Thursday, January 13, 2011


I don't know about you, but I'm not a big breakfast food fan.  Sometimes I like eggs, but most of the time they just don't taste good to me. As for pancakes and waffles, I'll leave that for the Self-Professed Nerd and my son.  But, I decided on a whim to try the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal at McDonald's and it was pretty darn good.  I know, it's not gourmet, but if you're looking for something hearty and a quick for breakfast, this is the ticket.  To my surprise there were lots of apple chunks, raisins, and craisins and the maple flavor was evident, but not overwhelming.  I give it an 8 out of 10 wooden spoons.  :)  I just hope this little gem becomes a permanent part of the Mickey D's menu.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bread and an Important Discovery

The Streusel

So, I've been eyeing this Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bread on Tasty Kitchen for a long time.  Today was the day to make it.  My husband, (aka: the Self-Professed Nerd) loves anything with the word Streusel in it.  So, I knew this would be a hit.

The Batter

Unfortunately, I made another important discovery while making the streusel for this bread.  My daughter is allergic to walnuts.  We had suspected she had a mild allergy to peanuts, but hadn't tested our theory on any other nuts.  She was helping me make the topping and decided to take a lick.  Within 2 minutes, her lips were swollen and she was throwing up (or yawning in technicolor, as my 8th grade english teacher called it).  Poor girl!  I'm so glad I know now!

Ready for the oven

After the brief interruption and a Dum Dum sucker for the little peanut, I finished the bread.  It came together really easily.  I didn't have buttermilk so I made my own: a little less then 1/2 cup milk and a couple teaspoons of white vinegar and you're good to go! 

The Finished Product

This is so amazingly good.  In fact, it's my new favorite recipe for Pumpkin Bread.  I absolutely love the streusel topping and well, so does the Self-Professed Nerd (SPN).  I didn't have any cardamom, so I swapped it for cloves.  The flavor was fantastic, all the spices blend well with the pumpkin to give it a great fall/winter flavor.  The streusel really makes this bread.  It reminds me a bit of the topping on apple crisp. 

Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bread

¾ cups Butter, Softened
¾ cups Granulated Sugar
¾ cups Dark Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
4 whole Eggs
2-½ cups Pumpkin Puree
3 cups All-purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
¾ teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Ground Ginger
¼ teaspoons Allspice
¼ teaspoons Grated Nutmeg
⅛ teaspoons Cardamom
½ cups Buttermilk
¼ cups Butter, Softened
½ cups Brown Sugar
¼ cups Oatmeal
¼ cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
¼ cups Chopped Pecans (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350º F. Grease and flour the bottom of two 8″ loaf pans. To make the topping, mix together all the topping ingredients using a fork or pastry cutter until combined thoroughly.
In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated. Stir in pumpkin puree.
In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom. Whisk together until no lumps remain. Add half of the flour mix to the pumpkin mix, blending well. Beat in buttermilk. Add remaining flour mix and beat lightly until smooth. Pour batter evenly into the two prepared 8″ pans. Cover each with half of the topping mix. Bake at 350º F for 70-80 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.