Monday, October 20, 2014

Old School Pumpkin Bread

This is my recipe for pumpkin bread, retrieved from one of my great-grandmother's recipe book.  I make substitutions based on what I have on hand, or my mood that day.  The original recipe called for three cups of granulated sugar, but it was too sweet for us. Feel free to add more if you like. The recipe is really forgiving.


  • 3C all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1C granulated sugar
  • 1C brown sugar
  • 1C butter, room temp or softer
  • 3 large eggs
  • 16-24 oz of pumpkin puree (16oz is a normal can size. I add more when I am using fresh because I love pumpkin)
  • 1/2C chopped pecans (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray two loaf pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the first seven ingredients- flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream warm butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add pumpkin puree and mix well.
  4. In three batches, add the dry ingredients and mix gently just until incorporated. Scrap the sides of the bowl after each batch. 
  5. Pour half the batter in each pan. Bake for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Freezes well.

For the bread above, I used 1/2C of butter and 1/2C of applesauce, and it turned out great!  With butter priced at $5/lb right now, I was happy to make the substitution.  I just finished canning a lot of applesauce so I could use it as a substitution in recipes. It adds nutrition and costs less- win, win!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

No Spend October

After I last blogged about only purchasing enough food for six weeks during a sale, I went to the grocery store yesterday and hit the motherlode of meat markdowns.  Apparently, this particular grocery store had a lot of meat expiring at the beginning of the month and marked down at least 30% of their stock.

I purchased two packs of chicken thighs for 0.53/lb, steak for $2/lb, organic grass-fed ground beef for $2.19/lb and I also picked up two gallons of milk for $2.00/each.  My one caveat to purchasing a large quantity of food is if it's under your price book minimums, and these prices were definitely below that line.  So needless to say, my end-of-month spending is not going to look great, but the savings will add up long-term.

This has also inspired me to do my first no-buy month. Since we are stocked on meat, and I normally keep a small stockpile of basic groceries, I think we should be able to go through October without purchasing many groceries. I will use fresh produce as my one exception since I go to my local farmer's market every Friday. For that, I will budget $15/week, so I am going to try and keep our grocery budget to $60.00 this month. Anyone care to join?