Month of Gratitude: days two and three

Coffee and Bagels

Coffee: Basically I don’t know how people who don’t drink it do it. I love it. I have loved the smell long before I loved the taste. The smell of brewing coffee always reminded me of my Grandma and Papa and Aunt Gretchen as there was ALWAYS a pot on at their house. When I first moved out on my own, I didn’t really drink coffee, but would often brew it to smell it and feel the comfort. I go to bed thinking about my morning coffee. Drug you say? Fine by me. 😉

Bagels: I don’t eat them that often, but this is the season of delicious flavors. Pumpkin at Einsteins. (I also really love the Pumpkin Cream Cheese from Trader Joes.) I actually brought Panera bagels on the plane home with me last night since there is no Panera in AZ. They didn’t have their Gingerbread ones yet (November 15th, fyi) so I got Cherry Vanilla and Cinnamon Crunch. Delicious!

7 days of fall baking: day four

Tonight, Halloween Eve, we are carving our pumpkin, roasting pumpkin seeds and I made:
Pumpkin Bread.

This recipe had great reviews. I didn’t make any major additions for this first time around. I upped the spices a bit, and added in a smidge of allspice as well. For the oil, I didn’t have vegetable oil (soybean) so I did grapeseed and coconut.

It would be good with walnuts on top for sure.

It’s pretty easy to make. My pans were a bit smaller than the 7×3 it called for, and it made 5 small loaves. I’ll make bigger ones next time….less pans to clean.

I had to get a can opener out the of the camping supplies in the garage to get my pumpkin open since my can opener stopped working. That was the biggest pain….other than that, easy, delicious pumpkin bread!

7 days of Fall baking: day three

Day Three: Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars

I made these Tuesday night, and they are scrumptious! Max walked out while they were baking and said, “ohhhhh, I smell that GOODNESS!” This morning, I was getting ready for work and he came in and I asked him what he was having for breakfast and he said, “not THOSE BARS, like I wanted!”

I will adjust the pan size next time. It called for a 10×15, which I don’t have, so I used a regular 13×9 Pyrex and it had to bake much longer to get the middle cooked through.

These are definitely in the category of pumpkin favorites now.

7 days of Fall baking: day two

Day Two: Christmas Morning Muffins

Sunday’s baking was a bit of a bust. It sounded delicious, and was, just out of the oven, but I think I over-cooked these muffins and they are a bit dry. Nothing a trip to the microwave and a smattering of butter won’t fix though. Max loved them and thought I put one in his lunch today, and was disappointed when he saw that I didn’t.

Next time, I’ll watch them more closely. They did not need the full 20 minutes. I would also add even more clementine (we call them clemmies) zest. Can’t get enough citrus zest!

I was actually looking for a recipe that used whole cranberries, but then stumbled across this one, and I had exactly this much dried cranberries left, and they looked so amazing. I found this version converting the metric measurements.

New tradition – 7 days of Fall baking

I made a pumpkin pie on a whim on Saturday. Sunday morning over pancakes no less, I started thinking about what fall thing I could bake. (I gained 5 pounds on vacation; baking should be the last thing on my mind!) However, it’s fall, it’s still in the 90’s outside each day and I want a piece of fall!

Chris suggested I start a tradition. Each year at this time, I do 7 days of baking. (Of course he suggested that!) I doubt it will be 7 days in a row, but we’ll see.

(I was also thinking how I liked Stephanie’s Pumpkin Round-Up, and this is along those lines.)

Day one: Nana’s Pumpkin Pie

It’s actually the pie from the Carnation label from the 50’s. It has more spice than the Libby’s recipe. It’s delicious! It’s been a family tradition until we started buying pumpkin pies at Costco. This year, I vow to make this again instead.

I also used my Nana’s crust recipe: (this is for 2 pies)

2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 3/4 tsp salt

Use a fork to cut shortening into flour and salt. Do this well. Then add ice water until the dough will form a ball and leave the sides of the bowl. Roll out on floured pastry cloth with a lightly floured covered rolling pin. Brush edges with milk and sprinkle with sugar. (I forgot to do this!)

This is the ONLY thing I will use shortening for. I avoid it otherwise.

The whipping cream lost it’s “whip” by day two since it wasn’t heavy whipping cream. Still delish none the less. I just whipped the cream, added some powdered sugar and vanilla to taste.

Family traditions and fall through to the holiday season…..love!