Monday, October 15, 2012

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins

Muffins + cream cheese = nom nom nom.
This is a post I put up last year at Thanksgiving over at Outside the Lines, and I've gotten a lot of requests for it, so I'm reposting it complete with turkey references, snark, and the obligatory sex toy joke.


So it's Thanksgiving, and since I've never been allowed to cook a turkey - other family members always insist on doing it - my job is to prepare the side dishes. My instructions this year were simple - bring a green vegetable. Well, I could have made a salad or something, but instead I decided to live it up a little bit - after all, food should be a celebration - and put together two veggies and a dessert. Why the dessert?

Because as much as I love my in-laws, I know there will be four or five different desserts on the table, none of which I can eat. Thanks, gluten intolerance!

So I decided I was going to make some kind of GF Thanksgivingy treat - and do so using only crap in my pantry, because I didn't want to set foot within a two mile radius of my grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving, when hordes of frustrated moms were fighting over the last two cans of cranberry flavored goop and confused dads on their way home from work would be asking me what kind of corn they were supposed to get. Just not in the mood to handle that much drama.

Anyway, I had a box of King Arthur Flour's basic muffin mix, a zillion cans of pumpkin, and some cream cheese. This sounds like dessert to me. If you haven't tried the KAF muffin mix, pick up a box. It's for making a very plain muffin, but it forms a great foundation to throw some extra stuff in. And I'm all about throwing extra stuff in, so you know I was all over this.

Also, I want to apologize in advance for the poor quality of some of the photos in this post - MY camera apparently went to Coshocton this morning in my husband's hunting pack so I had to use my 11-year-old's camera, which seems to lend things an odd yellowish cast, as though I was preparing food using my Jaundiced Liver Disease Glasses. However, I can't complain too much about him taking the camera, because on the off chance he manages to shoot me some dinner while sitting in a tree this morning, I'll then have the luxury of posting Before and After photos of my venison recipes - you know, if "before" means "Bambi's mom frolicking in a forest eating nuts and berries."

OK, so here we go.

Gluten Free Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins:

Here's what you'll need:

1 box King Arthur Flour GF Muffin Mix
1 can pumpkin (you'll only use half)
Half a stick butter, melted
3 eggs

1/2 Cup milk
1 8-oz pack cream cheese, softened
1 Cup powdered sugar

The night before, you'll want to go ahead and make the delicious cream cheese filling. Yes, the photo is bad, but trust me, it's tasty. Blend the cream cheese and the powdered sugar together, and then shape it into a log. Wrap it in plastic and toss it in the fridge overnight.

And yes, I'm well aware that this looks like something from the Food Network Sex Toy Collection. Stop judging me.

OK, so now your Cream Cheese Log is firmed up in the fridge. Go ahead and mix together your eggs, your melted butter, and your half can of pumpkin.

Add the muffin mix and blend it till all the dry stuff is mixed in, and then gradually pour in the milk. Blendity blendity blend. At this point, it should be a lovely orangey pumpkiny color.

Grease up some muffin tins. This recipe will give you a good 16 large muffins. You know, if you can try not to eat the batter, in which case, you might get five muffins instead. Use a scooper to fill each tin about halfway. The batter is thick, so make sure you smear it around and cover the bottom of the muffin cup.

Go get your Food Network Sex Toy Cream Cheese Log out of the fridge. Cut it into 16 equal chunks. Drop a chunk onto the center of each muffin cup, right in the middle of the batter.
Use the rest of the batter to fill the rest of the muffins up. Make sure you cover up all the cream cheese, or Very Bad Things can happen in your oven. Bad things of Vesuvian proportions.

Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and sugar over the top of your muffins, and bake at 350 for 22 - 25 minutes or so.

Let your muffins cool for about ten minutes before you try to eat them. Seriously - do you KNOW what happens to cream cheese when you bake it into a muffin at 350 degrees? It reaches temperatures only rivaled by volcanic lava, Allentown steel mill production lines, and the sun.


Trust us, my precious. Trust us.
Once your muffins have cooled enough not to burn the hell out of your lips, tongue, and esophagus, dig in. They're super tasty, and your non-gluten-free eater friends will be asking you for the recipe. Send 'em on ovah.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hey, Look! Beer!

I'm not a huge beer drinker, being more of a tequila and rum sort of girl myself, but every once in a while it's nice to sit back with a cold one. I was traveling this weekend, and ate at a couple of Irish-style pubs, and there wasn't a damn thing on their beer lists that I could drink. Thank goodness I had giant Portobello mushrooms and fried potatoes to keep me content.

That said, if you're tired of slopping back bottles of Redbridge (which is pretty tasty) just because it's the only thing you can drink, turns out there are quite a few GF beers that are expanding their US market.

Men's Health - which I usually avoid like the plague because it's full of bro-tips on how to get that girl in bed even though she's already told you you're never gonna get any - actually offers something of use in one of their blogs: Best Gluten Free Beers

Bard's is a familiar standby for the GF community, but there's a bunch of stuff on here I've never heard of. Next time I travel, I'll just pack my own beverage cooler.