My grandparents were huge readers. My grandmother always had a book with her- she kept one in her purse and one in her car, just in case she ever found herself someplace with a long wait ahead of her. She belonged to multiple book clubs and read several books at once. My family instilled this love of reading in me as well and Grandma made it a point to take me to the library every week. I’d leave with piles of books and when we got home, we’d sit together and read. Usually with a snack. So the idea of joining a book club of my own is one that I’ve had on my mind for a long time. I just never got around to it. So when one of my closest friends suggested we start one, well, I was all in. Of course, I couldn’t go to the first meeting because I couldn’t get the book in time. And I didn’t make it to the second because I had theater tickets with my mom. How to ensure I’d get to the third? Well, offer to host it, of course!
It ended up being only four of us and we barely discussed what we had read (The Smile On Happy Chang’s Face by Tom Perrotta, part of the One City One Story project) but it was a wonderful excuse to get together, get two babies together, drink tea and eat lots of baked goods.
And what baked goods there were!
I made these Cheddar and Apple Scones from The Hungry Hippo. My only change was that I made them in my food processor- I hate cutting in butter into dough.
I made a version of these scones from epicurious.com. They were supposed to be Cheddar-Chive scones but I didn’t remember to buy chives and was already using cheddar in the above scones so I improvised and substituted a four cheese mix (I think it was Italian so probably parmesan, romano, provolone and mozzarella) and rosemary for the cheddar and the chives. They were good- very savory. And while I do like rosemary, I find too much of it overpowering (and sort of soap-like) so I was skimpy on it and in retrospect probably could have used more.
I made banana bread, posted about here. And pumpkin bread, because it’s fall and I love pumpkin bread.
3 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 16 oz can pumpkin
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
(1 c chopped walnuts if you want but why would you?)
Preheat oven to 350.
Beat sugar and oil in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. When blended, add eggs and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, baking powder (or if you’re me, put it in a bowl and whisk it). Add the dry to the wet in two steps. Pour into two well greased loaf pans (I use Pam). Bake for about an hour or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
And because I was in a pumpkin mood and had a stale loaf of bread bought last week in case my bread didn’t turn out well, I made pumpkin bread pudding. It was delicious. The caramel sauce I poured over it was also delicious. Mmmm…. It tasted like fall in a bowl. So, so good. So good that I am regretting the fact that I brought the leftovers to a dinner I attended that same night. Of course, my waistline doesn’t regret it, but my tastebuds do! Anyway, I followed the recipe pretty exactly but made a different caramel sauce- I’m sure the one listed with the recipe is great, I was just out of brown sugar.
One of the other book club members brought cupcakes and they, too, were yummy. And much cuter than any of my food. Another book club member brought a yummy apple plum tart and a lovely brie en croute but we were too busy eating for me to take more photos.
Oh, and the babies? Had a great time: