29 September 2011

Fruit basket Friday

I went to look in my basket that sits on the little island in my kitchen. I wanted to get back on track here with my one thing I update weekly. But I found I've shared everything that is in my fruit basket this week. And then there was my pumpkin....

Although we don't have four seasons here, there are two. One is rainy season, one is dry season. Rainy season is about the closest to the season fall. And right now there are tons of pumpkins showing up in the market. Bud just got me two very large green ones, both for less than $4. This one here in the picture though, I got on our way back from Nairobi at a little store in front of a big farm. It's not very common to find orange pumpkins here so I was pretty pumped. And I'm pretty sure if I was visiting the states now, all my friends had better watch their jack-o-lanterns on their porch because out of sudden impulse, I would take them. (since they are scarce here. no worries, I'd share a slice of pumpkin cheesecake in return since I would have unlimited access to Philadelphia cream cheese... oh how i miss thee... ok, rabbit trails)

So a few days ago I finally sliced the little thing up and made homemade pumpkin puree.

All you do is slice up a pumpkin, I cut mine into four parts. Place about 1/2 a stick of butter on a baking sheet and let it melt in a pre-heated oven of around 350f. Then place the sliced pumpkin on the baking sheet, cover with foil, and put in the oven for an hour, or two, or three.

I don't time my stuff often, I just keep checking ever so often. A great trait I inherited from my Toomama.

(how I miss you Toomama, especially when I cook. we are going to have a BLAST cookin in heaven together, cause i know her food is in heaven... oops, rabbit trails again)

The season right now feels about what it would in the states so it was great timing. I managed to whip up two batched of chocolate chip pumpkin bread (making 5 loaves) and now have two cups waiting so patiently in my freezer. We had friends for dinner that night and shared two loaves. The wife, who doesn't like anything pumpkin, liked it. I got my recipe from a Runners World magazine (runnersworld.com) several years ago and it's been the BEST recipe I've tried since. I'm almost certain I have shared it on here before but it's a new year now, so I'll share again.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups granulated sugar (and remember, this is from a running magazine, its supposed to be a good pre or post workout snack... so lets not feel guilty here! this bread just might be the magical substance to make you a runner if you're not already)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
(or if you have pumpkin pie spice, which i just so happened to have this time, you can use a few teaspoons of that instead of all the spices above)
1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or i sometimes chop up a bar of either cadburry baking chocolate or bournville dark chocolate, which you can find in Soy Supermarket in Kitale)

Wet Ingredients
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil (i used soy bean oil)
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned, plain pumpkin (yuck, i use fresh)

preheat oven to 350 (or 180c since that's what all the ovens here read)
Combine all dry ingredients except chocolate chips, in large mixing bowl and mix well
In a separate bowl, slightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the remaining wet ingredients to the eggs and stir well. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir just until evenly mixed. Fold in chocolate chips.

Coat 2 bread pans evenly with cooking spray (or rub some kimbo on them) and pour half the mixture in each pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Grab a cup of coffee and a slice of bread. Enjoy!

(p.s. a word to my mama... can you please come over and make me a pumpkin pie?! waiting a year to come to you seems too long. i miss you. don't cry mom.)


NeNe said...

I miss YOUR kitchen and the delicious things you create. It's a gift that he has given you and you use it well!

Spesh Ball said...

I baked the chocolate pumpkin bread yesterday. It was delicious. I have already passed it on too many friends and family. Here is a blueberry muffin recipe I just tried this weekend and loved! I didn't make the sauce but it might be good also. Enjoy!

The Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins
3 cups minus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Heavy pinch of salt
Dash of Nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 generous cup plain, unflavored yogurt (throw in extra if you want)
2 cups fresh blueberries
Vanilla Extract
Softened Butter, for muffin tins
Turbinado sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, cap-ful of vanilla, egg, and yogurt. Add the dry ingredients and stir to a count of 10.
Add blueberries, reserving 1/2 cup, to mixture and stir 3 times.
Add mixture to well-buttered muffin pans. Sprinkle remaining berries on top and press down lightly. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. (Brown sugar can be used instead.)
Bake 20 to 25 minutes and allow to cool completely.
Yogurt-Blueberry Sauce:
In small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (if using fresh, add 2 tsp water) and 1 tsp sugar. Cook until berries pop and liquid begins to thicken. Dump in heaping 1/4 cup plain yogurt and stir to combine. Drizzle on muffins.

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