Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting Into the Spirit

Having a little fun around here with the Halloween preparations. I hope to share photos soon but for now here's some inspiration I found online that is right up my alley. I love the stacked boxes, the text-based sign, the painted chippy table-tray, the moss, the color combo... Love it all. It's yummy.

It's definitely beginning to feel and look like Autumn in NorCal. Trees are turning brilliant colors all around us, some of the leaves are starting to fall, the air is cool and crisp in the mornings and evenings (had to run back in for a jacket the other night - brrrr!), and there's just that indescribable FALL feeling in the air that I love so much. On the not-so-bright side, however, are the skunks. There are more skunks here in our area than we can believe. David went out for a late-night run on Tuesday and had to come back in because a skunk and his skunky friend were hanging out on the lawn two houses down from us. Then last night Rich saw another one walking along the path near our house. We think they live along the golf course. They are a menace. And they smell. Oh, that smell, and we smell it a lot. It's not a good thing. Neighbors who have been here for years say that this is an especially bad skunk year, and just about everyone we talk to has some sort of skunk story to tell. And what does a "good" skunk year look like? Hmmmmmmmmm.

But I digress. That's enough about smelly creatures who roam the streets...

I wanted to share another favorite Fall recipe - These are quick pumpkin muffins with a yummy crumb topping. This can also be baked in a bundt pan with cream cheese frosting. Go make some. It's a winner. Enjoy!


1 pkg. Yellow cake mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
3 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Crumb topping: 
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash salt
1/2 cube (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together dry cake mix, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. In a separate bowl, whisk together canned pumpkin, eggs, water, oil, and vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Pour into greased or paper-lined muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle a spoonful of crumb topping over each muffin. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen muffins.

"October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter."  —Nova Bair

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!"  —Percy Shelley