Sponsored Post: Secret Spicy Pumpkin Bread

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Pumpkin Bread is one of the very first things I learned how to make. The idea of it is so simple: mix a can of pumpkin with some sugar and some eggs, add some flour, lots of spices (I went heavy on the nutmeg, the cinnamon, the cloves), and pour into a greased loaf pan. An hour later your apartment smells like the greatest seasonal candle ever invented, only better than a candle because you can eat it. No wonder I made pumpkin bread so often. Now that I’m a mature statesman of gastronomy (ahem) I thought I would elevate my pumpkin bread game by changing one of the components in a major way; a way that contains a major secret.

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The Speedy Life & Tragic Death of My AeroGarden

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For my birthday this year, my brother Michael got me a very thoughtful gift. He got me an AeroGarden.

In case you’ve never seen one, an AeroGarden is a black plastic contraption that holds a very strong light. You place little pods in little pre-set holes, fill the base with water, plug the whole thing in and pretty soon those pods are sprouting plants.

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What Food Writers, Critics, Editors, Bloggers & Chefs Want This Holiday Season (A Twitter-Curated Round-Up)

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This morning I was going to write my 2010 Gift Guide–I did one last year–but then I thought: “Ya know, my colleagues David and Pim have already done such a good job with theirs, do I really have that much more to add?” Defeated, I turned to Twitter and, scrolling around, I had an idea. What if I polled all the food writers, critics, editors, bloggers and chefs that I follow on there as to what THEY want this holiday season? Wouldn’t that be interesting and more useful than anything I could come up with? So I asked a bunch of food folks, “What food-related gift did you put on your wish list this year?” Check out the responses below.

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The Best of 2009 (Or, The A.G.’s Gift-Buying Guide)

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Today’s the second day of Hanukkah and as much as I wish I could tell you that I’m frying latkes and spinning dreidels and unwrapping Hanukkah gelt in celebration, I’m actually sitting here next to a pile of cookbooks trying to figure what constitutes the Best of 2009. You see, many of my food blogging contemporaries–David, Deb, Eat Me Daily–have already offered up their take on what you should buy for you and yours this holiday season and now it’s my turn to separate the wheat from the chaff or the sour cream from the apple sauce (latke joke!). Are you ready for some hardcore gift-buying ideas? Come along with me.

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Food Gifts

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I really didn’t want to write any more about my birthday–two posts were enough, don’t you think?–but then there was this quasi-surprise party (I knew there was going to be a party (it was at our apartment, so we had to clean) but I didn’t know who was coming) and Craig told everyone to bring an interesting food gift. So how could I not blog about that? Especially when my friend Josh made the cake you see above: that’s the Sweet & Salty Cake from the “Baked” book (which I bought Josh for HIS birthday). It’s a crazy cake: it’s chocolaty and salty and at first the salt hits you and you’re like “wha?!” but then you’re like “ooooh” and, finally, “ahhh.”

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Holiday Bounty

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When it comes to gift-giving, it’s good to have a thing. Those without a thing are hard to buy gifts for: you choose between scarves and candles and ponder the merits of fuchsia vs. chartreuse or hyacinth vs. gardenia. But when someone has a thing, you just get them something that fits their thing. Like shopping for Bono or Michael Jordan or Sigfried & Roy–you buy them music, basketballs and magic trick sets, of course; and everyone’s happy. And those that have a thing can buy stuff for other people based on their own thing: like Bono can make you a mix tape, Michael Jordan can give you Air Jordans, and Sigfried & Roy can give you a white tiger. Having a thing is awesome.

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