Hearty Harvest

This Spicy Staple of the Season Incorporates All the Flavors of Fall

Pumpkin Spice Bread


1 15-ounce can of pure pumpkin puree

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup water

3 cups granulated sugar

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour two 9-by-5-inch or three 7-by-3-inch loaf pans.   

Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, vanilla, water and sugar until well-blended. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until blended. Pour into prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Variations: Top with cream cheese frosting for a decadent treat. Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips. Add 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter.

Spiced Apple Cider


1 64-ounce bottle apple juice, unsweetened

4 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1-2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup (optional for sweetness)

1 orange, sliced

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Put cloves into a small piece of cheesecloth or tea ball and place in the slow cooker. 

Add the apple juice, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and honey or maple syrup. Stir to combine. 

Add orange slices. Cover and simmer on low for 2 hours. Add the vanilla, stir and set slow cooker to warm setting for serving. 

Variation: Add either bourbon or brandy for a fabulous hot toddy. 

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