In case you didn't know, I'm a little obsessed with Harry Potter:

The Elephant House: one of the local establishments in Edinburgh where Rowling penned the first HP

my seventeenth birthday cake

my husband as The Boy Who Lived

One of the Gryffindor scarves I made :)
Next on the list: a Gryffindor beanie.

Monica and me at the midnight release party of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Zach got me a Dobby minifig for Christmas 2010

Magical and Muggle at the showing of Part 1 of Deathly Hallows

my collection of HP books along with my Freeing Dobby Lego set & the Harry Potter Sorting Hat charm holder Sara got me for my birthday once upon a time
(We recently got rid of all our paperback Harry Potter books.)

with Harry

I recently had a $10 Amazon voucher from Coinstar I needed to use, so I consulted my Wish List. And what did I find I really, really, really wanted? This. :)

The week when it arrived we had tried to bake PUMPKIN BREAD in our bread machine. It did NOT turn out. The recipe called for canned pumpkin, but all I had on hand was pumpkin pie mix. It was my understanding that you could substitute the pumpkin pie mix for the canned pumpkin as long as you omitted the seasonings and (part of) the sweetener because these are already included in the mix. The first loaf we tried did not have nearly enough pumpkin for our tastes. It did not have that dense, rich texture either. So we tried to double up on the pumpkin pie mix. Well...the bread machine rebelled and did not mix the dough enough, so it did not rise. Alas, alack, we decided to discard that recipe.

When we had all but given up hope, luckily this gem came in with a pumpkin bread recipe. Even though it wasn't a bread machine recipe, I baked it up. It turned out beautifully! :) The following recipe is based on the one in the cookbook:

1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
a sprinkle of each of the following: cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter or margarine at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 c. pumpkin pie filling
1/3 c. whole milk
powdered sugar, for dusting

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.* Grease and flour a loaf pan. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and seasonings.
-In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about four minutes. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the milk and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in thirds and mix on the lowest speed until combined. Scrape and fold with a rubber spatula to finish.
-Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the top is golden and the loaf is well risen and feels firm when pressed lightly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. To serve, remove the loaf from the pan and dust with powdered sugar.

[Makes 1 loaf]

*If you are using a glass or dark metal pan, reduce baking temperature by 25 degrees to prevent overbaking.

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