Pumpkin Muffins :: I tweaked a box mix :: AnExtraordinaryDay


Sometime ago, I was reading how a family decided to put themselves on a spending freeze for something like 3 or 6 months.  They allowed a small amount of money for fresh items for the month and that was pretty much that.  It seems that they realized that they had a full pantry, and yet were still filling up their cart at the grocery store each week.  The goal was to only eat what was in their pantry and freezer and not run to the store.

That seems like a really good idea.  I notice on Pinterest and other blogs that people are always organizing their pantries.  And there seems to be a LOT of ingredients on display in those pretty pantries.  Shhh…but sometimes I have wondered if it was just for show.  It made me wonder how long it takes to use it all up.


Tweak a box mix of muffins :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


I have a small pantry too.  It’s one shelf of grains and teas.  The rest holds small appliances and cat food and foil and food wraps.  In addition to that I have one shelf in the kitchen cabinet that holds canned goods and such, another with herbs and spices, and another with baking supplies.  That’s it.  I have never been one to stock up.  Especially since our grocery store is within walking distance.

Recently we have cinched our belts and extended our spending freeze to our pantry and freezer.  I managed to go through everything there except a few handfuls of quinoa, a can of cranberry sauce, a can of pumpkin, and a boxed muffin mix.  I’m not sure why I have a muffin mix.  I’ve never made muffins from a mix….or much else other than brownies.


Box Muffin Mix Recipe Tweak :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


The other day I decided I needed to make up the muffin mix for breakfast.  The recipe on the box calls for milk, eggs, and oil.  I had the eggs and the oil.  But, no milk.  I had been staring at the can of pumpkin trying to decide what to do with it…no milk…no pie.  And then the light bulb went off.  Why not substitute pumpkin for milk?  Why not.  And so I added 3/4 cup of pumpkin, in place of the milk, to the eggs and oil and stirred in the dry mix.  It was a little bit heavy, so I decided to add 2 Tablespoons of water, one at a time.  Though these were Cinnabon muffins, I thought I would spice them up a little more, so I added a dash each of allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

The muffins were baked according to the instructions and they came out perfectly.   The best part, my husband mentioned several times how much he enjoyed them.  Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins, tweaked from the box.  With a bit of butter…mouthwatering.  With a little tweaking ordinary muffins can become extraordinary!

Have you tweaked a box mix of something recently?

How did it turn out?


Pumpkin Muffins for Tea :: I tweaked a box mix :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


A little more than a half a can of pumpkin is sitting in the fridge.  Tonight I’m going to try my hand at pumpkin bread.  The from scratch kind.  I still have some flour in the freezer, the only thing left in there, and eggs and oil.  But, that cranberry sauce.  I am not sure what to do with that.  One thing I can say for sure, it’s amazing, with what little I actually had in my pantry, how many meals I was able to create.  It was the impetus I needed to grind up the sesame seeds into tahini to which I added the garbanzo beans, which resulted in a yummy homemade humus.


Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins for Tea :: I tweaked a box mix :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Consider a grocery spending freeze at your house.  It’s a good way to get creative in the kitchen, save some money, and use up what you have.

I’m wondering…

Have you ever put your pantry, freezer, or fridge on a spending freeze?

If so, how did it work out for you?

I wish you could have come over for tea to enjoy the muffins with me.  Oh, they were good!


Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!


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  1. JaneEllen says

    I’m going to have to make those muffins, they sound so good. Pumpkin is very good for health also. Love the idea. Will look for that mix next time we go for our monthly grocery shopping. Sure glad you shared that. It’s good to have different things for dessert to vary the selections. They’d be good for breakfast also. Sometimes we buy the $1 mix of Martha’s blue berry muffins at $tree.
    Boy can we relate to the freeze. We don’t have to do that to ourselves, the cost of groceries continues to rise so we have to figure out how to make one shopping trip on payday last for the month. Sometimes that month is 4 weeks and sometimes it’s 5 weeks. That’s really pushing it for us. We eat a great deal of one pot meals, we don’t have seconds so we’ll have enough for another meal for both of us. It’s sure good for the waistline. We make home made desserts and make them last. If we bake a cake we only one small piece after supper to make it last for about 5 days. Sometimes I think it’s good not to have too much money for naughties, that way we make do and figure out how to stretch things to enjoy them more.
    That’s life for many seniors who only have SS to live on. good thing we know how to stretch things cause since about 2010 it’s been harder for us.
    My husband had been working since we moved to CO in 2004 which really helped out alot. I worked also so we were doing ok. My hubs had a stroke in Oct. 2010 which pretty much flattened us. I had to quit also as he couldn’t be left alone and I had to take him to VA hospital often. He wasn’t able to drive for almost 6 months. Thank God he had just gotten his VA back after fighting for it for about 4 yrs. Anyway that changed our lives and we do ok. We like staying home, we do our crafts and take care of the yard, spend lots of time with our dog and cat, they’re our kids now. We have 4 kids ( 2 kids with families that live fairly close by but we don’t see or hear from them often any more). Our youngest son works in Singapore for long periods of time now. Gee think I’ve written too much huh, sorry. Enjoy your blog.

