Saturday, October 30, 2010

Everything Pumpkin

Finally! My pictures are uploaded and I can talk about some of this food I've been making.

October= pumpkin everything. I've been going a little crazy with the pumpkin over the last few weeks. In all honesty pumpkin isn't my very favorite flavor in the world but I do enjoy it when it's cloudy outside, the leaves are falling and the heater's on. It just seems right. Here are a few of the pumpkiny things I've been making. (yes, I know pumpkiny isn't a word but I like it)

First is a really delicious moist pumpkin bread with a surprise layer in the middle that makes it pretty darn ridiculous.

Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Cheesecake Layer

Cheesecake Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Scant 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon (approximately) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
1 large egg

Pumpkin Bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan or you can use 3 smaller loaf pans (great for gifts!)

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the cheesecake ingredients; beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

Place pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat for about 1 minute, until fully combined. Add flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and mix just until combined.

Pour half of the pumpkin bread batter into the loaf pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of pumpkin batter layer and then pour on the remaining pumpkin batter.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes for large loaf pan and 35-45 minutes for small loaf pans, or until a wooden skewer inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature or cool.

Okay, this next recipe is definitely a keeper. You know that certain fall drink from that certain coffee chain that starts with an S and rhymes with schmarbucks. Well, I've come pretty close (thanks to the recipe I discovered) to making a replica.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Pumpkin Spice Lattes
adapted from

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin purée

-In a small pot over medium heat, dissolve sugar in water.
-Once sugar is dissolved, add remaining ingredients. Allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not boil.
-Strain mixture using cheesecloth or a tea towel.
-Pour into a small (8-10 ounce) bottle and store in the refrigerator.
-To make a pumpkin spice latte, simply add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of syrup for each shot of espresso.
-For an iced latte, stir together syrup and espresso before adding desired amount of cold milk.
-For a hot latte, add frothed milk and stir to combine. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

This is so good. I tried it hot and iced and both were great. You're welcome for the money you're gonna save not going to schmarbucks.

Ok, ok one more and then I promise I'm done with the pumpkin overload. These pancakes are pretty much amazing. Really moist and creamy and the syrup, oh the brown butter syrup! It is so good you will drink it. No seriously, you'll drink it.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Br
own Butter
taste of home magazine, october 2010
brown butter
1/2 C butter, cubed
1/4 C maple syrup
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg

1-1/2 C flour
2 T packed brown sugar
2t baking powder
1 t salt
2 eggs
1-1/3 C 2% milk
3/4 C canned pumpkin
1/2 C ricotta cheese

For brown butter
In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

For pancakes
In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, pumpkin and cheese. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with brown butter.
Enjoy the pumpkiny goodness while you can! Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things I'm Loving . . .

I've been cooking and baking a lot in the last few weeks and have some great recipes to share, but my camera and/or computer is freaking out and won't let me upload my pictures. So, while I wait for the repair man (Ryan, hopefully tonight!) to fix this problem here are some things I'm loving right now . . .

I don't know where I've been cause apparently every one knows about this delicious tea, but in case you've been on a different planet like me this is Good Earth original tea. It really is like fall in a cup. It's really spicy (like herb spicy not hot sauce spicy) and really sweet. Not sure how they do it cause I don't think it has sugar in it and it says it has zero calories. In my book that's a miracle!

And I've been drinking it out of this non-paper travel mug from Cost Plus. It's so cute and that's the reason I got it cause in truth it doesn't keep liquid hot for very long.

The other thing I'm loving is the San Francisco Giants! It's kinda funny cause I've never been a huge baseball follower and definitely wouldn't sit down and watch a whole game. But over the last few weeks something's come over me (it's called the play offs). Since I haven't played soccer in many moons I guess I'm finally needing an outlet for my competitiveness. I also think Ryan's prayers for me to become I Giants are finally coming true.

One more thing I'm loving is 2 Corinthians. I'm studying it in Sisters in Scripture this semester and it's totally rocking my world. It's amazing to see Paul's example of someone willing to walk through anything in order to preach the Gospel and see people's lives changed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Salted Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yep you read that right. This recipe caught my eye on foodgawker and I had to make it. Anything salted chocolate or salted caramel makes my heart sing these days. So, you must try this recipe immediately. You can thank me later via gifts, money, compliments, etc.:)

Salted Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: about 24 cookies

8 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. fleur de sel (sea salt), or Maldon sea salt plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Combine the 8 ounces chopped chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, and heat until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. (Alternatively, heat in the microwave in 25-second intervals, stirring in between.) In another mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the melted chocolate mixture, blending until incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in the remaining chopped chocolate with a spatula. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2-3 inches apart.

Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies are just slightly soft in the center and crackly on top, about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and let cool on the baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container