How cute are they? Joslyn and Mary Ruth, playing in the leaves of my favorite tree, a big, sprawling Norway maple. All summer long this tree shades my little friends, giving them respite from heat and sun.... and then come fall, it glows gold with leaves until a brisk, cold wind chases them down...
And here they are, ready for kids to jump in, bury each other in, or make very cool recipes, just like we do here at Yankee Belle! Sweet!
We've been doing lots of autumn things: Cleaning the garage (a two-weekend job, weekend one is complete, weekend two awaits and it's supposed to SNOW this weekend. I will be dressing warmly!)
Bringing firewood to the side porch and the garage, because I'm grumpy if I'm cold. I'm grumpy if I'm hot. I'm fairly mean if I'm tired... I am a piece of work!!!!
But I cook for them all, so that buys me patience and points!
I had leftover pumpkin puree from a weekend project and I wanted something different... but delicious! So I found a recipe online for Blueberry Pumpkin muffins, but I decided to give it a Ruthy makeover.
And of course I made a double batch, so you can cut this recipe in half for twelve muffins, but around here, twelve muffins are just enough to start a brawl!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and sugar 24 muffin cups (same as grease and flour, but sugar works better for muffins)
Ingredients and Directions:
Mix the following together in bowl:
3 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
In separate bowl:
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs (I had a jumbo and a small so it worked out just fine!!!)
2 cups sugar
Beat butter, oil, sugar and eggs together until smooth and well-blended.
In third bowl (Don't Get Nervous, this is the last bowl, I promise!!!) :) mix:
2 cups pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
1/2 cup milk
Add the milk/pumpkin mixture alternately with the flour/spice mixture to the mixing bowl filled with sugary, eggy, buttery goodness. Don't overmix.
2 cups blueberries or triple berry mix
2 Tablespoons flour
Mix those together and then blend into muffin batter. The reason you do this is to help the moist berries to hold their own in the muffin. The flour prevents them from sogging things up too much because the flour binds to the berry.
And this way they don't all sink to the bottom!!!
Fold berries into batter and fill twenty-four muffin pans about 2/3 - 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
These were beyond delicious, they have the best texture, they made no mess in the pan, they were virtually EASY PEASY (besides washing three bowls!!!!) and they melt in your mouth.
You wouldn't even really know they're pumpkin because the essence of pumpkin is fairly mild in the finished product, but these are a crowd pleaser! Remember last year I did those muffins that STUCK IN THE PANS HORRIBLY??????
These spilled right out leaving nothing but a glaze of sugar behind. Perfect!
And to help us get ready for fall/winter, Paul and Mandy (Mary Ruthy's parents) came over to build a DOOR for the chicken house..... We were using a gate across it, but the weather's getting colder and we want cozy, warm, egg-laying hens.... So here they are on what might have been the last warm day of 2014:
I fed them a turkey dinner, but Paul still said "This is the last stupid chicken thing I'm building."
Paul always says stuff like that, but then I feed him and he remembers that I introduced him to his beautiful wife.... and then he agrees to help me do anything because he really, really likes his wife.
The way to get helpful cooperation is clearly by MATCHMAKING.