October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Bran Muffins and Birthday Weekend

Ahoy!  I still do not have a camera, but I did take some photos this weekend ... And it was the anniversary of my birth or something.  I was feeling kind of low, but it ended up being a decent weekend.  The boy took me to the newly opened zpizza near our house.  Was very tasty, and they didn't skimp on the vegetable toppings the way many pizza places do!

The boy also veered toward tradition and brought home a bunch of roses for me (d'aw).

Purty, but I was so happy just to spend some time with the boy - he was gone the rest of the weekend working like crazy.  Grad student life, eh?  Poor fella.

I was alone the majority of the weekend, so I had plenty of time to experiment with a new recipe: pumpkin bran muffins!  Oh yes...and they are low sugar (not super sweet, but you could increase the sugar for a more traditionally sweet muffin) and low fat.  I just felt like something somewhat healthy after so much greasy pizza.

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

1 c unbleached AP flour
2 c wheat bran
3 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 T brown sugar (increase to 1/2 c if you want these to be sweeter)

Combine all of the above, then add:

1 c pumpkin puree
1 c soy milk
1 T canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp cornstarch/egg replacer + 1/4 c water, whisked
(chopped walnuts or dried cranberries optional)

Mix until just combined.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins!

So delicious.  I've made three batches of these muffins so far, tweaking and adjusting... they're still a work-in-progress, but mmm!


I received some awesome presents this weekend... they were... kitty kisses!  I started volunteering at Irvine Animal Care, a municipal shelter that is full of cats, rabbits, dogs, and the odd reptile.  Although having a pet is not a commitment my boyfriend and I can make right now, I'm really happy to be able to help animals in need.  And it's so rewarding to work with these animals!  :3  It is easy to become jaded...believe me, I know (especially now that I'm working in the non-profit sector)!  If you have spare time, please give volunteering a try - be it with a shelter, a non-profit, helping humans, helping animals... everything helps.