Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Perfect Fall Muffin... Yumpkins!

Want your house to smell amazing? Need a recipe to use up that other half of the can of pumpkin? Try these... I've made them twice in the past week and they disappear in a couple of days. I'm calling them YUMPKINS (yummy pumpkin muffins) :) The perfect Fall muffin!

These also freeze beautifully. Double the recipe and freeze in Ziplock bags in batches of 6.

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease muffin tins or line with paper. (Makes 24 mini + 6 regular size muffins)

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl: 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pumpkin muffins
  • 2-3 tablespoons ground flax seed (optional)
Whisk together in another bowl:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar or packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix; the batter should not be smooth. Divide the batter among the muffin cups.

Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 12 minutes for mini muffins and 17 for regular size muffins.

Enjoy!! :) 

*I recently tried substituting coconut oil... Amazing!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Rites of Passage - first cafeteria lunch

It's funny the things that kind-of get to you as a parent, and make you realize your kids really are growing up (despite you telling them repeatedly not to). 

For the first time in his short school career, we sent The Boy off this morning without a lunch packed in his backpack. For the first time ever, he'll be getting his own hot lunch in the cafeteria.

No big deal, really. He's been eating lunch at school forever. But, he's never gone to the cafeteria - and for some strange reason (lack of sleep, most likely) I'm kind-of having a hard time with this. Is he really old enough to wander down to the cafeteria on his own? Will he know where to go, how to load his tray with food? Will he feel anxious trying to find somewhere to sit? I've even had some somewhat neurotic thoughts about his ability to cut his waffles. (Ha! Okay that's definitely lack of sleep talking.)

All kidding aside, it seems like there are these little rites of passage that keep creeping up on us - first sleepover at a friend's house, first school crush, first time using Windex. (Haha... One of my personal favourites.) And just like that, I have a kid who just yesterday - or 2 years ago, who can keep track? - was wearing pull-ups and carrying around a blankie and drinking from sippy cups, and is now standing in the hot lunch line at school ready to take on the world.

Such a small, insignificant thing... But oh, such a big thing. 

Should I start packing his bags for college now??

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Countdown to Christmas: Family Advent Tree

It was around November 30 last year when I suddenly realised I hadn't done anything about advent calendars for the kids. Now, what childhood would be complete without a countdown to Christmas?? Clearly I had dropped the ball and had to remedy the situation... STAT.

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A frantic search on Pinterest revealed a lot of very cute, some very elaborate advent calendars that just weren't going to cut it. First of all - ain't nobody got time for that. Plus I didn't have a whole bunch of supplies ready to go and no desire to run out to craft stores etc - this had to be something I could whip up on the very last day possible with whatever I had on hand. That's just how I roll. 

As a result, I put my thinking cap on and came up with THIS GEM... which we plan to do again this year and for years to come: A Family Advent Tree.