|iPhone 4 photo - edited with Rhonna Designs Ap|
I went for a nice long walk around my neighborhood two mornings ago and I realized: it's that time of year. The weather from October-May is precisely why those of us to call the "Valley of the Sun" our home live here. Beginning right about now the weather in Phoenix and the surrounding areas is glorious. Sure, we still have a few freak 100+ days mixed in but the majority is a lovely mix of highs in the 80's & 90's and lows into the 60's. While most of the U.S. is preparing to break out their winter coats and dust off their boots we continue to wear flip flops and shorts and bask in the sunny days. Sure, the Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks would probably make more sense ordered over ice given the temps but if you pick one up early enough in the morning you can almost pretend its chilly outside - cranking your AC helps with this fantasy.
As I walked I counted no less than 4 houses in my neighborhood already decorated for Halloween. Rather than be appalled like I know some of you are, I simply returned home and told my husband that I was showing serious restraint by waiting until 10/1 to break out the giant black spider and black wreath festooned with the words "Trick or Treat". Needless to say he rolled his eyes and we put those items + the giant zombie hands up this morning. Now that we have 3 children under the age of 5 I am seriously thinking I need to up my Halloween decoration collection this year - they went crazy over the spider.
Even though we are still not yet on the eve of the 10th month we have been cultivating a Pumpkin obsession in our house since early September. I discovered this Pumpkin Bread (see photo above) via Hoosier Homemade on Pinterest that is amazing. I adjusted the recipe slightly to suit our tastes and it is now the #1, and some days only, breakfast request from the 2 verbal children. The baby shows her appreciation by devouring every last crumb of this bread we set down on her tray.
Replace 1 cup of oil with a 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce & a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Replace 3 cups of sugar with 1 1/2 cups brown sugar & 1 1/2 cups white sugar
For spices I used 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice & 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Added 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract to the oil, applesauce, sugar mixture
Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year!