Fall Food

Ladies and Gentlemen, have I been cooking up a storm.  This past weekend I only had three days off instead of my usual five; however, for some reason I bake and cooked more than I usually do.  The weather is finally cooling down, and the rain has been falling.  Therefore, there is little more to do than stay on the couch and watch TV or read.  Also for those of us who love to bake, we stay in our kitchens preparing for the days ahead that will be extremely busy.  Thankfully I cooked enough to have enough posts get us through the next week and a half of me working and not being in my kitchen.

First I would like to start with my all time favorite thing to make.  Pumpkin bread!!!! I love it.  When I was in college, this would send me home in my mind particularly when I was extremely homesick.  My roommate, one time, ate the majority of my pumpkin bread from home, and that was a major fight.  From then on my mother made two loafs.  One for each of us.  Haha.  There was rarely any left over. Pumpkin bread seems to be the equivalent of fall to me.  One uses the spices that will fill the entire holiday baking season.  I do love pumpkin on its own; however, as I was making these, I noticed the pumpkin by itself has a fresh smell about it.  Add it to cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; and viola, the pumpkin is a beautiful warm and inviting scent that fills the kitchen.

This recipe is adapted from Cookinglight.com.  I used applesauce instead of the oil to cut down on the fat.  I also did not use raisins, but added chopped, toasted hazelnuts to half of the batch.  I think it is definately delcisious.  I have another recipe I will probaby post later on this fall season, but I wanted something slightly healthy for my lunches this week.  If anyone has an idea or suggest on how to cut down the amount of sugar, please let me know. I hope you enjoy these with a cup of coffee (or tea 😉 and a friend.

pumpking muffins

Pumpkin Muffins (or bread)
Adapted from CookingLight.com

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup applesauce
1 egg beaten lightly
1 egg white, beaten lightly
1/2 can (15 ounce) pumpkin
1/4 cup dried currents or raisins (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine with a wire whisk, the flour and next 7 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a large bowl.  Combine the applesauce, eggs, and pumpkin in a separate bowl.  Stir with a whisk until smooth.  Add to the dry ingredients.  Stir until just moist.  Fold in the optional ingredients.

Spoon the batter into a loaf pan or muffin tin coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees.  Bake the muffins for 20 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Bake the loaf for 1 hour.  Cool in the pans for 5 minutes; remove from pans.  Serve with your favorite coffee or tea.

Yields: 1 loaf or 12 muffins.

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