Twink's Treats: Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Carving
Halloween – end of October, November is here. Fall – in full bloom. Seasons are a reminder that time is passing, and we need to make certain that we take full advantage of each season and appreciate the glory it offers! Fall foliage is at peak right now, and while due to the drought we are in now I have seen brighter, more vivid displays in prior years but it is still breathtaking. I have to remind myself to stop and enjoy instead of taking it for granted. A good mantra for every day, no matter what the season or weather.
Halloween also has a special meaning in my family as a very special friend celebrated her birthday on Halloween, my sister-in-law, Gail. Gail and I have been friends for 40 plus years. We married brothers, so we were instant family, but she is one of my dearest friends, and I cherish her friendship. She has her own special ministry of kindness, and if you are lucky enough to be in her inner circle, you never want to leave. Wise, beautiful, wonderful, caring, thoughtful, funny – she’s one of a kind and I am so blessed to have her as such an important part of my life. Cheers to you, Gail, and Happy Birthday!!!
Halloween and fall bring different recipes. I’ve been utilizing fall produce – butternut squash, acorn squash, and pumpkin. I love to cook with pumpkin and have shared some recipes with you, my dear readers, in the past. Pumpkin is a variety of the squash family, and is full of fiber, vitamin A, C, E and K as well as a good source of potassium and calcium. The word “pumpkin” is a derivative of the Greek word pepon, which means “large melon”. The French changed it to “pompon”, and the British changed it to “pumpion” – so later the American settlers came up with “pumpkin”. This weekend, I made a batch of Pumpkin Muffins. They are wonderful as a dessert, and with soups, salads, chili – also great with a good cup of coffee (pumpkin spice, of course!). Here’s my version:
Twink’s Pumpkin Muffins
3 ½ cups sugar
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin (Libby’s)
¾ cup canola oil
3 ½ cups flour
2 t. baking soda
½ t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 T. cinnamon
1 ½ t. pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins (24) with paper liners. Mix sugar, eggs, pumpkin and oil in large mixing bowl. Sift together dry ingredients, and add to pumpkin mixture. Stir until blended. Fill muffin cups about ¾ full, and bake for 23-25 minutes or until done. Place on wire rack to cool. These freeze beautifully, if you have any leftover! Enjoy.
Twink’s tip: Do not over mix muffin batter – it will be drier and tough.
Until next time – be kinder than necessary, and make someone’s day with your smile. -Twink