deb + pumpkin doughnut muffins


So date may be a stretch of the word, but it wasn’t as snappy to write “the evening I listened to Deb Perlman talk about her book and then stood in line for two hours so that I could meet her, have her sign my book, take a photo with her and give her a pumpkin doughnut muffin” on the photo. But needless to say, it was pretty much the greatest moment ever and it means I can cross #13 off the bucket list. Have I mentioned that it was awesome and she was great. Amy and I had a blast, of course ran into people that we knew (hi Erin!) and my foot isn’t too much worse for wear. But really, I feel like I just had a mini life victory, I also like that I’m setting my life victory moments on a manageable scale.


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And of course, cause I am me, I decided to bring Deb my newest baking obsession…the pumpkin doughnut muffin. Since I have taunted people on instagram and twitter for the past two weeks about their goodness, I figured it would be a great time to give up the photos and recipe. They are amazing. Run, don’t walk, to make these. I’ve made them twice now and I really can’t get enough of them.



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Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
taken from Martha Stewart
Prep Time 20 mins, Total Time 1 hour, Yields 12 muffins

For The Batter
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

For The Sugar Coating
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups.

Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.

Just because, some of my Smitten Kitchen Favs on Throwing Cake:
Homesick Texan’s Carnitas
Ranch Rugelach
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Buttermilk Ice Cream
Blueberry Crumb Bars

foodie friday: homesick texan carnitas

Twice. Yes, I made this twice in a matter of two weeks.


Once on each side of the country. Once in my kitchen in D.C. (tiny mess ensued). Once in my aunt’s kitchen/on the burner outside on the barbeque in warm, sunny L.A. (no mess). And I learned a couple of things.

One. The nice people in the butcher counter at Whole Foods will cut the meat into pieces for you [time saving tip, thank heavens]. My aunt showed me up on that one (and apparently not only will Whole Foods cube the pork shoulder…they will also cook, say, a piece of fish for you while you shop. At no additional cost).

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Two. It smells amazing (but it doesn’t always look pretty). The citrus and the meat is an amazing smell combo. You will want a taco and a margarita asap. Plan ahead.



Three. You will eat more of these then you should. They don’t need a million fancy toppings. You, however, will probably need pants with an elastic waist band.


Homesick Texan Carnitas
from The Homesick Texan Cookbook, adapted by Smitten Kitchen and Me

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 to 3 limes)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
a slash of tequila if you are feeling punchy (my addition)

Corn tortillas, for serving
Toppings: Avocado slices, chopped cilantro, diced onions, salsa (of your choice)

Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, (tequila), and enough water  to just barely cover the meat. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for two hours. Don’t touch the meat. [don’t worry if your water evaporates a little]

After two hours, increase the heat to medium-high and while occasionally stirring and turning the pieces, continue to cook for about 45 minutes, or until all of the liquid has evaporated, leaving only the rendered pork fat. Let it sizzle in this fat long enough to brown at the edges, turning pieces gently (they’ll be eager to fall apart), only as needed.

When pork has browned on both sides, it’s ready. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve on warmed tortillas with fixings.

Cupcakes, Carrot Cupcakes

I love me some cupcakes. But more then cupcakes, I love baking for people. So last week when I was in a mood to beat all moods, a friend of mine asked for carrot cake knowing that that baking would help calm my soul (which was apparent since I kept moaning the line, “I just want to bake.” Why people put up with me I don’t know, oh wait I do, it’s the cake). She also demanded that I pep up, stop being a crabby pants and join a mass horde at the Bay on Saturday.

I decided to combine all those efforts and thus, pepped up, found my happy pants, and made 26 carrot cupcakes to take to the bay.

Continue reading “Cupcakes, Carrot Cupcakes”