Monday, 17 September 2018

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

It's bake all the pumpkin things season! The cans of pumpkin puree sold here are gigantic so I always have to be prepared to make a bunch of different recipes once I open a can.

The can I opened made:
- 4 pumpkin flavoured overnight oats
- 3 pumpkin greek yogurts
- batch of pumpkin spice muffins
- batch of pumpkin cookies
- approx. 1/2 cup leftover to make my own pumpkin spice lattes

I bought another can of pumpkin puree the other day so I'll be making more pumpkin recipes over the next couple of weeks including pumpkin biscotti.

Today I'm sharing the pumpkin spice muffins recipe I made. I found it on Pinterest via Princess Pinky Girl. They turned out amazing! Needless to say I froze half the batch and the other half disappeared in a few days between Adam and myself. They were perfect to pair with a coffee in the morning.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used unsweetened applesauce)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter - melted

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a large bowl mix together applesauce (or oil), sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree.
4. Mix the flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until there's no lumps.
5. Spoon the batter into the muffin liners. The batter made 12 muffins.
6. Bake in oven for 17-22 minutes (mine took 20 minutes) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
7. For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
8. Dip the top of each muffin into melted butter and then dip into the cinnamon sugar bowl. Shake off excess.
9. Place on plate. Enjoy while butter is still warm and sticky or let them cool and dry.

So pumpkin pie spice... I know it's not available everywhere. I don't always have it on hand. I tend to run out so I make my own.

Pumpkin Pie Spice:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

These muffins are the perfect amount of sweetness. The muffin part itself isn't overly sweet, just a nice blend of pumpkin spice so the sugar-cinnamon topping is a perfect bit of sweetness to the muffin.

I'll share my pumpkin cookies recipe next and then I'll be trying out pumpkin biscotti for the first time!

xo Jen

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Life Lately

It's been a while since I sat down and wrote anything. September is in full swing and it feels like fall is around the corner. The weather has cooled significantly and the stores are filled with all things pumpkin.

The summer flew by with visits to Hamilton and having company come up to stay with us. It was an exceptionally hot summer. There were heat warnings almost weekly. So both Emma and myself spent a lot of days in light cotton, bare minimal clothing while we hung out at home. I didn't want to overheat her and because she's still too young for sunscreen, we can only spend so much time at the beach.

I originally thought we'd spend a ton of time outside this summer. It was the first summer with Emma and the first summer in this house. I had fantasies of kiddie pools and dinners at a patio table. But again, too hot and Emma is still too young for sunscreen and to sit by herself. We still had fun though and spent some time outside in small intervals.

If anything, I felt like I had gotten into quite the routine and flow with Emma. Things felt 'easy' the past couple of months, if you will. But this month has brought on a new challenge... it's time to introduce her to solid foods. So far it's been a fun process but I feel like I'm doing way more research than I should have to about foods and purees and recipes, etc. Once we have her 6 month check up, I'm hoping to feel better when I can ask the doctor some questions.

As usual I've embraced fall with open arms. A break from the heat plus pumpkin spice lattes make fall such a lovely welcome.

I've been busy baking pumpkin things already and I've had more pumpkin spice lattes than I care to count (I'm making up for last year when I was pregnant...). It's our first fall with Emma but what do you do with a 6-8 month old in the fall? She's too young for pumpkin picking and to eat a Thanksgiving meal. Besides dressing her up for Halloween and some fall walks, I can't think of anything else we can do as a family for the fall season.

I'll be sure to share my successful pumpkin recipes on here. And if you don't follow me on Instagram already, you can see random pics of cats and babies and sweets @sparklegirljen since I post more regularly on there.

Have a great day!
xo Jen

Saturday, 14 July 2018


Yesterday was my birthday. How old? I'll never tell...

It's weird that I hit my birthday slump this year. The last few years my birthdays haven't been anything crazy but I always looked forward to the day and whatever plans I had with Adam. Last year my birthday was extra special because we had just found I was pregnant with Emma. This year, even though we now have Emma, I just didn't care about my birthday.

Maybe next year it'll be different again. Emma will be older and will understand the celebration part a bit more... she'll be able to eat cake and be more active if we have another beach celebration.

I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way about their birthday. I know a few people who'd rather not make a big deal about it. It just feels weird to be apart of that club now.

We ended up having a beach day a day before my birthday due to Adam's work schedule. Well, a beach afternoon anyways. We bought a shade tent on clearance a couple of summers ago and I'm so happy we did. It works well and allows us to hide in shade in between dips in the lake to protect Emma's skin. We dipped her legs in the lake water while we were there and surprisingly she didn't hate it. The water was still quite cold but she just kicked her legs, which is how she typically responds to water.

Because the afternoon went so well and Emma was content splashing in the water and then lounging in the shaded tent, I'm hoping to do a few more beach days this summer. I forgot how much I love being there. The feeling that comes over me swimming in the lake, drying off on the sandy beach and hearing kids play and the food building's oldies music; it brings me back to childhood and a calm washes over me. It's basically an anti-depressant for me. It warms my soul.

My actual birthday was spent inside relaxing. It was a damp and rainy day so it worked out. I cuddled with Emma, did some reading, and started on the second season of Glow. Overall it was a great couple of days with my family.

And since it is still my birthday weekend and I have errands to run today, I might treat myself to an iced coffee to get me through this hot day.

xo Jen

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