Sweet Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I was looking for a snack to take to Bible Study last night {no one told me that my Bible Study friends had planned to bring cake for my 30th!} when I came across this pumpkin recipe. It's just the hint of fall here - is it cool for you? Fall is just my {absolutely!} favorite season.

baked potato soup.
sweaters with leggings and boots.
cool mornings at the park.
red and golden leaves.
apple crisp.
brisk weather to run outside.
pumpkin spice coffee.
pumpkin pie.
Pottery Barn's fall catalog.

{Back to the pumpkin cupcakes}.

They turned out SO FABULOUSLY. I think they're more of a sweet muffin than a "cupcake" - the texture is a bit dense for a cupcake. Semantics aside, they're just fabulous. I think they'd be perfect for a fall brunch. They bake so beautifully - one friend at Bible study thought I had bought them.

Recipe: (I halved this recipe and got exactly 24 mini muffins).

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin


1. Preheat oven to 375*. Line 24 mini muffins with paper liners.
2. Mix flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda together. Set aside.
3. Beat 1/2 cup butter, the white sugar and brown sugar together until mixture is light and fluffy (it will be noticeably lighter in color). Add the room temp eggs one at a time, letting each blend well before adding the next one.
4. Stir in the milk and the pumpkin.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups. (for mini muffins, I fill mine almost full).
6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 11-13 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
7. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

I halved this recipe, too, since I halved the muffin recipe.

{this stuff is GOOD. so good}.

1 8-ounce package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar a little at a time until smooth, then add the vanilla and cinnamon and beat until fluffy! Frost the cupcakes when cool!

Think you'll like them? Let me know what you've been baking for the start of fall!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

So, do you see the {most-of-the-time} disclaimer in the description of the title? That's where this recipe falls! Sooo yummy, but not entirely healthy. But, hey, everything in moderation, right? {although I'm not so sure how much *moderation* we all practiced when eating these last night! :P}

This what the first time G1 has liked any mashed potatoes - so, actually, this recipe got made 2x within the past week! {more than I've made mashed potatoes in the past 3 months!}

The Process:

1. Dice about 6-8 smallish red potatoes. G1 absolutely loved helping me with this process! I had to score the potato sections for him, and then with his kid-friendly knife he could "cut" the rest.

2. Place in a small stock pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil.

3. Boil for about 7-8 minutes, until the potatoes are fall apart when you pierce them with a fork.

4. Drain and then dump them back in the same pot.

5. Sprinkle the top with garlic powder.

6. Add about 1/4 cup milk, 4 tablespoons butter, and about 1/4 cup sour cream. (see, I told ya about the {not-so-healthy} disclaimer! :P

7. Sprinkle with kosher salt {about 1 teaspoon} and pepper.

8. Using a large serving fork, mash them in the pan. I just stir and stir and stir and press the back of the fork into the potatoes - depending how smooth you like them. We like this style of potatoes kinda lumpy!

Enjoy! My husband, myself, and both Gs ate ALL of these!

Caramelized Butternut Squash

Thanks to Ina Garten for this fabulous recipe!! It was a little prep-time-intensive (probably took me 30 minutes to get it in the oven), but it was SOOO worth it. Our whole family ate it, and G2 was using *both* of her cute, chubby little hands to get it in her mouth as fast as she possibly could! {seriously - shoveling in squash! who woulda thought?}

So, cut the ends off of and peel a medium-sized butternut squash. A veggie peeler is super easy! Spoon the seeds out, and dice into about 1" - 1 1/2" cubes.

Line a 9 x13 pan with aluminum foil (easy clean-up!) and spray with cooking spray. spread the squash cubes out on the pan.

Mix 3 tablespoons unsalted melted butter, 1/8 cup brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Withe clean hands, mix together the butter mixture onto the squash. Spread the squash out on a single layer on the pan again.

Bake at 400* for about 45-50 minutes, or until squash is fork tender and the sauce begins to caramelize.

Enjoy! {we ate it with green beans and brown rice!}

Can't find Steel Cut Oats?

I've had a few people say they can't find steel cut oats for my crockpot oatmeal recipe. In Meijer they're in the speciality flour/grains section - in the baking aisle.

In Target they're by the regular oatmeal, just way up on the top shelf. Hope this helps some - it's a fabulous recipe, and I'd love to hear if you like it! :D I'm making this again tonight for the Preschooler's first day of school tomorrow! :D