Man oh man, have I been a busy bee. Finishing up school for the semester, and still trying to find time to bake is definitely a challenge. Last weekend I made a point to make this fabulous lavender pumpkin bread, recommended by a good friend of mine. And I am so, so glad I followed her advice.
If you love lavender (and pumpkin) like I do, then you’ll definitely like this bread. It came out moist and very pumpkin-y, not too overpowered with a flowery fragrance. I ate almost an entire loaf and a half to myself over the course of a few mornings for breakfast, topped with some peanut butter. It would also be great with some cranberry cinnamon goat cheese. Lavender has been my culinary experiment over the past year, trying to incorporate it into as much as possible. Lavender salt on roasted vegetables, on top of the icing on chocolate cupcakes, mixed into soft cheeses, you name it. I eventually plan on infusing some olive oil with lavender. A local company makes lavender sugar and sells it at select grocery stores, and that is what I used for this particular recipe, but you can always add your own dried lavender to regular cane sugar. There are so many uses for lavender sugar! Lavender lemonade, lavender hot chocolate, lavender sugar cookies, lavender banana bread. I made some lavender hot chocolate this morning, with some pumpkin soymilk. It was heavenly! Here are some more lavender inspired recipes
if you are so inclined… give it a try!
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup from whole wheat pastry flour)
2 cups Little Sky lavender sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 15-ounce canned pumpkin
(or about 2 cups homemade)
2/3 cup salad oil
3 eggs, slightly beaten
extra dried lavender
sugar crystals, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease well, two 9” by 5” loaf pans. In a large bowl, with fork, mix flour with next 5 ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and mix just until blended. Pour batter into pans. Sprinkle some dried lavender and sugar crystals on top, for a really nice finish.
Bake about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on racks. When cool, wrap each loaf and store at room temperature. Makes 2 loaves. (You can bake these in individual Bundt pans, as well. I personally used 3 disposable brown paper loaf pans and baked it a little less than an hour and they came out great. Awesome to give away as gifts, too!)
On a side note, I was able to get out and see Fantastic Mr. Fox and I fell in love. The graphics, art, music, meditating foxes, the possum whom I share the same name with, ahhh genius, everything was very well done. Mr. Wes Anderson, you are a genius, and never cease to amaze me.
I had intentions on cooking and baking this afternoon, but studying and lethargy got in the way of that. I had some really yummy food today, but not much diversity. Hot oatmeal (made with dried coconut flakes, pumpkin soymilk, chopped date, cardamom, cinnamon) with fresh strawberries, bananas, and white chocolate peanut butter, pumpkin lavender hot chocolate, leftover sweet potato, mushroom, corn, and zucchini quesadillas that I made last night, vegan pumpkin pie, and the most delicious peanut butter sandwich ever: whole wheat sourdough with white chocolate peanut butter, sliced apples, raisins, caramel, a little apricot jam, and a few dashes of cardamom. More soymilk and ginger tea. Not what I’d usually consider a”proper” dinner, but I don’t care. I have visions for some future recipes, and there is one I need to post soon because it turned out so amazing that I can’t believe I made it up. Pumpkin macaroni and cheese with a pumpkin sage cream sauce and truffle oil. Coming soon, I promise.
Other than that, I’ve been smiling. Keeping my heart open. Looking forward to some exciting things in the foreseeable future. Taking each day by day and keeping it happy.