Cheesy Pumpkin Parmesan French Breads.

No, I did not just eat a peanut butter cup at midnight.

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Why are you asking?!

It’s two days before Halloween (spoiler alert) and I’m curious: are you in desperate need of an actual meal because every time you sit down to eat an actual meal, you steal a snickers? No? No?

Just me then. It’s cool.

But really, this is the time of year that I’m like please someone make real food appear in my face before I eat another almond joy for lunch. (minus the almond of course.) (I don’t know why, I like almonds in everything else.) (oh wait, never mind I remembered it’s because nuts ruin all desserts, my bad.)

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I have the BEST EVER Halloween snack for you. Make it before trick or treating. Or after. Or during, since if you’re reading this, you’re probably not going trick or treating.

I’m not good at real math but I’m good at life math. (as long as it doesn’t include numbers.)

See also: easy creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese sticks. I think I’m totally making that today. Because tomorrow, on actual Halloween, we’re doing a chili bar. (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

(sidebar: I know I know. I’ve been SUPER aggressive with the squash this week. aka, three recipes with squash in one week. I usually plan better than that but, well, I didn’t. I’m officially declaring next week a no-squash zone. At least over here. On this annoying corner of the internet.)

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I kind of want to be the mom that has food traditions, like a special meal that’s eaten right before trick or treating every year. I think some of you do this, right? I never knew it was a thing until my invisible internet friends started telling me stories on the invisible internet.

And Max is obviously too young to care at the moment, but I figured that I should test out some ideas before I blink my eyes and it’s 2023. That’s how things happen these days.

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So wait.

How dreamy is this? It’s covered in pumpkin. And cheese.

Just a little bit of cheese. Can’t you tell?

And more cheese. On top of the little bit of cheese.

And some brown buttery, crispy sage.

And bacon. (and cheese.)

Because when you spend three hours sitting in front of a large bowl of fun-sized candy bars that in any other situation wouldn’t tempt you one bit, but keep calling your name every three seconds… you need bacon and cheese. And bread.

So that’s what I’m giving you!

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Pumpkin Parmesan French Breads

Ingredients:

6 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups (1-inch) cubed pie pumpkin or squash of your choice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
15 fresh sage leaves
1 large loaf of fresh bread, sliced lengthwise, then in half
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
8 ounces fontina cheese, fresh grated
6 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until most of the fat is rendered and it's almost crispy. Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel to drain the grease. Add the squash and garlic to the pan. Sprinkle with the pepper and nutmeg, stirring well. Cook until the squash is tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, heat another skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once it's bubbling, add the sage leaves and cook for 30 to 60 seconds. Remove the leaves with kitchen tongs and place on a paper towel. Keep the butter on hand.

Place the bread cut-side up on the baking sheet. Spread each piece evenly with a light layer of pumpkin puree. Brush the exposed crusts with the browned sage butter, drizzling it on the pumpkin if you'd like. Cover the puree with a few handfuls of cheese (not all of it yet), the bacon, the squash cubes and the sage. Cover with the remaining cheese. Bake until golden and melty, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and cover with finely grated parmesan before slicing. You can grate additional parmesan on top. Serve immediately.

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p.s. if you have too much candy, do this. or this.