Parade Magazine: Dirty Chai Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Ganache

Dirty Chai Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Ganache
I wanted a special pumpkin muffin—like a unique Halloween costume—to stand out among the store-bought versions. Inspired by the flavors of warm spice tea and bitter coffee you find in a “dirty chai” drink, this is a muffin to nibble on while sipping coffee (or black tea) in a thermos as kids trick and treat in the neighborhood. As an added treat, the muffins are sweetly topped with a generous drizzle of bittersweet chocolate ganache. Here’s a warning: Be careful of kids performing magic tricks, causing these muffins to disappear into the ghostly night. Read more

Parade Magazine: Nutty Butternut Squash Pancakes With Baked Apples

Nutty Butternut Squash Pancakes With Baked Apples

Like its winter cousins, acorn squash and pumpkins, butternut squash are naturally sweet. They’re the dessert of the dinner table. Since discovering butternut squash a few years ago, I’ve enjoyed them, because they’re easier to prep with their subtle ridges and smaller cavities. (Make sure to use a sharp knife.)  Read more

Ginger Carrot Muffins

Carrot Muffins
Carrot Muffins

This is a first. Here it comes, “Summer, you were too hot for me.” There I said it. Out. Loud. Those are words of regret as I walk from two inches to six feet of snow by next winter. Being a child of the summer, I feel guilty. Those words are of the highest betrayal to my greatest love of the seasons. My love is now with the fair weather seasons of fall and spring. Summer smothered me with too much love this year.

I went to bed breathing in humid air. My skin was forever damp from the excessive sweating in our apartment sans air conditioning. The fan moved with me from room to room. My sunny disposition melted into an irritable attitude. Don’t. Touch. Me. Recipes requiring no oven were mandatory. Other food blogs enjoyed making pies, tarts and warm savory dishes. My food blog was mostly green salads, seared meats and frozen desserts. Luckily, there were a few cooler days to make birthday cakes, frittatas and enchiladas.

As August comes to a close, summer is dancing with fall. As this post is being written, Hurricane Earl isn’t being destructive, for it’s constructive. It brought cooler air. Such temperatures are a fresh breath of relief. I’m cooler, now. Read more