An early snowfall was a surprise, thwarting our plans to do some shopping this week.
I can't say that I'm all that disappointed though.
Our 'snow angel' at dawn this morning, was a peaceful sight.
We've been keeping ourselves happily occupied with sudoku, scrabble, and knitting. And naturally, I've been making soups and baking up a storm too. Mostly things involving nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. All that pumpkin puree I made last week (from the blue "sweet meat" variety) has forced me to try some new recipes to use it up. Thankfully it freezes really well too, I don't think I'll ever buy canned pumpkin again. There's just no comparison in the taste either. Yesterday I made this pumpkin-cranberry ring with yummy maple icing drizzled down the sides. An easy recipe:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup raw sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a ring loaf pan with non-stick spray. Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in pumpkin, then vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Fold in cranberries. Pour batter into pan. Bake bread about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool bread about 15 minutes, loosen from pan and turn loaf out onto a plate. Cool completely and drizzle with maple icing and sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired.
*Here's a trick if you don't happen to have buttermilk on hand. I never do, so I just do this: add 1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice to Half & Half, cream, or just plain milk if you're in a pinch. Let it sit (don't stir it) about 10 minutes until it curdles, then add it to your recipe.
The sun is out! The snow beckons...
...we only have to step out the back door to enter this wonderland today. Yes, the shopping can definitely wait.