Cooking

Pumpkin Muffins and Thanksgiving Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all are getting to enjoy some time with family and friends, though I know there are a lot of people who have to work or have family members abroad. If you are in the later category, my thoughts are with you. Military families especially are on my heart right now. Can I just say how incredibly thankful I am for your sacrifice and service? Because I truly am. You are the reason we get to enjoy this holiday and all of the upcoming holidays in peace and freedom. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now, on to the Pumpkin Muffins. I am obsessed with pumpkin-flavored anything and I won’t apologize.

I discovered this recipe a few years ago and it is one of my favorites to make during the Fall. It’s really easy, yet delicious. I would really like to try modifying it to make it gluten-free, but I struggle with how to do that on recipes I already have, so if you have any suggestions on what GF ingredients to substitute in, please share in the comments!

The recipe I use is Paula Dean’s Pumpkin Bars but I make them into muffins using a muffin pan.

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Muffin Ingredients:

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4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Muffin Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

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Combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin and mix with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

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Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until batter is smooth.

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Pour the batter into a greased muffin pan (usually makes about 20 regular-sized muffins).

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Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

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Icing Ingredients:

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8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing Directions:

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Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.

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Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined.

Stir in the vanilla and mix again.

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Spread on cooled pumpkin muffins and enjoy!

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What is one of your favorite pumpkin recipes?

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Chilly = Chili

Now that the weather is starting to cool down, one of my favorite things to make is chili (mainly because it is EASY…)

I use my mother-in-law’s recipe, which calls for a lot of beans. You can use whatever kind of beans you like, but I recommend at least 3 different kinds. Also, another thing she uses is Cream of Mushroom soup. I know, seems weird, but it is really good! Anyway, here is a breakdown of the recipe:

1. Brown the meat. Don’t overcook it, but make sure it’s pretty well brown, barely any pink left. DSC_0319

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Using the “Mix-N-Chop” utensil from Pampered Chef— it’s my favorite for cooking ground meat!

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2. Drain the extra grease from the meat, then put the meat in the crockpot.

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Another awesome tool from Pampered Chef (my sis-in-law is a rep for them so I have a lot of PC stuff)

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3. Add beans (including juice in the cans) and cream of mushroom soup. I also threw in chili powder and Penzey’s Mural of Flavor seasoning. Stir.

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4. Set crockpot on low for 8-10 hours.

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5. Add your favorite toppings (cheese, sour cream, etc.) and enjoy!

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I forgot to take a pretty picture of the chili scooped into a bowl with toppings, so this picture will have to do!

What is one of your favorite “chilly-weather” recipes? Please share as I am always looking for new ideas!

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Sunday Morning Breakfast

Last week, I signed up to bring breakfast for our Life Group (a.k.a. Sunday School class) at church.  Since I rarely cook (my husband is the cook in our house), I had no idea what I was going to fix.  Thank goodness for Pinterest!  I searched for “breakfast casseroles” and this recipe came up: Sunday Morning Breakfast Casserole. Coincidence?! I think not!  Especially since I could make it the night before and just throw it in the oven while getting ready the next morning.

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Whisking away!

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My husband cooked the sausage for me.  He’s so sweet!

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I found day old bread on sale at the grocery store for only $1!

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Starting to come together…

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Ready to go in the oven!

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Finished product! I think I used a few too many potatoes, but my Life Group class loved it! There was only a very small portion left, which the hubby finished off.

What are some of your favorite recipes? I would love to get some good ideas!