Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips

I LOVE Autumn for so many reasons but the main one is that it cools down enough to begin baking again!  I’ve been trying to find creative ways to use apples, pumpkin and hard squash without all those excess carbs.  I have managed to cut them way down, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables which has helped me to lose a few pounds even after I stopped dieting on purpose.

Once you alter your diet to a more healthy one, you shouldn’t miss the junk food and I can say when you allow your palate to get used to clean, fresh, good organic sustenance you won’t enjoy garbage anymore.  We were never meant to eat the kinds of man made chemicals that most of the large corporations add to their mock foods to give them a longer shelf life.  I think their foods are going to last longer than us!

Enjoy the following recipe I have doctored from other recipes to have less fat, sugar, sodium and even cholesterol since I reduced the eggs from 3 to only 2 for most of my breads.

 Chocolate Chip & Walnut Pumpkin Bread

3/4 C brown sugar

1/2 C sugar

2 C fresh pumpkin puree (or 15 oz canned pumpkin puree)

3/4 C oil

1/4 C plain nonfat yogurt

1/2 C pumpkin spice flavor creamer

2or3 eggs

 

2 1/2 C Flour (your choice)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

dash cloves

dash cardamom

1 C chocolate chips

1 C chopped walnuts

Pretty simple if you are familiar with baking.  Combine all the dry ingredients & set aside to add to the wet once they are all combined.  Then fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts, place in a greased Bundt pan or divide for a couple of loaves if you prefer.  Bake at 350° for 45-55 min.  Try not to over bake.

You can also use this batter for muffins

I also love this recipe for Pumpkin soup. I hope to get more creative this year.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

Boy can this “prompt” be used in many different ways!  

SCALE

The first thing that came to mind was my bathroom scale.  It is near Halloween so it’s appropriate that I bring something up that can be a very frightening experience for many of us.

Not only that, but check out the name of my scale.  If you are a fan of Steven King, you get it!

My seldom used bathroom scale!

Thinner indeed!

I felt sure that I would begin losing weight once I started using this scale to weigh myself, but obviously a misnamed product.

THE MONSTER IS SLEEPING!

Then there are “fish scales.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental Elements of Nature

Elemental Elements of Nature totally fascinate me.  When I was out in it yesterday, I was remembering how I spent most of my childhood outdoors, in my element for sure.  I love nature!  I have always been fascinated with the creations of God.  Flowers, trees & their fruits, birds, insects, frogs & tadpoles, ground rats (chipmunks), any kind of field or garden that I could spend hours in.

I would spend so much time just studying and looking for things.  If you looked close enough and long enough you could always find something awesome.  Can’t tell you what exactly, because it was different each time.  That was the excitement of it.

Super tomboys, my sister and I climbed trees and searched for tadpoles and snakes in the huge field up from Edward Hines Park in Nankin Township.  We found all kinds of things to eat as well.  Tons of hazelnuts grew wild there as well as berries.  We picked them and brought them home for us all to enjoy.  We ate the debatable Hawthorn berries that grew on the many trees in the park near our home.  You have to know how to eat them safely.

I miss those simpler times before media experts all over telling you every move to make and what you should and shouldn’t do.  I don’t even listen to the talking heads anymore.  I’m going back to my “second childhood” now.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction of a Life Well Lived

Today was a casual, easy kind of day.  Lots of strange things happening for sure, but that’s on par.  Today I have been in prayer since I woke & that’s how it used to be before everything in my life blew up approximately 8 years ago.  We won’t go into that.

I drank decaf today to start.  I prefer Tim Horton’s but I will drink Caribou because they are both water processed.  The only safe, non-chemical way to take the caffeine from coffee plus it takes most of it out.  The chemical way leaves more caffeine behind with the unneeded chemicals.  These coffees also start out with the Arabica Bean, the most flavorful with less natural caffeine than the Robusta Beans used in cheap coffee blends.  Only had my vitamins and a small piece of homemade coffee cake (recipe to come).  I put on my face and used my hot rollers for the first time in a couple of weeks due to the heat and humidity here were off the charts and decided to try my luck at the Farmers Market in town.

