I love the fall.
I love squash.
I love dressing up for Halloween.
I love that there is a new season of Glee.
I LOVE eating chocolate and candy from Halloween.
I love hot apple cider.
I love the smell of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.
I love pumpkin EVERYTHING.
So let me introduce you to my past three pumpkin days.
Monday: The World's Most Incredible Pumpkin Banana Bread
1/2 cup vegetable oil
0.5 (8 ounce) can of pumpkin (I used the stuff from Costco, just plain 100% pumpkin)
1 large mashed banana (make sure it is overly ripe with lots and lots of black spots)
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Sprinkles of Sanding sugar (you can buy this at William Sonoma... and to be honest I can't seem to find it anywhere else)
Preheat oven to 350°F
Mix together sugars (not including the sanding sugar), oil and eggs
Add mashed banana, pumpkin, and milk
In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together
Slowly add to wet ingredients, mixing as you go
Gently mix in nuts
Pour into a loaf pan greased with crisco or butter, leaving about an inch of room at the top. I used a regular loaf pan, and it was pretty gooey in the middle; using smaller loaf pans, or even creating muffins would be DELICIOUS.
Sprinkle abundantly with the sanding sugar
Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean
If you can tell it is not cooking well in the center, but it getting pretty dark on the top, decrease heat to 325 after 50 minutes and bake another 20 minutes or so. Hopefully this shouldn't happen, as long as your baking powder and soda are fresh, and your liquid to powder ratio was correct.
Cool on a wire rack
If on the event you discover you have a gooey center as you slice into your perfect loaf, embrace it. Oh man gooey quick breads are sooooooo good.
Tuesday: Pumpkin Carving
Morgan, of course, as a devoted Husky fan created this very sleek pumpkin:
Me? Well, I love Glee, the TV show, quite a bit. Once a cheerleader and "glee club" performer myself, I can relate all too well. However, due to its relatively new nature, there were very few glee pumpkin carving patterns on the web. In sort of a bummed out, obsessive, and overly dedicated kind of way, I decided to make my own pumpkin carving pattern for the first time. Boy, was that tough. HOWEVER, after a long and arduous process, I succeeded in both shaving and carving my pumpkin down to resemble the lovely GLEE logo.
Wednesday: Pumpkin Pie Yogurt
My dear friends and family, I must now advise you to run, don't walk to the nearest Safeway to purchase Lucerne's Pumpkin Pie Low-Fat Yogurt. It is heavenly, and unlike anything you have experienced. Go now, read no more, and invest in the best breakfast of your life - ESPECIALLY if eaten with a slice of the pumpkin banana bread mentioned above.