Thanksgiving recipe countdown – pumpkin bread

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 7×3 loaf pans. These can also be made as muffins, but I’m not sure how many pans…

In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes. Loaves are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This recipe is sooooo easy and it’s hands down the best pumpkin bread I’ve eaten. This recipe has been the top vote getter in many pumpkin bread taste tests.


Seriously Awesome Pumpkin Pie

Being the former food geek that I am I just have to use this opportunity to post some of my Thanksgiving recipes.  If you’re not happy with your pumpkin pie recipe or shudder you buy store made pumpkin pie – consider this recipe.  My relatives would boycott Thanksgiving if I didn’t make it – it’s that good.

Oh, and it’s also really, really easy.

Seriously Awesome Pumpkin Pie

2/3 cup packed (meaning push it down in the measuring cup so it forms a solid mass) golden (light) brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, plain pumpkin)  = 1 1/2 cups

2 tablespoons light molasses

3 large eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1 frozen deep dish pie crust

1 bag of any kind of dried bean (to weight down pie crust)

Place baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove the frozen pie crust from the freezer, cover it with tinfoil.  Pour enough beans onto the foil to just cover the bottom.  Place the crust in the oven and bake until the edges are barely browned.  Remove pie crust from oven, remove the beans and the foil and set aside.  Cool the beans and save them in a plastic bag for your next pie baking.  Raise heat to 450 degrees F.  Whisk the first 8 ingredients together in a large bowl to blend.  Next stir in the pumpkin, molasses and eggs, then cream.  Pour the mixture into the crust.   Place pie on heated baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.  REduce heat to 325 F and bake until the center is just set, about 40 minutes.  The center is set when it doesn’t look like liquid.  If the sides of the pie crust are getting too well done, remove the pie from the oven and cover the crust with pieces of tin foil.  Let the pie cool.  Cover and refrigerate if you’re not eating it that day.  It’s best served slightly warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8.

That’s it.  I’ve gotten rave reviews from everyone I’ve served this to.  So, let me know what you thought if you make it.

I’ll post another recipe tomorrow for you.  In the meantime, the other message about Thanksgiving is to be grateful for all you have.  Whatever you have is a lot more than many people in the world have.  Don’t just count your blessings, feel them.  And, get into the habit of doing that all the time, not just at Thanksgiving.

Or, just enjoy the pie  🙂

Dear Diary Living on Purpose – Part 2

Dear Diary,

This purpose finding is more challenging than I thought it would be.  But, that may just be my perception.

I promised you another step in the journey, another way to get a glimpse of your life purpose.

Here it is.

Ask those that know you to tell you the things that you do really well.  You may be surprised at what you hear, you may not.

Make a list of things that interest you.  Astronomy, wine-making, whatever.  List all that you can on a sheet of paper.  Put it aside.  Then, come back later and see which ones on the list interest you the most.  They are clues.  Match the top things from that list with the things that you are really good at – and look for patterns.

Do the things involve you being a teacher, creating something, working with the disadvantaged?  Look for patterns.

When you find them, you’ll be getting really close to finding your life purpose.

You’ll want to start playing with putting it into a purpose statement like:

My life purpose is.. to joyfully create beautiful paintings for people to enjoy.

My life purpose is … to teach children how to express themselves through dance.

Your turn…

Please feel free to post your efforts here.  I’d love to hear from you to witness your creation.

Dear Diary why live on purpose

Jim White is leading a purpose movement to help one million find their purpose, Eckhart Tolle writes about living your purpose, heck, I’m writing a book about women who are thriving while living on purpose. After 50 years on the planet not living on purpose, I’m finally getting it.

Purpose has been appearing in my life in so many various ways it’s hard to ignore. Just last night I heard about life purpose in The movie The Legend of Bagger Vance. Will Smith made an eloquent reference to it..

Yep… Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing… Somethin’ we was born with… Somethin’ that’s ours and ours alone… Somethin’ that can’t be taught to ya or learned… Somethin’ that got to be remembered… Over time the world can, rob us of that swing… It get buried inside us under all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas… Some folk even forget what their swing was like…

Beautiful. Something that can’t be taught or learned – it just has to be remembered. That means that you, I have the answer to what our purpose is right now, and the sooner we remember our purpose, our authentic swing, whatever you want to call it. The better it will be when we play the game of Life.

