My weekend away in Vermont was just amazing. Jenna, Alejandra, and I escaped DC at the perfect time and took leaf peeping on as a full time job. What I loved about this weekend, or a weekend at home in New Jersey too, is how the simple world around you can make you feel so much. Every time we walked out of our hotel, I stopped, looked around at the mountains and stars and colorful trees, took a big soul-filling breath of fresh air (imagine doing that in the city?) and smiled. When the air smells and feels that good it moves you. But it’s just air…and that’s what makes it so special.
I felt this way about walking through a big pile of crunchy yellow leaves and sipping apple cider too. It’s the simple things. The simple tastes of fall that also warm your soul and remind you to stop for a minute or a weekend and just take life all in. There are beautiful things happening around you just because the days are getting shorter and cooler. Take it in.
So when I got home from Vermont and thought about my afternoon in the kitchen, I didn’t want to make anything elaborate. I wanted to celebrate the simplicity. So I made pumpkin bread (and a big pot of meatballs). It will be my breath of fresh fall air every morning this week. This recipe makes two loaves, but instead I made one normal size one and a few mini loaves. I want to share this feeling and taste of fall.
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg)
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper or grease with butter.
- In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, spices. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together pumpkin, vegetable oil, water, vanilla, sugar, and eggs until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture until fully combined.
- Pour into loaf pans and bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.