Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

It is fall–my favorite season–for many reasons! One of which is all the great food! Pumpkin, cinnamon, crisp apples, great fall colors…the list goes on and on.  This recipe will soon become a staple in my diet. How about yours?!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves1
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (340g) pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice
  • 2/3 cup (120g) semi-sweet chocolate chips2

Directions:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Lowering the oven rack prevents the top of your bread from browning too much too soon. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt together until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, and orange juice. Pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. There will be a few lumps. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from getting too brown. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. This may be before or after 60-65 minutes depending on your oven, so begin checking every 5 minutes at the 55 minute mark or so.
  4. Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing and slicing. The bread will stay fresh in an airtight container (it tastes better on day 2!) at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. But it won’t last that long.
  5. Make ahead tip: Baked bread can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Additional Notes:

  1. You can use 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead of these spices.
  2. Try using milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, or even pecans/walnuts instead of the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

This recipe makes incredible pumpkin chocolate chip muffins too – about 20 minutes in the oven, same oven temperature.

Recipe brought to you by my all time favorite cooking blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Spiked Lemonades

Just in time for summer, here are some amazing summery cocktails to try!  Let me know what you think of them!

Blue Raspberry Spiked Lemonade

2013-07-03-BlueRaspCocktail-586x322

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 gallon of lemonade
  • 6 ounces of vodka
  • 4 1/2 ounces blue raspberry-flavored vodka (UV Blue)
  • Mint fresh leaves

DIRECTIONS

  • Prepare or buy your lemonade. Fill the glasses with ice and then pour the lemonade over the ice about 3/4 of the way full.
  • Add one ounce vodka and stir. Then top with 3/4 of an ounce Blue Raspberry Vodka. Garnish with a sprig of mint!

Recipe brought to you by Tablespoon.

Hard Fireball Razzyade

Fireball-Raspberry-Lemon_2

  • 1 ounce Fireball Whisky
  • 2.5 ounces raspberry lemonade
  • Squeeze of one lemon wedge

Add the ingredients to a glass filled with ice. Mix well and serve. Garnish with fresh raspberries and lemon.

Brought to you by This Girl Walks Into a Bar.

Tequila Blackberry Lemonade

Tequila-Blackberry-Lemonade_post

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh blackberries, plus more for garnish
  • 2 oz. silver tequila
  • 6 oz. of lemonade
  • lemon for garnish and juice
Instructions
  1. in the bottom of your glass or mason jar muddle (or mash) ¼ cup blackberries in the bottom
  2. top with crushed ice
  3. pour tequila and lemonade on top
  4. if not using fresh lemonade, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice into the drink
  5. garnish with more blackberries on top and a slice of lemon

This delightful recipe inspired by Real Housemoms.

Chocolate Croissants

I was looking through my all time favorite recipe blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction and saw this little gem!  I can not believe I have not thought of this! Chocolate and bread–two of my all time favorite things!!  Mix these two ingredients together and wowa!

Who doesn’t like a little chocolate to get your day started?!  Europeans do it all the time and look at how happy they are!  (Yes, that is my logic and I’m sticking to it!)

20 Minute Chocolate Croissants

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped pure chocolate*
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon shortening, optional

Directions:

Heat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.

Separate crescent roll dough into 8 triangles. Sprinkle about 1 Tablespoon of chocolate chips/chunks on top of each triangle as shown above. Use your best judgement – if you think your triangle can hold more, add more. If you think it should hold less, use less chocolate chips. Press chips down lightly to get them to stick. Reserve remaining chocolate chips.

Roll up, starting from wide end and rolling to opposite point. Place onto baking sheet and curve into croissant shape. Brush the croissants lightly with beaten egg – this helps gives them that golden sheen.

Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave in 10 second increment, stirring after each increment. Add shortening to thin out if desired. Drizzle over croissants and serve warm. Try adding fresh whipped cream or even salted caramel on top. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days.

Fabulous recipe brought to you by this talented lady!

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Recently I have been on a major cheesecake binge–Ok, I have not actually had any cheesecake in the past 6+ months, BUT I almost drool over it every time I walk past it in the grocery store.  I really should just A) Avoid the isle or B) Run past it quickly and grab bread on my way through.  One of the grocery stores I go to put the bread right next to the cheesecake, clever, but torture!

