pumpkin chocolate chip muffins by Nate Everett

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Autumn would be incomplete without feasting on my favorite baked good of the season: pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Warm dollops of sugary goodness.

A note, when the muffins have finished baking, check for doneness by plunging a toothpick into one of the muffins. There is a very good chance that your toothpick will pierce a melty chocolate chip instead of the batter, thus you will likely need to test several areas of a muffin to check if the batter has baked completely. If the toothpick comes out clean, then they are done baking; if the toothpick is coated with batter, then bake the muffins for a few minutes more.

Yields two dozen muffins. Feeds four.

recipe

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 tbsp ground ginger

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp allspice

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 pound plain pumpkin puree

  • 2 sticks butter, melted & cooled to room temperature

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Place an oven rack in the middle part of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Line two muffin pans with baking cups.

  2. Measure out the dry ingredients and put them in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until combined.

  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan or the microwave. Allow to cool to room temperature before proceeding.

  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs until homogenized.

  5. Add the butter, eggs, and pumpkin puree to the dry ingredients. Stir together thoroughly until the ingredients are well-combined, then fold in the chocolate chips.

  6. Scoop the batter into the baking cups. Fill each cup to the brim. 

  7. Put the muffin pans in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes at 375°F. See note above about checking for doneness. When the muffins have finished baking, allow them to cool for 15 minutes before unmolding onto a baking rack.

If you make this recipe, hashtag a pic to #spiceandhutch and post to Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter. I'd love to see your culinary creations!

watermelon mint feta salad by Nate Everett

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Happy Memorial Day! The misty weather threw a little monkey wrench in my plans to grill baby back ribs and Caribbean corn on the roof, but such is life. I instead paid homage to the BBQing tradition that is Memorial Day by whipping up the simplest of summer salads in my kitchen. Behold the watermelon and feta and mint salad. I chose watermelon because it's American af, and I like serving it at BBQs because it helps guests stay hydrated in the sun and it balances out the heaviness of those cheeseburgers and fries and potato salad. Try it this summer-- perhaps for July 4th?

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recipe

  • 1 medium watermelon*, rind removed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 3 limes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Place the watermelon in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle on the mint leaves, and break up the feta with your fingers and distribute it onto the salad.
  2. To make the dressing, juice the limes in a small bowl and add the olive oil and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  3. Pour the dressing onto the salad. Fold several times to incorporate the ingredients, seasoning to taste with more lime juice if needed.
  4. Garnish with more crumbled feta and a spring of fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately.

*Watermelons vary greatly in size, thus you will likely need to adjust the proportions of the other ingredients in this recipe to achieve a good watermelon-mint-feta-dressing ratio. It's a forgiving receive, so don't be shy about adding more until it tastes just right.

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