Pic of the Week.

One of simplest, yet favorite baking pieces
While simple, this is one of my favorite baking pieces

When I got my first apartment (by myself) after college, my mom gave me an extra crock-pot she had, as all I had was a bed, a dresser, and a slew of clothes.

It took me years to get enough furniture to make for a decent home, and lots gifts to fill my kitchen with all of the things I needed to be the little chef (Ratatouille!) I wanted to be. Today, kitchen gadgets are nearly popping out of my cabinets, but that’s not my story.

I kept the hand-me-down crock-pot for years and used it often. In fact, I didn’t get a new, modern one (with a timer and a thermometer) until two Christmases ago, from my mom. However, I still kept the old crock-pot for one reason: it was a perfect fit for my Bread ‘n Cake Bake pan—also given to me by my mom.

It came with a little recipe book, so old the pages don’t hold together anymore. Although there are several delicious recipes, I’ve only made the Pumpkin Tea Bread, but it’s so deliciously dense, I wouldn’t bake it any other way.

Over the weekend, I pulled out my old crock pot, along with my Bread ‘n Bake pan, and whipped up a batch of the bread, only this time, making it a little healthier:

  • 1/2 cup oil (unsweetened apple sauce)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (organic coconut palm sugar)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour (coconut flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (unsweetened dried cranberries)

Blend oil and two sugars. Stir in beaten eggs and pumpkin. Sift together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in nuts and dates. Pour batter into greased and floured Bread ‘n Cake Bake and cover. Bake in covered crock pot on high for 3-4 hours or until done.

If you don’t have a Bread ‘n Cake Bake, just follow this recipe, and follow a similar bread recipe for baking in an oven, as far as temperature and time goes.

When I finished baking, I let it cool completely before slicing it in half, wrapping it up, and giving away half of it to my awesome personal trainer, a boxer who won his fight two weekends ago.

Because everyone deserves a little treat.

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