‘Made Over’ Pumpkin/Zucchini Bread

This my “re-make” of my mom’s interchangeable pumpkin/zucchini bread recipe.  I split the fat between butter and applesauce, decreased the amount of sugar and combined regular and whole-wheat flours.  You can sub in 3 cups shredded zucchini for the pumpkin if you’re making this in the summer.  Despite the healthful additions, the bread is still very flavorful and moist.  In fact, I think the pumpkin flavor comes through more with less sugar!

Holly’s Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries and Walnuts

1/3 C butter

1/3 C applesauce (no sugar added)

2 C sugar

4 eggs

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

2/3 C water

1.5 C unbleached all-purpose flour

1.75 C white whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1.5 tsp salt

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/3 C dried cranberries

1/3 C toasted walnuts, chopped

pumpkin seeds (optional)

Cream butter and sugar together in bowl of electric mixer.  Add applesauce, eggs, pumpkin, water and mix until blender.  Meanwhile, sift together the flours, baking soda and powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Add to wet ingredients and mix until just blended.  Fold in cranberries and walnuts.  Pour into two greased loaf pans.  Top with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.  Loaves are finished when a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

Nutritional information: 1/12th of a loaf

150 cal, 4.58g fat (1.92g sat), 42g chol., 173mg sodium, 15.66g carb., 2g fiber, 3.42g sugars, 5.55g protein

my kind of day

It’s my day off of school and for once, I have nothing to do.  Nothing…  EXCEPT STAY HOME AND CLEAN!


Seriously, I’m almost shaking with excitement.  I’ve had so many things going on lately (school, interviews for the paper, grocery shopping, school, trying to work out…) that I haven’t had a chance to keep up with the regular day-to-day cleaning (and trust me, it shows).  Couple that with extra dust from a house project, clutter and the fact that I’m completely OCD about it all–and you’ve got one crazy girl who can’t take it anymore.

My Thursdays are usually full of errands and things (or 24 hours of painting!), that I can’t just CLEAN.

So, that is what I’m doing today.  And I’m making a loaf of garlic french bread in the breadmaker (what a life-saver that invention is!), and plan to make some zucchini bread if time permits as well.  Other time-permitting events include a trip to the post office (I will get Summer Rental back to you at some point, Emily!) and painting doors and trim in the guest room upstairs.  If I don’t get to them, oh well 🙂  There is always this weekend…

Speaking of this weekend–Andrew says I might be painting the laundry room, too!  FINALLY.  Cannot wait to post pictures of that!

I snapped a few photos to show you all the craziness/mess I’v been living with for the past few weeks…









Other tasks include:

-switching my Scentsy warmers to fall smells


-hanging our sheer curtains we just got in the mail

-paying our local school taxes

-moving houseplants from unheated porch to regular house

-wall repair/prep in the bedroom before touch-up painting

-a walk/visit to the Nyes with Hadrian?

I’m not sure I’ll be painting this afternoon…

And the first ‘best recipe’ of 2012 is…

Thai Curry Stew with Turkey and Zucchini!

I’d yanked this recipe out of November’s CL (I took A LOT of recipes from that one…  Must have been all that Thanksgiving yumminess) since it looked like something Andrew would like.  It was one of two ‘how to use turkey leftovers’ recipes from famed NYT columnist Mark Bittman, so I knew it would be good.

Despite zucchini being terribly out of season, I thought I’d give it a whirl anyway.  I was lucky enough to take home some of our leftover turkey from grandma’s and after measuring out the 3 cups I’d need, threw it promptly in the freezer until I had time to make the soup.

It’s fantastic!  It’s a bit hot; I used 1.5 of the 1 to 2 dried Thai chiles called for.  I don’t know that I’d use fewer chiles next time; I think my palate is becoming more and more tolerant of heat these days (must be eating too many wings…).  It’s also a little hands-on; you basically grind up your spices, chiles, coconut milk, garlic and cilantro in a food processor before adding them to your cooking onions and carrots.  Once you’ve done that, though, you’re pretty much done.  Throw in some of the zucchini, simmer for 45 minutes, blend (optional), then add the rest of the zucchini and the turkey.  It’s served over brown rice, but you could just have it as soup, too.

As I was getting everything ready, I realized it would be a fantastic time to try out another recipe I’d been hanging onto for awhile now: Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing.  You know that dressing that comes on salads when you go to a Hibachi/Japanese Steakhouse?  THAT’S what I’m talking about.  I adore it and always try to savor the flavors in my mouth in hopes of recreating at home.  Real Simple featured a recipe and I yanked it as well, and have been holding onto it ever since.

Since I was making this on a whim, I had to look up a sub for miso (white soybean paste that adds a salty flavor) and I had a couple from which to choose: tahini (fresh out–darn), soy sauce (didn’t seem like it would really work since the textures are so different) and anchovy paste.  Of all the things to have on-hand, ANCHOVY PASTE was the winner!  Thank you, Heather, for your generous donation of tubed anchovy paste to my fridge during your move this summer.  It was a lifesaver!

It came out a bit intense on the salt/vinegar side, so I added a dash of lime juice to brighten it up.  All in all, I think it’s a great recipe, but it was pretty vinegar-y, so I made some notes to myself for next time.  Less vinegar/salt and add orange juice.  A friend told me she’d looked into the recipe and that OJ was an ingredient, which I think would add a bit of brightness and sweetness without adding to the tart/vinegar flavor it already has.

If you’re at all into Thai and/or curry flavors, the stew would be right up your alley.  I know I’ll be making this again–it’s the perfect ‘post’ post-Thanksgiving meal…  You know, after you’ve had a day or so to eat the actual Thanksgiving leftovers just like you did for the big day.