This Is No Trick: a Halloween Treat

pumpkin muffins and puree!

When MSNBC news correspondent Norah O’Donnell and her husband, chef Geoff Tracy, published Baby Love, we felt a moment of guilt (and jealousy). How could they — with their demanding jobs and three kids under 4 — have time to make their own healthy baby food and write a book about it?

Two weeks worth of fresh baby food in less than one hour is how. So we asked them to whip up a Halloween recipe for us — in their spare time.

Jack-o’-Lantern Muffins
Makes around two dozen

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1½ c. pumpkin puree (recipe below)
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350º.

2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs.

3. Mix together all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ground ginger. Add to creamed mixture and mix well.

4. Mix in pumpkin puree.

5. Spoon the mixture into a small or large muffin tin. Bake small muffins for 20 minutes. Bake large muffins 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffins are ready to remove and cool on a rack.

Pumpkin Puree

3-5 pound pumpkin

1. Remove top and spoon out seeds and stringy insides.

2. Slice pumpkin in half and put in baking dish with 1-2 cups water.

3. Bake for 90 minutes at 350º. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

4. Spoon out flesh of pumpkin and puree until smooth.

For more delicious recipes, check out Baby Love, by Norah O’Donnell and Geoff Tracy, available online at amazon.com.

this week in washington d.c.!

Eye Scream Dessert

What: Little ghouls can pig out on eyeball-shaped creations made with raspberry coulis and white chocolate.
Why: It’s served on a bed of dry ice to up the eerie factor.
When: Thru Oct. 30. Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5-9:30 p.m.; Sat., 5-10 p.m.
Where: 2941 Restaurant, 2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church (703-270-1500).

Snail People

What: A West Coast band puts on a lively show.
Why: They’ll sing old faves to delight little ears.
When: Mon., 4-6 p.m.
Where: Buzz Bakery, 901 Slaters Ln., Alexandria (703-600-2899). Admission is free.

Del Ray Halloween Parade

What: A procession through town, treats, and a costume drive, too.
Why: Prizes are given for the best decorated stroller, so remember to outfit your wheels.
When: Sat., 2-4 p.m.
Where: Parade starts at the intersection of Mount Vernon & E. Bellefonte Aves. For info, call 703-684-3535. Participation is free.

Photo: elena’s pantry / Flickr

this week on swirl!
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2941 Restaurant
2941 Fairview Park Dr
Falls Church, VA 22042
Del Ray Halloween Parade
Mt Vernon Ave
E. Bellefonte Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301
901 Slaters Ln
Alexandria, VA 22314