October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

If you can recall a few of my previous posts, I really like to bookmark pumpkin recipes. I had the afternoon free yesterday and had the itch to bake. I've come into the habit of baking fresh goods every week (especially when the weather gets colder) and our Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies were out. I came across this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and was sold.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups canned or cooked pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Gradually add sugar, eggs and pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture and blend well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into a greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until loaf tests done. Cool on a wire rack. 

    I omitted the walnuts and used pecans. It was what I had on hand. I also did not have ground cloves or ground ginger so I doubled the other spices (as well as the amount of chocolate chips!). It was perfect. It's best served warm, so heat up it in the microwave for a snack when you come home from work! That's what I just did, anyway. :)

      October 24, 2010

      Menu Plan Monday

      I'm going to try and stretch our grocery budget this week and use what we already have on hand for this week's menu plan. We've spent so much on groceries these past two months, it's ridiculous!

      • Cheeseburgers (already have ground beef, buns, and cheese)
      • Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples (have apples & pork)
      • Alaskan Baked Salmon with Quinoa (salmon, quinoa, check)
      • Chicken Parmesan (chicken, mozzarella cheese, check) 
      •  Crispy Panko Chicken with Corn Salad (chicken, corn, check)
      • Cheese Tortellini (pasta check)

      What are some creative ways you use to stretch your grocery budget? 

      Dance the Night Away. . .

      This weekend came early! Thursday night was the official start of our weekend. The birthday dinner that was set for Monday moved over to Thursday night. The main course was beef brisket, which was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. Sorry, no pictures, but I did make these brownies for dessert.

      Friday night was Fall Ball!

      We ate, danced, and ate. It was a lot of fun. I love any excuse to dress up.

      Saturday we went to another pumpkin patch.

      And got four more pumpkins...

      No, these are not all of ours. We went with a group of friends! I'm not that insane...
      We came home and I made a big pot of chicken chili. Mmm. Perfect for a fall night.

      Tonight I will probably make Shrimp Scampi since I didn't get to it before. As for the rest of the afternoon...I plan on being lazy, reading my new book, possibly taking a nap.

      I'm ready for Thanksgiving break!

      October 19, 2010

      Recent Bookmarks

      I've been bookmarking apple/pumpkin recipes like a mad woman. I have a serious Fall baking problem. Remember this post? All pumpkin except for those chocolate chip cookies! But don't worry. This post has only one pumpkin recipe. 

      How good does this look! I love any kind of Mexican food.

      Yes, this is the pumpkin recipe. Come on, can you blame me!!

      I'd really like to make these and decorate them for Halloween.

      These cookies could potentially be a dessert for Thanksgiving.

      This sandwich looks SO GOOD!

      Can you believe I've never made chili before!? We're from Florida...we don't feel the desire to make soups or chili's! It's always HOT!

      What have you bookmarked recently?

      October 17, 2010

      Menu Plan Monday

      This week's menu is a bit short, with Monday and Friday night taken care of. Monday is a friend's birthday dinner and Friday is the medical school's Fall Ball (which I am so excited about!). Hubby and I chose the steak option when we RSVP'ed. We don't eat much steak. But that's not the only reason I'm excited. A chance to dress up and dance with my hubby? Can't pass that up. :)

      Last week's menu was followed through pretty well, 4 out of 5 were made. The highlight was definitely the Beef Dip Sandwiches, which will reappear on the menu quite often, we just loved them so much!

      Sadly, no baking was done this weekend. With all those donuts we ate that might actually be a good thing. But don't you worry, there's bound to be some treats made this upcoming weekend for our pumpkin carving party!

      Here's our menu for the week, in no particular order.

      Have a great week!

      October 16, 2010

      Pumpkins, Apples, and Sushi

      Strange combination you say? Well, this is how they all came together....

      Today we spent the morning at a pumpkin patch.

      And I saw this little beauty.

      We took him home along with a bushel of apples.

      I was very excited.

      But before this we stopped at the cider mill to get some donuts.

      More excitement. Can't you tell?

      Oh yes dip those babies into that glaze!

      We got an assortment of pumpkin, blueberry, and apple doughnuts. Oh My God they were SO GOOD.

      Into the bag they go.

      Why aren't there more!? Oh wait, because we ate them on the way home.

      And seeing as we were exhausted from a full day of apple picking, donut stuffing, and pumpkin hunting, there was no way cooking was going to be done tonight.

      This was some of the best sushi we have ever had. No joke, as you can tell, by the hubbs thumbs up.

      Perfect way to end a perfect fall day. How did you spend your Saturday?

