Pumpkin Bread

Tomorrow morning there is a Moms4Moms meeting and it’s my table’s turn to bring cold food. I make this a lot, but the last time I made it, one of the loaves didn’t cook through as quickly as the other. For some reason, both loaves took way longer to bake than the recommended time. Hopefully this time around, I wont run into problems. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my food, so I threw away the loaf that didn’t quite get there…I was so bummed about it. I will be sure to keep an eye on my oven thermometer and give both loaf pans plenty of space in the oven. Also, the last time I made it I didn’t have any ground cloves! I have been shopping around for that spice for weeks now. At Publix, they cost anywhere from 4.99 to 7.99! I couldn’t find ground cloves at Target, and the specialty store I went to sold theirs for over 8 dollars – why are they so expensive? Well, today I had to suck it up and purchase the tiny container you can see in the ingredients picture. Next time I am in the need for several different spices, I’m going to shop online. I looked around at different sites, and every thing was much cheaper.

I love the way the house smelled when these were baking. Weirdness happened again with this recipe. One loaf took a good 10 minutes longer to finish baking than the other one. I made sure that it cooked through as I poked it with a toothpick in several places. I’ll know for sure once I cut into these later on tonight. The kids love this bread and I do too, but the last time I made it they didn’t get any. I may just take one and a half of the loaves to the meeting tomorrow. I am also bringing red grapes so I’m not being stingy with the goods! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread Ingredients – adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil – you can substitute all or half the oil with unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar – I always use half white/half light brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg – fresh is best
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Meat and Potatoes

I talked M into buying some steak while we were at Sam’s Club yesterday,  so tonight, it’s what’s for dinner! Our sides will be baked potatoes and salad. We don’t eat red meat very often – I serve it maybe once a week. Also, I have been a bit of a “bad” mom and haven’t offered salad for months! Everything tasted so good. I loved that the organic russet potatoes are so much smaller than non-organic. They were just the right size and they cooked in less time. Little boy M asked for more salad and S seemed to enjoy her steak. I always love when dinner is a success and the kids and hubbs thank me – it’s always worth the time and effort. Thanks for reading!

Steak Rub Ingredients – adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® Grill Mates® Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Onion Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Oregano Leaves
  • Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound strip steak or sirloin

Directions –

Combine all seasonings and rub generously all over the steak. Grill to desired doneness.

Baked Potato Ingredients – adapted from Alton Brown

  • 1 large russet potato
  • Canola oil to coat
  • Kosher salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees and position racks in top and bottom thirds. Wash potato (or potatoes) thoroughly with a stiff brush and cold running water. Dry, then using a standard fork poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the spud so that moisture can escape during cooking. Place in a bowl and coat lightly with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and place potato directly on rack in middle of oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings.

Bake 1 hour or until skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft. Serve by creating a dotted line from end to end with your fork, then crack the spud open by squeezing the ends towards one another. It will pop right open. But watch out, there will be some steam.

NOTE: If you’re cooking more than 4 potatoes, you’ll need to extend the cooking time by up to 15 minutes.