Happy marathon week to all you runners out there! For those of you not running a marathon it’s likely you are either getting married or watching others get married this weekend. After all, the second weekend of October is typically celebrated one of these two ways. A small percentage of you have nothing more than visiting a pumpkin patch on your agenda. That’s OK too. Making decisions at pumpkin patches can be challenging.
For my fellow runners, the week leading up to the marathon is a taper week. Most of you are probably going crazy trying to figure out what to do with all your free time that doesn’t involve running. By now your friends and family just want this stupid race over with so you can go back to being your old self again. No? Oh that just must be mine. As someone who has been
not running at all “tapering” for two weeks now, let me offer some advice. Cook something. Bake, why don’t ya? Because nothing says taper like 3 loaves of pumpkin bread, homemade pesto and a gigantic batch of chili does it now?
This weekend the air was crisp, the leaves were changing and the sun was shining. Perfect running weather, right? I know. But also perfect baking weather. See how I justified that? It’s all about changing your outlook.
Shall we begin?
My Thursday night went a little something like this
So it was inevitable that I was going to make something with pumpkin the very next day. As if that wasn’t incentive enough, a friend saw the photo on Instagram and requested a dessert. Supply and demand matched up and out popped a massive batch of pumpkin bread. I really have a way of making appetizing things sound completely unappetizing, don’t I?
I make banana bread all year long but come October I like to change it up. It’s a little trick I call adding pumpkin in everything and anything. Try it sometime. It’s fun.
I can’t remember if I made this recipe in years past or not but I chose it based on quantity and a chocolate chip kicker. I’ve tried pumpkin chocolate chip cookies a few times and while they taste good, I find the consistency to be a little chewy for my taste. Like a cuffin. Not the urban dictionary definition, the half cookie, half muffin one.
Anywho I know my friends liked them so I wanted to share the chocolate chip batch with them. This makes enough for 3 loaves. I did one chocolate chip, 1 regular and two minis.
Side note: mini loaves are awesome because let’s just say a last minute party comes up Saturday night and you want to bring something. Boom. Small loaf is just enough for a host/hostess gift but not too much in case they are anti-pumpkin, paleo or presumptuous.
Pumpkin Bread (adapted from Two peas and their pod)
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I did 1/2 C whole wheat)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 (15 ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (added 1/2 C to one loaf)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare loaf pans. I used two 9×5 and 2 mini loaf pans.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
In your stand mixer, mix sugar, pumpkin, oil, water and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs.
Add dry ingredients to wet being careful not to overmix. You can easily do this by hand I just like the size of the bowl with my stand mixer. Fold chocolate chips into one portion of batter and fill loaf pan.
In a small bowl, mix 3 TBL brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and a little flour. Top each loaf pan with streusel topping before baking.
Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. A knife should come out clean when bread is done. Note: small loaf pans will cook much faster.
Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then flip bread out of loaf pans. Let cool again. Right foot two stomps. Left foot two stomps. Cha Cha real smooth.
Take bread over by window to get better lighting for photograph. Try to get a good shot without your dog photobombing the bread.
warning: puppy in photo is not as close as he appears
Slice and serve for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Or if you’re tapering this week, all three. Just call it an early carb-load.
Best of luck to all my fellow marathoners and marrieds this weekend!