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Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes

For when you’re tired of being good

November 15, 2011
By Wendy Monro - Simply Food Writer

"Be good and you will be lonesome." Mark Twain

I stole this quote from my friend, Michael Nolan's Facebook status the other day. It really applies to my life right now. I can't be good all of the time, right?

I have been really good about eating vegan on the weekdays. On the weekends, I eat sushi and some cheese and an occasional egg. Oh, and I eat Ranch dressing. Yummy.

Article Photos

Finished cupcakes in a heart pattern, because you’ll love them that much.

You really realize how much you appreciate some foods when you take them out of your diet. I have even been limiting wine to the weekends. That is just plain craziness!

I have been feeling so great with this diet so I think I will really work on sticking with it forever. I also think I may be losing weight in spite of the fact that I haven't been in the gym for weeks. Usually when I miss several weeks at the gym, I put on a few pounds. Not this time. Now, I am continuing to lose.

Don't get me wrong here. I am not condoning a lack of exercise. I will be returning to the gym tomorrow. I have just been so busy with guests at my house for a while and I have been using that as an excuse not to go. Because of this, I happened to realize that I didn't gain any weight and it has to be due to the way I am eating.

Fact Box

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes

Makes: 48 mini cupcakes

Time: 45 minutes

18.25 oz Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake Mix

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin

1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini cupcake tin with mini cupcake liners. Combine cake mix, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, and water. Mix well. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out clean.


8 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese

1/2 cup 100% pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

5 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. Frost the cupcakes.

The reason I need to be careful (and maybe a little less good) about the way I am cooking is that I have other people (family and friends) to consider. Sure, I like to be an example of eating right, but I also like to have friends. I sometimes have to use cheese and sugar in my recipes. Occasionally, there might be a need for cream in a dish, especially for a really special meal. Heck, the holidays are just around the corner. Maybe I should occasionally write about meat again?

Claud told me that I definitely need to write about meat again, and soon. If not, I may lose him as a friend. Last weekend when Claud and I ate a romantic lunch in Mt. Charleston, Claud ordered a steak with a side of ground beef chili. He ate a slab of meat with a side of ground meat. Gross!

At that moment, I realized I might be going overboard by not buying any meat or cheese for the house. Claud doesn't like the vegan cheese. I don't want to turn Claud into someone like Jack Nicholson's character, Jack Torrance, in "The Shining." You know, all work and no play. I wouldn't want to be married to that guy. His wife is even named Wendy in the movie. Too scary! Also, I might not have too many friends if I keep this cooking up for every meal.

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My cousin, Ernie, was here visiting last week and he was telling me the same thing. He wasn't referring to my cooking at the time. He was just saying how he has learned to do everything in moderation. He applies this to working, eating, drinking, and having fun. I think this is a good way to go about life. Life needs balance. So, this week I am writing about a dessert.

You may or may not know, I am not a good baker. I try to make good desserts every once in a while and I usually fail. I have decided that the passion just isn't there for me with desserts and this is why I am no good at it. It might also just be that I can't bake and there is no real good explanation for it. Who knows?

This recipe for mini pumpkin cupcakes is semi-homemade a la Sandra Lee on the Food Network. I didn't get this recipe from her, but it reminds me of her type of cooking. I figured I have less of a chance to mess it up if I make it partially from a kit and just add some pumpkin things to it. You know what? I was right. They turned out pretty darn good. I think these would be excellent to bring to a Thanksgiving feast, if you are in charge of the desserts. Also, they would be perfect for a holiday potluck at the office.

I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese and very little added sugar to keep in line with my trying to keep things healthy. Seriously, I just can't help myself. I also made them mini, which I think helps keep people from eating too many of them at one sitting. This is a theory of mine, anyway. It may not be the case but I don't think you want to eat four or five cupcakes at once even if they are mini. If you do choose to eat six or seven at a time, I won't judge.

If anything, you will be being "bad" and will probably have more friends as a result. At least, that is what Mark Twain thinks. I am still not sure what to think; but, what's new?



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