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Friday, October 11, 2013

The Great Pumpkin Craving And A Favorite Muffin Recipe!

I go through it every year, that seasonal addiction that has me obsessing over pumpkins. Don't you?

Bet you can't eat just one!

The origin of the original recipe is unknown, I tore it from a magazine long ago. Over the years I've  made changes here and there until it had that perfect combo of spice and moist richness. It's a holiday staple in our house and a family favorite. This is my first time sharing it...with anyone!

Rebecca's Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 count muffin pan with very soft butter using the butter wrapper or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine and set aside:
3 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1tsp salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

In a large bowl, beat until creamy:
1 stick unsalted butter-softened
2 cups sugar

Then add:
1tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 C. applesauce
1 C. canned pumpkin

2/3 C. apple cider*

Begin mixing in dry ingredients, alternating with the apple cider*.  Stir in nuts and raisins last.

Add 1 1/2 C. golden raisins (regular can be substituted)
Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans (if you're a nut lover)

Bake 18-20 minutes.

Sweet Twist:
Skip the nuts & raisins and top with your favorite cream cheese icing and turn it into a cupcake! Or mix softened butter with a bit of maple syrup and spread on warm muffins. Serve with hot cider for the perfect treat sitting by a roaring fire!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Tip

Consider giving something you thought was really ugly a complete overhaul. The results may surprise you!
The client sent me this photo taken at night, I'd swear, just to demonstrate how ugly and hopeless the chair was in it's current state. It had been recovered in this red stripped, somewhat shiny,  fabric a decade ago. The little blue fabric swatch she tossed on the back indicated to me she was open to the possibility it could have a new life. That and a story she told me of how this was the chair that her husband used to sit on, with a board laid acrss the arms, so he could do his homework as a child. I pounced on it! And not just because of sentimal reasons...

but also becasue this chair had the right proportions, was well made and so interesting with the barley twist details! Not what you normally see on an Arts and Crafts style chair.  A bobbin or spool chair would have been a handsome addition to the room. But I didn't see the point when I knew this one would do just fine. We took the blue velvet seat from an occasional chair, just to have a look since the client thought she wanted blue to be one of the predominate colors in the room.

Purist's look away, or least try to keep in mind I was trying to save this chair from a life sentence in a basement. The new ebony color, proved to be just the stroke of genius that many of you got a good laugh over last year! It certainly yielded the desired effect to overhaul this baby.
 And, of course the perfect fabrics...

made the transformation complete. The cream toss pillow with the carmel velvet "conversation bubbles" is from John Robshaw and the wool plaid is from Kravet.  As you can see, we ended up with just a hint of blue-gray in the plaid I selected. I joked with the client that if she comes home one day and the chair is missing, it's at my house. Her response? It better not be because now it's one of her favorite pieces too!