Tasty Light Pumpkin Bread Made for Christmas Morning

Delicious pumpkin craisin pecan bread cooling on a rack.

Delicious pumpkin craisin pecan bread cooling on a rack.

Last Christmas morning, I did not bake ahead, and I deeply regretted it. Bleary eyed at 6:00 a.m., waiting for the coffeemaker to finish, and smiling as the kids ripped open their gifts under the tree, I wondered what I could rustle up for breakfast without too much work.

I ended up laboring at the stovetop making pancakes, sipping coffee while the kids asked continuously when breakfast would be ready. The Cracker Barrel pancake mix we received as a gift was wonderful, but making it Christmas morning is not that much fun for the cook!

This year, I’m making several different breakfast breads that are lower in fat but still fabulous in the taste department, and freezing them until the day before I need to use them. That way, on Christmas morning, we can just toast some slices of the pumpkin bread for breakfast, and serve it with hot cocoa for the kids, and coffee for the adults!

I happened to have several cans of Pumpkin Puree left from last month, when I thought I was going to make a few pumpkin baked goods and ended up not having time! Googling around, I found a pumpkin bread recipe that lightened up on the fat, and decided to give it a try.

pumpkin craisin pecan slice breadOf course, I wanted to put my own twist on it. I love Craisins and Pecans, and so I added 1/2 cup of each to the mix. You can either toast the pecans or just use regular pecans (if you don’t have the time to toast the nuts). I also used Fage fat-free Greek plain yogurt instead of low-fat yogurt.

For those of you who love to eat breakfast bread, this pumpkin craisin pecan bread is absolutely delightful. Whether you pair this bread with a cup of coffee or hot tea on Christmas morning, you’ll enjoy it to the last crumb! Merry Christmas!

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Easy Grilled Chicken with Ken’s No Salt Marinade

A gas grill is a beautiful thing. It makes dinner such a breeze, as long as you have a good marinade for your meat!

Last night I tried out Ken’s Steak House No Sodium Sesame Ginger marinade, and was pleasantly surprised. The marinated grilled chicken was delicious!

I marinated my 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts for 3.5 hours in the fridge, after pounding them flat in a plastic zip bag. I got a mini workout pounding the chicken with my meat mallet!

Around the dinner hour, I preheated my gas grill for 15 minutes and scraped off the grill. The chicken sizzled when I placed it on the hot grill with my tongs (it should have, since I set the grill on ‘high’). After about 10 minutes total on the grill, I took the chicken off and let it rest (covered with foil) for 10 minutes on a clean platter. A side salad, rice, and fresh pineapple made the grilled chicken dinner complete and scrumptious. On hot summer nights, a fast dinner and easy cleanup is a must.

What are your favorite things to grill?

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From Bad Steak to Delicious Chicken Pot Pie

The gray steak that I returned to Winn Dixie.

You never want to see gray on your steak, and that’s exactly what I saw on all the undersides of the boneless eye round steak I bought from Winn Dixie yesterday.

I was pretty unhappy, as I had prepped all the vegetables for the Swiss Steak crockpot recipe when I discovered the steak was gray on the bottom. Zipping out to return the meat was not on my original agenda for the day, that’s for sure!

Keith, a manager of the Winn Dixie store off Atlantic Blvd. and Girvin Rd. in Jacksonville, Fla. was very apologetic about the meat, and offered me a Continue reading

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Organic Eggs Demand Crimping Supply

Big demand for organic eggs!

Publix at Windsor Commons has a sign up in the dairy aisle today, apologizing to customers for its short supply of organic eggs.

Overseas, Germany is also experiencing high demand for organic eggs, though for different reasons than here in the States.

I had no idea that organic eggs are so popular. Apparently, the demand for organic eggs is so high that it is creating a supply problem!

Photo by Kelly Estes

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Easy Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Breast

Tired of dry or tasteless grilled boneless chicken breasts? Same here.

That’s why I was ecstatic to find out the solution was pretty simple: marinate the chicken breasts for about 8 hours in the refrigerator. I used Teriyaki Ginger marinade, but your favorite marinade should do just fine.

I made this happy discovery after tiring of the 30-minute marinades available in grocery stores. Marinating the chicken breast in the marinade for half an hour would add a little taste to the chicken breast, but not enough to make you forget that you’re eating a low-fat piece of chicken!

So I put my chicken breasts in a gallon size Glad bag, zipped it up, and pounded them with my trusty meat mallet. After the chicken breasts were flattened to about the same width, I poured about half a bottle of Continue reading

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