This weekend, my husband and I decided we better get a fall foliage hike in before that psycho superstorm, Sandy, hit our area. And I am so glad we did – especially since we’ve been cooped up in the apartment ever since!
The original idea was to drive up to Sleepy Hollow, NY and walk around since it’s so festive and Halloween-y. But, our dog, Jackie, looked at us so forlornly, we couldn’t possibly leave her at home (we are so doggie-whipped). So, Plan B— we drove to Dobbs Ferry, NY and packed up a picnic for a visit to the Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park. Although it was a little overcast, it was such a beautiful day. We dined on an assortment of cheeses, meats and crackers.…a little red wine…possibly a little dog drool.
To work off some of that good food, we hiked along the Old Croton Trail that runs for 26-miles along the Hudson River and Metro North’s Hudson line. We only hiked a small portion of it, but the trail is perfect for jogging and biking.
Our weekend was like something out of the first verse of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” substituting our little car for the bus!
“Some folks like to get away
Take a holiday, from the neighborhood
Hop a flight to Miami Beach
Or to Hollywood
But I’m taking a Greyhound
On the Hudson River Line
I’m in a New York state of mind.”
Also on my to-do list this weekend was to bake pumpkin muffins in preparation for the hurricane. Oh, these are so good– both sweet and savory! This recipe is one of my go-to fall recipes.
Yields 16-18 muffins
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, ground ginger and salt. Mix with a whisk. Stir in raisins and then create a well in the center of the flour mixture
In a medium bowl, combine canned pumpkin, buttermilk, olive oil, molasses, vanilla extract and eggs. Mix well. Add pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just moist.
Spray 2 muffin tins thoroughly with cooking spray. Gently spoon batter into muffin tins. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately remove muffins from tins and cool on a wire rack.
I had some canned pumpkin left over and I didn’t want to waste it. Then inspiration stuck— my sister had mentioned recently that pumpkin coffee creamer is all over Pinterest. This low-fat version is adapted from The Jammie Girl.
All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients above in a jar— I upcycled a Classico tomato sauce jar. Then, shake the jar to mix the contents and heat, uncovered, in a microwave for 2 minutes. Let cool until mixture is room temperature, shaking occasionally. Then, cover with a lid and store creamer in the refrigerator.
So between the muffins, coffee creamer and something a little more alcoholic (hello Dark ‘n Stormies!), we were prepared, like Boy Scouts, for the storm.