It's just another Manic Monday...
No, not really. It's an absolutely peaceful Monday morning around here. The hubby worked the night shift last night and as such, is tranquilly snoring in the bedroom. Miraculously, the dogs let me sleep until the hubby got home, so I didn't even have to drag my sleepy butt out of bed, into my winter coat, and out into the harsh, biting morning air. It's a rare day when I rise from bed to simply grab a cup of coffee and sit down to watch the news. Yes indeed, it's a blissfully slow morning around these parts.
Now, I know Thanksgiving is over and some people have packed the pumpkin away until next year. I am not one of those people. December is still a pumpkin month for me. As a child, there never failed to be a pumpkin pie at Christmas. And pumpkin pie is my favorite. Therefore, I still love that big, round, orange squash all through the Christmas season. One of my favorite pairings in the world is pumpkin and chocolate. When I was in high school, my mom started making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and I became addicted. It was always a good day when I came home from school to find the house smelling like chocolate and pumpkin. They are a perfect match. If it's good in a cookie, why wouldn't it be good in a quick bread?
You want to hear something funny? I didn't really like quick breads when I was growing up. I wasn't especially fond of banana or zucchini bread. I think for me, it's in the name. Anything with "banana" or "zucchini" in the title couldn't really be dessert, could it? I can still hear the word "healthy" rattling around my teenage brain whenever I came face to face with zucchini bread.
That being said, this bread is not particularly healthy. Due to the sheer amount of pumpkin, I'm sure there is plenty of fiber in the bread. However, there is quite a bit of chocolate to offset that fiber. And plenty of spicy cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to make the bread taste like spice cake. It's the perfect bread for curling up with a blanket on the couch on a cold winter's day.
Something exciting happened over the weekend. And it has to do with these pictures. Some of these photos were taken in natural light, but I wasn't entirely happy with all the photos I'd chosen for this post. So, on Saturday night after the hubby left for work, I got out my photography light. This happens periodically as I'm still learning how to use it. It's been a mostly frustrating process, but any process where you are learning as you go can be infuriating. Something clicked on Saturday though. I was fresh off reading a Pinch of Yum's post about using artificial light in food photography, and I was bound and determined to get good results. And...
Most of these photos were taken in artificial light! This is a first for me, and I'm so darn excited. This opens up so many possibilities for me. It's true, I've had the light for quite a while. Due to my inexperience with it, I haven't considered it a weapon in my arsenal until now. I've now opened up hours and hours of usable photography time thanks to conquering that technique. And I'm thrilled. Ecstatic. On Cloud 9, if you will.
I hope everyone had a great weekend, probably working on Christmas shopping. I know whenever I left the house this weekend, there were wall-to-wall people everywhere. Tis' the holiday season! :)
Have a great day everyone!
Ingredients (makes 1 loaf):
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly coat a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour though salt. Whisk to combine.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree through almond milk. Whisk thoroughly to combine, until there are no lumps. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, folding until just barely mixed. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50 min to 70 min. If top of loaf gets too brown, cover with aluminum foil. I covered mine at 45 minutes and let it cook for 70 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes. Turn bread out, and allow to cool completely before storage. Store in an airtight container.
|Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.|