Thanksgiving in Palm Springs was nice as always. Perfect weather in the 70s and a lot of sunshine.
Week one of the holiday season was successful.
My jeans are all too tight.
I went into a food-induced catatonic sleep every night this past weekend.
I finally got some exercise. Although a three-mile walk doesn’t really cancel out three days of gluttony.
Spent a lot of time with the family and especially this little guy.
Ate a lot of orange pumpkin-y goodies.
You know what made me feel old this year?
People used to ask how school was going and what I was majoring in and how was my study abroad trip. Now everyone just wants to know: When are you going to settle down? This must be why they say you need a lot of wine and liquor to make it through family gatherings. Didn’t get that until now.
Woah there, la familia, let’s all take a step back! SETTLE DOWN? Me? I have the emotional capacity of a thirteen year old.
What about the fun questions? Like, how was your last vacation? What books have you been reading? Who did you vote for? What have you been eating? Why haven’t you updated your blog recently? (wish I had a good answer for this one…)
Well, for anyone who cares about the fun stuff…
1. My last trip was awesome. I went to SF! More on that later.
2. I picked up Team of Rivals – the book that Spielberg based “Lincoln” on. Also, just finished “Cold Mountain.” A lot of Civil War era reading. Purely unintentional but kind of a fun theme going on. And does it freak anyone else out how much Daniel Day Lewis looks like Abe Lincoln? Watching the trailer gives me goose pimples.
3. Watched The Book of Mormon. By far the most fun I’ve had all year! Seriously. Gut-buster. I could not stop laughing. If this ever comes back to LA, I’m going to watch it at least three more times. If this is playing in your city, GO. No joke. Stand up, walk out the door, and go watch it right now.
4. If anyone cares about my love life, I’ve been stringing along a number of attractive men.
Boyfriend #1: John Mayer. He might be high as a kite but he has good taste in sushi and he’ll bring a funny hat to keep the mood light.
Boyfriend #2: Daniel Henney. Model looks, model bod, and model behavior. So polite and friendly! And obscure enough that no one will recognize him.
Boyfriend #3: Jason Mraz. Voice of an angel. But dates are to be shared with a million other screaming girls at the Hollywood Bowl. A less than ideal romantic situation.
5. And I got around to some baking. Something as a last swan song to autumn as today is December the first. We’re all going to be fa-la-la-ing and jingle-bell-ing and decking the halls, cozied up at the fireplace with chestnuts and Jack Frost a-nipping. Tis the season for hideous sweaters and hot chocolate!
I received a request for some vegan baked goods from a friend who recently gave up all animal products. And you know, this bread wasn’t bad as far as vegan goes, but I think I’ll stick to butter and eggs and heavy cream for my holiday cooking… my cooking needs that extra fatty oomph.
Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread
makes 2 loaves
from Joy the Baker
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour ( or whole wheat flour… or just use only all-purpose flour)
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresy grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, or just under two cups
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Grease and flour two loaf pans (mine are 8x4x2) and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a medium bowl, carefully whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup and water.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold all of the ingredients together. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well, finding any stray flour bits to mix in. Fold in most of the chopped walnuts, reserving some to sprinkle on top of the batter once in the pan.
Divide the dough between the two greased pans and sprinkle with a few walnut pieces. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Let rest in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.
Serve warm. Maybe even wrap one loaf up in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for future munching.
I dusted mine with powdered sugar.