Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans


This update of the quick and easy pumpkin cranberry muffins in “Naturally provide better quality dairy-free desserts” is that my young granddaughter decided to sprinkle chocolate chips and some chopped on top of their muffins before baking The result of the pecan. (All Costigans think that chocolate makes everything better!) I am sure that taking 5 minutes to cook the sugar and spices into the pumpkin puree will make the best muffins, and the pumpkin puree can be made a few days in advance, even freezing. Stir the remaining puree into oatmeal or blend into a smoothie. If time is tight, use pumpkin pie mixture. (The farmers market is a good organic version.)



For the Spiced Pumpkin Puree:

  • 2 cups unsweetened canned pumpkin purée
  • 2/3 cup organic whole cane sugar (such as Sucanat), or use brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

For the batter:

  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 2/3 cup soymilk or almond milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cooled Spiced Pumpkin Purée
  • 1/4 cup mild tasting extra virgin olive oil, or any neutral vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, Grade B or dark amber
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract or preferably 1/8 teaspoon orange oil, optional
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons sliced or chopped pecans



Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Oil a 12-cup standard muffin tin including the top.

To make the Spiced Pumpkin Puree: Combine all the ingredients in a medium skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture comes to a low boil. Lower the heat and simmer 3 to 4 minutes, until the purée is dark and shiny, slightly thickened, and the sugar has dissolved.

Remove from the heat and spoon into a shallow dish to cool. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 month.

To make the batter: In a small bowl, mix the soy or almond milk with 2 teaspoons of the apple cider vinegar. Set aside for 10 minutes to clabber.

Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to the strainer. Stir with a whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. Whisk to aerate the ingredients.

Combine the Spice Pumpkin Purée, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, orange extract or oil and the remaining 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in medium bowl. Add clabbered milk and whisk until well blended. Pour into dry mixture and stir with a spatula only until the batter is smooth and no traces of flour remain. Stir the cranberries into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly, filling each cup 3/4 full. An ice cream scoop makes filling the cups easy. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with 3 to 4 chocolate chips and a few pieces of pecans.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until muffins are golden and a tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

Cool the tin on a rack for 5 minutes. Carefully run a thin knife between the muffins and the inside of the cups, and lift each muffin onto the rack to cool completely.

Store in a tin for a day or freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost uncovered.

Note: This recipe leaves you with some leftover Spiced Pumpkin Puree, which can be frozen and reserved for another batch of muffins. Costigan likes to use the leftover puree to make pumpkin-spice smoothies. It’s also good stirred by the spoonful into cooked oatmeal or plain grits.



Calories: 196

Total Fat: 6.7 g

Sat. Fat :1.2 g

Cholest. 0.0 mg

Sodium: 217 mg

Total Carb: 31.6 g

Protein: 3.1 g

Fiber: 2.9 g



Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans
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Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecans
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For the Spiced Pumpkin Puree:
For the batter:
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Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry

Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry

There’s ham under that golden puff-pastry pineapple! A riff on the iconic glazed ham covered with pineapple rings and cherries, every slice of this show-stopping main course has flaky pastry and salty ham topped with sweet pineapple sauce.

Level: Easy

Total: 2 hr 20 min

Active: 25 min

Yield: 14-16 servings


One 6-pound boneless ham

Two 17.3-ounce packages puff pastry (4 sheets)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Two 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple

3/4 cup light brown sugar


2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

5 cloves

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 maraschino cherries


1. For the ham: Arrange 2 oven racks in the middle and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Put the ham cut-side down in the middle of one.

2. Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a clean work surface and brush lightly with egg wash. Layer a second sheet on top and brush with egg wash. Repeat with the remaining sheets but do not brush egg wash on the top sheet. Roll the pastry with a rolling pin so it is 3 inches longer than the length of your ham and wide enough to drape over the ham completely. Cut off the extra 3 inches of pastry and set aside. Using a long sharp knife, score the pastry diagonally one way and then the other to form a diamond pattern, cutting halfway through the pastry layers.

