Yesterday marked the beginning of my new work schedule, four ten hours days. Yes, I might be crazy because I already struggle with getting to work; however, I am hoping the new schedule will benefit me, both at work and home. I realize saying, well it’s only two more hours a day, is naive. I also realize I will come home on Friday night as a combination of two of the seven dwarfs, sleepy and grumpy. Yet, I am determined to give the new schedule a shot!
During the past few months the insanity of my work live has “increased exponentially.” Is that the create verbiage? I am nonstop busy; which is great, except only a portion of it is my typical day to day workload. Needless to say I have been stressed out, and overwhelmed.
I feel like I have also had less time to focus on my family, friends, and myself. Okay, maybe that is selfish, but I really want this blog to succeed. For that to happen I need to have the time and energy to put for some effort. The solution? Increased quiet time at work, and more awake time at home. Maybe I am crazy, but wish me luck!
This past weekend was my “test” weekend, with yesterday being my first official day of the new schedule. So what exactly did I do for my kinda days off? I worked, watched kids, and baked. Working, on your days off? Yeah, I am crazy; but I also enjoy my time at Oliveto Fine Gifts.
Watching kids on your day off? Yeah, even crazier; but I love Addi and Emma. I also love spending time with Lynden, so it really is a win-win. Yesterday also provided me with a newfound appreciation for stay-at-home parents and caregivers/babysitters. Running little ones from point A to point B is exhausting; especially when light housework, payroll, and laundry is involved. One more time, here is a shout out to anyone raising, or helping to raise, children! Yes mom, I am sure you are chuckling again over that comment.
Finally, the therapeutic part of the “longer” weekend, baking! Yes, I finally baked, and guess what! I really miss it. The recipe this weekend was inspired 100% by autumn. My Uncle Terry gave me a beautiful Nordic Ware Autumn Wreath Bundt Pan for my birthday, purchased from Olivetos Fine Gifts. Why bring up the store that sold him the item? So everyone will visit it, duh? Oh, and because she asked me to bake a cake for the Annual Holiday Open House.
Using inspiration from Chef-In-Training, I cooked a delicious Pumpkin Bundt Cake. The only difference? I decided to add chocolate chips. Trust me when I say that was a brilliant decision. Yes, the originally recipe is already brilliantly tasteful, but the addition of chocolate sends it over the top!
To begin measure out your sugar. The originally recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups sugar. Since I planned to add chocolate chips I reduced the amount of sugar to a cup.
Next add your canola oil. This was actually corn oil, but only because I bought it by mistake. Guess what though, I did not even notice a difference.
Now add your two eggs and sugar. I am sure there is a way to make this completely vegan and skip the eggs. If that is a dietary preference it would be a great option. Heck, even if your Greek Orthodox and fasting before Christmas that is an option.
Next add the pumpkin puree and vanilla. It would probably be amazing with fresh pumpkin puree, but to be honest I needed a quick recipe.
Finally, add 1 cup of sour cream before combining in the dry ingredients. Maybe this is the secret ingredient in this recipe. Okay, so if you need a vegan recipe you might need to reevaluate this one; or maybe find an alternative for the sour cream because it is a must!
Now add in your dry ingredients, beginning with the 2 cups of flour.
Add the remaining dry ingredients. I am proud of this photo. Not because of its quality, but because I feel like for a moment I am a real baker.
Lastly, mix in a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I am sure white chocolate would also taste amazing, this is however what I had on hand. Trust me though, the addition of the chocolate does not disappoint!
Fill up the bundt pan about 3/4 full and bake for 50 minutes at 350° F. Please remember to “properly” spray your pan. The first time I made this recipe I tried to grease and flour the pan. The cake came out white on top. While it still tasted great, it was not beautiful. This time I purchased flour cooking spray.
While the bundt cake cools, make your caramel sauce. You will need to combine sweetened condensed milk with brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Next take off the burner and stir in your brown sugar and vanilla. Immediately drizzle over your cake.
As usual, the last step is to enjoy!
- • 1 cups sugar
- • ⅓ cup canola oil
- • 2 eggs
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla
- • 1 (15 oz). can pumpkin
- • 1 cup sour cream
- • 2 cups flour
- • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
- • 1 teaspoon soda
- • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- • ¼ teaspoon cloves
- • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Caramel Drizzle
- • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- • 1 cup brown sugar
- • 2 Tablespoons butter
- • ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- • In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and sour cream. Add flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and stir in to combine. Lastly add in the chocolate-chips. Pour into a prepared bundt pan. ( I like to use the spray that has flour in it, if you don't have any, grease and flour it yourself.)
- • Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. Test it with a wooden pick to see if it comes out clean. Invert cake onto a cooling rack.
- Caramel Drizzle
- • Heat milk and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan, and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla. Cool for a couple minutes, then drizzle immediately onto cake.