Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall is here....FINALLY!!!

So, I have a really good explanation for being absent from blogworld for 3+ weeks. As you can see from my previous post, I have had some "cravings" lately...followed by overwhelming nausea, followed by exhaustion, followed by.....well, you get the picture. Anyway, YES! I am preggo with Blessing #2! It has been a tough few weeks, but I am finally starting to feel better. In fact, I am feeling well enough to get out and enjoy this fall weather, to see the beauty of God's Creation amongst the bright fall colors that adorn the trees, to even start "fall baking".

One of my favorite ingredients to use in fall baking is cinnamon. I love the taste of cinnamon, as well as the amazing aroma it gives off when heated. Another of my favorite ingredients to use in the fall is pumpkin. Canned pumpkin, to be exact. I am not one of those people who buys a pumpkin, cleans out the guts, and spends hours trying to get all of the "good stuff" out of it just so I can make a pie. Nope, I take the easy way out.

The other morning, I was in the mood for something fall-ish for breakfast. I decided to whip up some pumpkin bread. Now, I don't really have a "go-to" recipe for pumpkin bread. I do have a recipe for pumpkin cake that I make quite a bit during the fall season, but it's not the same. I wanted some good, thick, hearty pumpkin bread. So, I did what any baker would do. I consulted Paula. :)

I found a great recipe for pumpkin bread in Paula Deen's Lady & Sons cookbook. It did not disappoint (not that I thought it would anyway!). Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Bread (makes two loaves)

3 cups sugar
1 cup *vegetable oil (I used canola)
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoos baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Mix sugar and oil with mixer. Add eggs and blend. Add pumpkin and blend. Add water and blend. Combine remaining ingredients and add slowly. Fill pans equally and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown. Enjoy!

*For the oil, you can substitute 1/2 cup oil and add 1/2 cup applesauce.

**I only had one loaf pan, so I used muffin tins for the rest of the batter. The recipe made 24 regular size muffins and one medium loaf. If you do use the muffin tins, the cooking time is cut in half (make sure you check them at around 25 minutes to see if they are done or almost done).

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