Pumpkin Bread (aka Suck-Up Bread)

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin (aka Suck-Up) Bread

So, y’all know that I got a Kitchen Aid mixer as an early Christmas gift, and I have been a baking fiend!

Last week my new boss came into our office and introduced himself to the rest of the staff. I’d briefly met him earlier that day. (The only Facility Services Director I’ve ever known announced his retirement in September, and I’d been kind of on pins and needles about getting a new one. Fourteen year habits die hard, yo.)

At any rate, I’d brought some sourdough and whole wheat breads in for the girls to try and Tony (new boss) saw the whole wheat and asked if it was pumpkin bread. Of course, it wasn’t, but he dropped a tidbit when he said he loves pumpkin bread. I made a mental note of this and picked up some pumpkin at the store the next time the shopping was done.

The poor guy seemed so nervous when we saw him after orientation was over earlier this week, so I told him I’d make him a loaf of pumpkin bread. I brought a loaf in to work on Tuesday, and the old boss teased me mercilessly about sucking up, LOL…But both bosses loved the bread, so I submit the recipe I used below:

Ingredients

    • 4 eggs
    • 2/3 cup water
    • 1 cup oil
    • 2 cups pumpkin
    • 3 1/2 cups flour
    • 3 cups sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 pinch ground cloves

Directions

  1. Coat 2 loaf pans with Pam or other non-stick cooking spray. Cover with a coating of flour. Set aside.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. In separate bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid bowl) beat eggs, oil, water, and pumpkin.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients. Beat well. The mixture will be runny.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pans.
  6. Bake in 350°F oven for approximately 90 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

This is good stuff! New Boss really liked it, too. 🙂

What do you use your stand mixer for? This mind wants to know!

Until next time…

 

Let’s Be Bitchin’ in the Kitchen!

Hi, y’all!

I know it’s been about a month since my last post. Boy, have we ever had a plate full!  That said, what is left of the veggie garden were tomatoes and jalapeño peppers. After all the rain we’ve had, the cukes and squash basically drowned.

Two nights ago, the hubs and I shelled a peck of field peas. Last night we blanched, bagged, and froze them. Prior to the blanching, however, I wanted to make some jalapeño jelly, since my mom gave me a recipe for it a couple of weeks ago, and it’s so yummy on top of cream cheese on whatever you’re serving it on. 😉

Here is the list of ingredients for a six cup yield. (I made half a recipe last night.)

Julie’s Mom’s Jalapeño Jelly

  • 2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
  • 14 jalapeño peppers, stemmed & chopped, with some seeds left (the more seeds you reserve, the hotter the jelly)
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1 (6) six ounce package of  liquid pectin
  • a few drops green food color (optional) I used two drops for a half recipe.

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients EXCEPT pectin and food coloring.

Heat over medium-high/high heat (depending on your stove) and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add pectin, and bring back to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Strain into a large bowl and discard pieces.

Add food coloring, if used, and mix until blended.

Pour into containers. Let mixture gel at room temperature for about an hour, cover, and store in the fridge.

Photos as follows:

 

 

And here is a quick and dirty field pea blanching method:

Got Peas?

Got Peas?

Shell and rinse peas. Boil about a gallon of water.

Blanch-it’s not just a 50’s lady’s name, anymore. ;)

Blanch(e)-it’s not just a 50’s lady’s name, anymore. 😉

When water is boiling, add peas…please know, that if you add too many? Your pot boil-eth over. No bueno. Just saying.

Let water return to boil.

Blanch peas for two minutes once water returns to boil.

Remove from boiling water, and cool quickly. Ice water bath works well!

Ready to freeze!

Ready to freeze!

Drain well, and place into freezer bags and leave about 1/2 inch at the top. Get as much of the air out of the bag as you can prior to sealing.

Place bags in freezer.

Let me know if you cook and try either of these and let me know how you like it.

Remember – the more seeds the hotter the jelly gets!

Thanksgiving…Again. ALREADY???

Who are you and what have you done with my year?  It sure doesn’t seem like a year since I tried turducken for the first time.

So I have a loaf’s worth of bread cubes drying in the oven for my favorite dressing recipe ever…My mom’s. *insert heart shape here*

There is a 15 pound bird thawing in water in the kitchen sink.

There is chopped celery and an onion in the fridge. Now while that may not seem like a really big deal to you? It is to me. I went to the grocery store last night to snag a bird and the rest of the fixins, and there was not one stalk of celery to be had at the local Food Lion. WTH?  NO CELERY? Two days before Thanksgiving?  UNHEARD of.

I went off to work this morning with that nagging thought in the back of my mind. I even DREAMED about it. Who would have thought that some tasteless zero-calorie veggie wannabe would consume that much of my brain, anyway?

I called home and told Johnny I’d stop at the IGA since it’s right down the way from the hospital. You know, that way he wouldn’t have to go out if he didn’t want to. (Do y’all remember what happened the last time I thought I’d save Johnny a trip to the store?) Fortunately, nothing hit the ground (well, except for the loaf of bread I dropped, but it was going to be cubes, anyway), but what should have been a ten minute excursion took well over thirty minutes.

Note to self: AVOID THE GROCERY STORE ON THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING!!!!  You would think I’d remember that little detail.  I forgot the injectable marinade I wanted to put into the turkey, but you know what? Too bad. I’ll stick butter under the skin or something…I am so not going back out there.

So the good news is that I’m going to share said recipe with you. While you may not be able to use it this year, you might save it and try it at Christmas or even next year…

Mom’s Turkey Day Dressing

Ingredients:
1 loaf dry bread cubes, cut two days before (or the day before and placed in the oven on “warm” until dried);

1 small onion (diced)
2 or 3 stalks celery (diced)
1/2 stick butter/margarine
1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
Turkey giblets & neck

Process:
Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.

Cook giblets, covered completely in water, until done, about 20 minutes. Chop and stir into the bread cubes.

Melt butter, cook celery and onion over medium-low heat until tender. Stir into the bowl of bread cubes. Add poultry seasoning.

Stir in broth from giblets, slowly, until stuffing is moist/wet, but not soggy. 

Transfer mix to a large baking dish (or two small ones) and place in oven with turkey about 45 minutes before the turkey is done. Cook, covered, 30 minutes, then lid off for the final 15 minutes.

Serve with gravy. YUMMMMM!

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So what do y’all think about Black Friday shopping starting so early tomorrow? I think it sucks for the employees. I do 99.9% of my holiday shopping online anymore, anyhow, so these seriously EARLY bird specials and door busters don’t really apply to me (never have, as I avoid retail outlets like the plague during the holidays), but I feel REALLY badly for the people that have to rearrange their family traditions so that they can go to work. As you know, I work at a hospital, and I know that people are going to be working tomorrow. It’s a fact of life that hospitals never close. Neither do police or fire departments. They really don’t have a choice, but retail outlets?

C’mon!  Have we, as a country, been reduced to such a level of commercialism and greed? I know it’s good to have a job, but the holiday season is hard enough on retail employees without taking away their last day of peace before the big C. *sigh*

Ok, I have to go flip the bird, if you will.

To all of my loyal readers, I wish you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Until next time…..