Monday Goodness – Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Muffins

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I have decided that there are critical steps to take in order to have a good Monday.

1.  Wake up and ignore the puffy eyes. Puffy eyes only make me want to go back to sleep.  Ignoring puffy eyes makes me think that maybe they went away for awhile.

2.  Watch the older littles ride scooters before school.

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3.  Read some of my favorite blogs to get inspired.  Blogs such as this (awesome bundt caking), this (pumpkin pancakes, oh my!), this (beautiful oatmeal cookies), and this (frito chili pie) always do the trick.

4.  Do crafts with my girl, using ideas from my Crafts board on Pininterest.  We had fun with the bubble stamping, which I found here.

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5.  Read a book and do a fun craft after the main character.  I found the idea here.

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6.  Watch my girl smile with pure delight as she continues to paint.  She is inspired on this Monday, too!

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7.  Instead of getting discouraged, give myself a peptalk about how I can figure out all of the things – Facebook, Twitter, etc. – that are so new to me.  Seeing this cute little face helps…because she does not care how technologically savvy her mom is.

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8.  Create some Fall-inspired cookies.  While they did not turn out exactly as I had hoped, they are almost there.  And, I will keep trying.

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9.  Receive some hand-picked flowers from the yard, from my girl.

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10.  Dream of cooler weather, trick-or-treating, and lazy days with a cup of tea and these mini pumpkin muffins.

Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Put mini liners in mini muffin cups.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, add a scoop of the batter to each of the muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 14 minutes.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/26/monday-goodness-recipe-mini-pumpkin-muffins/

I frosted them with this frosting.  Enjoy!

I shared this recipe at The CSI Project, Life as Mom, and Gooseberry Patch.

Visit thecsiproject.com

Monday, Monday – Recipe: Spaghetti with Special Meatballs

While Friday is one of my favorite days of the week, Monday is one of my least favorite days.  Sean goes back to work, the boys go back to school, and Summer and I are happy that we are home together but sad that three-fifths of what makes us whole is gone.

We had a great weekend, though, and I am glad that I had those fun memories to look back on today and smile.  I flipped through that scrapbook in my brain quite a few times today, thinking of certain smiles, sounds of laughter, and moments that made me very joyful.

One of the things that helps me perk up on Monday is the thought of it being Pasta Day in our home.  Some days I know exactly what I want to make, and other days, like today, allow me to get my creative cooking juices flowing as I look in the freezer, the refrigerator, and the pantry to decide what to put together.  Once I did that, I started planning for dinner tonight, knowing that we would be complete as a family again….and already looking forward to Friday.

Of course, when I do things like that to try to speed up time, I realize that it also accelerates all of the moments that I do truly enjoy throughout the week.  So, while I will probably not like Mondays anytime soon, I am trying to appreciate that even Monday holds some beauty in it, even if it is something as simple as Pasta Day.

Spaghetti with Special Meatballs

Spaghetti with Special Meatballs

I kept the sauce, meatballs, and pasta separate because everyone likes their spaghetti a bit differently. So, I made a little spaghetti bar and allowed everyone to add what they wanted to their spaghetti.

Ingredients

Sauce

Olive oil

3 gloves of garlic, minced

2 15 ounce cans of tomato sauce

1 small can of tomato paste

Salt

Pepper

Italian seasoning

Onion powder

Sugar

Meatballs

1 pound of ground beef

1 egg

2 ounces of soft goat cheese

Salt

Pepper

Italian seasoning

Extras

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1/2 onion, diced

Sausage link, diced (about 1 cup)

Spaghetti pasta

Instructions

    Sauce
  1. Add olive oil and garlic to medium sauce pan, and saute over medium heat.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and seasonings - I use about 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  3. Simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat.
  4. Meatballs
  5. While the sauce is simmering, mix up the meatballs.
  6. Mix the ground beef, egg, goat cheese, and seasonings.
  7. Form the meat into balls, about the 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  8. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  9. Add the meatballs and allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  10. Extras
  11. Add the onion and bell pepper, and allow to cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  12. Then, add the sausage.
  13. Cook everything together for another 5-6 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  14. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with hot water.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/12/monday-monday-recipe-spaghetti-with-special-meatballs/

This pasta magically turned Monday into unicorns and rainbows, after all.

Baking to Remember – Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins

I am sure that everyone knows where they were on September 11, 2001.  I was sitting at work when a co-worker came in to tell me that a plane had just flown into a building in New York City.  I instantly started looking on my computer while calling my husband at work, just a few buildings away.  Within minutes, the televisions were on, and it became very clear that it was more than just an accident.  I remember going home early, not knowing how to process what had just happened.  In the next few days, I remembered even more.

I remember firefighters who went above and beyond, while proudly showing the colors that let everyone know that we might be bruised…but we would not let this break us.

I remember a President who, amidst his grief, remained strong for our Nation.

I remember a school who captured the Nation with its dedication to remembering, its belief in standing together to heal.

I remember a wife who knew on that day that I wanted to be a mom.  I know that it was a crazy time to decide that, but I just knew.  I knew that I wanted little people in my life, little people who would always give me a reason to always stay strong, to always stay filled with hope, to always love to a capacity that I did not even know was possible.  We moved in with my in-laws the very next month because we wanted to be ready when the perfect house became available, the perfect home to start a family, to welcome a baby.  We did finally find the perfect house, and we moved into it in the middle of June, Father’s Day weekend.  We found out that Gabriel was in my belly on July 1.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.

Today, I bake to remember.  I bake because i love it.  I bake because I want my children to always remember September 11, to always know what it meant to our nation, what it meant to me.  I told my littles this morning that I knew 10 years ago today that I wanted to be a mommy.  I knew it then, and I still remember it now.

God bless America.  God bless the men and women who fight the daily battle to keep us safe, to keep us free, to give us hope as we remember a day when someone tried to take it away from us.

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Put liners in muffin cups.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, add a scoop of the batter to each of the muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/11/baking-to-remember-recipe-pumpkin-muffins/

I frosted them with this frosting.

Enjoy, remember, bake, love!