Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall Comfort Food: Roasted Chicken dinner with Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake for dessert


Today was the first day that it really felt like Fall to me.  The air was crisp and cool.  It's still warm enough to have the windows cracked a bit, but I needed a sweater because of the chill in the breeze coming through the window.  By nightfall everything gets closed up and we bring out the quilts and blankets to the couches. (My six year old is currently on a Full House kick and we watch reruns every night.  Hour after hour of Uncle Jessie, DJ, and Michelle.  It's really not as bad as it sounds except when I remember that this is a 20 something year old show and little Michelle must be nearing 30 by now.  Wow. When did I get old?  I bury my face in a quilt. ) Someone in my neighborhood was using a wood burning stove tonight.  It smelled like burning leaves and I'm happy again.... 

It's also great sleeping weather.  We are still trying to get used to our new school routine (up early, in bed early, and whole lot of stuff in between).  By dark we are all exhausted, and having cool nights makes the bed seem that much cozier ♥


After dropping my son off at school this morning I took a walk around the yard to inspect things.  It's been a while since I've been out there, so it was nice to take in all the changes.  I noticed some leaves are already starting to turn color. 

In a matter of weeks all my bushes and trees will look like this!  Hello early arrivals! : )

We still have the last of the summer flowers still lingering, not wanting to let go of the season, which is just fine by me ♥

Because it was so cool today I wanted to cook my first comfort meal of the season.  I decided on roasted chicken.  What's not to love?  It cooks for two hours, the oven keeps the kitchen warm, and the house smells like a holiday dinner.  Plus there are left overs, which means no cooking tomorrow night. Bingo!
Here's the marinade I used:   2 tablespoons olive oil, zest of 1 lemon, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried rosemary, and 2 garlic cloves (chopped).  Mix together and rub it all over the chicken. Also, with your fingers, loosen the skin from the chicken breast and rub the mixture under the skin.  Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and roast.  350 degrees/20 minutes per pound. 
 I served this chicken with stuffing, roasted veggies, and cranberry sauce.  (my mom brought the gravy!)  It made me sad that my son still wanted his left over chicken fingers and fries from today's lunch.  I wish I could somehow re-program that mind of his when it comes to chicken fingers.  He eats them like they are going out of style! Chicken fingers and Full House is how he rolls right now. 
The desert on the other hand, he loved.  And since technically pumpkin is a veggie - I was secretly smiling. I also snuck in some whole wheat flour and flax seed and no one was the wiser.  This cake is delicious. 
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake (recipe from The Meal Makeover Moms)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ or ground flax seed
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
15 ounce can of pumpkin
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
 2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips (optional)
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with non-stick spray. 
Whisk together the flour, whole wheat flour*, sugar, wheat germ*, baking power, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl until well combined.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, pumpkin, milk, and vanilla until well blended.  Pour the liquid ingredients (and the raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips if using) over the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. 
Pour the batter into the bundt pan and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Cool cake completely and dust with powered sugar if desired. 
*If you don't have whole wheat flour then you can leave it out and just use 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour.  Also if you don't have wheat germ or flax seed you can leave that out as well.  It's completely tasteless and only added to boost the nutrition of the cake.  I'm looking for ways to sneak good things into our diet so I chose to leave it in*
This cake was a wonderful dessert, but it will be even better with my coffee tomorrow morning at work.  Maybe I'll bring two pieces.  Sounds like a nice way to start the day. One might go in the lunch box as well.  I think he'll like that....
Have a wonderful day! Bye! xo


  1. Hi Danielle,

    Looks SO good! I love anything with pumpkin in the fall and your roasted chicken is one of my favorites too:)


  2. Why is it that the minute there's a crispness in the air, I can't wait to cook & bake? I'm glad to see I'm not alone. The cake looks so delicious! Wish I had a piece right now with a hot cup of tea.