Pumpkin Apple Muffins

BABY LED WEANING (and husband) APPROVED

 

I tend to skim over what people write in the beginning of recipes, they get soooo loooong….so here is a haiku instead.

I always look for
this recipe from my Mom
Most scrumdiddlyumptious

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. cinnamon (you can never add too much in my opinion I add an extra 1/2 tsp.)

½ tsp ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cloves

—if you prefer, use 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice—

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 ¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking powder

1 large (2 small) apple – peeled, cored, diced ~ 1 2/3 cups

1/3 cup raisins (I use golden – they bake up softer)

½ – 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts)

½ cup butter (1 stick softened at room temperature)

1 ½ cups light brown sugar

3 eggs

1 ½ cups pumpkin

1/3 cup milk

For Muffins Preheat at 375º for 15 minutesspray with cooking spray
For a Bread Loaf Preheat at 350º Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes

or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

In a small bowl, combine flour, spices, baking soda, salt, and powder.

In another small bowl combine the chopped apple and raisins; toss with 2 Tbsp. of the flour mixture. (This helps the fruit to stay suspended in the loaf and not just sink to the bottom.)

–On medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until combined. On medium-low, beat in eggs and pumpkin until blended. The mixture will look curdled.)

–On low, alternately beat in the flour blend with the milk until all are blended. Stir in the apple/raisin mixture and pecans. Transfer the thick batter to the pan or muffin tins. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes in the pan. Slip the muffins or bread out and let it cool some more on the rack. You can drizzle a powder sugar/milk icing on if you like it sweeter, but I like it plain.

Christmas Fruit Tree

Christmas Fruit Tree
Better late than never! I had to bring over a dish to a Christmas party and this went over unbelievably well with adults and kids alike. It also helped balance out all the cookie options as well. Need some inspiration on how to make a fruit tree? Check it out.

Start with some peeled clementine oranges as the outline of the tree and layer up depending on what kind of fruits you can get. The “ornaments” are pomegranate seeds.

Christmas Fruit Tree

Start with oranges to build the tree
Layer with different fruits – I would have added green grapes but they didn’t look too great in the store
Strawberries, grapes, blackberries
Top with a strawberry on the top of the tree
Fill in the edges with whatever you have left

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice for Your Coffee

Pumpkin Spice SyrupFalling into Autumn again and getting that taste for pumpkin spice? I’ve been trying to be more aware of all the chemicals the companies pump into everything nowadays. I think what got me on this was I was at the coffee store the other day and ordered my first Pumpkin Latte of the season. Well I took the lid off when I got home because it was sweeter than a bag of Halloween candy and I had to “water” it down with freshly home brewed coffee. Well I took the lid off and the coffee was literally NEON ORANGE! That can’t be normal. Since then I’ve found alternatives to glow in the dark orange coffee.

EASY VERSION Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Depending on what you have on hand, add this to a small tupperware and have it handy by your coffee every morning. I add a touch of agave and a 1/4 teaspoon of this. Make sure to mix up well.

VERSION 1
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoons of ground ginger
1.5 teaspoons of ground nutmeg
1/2 teason cloves or allspice (I didn’t have it and my mix worked out just fine)

VERSION 2
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of nutmeg
2 tablespoons of ground giner
2 teaspoons of ground cloves

NOTE – These spice don’t dissolve very well so mix well with a spoon and don’t take the last slurp o’ joe unless you want a mouthful of intense spice. I tried this way first and ended up going for the “syrup” version.
It really doesn’t take that long – give yourself 20 minutes or so, but it’s worth making to have for future coffee experiences.

HARDER VERSION – WORTH IT! (and not that hard.)
You can try the original recipe I found online but to my taste buds it tasted just like sugar water with no spice flavor. I amped up the spices and the pumpkin puree. I’d really suggest starting with the following and building it up to what you like. I’ve put both the original and my additions on.

ORIGINAL WEAK SAUCE
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
3 tbsp pumpkin puree

MY YUMMIER VERSION
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon (I didn’t have cinnamon sticks)
didn’t have nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cloves
6 tbsp pumpkin puree
(I also didn’t have a cheese cloth – who has those? I’m from Wisconsin and don’t have one. I didn’t strain it and I think it’s just fine but do what you gotta do.)

Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved.  Toss in the cinnamon sticks and whisk in the remaining spices and the pumpkin puree.  Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, without letting the mixture come to a boil.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.  Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and store in your container of choice.   Store in the refrigerator.

Pumpking Spice Syrup Source
http://www.annies-eats.com/2011/10/03/diy-pumpkin-spice-syrup-for-pumpkin-spice-lattes/