Tag Archives: pumpkin

No spray tan required

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You know that old saying, you are what you eat? Well personally, I’ve always thought that was full of a bunch of bunk. I mean, seriously. How could one be what is put in his or her mouth? If that were truly the case, I would be a 3 1/2 pound fibrous brown nugget and my great abuela would be a huge stick of beer-infused butter. Now I know I’m small, brown and have very regular bowels, but I am in no way a little nugget. Lean and svelte, yes. Nugget, heck no!

So despite my not buying into this whole idea of our being what we eat, I’ve recently begun to change my tune. And this is mostly due to mi mama’s skin beginning to change it’s hue. Now, I don’t know if it’s because Halloween is just around the corner and she’s decided to go as a pumpkin or because she is around a lot of women who abuse the spray tan and she’s trying to go for a more natural approach, but mi mama’s skin tone has started to take on an odd shade of orange. At first I was very concerned and thought maybe she had some funky new form of jaundice. I even voiced my concern to mi papa who only laughed and told me to go take a look in the recycle bin. And what I found instantly gave me the answer to her new skin color. Six empty 29 oz cans of Libby’s pumpkin puree. Yes, apparently mi mama has found a new obsession to add to her list which includes but is not limited to, all kinds of nut butters, Vietnamese Cinnamon and Extra sugar-free gum. According to mi papa, there was a sale on pumpkin at Costco recently and of course mi mama had to stock up. Why she felt the need to consume all six cans within a 2 week period is beyond me. Whatever the reason though, all that beta-carotene in a short amount of time has basically turned her into a little orange pumpkin. So in mi mama’s case, she truly is what she eats.

Therefore, in her honor (and because I was able to steal 1 cup out of her last can while mi papa distracted her with shiny objects), I created a new chocolate chip cookie infused with her most recent obsession.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp milk

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, applesauce, egg and vanilla in a large bowl.

3) In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk in a small bowl and then stir into flour mixture.

4) Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

5) Add chocolate chips and nuts and mix until combined.

6) Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

7) Remove pan from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes until transferring to wire cooling racks.

These have a very cake-like texture and are not at all crunchy like your typical chocolate chip cookie. And sadly, it’s only been 2 days since I made these and already mi mama has emptied the cookie jar. Gotta maintain her orange “tan.”

Alright friends, I must be going now. I’m auditioning for a role in Snoop Dogg’s new music video this afternoon. Wish me luck.

Peace out!

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Just call me the Muffin Man

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I must be on an orange and black colored food kick these days, as the recipe I have for you today also evokes those lovely hues. Either that or I’m eagerly anticipating Halloween which apparently is just around the corner. I wonder what awesome costume mi abuela will create for me this year. Not that anything could possibly top my one-of-a-kind taco outfit. That one will go down in the history books. Or at least it will remain legendary to the fine employees at Petsmart where I took home second prize in the Pet Halloween Costume Costume of 2007. (I still think they only gave it to that darn poodle because they felt sorry for her. Who wouldn’t? Being dressed up like Dolly Parton and all. Complete with fake tata’s… poor little perro.)

I’ve also been on somewhat of a baking kick lately, much to the delight of mi papa and the dismay of mi mama. He rather enjoys eating all my wonderful baked creations, while she curses the heat it brings to the kitchen by turning the oven on. What can I say– genius causes discomfort sometimes. The great Desi Arnaz would never have achieved such greatness without stepping on a few toes along the way.

And on that note, I bring you my latest and possibly greatest muffin recipe to date.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 2/1 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 eggs, or 1/2 cup egg substitute

15 oz can solid pack pumpkin

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl.

3) Combine all other ingredients except chocolate chips in another bowl.

4) Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until just moistened.

5) Add in chocolate chips.

6) Pour into greased muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

7) Allow to cool in pan 5-10 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Top with homemade peanut butter, a pat of Smart Balance or just plain if you wish, and devour. No bib required, well unless you’re mi mama– she spills.

This recipe makes about 20 regular sized muffins, which is good because they go pretty fast, especially with mi papa around. Oh well, at least I know he’s getting in his daily recommended value of Vitamin A from the pumpkin… little nutrition lesson for ya, kids.

 Speaking of nutrition, I must go and brush up on some of my nutrition knowledge. I learn best by osmosis.