Pumpkin Bread & Mulling Spices Recipes

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.

Mulling spices is a great way to give your home a great aroma.

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.

Add a citrus peel to freshen the scent.

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

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.

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Neal on Oct 20, 2010:

Meg, this is one of our favorite cold weather breakfasts. It's so easy to whip up your own hotcakes without a mix, I don't understand why mixes are even sold at stores. This recipe is always a winner.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/4 cups whole milk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Whisk milk and pumpkin together in a small bowl


2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk mixture, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth (yes, SMOOTH, not lumpy like your pancake mix tells you)

3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown slightly on both sides and serve hot.

Serve hotcakes with warm maple syrup. Makes about 12 hotcakes.

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