Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rainy Day Baking

Pumpkin muffin photo shoot!

Today it is rainy and gray out, but it smells cinnamon-y and delicious inside our warm house. When I am stressed and worried, as I have been much of the time recently, there are lots of things that soothe me: journaling, warm cups of tea, hugs from friends, baking, and more. Today and yesterday, I was called to the kitchen. I'd like to share what I whipped up while listening to good music and wearing one of my favorite wedding presents: a homemade apron with my initials hand-embroidered on it!

First up, my mom's pumpkin muffins recipe. I generally make it her way, but this time I wanted to try something a little "healthier." (Only mildly healthier b/c I added chocolate chips. :)

Karen's Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 12-15 muffins

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
6 T canola oil
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
1/6 c sugar (I would probably leave this out next time)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup + 2 T pumpkin
1/2 c milk
mini chocolate chips, to taste
2 t sugar + 1/4 t cinnamon, mixed

Combine all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a bowl. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full with batter. After filling half of the muffin tins, stir chocolate chips into the batter. Fill remaining muffin tins. Sprinkle muffins with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

I have found myself tired of store-bought granola bars, but they are one of the easiest snacks for me to pack for work. I looked through my accumulated bookmarks from my extensive food blog reading, and found these breakfast bars from So I Married a Chef. I made just a few modifications: I used currants and dried cherries instead of raisins and dried cranberries. I used a combination of sunflower seeds and walnuts for the 6 T of nuts the recipe calls for. I used just one teaspoon of vanilla (I have to ration our amazing Dominican vanilla!) and 3 eggs + milk to equal the 3/4 c of liquid egg whites (per Carly's suggestion). I haven't tried them yet, but they smell and look fabulous!

The other recipe I want to share is a fun one. One of the pastors from my home church in Ohio used to always bring baked oatmeal to our Easter brunches. My mom has the recipe. I've made it many times with many combinations of dried fruits and nuts (my favorite being candied pecans and dried blueberries, or without either. Recently, I've been changing the recipe a bit so I can feel ok about eating it more often (the original recipe has a lot of sugar and oil in it). Enjoy!

Dee's Baked Oatmeal
makes a 9x13 pan, which is enough for 4 servings + leftovers

2 eggs, beaten
1 c milk
1/2 c unsweeted applesauce
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt (the original recipe calls for 1 t--I don't like to use a lot of salt because high blood pressure runs in my family. I've found you can generally reduce the salt by half and baked goods turn out fine. If you aren't used to a reduced salt diet, use 1 t!)
1/2 t cinnamon
3 c rolled oats (the original recipe calls for quick oats--use what you have)
1/2 c dried fruit (I used dried cherries this time)
1/4 c-1/2 c chopped nuts (I used about 1/4 c of walnuts)

Whisk the ingredients from eggs to cinnamon together in a large bowl. Stir in the oatmeal, fruit, and nuts. Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve warm with milk. (I find it delicious cold as well.)

Hope you enjoy if you try these recipes!


  1. these look great! i love pumpkin and there is no better time to bake than on a rainy day.

  2. is it rainy there? it's just cloudy and cold in boulder...perfect for movies, snuggling, and muffins :)