Family Recipe Friday: Karla’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins

My sister Karla spent a week with me after I got out of the hospital from having a stem cell transplant. She took great care of me – she made these muffins! Easy and just what the doctor ordered. She even made a second batch and we were able to save a couple of small bags in the freezer for later. Unfortunately, they are all gone now. :(

Karla says she makes these a lot when she needs to bring something to a breakfast or church because they are easy and people like them. And she always eats a few cinnamon chips while making them because they are really good.

I almost forgot to ask her to take a picture.

Karla's muffins

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Spice cake mix
3 eggs
can pumpkin
bag cinnamon chips

Mix all ingredients together and bake according to package directions. The muffins above are mini-muffins, so the bake time was a little shorter.

Easy peasy.

Family Recipe Friday – Beets in the Box

My Hoskins grandparents had a big garden on their half-acre in Ottumwa, Iowa and Grandma did a lot of canning. Not as much as she did when she had a house full of kids to feed, but still – a lot. I liked to help her when I was a little girl. Sometimes I’d shell peas or snap beans or help fill jars. But help with the beets? Never. Eat her canned beets? No thank you! Those things bled when you cut them and they were simply too purpley red to eat!

I don’t remember mom ever serving beets to us, so maybe she wasn’t really a fan either.

DSCN3105These days I belong to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. I get a box of seasonal organic vegetables bi-weekly. This time of year there are beets in the box. As I have already reported, I don’t have a positive history with beets. My husband thinks beets taste like dirt.

I took the beets the first time they were in our box and found a recipe for roasting them. It has been my experience that you can eat most any vegetable if you roast it. They weren’t bad – but I knew I would need to develop a “taste” for them. Husband took a couple of bites without complaint, but he still prefers that I trade out the beets for something we like better.

Grandma had a recipe for Harvard Beets in with her recipe cards. I don’t know if she made them often or not. I’m going to share it here anyway for posterity’s sake. Then I’m going to follow up with a recipe that I want to try.

Harvard Beets

2 cups beets, diced
2/3 cup liquid (beet juice and water)

2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 tablespoons sugar
2/3 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
1/4 cup vinegar

Cook until smooth and well blended.

Most recipes I find for beets are of the roasted variety or involve shredding raw beets to add to a green salad. I thought this recipe from Laurel’s Kitchen might have potential in a different direction.

Fruity Beety

4 beets                                              
3 oranges
2 tablespoons coconut
1 teaspoon honey
juice of 1/2 lemon
grated peel of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons currants
(1 teaspoon vinegar)
pinch salt

Wash beets and steam whole until tender; then peel. Grate on ripple-shaped grater or slice in long, think sticks.

Peel, seed, and cut up oranges. Place half the oranges in blender with coconut, honey, lemon juice, and peel, and blend 2 minutes.

MIx all ingredients, balancing the sweetness with the additional vinegar if needed. Chill, letting the flavors blend for 2 hours or so.

Makes 3 cups.

Notes on Fruity Beety:

The recipe does not say how long to steam the beets. I think mine took about 25 minutes – I forgot to time them exactly. Easy to peel after steaming.


Grated beets

I had three golden beets in my box this week and two fairly large oranges on hand, so that’s what I used. Since my beets were a golden variety, my salad is a monochromatic orange. Had I had the traditional red beets, this would have been some shade of red.

I didn’t use any vinegar. I added a little coconut on top to make it prettier.


Fruity Beety

This wasn’t bad. I still haven’t developed a taste for beets, but I might if I make this a few more times. For those who really don’t like beets, but would like to cook with seasonal vegetables, you might add an additional orange and more coconut to mask the beets a little more. My husband said it tasted like oranges and roots. Obviously, he is still not a fan of beets. I tried. (sigh)

Family Recipe Friday – World’s Easiest Cobbler and Corn-Oyster Scallop

Westminster Presby CookbookMonths ago I started sharing recipes that my mom contributed to the Friendship Circle Cookbook from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Clovis, New Mexico. I got sidetracked and never finished. I’d like to check this off of my to-do list, so I’m finishing with the last two recipes that she contributed.

Recipes from this cookbook may appear again as some of the recipes contributed by other women in the church became family favorites.

DSCN3098Mom made this cobbler on occasion as it is easy and you can make it with what’s in the pantry. I’m pretty sure she usually made it with peaches. There are a few details missing in this recipe.

Let’s assume a moderate oven is 350 degrees. I made mine in a 11.5 x 7.5 (approximately) Pyrex baking dish. I used a 29-ounce can of sliced peaches with all of the syrup. It fit nicely in my baking dish, but did bubble over some during baking, so you might want to use some foil or a cookie sheet to catch the drips if you don’t want to clean your oven.

World’s Easiest Cobbler

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 stick butter or oleo
1 can fruit

Melt butter in baking dish. Mix other ingredients and stir slightly into melted butter. Pour sweetened fruit over batter and bake in moderate oven until batter rises to top and is lightly browned, about 45 minutes.


I have no recollection of the next recipe. I’m sure I never tried it. It sounds like something she tried one Thanksgiving or Christmas and thought it would make a nice addition to the cookbook as something “unusual”. I’ve never heard of a frozen “can” of anything…. Maybe it should say “container.” I wonder if this is even stocked in grocery stores any more?

Corn-Oyster Scallop

2 (10-ounce) cans frozen condensed oyster stew
1 (1-pound) can cream-style corn
1 (1-pound) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 1/4 cups cracker crumbs, crushed medium fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoons pimento strips
2 teaspoons melted butter
1/2 cup cracker crumbs

Place unopened cans of oyster stew in hot water for 10 minutes.

Combine oyster stew, cream-style corn, drained whole-kernel corn, 1 1/4 cups cracker crumbs, egg, salt, pepper and pimento strips. Pour into greased 2-quart casserole. Combine butter and 1/2 cup cracker crumbs. Sprinkle around edge of corn mixture. Bake in moderate oven (350) for 1 hour or until a knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Makes 8 servings.