Autumn/Fall is here! Hurray! I think this is my favourite season. Not too hot, not too cold. Amazing colour on the trees and time for the best time for good comfort cooking as the temperature starts to drop.

So in this Thanksgiving period, it’s appropriate to do some pumpkin baking. Instead of making a pumpkin pie, Megan found a recipe for whoopie pies and seeing as I hadn’t made whoopie pies before, then it was a perfect choice.

BUT I accidently doubled the size of the cookies so they turned out to be DOUBLE the size they were meant to be, ARGH. Oh well, they were still delicious.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Cookies

  • 1/2 can(s) (15-oz. solid-pack) pumpkin
  • 1 cup(s) (packed) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) vegetable oil
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • 5 1/2 teaspoon(s) ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) (ground) cloves

Filling

  • 1/4 cup(s) vegetable shortening, softened
  • 1 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg whites

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or grease with vegetable shortening. In large bowl, beat together pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract with electric mixer until blended.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cloves. Add to pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
  3. Drop batter by tablespoons onto prepared pans. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, beat together all filling ingredients with electric mixer on high speed until fluffy.Spread 1/2 tsp. filling onto flat side of one cookie and top with another. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.
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Stunning.

This was too good not to share. Text from NASA:

The rare transit of Venus across the face of the Sun in 2004 was one of the better-photographed events in sky history. Both scientific and artistic images flooded in from the areas that could see the transit: Europe and much of Asia, Africa, and North America. Scientifically, solar photographers confirmed that the black drop effect is really better related to the viewing clarity of the camera or telescope than the atmosphere of Venus. Artistically, images might be divided into several categories. One type captures the transit in front of a highly detailed Sun. Another category captures a double coincidence such as both Venus and an airplane simultaneously silhouetted, or Venus and the International Space Station in low Earth orbit. A third image type involves a fortuitous arrangement of interesting looking clouds, as shown by example in the above image taken from North Carolina, USA. The next transit of Venus across the Sun will be in 2012 June. “


No chocolate here today, just some delicious strawberries bundled up in delicious cupcake. I took these to a party and sort of wish I’d kept a few at home because they were that tasty. The icing is a buttercream with a dash of red food colouring to get that pink tint but next time I want to get some strawberry flavour into the icing too.


Strawberry Cupcakes

(from annie-eats.com

Yield: about 18 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups chopped strawberries

For the frosting:

20 tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream/ a drop of red food colouring

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

Sift flour, salt and baking soda into a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until combined.  Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Fold in chopped strawberries.  Fill cupcake wells ¾ full with batter.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.


In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.  Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.  Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.  Scrape bowl, add vanilla, heavy cream and food colouring, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.  Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

Frost cupcakes. Eat.

 

I used to be a bit scared of Twitter but now I’m not because it tells me about things like the photo above. This is a Friday night food truck service Edmonton style. LOOK AT THOSE FREAKIN’ ADORABLE LIGHTS. This mini meet up consisted of Molly’s Eats and Drift food truck. I’d tried Molly’s Eat’s quesadillas before and having them again they did not disappoint, still the best I’ve ever tried. That rich sauce is the bomb. I was so excited to try Drift food truck and their evening service burgers which is an event that happens around once a week. And holy cow this was the best burger I’ve ever eaten.

JUST LOOK AT IT. The bun is a … well, I don’t even know what kind of bun it is but it’s like it’s been baked in heaven’s oven and the beef/pork burger was juicy without being greasy. The cheese was perfect and it was topped off with pork belly which I thought would maybe be a little over the top but it was spot on. And the aioli [spelling?] they used wasn’t too overpowering. I’m usually guilty of slathering burgers in heaps of condiments but with the Drift burger, it wasn’t necessary.

So happy these food trucks are in this city.

I used to make these muffins all the time in university. All the time being once a week. I had this recipe mastered. The original  recipe is from a great little bbc good food book but has prunes included… Just the word makes me gag a little. So, I do what any person who is me does, substitute with chocolate.

But really these muffins are fabulous. And they have oats, yum. I think I will be doing a lot of baking with oats this autumn, perfect for this cooler weather.

Feel Good Muffins

(adapted from bbc good food)

Ingredients

Makes 8.

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 140g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1egg , beaten
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 1 tspvanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 175g chocolate chips
  • 85gpecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Butter 6-8 muffin tins or line them with muffin cases. Put the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl, then rub everything through your fingers, as if making pastry, to ensure the ingredients are evenly blended.
  2. Beat the egg, then stir in the buttermilk, vanilla and oil. Lightly stir the egg mix into the flour.
  3. Fold the prunes and nuts into the mixture.
  4. Divide between the tins, filling the cases to the brim, then bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Serve warm or cold.

I have a good buddy. A good buddy gives you half of her gigantic peanut butter cookie sandwich. This beast is half the size of a plate (the quarter is for scale here).

I’ve known Eleanor in Edmonton here for a couple of years since I arrived in this city. It’s been awesome working with such a kind and darn smart person for the past long while. She is now moving to Flosam, California with her genius husband (for real, the visa says so) and to have a baby boy.

I wish them all the best, I will not share my chocolate milk with another!

EPIC BAKING DONATIONS! The coffee cup here is for scale and I will tell you there is no graceful way of carrying home a 2kg tub full of peanut butter. I should have just rolled it. Those cute teddy bears in their little bow ties were waving at me all day at work. Mid-afternoon I got the munchies and just wanted to crank it open and start eating it with a spoon. But I hung onto my self-control. Just.

THANKS JAMES AND COSTCO FOR MAKING THIS POSSIBLE.