Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things I Wish I had Learned from My Mother (Part 1)

My mother is one of the best cooks I have ever met.  Growing up she always made our meals and she was even creative about food.  You know what I'm talking about preschool parties with little dogs made out of hot dogs with olives for the eyes and smaller hot dogs for the legs.  Cupcakes for class birthday parties with multiplication problems written in icing on top that had to be solved before you could eat them.  I'm sure there were plenty of things my mom cooked that I complained about at the time but I really only remember one dish that I truly truly hated.  When I was younger I was in a church group called GA's (girls in action) and at one of our slumber parties the teachers thought it would be a good idea if we ate ethnic foods from the country we were studying.  I can't remember the country but I can still remember the peanut butter stew.  Needless to say there were a bunch of hungry kids that night.  I'm not a very good cook, I tend to get busy doing other things and I burn a lot of stuff.  I do okay with recipes but leave out a lot of ingredients because I just don't have them.  I wish I would have spent more time when I was younger learning from my mom how to be a good cook.  I'm sure she would have taught me if I had been willing but I was difficult and didn't want to back then.  Now I wish I would have taken the time to learn.

Every once in a while despite the fact that I know I'm not a very good cook I get the wild urge to cook something.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I made pumpkin bread which is very delicious when served hot with butter.  Then I put my crock pot to work with a white bean chicken chili.  Both turned out surprisingly well.  The hubs and I enjoyed the chili with homemade cornbread today for lunch (I froze the rest which means I can look forward to at least one good meal sometime soon).  I was so amazed with my sudden culinary success that I have Black Bean and Lime Soup in the crock pot as we speak.

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp backing powder
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, really soft (I melted mine in the microwave)
3 large eggs
1 16oz can of pure pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 2 medium loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.

3, In the bowl of a mixer (or large bowl) cream together the sugar, butter, and eggs until fluffy (about 2 minutes)  add pumpkin and combine well.

4.  Slowly add the dry ingredients mixing well until blended.

5.  Pour 1/2 the batter into one of the prepared pans.  Add nuts to remaining batter and mix then pour into prepared pan.  Bake for about one hour or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted come out clean.

Notes: I only have one loaf pan so I cut this recipe in half (told you I do crazy things like this)  I also omitted the cloves because I didn't have any and couldn't see spending almost eight dollars for some at the store for one recipe (told you I leave stuff out all the time). 


  1. YUM!!! That chili sounds really good.

  2. mmmmm...that bread looks good! and black bean and lime soup sounds intriguing.


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