spiced pumpkin bread

For as many years as I can remember, I have been making my tried and true pumpkin shortbread.  I wish I could remember the original source for this recipe but it has been so long.  I particularly love it because a.) it is so tasty and b.) it yields 3 loaves.  One for us, one to gift and one to freeze for later.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This year though I tweaked my recipe to make it just a little bit healthier or “cleaner” as we are on a quest to eat fewer processed foods.  I started with subbing white flour for whole wheat flour and refined sugar for raw sugar.

It is also the first time I made it with actual pumpkin versus the canned stuff.  In fact, I plucked this one right from my porch.  Yum, so much tastier with the real thing!

natural fall vignette

I’d love to try tweaking the recipe even further by substituting the vegetable oil for perhaps more pumpkin puree.  I think some of the sugar could possibly be substituted for apple sauce too based on what I’ve read.

But anyway, here’s the recipe as it stands today, just a little bit “cleaner” or less processed.

15 ounces real pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups raw sugar
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

WholeWheatFlour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.

Remove the skin of a small pumpkin.  Cut in chunks and boil until pumpkin is soft.  Puree in a blender or food processor.

spiced pumpkin bread

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.

Bake for about 50 minutes.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread Recipe

The spiced pumpkin bread is perfect paired with a cup of coffee!

You’ll notice that I had a squash in my fall porch vignette too.  It is also long gone because we ate it!  (So is that little zucchini.)

natural fall vignette

You may have caught a snippet on my instagram or facebook of the butternut squash & spinach lasagna that we had for dinner last week.  It was so good!  I followed the SkinnyTaste recipe posted here.  Delish!  However, I didn’t roll the noodles as recommended.

I would make this again for the creamy butternut squash sauce alone.  We used the extra for pasta a few nights later.

butternut squash lasagna

Looks like I need to redecorate since we ate most of my fall porch vignette.  What fall dishes are you cooking up?

P.S. This Sunday we’ll be at Clover Market with a truck full of vintage finds!  And next weekend I’ll be at Serendipity showing you how milk paint works.  Hope to see you soon!

MMS October flier

Sharing at the Pumpkin Parade!

veggie frittata

Friends, I made a frittata.  And it was good. I’m so proud.

veggie frittata (10 of 10)

You see, I was faced with this little problem.  We had way too many vegetables in the house and had to come up with a dish that would use some up.  A nice problem to have but still.  And quite frankly, another salad or pasta just wouldn’t do.

So frittata it was!  I love that word by the way. Frittata! Hakuna Matata.

veggie frittata (6 of 10)

I thought a frittata would be complicated but it was truly a very easy one pot dish to make.  And it is a great way to use up your harvest or even leftovers.  The options are pretty much endless. You can add vegetables, meat, fish, cheese.  And you can serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

veggie frittata

I used one cup each of the following vegetables: red/green peppers, tomatoes/tomatillos & scallions.

I chopped up the veggies the night before so when I woke up I felt like I was on a cooking show with all of my ingredients prepped in handy little bowls.  And then I remembered that I don’t have a hair and make-up artist on staff.  Hmm, I’ll have to work on that.

veggie frittata

First, I chose a round pie pan because it could go on the stove and in the oven.  Anything cast iron would work too.  I found that most of my pans, though, had handles that aren’t ovenproof.

So I sprayed the pan with olive oil and pre-heated the oven to 400.  On medium heat, I sautéed the hardest vegetable first.  In this case, the peppers.  I decided to add some sesame oil for added flavor.

I continued to add each vegetable and seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme.  But again, the seasoning options are pretty much endless.

Once the vegetables were cooked (about 15 minutes), I added shredded cheddar.

And then the eggs.  I whisked 8 eggs and poured them over the vegetables and cheese.  The sides cooked up in about 10 minutes on the stove top.

veggie frittata

Finally, I placed the concoction in the pre-heated oven.  It took about 15 more minutes for the eggs to cook through.  The top of the frittata browned nicely.

Cooking times will vary depending on the size of pan you use and how many ingredients you add.  You could certainly double this in a casserole for a brunch.

Our version serves four: 3 cups of vegetables, 8 eggs, 10 inch pie pan

veggie frittata

I let it cool for a few minutes, cut into wedges and served it with wholegrain toast for breakfast.  It was met with rave reviews!

veggie frittata

That, my friends, is a frittata!  Means no worries.  Oh wait, that’s Hakuna Matata.

beet stuffed peppers

I’m back with another food post, friends.

I’m talking about beetroots today.  They are said to be a natural anti-inflammatory vegetable which is what we are after in our house.  But what can be done differently with beets?  Well, this is one of my new faves that I like to think I made up because I’ve never heard of a Beet Stuffed Pepper before. About a week ago I posted a prep picture of this entree on instagram and got a lot of inquisitive likes.

Beet Stuffed Pepper

So I’m sharing the deets but hold onto your seats because there’s really only one thing you need to know about making this deliciously, filling vegetarian dish.

Are you ready for it?

The secret to Beet Stuffed Peppers is to follow your favorite traditional stuffed pepper recipe and then subtract the ground beef and add ground beets.

That’s it. Earth shattering, I know.  It kind of rhymes too: Subtract the ground beef and add ground beets.

Here’s exactly what I did to make this simple yet tasty dinner.

  • Take 3 average size beets, wash and peel the epidermis.  Grind the beets in the food processor.  Next, mix seasoned bread crumbs into the ground beets.  I used about a 50/50 ratio of bread crumbs to beets.  The bread crumbs absorb the moisture that the beets cook off.
  • Wash and core 2 green peppers.  A tip I learned from a friend when baking stuffed peppers is to briefly cook the peppers in boiling water to soften them.  This way they are more pliable and do not tear when you stuff them.
  • Next, you guessed it, stuff the peppers with the beet mix.  I sprinkled fresh shredded parmesan cheese to the top along with more bread crumbs.  Also, a dollop of raw honey (my favorite sweetener) on top complements the beet flavor very well.  The honey will cook into the stuffed pepper.
  • Bake at 325 for about 50 minutes and enjoy!

Beet Stuffed Pepper

These stuffed peppers are so filling that I couldn’t even finish mine!  Let me know if you give it a try.  And again, try this with your own stuffed pepper recipe and just substitute the beef for beets.

P.S.  Doesn’t the color remind you of red velvet cake?