Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The joy of baking

My girls love cooking! A little part of me hopes that their interest and enthusiasm for creating in the kitchen comes from watching me cook meals every day. A large part of my day is spent in the kitchen, it seems to be the heart of our home. (and the bathroom these days!) Cooking meals, baking, washing dishes, packing lunches, filling juice cups and bottles, getting snacks.....all day long. But, I really enjoy my time in the kitchen, it's not always relaxing, it's not always easy, but every day I pour myself into meals that I make for my family and every day I am a fixture that my children are watching, cataloging. I hope that all of my children learn how to cook proficiently, I hope that they inherit my sharp palate and I hope that it's something they will find joy doing!

The girls and I baked pumpkin bread the other night. Both Maddie and Charlotte did really well although Charlotte was only given cooking utensils and a bowl of water! :) Maddie is my super helper and is actually really good except for wanting to rush from one step to the next and being WAY too aggressive whilst mixing. We had batter flying all over until I explained that she needed to stir gently.....little stirring. We ended up making 4 mini loaves that we gave to Maddie's teachers and 1 big one which we kept. It is truly delicious bread, and only has 1 cup of sugar compared to most of the recipes I found which called for 3 cups sugar!! Happy pumpkin breading!

*I used macadamia nuts instead of pecans because I didn't have any and splenda instead of sugar. I also used more than 1 cup of raisins....I eyeballed it, probably close to 2 cups. And, Maddie sprinkled sugar in the baking pans and then put raisins and macadamia nuts on the top of the bread before we put them in the oven.

1 c. quick cooking oatmeal
1 c. hot low-fat milk
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 c. raisins
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine oats and low-fat milk; allow to stand 5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, eggs, and melted butter. In a separate bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. Gradually add dry ingredients to oatmeal mixture. Stir in raisins and nuts; mix well.

Place in a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake 55-60 minutes or until tests done. Cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.

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