Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Week 2 of my pumpkin themed baking, and I've been scouring food blogs for creative pumpkin recipes. I found these cute pumpkin tea cakes from No Special Effects and thought I'd try them out. I loved how the tea cake have the pretty sugar crystal crust.
I thought it was a sign when the recipe called for one cup of canned pumpkin because I had exactly one cup of canned pumpkin left. The recipe was super easy to follow. The recipe calls for sugar to be dusted on top, but doesn't specify what type of sugar. I chose to use the raw sugar because I thought it would make a prettier presentation.
Recipe (adapted from No Special Effects)
Yields two 7×3 inch loaves
- 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1-1/3 cups sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two 7×3 inch loaf pans with parchment paper or foil, or grease your baking pans.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
a large bowl, add the oil, cup of sugar, pumpkin puree, and salt. Whisk
vigorously until combined. Add the eggs one at a
time, mixing well after each so it is completely incorporated. Scrape
down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Sift the flour-spice
mixture over this and stir with the spatula or a wooden spoon until
4. Divide the
mixture evenly between the pans and smooth the surface. Sprinkle each evenly with 1 tablespoon
sugar. Bake approximately 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Cozymel's Mexican Grill
4303 La Jolla Village Dr
San Diego, CA 92122
A long time ago Cozymel's used to be one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego. I loved everything about it, from the high vaulted ceilings, to the bowls of oranges decorating the restaurant, the blue and orange tortilla chips served with the fresh salsa, the delicious seafood paella, and the potent Margarita sampler.
And then the menu changed drastically (perhaps under new ownership?), and we stopped going back. Cozymel's underwent a few other changes in the last few years. We visit occasionally now when we have friends and no reservations because Cozymel's also has ample seating. It's only a shell of the former beloved restaurant I used to adore, so I'm usually pretty disappointed. And its lack of customers makes me wonder how its stayed in business.
Anyhow, Boyfriend and I took our friends to dine there a few weeks back since we hadn't made any dinner plans prior.
We were given chips, which are no longer colored. They also were cold and didn't taste fresh.
Then we ordered drinks. I had a margarita sampler. It's currently priced at $10. You get to sample five margaritas. I love getting the sampler because it comes in the cool display and the drinks have a good amount of alcohol in them. I actually am never able to finish, so my friends had to help me out.
Here were the other drinks ordered:
For dinner, I ordered the seafood paella, which is now back on the menu. It wasn't as good as it was before, but I did enjoy it. The rice was very flavorful and there was a good amount of seafood.
Boyfriend got the combination platter with handmade taco, enchilada and tamale.
The food is still decent, and if you are in the area and looking for some Mexican food and drinks, this can be a fun spot. I've heard they have a nice happy hour but I haven't tried it before.
Monday, October 26, 2009
While at Costco this past weekend, they were giving samples of pumpkin bread made from a quick bread mix. After eating my sample, I felt unsatisfied. It wasn't nearly as good as the pumpkin bread recipe I found last year. So I decided to make pumpkin bread as part of the continuance of my pumpkin baking craze.
Growing up, no one in my household was much of a fan of foods made with autumn spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. It wasn't until a few years ago that I began liking desserts and other foods made with these spices. But even though I've learned to like these desserts, I still only eat them in small quantities.
Because I wasn't a fan of all the spices, I never really enjoyed pumpkin bread. I don't know what possessed me to try to make my own pumpkin bread. I was trying out dessert recipes for Thanksgiving and found this pumpkin recipe that had gotten rave reviews. The recipe is called Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread and was submitted by Laurie Bennett on allrecipes.com.
I don't know if Maine pumpkin bread is different from other pumpkin breads, but I tried out this recipe and absolutely loved it. It's my favorite pumpkin bread ever.
I brought it home to my family for Thanksgiving, and my parents and my brother loved it too. Three loaves were gone before Thanksgiving dinner.
And it's very easy to make. You just mix everything into a bowl, pour it into your bread loaf pans, pop them into the oven, and out comes some beautiful pumpkin breads. This recipe produces loaves of bread that stay soft and moist for days and the bread freezes really well.
Usually I like to eat my baked goods right out of the oven, while they are still warm and steaming, and the crust is nice and crispy. However, I've found that with pumpkin, it tastes better the next day. While there is no longer the crispy crust I love, the flavors of the bread are much more intense after letting the bread settle for a day.
I contemplated taking step by step pictures, but I was in a bit of a rush, so I only have the finished results.
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar
until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour,
baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry
ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. (I usually use the hand mixer here for a little bit because my flour mixture always clumps. I only mix it until most of the clumps are out.) Pour into the
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when
toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.