So, how do you get a hold of your purpose? First, be quiet. Shut off the tv, the radio, ship the kiddies to a playdate and just sit. Just sit and breathe. Just sit and breathe and think of the things that you do that totally light you up, things that you do that when you do them – time stops, when you do them – you feel like it’s effortless. Just sit and think about those things. Is it when you’re writing, drawing, singing, cooking, helping others, teaching? When you get these answers – write them down.

We’ll talk about what to do with this info in my next post.

Do this today. It’s important.

The power of gratitude

This morning I awoke to a beautiful sunrise, the light was so pretty as it shone on the trees in their various stages of brilliant colors. I immediately felt grateful for experiencing that in my day. I’m also grateful for having coffee and cream and sugar at my fingertips, my cat playing with me, the book I am enjoying, a refrigerator stocked with food. Get the picture? Being grateful raises your inner vibration. It makes you happy. And when you are happy and grateful, the Universe sends more of what you want your way. It just does.

I know this may sound simplistic, but that’s how the Universe works. I won’t explain it in this post, but I will challenge you. Make a list of twenty things that you are grateful for, right now, today. These can be things you have or to add a different twist – things that you desire that you believe to be coming to you.

Look at your list and really feel that warm feeling of gratitude. Put it down. Pick it up again later today or in a few hours and read each one, then feel that warm feeling of gratitude again.

Do this for a couple of weeks and notice if there are any changes in your attitude and/or any unexpected things/opportunities that show up for you.

Do you believe in magic

I love Chris Angell, street magician.  He makes what he does look real.  But he does it so well – my belief is suspended and I believe that he actually levitates and does all the other amazing illusions I’ve seen.  My logical brain can’t see the trick and so it has to believe.

Now, follow me here.  Chris Angell and any other magician never, ever really saws women in half, or makes the Statue of Liberty disappear or any other such thing.  But, for the sake of enjoyment we believe what we see or don’t see.

What if I told you that you have the power to create real “magic”!  But, in order to do it – you would really have to believe or else it wouldn’t work.

I am in the process of writing a book that will be published in a few months.  In it, I’ll be sharing formulas, actual duplicatable ways that you can create magic in your life.  You’ll learn from women who have achieved great success in their business lives.   One turned her life around from being broke – to being a millionaire.   None of these ladies are magicians – yet they all have discovered this “magic” formula.

You may have heard about a little something called the Law of Attraction, I don’t like to mention it – as i think the movie the Secret didn’t really do it justice.  But, the Law of Attraction is just part of the formula – there are other Laws of the Universe that these ladies have tapped into – and you can too.  In fact – it’s your birthright.

Stay tuned for more on this.  There will even be an excerpt from a chapter.  it’s great stuff.

Take it easy

Well, now that Halloween’s over, that can only mean one thing – the holiday season is here.  Thanksgiving and all that food you either have to make or the flurry of travel to the relative or friends house.  All that last minute preparation and/or packing.  The stress of just getting family together, let alone whether the gravy will come out lumpy or if you should try that new recipe for pumpkin pie.  And, there’s all that shopping and fighting crowds and AAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHH.

If you get stressed out every year at this time, you are going to get stressed out this year also.


You try a different approach.  It’s really that easy.  For example, if you’re not sure of the recipes for the Thanksgiving meal practice them in smaller quantities on your family now.  Make that new pumpkin pie recipe and serve it to your family.  You can make homemade cranberry sauce in advance and freeze it, same with whipped sweet potato casserole.

Now, if it’s the family dynamics that makes you crazy – you have control over this one too.  While you don’t have any control over what your nutty relatives do or say, you can control how you react.  Don’t let them bother you.  If you usually get aggravated – just don’t let that happen.  You are in full control of your emotions, they can’t control your emotions no matter what they do.  Just set the intention before the holiday that you are going to fully enjoy the day – no matter what happens.  If the turkey is over or underdone – so what, if Aunt Betty drinks a bit too much hard cider – so what, if someone spills wine on your new tablecloth – you get the point – so what?

Practice this now.  Pick a day and just set the intention that you are going to enjoy your day – no matter what.   If you’re stuck in traffic and that normally ticks you off – let it go.  Pop in your favorite CD or audio book and enjoy the time.   You get the picture – turn what is usually a negative into a positive.

You’ll be amazed how it changes your day…..