I used to HATE Thanksgiving. I was always thankful - don't get me wrong. I just didn't enjoy the holiday. Most of my family wasn't in the area, so we never had a big family gathering around the table. It was me, sissy and mom. A great group of ladies, but not really what I really had in mind for Thanksgiving.
Then, we had the idea to host Thanksgiving at our house - and all of my negative Nancy feelings about the holiday went right out the window. Husbo's family are all in the area, and my family - without any super strong Thanksgiving traditions - were willing to travel. So four years ago, we had our first Thanksgiving and have had it at our house ever since. I'm not sure why I had a change of heart, but I don't question it, since it was a change for good. Each year the group has been just a little different, but it's always family. I love laying the table out, trying to figure out how everyone will fit the night before; making name cards and seating arrangements; helping husbo manage cooking times of all of his yummy dishes; and making cranberry sauce that I never eat because I prefer the stuff in the can.
Last year's Thanksgiving was especially special as we announced to our family that we were expecting our little cupcake, Amaya. We had gift bags for everyone on the table, with sonogram pictures and t-shirts. And this year, our little cupcake was stuffing her face with yams. It was a very cool full circle moment. Life is full of those, huh?
So, in the spirit of giving thanks and of the month of pumpkins, squash and all things quintessentially fall - I did a twist on last month's pumpkin cupcakes. Same recipe, but with these sweet additions...
For the cake - toss about 2 cups of chocolate chips (dark, milk, bittersweet - pick your poison) in some flour. The batter isn't thick enough to hold them up, and so if you don't coat 'em in flour they will all sink to be bottom - still good, but not really what you're going for! Remove the excess flour (I put them through a sieve) and stir them in. Be careful not to over stir our your cakes will be flat!
Then, for the frosting - add a dollop of pumpkin puree to it (or to taste). It's got just enough pumpkin in there to amp it up a bit and really put you in the holiday spirit.