Thursday, October 27, 2011

DIY: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cupcakes

I adapted this recipe from one I found on Big Red Kitchen.  Their recipe was just 2 ingredients!  But I wanted something a bit...snazzier!

Here's what you'll need to make my version:
1 yellow cake mix
1 15oz can of pumpkin
1 16oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
not pictured:
vegetable shortening or nonstick cooking spray
confectioner's sugar

STEP 1.  Preheat your oven to 350F.
STEP 2.  Mix all of the dry ingredients together. (I forgot to take a pic of this step)
STEP 3.  Add the pumpkin and mix until smooth.  You will have a thick batter. (Oops, forgot to snap a pic for this one too!)
STEP 4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Your batter should now look like this: (I really shouldn't have used that color bowl!)
STEP 5:  Lightly grease a muffin tin with vegetable shortening or use cupcake liners.
STEP 6.  Fill with cups with batter 2/3 full.  (for an average sized muffin tin this should make 12-15 cupcakes.  I used a Pampered Chef extra large muffin tin, so I only got 6).
STEP 7.  Bake for 15-20 minutes for average sized cupcakes, 20-25 minutes for extra large.  Muffins are done when they are starting to get golden brown at the edges and are spongy to the touch.
STEP 8.  Remove muffins from tins after about 10 minutes and cool completely.
STEP 9.  Dust with confectioner's sugar.
STEP 10.  Gobble away!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Cat Piano

This animated short film has been around for a while, but since I love it so much, I thought I would share it here on the blog. This is called "The Cat Piano," directed by Eddie White and Ari Gibson and narrated by musician, author, and screenwriter Nick Cave. His smooth voice is the perfect narration for this award-winning Australian film.

Shamefully, a "cat piano" or "cat organ" was once a very real thing. "A cat piano is a musical instrument which consists of a line of cats fixed in place with their tails stretched out underneath a keyboard so that cats cry out in pain when a key is pressed. The cats would be arranged according to the natural tone of their voices." (Wikipedia)
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