Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

I've got a great recipe for you!  I recently had some canned pumpkin to use up, so I whipped up a loaf with it, and it turned out so well that I made another loaf a couple days later.

It is easy to make, very moist, and super flavourful. 

For the spice in it I used 1.5 tsp of my homemade gingerbread spice:

It just takes minutes to throw together and is great to have on hand, but you don't have to use this.  The recipe for it is from Food Network (2 T each ground ginger and cinnamon, 2 tsp ground allspice, 1/2 tsp each ground nutmeg and finely ground pepper and 1/4 tsp ground cloves), and they also have numerous different recipes that you can make calling for this spice mixture both here and here.

If you don't want to make the spice mixture, you can just use pumpkin pie spice instead, or 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie mixture)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp gingerbread spice (or pumpkin pie spice, or 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Pre heat the oven to 350 F and spray or grease a loaf pan.  Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, carefully stir together the pumpkin, oil, egg, water, and spice.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed; don't over mix.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake 50-60 minutes (test with a wooden skewer/toothpick). 

This is a recipe I'll be making again and again.  I actually don't make a lot of loaves, and didn't really have any stand-by loaf recipes that I swear by ... but now I do!

Do you make loaves?  What is your go-to?  Banana?  Lemon poppy seed?  Chocolate zucchini?  Pumpkin?  

Have you done any baking lately? 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Meals to Last

On Sunday evening we made a smoked pork shoulder, hashbrown casserole, peas, buns, and the yummiest tangy mustard sauce, but we didn't have it for dinner.  Instead we had ribs and a beet, goat cheese, spinach salad:

The rest of the food was to eat for the next few days.


Some we packed up for lunches, and had a lot left for a couple dinners too:

It was nice to come home yesterday and today and just have to warm up our meal.  Winter arrived yesterday, and by the time I got home around 6:15 p.m., I was soooo hungry, super cold, and the last thing I wanted to do was start cooking.  We warmed up a plate, ate, and were on the couch with Netflix in no time.  We recently finished Making a Murderer 2.  That show is mind-blowing and makes me so sad.  If you haven't watched Making a Murderer 1 & 2, I highly recommend them.  The second season is particularly good (although heartbreaking).

On Sunday I also made a quiche so that most of my breakfasts for the week would be ready too.  I have some earlier mornings this week, so this really speeds things up.  I pop a slice in the microwave, add some fruit and coffee, and breakfast is served.

Do you do any kind of meal prep on Sundays?

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Brunch Guests

Last weekend Christopher's parents came over for brunch.  I spent the morning baking, and then they arrived at 11:00.

We started with cheese, grapes, and chocolate banana muffins in the living room.  There were coffees and sparkling pomegranate bevvies too!

For brunch we had baked eggs, sausages done on the BBQ, baked beans, toast with herb spread, and fruit.

Pumpkin cream pie for dessert:

I love getting together with friends/family for brunch (or for anything really).

Have you gotten together with friends or family for brunch lately?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

It's been so nice out the past couple of weeks, so I have taken advantage of the gorgeous fall days, and gone on some walks around the lake.

I find I sleep better, and feel more energetic on days when I have a long walk outside.  Nature is so nurturing, and fall in Saskatchewan is beautiful.

Recently we made some perogies and cabbage rolls to stock the freezer.  We had one package of store-bought cabbage rolls to use up, so we had those with out homemade borscht perogies for a quick dinner last Thursday before our class.

Other eats lately have included a warm salad:

Fish with rutabaga and zucchini:

Meatloaf, carrots, mashed potatoes, and gravy:

Rice pasta with pumpkin sauce, and garlic bread:

A big bowl of spaghetti squash baked with cheese:

And a turkey dinner:

We made the turkey on Sunday evening so that we'd have dinner that night, as well as leftovers for the next couple of days.  It was pre-stuffed, and then we made mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy to have with it.

Turkey salad last night with juiced veggies:

In dessert news ... 

We were craving something sweet the other night, so I whipped up a small batch of six oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies.

Dessert for Two is a blog that I often go to when we want just enough dessert for a day or two, without having leftovers.  Christina, the blogger behind Dessert for Two, is also a sweetheart.  I met her years ago at the Foodbuzz Festival in San Fransisco, and spent some time touring around the exhibits with her.  The cookies were excellent; I'll definitely make them again, but probably double the batch next time 😉

Our Halloween tradition is to order in pizza.  Since I knew we wouldn't be having too many fruits/veggies for dinner this evening I made sure to have about five servings this morning.

My smoothie contained a couple handfuls of spinach, 1 banana, and a handful of blueberries, along with coconut water, and coconut kefir.  I also had about six strawberries on the side.

 After work today I got ready for the trick-or-treaters 🎃

We put on a scary movie, got our pizza delivered, and got cozy.

Twenty-seven kids so far - I think that's an all-time high for us!

Happy Halloween everyone!

What did you do for Halloween?  Did you go out on the weekend?  Hand out candy?  Dress up?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Our Birthdays

My birthday was on Monday, and Christopher's was on Wednesday.  To celebrate we went out last weekend to a classy tasting event in town, where we got to sample a whole bunch of delicious food and beverages.

We had a fun time, and it was nice to get dressed up.

Last weekend we also made a delicious twist on eggs benedict, with a latke base, smoked salmon, poached egg, and beet hollandaise.

And I made an incredibly moist and dense chocolate cake that would be perfect for celebrating!

Christopher spoiled me with fabulous gifties on Monday, and also picked up Indian food from my favourite restaurant in town, Caraway.

On Tuesday evening my dad took us out to a new restaurant in town called The Rotisserie.

It's a buffet that has different themes each night.  Now, we have eaten at many Vegas buffets, but we thought this place was better than any of those.  We were really impressed with the quality of food.  The fried chicken was excellent, and the fries were some of the best I've had in the city.  Everything was perfectly cooked, and tasted fresh.  The workers are on the ball, and are constantly refilling things like the tasty coconut shrimp, the salmon, perfectly cooked medium rare steak, etc.

These were my two helpings:

We will be back to this restaurant to try their other theme nights.  It was Caribbean night when we went and in Christopher's words, the "jerk chicken [was] legit."

For Christopher's birthday I picked up a bit more Indian food from Tamarind to add to the leftovers we still had from Caraway.  We both wanted to just have a lot of relaxing time on our birthdays, so take-out was perfect, and then we snuggled up on the couch with movies, TV, and cake.

It warmed up a lot this past week, and got to around 20 degrees C on Christopher's birthday!

On Thursday night we had our Spanish class, and then on Friday Christopher's brother Steve and his wife Mel took us out for sushi for our birthdays.


It was nice to catch up with them, and we had a lot of laughs, as we always do when we get together with these two.

We sure feel spoiled (and full) after a wonderful week of celebrating!

How was your week?  Weekend?