Monday, September 22, 2008

Hello Autumn!

Autumn is by far my absolute favorite time of year. I love everything about it...
  • the cooler days and crisp nights (yes, I even love the rain! I'm a true Oregonian!)
  • the outdoors turning shades of red, orange, yellow and brown
  • falling leaves
  • pumpkins and apples
  • the start of school and football season--Go Oregon Ducks! Go Ohio State Buckeyes!
  • getting to wear jeans and corduroy pants with sweatshirts and cozy sweaters (I am sooo NOT a hot weather girl!)
  • lots of homemade baked goods and comfort foods for dinner
  • curling up with a blanket to watch movies and sip hot cider
  • watching Little Women for the thousanth time and saying all the lines by heart
  • celebrating birthdays (my friend Christine's at the end of September, my aunt & uncle's/my sister-in-law's/my nephew's and mine in October, Maddie's and Keith's in November)
So, in honor of the first day of Autumn, here is a new recipe I tried recently and totally fell in love with--it will be a favorite, for sure!

Pumpkin-Raisin Cake

1 cup all purpose flour & 1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce instead...very moist without the fat!)
1 cup raisins (I like golden raisins)

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch baking sheet. Stir first 8 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add pumpkin, eggs and oil and beat until blended. Mix in raisins. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl to blend. Spread frosting over cake in thin layer. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.) Cut cake into bars and serve.

Note: I didn't read the directions carefully the first time, so I made it in a 13x9 inch baking dish. If you do that, it'll need to bake for about 35-40 minutes.


Brooke said...

Ditto to pretty much everything on your list... fall is so fun! The weather we're having right now is just perfect for me! I'll have to try your recipe sometime soon, it looks perfect for the fall! And the Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins are now on the list for my next visit to Starbucks!!

We are a little behind on watching Fringe... we started the premiere, fell asleep, and haven't caught up yet. We have them saved though, maybe for this weekend! And Alias is one of my absolute favorites too- when I was working on wedding stuff 4 years ago, I rented ALL of them and watched the entire series again... LOVE IT!

Christine Cohn said...

That's my girl! I am so ready to celebrate fall with you! Funny thing... I just baked Pumpkin Raisin muffins right before reading this! We are too much alike, dear friend. I wish I could be there to enjoy the leaves and rain with you... it was 100 degrees here today! Sooooo not right. But, you know me... I still wore a sweater just in principle. Don't these people know it's fall? ;)

The only thing I can say that's better here about fall is that we have Halloweentime at Disneyland... by far the best celebration of October anywhere ever. :) You'd love it.

Go enjoy a pumpkin latte and jump in the leaves. Love you!