Harvest Pumpkin and Chocolate Muffins

As soon as there’s a slight nip in the air, my children start asking me to make my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I first made these muffins for a kindergarten party, and even now that my kids in their teens, they still ask me to make them like some sort of seasonal ritual! They are delicious and moist and, as with most of my recipes, lend themselves to putting your own spin on them, such as adding nuts or white chocolate chips. One change I made a while back, that I encourage you to stick with is using melted butter. I once heard a trick that if you melt butter you can use HALF of the required amount, reducing fat. But this only works with quickbreads and muffins! You won’t be able to tell the difference.

Harvest Pumpkin and Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12 regular or 48 mini muffins



Mix the wet and dry ingredients for Harvest Pumpkin and Chocolate muffins.

1 2/3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour. (You can also do half all purpose and half whole wheat flour.)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup of plain pumpkin puree
1/4 cup butter, melted
6 ounces (1 cup) chocolate or white chocolate chips (or do half and half)
Optional – 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups or use paper or silicone inserts.


Make sure there aren’t any lumps of dry ingredients as you mix the batter.

Mix the dry ingredients in one large bowl and the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. If using chips and nuts, add them to the wet mixture and blend thoroughly to evenly-distribute them. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and mix thoroughly.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. They don’t rise a lot so you can fill them almost to the top. Bake them 20-25 minutes or until they are puffed up and feel a little springy when you gently push on the crown of the muffin. Let the muffins cool, out of the muffin tin, on a rack. They are delicious warm, with the melty chocolate but they are even better in the day or two after, when the flavors have melded and the chips solidify adding bites of fudginess to the soft, bready muffin.

Ta da! A

Ta da! A “bountiful” bunch of Harvest Pumpkin and Chocolate Muffins. It’s the perfect thing for fall.

Back-to-School Food – Ideas from Readers By Edan Goode

We asked and you answered! We had a big response to our Back-to-School-Food Ideas blog which inspired us to ask our readers what they are serving the kids now that school is Lunchboxback in session. Here are some suggestions for school breakfasts, lunches and snacks from our readers. Thank you, everyone!


For breakfast, I make a fried egg, cooked in olive oil, and put it between two slices of whole wheat bread for a sandwich. It’s protein-rich and the kids can take it with them in the car if we have to rush.


Tacos. In her thermos, I mix ground beef and refried beans. In a separate container, I give her lettuce, taco shells and whatever else she wants that day for tacos. At lunch, she mixes the thermos and the taco shells together and makes herself a taco salad. Anything left over, she has for a snack at school.


For breakfasts, I make smoothies with protein powder and yogurt. For lunches, I make mini quiches and mini meatloafs ( using muffin tins ) and pack them in their lunchboxes. You can freeze a bunch and defrost them in the microwave or in the fridge at night.  I also do waffles with peanut butter. For after school snacks or sides in lunches I mix nuts and Cheerios or send apples and cheese.  ….or cuties ( kids seem to love ).


I make chicken noodle soup with tons of noodles. Then for lunches, I heat it up really hot and put it on thermoses meant for hot foods (as opposed to drinks). By the time lunch rolls around, the temperature is just right and my daughter has her favorite meal.


I spread a thin layer of cream cheese (sometimes flavored) on a whole wheat tortilla and add deli meat, cheese and shredded lettuce. I roll it all up and cut it into bite-size “sushi” pieces, facing up so that my son can see all of the colors.


No matter what kind of sandwich I make, I cut them out with cookie-cutters. My daughter’s favorite is a butterfly shape. She’ll eat any sandwich I send as long as it’s in a shape. It’s all about presentation!

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Share Your School Lunch Ideas By Edan Goode

LunchboxThe kids are back in school. Phew! We can relax now, right? No way!

Besides the constant flood of papers to read and sign, events to volunteer at, homework to oversee, there are breakfasts and lunches to be made that will energize the kids and keep their mind’s sharp while being so appealing they won’t want to give them away. And then there are after-school snacks for those frantically hungry kiddos that need to get them through homework time while rewarding them for a day of hard work.

I know I need ideas for what to feed the kids and I know you all do too. So let’s share our ideas and recipes, shall we? Let’s help each other out!

Simply leave your ideas and recipes in the comment section below and we’ll gather them up and share them with the group.

And while we’re at it, if you have come up with a way to simplify the process of making school lunches, tell us that too. For instance, I have a friend who keeps plastic baskets in her pantry, each filled with items such as granola bars in one, juice boxes in another fruit in another. She makes their sandwiches but then the kids go down the line, taking an item from each basket to complete their lunch. Personally, I’m trying to stay away from too many pre-packaged items but they do come in handy. What are your tricks?

Leave your ideas by September 5. Thanks!

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