and maple syrup and mix until smooth
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