By the way, I really like you! Anyway, onto pumpkins.
Jena came to California last week! It was pretty much amazing. True to Stephanie fashion, I neglected to pull out my camera for the vast majority of the week, and thus I only have 2 photos even worth sharing with you. (I know, I know.) But the quick rundown of what we did: giggled and smiled and hugged. Saw dolphins at Baker Beach! (Also, unsuccessfully tried to avoid awkward naked guy at Baker Beach.) Looked for parking. Pondered about Sufjan's life after his thought-provoking concert at the Paramount. Went to our first (and second...) drive-in movie. Ate stuff, a lot of stuff. And drank coffee. Of course.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every person needs a good dose of hipster every now and then. We got a healthy helping with our breakfast our very first morning. (above: Blue Bottle Gibraltar, pumpkin buttermilk donut.)
If you're ever in the Temescal neighborhood of northern Oakland, you must must stop by Pizzaiolo for an espresso drink and a donut (Monday-Saturday, 8am-12pm). The pumpkin one was pretty TDF (and this is coming from someone who used to hate pumpkin).
Also...I baked some pumpkin bread. I don't actually have any of the bread to show you (whoops), but I did work really hard to lick all the batter off of the beater and spatula and bowl. See?
Since you dear people are so patient with me, I'll share the recipe with you. (Saw that one coming, did you?!) I also picked up a sugar pumpkin today at Trader Joe's, and I think it's high time I taught y'all how to make your own fresh pumpkin puree. (It's so fun!!) Next time, friends.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
(adapted from Epicurious)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)
3 eggs, preferably room temperature
14.5-16 ounces pumpkin, either canned (aka one small can/half of a big can) or fresh
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup chocolate chips (milk, semisweet, or otherwise)
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two loaf pans (I sprayed mine with that amazing flour spray stuff. Makes my life easier.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together both sugars and oil to blend. (Note: will look like crumbly, greasy sugar.) Mix in eggs and pumpkin until smooth. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. (Note: the spice blend is something that I've tinkered with a lot. If you prefer a different proportion of spices, definitely adjust as desired. However, I've found that 3 1/2 teaspoons of spice is probably the minimum amount you'd want to use for two loaves of bread.) Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in chocolate chips.
Pour equal amounts of batter into loaf pans. Smooth out the top with a spatula and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out pretty clean, 60-70 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then tip the bread out onto the rack and let it finish cooling. (If you're not quite ready for two pumpkin bread loaves to enter your life simultaneously, one can be easily frozen by first wrapping it in plastic wrap, then foil (the double wrapping protects against freezer burn)).