|Front of La Casa all ready for the season|
As of 5:05am last Friday, we are in the Autumn season! The weather? Well, I think its running a bit on Cuban time -- it must be my influence! Ha! I look forward to wearing long sleeve shirts in the coming days. My "Fall Uniform" consists of an argyle long-sleeved blouse, a pair of jeans and a pair of fleece-lined wool mary-janes. I LOVE those shoes so much, I actually bought three pair so that I could always match!
|Sadly, they don't sell them anymore so I have to take extra care of them!|
What Autumn means to me is BAKING SEASON! I swear, the leaves begin to change and all I can think about is legally changing my name to Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart or Julia Child -- maybe a mix, like Julia Crockwart. Hrm, that name surely doesn't sound appetizing, but I digress!
Anyhoodles, today I made my first of many confections for the season. I will not lie to you, readers - this is surely not a from-scratch recipe. Sure, I might possibly have scratched my head as I opened the box containing the mix, but that's as much scratch as this gets!
My local grocery store has these huge wooden bins right by the entrance with sale items. Last Fall, one of the features was Pillsbury Quick Bread for $1. I was curious and grabbed a pumpkin as well as an apple crumble one. Hell, it's a buck. If it ended up tasting God-awful, I felt that there wasn't going to be much of a loss there. I made the pumpkin bread and added some cranberries and I think the loaf might've lasted half a day.
This morning over a cup of coffee, I asked La Suegra if she remembered that bread I had made. Her response was, "Mmmmmmm!". That was all the encouragement I needed to grab all the necessary ingredients and start baking at 6:00am. Have I mentioned readers, that I wake up every morning to make Mi Gringito his breakfast and that Wednesdays are his early days? Yes, this dormilona is up at 4:15am every Wednesday to ensure that he is properly fed before he goes off to do what he does. By 6:00am, I had already showered and eaten breakfast and was on my second cup of pumpkin spice coffee so I was revved.
I didn't eat the cranberry-pumpkin bread last time for two reasons: 1) In general, I don't much care for cranberries, and 2) I honestly don't need the extra calories (hence why I added an ingredient I don't like!). This time, though, I wanted to do something a little different so I rummaged through the cupboards and I came across a bag of crystallized ginger. Now, I'm new to ginger on anything other than Sushi. I actually just ate a ginger snap for the first time about two years ago and fell in love! I wondered what kind of flavor combination that could possibly make and figured, much like last year, if it tasted crappy, it only cost me a buck! I consulted with La Suegra and she almost started jumping up and down. I took that as a good sign. She then turned to me and said, "If you want, you can use this."
Readers, the heavens opened and I heard the melodic hum of the angels when my eyes rested on what she was handing to me. It was a chopping set that I had no clue she had. I've lived with her for almost two years and I swear, she pulls out a new & cool gadget almost daily! I was also a bit peeved that I hadn't known about this one until now.
Ginger Pumpkin Bread
- 1 box Pillsbury Quick Bread - Pumpkin
- 1 C Water
- 3 Tbsp Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 C Chopped crystallized ginger
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray bottom of a loaf pan with cooking spray (I use Baker's Joy).
- In a large bowl, combine the box mix, water, oil & eggs. Stir 50 strokes.
- Add the chopped ginger and stir for 15 more strokes, until mix looks well blended.
|Do you hear the Angels singing?|
- Pour into the greased pan.
- Baking time varies on the size of pan you use.
8x4-inch loaf pan: 45 to 55 min
9x5-inch loaf pan: 40 to 50 min
3 (3x5-inch) loaf pans: 35 to 45 min
- Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife or metal spatula and remove from pan. Voila!
You can eat it as is or put a slice in the toaster. You can also try a variation of this by adding 1/2C of any chopped dried fruit or nuts. Let me know if you try it out as well as which method you prefer! Hasta la proxima!