Tag: recipe

pumpkin! muffins!

Honestly, it wasn’t until I married Rod, whose favorite season is autumn, that I really started to care about it. And even then, while I appreciated the beauty of crunchy-colored-fallen leaves and the smell of spicy candles, in Illinois, fall was mostly a reminder that the bitter, cold, looooong winter was coming, or in some years, when we went straight from AC to heat, already upon us.

Like many things, it’s a little different here in South Carolina. Fall means that the beaches and restaurants and Walmarts are less crowded and that we can open our windows. It means that I laugh about once a day when we’re outside with no shoes or I read a little article about making a funny scarecrow and then realize we’d have to use newspaper instead of leaves.

these are the times I realize how much I love it here.

A few of my favorite bloggers (Martha, one of my best friends and Kelle, who will be if we ever meet) are obsessed with fall. Kelle lives in Florida but is a Midwest-to-beach transplant like me, and last week she mentioned having a box of leaves mailed to her house. While I haven’t requested anything like that yet, I did find myself Obsessed with pumpkin muffins upon reading Martha’s FB post about pumpkin-flavored-everything.

I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie or coffee, but I love pumpkin soup and pumpkin bread-like things. As Martha wrote about her pumpkin cream cheese and pudding, I had one thought: Panera Bread’s pumpkin muffies (basically, big muffin top, but the non-embarrassing kind. Well, one probably contributes to the other but that’s another story). With Panera and Martha, sadly, far away from me, i turned to Yahoo, found this recipe, and dreamed about it.


1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix (a standard box of Butter Recipe Yellow was 15 oz)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (I used half of a 28 oz can)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners. I used 36 mini muffins…bite size, 67 cals each
In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until smooth. Spoon equal amounts of batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. it took about 18 minutes

Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar, and if your hankering is as strong as mine was, eat a few right there over the kitchen sink, and smile at the influence your friends still have on you from a thousand miles away.


Dinner from the garden*

*Or if you, too, are a fan of the TV show Little House on the Prairie, we can call this one ‘A Harvest of Friends.’

I should have pictures, but there is a phone saga that I won’t get into right now!

I hate gardening. Hate. It. I tried to grow tomatoes once or twice. Not so much with the growth. I do not like planting flowers or watering them or weeding. At all.

But I really like eating stuff fresh from the garden, and happily, blessedly, I have friends who enjoy gardening and enjoy sharing their bounty. Twice this week I have made meals (spaghetti & meatballs and pizza) with basil from my friend Maureen. And last night, with an abundance of potatoes from ‘Gramma’ Lynne plus cerrano & jalapeno peppers and tomatoes from my friend Cindy, I decided to try something new. Here is a recipe I found on Family Oven (by doing a search for ‘potato enchiladas,’ which I’ve seen on menus before but never tried). I made tweaks based on my freshly-harvested ingredients. Good news: Rod, Kaity, & I loved it! (Paige wasn’t here, and Miranda is in the traditional toddler chicken-fries-and-ranch mode). Also, it made a LOT. There was enough for our dinner, leftovers for lunch today, and about 2 servings that went home to my dad.

Bean and Potato Enchiladas

* 2 tablespoons fresh coriander or fresh parsley  (I had both; opted for parsley)
*   8-12 tortillas  (I used corn)
*   2 teaspoons cornstarch
*   1/4 cup olive oil
*   1 cup tomato juice (I didn’t have this, so I used some salsa)
*   2 cups black beans
*   1 cup stock (I used beef)
*   1 onion, chopped
*   1 teaspoon ground cumin
*   1 red cayenne (this is where I substituted 2 cerrano peppers, one jalapeno – delicious!)
*   1 tomato
*   4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
*   2 garlic cloves, minced
*   1 cup shredded cheese (I used a ‘Mexican blend’)


My extra step**Place the potatoes on an oiled pan and bake at 350 until softened.

1. In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic, pepper, and cumin for 2 minutes.Add the stock and tomato juice,and let simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Mix the cornstarch with a bit of cold water and add to the sauce while stirring.Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a bowl, mix the tomato, beans, potatoes, coriander or parsley, and cheese.Divide this mixture among the tortillas, cover with a large tablespoon of the sauce and roll up* .Place the enchiladas in a lightly oiled rectangular ovenproof dish. (*I am pretty clumsy with the rolling up – my corn tortillas always break. So I placed a layer of tortillas on the bottom of the dish, placed the filling, then covered with another layer, casserole-style).

4. Cover the enchiladas with the remainder of the sauce and cook in the oven at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.

Serve immediately accompanied with your favorite garnish or dip. (We had sour cream & salsa on the side).