My Books

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Corinth's Pumpkin Cream Muffins

This recipe was up on my website for quite a while, and then (such is life) when I switched it out for a ginger mocha, apparently I did it too soon. Every recipe I really, really love gets a place in my writing, so keep an eye on that webpage if you like this one. But I've had recent requests for this particular recipe, so here it is finally, and I hope you love it as much as we do! (And as a blog post, it will remain solidly online for whenever you want it.) I'm kind of one of those start-with-a-recipe-and-then-do-what-sounds-yummy sort of cooks, but this is a pretty good approximation of what we do. You might want to shift it around to taste. For instance, last time I made them I put minced ginger in the muffin part, and a little bit of heavy cream in the creamy part, and it was pretty amazing.

Corinth’s Pumpkin Cream Muffins
"Charlie especially liked my pumpkin cream muffins, I was pleased to note; he ate five of them in a row, and then asked if there were more, and it made me rather happy. "

4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup cooking oil
2 14 ½ ounce cans pumpkin (or equivalent)
2/3 cup milk
4 eggs

2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar (or to taste)
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix together all the dry ingredients for the muffins. Add the yummy wet stuff and blend it all together nicely, then place in muffin tins (or whatever fun thing you’re using to cook it), filling the cups about ½ way full.

Dump your cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and blend till smooth. I recommend giving it a taste test to make sure it’s as sweet and vanilla-filled and yummy as you want it. Once satisfied that it is perfect, take your mixing bowl to the filled muffin tins, make a hollow in one of your muffins-to-be, and stuff that hole brimming filled with creaminess.

Once all your muffins have cream shoved down deep inside them and spilling over the top, place your muffin tins in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes at 350. Keep a close eye on them as different ovens cook differently, and these muffins dry out fast if overcooked.

This recipe makes 3 – 4 dozen, because you are certain to get requests for seconds…and thirds…and fourths…  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

To Christ The Lord

To Christ the Lord let every tongue
Its noblest tribute bring
When Hes the subject of the song
Who can refuse to sing?

This song permeated my brain this morning. It’s November 1st. I’m sitting in my room this Sunday afternoon, Lynette rolling in a sunbeam on my floor, a candle burning, and a chocolate chia by my elbow. I’m about to leap into finishing the rough plan for the last two Dreaded King books, and start typing away at it this evening. Another tribute to the King; I’m praying He is truly the subject, and my words call others to sing.

Survey the beauties of His face
And on His glories dwell
Think of the wonder of His grace
And all His triumphs tell

What a triumphant song we have to sing, and write, and tell about! Christ is victorious even now as we still busy ourselves with the trouble and dirt and evils of a world broken by sin. But as long as we keep our eyes on Christ, surveying His beauties, dwelling on His grace, our song will always be one of victory and joy.

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned
Upon His awful brow
His head with radiant glories crowned
His lips with grace overflow
No mortal can with Him compare
Among the sons of men
Fairer He is than all the fair
That fill the Heavenly train

Even with a picture like that painted for us in Scripture and verses like this old hymn, how often we fall to comparing our mortal selves with God and His designs, putting our affairs higher even than His. May our affairs all come under His, and every act raise up a name for our God. May this third DK book be something that stays with my readers, drawing them (after the words and characters and plot are forgotten) into serving with joy; a tale that perhaps helps lead them a little farther along the path of sanctification.

He saw me plunged in deep distress
He fled to my relief
For me He bore the shameful cross
And carried all my grief
His hand a thousand blessings pours
Upon my guilty head
His presence gilds my darkest hours
And guards my sleeping bed

A few dark hours are plotted for my characters. And yet this is the sharp hope we all carry as children of the victorious King. There is no grief that we must carry alone, no spiritual blessing that we are without, and every darkness is lighted by Christ’s own shining power.

To Him I owe my life and breath
And all the joys I have
He makes me triumph over death
And saves me from the grave

November is, of course, also the month were we take stock of our blessings. And every one that comes to mind, each intangible blessing we enjoy, and every little luxury, comes straight from God’s hand. And every one of them I can enjoy without fear, or distress, or worry, or despair that it will all soon be gone. I live in a triumphant grace.

To Heaven the place of His abode
He brings my weary feet
Shows me the glories of my God
And makes my joy complete

A complete joy. That is a Christian’s resting place, this is where we are headed. To our Savior’s side, the glories of our God, and a joy untainted and entire! It is that joy that spills from Christ’s throne onto the Christian even now, and shines in their smiles and shows deep in their eyes even on the darkest of their days. May some of that joy spill over into this new book, and into all of this month of thanksgiving.

Since from His bounty I receive
Such proofs of love divine
Had I a thousand hearts to give
Lord, they should all be Thine

All Thine, Lord Christ, all Thine! Every word that forms a scene, creates a character who seems to live and breathe on the paper, that forms a thought, or speaks a truth, may each word be Thine; directed by Thy will, subject to Thy truth, and used by You to grow Your people. I pray it and yet I know that I am incapable of creating what I picture. Every year, I sit in front of the computer with my hopes high, knowing what I want this new book to become. It never turns out exactly like I plan. But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s even better than I planned. This year, I want it to be melody sparkling with love for Christ, sanctification and service. Almost every November 1st, I sit here feeling incredibly inadequate, the thought of that blank page that will begin my next book seeming like an awful terror that spews out the blank despair of knowing I can never pull this off. But at the same moment I feel excitement building, and the joyful delight of knowing God aids my pitiful attempts. Even more than that, come the words, bubbling up, begging to be let out, to speak of God’s glory, and simply to tell their tale. I’m off to start a new song.

A thousand men could not compose
A worthy song to bring
Yet Your love is a melody
Our hearts can’t help but sing![1]

[1] "To Christ the Lord Let Every Tongue" by Laura Taylor and Samuel Stennett. Click the link to hear a recording of it on YouTube.