Time of the Season

While the weather may not have cooled off substantially, the change of seasons is still noticeable in Southern California.  Frankly, knowing that I’m about to endure an actual winter (the likes of which I will probably not thaw out from until April), the warm fall is a welcome phenomenon.  So I thought I’d share some of the autumnal items I’ve been enjoying.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  Best enjoyed with Jess Needham.

Mellowcreme corn and pumpkins.  Best enjoyed with friends or not…  Be sure to keep the bag out of plain sight or it will be gone much too quickly, and you will be spending more time in the gym than anticipated.

Fallen Leaves at Hero’s Garden, Pepperdine.  Best enjoyed in a contemplative mood.

 

If the weather cools down enough for reasonable oven use, it’s the perfect time to bake with seasonal produce.  I am currently in a love affair with PUMPKIN MUFFINS.  I use the recipe/instructions from this gal.  It’s a series of videos, so if you don’t want to sit through each one, I’ve recreated the recipe right here!  These are moist, not overwhelmingly pumpkin-y and all around awesome.  I added chocolate chips to my batter, but you can keep them unadulterated if that floats your boat.  For this recipe, I puree my own pumpkin, but it is rather labor intensive.  If you have canned, packed pumpkin readily available at your local supermarket it is more than suitable. But PLEASE make sure you DON’T get pumpkin pie filling, just pure, canned pumpkin.  If you want to puree yourself, here’s my method.

Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash  (Experts say it’s more pumpkin-y than pumpkin, I swear it’s good)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Cut the squash in half.  Then stand up the squash halves and slice them in half vertically.  Lay the cut sides down in a deep rectangular pan.
  3. Fill the pan with an inch of water
  4. Roast the squash for 45-50 minutes, or until the skin is blistered and brown.  Take it out and allow to cool
  5. Scoop out any seeds or stringy material.  Peel the skin off of the squash and scoop the flesh into a bowl.  Mix/Blend until smooth

*One big squash should yield 2-2 ½ cups of puree.  You will only need 1 ½ cups for the muffins.  Freeze the rest for other yummy pumpkin recipes.

My Butternut ready for roastin'

 

This picture blows, but the puree will be a nice bright orange. I like to mix it to a very smooth consistency

Now The Muffins!

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup Pumpkin Puree

2 ¼ cup sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 2/3 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 350°
  2. Mix sugar and oil together
  3. Add 3 eggs one at a time, mixing in between
  4. Add pumpkin puree, mix
  5. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg) and whisk together.
  6. Mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture, half a cup at a time.
  7. Add water and vanilla, mix
  8. Line a muffin pan with cups, fill the cups 2/3 of the way full with batter.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes

*If you are feeling sassy (like me) add semisweet or dark chocolate chips to the batter for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins…yum yum

** Cream cheese frosting is also a naughty addition 🙂

Ta Da!
Chocolate and Pumpkin. Do It. You won't regret it.

Happy Autumn!

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2 thoughts on “Time of the Season

  1. Pingback: rainy days |
  2. Wahoo! Look at those lovely PSLs. I will definitely be making those muffins, also. And thanks for the tribute to LA traffic. It’s really a great time for contemplating life, having a good conversation, or pumping the jams… I love a good Tom Petty jam session.

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