Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.

 

 

Pumpkin Bread with Maple Marscapone and Walnuts

Pumpkin Bread with Maple Marscapone and Walnuts

My son was home visiting for a long weekend and requested his favorite pumpkin bread to take back to school. I sent him with two loaves and baked the remaining batter in a small loaf pan for myself. After scrolling through Instagram and seeing a pumpkin layer cake slathered with cream cheese frosting, a deep craving kicked in. I had no cream cheese on hand, but did have Marscapone. That’s simply the genesis of this luscious topping. I can’t imagine I’m the first person to add maple to Marscapone, but I’m so happy the inspiration struck! If your looking for more complexity in flavor, a tablespoon of cooled espresso is sublime.

We do eat a lot of pumpkin (and banana) bread throughout the year. I have always found quick breads to be a great way to use nutrient dense grains which help fuel us all. Using many different flours in one recipe is annoying to some, I apologize, but I started stocking my pantry with a variety when the kids were young and have stuck with it, especially for baked goods likely to be consumed in the morning. I also find them wonderful to have on hand for pancakes. But, this version does have plenty of sugar and should be considered somewhat of a treat. For a gluten free version, please see the pumpkin bread recipe posted here last year.

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 Maple Marscapone  (I’m posting this first as that’s why your likely here and, it’s so simple.)

1 cup Marscapone  

3 Tbs dark maple syrup (you may add more if you like it sweeter) 

small, one finger, pinch of salt  

*Optional- you may also add 1 Tbs Espresso, cooled, for great flavor bomb. 

Whisk all together until creamy and smooth. once served, try not to fight over who gets to lick the bowl!

 

PUMPKIN BREAD (version #2, similar recipe posted earlier to the blog)

makes 2+ loaves (I bake the excess in some muffin cups or a small loaf pan) if you choose to divide all of the batter between the two loaf pans, place them on a baking sheet to catch any batter that may (it frequently does not) bubble over.

3 cups turbinado sugar

4 eggs (room temp)

1 1/2 tsp salt

3 1/2 cups flour: (1 c AP flour, 2/3 buckwheat flour, 1/2 c bread flour, 1/2 c almond flour, 1/2 c oat flour, 1/3 c flax meal)

1 cup sunflower seed oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups pumpkin (boiled, drained & mashed, or use organic store bought) 

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chopped walnuts for topping

Preheat oven to 350F.  

Prepare 2 loaf pans- grease with butter and line with parchment.

Whisk flours, salt and baking soda, set aside.

Cream sugar and eggs until light.

 Add oil and continue until fully incorporated. When creamy and light, lower speed and add pumpkin, vanilla and cinnamon. Continue until no pumpkin lumps are visible and mixture is smooth.

Stir in flour mixture by hand until just combined.

Pour into prepared pans.  Bake 1 hour at 350°, checking at the 50 minute mark, until a toothpick comes out almost clean with a few crumbs. 

 Lining with parchment makes removal simple, simply lift the loaf out. No inverting necessary. 

Lining with parchment makes removal simple, simply lift the loaf out. No inverting necessary. 

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I like to keep cardboard baking cups and loaf pans on hand mainly for gifting and for baking off small amount of excess batter. 

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The maple Marscapone is dangerously habit forming. 

Pumpkin Crostini with Chèvre and Lentils (Crostini di Zucca)

Pumpkin Crostini with Chèvre and Lentils (Crostini di Zucca)

Black Japonica Rice Salad with Roasted Vegetables and a (Preserved) Lemon Vinaigrette

Black Japonica Rice Salad with Roasted Vegetables and a (Preserved) Lemon Vinaigrette