Welcome to the first installment of Get Nested, my fall series with Curbly. I find myself entertaining much more during the fall and winter seasons, and wanted to offer some helpful tips and recipes to you to help make your entertaining season as seamless as possible.
Aromatic mulling spices make your home smell amazing and give it a warm and welcomeing feel. To make your own, add a teaspoon of cinnamon, cloves, and/or nutmeg to a pot of water. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer on your stove. Adjust the ingredients to find your favorite scent, or substitute an orange or clementine peel for a fresher citrus-y note.
Next up, my all-time favorite fall dish. My mom's Pumpkin Bread is a recipe I have kept secret for years, but after seeing how adored and coveted it was at my parties last fall, I decided I just have to share it with you now. This pumpkin bread is so moist and delicious you'll want to eat all three loaves at once, but if you can resist, you can bake them in coffee tins and give them as gifts for the holidays.
Meg's Mom's Pumpkin Bread*
*My spin on the recipe is making sure the ingredients are organic and adding extra walnuts.
Grease three medium-size loaf pans or three small coffee cans. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and make sure the rack set on the one below middle level. The bread will rise a little.
- 1 large can of pumpkin pie mix (with spices)
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup cooking oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Sift the flour and dry ingredients together (salt, soda, spices).
Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugar until blended.
Add dry ingredients and water alternately ... beginning with 1/3 flour mixture, 1/3 water, 1/3 flour, etc. Mix well with blender.
Add chopped nuts if desired. Pour 1/3 of the batter into each pan or can. Have pans or cans on a cookie sheet to catch spillover.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown, and a knife or chopstick pulls out from the center cleanly.
Allow the bread to cool before removing from the pan. To get it out, slide a spreader or knife around edges and tap out. Wrap each loaf in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. If you aren't going to eat all three loaves, you can freeze one.
What are your favorite warm and cozy fall recipes? Share them in a comments below and I'll pick the best one to get a prize (a free copy of Curbly's Make It! Hardware Store Decor).
I'll see you Thursday for a video giving you indispensable pieces to keep on hand to make spur-of-the-moment entertaining easy.