Fruited Pumpkin Bread

This recipe comes from Sunset Magazine and is a bit different from most other pumpkin breads I've made. It's a little spicy and includes mashed banana for extra fruity flavor. Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground nutmet 3/4 cup (1/4 lb. plus 1/4 cup) butter or margarine, at rooom temperature 1 1/4 cups sugar 3 large eggs 3/4 cup each canned pumpkin and mashed ripe banana 1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or dates

Instructions In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; then stir in pumpkin and banana. Add flour mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Stir in walnuts.

Spread batter evenly in two greased, floured loaf pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven until a wooden skewer inserted in centers of loaves comes out clean (about one hour).

Let bread cool in pans on racks for about five minutes; then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Thanks for playing along with me on Project Quick-Bread. Now the work begins. This weekend my plan is to make many many loaves of the recipes I've posted this month and the gift giving begins. My thought is that each gift will contain three mini loaves. I'm a little stumped about how to present them cleverly. Jessica suggested baking boxes, which I like, but need to locate and don't want to spend too much money on. If anyone has any thoughts, please share them — I'm open.

We're in snow day mode here and this Mama can't wait. My plans involve taking Quinn for his first snow walk and serving hot cocoa to Jake while he sits at the kitchen table in his long johns and wet clothes dry on the heater — pink cheeks all around. I'm heading into the garage now to look for the sled. If I'm not back in a few hours, send in the troops!

Oh, one more thing: happy birthday Niall. I love you.