It may have been cold out today but it was beautiful. We live in California (South San Francisco Bay Area to be exact) and it is often nice out, but today was different. It was foggy in the morning, and then around 11 the fog lifted and there was literally not a cloud in the sky all day. In our area it is currently the time of year when the trees really start to turn. I guess we get fall just as the rest of the country sees the first signs of full blown winter. So a clear blue sky + fiery red orange and yellow trees resulted in one of the nicest days we have had in months, and likely one of the last clear days we will see for some time to come. Luckily for me I work in Almaden Valley as a nanny and there is tons of open space out there, so I was able to document the existance of the sun before the onslaught of coulds obscure it from our memory.
One of the other perks of being a nanny is that it affords me the opportunity to cook at work with the kids. So today I did something brave. I made a cake that is decidedly healthy and trust me, with the kids I watch this is a bit of a risk, they are serious about their treats!
Since it has come out I have been curious/fearful of Jessica Seinfeld's book "Deceptively Delicious." For those of you that don't know Jerry Seinfeld's wife put out a cook book devoted to tricking kids into eating healthy. This is a childcare tactic that I find a bit off putting, but when I was at the Library with the kids last week her book was on display and I grabbed it compulsively on the way out the door. So today I let my four year old charge pick a recipe and we made it together.
She picked chocolate chip cupcakes, but she wanted it to be bread, so we cooked it in a bread pan. The recipe has no eggs, 1/2 cup of sugar, pureed pumpkin and squash (it called for yellow, but I used acorn) and the most fear inspiering fact of all, NO BUTTER. Yikes!! Oddly enough the bread turned out prettygoo, despite it being rather orange, and smelling like popcorn while it cooked. I don't think that any kid would be fooled into thinking it was a "real cupcake" but they would of course accept it as a treat. For those of you who are brave enough to try vegetable laced cupcakes or bread, here you go.
AND, I feel it is only fair for me to offer up what our cooking soundtrack for this afternoon was as I find that what you listen to while you cook may actualy be one of the morst important things of all. Todays pick: Paul Simon's "Graceland"
Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Jessica Seinfeld's Recipe in "Deceptively Delicious"
-One c. pumpkin puree (I used canned pumpkin)
1/2 c. pureed acorn squash (I just microwaved squash and mashed it with a fork)
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. canola oil
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. Flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350*
-Use oil or butter to coat a bread pan or muffin tin (muffin liners are fine too)
-In a large bowl mix the pumpkin, squash, water, oil and vanilla.
-Add the flour, baking soda, salt and the chocolate chips and mix well
-Pour the batter in to the pan that you are using and pop it into the oven. The cupcakes should take about 20-30 minutes, and baking it in a bread pan took about 50 minutes. The bread/cupcakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.