Saturday, October 29, 2011

Caught Off Guard….

An early first snow of the season here in Pennsylvania... October 29th. I still think Trick or Treating will go on as planned . :) ~ Nadia

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Design, Where The Eye Takes You…..

The precise movement of  dance, by Justin Peck and Janie Taylor of The New York City Ballet . The gorgeous dresses worn by Janie, and created by designer Chloe, express  lovely fluidity with each step of choreography. ~ Nadia

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins….

 I t is that time of year again when everything known to man made of pumpkin is featured on menus all across the country. From neighborhood bistros with lovely pumpkin risottos, to Dunkin Donuts and pumpkin flavored fritters and coffee…. pumpkin anything just seems so perfect for Fall.

 So……. I have concocted a pretty darn good (If I may  say so myself) healthy version of an old childhood favorite my mom made for us. Pumpkin muffins, made with 100 % King Arthur white whole  wheat flour, less fat, organic where  possible , and nicely spiced.

 I am a bit of a freestyle baker…. which is not really recommended as baking is more of an exact science. But…. what I have learned is to take enough time to get the ingredients just right. I tend to add more than the measured spices. I admit it… I am a dough and batter taster. If the dough taste's good raw, I know they will be just as good, if even better, in the final cooked stage. So, if you like things pumpkin to have a bit more spice… add more, It won't hurt the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

all of the ingredients you will need

In a mixing bowl, add 2 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour

1 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of cinnamon( more if you like)

2 teaspoons of allspice( I tend to add more)

1/2 teaspoon of ground clove( more again if you like it spicy)

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg… I like it fresh ground.

about a 1/2 cup chopped walnuts( really packed with omegas! :)  )

Chop 'em in nice small bits

blend all of your dry ingredients together with a fork

Next, blend in a separate bowl the 2 eggs,  2 tablespoons vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup oil…add to the dry ingredient s bowl

 add 1/2 cup water

one 15 oz can pumpkin( not pie filling) the real 100% good stuff

look how nice the colors are...

the most flavorful ingredient… Molasses

2 tablespoons … add her in

this is where the great depth of flavor comes from…mix the whole darn mess together.

Now, get some Pam ( I like Pam for baking)... and I spray it outside on my patio to reduce the mess

cover the whole pan  really well ( inside and on top)

with an ice cream scoop, start adding nice full scoops to your muffin pan

I like big muffins, so I fill'em pretty full

bake for 25 to 35 minutes… depending on your oven.

you know there done when a wooden pick comes out clean

let cool for about 10- 15 minutes in the pan

transfer to a cookie rack to firm up

I like my muffins chilled in the fridge the best… the next morning so they really settle. My husband likes them warm out of the pan…. your choice… enjoy!
 Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Dry Ingredients
2 and 1/4 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon ground clove
1teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Wet Ingredients
 2 eggs
2 tablespoons of real vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons molasses
1 15 oz can Pumpkin( not pie filling)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, blend the 2 eggs, vanilla and oil.Then, add to the dry ingredients bowl. Next add the water and the molasses... and the can of pumpkin… blend it all together. Using a nonstick muffin pan, spray generously with nonstick cooking spray. With an ice cream scoop , scoop generous amounts of batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes ( depending on your oven) until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool  10 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Makes 12 to 16 muffins. ~ Nadia

If at any time your batter becomes too thin, just add (conservatively) a little extra flour ( about 2 tablespoons or so)

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Lovely Homes Of North Wayne, Pennsylvania

North Wayne, Pennsylvania has some classic Victorian and Shingle Style homes. Mostly modest in size compared to old mansions, these architectual gems  built primarily in the 1890's, are high on my wish list of places just " to be"…. this lovely October day. ~ Nadia