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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Skillet Pumpkin Bread with Pecans and Chocolate Chips

Have you ever made a skillet cookie before? Instead of rolling out individual cookies, you simply spread the dough into the skillet and bake. Totally easy, and then you have one, huge awesome cookie. I took inspiration from skillet cookies to make this pumpkin skillet bread.

I love this bread because it's dense, rich, and can be enjoyed as a dessert, or as a decadent breakfast. I recommend eating warm with a big ol' scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. Because, well....duh.

Skillet Pumpkin Bread with Pecans and Chocolate
2 sticks butter (plus a little extra to butter the skillet)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbs. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
2. In a stand mixer, blend together butter and sugars until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, and thoroughly mix. Add egg one at a time, blending in between each addition. Add vanilla extract, and blend until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. 
3. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, one cup at a time. Don't over mix. Add pecans and chocolate chips. 
4. Lightly grease your skillet, and spread the dough evenly into the skillet. If you'd like, add a little extra pecans and chocolate chips to the top.
5. Place in the oven, and let bake for 35-45 minutes. The bread should be golden, and a knife should come out clean when a knife is inserted.
6. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly. 
7. Serve warm from the oven with chocolate sauce and ice cream on top, or enjoy the next day for breakfast. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Curry & Chickpea Soup

Around this time of year, I'm ready to move on from summer. The warm weather and long days are great, but I'm ready for sweaters, scarves, leaves on the ground and pumpkin everything. This week, I decided to ignore the sun and make some hot, comforting chickpea soup. Take that summer!

Are you ready for fall, or are you holding on tight to the last weeks of summer? If the thought of fall is a bummer, this soup might change your mind. Slightly spicy, the carrots and zucchini bring the crunch while chickpeas fill you up. This soup would be great with chicken as well!

Curry & Chickpea Soup

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups carrots, chopped (about 5 carrots)
3 cups zucchini, chopped (about 2 medium zucchini)
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
45 oz. chickpeas, drained and rinsed (3 cans)
5 cups chicken broth, low sodium
14 oz. low-fat coconut milk
4 tbs. curry powder
2 tbs. coriander
2 tsp. fish sauce
lime juice from 1/2 lime
1 tbs. sriracha sauce
1/2 tbs honey
3 tbs. cornstarch
fresh cilantro

1. In a large stock pot, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and turn to medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.
2, Add carrots, garlic, curry powder and coriander. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add chicken broth and coconut milk and turn heat to high.
3. Once soup reaches a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Add chickpeas, fish sauce, green onion, lime juice, sriracha sauce and honey.
4. Cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Uncover, and add zucchini. Cover and allow to cook for another 10-15 minutes.
5. Uncover, and add salt, pepper and more sriracha sauce to taste. Turn heat off.
6. Spoon about 1 cup broth from soap, and place in a small container. Whisk in cornstarch quickly, to avoid any clumps. Pour cornstarch mixture back into soap and stir to thoroughly combine. You can skip this step if you prefer a thinner soup.
Pour soup into bowls, and garnish with plenty of cilantro. This soup is also great stale bread or tortilla chips, and fresh chunks of avocado.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Meet Benjen!

Oh hey there blogosphere! 

I didn't intend on taking such a long blogging break, but hey, it happens. I think I have a pretty good excuse though. I have been too busy looking at this cute face!

This is Benjen (name comes from Game of Thrones), my new Corgi/Australian Shepherd puppy, aka: the cutest thing in the entire world. He is currently 15 weeks, and is the sweetest little nugget of a dog.