      October 12, 2010

      Weekend Desserts

      On Sunday I made this applesauce at around 4:00 in the afternoon. . .

      . . .and then made these cookies at 9:00 at night.

      They are really really sweet by the way. And super buttery. So if you like that combination, go for it.

      . . . I am going to get fat.

      And tonight we made these, FINALLY!!

      O.M.G. They are SO good. Totally worth the wait. And by the way, this is NOT my picture (as you can tell), we were so excited to try them and blown away by the first bite that I forgot to take a picture. Not like you're missing the crappy iphone photos (we need a better camera!). But be reassured, they looked exactly like Joelen's. :)

      October 11, 2010

      Menu Plan Monday

      I am horrible with following my menu plan! 3/6 of last week's plan was followed through. I can't ever remember what I made instead of those three recipes. It's not like we had take out! This week I am looking forward to making a Tomato Caprese Salad, Whipped Sweet Potatoes, and the Beef Dip Sandwiches!! I still haven't made them and they have been on my menu plan for weeks!

        I have several recipes to share with you this week. I made the Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies I bookmarked earlier last week and the Maple Applesauce from How Sweet It Is. Both were really good, but the applesauce (well, more like sauteed apples in my case) was soooo goooood!! The cookies are super sugary and super buttery, take a look at the ingredients and you'll see why!

        Hopefully you are doing better with your menu plan. Is there anything you're looking forward to making this week? 

          October 9, 2010

          Alaska Salmon Bake with Pecan Crunch

          I have officially conquered the art of baking salmon. At least, with the Alaska Salmon Bake recipe I've been using! Salmon is a new adventure for me; I've never made it until recently. The hubby learned all about the Mediterranean diet during one of his sequences (he's in medical school) and demanded we start eating salmon for all its health benefits.

          How do you make salmon?!

          Fish and I don't have a relationship of any kind. Sure, I can make shrimp (that's frozen and only needs reheating), but I've never made any kind of fish fillet. I searched the interwebs for an easy, tasty recipe. After making it the first time, it was good. I was happy with the result. I've made it four more times since then and we both love it!

          Source: All Recipes

          3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
          3 tablespoons butter, melted
          5 teaspoons honey
          1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
          1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
          3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
          6 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
          Salt and Pepper to taste
          Lemon wedges
            Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, butter, and honey. In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.  

            Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with mustard-honey mixture. Cover the top of each fillet with bread crumb mixture. 

            Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until salmon just flakes when tested with a fork. Serve garnished with lemon wedges.

              Do you have a favorite salmon recipe? What kind of fish do you like to cook? What's your favorite way to make it?

              October 4, 2010

              Menu Plan Monday

              Last week's menu plan did not go so well. The Maple Pork Loin didn't come out anywhere near as good as usual. It's always hit or miss with me and pork tenderloin. I marinated it in the fridge this time thinking it would give it some extra flavor, but it turned out to be the exact opposite! It's better to follow the recipe as is and pour the glaze right over it before going into the oven. The hubbs still liked it, so that's good!

              I was also missing tomatoes for the Taco Pasta Casserole. I went ahead and made it anyway, thinking it would be okay. But I was also out of sour cream. It just wasn't the same. :/ It needs that sour cream!! Have I mentioned how much I love sour cream...

              I did make the salmon again and it came out was amazing. I will put up some pics and the recipe for it soon.

              Here is this week's menu attempt:
              I made the Mushroom Mac and Cheese again last night. I think I've made it four times since I first saw it browsing through Annie's Eats blog last month. I LOVE it. It.is.so.good! Tonight we will be having Skirt Steak with Quinoa and Artichokes. We bought a HUGE jar of artichokes from Costco two weeks ago. They.are.so.good and go perfectly with the quinoa. I may share this recipe with you as well.

              Have a good week!

              October 2, 2010

              I'd Like to Make...

              Rachael Ray has a new cooking show. I watched the first episode last week on the Cooking Channel, Food Network's sister channel. It's called Rachael Ray's Week in a Day and she makes five meals that you can prepare for an entire week. This Roasted Chicken dinner looks divine.

              I need to think up an excuse to make this...

              ..and these. Except, with cookies, I can make them for the hubbs and I with no problem. We can finish off cookies easy. :)

              I LOVE the blog How Sweet It Is. Chocolate and bacon are her two favorite ingredients! This whipped sweet potato dish popped up on her blog this week. I'm curious to see if I will like them better over the sweet potato dish I made last Thanksgiving.

              This can easily become the perfect snack to come home to.

              What have you bookmarked lately?