Nutella Pumpkin Bread

Breakfast

Last night was Halloween.  The night of eating shoddy, cheap candy.  And of course I had more than my fair share.  I’ll be the one stealing the peanut butter cups and coconut almond candy bars from my kids.  “Hey, you want someone to take you trick-or-treating?  You gotta pay me- in candy!”

Anywho, as I was drifting off to sleep because of my sugar-coma crash, these were my random thoughts.  “Oh god, I ate too much candy.  A bunch of furlough candy this year.  What’s up with those Sweet Tarts and Mike and Ike’s.  Gross.  Why can’t people pass out really amazing candy?  Like jars of Nutella– that’s what I’d like to see.  Seriously, I feel like a pumpkin right now.  Wait, Nutella… pumpkin.  Nutella and pumpkin… mmmm.  Oh snap, what if I made a Nutella Pumpkin Bread?  HELL YEAH!”

And so, I give you the birth of Nutella Pumpkin Bread. And I was only in “labor” for 15 minutes.

Nutella Pumpkin Bread

Makes one 9×5 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger.
  • In another bowl, whisk the pumpkin, sugar, butter, and eggs.

pumpkin bread ingredients

  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until the flour is just combined.
  • Pour 1/2 of the batter into your loaf pan.
  • Plop the Nutella 1 tbsp at a time onto the pumpkin bread batter.  You’ll have 8 plops of Nutella.  Gently spread the Nutella as evenly as possible.
Plop plop

Plop plop

  • Top with the other half of the pumpkin bread batter.
  • Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on top, and bake for 1 hour.
  • Cool completely before slicing.  Of course, I couldn’t wait that long, but it’s still recommended.

sliced pumpkin bread 1

pumpkin bread 2

 

Oh, I forgot the serving size is one slice of pumpkin bread.

Of course, you can choose the size of your slice.

Of course, you can choose the size of your slice.

Anytime, Anything You Want Frittata

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Wanna impress the husband, the children, the in-laws, the whoevs?  Make this frittata for breakfast.  It’s so easy because there are only a few rules to follow, and the rest is up to you.  You basically use whatever leftover veg you have in your fridge that you’ve forgotten about, any random leftover sausage, grilled chicken from the night before, or no meat if you swing that way.  Then find a sliver of cheese in your deli drawer.  Have some fresh herbs floating about?  Great, throw that in too!  Pour some eggs over it, throw it under the broiler, and voila, a beautiful breakfast.  Now, use this as a form of bribery to get a loved one to finally clean out the gutters.

My recipe will be what I created this one particular morning.  However, I’ve never made the same combination more than once.  And that’s the beauty of it- something new every time!  Also, this is the perfect quick lunch or dinner too, accompanied with a simple green salad.

If you are feeding a large group, just add more filling and eggs.  A general rule would be 2 eggs for each person.

cooked frittata 2_Fotor

 

Anytime, Anything You Want Frittata

Feeds 2 greedy individuals

Special equipment: A oven-safe frying pan

Ingredients: (Remember, this is more of a guideline than a recipe)

  • 1-2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 spicy andouille sausages, sliced thinly
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • salt
  • cheese, shredded
  • cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat your broiler to low.
  • Melt the butter in your pan over medium heat.
  • Saute your onion, pepper, and jalapeno until softened, about 5 minutes.  Season with a pinch of salt.
  • Add the sliced sausage, and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
Mmm, fillings cooking nicely.

Mmm, fillings cooking nicely.

  • Season your eggs with some salt, and pour evenly over the veg and meat.
  • Sprinkle the cheese over, and let cook on the stove for about 2 minutes.
Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

  • Transfer that thang under the broiler and let it cook until the eggs are set and the top is golden, maybe 4-5 minutes.  Keep a close eye on your frittata while it’s cooking!
  • Remove from oven, and top with cilantro.  Serve with some hot sauce and maybe some sour cream.
  • Also, please please make sure you keep your oven mitt on the pan handle so you remember the handle is blasted HOT!  I learned my lesson the hard way, and I shouted lots of bad words.
Bribery in full effect.  Bwahahaha!

Bribery in full effect. Bwahahaha!

 

Thumbs up to you frittata.

Thumbs up to you frittata.

This is as much excitement you’ll get out of me in the morning.

