Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Buckeyes Proper

We know you're probably getting ready for the biggest feast of the year - and so are we. We are coordinating side dishes and rounding up enough utensils so that we don't have to wash between turkey and the other main course, dessert.  There is also another Major Calendar Event coming up: Game Day. In solidarity with every other Buckeye Fan in the Nation, and the state of Ohio, we present to you, Buckeyes Proper. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eight Down, Five to Go

Hey internet!  How's it going?  I'm good.  I have what some people would refer to as "a tan" (or, others, "normal human coloring").  Thanks, Hawaii!  You were awesome.  You are also good at mai tais, happy hour all the time, Japanese tourists, Louis Vuitton, and sunshine.  In no particular order.  Keep it up!
 Anyway, enough about Hello Kitty-themed buffet restaurants.  Do you remember when I broke my camera, got a new one, said I would blog All The Time and Be Really Good At The Internet, and even made a list to prove it?  That was a long time ago.  

Let's see where we stand on my commitment to you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

While C Fierce is sunning herself on island beaches, hiking up volcanoes and eating all the pineapple and macadamia nuts she can get her hands on, fall in Virginia is in full swing. There are jack-o-lanterns on porches and red yellow and orange leaves on the trees. I have to reassure myself that fall is fun, even as there is frost on my car in the morning, the promise of the ice that will come. The only way I can do it is by thinking of the best and biggest holiday of all, right around the corner. That, and the pumpkin muffins on my plate for breakfast. 

These muffins are sweet but not overly so. Walnuts and golden raisins are a welcome surprise that keep it from being every other pumpkin muffin you've had. They're incredibly moist, even a few days after they're baked.  I left a few at a friend's who unlike me showed restraint, and when we got into them a few days later they were still wonderful. No microwaving needed. 

Pumpkin Muffins
From the always wonderful Dorie Greenspan: Baking: From my home to yours. 

2 Cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch ground allspice
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup golden raisins (I think dried apricots would be wonderful here)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
about 1/3 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds for topping

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Get 12 cupcake molds ready with butter or paper liner. 

Whisk the dry ingredients together.

Using a stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until soft. Add the sugars, beat until light and smooth. The mixture will get lighter when a lot of air has been incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time and mix between additions until they are incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. 

Lower the speed of the mixer. Add buttermilk and pumpkin, mixing until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until they disappear. Stir in the raisins and nuts. Divide the batter among your 12 cups and sprinkle the sunflower seeds over top. Bake for 25 minutes or until a thin knife (anyone else use a piece of spaghetti?) inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!