Easy Pumpkin Bread Perfect for Fall

Pumpkin Double Ginger & Pecan Craisin BreadIt’s that time of year again where the air is crisp, and if we’re lucky, family is visiting for the holidays. Hectic schedules are the norm, but the aroma of pumpkin bread and other tasty treats help us slow down and connect.

While many flock to the ubiquitous cafes for a hot drink and sweet treat, this time of year there may not be seats enough or the line may be too long. And besides, there’s nothing quite so good as a sweet homemade treat paired with hot coffee or tea in the morning!

Something you may not have in your pantry is candied ginger. It can usually be found in your nearby grocery store this time of year, though if not, it’s easily found at Penzey’s Spices.

Try this Pumpkin Double Ginger Craisin Pecan bread and let me know if you love it as much as I do.

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Pumpkin Double Ginger Craisin Pecan Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup chopped fine candied ginger
1/2 cup pecans, minced finely in mini-Cuisinart

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 sticks softened unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
2 large eggs
15 oz. can 100% Pure Pumpkin
1/3 cup Craisins


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray Pam non-stick spray in two 8 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ loaf pans.
  2. Combine flour through pecans in a bowl. Using a flat whisk helps to incorporate everything together faster.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar together until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well until mixture is lighter and fluffier (can take 1-2 minutes, depending on strength of mixer). Add and beat in the pumpkin.
  4. Add half the flour mixture until blended. Add the Craisins. Then add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until well combined.
  5. Pour thick batter into the two greased bread pans, dividing evenly. Bake for 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean.
  6. When done, take the loaves out and let cool in the pans on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then turn the loaves out on the wire racks to let them cool completely before putting them in a Ziploc bag for the next morning. Or, enjoy the pumpkin bread as soon as it’s cooled enough to eat! This is delicious served room temperature or warmed up in a toaster oven with a hot beverage. Cheers!


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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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