Pumpkin Bread

During the autumn, I was obsessed with all things pumpkin.  I loved the color.  I loved the smell.  Lovely.
My youngest picking out pumpkins.

I had baked a few pumpkins, pureed them, and put them in bags to freeze for later.

It's later.

Today is a really cold day.  It was below zero this morning.  It warmed up to 1 degree by 10 am.

  My youngest kiddo did the throw boiling water in the air and see it turn to steam thing.  I know it is all over the internet, but it is really cool.  We learned about the Mpemba effect, molecular bonds, covalent bonds, the reasoning behind the different boiling points, and the density of water at different temperatures.  Did you know that water is less dense the colder it gets?  Yep.  We also touched on molecular chains of water inside narrow capillaries.  Very cool.

Anyhow, it is cold.  The radiator pipes for the main floor of our house froze. Upstairs and basement has heat, but the main floor doesn't. Good thing we have a wood burning stove.  I was craving baked goods (it would also help to heat the kitchen).

Oh yeah!  My pumpkin puree.  Time for pumpkin bread.  Just the smell makes me feel warmer.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice *
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree OR 2 cups pureed pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two loaf pans.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spice.
To the flour mixture, add all of the remaining ingredients.

Mix it up.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

My kiddos like this with cream cheese or Nutella.  I know.

If you don't have any pumpkin pie spice, here is how I make mine.  It makes about 5 Tablespoons.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Mix it up.


Egg and Chili Casserole

Happy New Year!!

I can't believe it is 2014.  Wow.  I remember in January 1970, I was 9, figuring out how old I would be in 2000.  40!!!!  It sounded SOOOO old.  Here it is 2014-even older!
I'm the one in the middle. I think I was 9 or 10 here.

Anyhow, on New Year's morning, we were invited to a very nice brunch at the home of dear friends.  (Thanks Aldo and Joni - it was lovely.)  This is the egg dish that I made.  Many asked for the recipe.  Every time I have made it people have asked for the recipe.

It's that good.

The recipe is not my own, however.  It was given to me many years ago from my sister, Mary.  She always has the best recipes.  Love you, my sister.

This is kinda like chili rellenos in casserole form.  I like it with salsa.

Egg and Chili Casserole

1/2 cup melted butter
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
2 cups cottage cheese
10 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (4 ounce) cans diced green chilis

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 13x9 baking dish with non-stick spray, or butter generously.

Mix all of the ingredients together. I used my Kitchen-aid, but it is easy enough by hand. 

Smooth egg mixture in prepared pan.

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve with salsa, if desired.

Tuna Patty

My mom used to make tuna patties all the time.  That and ham loaf.  Don't ask about the ham loaf.  It was just wrong.  However, I was craving tuna patties.

I had never made them before.  I don't know why.  Just hadn't.  My kiddos had never had them.  I knew I didn't want to do them like my mom - didn't have her recipe anyhow.  My sister called when I was making them and I asked if she ever made them.  She said "No! I always hated them and ham loaf."  


These tuna patties taste nothing like my mom's, though.  They were really good!  Who knew?!  My kiddos loved them.  My husband loved them.  My dogs wanted them, but didn't get them.  They are always hopeful, though.

I served the tuna patties with mac 'n cheese - just in case no one liked them.  You can find that recipe here  http://ahawker.blogspot.com/2012/08/macaroni-and-cheese.html  (It was really penne 'n cheese. Whatever.)

Here is my recipe for tuna patties.  Don't be afraid.  They were really good.  This made enough for my family - feel free to cut it in half.

Tuna Patties

4 (7 ounce) cans tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup onion (about 1/2 onion), diced fine
1 Tablespoon mustard (I would have used Dijon, but didn't have any. I used plain old yellow mustard)
3 large eggs, beaten
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, divided
Olive oil, for sautéing

Place the tuna, onions, mustard, eggs, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs in a bowl and mix it up.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs on a plate.

Take a scoop of tuna and put it in the bread crumbs, pressing slightly to flatten a little.  Turn the patty over to cover the other side.

Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a sauté pan (just a fancy way of saying frying pan).  Add the patties and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.