Welcome! This site is an endeavor to spread an attitude of positive thinking and optimism. By searching for joy and beauty in all things - even the mundane, perhaps a smile will spread from my computer ... to you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"God Bless Pumpkin & Cheesecake Muffins!"

I have to confess, I've had "writer's block" for a couple days now! Call it a curse for this beginning blogger, or whatever...but know that I have truly been at a "loss for words!"

I realized this afternoon that I'm going to have days like these - for years to come. And we all do. Today it started raining here again in north Georgia. The previously saturated ground, over-flowing streams, and lakes already at capacity can no longer contain the continuous downpour... six weeks ago the state had unprecedented flooding, and still the rains keep coming!

Therefore, with the skies dark once again and my mind filled with the responsibilities and worries that only a mother can understand, I've found myself suffering a little bit of the blues and grumpies today. With all this stuff going on in my life at the moment, I've had difficulty finding something positive to write about.

This evening, driving home in the rain in my little car from yet another school-related function (while inwardly cursing the wet, gloomy darkness and my growing inability to see well in those conditions!), my heart was blessed with an old piece of advice. Where I might have heard this originally, I don't remember - but I have heard it many times for many years, as I'm sure you have....when you're having a bad day, and you're having trouble finding anything good about it, just start by giving thanks.

That's it....you just begin listing all the things in your life that you have been blessed with. Anything. No matter how insignificant it might be. And before you know it, you're feeling better.

As I pulled into the garage tonight I was feeling a little bit better - yet my mind was still "swimming" in self-doubt and apathy (ha - pardon the pun!) I opened the back door, and was welcomed by the aroma of something wonderful coming out of the oven...and my husband standing in the kitchen preparing another batch of his amazing Pumpkin and Cheesecake muffins. Gluten-free....just for me. (actually, we all love them!) Perfect timing, honey! How special is that?

I knew my earlier thought was correct - to just be thankful. It really does help. Even in our darkest moments, we can usually find something or someone to be thankful for. The act of remembering these blessings may not actually solve any of our immediate issues, worries or broken hearts, but it helps. It's a start. And sometimes, that's all we might need - a start.
Many people have implemented the use of "Gratitude Journals" in order to remember and reflect on the blessings in their lives. While it's not necessary to acquire a fancy journal, notebook or even paper to keep track of those things, I do highly recommend the practice. It can be as simple as laying our heads to our pillows at night, closing our eyes, and letting our final thoughts of the day be those of gratitude and remembrance of those we love or had the privilege to love, and all that IS good in our life.

Simple, but effective. I can always find at least one thing or person to be thankful for at the end of my day - even though.

I'm grateful tonight for Pumpkin-Cheesecake muffins...and the man who loves making them for his family. Go ahead - pick one thing you're grateful for tonight - I guarantee it will bring a smile (even if it's a small one) to your heart. Perhaps you'll be grateful for the following recipe:
Pumpkin & Cheesecake Muffins

These delicious muffins are very close to the kind you can get at Starbucks! If you want to cut back on the fat, substitute some or all of the oil with natural unsweetened applesauce. I have also used Gluten-Free flour mix and Splenda in these muffins, and they’re STILL amazing!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch cardamom (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
8 oz. cream cheese
Optional: chopped pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or pecans.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put the entire brick of cream cheese on a piece of wax paper, and shape it into a long log.
3. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the muffin pans, up to an hour.
4. Unwrap and cut the cream cheese log with a sharp knife so each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 tsp. If the cream cheese disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This lets you push it down into the batter easier.
5. Mix all ingredients together (except cream cheese and nuts.)
6. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) ½ full.
7. Put one cream cheese disk in the middle of each muffin, pressing down.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes, best served warm!

recipe courtesy of: www.recipezaar.com
Pay it forward - spread a smile!

1 comment:

  1. OOPS! (My Bad!!) For some reason, when I cut-and-pasted this recipe from my documents, I omitted an ingredient: you need 1 /14 cups vegetable oil (or, you may use applesauce).

    Sorry if I inconvenienced anyone!


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