This is bee season and since I have already been stung once last month, I’m not venturing out that often til the first freeze.  They are very active and plentiful this year.  I do have allergies, but mostly localized.  I also had my first deer tick burrow.  Luckily it was not in my leg for more than 12-15 hours or so.  Supposedly if it had Lyme I understand it takes about 24 hours or so to transfer this disease.  Usually within a month you know if you were infected.  No bullseye rash or illness so far over a month now.  I was not feeling well for a while after the bee sting, tiny bee but multiple stings before I could get it out of my clothing.

I was thinking about some financial help I received recently, without requesting it and realized I was able to accept my much needed and deserved help without guilt or reservation because of the life I had lived.  A life of hard work and doing the right thing, never trying to get something for nothing.  I don’t consider my weekly lotto tickets something for nothing, they are an “investment” into our schools.  Also, I have yet to receive anything from my donations to the lottery fund but when I do is sure won’t be something for nothing.  That dollar win will have had many years of dollars given.  It did give me a certain satisfaction to know that God is good and merciful and even though we don’t usually get what we want in life, we usually get our needs met sufficiently.  Man’s problem has always been selfishness and greed and that’s well documented.  It’s when we let go of our wants & needs that I believe God is free to do His will without us fighting Him.  This is what Jesus tried to tell folks when he said not to worry.  Worry does not help anything.  It just gives you more frown lines.

I got some new potatoes to go with local green beans I had purchased the day before.  Love this combo with a little butter and cheese sprinkled on.  Some use bacon, but I prefer cheesing it.  Used Asiago I grated myself this time.  Made a nice lunch.

As I was walking through the small folksy downtown area, I came upon a window all boarded up and then another building in even worse condition.  I noticed the yellow tape to my right but realized I didn’t pay much attention because of various things they do downtown using streamers and balloons and the like, but finally stopped, looked around and realized someone had to have slammed a rather large vehicle into the buildings to do all this damage.  Being from the Detroit area immediately thought smash & grab, which they do all the time all around there and suburbs as well.  Checked online & this is what I found.

 

I also saw two shops are closing this month.  One a very popular coffee shop, eatery & gift shop of 20 years and another very cute Antique shop of a few years which already has another business in there within the month.  Not sure who.  I have no idea what’s to become of the coffee shop though.  I didn’t get a chance to speak to anyone yet.  Just saw the signs.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delta Lady

My friends and I saw Joe Cocker open for the Who at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 1969.  This was the Premier of the Who‘s Rock Opera “Tommy” which turned out to be their biggest success.  No camera’s allowed inside.

We used to be regulars and saw many well known acts, some I cannot recall but their regular bands at that time got to be friends/acquaintances of ours.  Iggy & the Stooges, better known as Iggy Pop & The MC5 among them.  We would sometimes get together at John Sinclair’s house and stuff “anti-war” literature in envelopes with some other very interesting people that will remain nameless, for now anyway.  Enjoy the memories of Joe and “Delta Lady.”

Daily Prompt: Wish I Could Just “Hit The Bottle” Sometimes

I seldom ever indulge in alcohol. Never liked it in any form “grape juice that burns!”

I will not go as far as to say I am jealous of those that love to drink or get high but sometimes, well, yes I am, sorta.  My body has never been able to handle chemicals of any kind very well.  The Doctors tried like heck to give me something I didn’t react badly to when I had to have major surgery many years ago.  Even the “good stuff” as one called it, in a low dosage was problematic.

I am extremely chemically sensitive.  Not allergic in a dangerous sense, but swelling and rashes and reactions at times so I learned to do things more “naturally” than what many do in their lives.  Grab the latest advertised product and screw up the environment a little more.  I go with Vinegar and baking soda to clean, usually.  I am able to use the Lysol with hydrogen peroxide when I really want to kill germs without much irritation.

My husband and I used to make our own wine for a while.  No sulphites, of course.  I had no idea that our wine was being systematically poisoned like this by the alcohol industry.  People need to be aware and ask before purchasing their wines if they care.  There are many wineries now, especially in my area, and most do put that chemical in their wines that can cause problems in some especially with asthma.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent

Evanescent.  I just learned me a new word today.  Who’da thunk it?

