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I’m in pre-mourning mode, so this is going to be short and sweet. Tomorrow is my last CSA delivery for the season and I’m starting to lose sleep over it.

The tanking economy? Big deal.

The drop in the stock market? So what.

Taxpayer bailouts? Who cares.

The new first dog? Well, I am curious.

Anyway, just warning you — my next post will be a dark and dreary one.

In the meantime, I’ll eat comfort food and whine a lot. I made these muffins after Thanksgiving, determined to use all the leftovers in creative ways. My CSA delivery (which is almost over, as you might recall) included a small sugar pumpkin. I also had a cup or so of leftover cranberry sauce and I’ve been looking for any excuse to play with my new-found love, cardamom, so I made some catch-all muffins. For more information on cardamom, check with my favorite English chef, Miles Collins.

I broke open the cardamom pods and ground the seeds. You don’t need to use much, a little goes a very long way. The smell will infuse your home and lift your spirits. Even if you are facing a seasonal veggie recession. Did I mention that my (yes, MY) Grant Family Farm is covered with snow and my last CSA delivery is tomorrow?

Okay, I must get on with my life.

Home-made muffins? With cardamom? Sounds like a start.

pumpkin, cranberry, cardamom, pecan catch-all muffins
what you need

1 small sugar pumpkin (use 1 cup of prepared puree in this recipe)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut pumpkin in half (or quarters), clean out and remove seeds. Rub a little butter or olive oil on pieces and place meat side down in glass baking dish with an inch or two of water (like you do with acorn squash). Put in preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minute or until tender when pierced with a fork. You can also put the pumpkin skin side up without water and roast it that way. Cool and then scoop out the pumpkin meat into a food processor or mixer. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt. Puree well.

2 cups Pamela’s GF Ultimate Baking Mix
4 tablespoons Earth Balance Butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
1/4 cup pecans

Beat together Earth Balance Butter, eggs, and 1 cup of the prepared pumpkin puree. Add baking mix and blend well. Gently mix in cranberry sauce and pecans. Fill 12 muffin cups (lined or greased) 2/3rds full and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Use the rest of the pureed pumpkin to make buckwheat pancakes.

Sniff, sniff.

6 Responses to “cranberry cardamom catch-all muffins”

  1. Diana says:

    Dear Melissa,

    My deepest sympathies for your loss. Yesterday must have been bittersweet. Hope the muffins help to ease the pain – they look and sound quite yummy!

    In snowy solidarity, Diana

    P.S. I’m curious about the First Dog, too. A Bijon Frisee would be sweet! We had one next door (sadly, he passed away last year) and that dog was the cutest – like a little old man living in a Steiff (adorable stuffed animal toy) body.

  2. Lo! says:

    Can’t really beat Diana’s sentiments… but you do have my utmost sympathy. Our short CSA season ended back in October… and I’m finally starting to get over it.

  3. Miles says:

    Hey Melissa,
    They look great, have you eaten them all? It is a fabulous spice isn’t it?

  4. Liz says:


    I didn’t even know cardamom pods looked like that!

  5. Melissa says:

    Diana — love the dog talk. I’d like to see someone bring a BIG dog into the White House. Like my guy, Fairbanks.


    Lo — I feel your pain!

    Miles — I love these little gems! And the smell is divine. Thanks for turning me onto them!

    Liz — yeah, aren’t they interesting?!

    Cheers all!

  6. Laura says:

    These muffins look fantastic!!!! I used to love pumpkin muffins. I really appreciate how you don’t use sugar in your recipes, and I love the spoof on the HFCS ads. I will be making these over the holiday break…..

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