Pumpkin-Apple Muffins

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

In a seasonal mood? These pumpkin-based muffins will absolutely satisfy your autumn-craving palette. I’m not certain where the recipe originated, but it’s been one of my mom’s Fall staples for years. She makes it in a 9×5 loaf pan. I prefer muffin cups for an easy grab-and-go breakfast.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of flour

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of baking soda

3/4 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 cup of granulated sugar

7.5 oz of canned pure pumpkin

2 eggs

1/2 cup of canola oil

1/4 cup of apple cider (the original recipe calls for water or apple juice)

1 large baking apple (I prefer Granny Smith)

 

Directions:

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

In a second medium bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and cider. Beat the mixture until it is just blended.

Combine the two bowls and mix until moistened.

Peel and chop the apple into tiny cubes. Fold into mixture.

Pour into 12 lined muffin cups. I like to sprinkle the tops with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Tortilla Soup

Soup season is upon us! Nothing beats a fall weekend full of sweaters, football, and homemade soup. This recipe was adapted from http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chipotle-chicken-tortilla-soup-10000001087094/.

Ingredients:

Two chicken breasts (bone in)

1 clove of garlic minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

14.5 oz can of whole kernel corn

1 cup water (I ended up adding a second cup at the end)

salt & pepper to flavor

14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (the recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, but I couldn’t find any that were soy-free)

1 cup crushed baked tortilla chips

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

7 oz can of chipotles in adobo sauce (discard the peppers and use the sauce)

1 lime

1/2 yellow onion chopped

1 stick of celery chopped

Directions:

First, make your own chicken broth (thanks, Mom)! Pour the water into your pot and place the two chicken breasts in. Add your chopped celery, chopped onion, and minced garlic. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and put the lid on. Let it simmer for 45 mins.

Remove the lid. Carefully transport the chicken breasts to a cutting board to cool. They’ll be tender!

Add the tomatoes (unstrained), corn, adobo sauce, and spices to the broth. I don’t put the chipotle peppers in the soup, just the adobo sauce. If you’re looking for a stronger kick, mince a pepper and toss it in. Add water if it appears too dense.

Remove the skin and bone from the chicken breasts. Using two forks, shred the chicken by pulling it apart. Discard fat. Place the shredded chicken in the broth.

Stir. Put the lid back on and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips and a wedge of lime. Delicious! Happy weekend!

Mom’s Sugar Cookies

No matter what the occasion, these sugar cookies are a staple. I’m not a cookie person. When given the option, I will ALWAYS choose ice cream, pie, AND chocolate. That said, something about this recipe sucks me in. I made these last week- the batch is gone. It should be noted, I live alone.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter (Soy-free, dairy-free: Earth Balance. Soy-free: Land of Lakes)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1  teaspoon almond extract

1 egg

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl

Add liquids and egg

Blend (Add a food coloring if you’d like)

Chill overnight (at least 3 hours if you’re impatient!)

Roll out and cut with seasonal cookie cutters

Apply confectionary sugar

Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes

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Can you tell which one is Brett’s masterpiece?

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Yum! Lactaid Milk!

Mom’s Chili

Nothing beats a hot pot of my mom’s chili in the fall/winter. But, who am I kidding? I eat it year round. This is a (slightly) adapted version of the chili I grew up on.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound of ground round- I use sirloin, not because it’s leaner, just because I’m lazy about straining.

1 medium onion

1 can of kidney beans (the size depends on how bean-y you like it)

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can of whole tomatoes- I cut them into quarters to have some larger tomato chunks. I strongly suggest you not wear white during this process- lesson learned.

1 can tomato paste

Chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste (I also add cumin)

1 cup of water

1 bay leaf

Directions:

Brown meat and onion, drain fat (again, I’m lazy). Dump everything else in a pot. Add the meat and onion and simmer four an hour or so. Taste periodically to adjust flavors. If you have a crock pot (yet, another sign of my laziness) then you don’t have to brown the onions, just the meat. I plug it in before work and return to an apartment filled with the scent of chili! Love that.

Thanks, Mom!