When you're a blogger, sometimes you compare yourself to other bloggers.
I've noticed prettier blogs than mine, with artistic photographs or ones that make me want to grab a dish right from the screen of my computer. There are bloggers that post every day, or diligently maintain foodie friendships through social networks.
All of those things I admire.
But in comparing myself to other bloggers, I realize that I don't get very excited about most holidays. My family was never one to hang spiderwebs on the porch for halloween, make our house into a "hot dog hut" (as my mom calls it) for Christmas, or post Easter decals on the front door. We enjoy family traditions like a special Christmas breakfast, being truly thankful not just on Thanksgiving, and watching the fireworks for the Fourth of July.
Halloween is one of those "holidays" I really don't get excited about. I love fall, the harvest season, pumpkin and apple picking, the cooler weather and the changing of the leaves. But Halloween to me seems foolish, almost, for adults to celebrate.
To celebrate the season, I've been trying out different pumpkin recipes. We LOVED this pumpkin bread. Omitting the sweets fest I had in NY from our memory, this bread keeps in line with my family trying to omit processed sweeteners from our diet. The honey keeps it delicious, but doesn't make it saccharin-sweet like the cup of sugar found in most quick breads.
Spiced one-bowl pumpkin bread
Adapted from Cookie + Kate
⅓ cup vegetable oil or other cooking oil
½ cup honey (local)
2 eggs (use free range organic)
1 cup organic pumpkin purée
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour (I use KAF)
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt (I use kosher)
½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for topping
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup hot water
½ cup chopped walnuts, optional
2 TBSP finely chopped crystallized ginger, optional
Preheat oven to 325F with rack in the middle. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and honey until mixed well. Add the eggs and incorporate. Stir in the pumpkin purée and vanilla. Add in the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice, and mix until just combined and smooth.
Add the baking soda to the hot water and mix until dissolved. Add to the batter and stir until just combined.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle cinnamon lightly down the center of the loaf and, using a knife, swirl for a marbled effect.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes in preheated oven. A tester inserted in the center of the loaf should come out pretty clean, although the bread will continue to bake while cooling. It should spring back slightly when touched. Cool on wire rack at least 15 minutes before enjoying.