Apple Pumpkin Streusel Muffins, Baby Yoda, Cute Aggression, A Blue Moon, Ella & the Marcels
Updated: Nov 6
Apple Pumpkin Streusel Muffins. Ridiculously easy. More time to chill and Baby Yoda!
Every year since my daughter was born, we visited a pumpkin patch and petting zoo, frantically trying to get her to stay and smile in her costume, with my husband straining to get a selfie with pumpkins in the background. We decided not to go this year. This year, she wanted to dress up as pumpkin. I ordered her costume about a month and a half ago (in case they ran out), happy I had planned ahead, trying to anticipate any last minute ridiculousness.
Let’s just say this morning didn’t go according to plan. (I wanted pictures in our front yard early, in case she didn't feel it on Halloween.) She raced around, her arms inside the round pillow-ish case, bobbing her covered arms so she looked like a convulsing pumpkin, negotiating with my husband like a badass (he’s obviously the enforcer). I tried to stay neutral but I couldn’t contain my laughter. When there is a cloud of nervous energy lingering in the air, I either transform it into shock, laughter and/or getting something done. Usually, I try for all (cross my fingers) since it makes life more amusing.
Since this weekend is both Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos, A Blue Moon, and (my favorite) The Season 2 Premiere of "The Mandalorian", why not make life simpler and have something easy, full of fall spices, and comforting so you can either laugh more, have more free time or get something done? Hopefully, all of the above! Here’s to choosing your own adventure and (hopefully) some hilarity along the way!
I didn’t know what a Blue Moon was except that it was a song and a beer. Here’s a concise explanation.
What is a Blue Moon?
Cute Aggression & Baby Yoda. Apparently people either want to squeeze, eat, or bite him. (Bite? WHAT?). Just for the record, I want to snuggle with him (like a baby) and give him some soup...maybe teach him the piano or hand him a ukulele or baby cello.
Why Do We Love Baby Yoda so much?
I love Baby Yoda (and you do too.) Maybe it's because Baby Yoda and my toddler act the same way. "The Mandalorian", Season 2 is streaming on October 30. "The Mandalorian" and Halloween on the same weekend? Yes, please!
Baby Yoda with Subtitles
Some of the most iconic bands or pieces of music wouldn’t be the powerhouses they were or are without a team of producers, arrangers, and song writers…. absolutely the same with the movies you are watching or listening to now. Most are prodigiously accomplished musicians themselves. When most people start specializing after high school by picking a vocation or major, the majority of musicians have already specialized (their instrument) and started learning their craft at a young age. Imagine starting to learn law or medicine at 3. This is what we do. These teams are behind the iconic songs, movies, and soundtracks that make up the story of your life. Imagine Frank Sinatra without Nelson Riddle, The Beatles without George Martin, Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, Noah James Shebib and Drake, Jay Z, Beyonce, and their artists.
Here’s to the powerhouse composers, arrangers, engineers, music editors, arrangers, orchestrators, music prep, musicians and more helping build these masterpieces that literally is the soundtrack of your life. Quarantine and the pandemic has shown we LOVE entertainment and we definitely LOVE music. Doing something artistic or expressing something you love to do and started specializing at the age of 3, (instead of adulthood) shouldn't negate its monetary value because it's misinterpreted as leisure especially now since entertainment has become the backbone of society's mental sanity. It's the quintessential question of art versus commerce... but a pandemic and society's mental health thrown in.
Just for fun, here’s how the same tune can be interpreted in two COMPLETELY different ways with these teams. (Didn’t think you’d get a music lesson, did you? Wink, wink!).
The Marcels - Blue Moon
Like languid silk.
Ella Fitzgerald- Blue Moon
I hope this makes you laugh, think, and be more creative (or more importantly, think critically)! I hope the comfort of these supremely easy muffins offsets any last minute crazy you might have to deal with in life, work or love. Have a wonderful weekend! Xo, Melissa
Apple Pumpkin Streusel Muffins. Super easy and your house will smell like a bakery. Did you know that the smell of pumpkin pie is an aphrodisiac to men? (My husband will be happy.) You're welcome!
Apple Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
Streusel adapted from "The Pioneer Woman's Overnight French Toast"
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix (Yes. There is a time for baking from scratch.... just not on Halloween/Mandalorian/Dia de Los Muertos weekend.)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large apple chopped (approximately 1 cup)
2 Tbsp Flour
Dash of cinnamon
24 muffin liners
For the Streusel Topping:
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
1. Preheat over to 400. Line muffin liners into 2 muffin tins. (This made 24 muffins. I froze half so I can look like I’m on top of things a week later.)
2. In a small bowl, add 2 Tbsp flour to chopped apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. Mix to combine thoroughly. The flour helps the apple from sinking to the bottom of the muffin. (I added an apple because I like pumpkin and apples and because sometimes, pumpkin bread and muffins can get boring. Boo.)
3. Combine eggs, vanilla, milk, water and oil in a medium bowl. Add mix. Fold together with a rubber spatula until batter is smooth, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. (I’ve experimented with different liquid and fat ratios with pre made mixes to get a better flavor and texture. In this case, the vanilla and homemade streusel offsets the “commercial” flavor. You can use butter instead of oil but it results in a much heavier muffin.)
4. Add the chopped apple, flour, and cinnamon mixture. (Or in my case, my daughter added parts of the chopped apple mixture to the streusel without me looking which happily resulted in a prettier muffin. You can do that, too.)
5. Make the streusel topping. (I used the same streusel from the “Pioneer Woman’s Overnight French Casserole” recipe. Here’s the link. https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/recipes/a10733/baked-french-toast/ It’s wonderful and flavorful. Sometimes, the streusel flour ratio is too high or it's crumbly without a lot of flavor or moisture.) Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles.
6. Fill the muffin tins about 1/2 way through with the pumpkin apple batter. Fill about 2 tablespoons (or generously cover the batter) with the streusel mixture. Bake at 400F for 18-20 minutes. Check before the time is up to make sure the sugar from the apples and the muffin mix aren’t prematurely getting to the bottoms early.
7. Cook on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn out muffins individually onto wire racks (so you don’t get prematurely burned bottoms due to the residual heat from the tin and the sugar from the apples and mix. Enjoy! Easy fall muffins without breaking a sweat!)
Thanks for reading! I hope this post makes you laugh, smile, and come up with some fun fall ideas to cozy up to! Have a wonderful weekend! Xo, Melissa