Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

As promised, here is the recipe for the pumpkin chocolate chip loaf I have been baking at a mildly alarming rate! The craziness of the beginning of the semester left me with little time to cook, bake, or generally care for myself, but the premise of baking for a room full of hungry violinists (read: studio classes) inspired me to find the time to bake again. Not only did this keep me from going a little bonkers, what with the zen measuring of flours and heady smell of cinnamon and nutmeg, but it was so wonderful to share with everyone! I highly recommend it because, beyond its calming powers, it really is just completely delicious.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf, recipe by Shauna Sever
Makes 1 9x5x3 loaf

11/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Half a can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup room temperature wear
Half a bag each of semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli is the way to go!)

Preheat over to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan by buttering and flouring. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, and sugar, until well-blended. Then add the eggs and vanilla until combined, finishing by whisking in the water. Fold the chocolate chips into the wet ingredients, followed by folding in the dry ingredients in batches. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula, and bake for about 75 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before inverting loaf onto the rack to cool completely before serving. Store in plastic wrap or an airtight container.


Until next time,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Long Overdue Updates!

Well, I'm finally sick with the cold that's been threatening for a couple of months now. Which means, I have time to update! My apologies for the hiatus until now. The beginning of the semester was a frenzy of scheduling, e-mails, starting my teaching assistantship, and practicing like crazy. It was a big adjustment going from teaching 1 1/2 hours to 12 hours a week on top of my own practice, classes, and rehearsals! I'm absolutely in awe of how much I'm learning from this process and it's been a true joy to work with the students in Mr. Perlman's studio. 

Some highlights of the past two months include Perlman Music Program trips to Stanford, CA (a return to my Music@Meno stomping grounds!) and Stowe, VT, becoming my niece Juliette's godmother, baking multiple loaves of pumpkin chocolate chip bread, and experiencing Fall in New York (friends, it's a beautiful thing). I've also been spending a good deal of time ruminating on my future, both short and long term, something which has led to moments of giddy excitement, sheer panic, glimmers of faith, and joy.

With Radu at the PMP in Stanford reception in CA

Pumpkin chocolate chip loaf!

Pumpkin carving and general autumnal merriment

Gorgeous colors in Central Park

Snowy Stowe, VT

From the drive home after our concert in Burlington, VT

Next up on the concert prep list is the Juilliard Orchestra Shostakovich program with conductor Vladimir Jurowski, for which I will be sitting Concertmaster. In addition to the first symphony, we will be playing excerpts from Shostakovich's silent film score (who knew?!) New Bablyon, as well as his Hypothetically Murdered suite. Off to drink Emergen-C and read some ledger lines!

Until next time,