Sunday, March 28, 2010

Peter, Peter Pumkin Eater

I know that spring isn't a traditional time for pumpkin recipes or pumpkin pie, but I rely on canned pumpkin as a substitute for oil and eggs in a really tasty double chocolate muffin recipe. It's a low fat treat that I make often and I usually keep a stock of canned pumpkin on hand just for that.

However, imagine my surprise when I realized that the great pumpkin shortage from last fall still apparently exists in our part of the world. Not a can of pumpkin to be found in any grocery store in our area. I had to resort to ordering
organic canned pumpkin from Amazon.

Not that either organic pumpkin or Amazon are a bad thing - one just doesn't think of UPS delivering a case of pumpkin all wrapped up in a pretty Amazon box. Sort of a boring delivery if you ask me. But one must do what one must do, I guess.

So, in that vein, I'll share my recipe with you just in case you actually can get pumpkin in your part of the world. But if not, you know where you can get some.

Disclaimer: I actually HATE pumpkin. So much so that I throw a cry-baby hissy fit at Thanksgiving if there isn't a choice other than pumpkin pie. So much so that I actually have a hard time mixing up these cupcakes. However, as an avowed pumpkin hater, let me assure you that you absolutely cannot tell that there is a can of pumpkin used as a low-fat, healthier alternative to eggs and oil in this recipe. I promise.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

1 chocolate cake mix (you can use any chocolate flavor - we like chocolate fudge)

1 can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, but regular canned pumpkin)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Mix all the cake mix, pumpkin, and water together. It will be fairly thick, but you can still mix it easily by hand (I use my Kitchen Aid because, as stated above, I hate pumpkin and the less I have to do with it the better). Mix in the chocolate chips.

Put into cupcake liners and bake approximately 20-25 minutes at 350.

Makes about 15 cupcakes. And if you are watching your waistline, they are 2 Weight Watchers points each.

Now, go forth and find canned pumpkin.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Doing My Civic Duty

I realize I haven't blogged about our recent cruise and trip to Hawaii. I'm still digesting it myself, but let's just say that my friend Kelly refers to it as the Tsunami cruise. Which is probably kinder than calling it the Geriatric/Floating Nursing Home cruise like we've been doing.

That's not what has me up and about this morning. I'm still on Hawaii time, so I'm having trouble sleeping. I'm not sure how long I can play that out, but I'm still claiming to carry around 20 pounds of pregnancy weight and my daughter will be 25 this week, so surely I can use the jet lag excuse a little longer.

Mostly today what kept me from sleeping was "the census." It came yesterday. To be fair, I'd been warned that it was coming. Repeatedly. And in several languages. And alas, it arrived yesterday with the stern warning that my "response is required by law."

Technically, I guess I could pass this one off on Vern since he's considered the head of household but since having him carted off to jail won't really help me get the house finished, I took it upon myself to complete the form and mail it back in "today" as directed by their instructions in bold print.

The problem with "today" is that it wants answers as of April 1. And it doesn't want you to count anyone not living in the home or residing in jail. There's the very real possibility that one of us might not be living here or may be residing in jail by April 1st. PMS is a bitch. Just saying.

So anyway, I filled it out and popped it back in the mail like a good citizen except that I did get a little thrill when I refused to put one letter in each box and instead just wrote our names normally in my regular handwriting. What can I say, I'm a rebel. A law abiding, civic duty doing rebel, but a rebel all the same.

Upon reflection though, I probably shouldn't have been so hasty. I really should have placed a few ads, put up some billboards, produced a few television commercials and sent a letter to Uncle Sam to let him know to expect my census.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A SemiAnnual Conundrum

As if time didn't move fast enough anyway, it's time once again to spring the clocks forward just so that we can then fall back an hour later in the year.

What I really don't understand, however, is why my $10 clock from Target automatically detects daylight savings time and sets itself and yet my very expensive, state of the art oven can't manage that simple task.

By the time I find all of the clocks that need to be set in the house and in the cars, it will be time to turn them back again.

Daylight Savings time...robbing us of one hour of sleep since 1918.