This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. Good advice, n’est-ce pas? Words to live by. I found the mug at Holstee after seeing what they call their Manifesto. I bought the mug and notecards. So, keeping in the spirit of doing what I love, I got up this morning and baked a new muffin recipe. There are many reasons why I love baking first thing in the morning.
- It makes my house smell really good. We have a combined kitchen-dining room- living room set up downstairs with our bedroom close by.
- The Ex-Ex has something yummy to eat for breakfast when he wakes up.
- The process is very calming. Follow a good recipe, make a couple of changes if you feel bold, put it in the oven, and voilà something delicious magically appears in just a little while.
- Home made baked goodies make people happy. I started reading David Lebovitz‘ cookbook Ready for Dessert last night (it was a daily deal on Bookbub) and he said it very well in the introduction to the book– Pastry whiz Nick Malgieri likes to say, “Bake something. You’ll feel better.” and nothing could be truer. People constantly ask me, “Why do you bake?” It took me over a decade (I’m a slow learner) to come to the conclusion that baking is about sharing. The best bakers I know aren’t merely armed with a bunch of recipes, but baking is truly their passion, as it is my passion. We just love to do it, not just for ourselves, but for others– I’ve yet to come across a dessert recipe that makes only one serving. Cakes, pies, and batches of cookies are meant to be shared. Amen. Preach on, David!
- I love to take muffins to my twice weekly 7:25 am 7th grade team meetings. My teammates are so appreciative and they have no idea how happy it makes me when they sneak back up to my room for a second helping.
- In fall and winter, it warms up my kitchen. And dare I say my soul?
One of my go-to bakers is Deb at Smitten Kitchen. I don’t know her. (I don’t know David Lebovitz either as far as that goes, but I would love to meet him for coffee in Paris someday…) Facebook is my escape– for recipes, as well as keeping up with my Frenchies and other close friends and relatives near and far. So, when I came across Deb’s recipe for pumpkin bread this week, I promptly bought two cans of pumpkin puree. They are hot from the oven as I type. I will take some to Tom this morning. I have a date with him to get my nails done. My twice a month guilty pleasure (which keeps me from biting my nails and messing with my cuticles when I am nervous). I know he loves chocolate. I hope he likes pumpkin as well. He is so sweet. He always takes home some of what I bring him to his wife.
Pumpkin Bread (or Muffins)
from Smitten Kitchen makes 1 large loaf or 18 medium muffins
1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 c. (120ml) vegetable or another neutral oil or melted butter (115g)- I used liquid coconut oil
3 large eggs
1-2/3 c. (330g) granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder (I use aluminum free)
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt or table salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Heaped 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Heaped 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
Two pinches of ground cloves (oops- totally forgot this)
2-1/4 c. (295g) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. (12g) granulated sugar (Turbinado or sugar in the raw would add a nice crunch, I think)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 350˚F.
Butter a 6-cup loaf pan or coat with non-stick spray. For muffins, line 18 medium-sized muffin cups or spray with non-stick spray.
In large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugar until smooth. Sprinkle baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves over batter and whisk until well-combined. Add flour and stir with a spoon just until mixed. Do not overmix.
Pour into prepared loaf pan or muffin cups and smooth the top. In a small dish or measuring cup, mix sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over top of batter.
Bake bread 65-75 minutes or until it tests done in several places. Turn the pan once during baking time for even browning.
Bake muffins 25-30 minutes or until one tests done.
Check out Deb’s blog for more details and photos.
I tried to get a photo of last night’s moon. The iPhone didn’t capture it very well at all. Disappointing. October’s full Hunters Moon will peak shortly after midnight tonight. I will try another camera. The moon fascinates me.
Bon appétit to all bakers and eaters! Enjoy the beautiful fall weather.