Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lupus. Writing. Baking. And Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel Topping

  A lot has been going on latley.

             I've sat in more waiting rooms, had more blood drawn, and seen so many doctors in the last 4 months alone than I think I have in the last year combined. It turns out that I have lupus, but the doctors are still running more tests to see if there is anything else going on because my blood is showing abnormalities. So needless to say, it has been a rough few months.
            I know to a degree what is happening to my body, but at the same time I am absolutly clueless.I've had  the symptoms like the swelling and the butterfly rash for years, but we never put 2 and 2 together. One thing I have noticed though is that I have been writing more. I told my mom that she may be right. She always said that I was a good writer and that I may even make a career out of it, but I never saw it. I usually dread writing essays for school, and yet I find myself writing at 2am because my brain won't shut off. I never really know what im going to write about at the time, I just have this urge.  I guess writing is how I vent. How I let go. You could say that Im a very private person, sure I have a blog and all, but at the same time I hate having attention on me. I don't like to talk about whats really going on, I usually just change the subject to something safe, like cooking or animals.

            Another "upper" I have found is baking. I used to not like baking, especially from scratch because I thought it took to long, dirtied too many bowls, and my patience level was always too low. I didn't like the idea of having to wait 6 or more hours to make bread from scratch-mix it,let it rise, beat it and let it rise again, baking it, cool it, and then maybe it eat it or wait 12 hours for it to set up. But I think I have been baking more than cooking lately. I've learned to wash the dishes while whatever im baking is in the oven and it seems to not take as long to cook, I like the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg that fill our kitchen, I like taking pictures of the end product ,and seeing my dad reaching for another peice while he is still eating his first.
These muffins are moist, flavorful, and gave our kitchen the aroma of gingerbread (im thinking its from the Apple Pie spice). The streusel topping gives the muffins a nice crunch. I especially liked this recipe because I used the leftover pumpkin that I had from my granola bars-which i'm going to be making a few more times during the holidays for us, family, and some friends.

> If you have nut allergies or you just don't like them, you could leave off the streusel and top them with a cream cheese frosting instead. That way you could transform these muffins into cupcakes.
> If you want a warm muffin as if it had just out of the oven, remove the wrapper and nuke the muffin in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel Nut Topping
Yeilds: 12 muffins

  •  1 1/2 cp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cp canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cp vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin or Apple-pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Streusel Topping:
  • 1/4 cp A.P. flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 cp pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 muffin tim with liners.
2. Combine the flour and baking powder.
3. Combine the pumpkin,vanilla, oil, eggs, pie spice, sugar, baking soda, and salt until smooth.
4. Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full (I use a ice cream scoop) and then sprinkle the streusel mixture over each muffin.
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins from the pan to rack and cool completely.

Streusel Topping:
1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, and butter. 2. I use a tablespoon measure to distrubute the streusel on each muffin.


  1. I'm sorry to hear this. I look forward to learning to cooking more from you. By the way I find myself doing the same thing, talking about things that make me happy instead of the hard stuff, but that's ok. I will keep you in my prayers!


  2. Thank you, I really appreciate it!
    One thing I have noticed is how something like this can bring people together and how much people care.