Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mmm mmm Pumpkin Bread

I have a Thanksgiving confession to make...

I hate pumpkin pie.

I always have.
I think it's the texture
and the too pumpkiny taste.
The only way I can eat it 
is with a huge dollop of whipped cream on top.
So that with every bite 
I can mask the pumpkin with the whipped cream.
I think the only thing worse is pecan pie.

Despite my aversion to pumpkin pie
I like almost everything else pumpkin flavored.
Pumpkin spice latte?  Yep.
Pumpkin cookies?  Uh-huh.
Pumpkin bread?  Definitely!

So when I saw this recipe on Dana Treat last week
I immediately bookmarked it and had to give it a try.

I have a recipe for a pumpkin quick bread
that is very true to it's name....quick.
You put everything into one bowl,
mix it up, bake it, and an hour later have some yummy bread.

This recipe involved a few more steps
and a few ingredients I had to run to the store to get, 
(ahem, buttermilk),
but it was still easy and I had 2 loaves in the oven in no time.

I'd highly recommend it to snack on before the big day,
or maybe bring over on Thursday as a hostess gift.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see below)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree ( 1 15 oz can)
4 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350.  
Lightly grease and flour 2 loaf pans.  (I used 9x5 and parchment paper on the bottom)
Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl.
Mix the oil, sugars, and pumpkin puree on medium low speed until well blended, about 2 minutes.
Crack the eggs into a  measuring cup and whisk together.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the eggs, 
making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding another.  
Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix briefly on low speed.
Add the water and mix well.
Add half of the remaining dry ingredients and mix briefly.
Add the buttermilk and mix well.  
Add the rest of the dry ingredients.  Mix just until combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl.
Divide evenly into the pans.
Bake for 60-75 minutes, rotating every 20 minutes, 
until the loaves are golden brown and a skewer in the middle comes out clean.

Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon ground allspice

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a fork
Keep in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months.

Sometimes I photograph food on my (clean) kitchen floor
because that's where I can get light without a ton of shadows.
Today Cheeto developed a sudden interest in the pumpkin bread.
Don't worry....that's as close as he got.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday Roast

I promised you 2 recipes this week,
and although I'm cutting it close with this last minute Friday recipe,
it's a good one.  
Trust me.

This roast came into my life when there was a sale on beef at the store.
At 50% off, how could I not buy a roast?!
I picked up what I thought was a chuck roast
only to get home and realize it was a cross rib roast.
What the heck is a Cross Rib Roast??
So I did what any internet enabled cook would do....
I googled it.
And this recipe popped up.
With 8 ingredients which you probably already have, 
it looked almost a little too easy.
But I decided to give it a try.

And.  Oh.  My.  God.
This is one of the best things I've ever made!
It was soo tender,
and juicy,
and flavorful.
Full of rosemary, thyme, and garlic.
And it looks pretty impressive too.
You can totally fool your guests into thinking 
you've spent the day slaving away in the kitchen.
When really you just slathered some stuff on a hunk of beef
and stuck it in the oven for an hour.

I served this with some roasted red potatoes, 
brussel sprouts with parmesan and pine nuts,

If you're a meat eater, you need to try this recipe.
The only thing I changed from the original was the salt -
one tablespoon of salt was way too much.

Cross Rib Roast
from Food.com

2 lbs cross rib roast
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 450.
Brush the roast with the Balsamic Vinegar.
Make a paste with the remaining ingredients and rub all over the meat.
Roast meat at 450 for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 and cook for 40-60 minutes, 
or until thermometer reads 125.
Remove from oven.  
Tent with foil and let sit for 15-25 minutes before slicing.

Blurry iphone photo

This could also make a great Thanksgiving alternative
if you're not into the whole turkey thing.

Or just surprise your favorite carnivore with a delicious Sunday dinner!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Linguini With Clams - Mom's Recipe

This is one of my favorite home cooked meals from my mom.
Something that I crave when I want comfort food
or just to feel like I'm back at home.
It's also super easy and makes a great weeknight dinner.
And depending on how big your family is,
you'll probably have some leftovers for lunch the next day.  Bonus!

Linguine With White Clam Sauce

1 lb linguini
1 onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
fresh chopped parsley
2 cans minced clams with the juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper

 Cook the linguini in a large pot of salted water.
 Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat.
Saute the onion.  Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
Add thyme and oregano (I used about 1 teaspoon each) and cook another 5 minutes.
Add clam juice and heat a couple minutes.
Add clams and heat, but not to boiling.
Pour sauce over cooked linguini.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Filling In The Blanks

Yay, it's Friday again!  
We've got a rainy weekend coming up here in LA,
which most Angelinos freak out about, but I kinda love.
Especially if I can just stay home and curl up on the couch.

 I've been a total slacker again on blogging this week.
But I promise that I've got some recipe posts coming up next week.
Can I bribe you with two easy weeknight dinner recipes?

I love this photo of my alma mater, Indiana University.
It's so beautiful this time of year.
I haven't been back in over 10 years - I'm thinking it's time for a visit soon!

Photo from Facebook by Alexandra Lynch

Enough random babbling from me...Let's get on to the blanks.
As always, if you want to play along head over to Lauren's blog and link up!

1.   My favorite new blog of the moment is     sadly, I've been a bad blogger (as evidenced by my serious lack of posts lately!) and haven't been reading many new blogs.  I'd appreciate any recommendations though!

2.   Something I am thankful for is   my supportive family and friends.  And my wonderful hubby! 

3.  Something that made me laugh this week was    The Office episode last night when Dwight kept grabbing Jim's crotch.  Third grade humor is always the best!

4. An item that is currently on my wish list is    a tall pair of brown boots.  I've tried on like 20 pairs and can't find one that fits right.  And I want a panini press.  We went to a panini making party the other weekend and it was so fun!

5.  I am excited about    Sleeping in on a rainy weekend.  I've come down with a cold and am pretty miserable.  I love the idea of curling up on the couch all day with some movies.

6.  If I were a color I would be     green. It's pretty without standing out too much.  And it matches my eyes =)

7.  My favorite way to spend a chilly fall day is by    having a warm cup of cider while baking up some yummy treats.

Have a happy weekend!