“I like the cold weather. It means you get work done.” ~ Noam Chomsky

Brrrrr.

It’s that time of year again.

Cold.

Brutally cold.

At least in Southerners terms.

If it doesn’t get out of the 40’s, like today, I do not get out of the house.

Well, if I can help it.

Luckily, today I had nothing pressing to do outside of the home so I am staying in and have spent most of the morning in the kitchen.

It’s nice and warm in there with the oven on.

This gave me an opportunity to try a couple things that have been on my “want to do” list.

One being the very simple Pumpkin Spice Muffins.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

  • 1 Box Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • Confectioners Sugar
  • Confectioners Sugar Glaze

Preheat oven to 350º.

Mix together cake mix, pumpkin, vanilla and nuts

Scoop even amounts into a lined muffin tin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Top with a sprinkle of confectioners sugar and prepared Sugar Glaze (recipe below)

Sugar Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

Stir milk into sugar. Add vanilla. Drizzle on cupcakes.

May be thickened with confectioners’ sugar or thinned with milk.

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This would be a great last minute breakfast or snack to throw together because it’s quick, simple and you could easily have all the ingredients in your pantry.

-abp

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“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!!!

When did the world become so pumpkin obsessed??

Didn’t it start with Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, now know as the PSL?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not knocking it. Not at all. I’m sitting right in the middle of that bandwagon.

I think a lot of it has to do with how much more people seem to enjoy and want to celebrate the fall season. I say more power to them! I love the fall and I’m glad it is getting the recognition it deserves!

So here is my contribution to the pumpkin craze.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Caramel Drizzle

(adapted from Chef in Training)

For the cake:

  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (15 oz). can pumpkin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the drizzle:

  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and sour cream in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and stir in to combine. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan.

Bake for around 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. Test it with a wooden pick to see if it comes out clean. Invert cake onto a cooling rack.

For the Caramel Drizzle:

Heat milk and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla. Cool for five minutes and drizzle over cooled cake.

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-abp

“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” ~ Lucille Ball

It’s definitely starting to feel like fall around here, so like everyone else I feel like doing something pumpkiny.  I have found several recipes that look interesting but I’m a sucker for blondies/brownies so when I happened upon Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies on the blog The Baker Chick I knew that was the one!

Oh and by the way – today is my birthday, so if I want to eat the whole pan. I can. 🙂

Tonight a group of my friends and family are going to Hokkaido Japanese Steak and Sushi Bar and I cannot wait!!!! I looooove me some fried rice!!! This will be the first time I have been since the original was destroyed in the April 27, 2011 tornado – so happy to have them back!!

Alrighty then, on to the blondies.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 package (12 ounces) butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350°

Spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

Next cream butter and sugar on medium high speed with an electric mixer.

Then beat in egg and vanilla.

Beat in pumpkin puree.

Reduce speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients until combined.

Fold in butterscotch chips.

Spread evenly into prepared baking dish.

Cook for 30-45 minutes or until sides start to pull away and an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Cool completely and cut into squares.

I then served it warm with whipped cream, chocolate chips and pecans.

ahhhh……the flavors of fall – you just can’t beat ’em!!

As you can see, I like a little crunch so next time I would add pecans when baking. When trying a new recipe for the first time that I am pretty sure I would like nuts in, I usually wait because pecans are pretty pricey and I want to make sure I like the recipe before I add them.  But that is just me – they are pretty awesome without nuts too!

I hope you have had a chance to sample several goodies this fall season! If you have not – this would be a great one to try!

abp