Friday, October 31, 2008

"h-a-double-l-o-w-double-e-n spells halloween!"

who doesn't love a holiday where the main purpose is to dress up, eat candy, and sculpt pumpkins? 

maybe the commies...but they don't like anything.

matt & i started a brand new family halloween tradition this week: carving awesome pumpkins while watching "the office." good ol'e family fun. that's the way we roll. and our pumpkins were a-mazing, which sets the bar high for this new tradition. we'll only accept excellence from here on out.
meet mario & jack skellington in their vegetable forms.
and since matt's mario took him 3 and 1/2 hours, instead of going to bed, i made pumpkin muffins with a cream cheese filling, which were both delicious and beautiful! and before you get too impressed with my baking skills, i used canned pumpkin, not the real stuff. either way, you should still be impressed.
we also got to attend our first trunk or treat in ages this week. we bought some good candy, decked out our trunk, and either complimented or criticized the trick or treaters on their candy choices. only excellence!
matt was a geeky professor (his tweed blazer has elbow pads), and i was a smarmy/sexy librarian. we're so hot. 

and then, running with my love of "the office," i made this costume when i got to work today:
three-hole punch nama. no fuss, no muss.

be the kid you are deep down inside today. dress up, eat candy, and bake these delicious muffins. you won't regret it.

pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling
8 ounces cream cheese
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cups pecan, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup solid-packed pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. lightly coat one 12-cup standard muffin pan with oil or muffin tins. set aside.
  2. in a small bowl, mix cream cheese, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons sugar. (You may want to soften the cream cheese in the microwave first to get it to mix easier.) set aside.
  3. in another small bowl, mix 5 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup flour, pecans, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. set aside.
  4. in a large bowl, combine remaining flour (2 cups), remaining sugar (2 cups), salt, baking soda, baking powder, and remaining cinnamon (2 teaspoons). set aside.
  5. in another large bowl (this is where a stand mixer comes into play), lightly beat the remaining eggs (2), pumpkin, oil, and vanilla together until well mixed. now pour in the flour mixture and mix well.
  6. assemble all these bowls: batter, then cream cheese, and finally the pecan mixture. start by pouring batter into each muffin cup, filling it almost half way. then place about 2 teaspoons of the cream cheese mix into each cup. (i was left with extra of this mixture, so feel free to pour more...that can only have delicious consequences.) fill the rest of the cup with the batter. don't be afraid to fill it up the top so that when it rises, it creates a nice muffin top. finally, sprinkle as much of the pecan mix over the top of each muffin as you want.
  7. bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees. check to be sure a toothpick comes out clean before you take them out. that's how you know they're ready to be eaten. they're best when warm!
who knew halloween tasted so good...enjoy!


  1. Wow, You Carve, Cook and Dress Up... What a Girl!! BTW I liked Matts Dress Up... Dad

  2. Great pumpkins! I like that marriage has turned you into Jen Harms. You are a bake-aholic! Too bad I don't live closer or I'd show up three times a day at meal times.

  3. I'm still waiting for Jen Harms to take over Martha and next the world.
    Nama, I'm glad we're not the only nerds who's costumes are inspired by The Office

  4. Great job on the pumpkins Nokleby's!

  5. I don't know if you remember me(brandi brewer--now johnson) but my husband DAvid and I were in the Villa with you. Anyways, I made this recipe and seriously, this is the most amazing thing I have ever eaten in the fall. THanks!