Seasonal Brunch -> Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Nothing says brunch to me quite like French Toast and this cozy cool weather version is a warm hug in a pan, I tell ya. Pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, pecans - praise hands! I'll be honest and share that I add a little extra of everything: extra pumpkin, extra spice, and definitely extra pecans. When I was shopping for this recipe I got lucky and stumbled on one last loaf of brioche so I snatched it up to mix with the baguettes I already had in my cart. That eggy brioche makes it that much more decadent. If you expect to refrigerate leftovers, I would stick to french baguette or a similar hearty bread as the brioche can get a bit too wet when refrigerated after baking. I like to make my own pumpkin pie spice because I already have all of the spices anyway and it seems a waste for me to buy pumpkin pie spice. Plus I love to grate my own nutmeg as it's one of those spices that loses its punch fairly quickly if it sits on a shelf too long. There's really no comparison to buying it off the shelf and grating it yourself. But if you don't have all of the spices in the recipe, pumpkin pie spice is perfectly fine! 

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography  

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography
 

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

(adapted from Little Spice Jar)

Ingredients

1 day old French, brioche, or challah bread, diced (see Note)

2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup granulated sugar

6 large eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

2 tablespoons vanilla

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (recipe below)

1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Streusal Topping

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup cold salted butter, diced

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice (recipe below)

1/2 - 3/4 cup whole pecans

The smell when this comes out of the oven is delightful. Prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography  

The smell when this comes out of the oven is delightful. Prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography
 

Directions

Generously spritz a 9x13 dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add diced bread to baking dish, sprinkle with chopped pecans; set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and pie spice. Pour the prepared custard over the bread in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 3-4 hours and preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Streusal Topping: combine light brown sugar, butter, flour, and pie spice in a small bowl. Using your fingertips, quickly mix together until the butter breaks down into smaller pieces. Press the whole pecans onto the casserole and sprinkle the topping over the top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. If the streusal topping starts to brown too much, tent with a piece of aluminum foil. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with syrup of your choice, butter, and powdered sugar.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

3 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Whisk all in a small bowl and store in resealable container.

*We used a 50/50 mix of French + brioche breads. It is important that the bread not be fresh so it will stand up to the custard. To accelerate the process: cube or tear bread into chunks, spread on baking sheet and allow to sit out on counter for several hours. Every hour, toss the cubes to expose them to more air. When bread starts feeling dry to the touch, ready to use.

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography

It's nutty and delicious and smells amazing when you take it out of the oven.

Fine Art Wedding Inspiration + A Red-Violet Color Story

Dear ones! A few months back I did a post on fine art wedding photography featuring color and I thought it was time for a second. While our last post focused on juicy, citrus colors perfect for warmer months, this monochromatic color story is beautifully suited to cooler weather. Burgundy, violet, cranberry, and plum create a beautifully rich and deep color palette that is elegant + moody without being heavy. Did I mention there's velvet? And fruit? And wine? And cake? And shouldn't we just get to the pics already, Jennifer, hurry the heck up already!

Lush, decadent color against a light backdrop. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions.

Lush, decadent color against a light backdrop. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions.

If you want rich and elegant burgundy minus the heaviness, go for a space with a light interior. This space had the added bonus of windows and you just can't beat natural light for lovely photos but a space intentionally designed with pale ceilings, walls, and floors will allow a photographer to bounce a flash for a truer color capture. 

Texture is a must in a monochromatic color story. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions.

Texture is a must in a monochromatic color story. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions.

There are two ways to achieve depth in a monochromatic color story: 1) vary the texture 2) very the hue. I adore texture and I used it in abundance. Silver for it's metallic and reflective qualities, glass for transparency and reflection, stone + paper for their matte surfaces, a glorious swoop of silk velvet for softness and florals. So many florals and fruits. The color scheme incorporates dark red, from cherry to burgundy, and violet, from almost black to blue, as well as accent colors like pale pink and cream to contrast with the richness of the red-violet tones. (Technical side note: a monochromatic color story is one that incorporates colors adjacent to one another on the color wheel. In this case red-violet; the colors that fall between red and violet on the spectrum. Google Munsell hue circle for a good, visual reference.) 

Texture close up: velvet, paper, fruit, floral, stone, metal. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions.

Texture close up: velvet, paper, fruit, floral, stone, metal. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions.

Let's talk dresses shall we?! How about a white gown with the most epic train I've ever seen and a dress in a delicious cafe au lait so perfect for winter. 

The most amazing train on a gown. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions.

The most amazing train on a gown. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions.

Can you believe this train? It's heavenly. This dress feels princess, modern, and boudoir all at the same time. Let's add Emily's bouquet to the scene...

