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Posted Nov 14 2012 5:17pm

This year, I’m totally that girl.

Or rather that November-hits-and-I-start-watching-cheesy-Hallmark-Christmas-movies-and-buying-holiday-spiced-tea-and listening-to-Christmas-music girl. Maybe it’s because there seems to be so many sad things going on in the world and that life has seemed especially fragile lately or maybe it’s because I watched the Les Miserables trailer  while taking a bath last night and simultaneously got major goosebumps AND teared up (but not electrocuted).

Whatever it is – my name is Holly, and I am officially in the Christmas spirit.

Hallmark movies? Check.

Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Tea ? Check.

Christmas music? Check.

I’m even sharing with you my “Ultimate Christmas Jams” playlist, which I listened to on repeat three times last night. You too can put on your fuzzy turquoise striped socks, light your cinnamon spice candle, pop in some candy cane Hershey Kisses, watch Hallmark’s newest movie “Love At the Thanksgiving Day Parade,”  belt out “Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC and feel like the happiest person in all the (perhaps slightly cliche) world.

get it | spotify

01. “Christmas Is” – Run DMC
02. “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” – Dean Martin
03. “(There’s No Place Like Home) Home for the Holidays – Carpenters
04. “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” – Jonny Lang
05. “O Holy Night” – Tracy Chapman
06. “Christmas in Hollis” – Run DMC
07. “Santa Baby” – Madonna
08. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” – Pointer Sisters
09. “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” – ‘N Sync
10. “Mary, Did You Know?” – Kenny Rogers (only because this is Mama E’s fave Christmas song)
11. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Glee
12. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – Brenda Lee
13. “The Christmas Waltz” – She & Him
14. “Blue Christmas” – Elvis Presley
15. “Christmas Time Is Here” – Diana Krall
16. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey
17. “Last Christmas” – Wham!
18. “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” – Sufjan Stevens
19. “White Christmas” – Bing Crosby
20. “Christmas Tree” – Lady Gaga f/ Space Cowboy
21. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Andy Williams

And the next morning, when you’re nursing a candy cane Hershey Kiss hangover and red puffy eyes from seeing Emily and Henry finally get together (at the parade, of course), try this Baked Eggnog French Toast with Candied Chai Pecans. It’s made with Silk’s dairy- and lactose-free eggnog and way easier than it looks and sounds. I don’t do complicated, I promise.

Good bread. Eggs. Eggnog. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Agave. Pecans. Sugar. More cinnamon. Allspice. Ginger. Cardamom. Salt. A couple of leisurely hours of your life.

Plus, it’s perfect for a pre- or post-Thanksgiving brunch if you don’t quite think you can make it to Christmas before stuffing your face with a plate of this. I know I won’t make it that far.

Did you know that French toast also makes for a delicious lunch?

I do know.

Baked Eggnog French Toast with Candied Chai Pecans
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes total

1 small loaf French bread, sliced into 1-inch pieces
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups Silk Seasonal Nog
1 T agave nectar or maple syrup
splash of vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon
pinch of salt

Candied Chai Pecans
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t cardamom
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t salt
2 cups raw pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

To make the Candied Chai Pecans (I recommend making these first), whisk egg white in a medium bowl until frothy. Add sugar and spices, and whisk until mixture is thick and glossy. Add pecans. Stir to coat pecans, ensuring all the pecans are covered with the mixture. Pour pecans on a greased baking sheet, and spread out so they aren’t touching one another. Bake for 30 minutes or until pecans are golden brown. Let cool.

To make the French toast, in a 9×9-inch pan, arrange bread slices into one or two rows (depending on size) with overlapping slices ( see here ).

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, eggnog, agave, vanilla and spices until incorporated. Pour over the bread slices, making sure slices are evenly covered. Spoon excess liquid between bread slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least two hours.*

Baked at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until French toast is golden brown around the edges. About five to ten minutes before French toast is done, top the pan with 1 cup of the candied pecans and put back in the oven. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve with an additional sprinkling of pecans and maple syrup.

Makes 4 servings (with extra pecans leftover!)

*You can also make the French toast in advance and refrigerate overnight.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of , but the opinions and text are all mine. To enter Silk’s Holiday Recipe Contest and win a KitchenAid mixer + free Silk for a year, visit their Facebook page .

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