September Musings

September Musings

It’s time for football, tailgates, pumpkin, and chocolate. I think fall is my favorite season. Let me know how these work for you. Arnold Palmers are one of Diana’s favorite drinks and anything with chocolate is my favorite. Loaf cakes are so easy to bake and then freeze for surprise company. All you have to do is microwave it to defrost. A hint is to slice it before freezing so that when those surprise people pop over it’s easier to defrost. Enjoy!

Taken from King Arthur’s Sarah Jampel recipes:

The Most Pumpkin Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

While many pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipes use just 1 cup of pumpkin purée, leaving you with a random half-can, this recipe uses the full can. And the result? A super pumpkin-y pumpkin chocolate chip bread with big fall flavor. The trick is to cook the pumpkin on the stove for a few minutes with spices and sugar; this concentrates the pumpkin flavor and staves off moisture so that you can use the whole can while ensuring a perfectly baked (read: not too damp) texture.  

PREP: 15 mins | BAKE: 50 mins to 1 hr | TOTAL 1 hr 15 mins

Yield: one 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" or 9" x 5" loaf


one 15-ounce can (425g) pumpkin purée

1 cup (198g) granulated sugar, divided

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoons ginger

pinch of turmeric, optional, for color

1 3/4 cups (210g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup (99g) vegetable oil

1/2 to 3/4 cup (85g to 128g) chocolate chips*

1 tablespoon (12g) coarse sparkling sugar or turbinado sugar

*Use the higher amount of chips for a more prominent chocolate flavor. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

In a wide skillet or saucepan, combine the pumpkin, 1/4 cup (49g) of the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin is darker in color and dry enough that it starts to stick to the pan, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir with more frequency towards the end of the cooking time and lower the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer to a bowl or liquid measuring cup to cool slightly; you should have about 1 1/4 cups (375g) of the pumpkin mixture. 

Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" or 9" x 5" loaf pan and line with a parchment sling. 

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. 

In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the eggs with the remaining 3/4 cup (149g) sugar until the mixture is thick, pale, and voluminous, 1 to 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk in the oil and keep stirring until it’s shiny and emulsified, then add the pumpkin mixture and whisk to incorporate. Add the flour mixture and whisk until combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine. 

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top into an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with sparkling or raw sugar. 

Bake the pumpkin chocolate chip bread for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick or paring knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean and a digital thermometer reads at least 200°F. 

Remove the bread from the oven and transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, use the parchment to lift the bread out of the pan and let it cool completely on the rack. 

Storage information: Store leftover pumpkin chocolate chip bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Freeze for longer storage.

Taken from Pioneer Women:

Spiked Arnold Palmer

“Whether you're playing through the back nine or lounging on the porch, nothing is more refreshing than an ice-cold spiked Arnold Palmer. Because it makes over 6 quarts, it is the perfect batch cocktail for barbecues, tailgates, or luncheons. It is a lighter, more thirst-quenching alternative to beer and is super easy to mix together. It's also inspired by one of Ree Drummond's "favorite summertime rituals" which is a big ol' batch of lemonade!

What is an Arnold Palmer?

Popularized by and named for the world-famous golfer, this drink was originally made with 3 parts unsweetened iced tea and 1 part lemonade. Known as a Back Nine or a John Daly when it is mixed with alcohol, it is often spiked with vodka. This spiked Arnold Palmer, however, is a big nod to the South. Made with sweet tea, herbaceous fresh mint, and plenty of bourbon, this drink was made to be sipped from a jam jar on the porch.

What is in a spiked Arnold Palmer?

Instead of making sweet tea and lemonade separately, this recipe streamlines the process. Because all of the sugar is dissolved in the hot, concentrated black tea, there is no need to make a separate simple syrup for the lemonade. Some mint leaves are also steeped in the mixture for a refreshing and herbaceous flavor. The sweetened black tea concentrate is combined with fresh squeezed lemon juice (it’s worth it!) and more water. After stirring in the bourbon, this drink is ready to be served over ice.”

Makes 6 qt.

Prep: 20 mins

Takes total: 45 mins.


5 family-sized black tea bags

1/2 c. fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving

4 c. granulated sugar

2 c. strained lemon juice from 12 whole lemons, chilled

3 c. bourbon


Lemon slices, for serving 


In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Dunk the tea bags and the mint into the water and allow them to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and whisk in the sugar until dissolved.

Strain the sweet tea base into a large pitcher or vat, discard the mint leaves. Stir in 4 quarts of water, the lemon juice, and bourbon.

Serve chilled over ice with lemon slices and mint sprigs.

Enjoy these Fall treats with loved ones and later alone with a good cozy mystery novel!

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