Amazing bouquet by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}

Amazing bouquet by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photographystyling by jennifer of {feather + oak}

And a close up of the top... (can you believe our gorgeous model's freckles?! Glorious I tell you, GLORIOUS.)

Dress from LVD Bridal, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}.

Dress from LVD Bridal, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photographystyling by jennifer of {feather + oak}.

Let's talk dress two. The color of cafe au lait. Layers of silk chiffon. Delicate draping. It's a gorgeous alternative to white and a more subtle contrast to the rich tones of the details.

Creamy, yummy cafe au lait color. Dress from LVD Bridal, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions, styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}.

Creamy, yummy cafe au lait color. Dress from LVD Bridal, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasionsstyling by jennifer of {feather + oak}.

That draping. I mean...

Beautiful draping + layers of silk. Dress from LVD Bridal, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions, styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}.

Beautiful draping + layers of silk. Dress from LVD Bridal, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasionsstyling by jennifer of {feather + oak}.

Paired with violet ribbons and vintage burgundy shoes, I'd never take it off. Sorry hon, you're going to have to get used to seeing me like this every day. DARN.

Princess perfection. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions, dress from LVD Bridal.

Princess perfection. Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, florals by Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasionsdress from LVD Bridal.

We've talked space, color, texture, dresses and the last piece: paper. While it's true that the paper suite is your guests first look at the style of event you're having, it isn't necessary to introduce your color scheme. Feel free to save it if you like. The style is far more important. 

Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, paper suite + calligraphy by Plume.

Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, paper suite + calligraphy by Plume.

You'll notice the paper suite is completely neutral: cream paper, grey ink + ribbon detailing, gold seals. All of the color has been saved for the stylist to incorporate on the invitation suite layout for the photographer. Saving the color for the background let's the paper suite take center stage and leap from the photo. It's what you paid for and that's where you want the focus. A good event stylist knows this and will communicate it to you. If you want a neutral suite with a hint of color, an envelope liner would be the perfect sneak peek to your guests of what's to come.

Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, paper suite + calligraphy by Plume.

Styling by jennifer of {feather + oak}, photography by Sarah Sidwell Photography, paper suite + calligraphy by Plume.

Timeless and classic. Always.

Our vendors: prop, food, dress styling -> jennifer of {feather + oak}photography -> Sarah Sidwell Photography | florals -> Emily Kennedy of Kennedy Occasions | paper suite + calligraphy -> Plume Calligraphy | gowns -> LVD Bridal

 

Seasonal Dessert -> Chocolate Pumpkin Skillet Brownie

Two words: skillet brownie. How can you go wrong?! At first I wasn't sure if I'd be a fan of pumpkin + chocolate together. But let me tell you: I am now a fan. Plus, I love any recipe that I can cook in a cast iron skillet + the oven. This dessert is oh so easy and slices up into presentation perfect triangles; just lift them out with a pie server. Bonus points for the baking and serving vessel being one in the same! 

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: jenna henderson

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: jenna henderson

Pumpkin Cheesecake Skillet Brownie

(adapted from Country Cleaver)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, melted + cooled

1 cup chocolate chips, melted + cooled

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used King Arthur)

2 tbsp cocoa powder, preferably dark

Pumpkin Cheesecake Topping:

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (recipe below)

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a large bowl combine butter, the cooled melted chocolate, brown + white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until mixed.  Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda until a batter forms being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so everything is incorporated well.
  2. Spray or lightly oil an already seasoned cast iron skillet. Spoon the batter into the center of the skillet. Press the batter until it is within a half inch of the edge of the skillet. You want space between the batter and side of the skillet so the edge doesn't overcook. Create a slight ridge around the edge of the batter - similar to the edge of a pizza or pie crust -  for the cheesecake topping. It is a runnier batter so the raised edge contains it.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the softened cream cheese + sugar until smooth. Stir in the pumpkin puree, the egg, and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Pour on top of the brownie batter in the skillet.
  4. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top of the batter.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until edges are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire rack for approximately 45 minutes. It will be soft in the middle but will set as it cools.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

3 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Whisk all in a small bowl and store in resealable container.

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: jenna henderson

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: jenna henderson

Seasonal Dessert -> Salted Caramel Chocolate Bundt Cakelets

Need an easy fall or winter dessert that oozes simple beauty? These little mini bundt cakes pack ease, lots of flavor, + pretty presentation all in one. While you do need a few different bowls, this really is a simple dessert to put together. And it works well whether you use a mini bundt pan or a full size bundt. I've even made this gluten free using King Arthur gf flour and it still works beautifully. I love this recipe and hope you do, too. 

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography  

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography
 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Bundt

adapted from Samoa Bundt Cake

Ingredients

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (we used 60% cacao)

1/2 cup butter, softened

16 oz light brown sugar

3 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into measuring cup)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 oz sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup hot water (not boiling)

Toppings

1 jar caramel sauce

toasted pecans, chopped

flake salt (we used Maldon)

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography  

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Grease and flour bundt pan (or use a baking spray).

