Friday, November 16

No reservations for brunch: Berry Shake & Pumpkin Bread

I love to cook, but I also love going to out to eat. There is a nice relaxing element to eating food and knowing I don't have to do dishes afterwards. I love having dinner dates, lunch dates with my husband, my whole family, or a bunch of girl friends. One of my favorite meals out to eat with one of my friends was at a bakery/restaurant. We had lunch there but there was also delicious baked bread and muffins available for purchase. The whole place just smelled good. But since lunches, brunches, and dinners out these days are few and far between, here are two recipes inspired by those fun memories. You can still enjoy yummy food with family and friends at home without needing a date and a babysitter. 

So this blog is all about a great berry Shake & accompanying warm delicious pumpkin bread

For one shake: blend together: 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, 1/4 cup 1% milk, 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk/drink (from box/container - not canned - look for one that says 60 calories/per serving), handful of ice cubes, a handful or 2oz of frozen strawberries, a handful or 2.5 oz of frozen blueberries. This shake is also excellent with vanilla protein powder. I have made it both ways many times!

Serve immediately. If you are a bit nutty like me top it with your favorite nuts (these are chopped cashew pieces) and eat it with a spoon before it melts. 

The pumpkin bread
Note: Can be made ahead the night/day before and covered and put in the fridge and baked the next morning for a nice hot out of the oven brunch. But it does get crumby if not properly cooled - trust me on this one.  This recipe was adapted from the Pumpkin Bread recipe in this amazing cookbook, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.

1 Cup all purpose unbleached white flour
1 Cup oat flour
2 Tbs white sugar
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 Large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Cup pumpkin Puree
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/4 cup choclate pieces chopped/choclate chips (optional)
1 stick (4 oz) of softened unsalted butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1. If making this the day of, preheat your oven to 350 and use grease or butter or a spray on a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. If making this the next day - still grease your baking dish. Pull the prepared bread out of the fridge 10 minutes or so while the oven preheats the day you bake to take the chill off. 
2. Wisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl
3. In a large bowl cream the sugars and the butter together until light
4. Add the eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin to the large bowl one ingredent at a time. Stopping to scrap the sides of the bowl if needed. 
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until evenly moistened and uniform color. Either stir in the choclate pieces here or nuts or use them on top of the loaf. 

My husband isn't a nut fan so I put choclate on the top of our loaf on one side and nuts on the other. Turned out great and was a great use of some extra choclate from halloweeen. 

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

7. Bake for approx 50 minutes and check on it. My bread was getting really dark at 50 minutes so I covered it with foil and returned it to the oven to finish. Took 60 minutes total baking time.

8. Let the bread cool down in the baking dish for 15 minutes. Don't skip this part. Use a knife once around the edges just incase and then slide it out. I had never seen this instruction before and was very glad I did it because my bread came out without any problems.

9.  Place the warm bread on a cooling rack to finish cooling. Confession. This. bread. made. my. house smell. so. good!! We only waited for 15 minute minutes of cooling in the dish, and 5 minutes cooling on the rack, before we dug into it. While it tasted AMAZING warm with butter melting over the top,  the middle was still hot and got extremely crumbly.impossible to cut. I did grab an additional piece later (super thankful for nap time) after it was in the fridge and it was super easy to cut. So yes this is one of those breads that needs all the cooling time you can give it. 

So try this out... invite your friends over. Host a brunch play date and enjoy your fall with yummy pumpkin and berry flavors! 

From my kitchen to yours

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Please feel to comment about the pictures or recipe above. Looking forward to reading your comments. Happy reading, cooking, eating, and sharing good food!