I am IN LOVE with the weather today... I woke up to a somewhat chilly room, a light breeze outside my window, and a yard full of beautiful fallen leaves. The trees here are already dropping their leaves like it's October and it puts me in the best possible mood I could be in. On my morning run I was almost cold I could say and the smell of the air out here in the country is absolutely to die for. It makes me think of school supplies, spiced lattes, putting on my Uggs (which I already busted out again about 2 weeks ago), warm scarves and cable-knit sweaters, and two of my favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Ugh-I could go on and on and on about Fall... if it were a person, I'd marry it happily.
And the most fitting breakfast on mornings like these? Usually I would say some home-cooked oatmeal in a second.. but this morning I remembered we had fresh raspberries from our lot (the few still left over) and I had the most perfect breakfast you could imagine...
Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal... with a splash of skim milk... and perfectly plump and sweet raspberries? I could eat it for every meal for the rest of my life and be completely satisfied.
Fall also, as I've said before, encourages me to bake like a fiend. Anything with pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, more cinnamon, nutmeg, oatmeal, and of course more pumpkin. Yum yum YUM. I am a huge fan of anything pumpkin inspired and/or flavored.
This recipe for Lowfat Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies came from Megan at Megan's Munchies and if you are a chewy, oatmeal cookie lover these are phenom! I actually tweaked the recipe a tad and used a combo of both white & wheat flours, substituted pumpkin pie spice for the nutmeg and cloves as Megan did, and sprinkled raw sugar over the tops of the cookies before baking because they came out less sweet than I would prefer. Definitely a good snack choice to go with your tea or coffee.
I'll admit I'm usually a die hard banana bread fan... I have to physically remove myself from the house if there's some of my Mom's banana bread present, especially when it's right out of the oven and still warm. I don't think any smell compares to the smell of banana bread baking in the kitchen either. Today, banana bread, you've met your match.
Pumpkin Bread. Delicious, moist, heavenly pumpkin bread has taken it's rightful place in my heart. With a cup of walnuts added, it's instantly gratifying and I know for sure, this will be the ultimate test of will power having this dessert/breakfast bread in my house! It was easy to make and bakes for at least 60 mins which gave me time to go for a run and do my regular morning routine all while it puffed up in the oven!! It's a winner for sure, and should be baked with caution because once it's done, you won't be able to keep your hands off it. DELICIOUS times ten.
Perfect Pumpkin Bread:
-15 oz. pumpkin (I had a 29 oz. jar already on hand and used 2 cups from it for the bread)
-1/2 c. vegetable oil
-1-1/3 c. white sugar
-1-1/2 c. flour
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
-1/2 tsp. ground cloves
-1/4 tsp. ground ginger
-1 c. walnuts (can be ommited if you're not a fan of nuts but it's amazing with them!)
Turn oven on to 350 degrees - Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, oil, eggs, & sugar.
Combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, & spices in a seperate bowl.
Stir into the pumpkin mixture gradually, then add walnuts.
Bake 55-65 mins or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine took approx. 70 mins. mostly because I added a little extra pumpkin)