I'm a very sentimental, nostalgic and overall warm and fuzzy kind of person. So if you ask me on any given day what I'm most thankful for I'll probably get all misty-eyed on you and say my family, my health (any good hypochondriac, like myself, will tell you that) and, of course, my good fortune. In fact, you don't even have to ask me such a question–Random things trip me up emotionally. For instance, I can well up with tears standing in the hall of my daughter's school when 'Oh Canada' starts to blare on the PA system. What is up with that? I don't even get it myself. Here's the best part: it's not even my national anthem. I'm American.
It just doesn't have to be Thanksgiving for me to take pause on what makes life so good. I pretty much do it on a regular basis because I'm such an incredible sap. Scarlett and Dan just kind of laugh. "Scarlett! Look! Mommy's crying again," my husband will say. I've gotten much better in the last few years but I can still turn on the water works when you least expect it. Whatever you do, and I mean whatever you do, don't say, "I can't believe how big Scarlett is getting. So tall. I mean it's only a matter of time before she thinks your clothes are repulsive rags, she jerks with fear at your attempt to touch her soft hair that you love to stroke and she starts answers everything you say or ask with 'God, you're so unbelievably lame.'" Ok, you would never say that. Well, maybe the first part but that's the part that really gets me, so don't ever say it. Do we have a deal? You're not going to say any of it, right?
Instead, on this week before Canadian Thanksgiving, I'm not going to get emotional on you, my loyal, amazing readers. (By the way, I'm so overwhelmingly thankful for you but we're not going there.) I'll just throw out a few really basic things that I'm pretty much thankful for every day. After all, you already know the good stuff.
under eye concealer
that plastic brush for kids (you know the one without a handle) that looks like it's for the cat but gets knots out of hair
that extra minute it takes my daughter to walk the two flights down from her classroom to the school door otherwise I'd always be late
the fact I don't smoke cigarettes so I can use the lighter hole in my car to instead charge the phone I always forget to plug-in at night
my new red, pointy-toe pumps
dark chocolate covered almonds
I'm also super thankful for pumpkin. It's one of my most favorite fall flavours. It's why I feel pretty lucky to be an American living in Canada. 1. Starbucks roll out their pumpkin scones way early here and 2. I get two holidays to stuff my self silly with the fruit. In honor of Thanksgiving, later today, we'll be posting a roundup of great dishes to help make your holiday special. But now I'll just share with you this recipe for pumpkin muffins. There's a lot out there but I happen to like mine a lot because of the oats. Because it's healthy. Because, even though it's healthy, it still has a yummy topping. Because it's mine. Whether you're Canadian, American or from somewhere else wonderful, you have my permission to eat these for as long as you'd like. You don't have to stop once everyone's gone around the table and said what they're thankful for this holiday. After all, that's something we should do every day.
Pumpkin Oat Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Spread
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup quick cook oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of clove
2 teaspoons honey
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin and set aside
In a medium bowl, cream your butter and sugar together. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Pour in your milk and then whisk in your pumpkin puree. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add your dry ingredients into the wet in three parts, mixing after each addition.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then turn out on to a rack.
In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and honey. This is not a science. Add an additional pinch of the cinnamon or nutmeg if you want it to be a bit spicier.
Once the muffins have cooled completely, spread the cream cheese topping on each muffin. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.