Thursday, October 11, 2012


3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2t garlic
2T olive oil
2 cans any beans (red lentils, white northern, etc)
2 cans chicken broth
salt and pepper
1T fresh oregano
1 t rosemary
lemon zest
1T lemon juice
shredded chicken (optional)

Saute carrots, onion, and garlic in olive oil over med-high heat for 3-5 min. Add beans, broth, salt and pepper, and chicken. Simmer as long as desired. Add oregano, rosemary, zest, and lemon juice before serving.


Makes 24 muffins

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar

For the muffins:
3 c all-purpose flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t cloves
1 T plus 1 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
4 large eggs
2 c sugar
1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree
1¼ c oil

For the topping:
½ c sugar
5 T flour
1½ t cinnamon
4 T cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil. Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours. The mixture will still be somewhat soft but firmer.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. You want to push the cream cheese lower than you think because it will rise a lot during the baking process. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. I like them warm, cold, and room temperature.