Golden Morning Muffins

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 grated apple
1 cup canned crushed pineapple
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated parsnip
1/2 cup chopped, lightly toasted pecans, walnut or pepitas

3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Stir in coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrot and parsnip and nuts.

In another bowl, whisk eggs, oil and vanilla together until combined. Stir into dry ingredients. Divide batter among muffin pans lined with muffin liners. Fill cups 2/3 full.

Bake 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes, then remove from pan.

Pumpkin Fantasy Supreme

This comes from the Kraft website, and ok, they called it layered pumpkin dessert but how boring is that? I made the recipe as follows, which was half the original recipe. Cool whip and instant pudding always seem to show up at our holiday table.

About 15-18 gingersnaps, finely crushed (scant 1 cup crumbs)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 egg
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1/2 8-oz tub cool whip, divided
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Heat oven to 350F

Mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press into 8″x 8″ pan (I used a 8″ x 9″ pan). Bake 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in mixer until well blended. Add pumpkin and spices, beat well. Add egg and mix on low speed just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour.

Whisk pudding and milk in a medium bowl for 2 minutes. Whisk in 1/4 of the tub of cool whip, about 1/2 cup. Spread over dessert. Cover with cool whip (remaining half of the half of tub).

Refrigerate 3 hours until firm. Sprinkle with pecans just before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Pumpkin Soup

For you Beth. I have no idea where I found this recipe but it was good.

1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Hungarian hot pepper, diced (optional)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (or the equivalent of home cooked pumpkin)
1/2 cup milk or light cream
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. sugar or maple syrup (optional)

Saute the onion, garlic and hot pepper in olive oil until softened.

Add squash, pumpkin and stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 30 minutes, uncovered, until vegetables are tender.

Puree and return to pan (or use an immersion blender). Simmer another 30 minutes (really, I have not idea why this would need another 30 minutes). Add milk/cream and spices. Taste and add sugar or syrup if not sweet enough for your taste.

Serve garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Cauliflower and Swiss Chard soup

Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Soups cookbook. Her version calls for leeks and kale, neither of which I had on hand.

1 medium onion, diced
1 russet potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut in chunks
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups slivered swiss chard, thick stems sliced separately
About 2 cups cauliflower florets
1 garlic clove, pressed
salt & pepper
6 cups broth (white bean broth, vegetable broth or chicken broth)
Asiago cheese for grating

Warm the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and potato and stir. While they are warming, slice the chard stems and add them to the pot. Slice the chard leaves into ribbons. Add the chard leaves, garlic, cauliflower and salt. Cook about 5 minutes.

Add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Finish each serving with a drizzle of olive oil, pepper and a grating of cheese.