Foodie Friday ~ Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

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2 cups all-purpose flour

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

Directions

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger in a bowl; set aside.

Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin puree with the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Green Recipes ~ Homemade Ice Cream In a Bag

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Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)

1 cup half and half

1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint-size ziplock bag

1 gallon-size ziplock bag

Your favorite mix-ins such as chocolate chips, cereal pieces, or fresh fruit.

Notes:

Serves 1

How to make it

Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.

Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it’s done.

Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too!

Foodie Friday ~ Iced Pumpkin Cookies

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2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.