Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

I absolutely love this time of year. The crunch of the leaves in fall, the colors, the anticipation of the coming season. I know for many, Christmas is their favorite holiday. I can honestly say that, for me, Thanksgiving is even greater.

We have a tradition where we travel to Michigan to visit my husband's stepmother. The past couple years, instead of cooking, we've gone to the Thomas Edison Inn for dinner. It's so nice, to have some one else cook, have some one else clean, and just to be able to focus on the ones you love. As much as I was just a little worried about it the first year, I'm so grateful that it's become our tradition. So relaxing and fun. I also love the 2nd day, Black Friday to most of you nuts. To us, it's Frankenmuth day. For those of you who are not from, near, or have never been to Michigan, Frankenmuth is Michigan's Little Bavaria. It is like stepping into a German town. All buildings have the Bavarian architecture, most of the waiters and waitresses in the restaurants wear laderhosen (sorry if I butchered that). And, well, it's just a wonderful day. Our stops include Bronner's, the worlds largest Christmas store (picture 3 Home Depots); The Cheese Haus; and The Bavarian Inn, where we gorge ourselves on the best chicken dinner available in the world! We also manage to take a horse drawn carriage ride around the city every year. And if we time it right, we drive through the town just after they've lit the lights for Christmas. And lets just say, they go ALL OUT. Sigh. We leave next week. And I'm so excited.

Another great thing about this time of year is that Aldi starts to stock their shelves to the gills with all the holiday necessities! Canned Pumpkin, Whole Cranberry Sauce, French Fried Onions, Turkeys, Hams and the like. All at wonderful prices. They also have special treats, giftables and toys at very reasonable prices. I try to stock up on things I know I'll use all year long.

Okay, back to the muffins. As I sit here typing, they are baking in the oven. My house smells like pumpkins. It smells like Thanksgiving. It takes me to the people I love, and the places I love to be. I hope it does the same for you, no matter where you are. I really wish you could smell my house right now.

To give credit where credit is due, this is NOT my personal recipe. It was given to me from a friend on a homeschooling forum named "Monkey Mama". It's actually a pumpkin bread recipe that I adapted to muffins so that it'd be easier to take on our road trip.

Pumpkin Muffins

5 Golden Hen Eggs (.89/dozen this week! so... .37)
1 1/4 Cups Carlini Canola Oil (.72)
1 15 oz Can of Baker's Corner Pumpkin (.79)
2 Cups Grandma's Best Flour (.50)
2 Cups Baker's Corner Sugar (.50)
1 tsp. Baker's Corner Baking Soda (.05)
2 tsp. Spice Club Cinnamon (.03)
1/2 Tsp Sebree Salt (.01)
2 3oz packages of Baker's Corner Vanilla Pudding (.75)

Preheat oven to 325.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add oil and pumpkin. Beat until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Gradually beat into the pumpkin mixture.

Pour into prepared muffin pans (you can either spray well or use muffin liners, I use the liners! Makes travel easier!).

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

This makes approximately 30 muffins at .13 each! :) ENJOY. They're fairly sweet, but if you like a little frosting, you could melt about 2 tablespoons of the Baker's Corner Vanilla Frosting in the microwave and drizzle over top. :)

BTW...they freeze and travel very well! :)