Saturday, October 26, 2013

Adventures....

Around the same time as our niece, Mehgan, move to Utah another friend of ours, Mike, relocated to Utah.  Since we have a very long list of adventures we want to go on here in Utah and the west in general we figured we would include Mike and Mehgan.  They are both more than willing to accompany us!

For our first group adventure we trekked to Goblin Valley State Park which is near Hanksville, UT.  What an amazing day it was!  This is a must see for anyone traveling to this area.

Unlike many of the National and State parks we have been to, you really get to be up close and personal with the formations.  You can climb over, around and through the "Goblins". 

Here are some of our pictures:




Mehgan, Mike & Mr. Lucky


Mehgan





This was such a beautiful day!  We will definitely be going back.

Talk with you soon!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cure for boredom....

The other night I was a little bored, Mr. Lucky's friend Mike was visiting and they were watching the Red Sox.  I wasn't as into the game as they were so I decided to do a little baking.  Since it was a week night I knew I could send them to work with Mr. Lucky the next day so we wouldn't devour them all.

I decided on my third pumpkin recipe of the Fall season, pumpkin streusel muffins.  This is a bit of a franken-recipe.  I combined elements from a few of my other muffin/quick bread recipes and this is what I came up with:

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins 




3 ½ cups all purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups pumpkin puree (Not pie filling!!)

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl until fully combined. Whisk eggs, water, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the flour and add the wet ingredients. Add the oil and pumpkin puree. Fold together with rubber spatula until fully combined and no streaks of flour remain. Do not over mix.

For Streusel Topping
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup flour
½ cup oats (Old fashioned or quick, both work fine)
¼ cup butter at room temperature
Use a fork or pastry blender to combine all ingredients until it looks like large crumbs.

Line muffin tins with paper liners. Use a cookie scoop to fill muffin tins about two-thirds full. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of streusel topping on each muffin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Makes approximately 30 muffins.

These muffins came out so delicious! Like, really good!


This has got to be the best pumpkin recipe I have tasted in quite a while.  You could also make mini loaves or possible two full sized loaves out of this recipe to give as gifts.  Hmmm, that is a good idea, maybe as a favor for all of our planned Thanksgiving guests.  I hope I remember this idea in a month or so.

Please try these muffins, you'll really enjoy them!

Talk with you soon.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Apples and More Apples....

As I told you in previous posts my brother John's favorite Fall ingredient is pumpkin and while I do like pumpkin treats it's not my favorite.  The humble apple is most definitely my favorite.  I love almost anything with apple in it.  Right this minute I have an apple crisp in the oven and the smell has got me drooling!  Every Fall I make apple crisp about 20 times.  I love it so much.  I try to throw a few apple pies in there just for something different but making a crisp is so easy I don't know why I make anything else.

This crisp recipe is pretty standard and uses ingredients you most likely have in your pantry. You could also use this recipe with berries in the summer without a problem.  I love recipes that don't require an extra trip to the store to get an ingredient that I probably won't every use again.  I try to keep my pantry fairly simple and stocked with items I'll actually use.  Don't get me wrong, I love to try new recipes, the piles of them on almost all flat surfaces in my house will attest to that, but I like simple, easy and delicious.

Here's the recipe:


8 cups chopped tart apples (I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)
2 tsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter (cold)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled quick cooking oats

Mix together chopped apples, cinnamon and flour.  Place in a greased 9x13 pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.
Then, cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.


Stir in brown sugar and oats.
Sprinkle crumbs over fruit evenly.


Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the apple pieces are tender.  You can check the apples with a fork on the corner, no one will notice. 

This is the perfect treat when served warm with a little vanilla ice cream but it is still super delicious after it has cooled.  



I have been on another recipe tear so I am pretty sure you'll be seeing a few more baked goods this week.
Talk with you soon!

Friday, October 4, 2013

A new resident....

It has been really crazy around here since we got back to Utah.  I have been loving every minute though.  Our niece, Mehgan, has moved in with us.  We could not be happier about it either.

Mehgan and I have always had a very close relationship and she and Mr. Lucky are best buddies.  She is a really great kid.  She is planning to head back to New England to go to Culinary school next year but in  the meantime we are thrilled that she is here.

Welcome to Utah, Mehgan!

Mehgan & Mr. Lucky!
Talk with you soon...