I was looking at my new favorite food blog the other day and ran across this beauty!  I have not made it yet, and honestly probably won’t for awhile but I thought somebody out there would appreciate a good chunk of cheesecake.

Skinny-Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Bars.-You-wont-even-realize-theyre-lightened-up-3
I am not into counting Calories, but this cheesecake bar only has 125 Cals. per square.

Ingredients:

CRUST

  • 5-6 full-sheet graham crackers (or 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted or salted butter, melted (or even melted coconut oil)

FILLING

  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened (do not use fat free)
  • 3/4 cup (185g) Chobani Greek yogurt (or similar)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (16g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (85g) mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides. Set aside.

Make the crust: Using a food processor or blender, pulverize the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Pour into a medium bowl and mix with melted butter. Press into the lined pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepare the filling.

For the filling: Beat the softened cream cheese for 1 minute using a hand or stand mixer. Beat in the yogurt, egg whites, sugar, and flour until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Add the lemon juice and vanilla, beat for 1 additional minute until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Remove the crust from the oven and spread filling on top. Bake for 25 minutes, covering the cheesecake bars at the 20 minute mark with aluminum foil to prevent browning. Allow to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill completely in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.

Makes 16 bars. Store bars in a covered container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator; bars may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch pan, baking time will vary – about 45-55 minutes.

Recipe brought to you by Sallys Baking Addiction.

Flavored Waters

Well folks summer is right around the corner!  Everybody likes flavored water, so why not make your own!!

Cucumber Grapefruit Water

Ingredients

  • ½ gallon spring water½ grapefruit, sliced
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • ½ lime, sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher.
  2. Allow the ingredients to chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving. Drink throughout the day or discard after 24 hours.

Raspberry Mint Water

Ingredients
  • 1 Large Pitcher of Spring Water
  • Raspberries
  • Peeled Grapefruit
  • Sliced Cucumbers
  • Sliced Pears
  • Fresh Mint
If you want to spice it up a little more, add one or some of these:
  • Sliced Lemons
  • Sliced Limes
  • Cranberries
  • Blueberries
Combine ingredients into pitcher. Allow to chill in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
Lemon Ginger Water

Ingredients

  • 1 12-ounce glass water, at room temperature
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 inch knob of ginger root

Directions

Add the lemon juice to the glass of water. Finely grate the ginger by using a zester, add to the glass of water. This drink is a perfect way to start your day

Non-Alcoholic Sangria

This is a very good, and if you wanted to put some vodka or something into it it would be great. I am not sure what you would take out if you wanted to add wine to make it real sangria, but it is great stuff!!  I think it is better than the real sangria.  Let me know what you think!!

Sangria

Ingredients:

2 cups boiling water2012_04_27-sangria3.jpg
2 black tea bags (or 2 teaspoons loose-leaf tea in an infuser)
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 orange, sliced into thin rounds
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
1 lime, sliced into thin rounds
1 apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 cups carbonated water

Directions:

Pour boiling water over tea bags and cinnamon sticks and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and stir in sugar to dissolve.

In a large jar or pitcher, combine tea, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate juice, orange juice, orange, lemon, lime, and apple. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.

Just before serving, stir in carbonated water. Serve in glasses over ice.

Recipe retrieved from The Kitchn.

Cherry, Wild Rice, and Quinoa Salad

I am sure this is going to be great! My husband made a LOT of wild rice the other day and I do not want it to go to waste. So this is going to be sitting in our fridge pretty soon!  I was drawn to this recipe because of the picture. It was very colorful, so I am very excited to see how it turns out!

Cherry, Wild Rice, and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed if necessary
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fruity vinegar, such as raspberry or pomegranate
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups halved pitted fresh sweet cherries
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup diced aged goat cheese, smoked Cheddar or other smoked cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preparation

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add wild rice and cook for 30 minutes. Add quinoa and cook until the rice and quinoa are tender, about 15 minutes more. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch; drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the rice and quinoa, cherries, celery, cheese and pecans and toss to combine.
  3. Serve at room temperature or cold.