Category Archives: Breads

Pumpkin Bread (Trader Joe’s)

There are days when you don’t have time to prepare a loaf of bread from scratch and that’s when high quality mixes can be a blessing. Trader Joe’s has some of the best bread mixes I have tried and I often pop a loaf in the oven when I need a break from homework or just want something to snack on. All you have to do for their pumpkin bread is add eggs, oil, and water to the mix, pop it in a pan, and you’re done. Your friends will never know you didn’t spend hours in the kitchen waiting for the dough to rise. This particular mix is only available in the fall, so stock up on it! My roommate Michelle suggests eating a warm slice with a glass of milk. Yum.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 55 to 60 minutes

Ingredients (from side of box):

Pumpkin bread with homemade glaze.

  • 1 full package of mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1/2 cup almonds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar and small amount of milk (if maxing glaze)

Instructions (from side of box):

  • Prepare: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a standard 9×5 pan with butter or cooking spray.
  • Mix: Combine eggs, oil, and water in a medium bowl. Add mix. Fold together with rubber spatula until batter is smooth (approximately 1 to 2 minutes). For holiday bread, add cranberries and/or almonds.
  • Pan: Spread batter in pan, filling corners and leveling top.
  • Oven: Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Yields 10 to 12 slices per loaf.
  • If making glaze: Combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar with milk, adding teaspoons at a time to desired consistency.  Spread over warm loaf. Cool before slicing.
  • Muffins: Follow mixing instructions. Portion batter into lightly greased standard muffin tins, 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.
  • For high altitudes: Add 2 Tbsp. water to above ingredients.

Trader Joe’s Baking Tips:

  • All ovens bake differently. Always double check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer before baking.
  • Check bread at the minimum baking time by inserting a toothpick in several locations. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is finished. If not, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Breads, Desserts, Holiday Desserts



Banana Bread

Anna Filosi and Jane Durland

This recipe is from Jane Durland, a lovely woman who was Deputy Director of Human Resources at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). I began working at EOHHS shortly before Jane died from brain cancer in 2007. I never had the privilege of meeting Jane, but everyone in the office spoke very highly of her as a consummate professional, trusted friend, and confidante. After hearing so many stories about Jane, I feel like I knew her. My friend Anna, who was very close to Jane, gave me her banana bread recipe which I include here in Jane’s memory. You will not find a better banana bread recipe anywhere! 

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time: 45 minutes


  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal (quick oatmeal is fine)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • Optional: Add tropical nuts, dates, raisins, or cranberries for variety.


  • Mash bananas well and mix thoroughly with beaten egg, sugar, and oil.
  • Sift together remaining dry ingredients except oatmeal and add to banana mixture. Then mix in oatmeal.
  • Bake in a greased 5×9 inch pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Breads