Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Season

Um, yikes! Weddings, report cards, a few rounds of Sam's Oktoberfest, and a general lack of sleep have cut into my cooking these past couple weeks, but things finally seem to be calming down.

In all that busy-ness, fall is nearing it's end. I say this, because we've now had at least two frosts, we have our heat on, and it actually snowed in Cobleskill Friday morning.  The last few leaves are hanging on despite the rain and crisp air, so it's delicately beautiful (for the time being).

I think you can still pick apples if you want, but we're coming up on another fun season: squash. Yay!

To kick it off, I made some pumpkin bread yesterday.  As of Friday's snow and Saturday night's Young Frankenstein at Proctor's (which I highly recommend), I'm in a Halloweenie mood, and felt like warming up the apartment with something baked.  So I looked up pumpkin bread on (my fave, you know), and got this show on the road.

Here is the recipe I started with, followed by my ingredient adjustments at the end of this post.

Mix up your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a bowl.

In a big humongous bowl, mix your sugar, and beaten eggs.

When it's all soupy, you can stir in the pumpkin (I used canned, it's easier).

Then, stir the dry ingredients little by little into the wet ones.  Use water to loosen it up.

By now it smells  amazinggg (like pumpkin pie), and you may find some curious visitors in your kitchen...

Here you can toss in some add-ins, like flax seed, oats, and chocolate chips!

Pour the batter into TWO loaf pans (I may have finally learned from my past experiences!).  Your visitors may barely be able to resist the deliciousness.

Garbage Cat wants to get his paws in that batter.

Cover with foil, and bake at 350.

Uncover with the foil about half-way through so the top can cook.  My loaves took about 45-60 minutes to bake (the glass pan cooked much faster).

Adjusted Ingredients List
2 cups white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple sauce (replaced oil)
4 eggs, beaten
1 can of pumpkin (15 oz)
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. each: baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger, all-spice, baking powder
1/2 cup water
add-ins: 1 tbls. flax seed, 2 tbls. oats, 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Now... how hard is pumpkin pie?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Bread

I'm sorry, it's been awhile.  It was one of those weeks.. busy, busy, busy.  At least I was mostly doing fall things, like drinking hot caramel apple cider, and hiking in the Adirondacks.

But fortunately, the busy week was followed by a THREE DAY WEEKEND.  God, I love being a teacher sometimes.  So after my vocabulary papers were graded, I had plenty of time to make an apple bread.

This comes with a warning... I'm not a good baker :(  I don't know what it is.  There's just a certain amount of patience and carefulness required that I don't possess.  But I tried.  And despite my mistakes, it came out pretty yummy, so I'll share.  If anything, this post teaches you be brave and try, try again.

I started with a basic recipe from  This is usually a good place to start.  Then you can read the reviews and tweak as necessary. (See tweaked ingredients list below for my changes.)

So start by washing, peeling, and dicing your apples.  Careful with that knife!

You need about 2 cups of chopped apples.  I usually like 'em rustic, but this time you want small.

**P.S. In the meantime, you should be preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, flax, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. (The flax and oats add texture and fiber... yum!)

In a separate bowl, mix your wet ingredients: eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and apples.

Then stir the two mixtures together into your batter.  It will be really thick and hard to stir-- use some elbow grease!

Then pour into your greased bread pans.  Here's where I goofed... this should have gone into TWO bread pans instead of one.  Sadly, I always make this same mistake :(

But it looks pretty awesome anyway, right?? I added another tablespoon of oats and a couple tablespoons of honey to the top.  Yum.

Then bake.  Because I made one giant loaf, after about half an hour it was brown on the outside and raw on the inside.  Darn it!!  But I covered it with aluminum foil and then baked it for 10-ish more minutes, which seems to have done the trick.  If you used two pans, I imagine you could just follow the baking times as directed in the recipe.

Enjoy with your favorite tea and company :)

(Tweaked) Ingredients List: 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups chopped apples 
  • 3 tablespoons oats (1 tablespoon reserved for top)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons flax seed

Monday, October 4, 2010


It's getting cold in the apartment.  At night I just want to be warm and snuggly, so tea is usually involved.

And a snack, of course.  Sometimes I'm even healthy about it (but mostly, just when I burn the cookies).

A few of my favorite things:
sliced apples picked by me
extra sharp New York cheddar (ironically, from Cabot in VT)
Choice lavendar-camomile tea sweetened with local honey, in my favorite mug :)

Sleep tight, and stay warm <3