Favorite Autumn Quick Breads

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After the heat of summer I usually get the itch to start baking again in the autumn. I reach for recipes that are full of autumn flavors: pumpkin, cinnamon, and apple.

Pumpkin Bread

I love this Pumpkin Bread recipe given to me by my friend Briana, especially because the recipe makes TWO loaves. One to eat and another to give away or tuck into the freezer.

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup pecans or walnuts

Mix altogether and divide into two regular loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, although I usually start checking on it after an hour. It seems to take more like 1 hour and 15 minutes for me. The smell in your house will be divine!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

These Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins are SO good. I mean the flavor combination is just amazing! I made them every year, several times a year. Again, this recipe like the one above makes more than just 12 muffins, it makes about 20-24 muffins, so plenty to share or once again pop into the freezer for later. You see a theme here, right? ;)

Check out Edie Wadsworth’s blog right here for the recipe.

Apple Muffins

These apple muffins are delicious and pretty healthy too. I tend to sub out the raisins for dried cranberries instead, though.

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup raisins
1 chopped apple
1/2 cup oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Beat the egg; stir in remaining ingredients, mixing just to moisten. Pour into 12 greased muffin cups until 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Serve cool or piping hot with butter.

I hope you make some of these delicious breads. What is your favorite thing to bake during the autumn season?

Emerald Isle, NC | 2018

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A few weeks ago we spent our fifth vacation in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. The weather ended up being PERFECT! It was actually less humid in North Carolina than it was back at home in Maryland. The sun shown everyday, the breezes were strong, and the waves were delightful.

This year Ava really came into her own at the beach. She screamed with delight with every wave she jumped and loved going out past the waves with Josh where it was calmer--she wasn't scared at all!

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We spent everyday out on the beach. Other years we've needed a mid-week break or there's been at least one rainy day, so we've visited the aquarium or something like that. This year it was beach time all the time. We also had movie nights, went to Beaufort for ice cream and to look at the boats, got seafood takeout, and did LOTS of bike riding.

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We also did our annual family photoshoot on the beach the last evening we were there. It's so neat to have these picture to put in our Blurb books every year and see how the kids have grown and changed.

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There was a sea turtle clutch on the beach and the sea turtle volunteers had roped off the area to protect the site. They were having a "sea turtle party" to watch for the turtles to emerge. The eggs would have already have hatched and the turtles were building up strength to dig out of the sand and make their long trek to ocean. Our last evening there they hadn't yet emmerged but they were hopeful that night would be the one!

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Emerald Isle, thanks for another great year!

What I'm Into Right Now (August 2018)

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I'm a bit late with my monthly "what I'm into" post because of vacation but here we are, in the midst of September already! I'm so ready for cooler weather, apples picking, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin baked goods of all sorts!

Watching:
While on vacation we watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Junglewhich was quite fun! Otherwise, we've just been watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix because it's short and funny (and we love Ron Swanson).

Listening:
I just finished my latest Flavia de Luce novel on audio and the kids and I are listening to The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings together for our homeschool bookclub. I remember absolutely loving that book when I was younger.

Reading:
I just finished Sarah Clarkson's delightful and inspiring Book Girl and added some good books on my to-read list for fall. Most of them are older books, as opposed to newer, and I can't wait to dive into some Elizabeth Goudge and Rumer Godden. Over vacation I was looking for a fast-paced thriller and really loved The Likeness by Tana French. The premise was on the unbelievable side, but I could suspend belief because the story was so intriguing.

I’m also reading Not By Sight by Jon Bloom. I’m reading it as a devotional—reading the scripture he notes at the beginning, then reading the short chapter that corresponds each morning. The writing is fresh and vivid, breathing life into familiar stories.

Eating:
These Smashed Sweet Potatoes were so delicious as were a batch of Pumpkin Spice Granola. I also made a batch of our favorite Quinoa Muffins (I use cranberries) for breakfast/snacks this week. They are tasty with a hint of sweetness and so filling!

What are YOU into right now?