In the New Year I've been obsessed with cleaning out and organizing. We've been thinking of moving and this has given me a little motivation - I'm not moving those old textbooks one more time! (They're still in the boxes from two moves ago!)
The feeling of giving something away that I don't use anymore is addicting. Give it away and you never have to move it, pick it up, put it away, or look at it ever again! What freedom!
An organized linen closet or kitchen cabinet makes me happy every time I open it. I think I'm beginning to know how Martha feels about organizing now.
It used to be hard for me to get rid of things, and I could probably toss a lot more, but let's not get too crazy. I have a thing about empty boxes and I always keep the ones in good shape - you never know when you'll have to mail something or pack something away, so I'm holding onto those and I have a stack of them piling up in my sewing room. Yeah, my sewing room - NOT organized AT ALL...I'll get to it eventually, but for now I can close the door and forget about it for a while until I need something for a school project and can't find it anywhere...
So in this mode of cleaning out, I have been reducing the amount of food in my freezers (yes - plural - as in I have four freezers! So I found some pumpkin puree in one of my freezers and made this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf from the Baked cookbook. The texture was moist but not oily - perfect really. I'm just not 100% sure about the pumpkin/spice/chocolate combination. It was delicious, but when my kids ate it (and they ate both loaves), they asked "Why don't you make banana bread? You never make banana bread anymore." I'll take these comments to mean, the pumpkin bread is good, but we like banana bread better. Come to think of it, I do have some frozen bananas in the freezer...anyone have a good recipe for banana bread?
One Year Ago: Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (15oz can)
3 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup water, room temperature
1 cup (12 oz) chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle. Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together the oil and pumpkin puree. Add the granulated sugar and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and water. Mix in the chocolate with a rubber spatula.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix (and don't worry if you see a few small streaks of flour). Divide into the two pans and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then unmold leave to cool completely.