About three years ago, as I was watching an episode of the Martha Stewart Show, I had my own mini-epiphany. I was watching a young, self-taught baker school Martha in the ways of organic, all-natural, vegan baking. Martha, the expert at basically everything, was being nudged around by a slight and slightly spicy Erin McKenna, a woman who had only been cooking a few years. Erin wasn’t in charge; Martha was certainly the chief in her television kitchen. But Erin wasn’t frightened either, or, if she was, she sure did retain her composure and humor.
For a moment or two, I was embarrassed for Erin, thinking she should have bowed to the domestic goddess before her. Who was she to tell Martha to “move on” now? But as the segment ended, I puffed up a bit, becoming proud of the quirky Erin McKenna. She owned her story, her business and her cooking approach, and showed Martha a thing or two. With very little experience under her belt, she stood up to the Goliath before her. As the commercial faded in, I marched over to my husband to say, “Hell, if Erin can do it, I can do it! I’m going to start a site and call it Eat Boutique. I love everything boutique, small, teeny, local – especially food – so I’m going to do it right now.”
My husband bought the domain and the rest is, well, my own personal history. This site has encouraged me to travel regularly, to eat everything and to meet people I would have never met otherwise. It grows bit by bit and, in fact, my biggest personal accomplishment launches in just a week or two. After scouting out food and producers across New England, I’m finally going to offer up a little gift-box of some amazing sweet and savory delights. It may seem small, but it’s a big step for me. The mini-entrepreneur in me is finally doing something for me. It’s a labor of love and while it may never pay the bills, it’s fun and deeply satisfying.
I hope you’ll visit the moment my shopping cart launches, just after Thanksgiving. Til then, I finally picked up Erin’s BabyCakes cookbook, and made this recipe a few weeks ago. Instead of muffins, I poured the batter into mini-paper loaf forms. So cute and so delicious and so healthful. Thanks, Erin.
[Recipe adapted from BabyCakes cookbook]
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, plus more for the pan
- 2/3 cup agave nectar
- 2/3 cup rice milk
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup hot water
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients. Add the next 4 ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until the batter is smooth and thick. Fold in the pumpkin and hot water until both are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it. Bake the muffins on the center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the tin 180 degrees after 10 minutes. The finished muffins will be soft to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
Let the muffins stand in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely. Store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Similarly delightful recipes elsewhere, at sites I love:
- Brown Sugar and Peach Muffins at Vegan Yum Yum
- Vegan Pumpkin Muffins at Foodista
- Vegan Pumpkin Muffins at Nosh With Me