Pumpkin Loaf, and Fun New Jobs.


I think it’s safe to say that I always have a project on the go. I’m adding new things to roster all the time, and currently I juggle 6 jobs. Some of them pay, some of them don’t, some of them are things I love, and one of them, serving at a restaurant, is something I do just to make ends meet. It’s a hectic life. But it’s a fun one.

One of the best parts about it, is that I am always meeting new people, doing new things, trying new recipes. And one of my favourite projects right now is with my friend Brett Holland. He is an exceptionally handy guy, who built a solar powered coffee food cart on wheels, that he bikes throughout the city, selling great coffee, and some darn good pastries, if I do say so myself. It’s called On the Grind Cafe

As he’s working out the kinks of the cart, he’s parking at the corner of Union and Jackson (right on the Strathcona bike path!), and if you’re passing by the area, you should probably pop by, drink some coffee, and perhaps get a pastry that I’ve baked.


And if you don’t live close by, and can’t get a slice of my pumpkin loaf, you should definitely make some yourself.

It is so moist, and so simple to make, and it just feels like fall. It makes a great breakfast with a coffee in the morning, but it’s also darn good slightly warmed before bed, with a cup of tea.


Pumpkin Loaf

Loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups AP Flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1 cup Pureed Pumpkin

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

Coarse Sugar to sprinkle on top.

Preheat oven to 350F

Line loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix together to the oil and sugar.

Add in the eggs.

Mix in the pumpkin.

Gently stir the dry ingredients in until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and level with a spatula.

Sprinkle the coarse sugar on top and cook until an inserted skewer comes back with only a few moist crumbs- about 30 minutes.

Allow to cool before removing from pan.

Pumpkin Spiced Caramels


Things I like about Halloween:

  1. Costumes- not the ridiculous slutty ones but the cool ones, the ones that let you dress up as people you admire or at least admire their style. I for one, have been Audrey Hepburn many times, and you know I love Audrey Hepburn.

  2. Candy, chocolate, caramel, toffee, caramel apples, chocolate covered marshmallows, nutty things. Candy and me, we go way back.

  3. Pumpkins, carving pumpkins, picking pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, I love me a gourd what can I say.

Things I don’t like about Halooween:

  1. Slutty costumes (I mean really, what is a slutty panda bear anyways!?).

  2. Scary movies, seriously. I am scared of everything. Harry Potter, Twilight, you know the non scary movies. I am totally scared in them. This is, needless to say, a huge disapointment to my boyfriend who’s dad had them watching the Excorsist at age 7.

  3. Halloween baked goods. I don’t want my cookies to look like spiders, I don’t want cakes with bloody fingers on them, and I don’t want bugs in my puddings. I just don’t.


Because of my love of Halloween one of my dearest friends in the world is coming over and we’re carving pumpkins, drinking mulled wine and joining the parade that happens on my street every year. I love my neighbourhood and the Parade of Lost Souls (which, before it started happening and we just saw signs we thought was an anti-abortion march. Not the case.) And because of my hatred of all things that look Halloween-y but my love of both pumpkins and candy, here is a wonderful recipe for Pumpkin Spiced Caramels, not nearly as hard as it might look, although you do need a candy thermometer. You also need friends because this makes about 100, and I have tried to get through them, and well, that’s what friends are for. Candy eating, wine drinking, and parade going right?

*Update: I recently made Gingerbread Caramels, and with that recipe wrote a bunch about the does and don’t of caramel making! You can get that information HERE if you so wish. 

Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels:

1 cup Butter

1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1 cup White Sugar

1 1/4 cup Corn Syrup

1x 14oz can Sweetened Condesnsed Milk

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Numeg

1/2 tsp Cloves

Grease an 8in square pan. Line it with parchment paper , using two pieces to go both ways and then hang over the sides. then grease them too. Don’t skimp here, it will make your life easier in the long run.

In a pot with deep sides add in all the ingredients except the spices and the salt and bring it up to a boil. 


Put your candy thermometer in and, while stirring constantly, bring up to 245F.

Make sure you stir it the whole time, it will burn in a heartbeat if you let it. 

As soon as it comes to 245F add in the spices, stir to combine, make sure it’s all mixed in, and then quickly pour the mixture through a fine sieve into your prepared pan.

Sprinkle with salt, if you so wish!


Let this chill for several hours or overnight. This makes a lovely soft caramel but it is tricky to cut, so put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before you do.


Cut into pretty little squares and wrap in your wrappers.


Pumpkin Muffins

A couple nights ago I put on black tights under my dress and put on a scarf and a sweater before leaving the house. Around midnight the rain started. I guess that means it’s fall.

I’m not quite ready for it yet, to give up the beach and the warmth, but none the less I find myself looking longingly at apples and argyle sweaters and knitted blankets. I want to go apple picking and drink mulled wine and wear thick knitted socks and brown leather boots. But instead, as I was by myself for the day without a car, or the budget to go boot shopping, I made pumpkin muffins.

Soft, warm, buttery pumpkin muffins that long for hot chocolate and a good book. And with the rain pouring, sitting in my little apartment, I drank hot chocolate and finished my book, and welcomed in Fall.

Pumpkin Muffins,

Loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or whole wheat pastry flour (which is what I used)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup Butter

1 cup Brown Sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Coarse sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F

Line a muffin tin with liners of butter and flour them.

In a small frying pan over medium low heat brown the butter- melt it and then continue to cook it until the milk solids turn brown and it develops a nice hazelnut smell. Be careful not to burn it.

Meanwhile measure all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.

Pour the eggs and pumpkin and butter into it and mix it quickly to make sure the butter doesn’t cook the eggs.

Mix until just combined- do not over work it.

Spoon the batter into the tins, filling them up 3/4 of the way up.

Sprinkle sugar on top, bake until an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes.