Summer has finally come to Seattle. For the past few weeks, my mother has continually told me tales of woe and overcast skies while I’ve been sunning myself in California. I was absolutely dreading coming back to the desolate gray that defines Seattle. Usually by the time July rolls around the sun has come out from hibernation adn makes a pretty good show of it, and honestly, there is nowhere more beautiful. This year, however, was an especially bad year; evidently we went from September to some time in mid-June without once hitting anywhere above 75.
Those days have finally come to an end! Of course it still isn’t much above 80, so it’s not exactly blazing, but I’ll take what I can get. All I want to do is sit outside. Oh, and bake in my lovely, well-lit kitchen. When my best friend and I were discussing what to bake, we ended up deciding on Pumpkin Ginger muffins. Not exactly typical summer fare, but delicious nonetheless. I had no nuts, so we added chocolate chips to half the batch, which really added an extra something (when does chocolate not add a little something?)
Pumpkin Ginger (Nut) Muffins
adapted from here
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
[1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans]
2 Tbsp well chopped candied ginger (I would add more, but I love ginger, so…)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (or to taste, optional)
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, melted butter, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, until just incorporated. Do not over-mix. Fold in the candied ginger and chopped nuts.
3 Spoon mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Cool on a rack.
Makes 12 muffins.
Nutrition facts with chocolate chips but without crystallized ginger (I couldn’t find accurate information for it online): 237 calories, 9.4 g. fat, 37 g. carbs, 1.6 g. fiber, and 3.4 g. protein
For dinner, I made Quick Tuscan-Style Minestrone from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. Again, I made a few minor modifications (mostly just using macaroni noodles, because that’s what my mom bought, and reducing the olive oil) but it was absolutely delicious and a cinch to make.It’s a great cookbook! :) I’m not sure about all the legalities of sharing or not sharing the recipe, so for now I’ll tell you to get your hands on the book itself.
Accompanying this delicious, simple soup was my mom’s no-knead bread…. Apparently since I’ve started at school she’s taken to making it once a week, with varying levels of success.
Now time to go enjoy the sun while it lasts!