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Pumpkin Oat Muffins

I bought a giant can of pumpkin puree and have spent the last week trying to come up with a good way to use up the rest. These muffins were the answer! They are moist, delicious and don’t take long to make.

Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
12 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pumpkin pie spices (This is a matter of personal taste. I used 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and a pinch of cloves.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup oats

Crumble Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
dash pumpkin pie spices
1 tablespoon cold butter
1 tablespoon oats

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spices, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, oil and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Fold in the oats.
Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. In a small bowl, combine the crumble topping ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over each muffin.
Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for five minutes in tin, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Enjoy your warm little packs of pumpkin heaven.

New Years Resolution

It’s January 13th and I’m finally starting on my resolution to lose weight. I’m starting slow with an at-home workout. I started day one with: planking for 30 seconds, 50 jumping jacks, 15 crunches, 10 tricep dips, 15 push-ups, 10 squats, 10 lunges for each leg and 10 standing calf raises. My plan is to gradually raise how much I’m doing every few days. My first goal is to lose 20 pounds.

Children By Mail

I learned today that in 1913 and 1914, people could send their children by mail. Parents would attach the proper postage to their child’s clothing and a trusted postal worker would escort them to their destination. A law was made in 1914 by the Postmaster that no humans were allowed as parcels. However, the final case of mailing children didn’t happen until 1915 (a full year after the law was made).

To learn more on this fascinating piece of history, head to the National Postal Museum website (or click the link).

Chili

My husband and I love chili. It’s the perfect stick-to-your-ribs dish for the cold Buffalo winters. However, our preferences for chili differ greatly. My husband prefers kick in the pants spicy with meat. I prefer vegetarian with a hint of spice and lots of beans. Since we can’t seem to agree on which is better, I decided to share our two favorite recipes.

Ash’s Pick: Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

2-15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (You can use just black beans, but I like the color and texture of two different beans.)

2-14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes

1 cup pumpkin puree (You can use plain puree or Libby’s pumpkin pie puree. Both work great, even with the addition of the spices. It just depends on how much you like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.)

2 cups diced onion (I prefer sweet onions, but you can use whatever suits your tastes.)

1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced (I like green because they’re cheap, but this is a good way to add some color.)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1. Mix together all the vegetables and beans in your crock pot.

2. Combine spices in small bowl, then sprinkle over top of your vegetables. Mix until just combined.

3. Cook on high for 8 to 10 hours.

4. Serve with your favorite toppings. For this dish, I prefer just a dollop of Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream. It saves a ton of fat and calories.).

Patrick’s Pick: Srirachili

1.5 pounds ground meat (Patrick prefers beef, but ground turkey would be tasty too.)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 onions, diced (We prefer sweet, but red onions can stand up to the bold flavors of this recipe.)

2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup sriracha

12 ounce bottle of beer (We use an IPA, but you can use whatever you like. We suggest something full-bodied or dark so it can stand up to the other strong flavors.)

20 ounce can stewed tomatoes

15 ounce can beans, rinsed and drained (We love black beans, but red kidney beans or cannellini beans also work well here.)

1. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or large saucepan that can hold all the ingredients) over medium high heat. Add the meat and begin browning, breaking up the chunks and stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, add the onions and bell peppers. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to turn golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, tomato paste, and sriracha. Cook about one minute, stirring constantly.

3. Deglaze the pan with half the beer, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the stubborn, tasty brown bits. Once that’s done, add the rest of the beer, as well as the tomatoes and beans.

4. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve with your favorite toppings. We like crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Myra-isms: Part I

I got a text tonight from my mother-in-law that read, “Payload doughnuts on counter.” I turned to my husband and asked him what it meant. Paula’s. We have a local doughnut shop that recently opened a location in our neighborhood. They are a real treat, but so high in calorie that I cringe when I see them. I am so calling them Payload doughnuts from now on because it is so accurate!

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