3. Drape the pastry over the ham, pulling it gently to cover. Trim the excess pastry on the corners and set aside with the 3-inch-wide strip. Brush the wrapped ham with egg wash and bake on the middle rack until the pastry is golden and the ham is hot through (about 140 degrees F), about 2 hours.

4. For the pineapple top: Meanwhile, cut the 3-inch-wide pastry strip in half lengthwise on the diagonal so you have 2 long triangles. Cut the other pastry scraps into long thin triangles of various sizes. Transfer to the second prepared baking sheet, brush with egg wash and bake on the bottom rack until golden, rotating front to back half way through, about 30 minutes.

5. Combine the pineapple, sugar, cloves and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the pineapple sauce, bring back to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the cloves. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl and top with the cherries.

6. Put the ham on a serving platter and arrange the baked triangles at the top of the ham in the shape of a pineapple crown. Serve with the pineapple sauce.

Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry
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Tandoori Salmon

Tandoori Salmon

In an effort to eat less meat, we like to have a few fish alternatives in our arsenal to satisfy our cravings for their meat counterparts. Instead of hitting up Seamless for your tandoori chicken, why not try a salmon stand-in?! This version comes together in very little time, and it packs a ton of flavor. The pickled red onions might seem like a superfluous add-on, but trust us, they’re SO worth it.


Made it? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!






1 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. water
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Pinch ground cloves
1 1/4 c. plain low-fat yogurt
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, sliced, plus wedges for serving
1 (2 1/4-lb.) skin-on salmon fillet
Cilantro sprigs, for serving


1. Make quick pickled onions: Stir together vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Microwave until hot and sugar and salt dissolve, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in onions and let sit.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, stir garlic, ginger, paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and cloves into yogurt. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place lemon slices on bottom of 9”-x-13” baking dish and arrange salmon on top. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Spread yogurt mixture in an even layer over top of salmon.

4. Roast salmon until cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn oven to broil and broil until golden if desired, about 3 minutes.

Serve salmon with cilantro, pickled onions, and lemon wedges.

Tandoori Salmon
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Tandoori Salmon
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Best Ever Barbecued Chicken – Homemade BBQ Sauce

Best Ever Barbecued Chicken – Homemade BBQ Sauce

Barbecued chicken

Spring and summer are definitely ideal for barbecuing.  So what are you grilling?  Tired of the same old same old?  Why not grill some finger licking good Barbecued Chicken?

Barbecued Chicken is one of my summer favorites and it took me a while to figure out how those barbecue joints make their delicious barbecues.  Was it the sauce?  Or is there a marinade?  Well, after much searching I found out it takes both!  Yup a really good rub AND a really good sauce is what it takes for some restaurant style Barbecue.  Click here for my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub you’re going to need it to make your Best Ever Barbecued Chicken this weekend!

So really there are 3 steps to making the Best Ever Barbecued Chicken:

  1. Rub the chicken parts with my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub and let rest AT LEAST 30 minutes and not more than 24 hours in the refrigerator. (Use 1/4 of the BBQ Chicken Rub for 8-9 pieces of chicken.  Drizzle 2 Tbs. Olive Oil on the chicken parts then massage the rub into each piece making sure it’s completely covered.  I use boneless chicken thighs but you can use any part or parts you like.  The rub works better on skinless parts so I’d advise you to remove the skin.  Place chicken in ziplock bag and let rest for at least 30 minutes and no more than 24 hours.  If using chicken that has been resting in the fridge for more than 30 minutes place chicken on counter 30 minutes before grilling so that temperature goes down to room temp.)
  2. Grill the marinated chicken perfectly.  Click here for grilling tips.
  3. Baste chicken with my yummy homemade Barbecue Sauce – baste the last 2 minutes for grilling and after the chicken is cooked – you can also serve barbecue sauce on the side for dipping.

So here’s my super yummy Homemade Barbecue Sauce.  The recipe makes about 2 quarts.  I keep the sauce in quart sized mason jars in the fridge.  It keeps for about 3 months.

