Punkin Muffins for Remedial Cooks

I cook to live. To provide sustenance for my family. Not for the sheer love of it. I wish I could stir up in my heart a great love for mixing, sauteeing, roasting, grilling, and baking, but alas, it’s just not there. Sometimes the things we eat to live are righteously good. Sometimes marginal. Sometimes fit for the garbage disposal.

But just like the next person, I like to make people think I’m a super good cook. My husband got a phone call recently from a family friend who needed my phone number because she wanted the recipe for my deliciously moist and perfect chocolate brownies. He chuckled on the inside, since he knew the truth, but gave the lady my number anyway so that I could be the one to sheepishly explain to her that she could find the Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix in a box on aisle 5 at the Winn Dixie.

These are the reasons that this is not a cooking blog.

But today, for the first time ever, I’m posting a recipe because it’s so easy and yummy that even a remedial cook could do it. It came to me by way of my friend Amy Dorsey, and it came to her by way of someone else, so therefore I do not claim to have authored these instructions of pure autumn goodness.

Here’s what you need to buy for Perfect Pumpkin Spice Muffins. 

This -
DSCN2806 And this -
That’s it! Just a can of pumpkin and some spice cake mix!
Then, you mix them up like so:

Looks a little thick and muddy, but not to worry. I do recommend doing a better job than I did of getting those little white clumps of cake mix smoothed out.


Spoon into greased muffin cups and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then presto! Punkin muffins that your friends won’t know had only two ingredients! Unless you sheepishly explain.

Pure. Autumn. Goodness.


No Longer a Four-Letter Word

When is a door not a door? 

When it’s ajar?

No, silly!

When it’s a decorative entry system.

The door catalog that I’ve been studying today, in preparation for the intimidating front door selection decision that must be made soon for our new house, replaces that tired old word door with some delightfully fancy, frilly terminologyToday, we need to give some credit to the person who came up with the immensely descriptive phrase decorative entry systems. 

I imagine the door people sitting around a conference table brainstorming names for their catalog, and one poor schmuck says, “How about just “Doors?”

His door colleagues shake their heads.  “No, no, no, Jim!” another guy says. “That’s so 2011. We need something with sparkle. Something flashy. Like, Gateways to Happiness. Or, wait! Wait! It’s coming to me. Yes! Decorative Entry Systems!” he says, with a faraway look in his eyes.

“Decorative. Entry. Systems!” he says again, pausing between the words for emphasis, and punctuating each one with hand gestures that practically christen them with glitter dust.

And so, the following is born.

door catalog

You’re on the phone with a friend and you hear a knock. “Oh, excuse me! I have to go. There’s someone at the decorative entry system. Call you later.”

Your husband comes in late from work. “Hi honey, welcome home! Remember to lock the decorative entry system behind you, please.”

Political correctness is has already consumed us. But no longer are simply concerned for women, minorities, and certain religious groups. Now we also need to protect our front entryways from disparaging talk. So remember that next time you cross the threshold to your humble abode.

Dignify with its proper title that thing you have to open to get inside. It is no longer a four-letter word.

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