Sorry I have not had much to say for the last number of years but hopefully that changes in a few months, maybe sooner, not for sure right now.  I know I am about to take at least a couple of months off after Memorial Day weekend.

I knew I was canceling my cable service, Comcast, due to constantly being overcharged for months now and not able to completely correct the various issues with my bill.  I had never dealt with this company before now & read all the complaints before going with them anyway.  Live & learn, it can happen to you too!  I had no issues the first year with my introductory offer locked in but after that year and one upgrade deal that turned out to be $33.00 more than the agreed upon amount of $142 which was still way higher than the deal advertised for only $109 per month.  They gave me a partial credit with more to come, but reneged on the deal numerous times so I’m done.  Been charging me $176 or more a month!  Probably sending a complaint to the FCC when I am done with them.  I don’t expect they will just let me cancel.  I actually expect them to pull stuff on me after the fact like sending some type of “cancellation bill” or claims they didn’t get all the equipment back.  That’s how much I don’t trust them now and will wait and see so I can give a full report to the FCC when I do file a complaint so everything’s included.

I will choose another service after I get a break from it for the summer.  Will give me a chance to create again instead of being distracted because I want to watch things and get my money’s worth out of this service while I have it.  I might do another post before I stop for a while.  This is some of the things I’ve worked on in the past in various media and with my computer graphic software of which I have three.  Photoshop, PhotoImpact & PhotoDraw.  Most are about 10 years old or more with some functions no longer supported by the company and as such no longer work like 3D in PhotoDraw 2000 because of their constant upgrades to Windows through the years.  I rarely touch Photoshop Elements 7 & 9 preferring Microsoft PhotoDraw when I need it.  The PhotoImpact edition I have came out in 1999, a year before PhotoDraw was introduced by Microsoft I purchased at a good price in my college bookstore.

I used to do restoration work on old photos back in then 1980’s for a couple of professional photo labs without the help of any software like we have now.

I have been suffering through yet another diet the last couple months trying to get rid of about 20 extra pounds after hibernating all winter with cable.  Was nice though.  Spoiled the heck out of myself.  I started keeping a journal with the approximate calorie, fat and carb info for everything I ate.  It helped me become aware of the nutrition in my food and make needed changes.  I still freak when I have a couple of slices of bread I want to use so it doesn’t go to waste but I don’t want the added calories and have other left overs that are more nutritious.  I’ve never been a big bread eater in the first place but did purchase it.  I pride myself in never wasting any food but thinking like that will put on the pounds for sure.  So will snacking on seeds and nuts thinking they are healthy but realizing just how many calories and fat is in them.

I made a “Pineapple Dream Desert” the other day for a treat after giving up cheesecake and ice cream, my favorites.  I’m not fond of just any sweets but what I do love I must have like chocolate at least once a day.  I created a “Diet Pineapple Dream Desert” in honor of my 11 lb weight loss.  I was about to go berserk feeling so deprived.  Click on the original desert name for the full recipe.

I did not make a crust, just the top sprinkle.  Whip all the ingredients together as you would any whipped desert and chill a couple of hours to firm.  Not bad but not as good as a cheesecake, fair warning.  Also found this great snack food called Cosmos Creations that I think may put a crimp in my diet plans. Like the coconut crunch in moderation.  Must be a Christian company because days later I was reading the back and found Psalm 89:11.

I have also added an additional 8 crates to my wall shelving.  I’m eventually going to sand them all better and stain them a darker color as well as input those battery stick lights in some of them for ambiance when I can find some that are decent quality.  I tried those years ago with my under the stairs storage and they eventually fell off after getting knocked.  They were cheaply made.  I will post the another picture once I complete that time-consuming project one day.  *WARNING: Again, would not recommend doing something like this with young children who could easily pull it down on themselves.  

I actually might just sand them and use white wash or milk paint.  I like both effects.  Viewed them on Pinterest.com.  I plan on being creative as far as placement once in a while now that I have 20 to work with.

I plan on starting and finishing a number of collages while I’m away for a while.  I will post them as soon as I’m online again.  In the meantime I’ll share some of my old work.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: