Archive for the ‘misc.’ Category

My house smells like pumpkin pie. It’s one of the things I love about Fall–along with burning leaves, chilly rainy days and wearing socks again. On this particular rainy fall day I had a hankering for pumpkin something…pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread. I went with muffins because a Pioneer Woman recipe was so tantalizing, I couldn’t resist.

I’m no pioneer woman. If someone told me I had to live on a ranch and raise cattle, I might cry. I’ll stick to my little animal-free bungalow in Indianapolis. Either way, gluten free pumpkin spice muffins are never a bad idea. I dolled a couple of them up for the kids–they’ll eat anything involving candy corn…and frosting, so I knew they’d at least give it a try. Big hit, muffin and all. They’re super moist and great all by their lonesome (sans candy corn and frosting).

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

  • 1 cup Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup (heaping) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Topping
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins or use muffin cup liners.

Mix baking mix, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together oil, pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Fold gently until mixture is just combined.

Pour into a greased muffin pan, about half full. Sprinkle each unbaked muffin with cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. To frost or not to frost…I’ll leave that up to you.


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I’m going to apologize in advance for this one. I’m sure it has been done before, but for me, a Nutella sandwich with chocolate chip cookies as the “bread” is a natural outgrowth of two favorites: chocolate and nuts. It’s impossible to have just one. Hence, my apologies.

I used the Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix chocolate chip cookie recipe (see below). Shortly after I take them out of the oven, I drop a big, luscious dollop of Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread) on the underside of one cookie and top it with another cookie. Good gracious–watching that velvety chocolate squish out between the cookies is almost enough. Almost. It’s honestly one of the most simply delicious desserts I’ve had. I’m sure a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t ruin the flavor party. These would also be very cute as mini cookie sandwiches.

Pamela’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
(I have substituted 1/4 cup of the butter with 3 tablespoons canola oil.)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, large
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
1-1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (I like to use mini chips.)
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts


Yield: approximately 20 cookies
Preheat oven to 350°. Soften butter, add sugar, egg and vanilla, then beat together. Add Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix, chocolate chips (and nuts) mix thoroughly. Place tablespoon sized scoops of dough on a lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until edges start to brown. Let cookies cool slightly and use a spatula to remove from cookie sheet.

Load ’em up with Nutella and enjoy!

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After a long afternoon at the dentist (a filling for me and some sealant for dear daughter) and a big shop at WalMart with same daughter, I was ready for some good grub. If you know my dd, you can imagine what an afternoon at the dentist and WalMart might entail. I was bushed.

So…I went to my little can of chipotles that keeps on giving. This time I tried the chipotle burger using ground turkey instead of ground beef. Not quite as sumptuous, but still very tasty. I made a fresh mango salsa (mango, jalapeno, green onion, lime juice, salt and pepper) to go with it–so refreshing with the spicy burger. Yum!

I didn’t completely forget my earlier dental/shopping ordeal until I dug into the last piece of peach pie with a big scoop of vanilla. I felt a little guilty that I didn’t let my daughter have it until I remembered how she acted at the store. I’m sad to see my beautiful pies go but anxious to try the lemon square recipe I saw on Food Network the other day. It wasn’t gluten free, of course, but I plan to adapt it. If it works, I’ll post it tomorrow.

Oh the joy of being in a hurry to finish one dessert so you can make another.

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Salty meat

Is there anything better than salty meat? I don’t think so. Enjoying my leftover chipotle burger as I type this…

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