  3. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl at 20-30 second intervals until smooth. Set Aside.

  4. Beat softened butter + brown sugar with an electric mixer (hand or stand) until blended well.

  5. Beat in each egg, one at a time.

  6. Beat in melted chocolate until blended. Do not over mix.

  7. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.

  8. Add the flour mixture to chocolate batter, alternating with the sour cream, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Do not over mix.

  9. With mixer on low speed, add the hot water.

  10. Stir in vanilla.

  11. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan*.

  12. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in pan then remove cake from pan to cool. If using mini bundt pan, adjust baking time accordingly.

  13. While the cake cools, lightly spritz a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread pecans on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for five minutes. Be mindful not to let them scorch. When cool, chop or break into smaller pieces.

  14. Warm caramel sauce in microwave and drizzle over cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted, chopped pecans + flake salt.

*Note: Baking time is for a standard 10" bundt pan. Can also be used for mini-bundt pan. Makes approximately 12 mini bundts. Baking time for mini bundts was 20-25 minutes on our oven.

 

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography  

prop + food styling: jennifer oatsvall of {feather + oak}, photography: alyssa joy photography
 

Fine Art Wedding Inspiration + A Juicy Citrus Color Story

Hello dear ones! Who has a love for fine art photography for weddings but an equal love of color? While it's true that fine art generally skews neutral or very pastel, it doesn't have to. Fine art wedding photography can indeed be colorful and we're going to show you using juicy tones of grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon. Featured on Style Me Pretty

The simplest way to incorporate bright color into your day? Florals. Large blooms in bold colors easily carry the color story throughout your event. Not to mention your florist will adore you for choosing something different. And while beautiful silk ribbons are all the rage for bouquets (and let's be honest, hopefully here to stay), I chose to use a sash of chiffon on the bouquet instead for a twist. 

An extra wide sash adds a lush element to an already lush bouquet. Photo by Julie Paisley Photography. Florals by Petal and Pine. Styling by Feather + Oak. Hair and makeup by Leslie Ellis.

An extra wide sash adds a lush element to an already lush bouquet. Photo by Julie Paisley Photography. Florals by Petal and PineStyling by Feather + Oak. Hair and makeup by Leslie Ellis.

Bright, citrus tones look gorgeous punctuated with white linens. Instead of the solid, banquet style linen I opted for vintage lace for it's textural beauty and feminine detail.

A beautiful floral arrangement paired with a lace overlay creates a beautiful welcome vignette at a wedding. Photo by Julie Paisley. Exquisite florals by Petal and Pine. Styling by Feather + Oak.

A beautiful floral arrangement paired with a lace overlay creates a beautiful welcome vignette at a wedding. Photo by Julie Paisley. Exquisite florals by Petal and Pine. Styling by Feather + Oak.

A beautiful, bold paper suite sets the tone for this wedding. This is the calling card for event expectations. There's no doubt you're going to see lovely color at a wedding when you receive this in the post. 

A colorful invitation is delightful to receive through the post while the table elements incorporate more white space to let the tablescape take center stage as a whole. Paper suite by Designs In Paper. Styling by Feather + Oak. Photo by Julie Paisley.

A colorful invitation is delightful to receive through the post while the table elements incorporate more white space to let the tablescape take center stage as a whole. Paper suite by Designs In Paper. Styling by Feather + Oak. Photo by Julie Paisley.

When you have bright florals on the table, I prefer to keep place settings fairly neutral to let those blooms take center stage. Here I incorporated a blush goblet, a linen napkin in a juicy tone pulled from the bouquet, and a menu card that ties the paper suite to the table setting. 

Blush goblet and a linen napkin in a juicy color brings the floral color to the neutral place settings. Paper goods by Designs In Paper. Styling by Feather + Oak. Photo by Julie Paisley. Florals by Petal and Pine.

Blush goblet and a linen napkin in a juicy color brings the floral color to the neutral place settings. Paper goods by Designs In Paper. Styling by Feather + Oak. Photo by Julie PaisleyFlorals by Petal and Pine.

And lastly, the most fun way to incorporate color into fine art wedding photography: be the color. As in wear it. I am such a fan of wedding gowns in color and their detail is captured so beautifully in photos. I mean...

You can be a bride and wear color. Rosy gown by Hayley Paige. Photo by Julie Paisley. Florals by Petal and Pine. Styling by Feather + Oak. Hair and makeup by Leslie Ellis.

You can be a bride and wear color. Rosy gown by Hayley Paige. Photo by Julie Paisley. Florals by Petal and Pine. Styling by Feather + Oak. Hair and makeup by Leslie Ellis.