Friday, July 8, 2011

Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel Topping

I know it's not the fall, but I've had this recipe for awhile and had a can of pumpkin I needed to use so I thought I would give this one a try! When I was a little girl my dad, sister and I also fought over the middle piece of bread when my mom made banana bread, zucchini bread or apple bread. We loved to cut out the middle and put butter on it while it was still warm. Making this bread reminded me of those times, except now I don't have to share the middle of the bread with anybody! : )

1 1/2 c. pecan halves
1 c. vegetable oil (canola or sunflower)
3 c. sugar
4 large eggs
1 (15 oz.) can of pure pumpkin
1 c. water
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. toasted pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans or 36 standard-size muffin cups with butter or cooking spray.

Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 7-9 minutes, until golden brown. Reserve 1/2 cup of the toasted pecans for the topping.

Whisk the oil and sugar in a large bowl; add in eggs, pumpkin and water. Whisk until all ingredients are combined.

Stir in the flour, baking soda, spices and salt; gently stir in 1 cup of the pecan pieces.

Pour half the batter into each loaf pan. *For muffins, fill muffin pans almost to the top with batter).

Topping: Stir the sugar, butter, cinnamon and the reserved 1/2 cup of pecan pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle the topping liberally over the loaves or the muffins before baking.

Bake the loaves for 1 hour, or until a pick comes out clean. Bake the muffins for 30-35 minutes.

Cool and enjoy! It is so moist and yummy, and the streusel topping completes this bread. Definitely save this one for a football tailgate in the fall or Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Easy Summer Salad

I forgot to take a picture of my salad before eating it. This is a quick and easy salad to throw together during the summer and pair with chicken, fish or even burgers.

1 cucumber, sliced or cubed
2 tomatoes, diced (I also like to slice Roma tomatoes)
1 avocado, diced
1 small white onion, diced

Juice of one lime
1 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to tast

In a medium bowl, add cucumber, tomatoes, avocado and onion and mix. Mix up lime juice, EVOO and salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and toss lightly.

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix.