Monday, 7 November 2011

Favorite Fall Foods

I thought it would be a nice idea to put up a few of my favorite recipes to use in the fall time. 

A note about my recipes: most of them are adapted from ones people have given me. I am terrible about following directions and I tweak everything. One cup of butter becomes two, 1/2 cup of sugar morphs into 2 cups, etc., etc.  None of the ingredients need to be exact, but try to keep them within a couple of tablespoons.

The first recipe is for Spiced Pumpkin Loaf. This is an incredibly easy recipe that tastes incredibly good. 

Prep time: around 1/2 hour
Baking time: around 1 hour


3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice 
        (or 1 tablespoon each ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground cloves)

1 small can (16oz) 100% pumpkin puree
1-1/2 cup butter (yes, you can sub in oil or margarine, but why would you want to??)
3 eggs (room-temperature)
1 tablespoon vanilla

A few tablespoons of white sugar 
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare the loaf pans. To do this pour the cooking oil onto a paper towel and coat both pans. Add a couple of tablespoons of white sugar into the pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom and sides. This is going to make a nice crust on the loafs. If you don't want a crust, don't add the sugar.

Brown the butter. The larger the pan the easier this is to do. The larger the pan the easier it is to burn, also.
 I brown butter in my small sauce pan. I put the butter in the pan, turn the heat on medium and stir the melting/melted butter until it begins to turn brown and starts to smell nice and nutty.

Stir the sugar into the melted butter and transfer into a large mixing bowl. Allow the butter&sugar to cool while mixing the dry ingredients.

Sift together the remaining dry ingredients. I do this by first mixing them roughly with a spoon in a very large mixing bowl, and then sifting from that bowl into another bowl a few times. Probably overkill, but I like to be thorough.

Stir the eggs into the butter&sugar. This is easier to do one at a time, but you won't ruin it by going all-in.

Add the vanilla and pumpkin into the eggs&butter&sugar. Again, this is easier to do slowly.

Slowly stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just moist. You don't want to overbeat it, but you don't want any clumps either.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake at 350F for approximately 60 minutes. The actual cooking time is going to depend on your oven and the humidity and the check the loafs every 10 minutes starting at around 50 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the middle of each loaf. If it comes out clean the loafs are ready. If not, try again in 10 minutes.

Try to let the loaf cool down before eating. I burned my tongue on the last loaf.  
Here's a picture about five minutes after removing from the oven:

And now for a sewing update

Tip: don't use cabbage patch dolls to model newborn-sized clothing. While the clothes fit (in this case, a dress) the dolls are creepy looking. It might be the funny hands, toothy smile, or just the bald head; I'm not sure, but this photo is almost frightening.

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