Rainy Day Pumpkin Bread

Man is it a dreary day outside in my neck-of-the-woods. Bleah. Rainy and cold and just downright ugly. I decided to hole up inside and bake something that would make my house smell amazing. Pumpkin bread seemed just the ticket. This is a slightly changed recipe from the other pumpkin bread I’ve posted – and I have to say it’s probably the most moist loaf I’ve ever made. As I usually do, I used applesauce in my recipe, but if you want to – oil can be used in place of it. This bread is packed with pumpkin and spices that are just delicious. It’s pretty dense, so if a light airy sweet bread is your thing, you might want to try a different recipe.
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Almond Roca

This is probably my most favorite Christmas baking item. It’s also the most difficult to get done. Not because the recipe itself is particularly hard, but because candy making is a little bit of a science.

In the area that I live, the weather is my biggest obstacle when trying to make almond roca. When making any candy, you have to bring your ingredients to a certain temperature in order for it to set properly. On rainy (or humid) days, the cooking time for candy can increase substantially. Candy making requires the perfect ratio of sugar to moisture and since you’re boiling the mixture longer to get the temperature up, you may lose all your moisture in the process. And you get a completely opposite problem once the candy is done and cooling. Because sugar attracts moisture, your cooling candy will absorb all that humidity in the air, making the finished product softer than you want it. [Read more…]

First Snowflake Freakout Lady and the Blue Tarp Camper

Blue Tarp Camper:

This weekend, dad says “We’re camping on the coast.” And what dad says, goes. “We don’t need to check the weather report, we brought our own blue skies with us” Blue Tarp Camper, you’re one of us.

First Snowflake Freakout Lady:

This is a seasonal saga of tire chains, kitty litter, all wheel drive and one woman’s willingness to simply walk away.

She knows it’s coming. There on the double Doppler: a slight chance of accumulation mainly near the Puget Sound convergence zone …on higher hills of 500 feet or more. In other words, climactic Armageddon. Somewhere out there in the dark there’s a slippery, malicious snowflake with evil in its heart. And neither she nor her urban assault vehicle (with optional winch adventure package) will be going anywhere tomorrow. So what if there’s a major presentation at work tomorrow – don’t you understand? She lives on a hill! First Snowflake Freakout Lady, you’re one of us.

Pemco Insurance launched an ad campaign  a while back with “Northwest Profiles”. I saw the Blue Tarp Camper on TV a couple months ago, and just heard First Snowflake Freakout Lady on the radio. These two profiles are hilarious to me because they accurately describe my parents. [Read more…]

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