Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

This is a delicious pumpkin loaf, moist and lightly spiced. The batter comes together quickly and without the fuss of any electronic mixing equipment. This bread is great for breakfast or with an afternoon cup of coffee or tea. I think this would make a beautiful Thanksgiving treat, but you don’t really need a special occasion to make this. I recently brought this pumpkin walnut bread to a fall cottage getaway and everyone loved it. Even my husband, who claims he doesn’t like pumpkin-flavoured baked goods, asked me to make it again. This is a new fall favourite for me, and a recipe I will come back to again and again.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread (Adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat a 9×5” loaf pan with melted butter and line it with a piece of parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and salt until well blended. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Add the sugar and mix until thoroughly blended. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and blend well.

Eggs, water, sugar, pumpkin, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract

Eggs, water, sugar, pumpkin, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract

Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined and smooth. Add the walnuts and gently stir until they are evenly distributed. Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top with a knife or spatula.

Scrape batter into parchment-lined loaf pan and smooth the top.

Scrape batter into parchment-lined loaf pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the bread is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out cleanly. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature up to 2 days or up to 4 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, double-wrap the loaf in plastic and place in a resealable plastic freezer bag. This bread can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.

 

 

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Teal Appeal

Without a doubt, one of the hottest colours of the summer was turquoise. Fresh and vibrant, it’s reminiscent of ocean waters and blue skies, so it’s a perfect hue to use to bring summer cheer into your home. It also pairs well with almost any neutral shade, making it extremely versatile and easy to incorporate into any decor.  Luckily, this colour is rich and bold enough to carry into the fall season too, so there’s no need to say goodbye to it just yet.

I took the plunge and painted an accent wall in my dining room using Behr’s Beach Towel.  I was definitely hesitant at first but I think it turned out pretty well, and I love the bold contrast of the white chairs against the bright teal wall.

Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint in Beach Towel

Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint in Beach Towel

Teal accent wall using Behr's Beach Towel

Teal accent wall using Behr’s Beach Towel

Simple summer centerpiece using small vases and aqua stones (Florera, Ikea)

Simple summer centerpiece using small vases and aqua stones (Florera, Ikea)

Even if you aren’t willing to make that kind of commitment to teal, there are tons of options out there for smaller splashes of the colour around your home. Here are a few of my recent favourites…

1.  Tessa pleated pillow, Teal. Urban Barn. $39.99 2.  Jaden Hurricane Vase. Crate and Barrel. $39.11 3.  Tandem occasional chair. Sears Whole Home. $899.99 4.  Riley table lamp, Aqua. Urban Barn. $99.99  5.  Round French Oven, Caribbean. Le Creuset. $336.00

1. Tessa pleated pillow, Teal. Urban Barn. $39.99
2. Jaden Hurricane Vase. Crate and Barrel. $39.11
3. Tandem occasional chair. Sears Whole Home. $899.99
4. Riley table lamp, Aqua. Urban Barn. $99.99
5. Round French Oven, Caribbean. Le Creuset. $336.00

Good Old-Fashioned Pancakes

I’m not ashamed to admit that I sometimes take shortcuts in the kitchen for the sake of convenience. But making pancakes from a mix has never, and will never, be one of them.  Pancakes are one of my favourite breakfast foods – well let’s face it, they’re good any time of day. Nothing beats a cup of coffee and a stack of homemade pancakes on a lazy weekend morning. This recipe has been in my family longer than I can remember, and for good reason. It whips up delicious, fluffy pancakes in no time, and they’re so much better than anything you could get out of a box. So go ahead, give them a try! Bonus: this recipe easily doubles (or triples!) if you’re serving a crowd.

Homemade pancakes with fresh strawberries and peaches

Homemade pancakes with fresh strawberries and peaches

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg. Then gently beat in remaining ingredients. Pour the batter (about 1/3 cup at a time) over a hot griddle or frying pan. Flip when the surface begins to bubble, and cook the second side until light golden brown. Serve with butter, lots of maple syrup, and fresh seasonal fruit. Makes about 6 pancakes.

You'll probably want to make a double batch...

You’ll probably want to make a double batch…

Shower of Love

This summer I had the honour of standing as a bridesmaid as one of my best friends married her high school sweetheart. As one of six bridesmaids, I was part of a great group of girls who were excited to pull together a fun DIY wedding shower for the lovely bride-to-be. A few weeks before the wedding, we hosted a simple but stylish shower that reflected the bride’s personality – sweet, fresh, and playful. The turquoise and red colour palette worked perfectly, and the treat buffet was a huge hit with guests, who loved taking home baggies of cookies and candies. What a wonderful day of love and laughter celebrating a beautiful woman before her big day.

 

Last Hurrah of Summer: Peach Sangria

Peach Sangria

As the long weekend and (unofficial) last day of summer come to an end, here’s a drink that will keep the season alive just a little bit longer. This white sangria is light, refreshing, and takes full advantage of the fresh local peaches available this time of year. Perfect for a late summer evening!

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle (750 mL) white wine (I used Pinot grigio)
  • ½ cup peach nectar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large peaches, sliced
  • ½ cup raspberries

Place first three ingredients in a large pitcher and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.  Add sliced peaches and raspberries. Chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight, for flavours to blend.  Stir and serve over ice.

Enjoy!