Posts tagged ‘Fall’

October 25, 2013

Zucchini, Carrot and Cranberry Spice Muffins

Fall is in full swing here in Colorado and it has been making me search for ways to incorporate yummy fall flavors. When I came across this recipe I knew it was the perfect way to satisfy my cravings. It comes from SoNo Baking Company, my very favorite bakery of all time. If you like to bake, just buy the book, every recipe is just right. These are even better than I imagined, soft and moist with some texture from the veggies. The cranberries added bursts of tartness and beautiful color. I did make one change right off the bat and replaced half of the oil with natural applesauce. It worked out perfectly! The only thing I would add is some kind of nuts…maybe walnuts on top? Mmm Mmm Mmmmm.


Zucchini, Carrot and Cranberry Spice Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ t baking powder

¾ t coarse salt

¾ t ground cinnamon

½ t baking soda

1 cup sugar

½ cup canola oil

½ cup natural applesauce (bonus points if you make your own!)

2 eggs

¾ cup grated carrot (about 2 medium)

¾ cup grated zucchini (about 1 medium)

1 ½ t pure vanilla extract

1 cup whole fresh (or frozen, unthawed) cranberries


Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a muffin pan or insert muffin cups. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, eggs, grated carrot and zucchini, and vanilla. I used a coarser grate to keep some of the color and texture of the vegetables, but you could use a fine grate to hide those healthy veggies. J

Add the dry ingredients and fold until the flour has been absorbed. Fold in the cranberries. Use a 2 inch ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.

Bake, rotating the pan about two-thirds of the way through, about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan. Use a knife to gently lift the muffins and turn them on their sides in the pan. Enjoy!

September 23, 2012

Fall Picnic

The colors here in Colorado are just starting to change and fall is settling in. This has to be one of my favorite times of year; the weather cools off but it is still pleasant to be outside. We decided to spend this Sunday taking advantage of our Colorado scenery and enjoy a mountain picnic. We have had a lovely picnic basket staring at us all summer, just waiting to be used so we did it up. Our very favorite Sunday place here in Boulder, Frasca Caffé, did the hard work for us and we got a fantastic grilled chicken sandwich with a treat of chocolate chip cookies and some sparkling wine to toast for good measure. I have to say my fantastic boyfriend was a good sport and let me take him a bit further off the beaten path than we had planned on. We did stumble upon a fantastic locale in the Roosevelt National Forrest with a great drive through the trees. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Deliciousness packed safely away!

Doing it up right!


Not a bad view!


I hope you had a fabulous Sunday also!


October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Projects

Fall is officially here and I am loving it! Fall means beautiful days, cool nights, a chance for snow, and pumpkins! I will be the first to admit that I still love to carve pumpkins, only now I love to cook with them as well. Pumpkin seeds are such a yummy way to use something that most people throw away. It is also so easy! When you head out to pick up some pumpkins this year, remember to grab a baking pumpkin as well to get a jump start on Thanksgiving preparation. We got these beauties at Anderson’s farms…if you haven’t been to their premier corn maze…check it out.

Here are a couple easy projects for a fall evening. What else do you do to celebrate the cooler weather?

Mary & Kelly

Pumpkin Puree

Cut a hole in the top of your baking pumpkin to remove the stem and then cut in half.

Remove the seeds and put them in a bowl of salt water to brine; set aside.

Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a lined baking sheet. If you don’t want the bottom to brown, add a little water in the bottom of the pan, which will help it steam, not roast.

Bake the pumpkin at 350° for 30 minutes-1 hour (depending on size and the thickness of the flesh) until the flesh is tender.

Scoop the flesh out of the shell and allow to cool. At this point, if you want to use in casseroles, soups, stews or stir fries. Go for it. Otherwise…

You can save this in the refrigerator for up to a week.

When you are ready, place the flesh in a blender or food processor (adding a little water if necessary) and blend until smooth. The food processor will puree it without water, so choose depending on your ultimate use.

Place the puree in a container and place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the puree cover with a lid and freeze.

You can use as a replacement for canned pumpkin for Thanksgiving. Don’t be afraid! It will look a lot more orange than canned product. With spices, it’ll bake up looking normal in a pumpkin pie.

A homemade and delicious alternative!

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Remove pumpkin seeds from any pumpkin and place in salty water to brine; allow to soak 2 hours-overnight. Separate the seeds should from the goo.

Strain out the seeds and place in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Season generously with salt and seasoning salt (we like Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic seasoning, if you haven’t tried it, go get some immediately!) If you like them spicy, you can add a little extra chili powder to the mix. If you want something sweet, add a couple tablespoons of brown sugar to the mix.

Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or until dried out. Turn off the oven and let dry till cool. This adds something. I like it dry and crunchy.

Put in a container on the counter for the fall holidays or serve with soup, salad … everything!

September 10, 2011

Fall Colors

It is just getting to feel like fall here in Colorado. This may be my favorite time of year; comfortable days and cool nights. We have the benefit of beautiful seasons and amazing colors on the trees, especially in the mountains. Plus, I love being able to go and run any time of day and feel comfortable! Things feel kind of relaxed and crazy at the same time this weekend, so I am glad to be done with errands and take a quiet night at home with a glass of wine, some Chicken Fried Rice and football. Hope you have a fabulous weekend!


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