Enjoy!  xox

 

Roasted Apples and Figs Compote

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It’s fall, and it’s rainy and cold.  You need to make this compote.  It’s freaking amazing.  Put it on ice cream, yogurt, french toast, oatmeal, or eat it plain by the spoonful.  End of story.  You’re welcome.

Roasted Apples and Figs Compote

Ingredients:

  • 4 large or 5 small apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 7-9 fresh figs, quartered
  • 3/4 cup orange juice (I think apple cider would be amazing too)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins (golden raisins would be lovely.  Dried cranberries too)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • slight pinch of ground cloves (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp butter, diced
Diced apples

Diced apples

 

Quartered figs

Quartered figs

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Heap all ingredients except butter into a casserole dish.  Mix together with a spoon.
  • Scatter diced butter on top on mixture.
Ready to go in the oven

Ready to go in the oven

  • Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and give a good mix.
  • Bake another 30 minutes.
  • By now, your house will smell like fall heaven.  It’s a good idea to have friends over so they can marvel at the smell.
  • Then, scoop some vanilla ice cream or salted caramel gelato into small bowls. Spoon hot compote over ice cream, and commence having a mouth orgasm.
Finished compote

Finished compote

Compote with homemade yogurt

Compote with homemade yogurt

 

 

Homemade Yogurt

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Ugh, it just sounds so pretentious doesn’t it?  “Well…… I only eat fresh, homemade yogurt that I then lovingly feed to my super-wholesome family.”

But you see, I have a very hard time finding decent yogurt in your everyday grocery stores.  Do you know what the ingredients are for yogurt?  Milk and cultures.  Or, if you’re making it homemade, the ingredients are milk and a spoonful of yogurt.  Doesn’t get more basic then that.  But have you looked at the ingredients label of flavored, fat free yogurt?  It’s long and scary.  Why are there so many ingredients?  Well, you try making a tasty non fat, no sugar, artificially sweetened yogurt and see how many ingredients you need to make it palatable.

I decided enough was enough.  I was tired of driving 30 minutes to a decent grocery store just to find some acceptable yogurt.  I called up my most amazing friend Jen and begged for her yogurt recipe.  She graciously shared.  I discovered Jen’s yogurt when I went to her house for lunch a couple weeks ago, and she was kind enough to share her precious yogurt with me.  And it was a spoonful of heaven.  You know when plain yogurt is quite sour and makes your face do this?

Sour face.

Sour face.

Well, this yogurt doesn’t have that bitter, sour flavor at all.  It’s honestly great just plain.  That said, it takes it to a whole new yogurt level with a drizzle of honey.

Please please use whole milk to make this recipe!  And organic if you can splurge.  And if you wanna be extra crazy, buy a share of a cow on a participating farm (at least here in VA) and get fresh milk directly from your cow every week.

One last note- the yogurt must sit in a cooler filled 1/2 way up your jar with your hottest tap water for 7-9 hours.  This is a long time, so my advice is to let it sit overnight while getting your much-needed 8 hours of beauty sleep.

Homemade Yogurt

Ingredients:

  • milk
  • plain yogurt, room temperature

Other tools:

  • non-reactive pot, such as stainless steel or enameled
  • food thermometer

Instructions:

Begin with a very clean, non-reactive pot.

Milk warming, slowly, very slowly.

Milk warming, slowly, very slowly.

SLOWLY heat your milk, uncovered.  How much milk?  That depends?  How much yogurt do you want to make?  I used 4 cups, or 1 quart of milk. Do not let your milk boil.  Continue to heat up the milk until it reaches of a temperature between 180-185 degree F.  This will take about 20-30 minutes, but it doesn’t need much attention.  You just need to stir every once in a while and check it’s temp.  Meanwhile, look up pictures of Ryan Gosling on the computer.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling

Okay milk is hot (and now so are you after your Ryan Gosling fantasies).  So, remove the pot from the heat, and let the milk cool to 110-115 degrees F.

Meanwhile, make sure your jar or container is very clean too.  Put 2 tbsp. plain yogurt per quart (4 cups) of milk into your jar.  So, if you’re making 2 cups of yogurt, add 1 tbsp. yogurt.  Yay math.

Pour your warm milk over the yogurt and seal tightly with your lid.

Place your jar in a cooler, and add your hottest tap water 1/2 way up the side of the jar.

Goodnight yogurt

Goodnight yogurt

Let it sit in the cooler for 7-9 hours, then refrigerate and enjoy!

Yogurt heaven

Yogurt heaven with honey