Fall Pumpkin Muffins, a recipe for a Witch’s Tea Party

This post is part of the Witch’s Tea Party blog post at ParaYourNormal to celebrate Halloween and Samhain. Wander on over there today for a ton of fall themed fun.

Fall weather takes longer to arrive here in Houston than it does in other places. Sometimes, I think it will never arrive when I am sweating in the humidity and heat on Halloween.

You might think I am exaggerating about the heat, but this is how green things are at my house.

My boys are enjoying the break in the heat by swinging in the ENO.
My boys are enjoying the break in the heat by swinging in the ENO.

I have never seen actual fall leaves so pictures like the one below, look fake to me.

Tree of Life by Brooke Hoyer. Used with permission.
Tree of Life by Brooke Hoyer. Used with permission.

When the heat drops, even the smallest bit, I am ready to celebrate by whipping up a batch of my favorite pumpkin muffins. These muffins are more like mini spice cakes and will make your house smell wonderful.

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. each of ground cloves, cinnamon, allspice, ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 c. whole milk
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the flour, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, ginger, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine well. Stir in the raisins.

In another, medium sized bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until moist.

Line your muffin tin with paper or foil then spray the liners lightly. This will help the liners not peel away half your muffin when you remove them.

Despite every recipe I have ever read telling me to do otherwise, I always fill my muffin cups right to the brim of my liners and my muffins are always big and beautiful. I suggest you break the normal rules and try it.

If you are making regular sized muffins, bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you are making mini-muffins, check them at 10 minutes and then keep an eye on them. These muffins are best when they are not overcooked.

Variations: Add nuts. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top before baking. Add cream cheese frosting on top!

These muffins freeze great. Enjoy.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween or Samhain!

 

 

 

 

I Was Never Sure I’d Get Here: a Mother’s Day Post

I spent my first Mother’s Day as a mom as Texas Children’s Hospital. At the time, I had never heard my baby cry. I had only heald him briefly for a picture before he was hooked up to machines that beeped and keep him alive. It was¬†days after Mother’s Day happened before I knew if I would ever spend another Mother’s Day with that precious child. I tried to be thankful that first Mother’s Day, but I did a lot of tearful praying and sometimes just in tears.

By the grace of God, that boy, Gideon, did come home eventually, healthy and ready to conquer the world.

Seven years later, I know have two boys, no longer so small as I think they are, who fill my life with laughter and the kind of shenanigans only boys can dream up.

I'n not sure what's more adorable, the turtle or those two boys.
I’n not sure what’s more adorable, the turtles or the boys.

Being a mom has been harder than I ever dreamed it would be and more rewarding than I imagined possible. Being a mom has made me a better person, though admittedly, I get by most days by the skin of my teeth and a large dose of God’s grace.

Mother’s Day is hard for some and joyful for others. If you are a mom, I hope you are showered with extra blessing today. If you are not a mom or if your mom is not here for you to hug, I hope you find someone to hold tight today and share a laugh with because this day is really about how we love each other. May your day be overflowing with love.

I never thought I would get to this place, but I am so thankful and happy I am here.

Bouquets of Books

I overheard a man in front of me at the store on Thursday telling the cashier he had spent $80 on flowers for his girlfriend. He was purchasing a gigantic box of chocolate candy and bemoaning the money he would also be spending on dinner the next night.

I realize some women must love overpriced flowers and mediocre chocolates because Valentine’s continues to get crazier every year. I am just not one of them. I spent the evening on Friday, flower and chocolate candy free. I went to the Lego movie with all the boys in my house (it was adorable and hilarious) and then we had milkshakes (I got chocolate). It was a perfect evening out and everyone had fun. No pressure.

I could not help thinking as I watched the man being checked out that if Mr. Rochester came home with $80 flowers for me, I would be furious.

Eighty dollars would buy a lot of books.