Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Etc. Etc.

Easy and Delicious Pumpkin-Chip Bundt Cake
Today was the last day of January. Is it too late to wish you a Happy New Year? Probably. But I will anyway. Here it is almost the middle of winter but as far as my blog is concerned, you might as well call it the dead of winter. No, my blog is not dead. But like much of the plant and animal kingdoms, it has been in a dormant state lately. You might even say... hibernating. 

Where, Oh Where, Has My Little Blog Gone?
Unlike bears and daffodils however, it's not going to wait until spring to wake up. So that's good news, right? Do I really need to explain my absence? Probably not. But on the off-chance that it matters… well… where do I start? It's really not all that interesting, come to think of it. Let's just say, "life happened", and leave it at that. I was deeply involved in living the life I've been blessed with, spending real time face-to-face with my family and friends, and observing and enjoying the wondrous and wintery world around me. O.k. I also had a major case of the blues. Or maybe it was the mean reds. That's all part of this wonderful life sometimes too.
Keep On Keepin' On
During the last couple of months I've made a handful of crafts and a bunch of gifts, baked a few nummies, and even cooked up some new and different dinners… but not many. Sometimes the "always having to try new recipes" thing gets tiring and I want to just make more of the stuff that I've made before (and liked a whole lot). But who wants to read 17 blog posts about the same meal? Forget reading it, I wouldn't want to write about the same meal 17 times. Ugh.

In With The Old, In With The New
New things will still get made, they have to... I crave change. But I can't deal with the (real or imagined) feeling of "MUST MAKE SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT EVERY TIME!". And there is absolute and total wrap-you-up comfort in an old favorite recipe. More often than not, that's just what I need. Anyway, how does it even become an old favorite, if not by making it many times?

So,with that said, I'd like to introduce a new old favorite recipe. It's one of the few new things I made, and made, and made during my, uh, hibernatory absence. In fact, I made it three times in two weeks... and if that's not enough to make it an old favorite, I just don't know what is.

This cake won't blow your doors off, knock your socks off, or otherwise discompose you in any way. It will give you a big warm Bundt-cake hug however. Some sweet and simple lovin' from the oven. It's super easy to throw together, bakes up perfect every time, and looks it's Sunday-best with a flurry of powdered sugar sifted over the top. Or not. It's good either way. And it's even better the next day.

Notes: Original recipe calls for canola oil... I used a combination of sunflower and olive oils instead. Used my "homemade" pumpkin purée which worked out great. Even used some homemade winter squash purée I found in the back of the freezer for one of the cakes... couldn't tell the difference from the pumpkin, flavor-wise. I mixed each of the cakes entirely by hand with a wooden spoon, as I was too lazy to deal with the mixer (I know, doesn't make sense). The cake took about an hour and ten minutes to bake until it tested clean with a toothpick (too lazy to look for the skewers). I let it cool in the pan on a rack for about 20 minutes or so before inverting it onto the rack and letting it cool the rest of the way. Your results may vary... just be sure to butter and flour every nook and cranny of your Bundt pan.
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