muffin mondays: mom’s pumpkin quinoa muffins

This post begins a fall series on that best-loved of breakfast foods: The muffin. I am honored to present this inaugural guest post by my mother, Sheri Ward, who inspired the idea to devote my Mondays to muffins. I’ve invited some of my favorite bloggers and writers to share their muffin inspired words and recipes over the coming weeks, so if your mornings have been lackluster these days, check back often for new reasons to mix up a batch of something new.

Hello readers, this is Jen’s mom writing. As I was thinking of how to begin my first (and hopefully not last!) guest post here on my daughter Jen’s food blog, I thought what better way to begin than this?

With the word “mom” comes many things … gifts that have been lovingly passed down through generations of mothers before me, gifts that I have endeavored to pass on to my own children. For my love of cooking, and especially baking, comes from my own mother, and hers before that, and hers before that. It seems we all just can’t bake enough! It is almost a sacred thing to the women of our family: the dreaming and planning, then the creation of some warm and wondrous treat. And then of course the best part, the tasting—usually with a mug of freshly brewed coffee. We women have been known to curl up in bed with a favorite cookbook or food magazine, in search of another new recipe.

My husband Don and I recently embarked on a new stage of life: We are now “empty nesters.” On the one hand it’s a lovely time of life, with a quieter household and time to rediscover each other. But after almost 30 years of baking and cooking for a family of five, I found myself somewhat lost in this new chapter. Who would I bake for now? Yes, we both still enjoy fresh cookies, but a dozen muffins for two people? It was a real dilemma!

And then it came to me. I would start a muffin club with my mom and sister Judi, also a recent empty nester. Every Monday morning we’d take turns baking a dozen muffins or scones, and deliver four of them to the others, keeping four for ourselves. And so, the “Monday Morning Marvelous Muffin Club” was born.

We are blessed to live within three miles of each other so this has made it somewhat easier. What a delightful treat is has been to open the door into my garage on Monday morning to find a basket of warm muffins waiting. We are all loving it.

Fall always draws me to the fragrant spiciness of all things pumpkin: pie, scones, and of course, muffins. And so it was that the first recipe I baked for our Monday Morning Muffin Club was Pumpkin Quinoa muffins, a new and healthy twist on what is no doubt a favorite with many of you. Quinoa, an ancient grain, is a comlete protein and gives these muffins a nice texture and a slightly nutty taste. The addition of pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, adds just the right amount of crunch.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and that maybe I’ve inspired you to start your own muffin club with one or two close friends. Happy baking!

-Sheri Ward

Sheri and Jen

Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins

makes 12 large muffins

In a large bowl combine:

1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup raisins
¾ cup cooked and drained quinoa (best made the day before, the grains fluffed with a fork).

Combine in another bowl:

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
¾ cup buttermilk or kefir
4 Tbsp melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just incorporated. Spoon into muffin pan lined with paper liners or buttered.
  2. Sprinkle muffins with a little cinnamon and sugar, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, until nicely browned (and passes the toothpick test). Let rest for 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool.
Hi…I’m Jen’s Mom. As I was thinking of how to begin my first (and
hopefully not last!) guest post on my daughter Jen’s blog, I thought what better way to begin than this? For with
the word “Mom” comes many things….gifts that have been lovingly passed
down through generations of mothers before me, gifts that I have endeavored
to pass on to my own children. For my love of cooking, and especially
baking, comes from my own mother, and hers before that… and hers before
that. It seems we all just can’t bake enough! It is almost a sacred thing to
the women of our family…first the dreaming and planning, then the creation
of some warm and wondrous treat, and of course the best part…the
tasting…usually with a steaming mug of freshly brewed coffee. In our
family, we women have all been known to curl up in bed at night with a
favorite cookbook or new food magazine, in search of yet another new
recipe…we enjoy this more than most novels!My husband Don and I recently embarked on a new stage of life…we are now
“empty nesters”! While it is a lovely time of life, with a (much!)quieter
household and a time of re-discovering each other, after almost 30 years of
baking and cooking for a family of 5, I found myself somewhat lost in this
new chapter of life. Who could I bake for now? Yes, we both still enjoy
fresh cookies and baking, but a dozen muffins for 2 people? I was in a real
dilemna! And then one day it came to me….I would start a muffin club with
my Mom and my sister Judi,also a recent empty nester! Early every Monday
morning, we’d each take turns baking a dozen muffins (or scones) and deliver
4 piping hot muffins to each other, keeping 4 for ourselves. We are blessed
to live within 3 miles of each other so this would make it easy. And so the
“Monday Morning Marvelous Muffin Club” was born! And what a delightful
surprise and treat is has been to open the door into my garage early every
Monday morning and find a basket of fresh warm muffins waiting for me on my
freezer! And it is so nice to bake one week, then have a surprise waiting
for me the next 2 weeks. We are all loving it!The season of fall always draws me to the fragrant spiciness of all things
pumpkin….pumpkin pie, pumpkin scones, and of course pumpkin muffins. And
so it was that the first recipe I baked for our Monday morning muffin club
was Pumpkin Quinoa muffins, a new and healthy twist on what is no doubt a
favorite with many of you. Quinoa, an ancient grain, is a comlete protein
and gives these muffins a nice texture and a slightly nutty taste. The
addition of pepitos, which are pumpkin seeds, also adds a nice crunch.I hope you enjoy this recipe, and that you are inspired to start your own
muffin club with one or two close friends…enjoy!!Happy baking!
Sheri Ward

11 thoughts on “muffin mondays: mom’s pumpkin quinoa muffins

  1. Dawn
    October 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Welcome Jen’s mom! Thanks for the lovely post and delicious recipe and I look forward to more stories.

  2. October 19, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    LOVE the post and the idea. Too bad I live more than 3 miles away.

  3. Illa
    October 19, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    How cool is this! Congrats on your choice Jen and perhaps a foray into a new career for you Sheri!

  4. October 20, 2009 at 12:06 am

    I love the post – the recipe and the story that goes with it, Aunt Sheri! Tune in a few weeks from now for my attempt at a guest post!:) Miss you!

  5. October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am

    These are really great! I haven’t tried quinoa in a muffin yet. I have red quinoa in my cupboard right now. I think I’ll try using it. :D

  6. judi
    October 23, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Way to go, sis! I am so impressed – not only can you bake, you can write too! Those muffins really were incredible. Can’t wait to see what you’ll bring this coming Monday morning.

  7. Meredith
    October 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    It was such a wonderful feeling of connection, first reading Sheri’s very well-written commentary, and then reading the comments! I will definitely try the muffins this week-end. The Muffin Club is a great idea.

  8. Ann
    November 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Wow, so many comments. I tried this recipe last night and it’s a keeper! The quinoa and pumpkin seeds add great texture. Thanks, mom.

  9. November 5, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I’ve shared this story (and this muffin recipe) with my mother and sisters, and it left us all in tears. (Not the recipe, of course! :-)) Now that all four of us are living in the same state (and within an hour of each other) for the first time in six years, we are anxious to try some permutation of this tradition with each other!

  10. Sheri
    November 6, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Wow I am so touched and blessed by all your comments! Thanks so much for your support….it encourages me to keep writing! Maybe I will follow in my daughter’s footsteps…now there’s a switcheroo!

  11. May 22, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Hi Jen and Sheri,
    I made your Quinoa Pumpkin Muffins yesterday and they turned out perfectly! The recipe is easy, delicious, and the muffins are a meal replacement as they contain protein, vegetable, dairy, and fruit. I ate one on the run for lunch and remained craving and hunger free until my evening meal! Thanks so much. I intend to share your site with everyone I know!