Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Big Date Night and Pumpkin Lovin'

We had a good weekend. The weather was cold but very sunny. We took advantage of the nice weather with a nice walk on Sunday before we settled down to watch the Steelers game.
I just had to take a snapshot of this beautiful red maple tree. What a magnificent display of color!

Here's Brad and Lily trekking up the hill right beside our house.

Notice how Brad is holding his chest in this picture. That hill we just came up is a steep, hard hill. And we were pushing 65 pounds of kid and 15 pounds of stroller. We were reminded of how out-of-shape we are!

Now this is a "Find Ian" picture. Can you see his little self? He was high-tailing it back to the house because the Steelers game had already started, and he loves his Steelers football!

Brad and I went out on a date Saturday night. Yay! It was fun. We ate at Hoolihans and then went shoe shopping for our kids. Does anyone else do that on their date nights? You know, do something totally practical and not the least bit romantic. Usually we eat and then head to Lowe's so we actually mixed it up a bit last night.

Of course, we hit Borders after the shoe shopping. I got my yummy green tea latte and was all excited to browse the books, when we were notified that the store closed at 10pm. It was 9:45. Bummer. I did find a couple of sewing books that I liked. Ones with easy projects. But I forgot to write down the titles. Double bummer.

Well, I didn't take any pics of our date night despite the fact that I carried the camera around with me in my purse the whole night. I did, however, take pics while I baked one of my favorite kind of muffins this past Friday.

These muffins are called Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. You know if it has the words pumpkin and cream cheese in the name, it's gotta be extra scrumptious. Oh, did I mention it has a streusal topping? That makes it even more delectable (and naughty!)
Doesn't that crumbly top look delicious? I LOVE a crunchy crumb topping. Wanna know how to make these? Okay, well grab your recipe card and pen, and I'll tell you how.

You actually mix up three separate bowls of ingredients.

For the actual muffin batter, you need:

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup olive oil (I love that these do not require butter or Crisco in the batter. You get enough fat from the crumb topping and the cream cheese. Oh, and I use extra virgin olive oil which is actually stronger than regular olive oil, but I can't tell a difference.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.

In another bowl, make the cream cheese filling:

1 8oz cream cheese (I use reduced fat)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Beat the cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla, and brown sugar. Beat until smooth.
Lastly, you make the crumb topping. You'll need:
4 1/2 Tbsp flour
5 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp chopped pecans (I leave these out because Lily is allergic to nuts.)
Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Add butter and cut in with fork until crumbly. Look at that cinnamon and sugar love:

Now we assemble the muffins. Grease 18 muffins cups. (I don't use liners.) Divide your batter among the 18 muffins cups.

Then you take your cream cheese mixture and spoon approximately 1 Tbsp of it onto each muffin. The original recipe says to try to keep the mixture away from the sides of the muffin tin, but mine always ends up running to the sides.
Then you take that yummy streusal topping and sprinkle a little over each muffin. Stick it in your oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes.

(Pay no attention to how dirty the bottom of my oven is.)
When your timer dings, check the muffins with a cake tester (or butter knife.) If done, let the muffins set in the tins for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack.

Then you can do what I do. Keep a few for your family and then pass the rest out to your neighbors so that you're not tempted to eat them all yourself. Seriously.


BurttBunch said...

I wish I was your neighbor! LOL
I am going to have to make these though...YUMMY! I agree...anything with pumpkin and cream cheese has GOT to be good!

Sarah said...

Those look awesome! Pumpkin and cream cheese is an awesome combo!

J. Leigh Designz said...

Oh geez, these look delish! I guess I know now what I will be baking this weekend! Have you ever check out:

I think you would love her!