Maple-y Pumpkin Loaf

pumpkin loaf

So the last week of October is upon us, and I just realized I have not baked a single pumpkin creation yet! I blame the 80 degree weather…oh, California, how I love thee.

Anyway, in honor of Halloween, and autumn, and my birthday (which is today!) I give you my first pumpkin recipe of the season: Maple-y pumpkin loaf!  I have always been a huge fan of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Loaf, splurging on all those calories once or twice a year. This year, I decided to make my own homemade version, with the addition of maple syrup, a fabulous fall flavor. This loaf is moist and delicious, with a subtle maple flavor. So fall!

Happy Birthday to me!


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Curried Tofu Scramble

tofu scramble

Did you know that the more times you try a certain food, the more likely you are to develop a taste for it?  It’s true – that’s why it’s important to keep putting foods that your kids hate on their plate.  If they try it every time, one day it won’t be so bad.  Later, it will be kinda good.  One day, they just might love it.  It’s true.

Knowing this scientific information, I try things I think I don’t like over and over.  One day, I found out I liked artichoke.  Salmon on the other hand…now salmon and I have yet to develop a relationship.  I’ve tried it smoked, raw, baked, grilled, you name it…blechhhh.

Tofu is one of those things I am in the process of liking, if you will.

So I tried something new.  I made a tofu scramble.  Tofu is something I didn’t grow up with, and I haven’t fully acquired a taste for it yet, but it’s doable.  The first time I had it, I was thirteen years old and it was on an airplane…not really a great idea.  Since then, we have developing a relationship.

I liked this tofu scramble…I didn’t love it.  You might love it love it though, especially if you and tofu already have a good thing going.  Bonus! It made the house smell like delicious curry for the whole morning…yum!

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Buttermilk Pancakes

aerial pancakes

After making delicious dark chocolate cupcakes, I was left with an almost a full carton of buttermilk in my fridge.  I try not to let things go to waste – especially things that are a main ingredient in delicious pancakes!  The kids had Zoo Camp this week, so I didn’t start nannying until 11:45 – the perfect time to make pancakes from scratch!

I searched through many recipes, looking for the “best” – I settled on Martha Stewarts’.  Cliche, I know, but she knows her stuff…and the recipe uses 3 cups of buttermilk, so I was able to use all my leftovers!

In my opinion, they were delicious – but not the best.  They were really, really soft and I think I prefer my pancakes a little less so – a bit drier, perhaps, and lighter.  This isn’t to say that I didn’t eat about six of them.

fluffy layers

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Strawberry Rhubarb Scones

Strawberry Rhubarb SconesBefore my Grandpa Z passed away, he would make strawberry rhubarb jam every summer.  Some of my fondest summer memories involve lots of jelly spread between two slices of soft white bread.  I still have a jar hidden in the cupboard…I haven’t opened it, because I don’t want to let go of that one piece of summer that represents not only the memory of my Grandpa, but also his love of cooking and baking.  How long does jam last?  Maybe I can share it with my kids some day.  I bet the recipe is around, too….

Before today, I had never used rhubarb in my own cooking, and I wasn’t even sure how exactly it tastes – I just knew it was known for going really well with strawberries.  When I saw it at Avila Valley Barn yesterday, I knew I needed to try it out…and today scones answered all my questions.  Rhubarb is sweet, but with its own distinct flavor.  While baking in the scones, both the rhubarb and strawberry became very soft and delicious.

Scones remind me of England, clotted cream, and tea, but I rarely have them with any of these accompanyments.  I love them fresh out of the oven (duh), or heated up in the toaster the next day. They’re excellent plain or with butter…or with strawberry jam.  🙂

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