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  • Writer's pictureaileenstewart

Cooking and Coding

This past week was our monthly Cook Book Club meeting. Our theme was Thanksgiving Feast, and apparently green bean casserole was on many people's minds because three different versions showed up on our feast table. Emily made some disappearing pumpkin muffins. That isn't their official name, but they were so delicious they did disappear quickly. So if you want to see for yourself if they disappear at your house, the recipe is below!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins


Cream Cheese Filling

1 8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

Pumpkin Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups pure pumpkin (from a 28 oz can)

1 1/4 cup olive oil

Cinnamon Streusel

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed small


Preheat oven to 350. Line two muffin tins with paper liners. Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until blended in a small bowl. Put in fridge to chill while you prepare the muffins. In a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Fill each muffin cup 1/3 full of pumpkin muffin batter. Top with a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. Fill the remaining of the muffin cup with more pumpkin batter. It should be almost to the top. Make sure that the muffin batter on top covers the cream cheese center. Make the cinnamon streusel. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cold cubed butter in a small bowl. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to mix together until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle some on top of each muffin. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the muffins have formed a nice peak and spring back when touched lightly. Remove and let cool.

Now baking is sort of like coding. You have a sequence of instructions that must be followed in order to achieve the desired outcome. And I know this, because earlier in the year, I read a delightfully fun book written by my friend Josh Funk and illustrated by Sara Palacios. A book titled, How to Code a Sandcastle. A book so good, I'm mentioning it again.

In this fun sciency/mathey story, Pearl has a problem. Frisbees and dogs who've had too much to drink keep destroying her sand castles. So she enlists the help of her robot friend Pascal to help her solve her sandcastle dilemma. Along the way, Pearl learns that she has to give Pascal very specific sets of instructions to achieve her desired outcome. And when things don't turn out exactly as planned, Pearl doesn't give up. Instead she uses the coding she's already figured out, tweaks it a bit to fix the final problem, and ends up with a kingdom full of castles fit for royalty.

This book is a perfect read for girls 8 to 10 and a wonderful Christmas gift idea if you are like me and have already started shopping!

It is a laugh out loud book of nonsense stories. Fox and Rabbit are best friends who share a cabin and an apparent love for getting a good night's rest. Their adventures which often include their friends Elephant and Kangaroo are so silly you won't be able to keep from smiling when you read them.

I hope you enjoyed a brief glimpse into my week as well as my foray into the kidlit world. I also hope to see you here again next Monday.

Wishes for a week full of wonder!


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