Monthly Archives: November 2011

Break Time.

I thought you all deserved an explanation for my lax blogging of late. I have decided it’s time for me to take a bit of a break from the blog over the holidays. This decision is something that I’ve been wrestling with for a while now and it’s time to come to grips with it.

I have so much passion and so many interests that it gets spread a little thin. I love baking, cooking, writing, photography, jewelry making, sewing and crafting to name a few. The problem is that I don’t know how to prioritize that list. I don’t know what I love most and, ultimately, what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.

I have appreciated all your comments and support thus far, but I feel as though I am maintaining this blog for others and not for myself. I am a firm believer that it’s important to do what makes you happy in life. I have made too many wrong turns to give up on that now. I just need some time to decide exactly what it is that makes me happy.

I feel as though I use the blog as a shield to protect me from following my dreams and consequently failing or even succeeding. I stay distracted and busy myself with cookies and buttercream so I don’t have to face the fact that I’m floundering. I am a huge procrastinator and I don’t want to resent the blog for keeping me from what I really want.

Life can be scary. I am exactly where I want to be physically, emotionally and romantically, but not professionally. I need to find balance.

When I come back there will be some big changes with Hot Polka Dot. I have some avenues I need to explore and some experiments to make. I don’t want you to worry. It’s all very exciting! I expect some of you won’t stick around to find out, but I hope that most of you will be patient and wait to see what comes next.

Thank you all for your understanding and support! I look forward to talking with you again after the break!

These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For.

Mind over matter. Power of suggestion. The force.

Whatever you want to call it, that’s what I’ve been wrestling with for the past week. Everyone around me is aching and couching and sneezing. The odds are kind of stacked against me here. I’d have to be some sort of guru of meditation with a fistful of mental placebos to resist all that.

I’m not. I’m not made of midi-chlorians. I’m made of squishy flesh and achy bones.

However. If I were a Jedi I wouldn’t bother with curbing the common cold or not looking silly when I sneeze. I’d have way more fun. I would wave my hand casually yet deliberately and tell you how much you need this Maple Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Bread. Struck by a sudden delicious idea, you would calmly rise from your seat, gather the ingredients and make yourself one awesome snack. You’d slice off piece by piece savouring the full flavour of pumpkin, the punch of spices and the sweet, buttery crunch of the streusel topping until it was all gone. At which point you would feel the need to bake yourself another and another and another… Do or do not. There is no try.

Hey… Maybe I am a Jedi!

Maple Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Bread

Source: My imagination.

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place a rack in the middle. Butter a 9 inch loaf pan then fit a piece of parchment paper inside the pan with a little overhang to grasp easily. Set it aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl.

In a larger bowl mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, maple syrup, egg and oil. Add the dry ingredients and blend until it’s just combined.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and pumpkin pie spice then cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles pea sized chunks. Toss it with the chopped pecans.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top.

Bake it for 30 – 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for about 5 – 10 minutes before lifting it out using the parchment paper overhang to cool completely on a rack. Slice and enjoy!