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4 Cups Ketchup

1 Cup Blackstrap Molasses

1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar – Packed

1/2 Cup Seedless Blackberry Preserves

2/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbl.  Basic BBQ Chicken Rub  (click here from my recipes)


Place all ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together until preserves are no longer lumpy.

Simmer 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and use or transfer to jars for storing.

Best Ever Barbecued Chicken - Homemade BBQ Sauce
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Best Ever Barbecued Chicken - Homemade BBQ Sauce
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  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and whisk together until preserves are no longer lumpy
  2. Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and use or transfer to jars for storing.
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Marinated Pork Loin with Grilled Corn Salsa

Marinated Pork Loin with Grilled Corn Salsa

It’s just about time to fire up those grills for a season of outdoor cooking! But even if you don’t have a grill, you can enjoy this incredible Marinated Pork Loin with Grilled Corn Salsa recipe. I’ll tell you how! It’s a simple recipe that is jam-packed with flavor.The key to the present pork is that the marinade, that is incredibly easy. It’s an equivalent liquid I exploit for smoking pork, cookery pork and for my Slow cookware Carolina-Style force Pork; don’t you simply love recipes you’ll be able to use completely different ways? The marinade is simply four ingredients: Apple acetum, Tabasco, sugar, and water.This time I had a 2 and one 0.5 pound cut of pork, therefore I marinated it within the liquid for concerning three hours. The day I created this it absolutely was cold and really windy, therefore I didn’t fan the flames of my outside grill; I used my indoor grill (story in a very bit). you’ll simply roast this pork rather than cookery it. The instruction contains a note this for you.

We’re awaiting our contractor friend, Jack, to urge freed up from alternative jobs to start out some home renovations. enclosed within the work he’ll be doing for U.S.A. could be a room rework. As a part of that rework, I’ll be substitution my cooktop (which I actually have loathed from the instant I set eyes thereon – another story altogether and I’ll tell you concerning it throughout the renovations).The cooktop is electrical (one Brobdingnagian purpose against it), and it’s a Jenn-Air vogue with interchangeable elements. one amongst those elements could be a grill insert. This grill insert could be a real pain within the backside to wash and there’s just one temperature. Hot. I’m pretty bound that within the twenty years this cooktop has been in use, I’ve used that insert but 5 times.So, I patterned before this mess of associate degree appliance cheerfully, joyfully, and with my most sincere good day heads to the dump, I’d use it an extra time. *big smile*

The first issue I did was to grill the corn for the condiment. I rubbed the clean ears with oil and grilled them till I had some nice char marks all round the ear. Then I cut the corn from the ears and supplemental inexperienced onions, sweet bell peppers, jalapeno, lime juice, cumin and a splash of wine vinegar.For the pork, once it absolutely was marinated, I removed it from the marinade and besprent it with kosher salt and ground black pepper. The cook time can vary counting on however you’re preparation it, however you would like an indoor temperature reading of 145°F. A loin, lyonnaise at 350°F can take concerning twenty minutes per pound.

After letting it rest for about five minutes, it’s ready to slice and serve with the corn salsa. Simple, delicious, beautiful and tasty, you must try this recipe!


(This post has affiliate links)


Click here Marinated Pork Loin with Grilled Corn Salsa for recipes.


1 -2½ pound pork loin
2 cups apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Tabasco sauce
¼ cup sugar
water enough to cover the pork in liquid in a ziplock bag, or bowl.


Combine the vinegar, Tabasco and sugar in a bowl, or ziplock bag.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Add the pork loin and enough water to completely cover the pork.
Refrigerate for 2-5 hours.
Remove the pork from the marinade and sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Cook (using your desired method: grill, roast or smoke) until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Slice and serve.


Roasting time at 350°F: approximately 50 minutes (or 20 minutes per pound)


Marinated Pork Loin with Grilled Corn Salsa
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Marinated Pork Loin with Grilled Corn Salsa
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