Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How Does That Saying Go Again???

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade? Or was it more along the lines of this:
When life hands you a whole bunch of stuff
(the sheer amount of which seems overwhelming)
ignore it all and make pumpkin bread.

I mean, that could be a saying, right? At the very least, if it is not a saying, then they've got to be words to live by - if for no other reason than that I lived by 'em today.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread...

Things I should have been doing:
  • Laundry - so what's new there?

  • Knitting - I've got so much I both want and need to do. Although I'm afraid that I may never realize the goal of actually stocking my etsy shop. I set it up a while back, but I've not managed to get item one up for sale in it. People that I like keep having birthdays, or having babies, etc. with the end result being that I'm gifting all my "inventory". Hey, I just realized - I'm like the town knitting tramp - just giving it all away! Hee hee...

  • Dealing with the exploded light fixture. Yes, today is day two in the "my one and only bathroom has no functional light source" saga. My excuse for not going shopping for a new fixture? It was wet, and I didn't want to go outside.
    For all my talk of how cool I think Seattle is, and how wonderful it must be to live there, I don't think I would last a week. It rained here for 24+ hours and I started worrying that my toes were starting to web together....
    Of course, it just this very second occurred to me that I probably could have done, oh say, some online shopping. duh. I blame this mental sluggishness on the rain, too.

  • General all-purpose house stuff - what I don't get it this: we were out of town all weekend. So who trashed the house? I wonder if we have poltergists? I'd hate to think that we were so messy that we managed to do all this to it in the course of settling back in....

So really, do you all blame me for ignoring most of that stuff? The knitting part sounds like fun, but I feel guilty if I knit when I've been ignoring the hearth and home. Ironic, no?

Anyway, the gray and blustery, wet, cold day just needed something. And that something was pumpkin bread. I wanted to try Molly's delicious sounding (and looking) recipe - however, I didn't have all the ingredients. (Going to the grocery store is yet another thing that I really should have done, as there is very little actual food in the house. Going to the grocery store, however, was out of the question because, as mentioned above, it is raining. And apparently, I'm a big baby who can't get wet...

So I browsed around the internets, until I found a recipe for which I had all the stuff. Although, I really don't want to think about just how old that can of pumpkin must have been... I wasn't 100% sold on the chocolate/pumpkin combination, even though the reviewers gave it rave reviews. I figured "What the heck, the boys will eat anything with chocolate," and decided to give it a try.

I'm glad I did - I really like the end result. It is different from a lot of pumpkin breads I've enjoyed in the past - it is very light, and moist, not at all dense the way that pumpkin bread can be. And to my delight, the chocolate is really, really nice with the pumpkin. I think this recipe is a keeper...

Keep in mind that the biggest criteria for this recipe was not to leave the house. I'm giving it to you as I made it, but I'll give alternate ingredients that might be good substitutions...

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
2 cups sugar
1 can of canned pumpkin (mine was 15 ounces)
1/2 cup canola oil (mine was a scant 1/2 cup, as I was a teaspoon or so short)
1/2 cup vanilla pudding (I used a Jello Pudding Cup that I had in the fridge. Ideally, I would use half a cup of Vanilla yogurt - I really like the StonyBrook Farm French Vanilla for baking - but I was making do with what I had)
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour (Naturally, I didn't have enough all-purpose flour, so I substituted 3 cups + 6 Tbsps. of cake flour - I wonder if this is why it was nice and light?)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, blending together well. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into 2 loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

I think that when I make this again, I might use half chocolate chips, half pecans. Because I love pecans. And I will certainly add a slug of vanilla extract, because I love it so....


The Caretaker said...

re: Seattle... My dear, You're forgetting that the average annual rainfall in Atlanta is 54". In Seattle, it's 34".

laeroport said...

Yum! I think Friday might be a "blow off what needs doing and bake" kind of day. :)

capello said...

pumkin and chocolate are a rockin' combination.

and, yes, part of the reason why it ws light was because of the cake flour. cake flour is actually all purpose flour mixed with cornstarch, which acts like a lightener.

i'm blowing everything off too, but i'm sick. so i guess i have an excuse.

bekka said...

oh i didn't know you have an etsy shop. cute banner! i never have all i need for a recipe.

i'll get halfway through it before realizing i'm out of eggs, milk, or whatever. it drives me crazy. and once it happens.... oh somehow the food gods and goddesses peer down and decide to give me what for. then i make two or three trips to the store within an hour's time because i keep running out of stuff.

it seems, at one time, i came across a website wherein you enter the ingredients you have on hand and it searches for appropriate recipes. i'll see if i can find it again.

beki said...

Mmm, that looks good. Now that I'm a WW drop out I'll have to give it a try. All this rain makes for some good baking weather.

I have an etsy shop too, but can't manage to make any inventory. One day...

Rohanknitter said...

Oooh, that looks good, might have to give it a try.