One thing I have benefited from doing food blogging is to try to go out of my comfort zone... albiet slowly. I try to cook, prepare, or bake dishes that I have never tried before, and probably would not dream of creating if I do not have this food blog. Need I say Hubby is very happy with the variety of dishes I prepare? :)
Things I have challenged myself to do (but not yet tried):
1. Bake a cake from scratch, complete with icings
2. Bake a yeast bread
3. Try and taste the different fruits and veggies that is not readily available here in this tropical country; and prepare dishes using these "rare" ingredients
4. Prepare those sweet and savory pies I keep seeing around the blogging world
5. Make and prepare and cook dishes I have never tried before, starting with Greek and French dishes :)
Things I have done so far:
... well, you can check out the blog for the complete list :)
This quick bread is an example of something I would not have done if I am not in the food blogging world. For one, pumpkin is not a usual ingredient in this tropical country. We have squashes, but no pumpkin ! (Though they belong to the same family.) I started exploring the world of pumpkin when I hosted Wandering Chopstick's Weekend Wokking featuring pumpkins, last month.
And now, Val of More Than Burnt Toast, who spearheaded the World Food Day event with Ivy of Kopiaste, tagged me to participate in another very worthwhile event Breadline Africa.
With our support, Breadline Africa can convert shipping containers into locations for food production and distribution to the poor people in South Africa. These sustainable community kitchens will not only provide foods such as bread and soup to those in need, but also opportunities for skills development within these poor communities. So, they are not only aiming to give them bread, but also to teach them skills so that they will be able to earn their own bread as well.
Breadline Africa launched the Worldwide Blogger Baker Bake-Off Challenge aiming at raising $ 1 M in funds. This bake-off gives us baking bloggers the power to make a difference in this world. What do we do? Bake bread. Give Dough. Feed Africa. Vals says, "You can sign up for the campaign, make a donation, upload your bread recipes and document your culinary adventures in the media center to spread the word. You don't have to donate money but simply just mention the campaign and create awareness."
The following is quoted from the Breadline Africa Bake-Off site:
On 15 October, we launched The Breadline Africa Worldwide Blogger Bake Off.
The Blogger Bake Off is an online campaign that challenges bloggers to get involved by baking bread, and then acting by donating to end poverty. And then, challenge their readers and five other bloggers to do the same.
With the money raised, we will be supporting grass roots community projects aimed at ending poverty and hunger in Africa. We’ll be placing container kitchens, vegetable gardens and more in poor communities, sending emergency food relief where needed and helping these poor communities to help themselves.
The rules for bloggers are outlined below:
- If you are tagged, copy and paste the rules into your post.
- Bake bread, do something you wouldn’t normally do, and blog about it. Upload your picture and recipe.
- Give dough, donate to Breadline Africa and help us end poverty.
- Tag five bloggers, and ping us so we know you’ve done so.
The person who raises the most funds will get to name a Breadline Africa community kitchen and win $500 Amazon Vouchers. There are also three minor prizes of $250 Amazon vouchers for people who receive the most votes in the following categories: Most Unusual Recipe; Most Nutritious Recipe and Most Traditional Recipe.
For this worthwhile event, I decided to bake a quick-bread. My apologies to the other participants. I am not really an experienced baker. You can call me a scaredy-cat baker. I am always fearful of the unexpected in unknown territories :) So, I think this bread qualifies as something I do not normally do (see No 2 rule). I decided to make this pumkin bread - an ingredient I have used only once. And also because, well, I have leftover pumpkin puree in the fridge that I better put to use before it starts to grow molds. :)
Recipe taken from Recipezaar.com
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C Vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1/3 C water
2 C pumpkin puree
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 and 3/4 C plain flour ( I used 1 C whole wheat flour and 3/4 C plain flour)
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t pumpkin spice
1 T butter
1/4 C brown sugar
3 T milk
1/4 C pecans (I substituted walnuts)
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan.
2. In a medium size bowl, beat eggs and mix with sugar, oil, water and pumpkin.
3. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients only until just blended. Do not overmix.
4. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 min. Check with a toothpick or cake tester for doneness.
5. For the topping: melt butter in a small saucepan. Add in sugar and milk and mix well. Boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly until sugar melts. Immediately drizzle on the baked loaf. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and press the nuts lightly on top.
6. Wrap and store until the next day for serving. This will keep moisture inside.
Readers of Recipezaar gave this recipe a 5-star rating. I do, too! It is a fool-proof recipe, even novice bakers like me can prepare. It is easy to do and the result? Truly moist flavorful bread made healthy with the addition of pumpkin, walnuts, and whole wheat.
I am tagging the following bloggers:
Deborah of Taste and Tell
Jin Hooi of Smell and Taste are My Memory
Lesley of Beachlover's Kitchen
Usha of Veg Inspirations
Yasmeen of Health Nut
Ruth of Ruth's Kitchen Experiments
Sangeeth of The Art of Cooking Indian Food
Lubna of Kitchen Flavours
With the holidays approaching you may not have time to bake your own bread but a mention of this worthy cause on your blog would spread the word..... and even if you haven't been tagged feel free to join!!!
Sharing this bread and the invitation to this food event to the Bookmarked Recipes community, headed by Ruth of Ruth's Kitchen Experiments. Please feel free to join in!!! Bookmarked Recipes is a food event where anyone from anywhere can blog about a recipe they had bookmarked from a cook book, food magazine, food blog, food website, from TV etc, make it and submit it to a weekly roundup. To see last week's delicous round-up, please click here.