Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pumpkin Goodness

Fall is here.  Woohoo!! My favorite.  Actually summer and fall are tied.  But, there is something refreshing about the first day that the morning air is chilly and smells like fall after a hot humid midwestern summer.  (no complaints)

Obviously with fall come pumpkins.  Pumpkins & Fall.  Fall & Pumpkins.

[insert Greece finale: they go together like rama lama lama
ke ding a de dinga a dong
remembered for ever like
shoo bop shoo wadda wadda
yipitty boom de boom
Chang chang chang-it-ty chang shoo-bop
That's the way it should be
Wha oooh yeah!]

Well you get the picture.

Anyway, I like pumpkins.  I like that you can get them in all shapes and sizes. I like that it's acceptable to decorate them. I like that there is squirrel repellent for them.  I like that you can make tasty things like pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies and pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin chicken.  Oh wait.  too far.  pumpkin chicken would be gross.

Now that we've established pumpkins are great... and now that you're craving something that tastes of pumpkin-y goodness, let me share a GREAT recipe for pumpkin bread.  Seriously, this one is really good. Like everyone at small group loved it  AND I had it for breakfast. and lunch. AND it makes 2 loaves.  More for everybody :)

It's from my all-time favorite cookbook

They have a lot of editions of this good old "Red Plaid Cook Book" and I don't really use all the bridal-y things out of here.  But if this cookbook isn't in your kitchen, stop reading and go get it.  Then come back and read about this pumpkin bread.  No recipe I have ever tried from here went wrong.  And they have EVERY normal, basic recipe you'll ever want to try.

To the point. to the point.

Pumpkin Bread
prep: 20 minutes     bake: 55 minutes     oven: 350    Makes: 2 loaves

3 c. sugar
1 c. cooking oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2/3 c. water
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
[I add 1 11-ounce bag of chocolate chips.  DELICIOUS. Seriously, you should too.]

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease the bottom and 1/2 in. up the sides of two 9x5x3-inch, OR three 8x4x2-inch, OR four 7.5x3.5x2-inch loaf pans. Set aside. [I only have one pan.  So I just did one at a time.  time consuming and inconvenient but not a big deal.  note to self - get 2nd loaf pan.]

2. In an extra-large mixing bowl, beat sugar and oil with electric mixer on medium speed.  Add eggs and beat well; set sugar mixture aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Alternately add flour mixture, and the water to the sugar mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.  Beat in pumpkin.  Spoon batter into prepared pans.

4. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean.  [I did like 45-50 but I have an electric oven... I always fear overcooking baked goods.  No one likes overcooked bread.  Too dry.  They may pretend so they don't hurt your feelings. But they don't.  And we know it.]  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans.  Cool completely on wire racks.  Wrap and store overnight before slicing.  [not sure why it says that?  I served it 2 hours later...]

mmmm. mmm. chocolate chip pumpkin bread.
Not sure why it has a weird dip in the middle... the other loaf didn't do that.
oh, and that fun red serving plate came from the Crate & Barrel outlet on North Ave. in Chicago... $7.99.  [sigh]  I miss that outlet.  But my wallet is glad I moved far away from it.  

Happy pumpkin season!!!