Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall in the South

Fall in the south is a welcome time of year. The end to the 90+ degree weather is here and the scenery is absolutely beautiful. The trees around here look as if they are slowly being set afire. The base of the leaves are still green, but as your eyes travel up and outward along them the colors become yellow then orange then red. The trees are glowing. I am filled with a renewed sense of awe whenever I'm out driving and see nothing but glowing trees.
Today we spent the afternoon at a local farm that has a corn maze. Of  course, today it wasn't in the 70's. Noo, today was in the upper 80's and the corn, withered and browned as it was, offered no relief from the burning sun. A nice fall day? Nah, but it was a lot of fun anyway! We went with my husband's parents and had a great time. In addition to getting lost on purpose, there were hay rides, bounce houses, pony rides, face painting, a sand area for the little ones, food, tractors, hay piles for climbing and other fun stuff. After going through the maze in the hot sun, we didn't have too much energy left for some of the activities. Kyleigh did get her face painted and jump in the bounce house and do a little hay climbing. Abigail preferred the shady sand area. The cool sand felt good on her shoe-less and sock-less feet. They do night runs there--that would be an interesting twist.

The design of the corn maze.

An encouraging sign found in a dead end of the maze.

Last night, my four-year-old and I decided to make Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins. Sadly, the recipe only made 19 muffins and after trying some while they were fresh and breakfast this morning, there are only six left. Needless to say, if I want to share some with people, the recipe needs to at least be doubled. Here is the scrumptious recipe:

Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c.   packed light brown sugar
1/2 c.   white sugar
1 tsp    ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp    baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 2         eggs
5 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp cooking oil
1 c.      fresh pureed pumpkin
most of a 6oz bag butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin pan or line pan with paper cups.
In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. (I like to combine the dry ingredients with a large wire whisk because it combines everything nicely without compacting the flour too much.) In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, oil, and pumpkin. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir til combined. Stir in the butterscotch chips. (Or I also like to substitute the butterscotch chips with mini chocolate chips.)
Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes depending on the size muffin pan being used.

The pumpkin I used in this recipe was fresh that I got from the local Farmer's Market. Fresh is better! :)

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