    • Diane says

      Hi JaneEllen!
      I’m thinking that any mix will work in similar fashion….just add your spices…though I’m not sure if I would add pumpkin to the blueberry mix…LOL! Then again….why not?!! I’m so sorry to hear that you have been hard-pressed. I love that you see it as a benefit to the waistline. Sometimes I think that we have fallen into the pattern of eating too much anyway. When I look at photos of family members back in time, they were all very lean. Glad you enjoy your treats more now. 🙂 It’s all about attitude isn’t it.
      Glad to hear your husband is in a better spot now. How nice that you enjoy your home and projects together. That is a blessing. 🙂
      Thanks for the kind words, JaneEllen. 🙂
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  2. Mel says

    I went pantry diving while he-who-was-gone was gone. (He came BACK yesterday–yeah!!!!) It was sorta out of necessity…I’m not zactly ‘able’ to shove a grocery cart around at the moment. I jazzed up the mexican rice hiding in there with some salsa, baked the chicken wings lurking in the freezer and called it good to go. LOL NOT exactly the most creative, but it did the trick. I can’t wait for him to ask what that ‘mess’ is in the tupperware bowl! 😉
    Honestly, we live very well, all things told. The price of groceries is horrid right now–and we buy too much that we don’t use. We make a point of having a ‘clear out’ a couple times a year and bag things up for the local food pantry. Better that than letting it go icky. We need to be more frugal about what we’re purchasing and why.
    He-who-does-the-shopping isn’t the culprit. I am. He buys what he needs for the meal and plans accordingly. It’s me–the one who thinks something sounds good….and never bothers to make it or eat it.
    BAD habits make for a donation–so it’s not all bad, right?
    The muffins…..look AWESOME with the sugar and pretty silver muffin papers.

    And you’d SHARE–doesn’t that just speak volumes about your heart!
    *huge hugs*

    • Diane says

      Glad to hear he is back!! You really missed him….I could tell. Pantry diving! I love that term. Glad you were able to dive for treasure. You never know…that might just become a regular on your menu. Then again…. LOL! I have been in that spot where I have purchased too much. I remember thinking as I ran something down the disposal…God forgive me…I hope that I won’t be in a place to regret this. Well…no regrets. But, I do hope that when things turn around I won’t forget this. Speaking of donations. One year I went to the store specifically to shop for the Thanksgiving offering. Most everything we bought was on sale…and it was a cart full. It seems to me that there was a law that said if they overcharged you for the scanned items you got them free. Well…wouldn’t you know, after my husband handed me the register receipt, I started looking at it and said….they didn’t charge us the sale price. So we turned back around. Yup! Our donation was free. Is that like God or what!?! Anyway it is such a blessing to give out of our overflow. And I have no doubt that you are generous to do that too.
      Of course I’d share….remember yesterday’s post….it isn’t the food…it’s the communion of sharing together…that feeds the soul. And for you…I’d share something gluten free. [hugs]

  3. Jean says

    Those look really yummy! I’ve made “muffins” that way with cake mix and an entire can of pumpkin. Your post is pretty timely as I’m trying to use what we have in the fridge/freezer for our dinner menus (which means I’m just winging it this week with nothing planned!). Now you’ve inspired me to take a second look in my pantry as well. By the way, I’d use that cranberry sauce as a topping while baking some chicken or simply as a spread for turkey sandwiches! YUM.

    • Diane says

      That’s good to know, Jean. I’ll keep that in mind. So how has it been to ‘wing it’ this week? Did you end up with some yummy surprises? That’s a great idea for cranberry sauce. Sometimes we just get stuck with serving it a Christmas and Thanksgiving. 😉 Thanks for stopping by…good to ‘see’ you again, my friend!

      • Jean says

        Well, I’ll be menu planning next week but it hasn’t been all bad. I don’t know about yummy surprises but I did end up with a nice Mexican fiesta dinner last night when I found some already prepared taco meat in the freezer and a Mexican rice package in the pantry (kind of like you and your muffin mix…I’m not sure why I had it because I don’t buy those?). I even went all out and put together some refried beans and rotel tomatoes to add some extra pizzazz to our from the freezer/pantry meal 🙂

        • Diane says

          A Mexican fiesta dinner! I bet your boys were thrilled! That’s a nice surprise. Isn’t it funny how we have things we don’t usually eat? Wonder what goes through out minds when we pick them up. LOL
          Blessings….and good luck with the menu planning. 😉

  4. Donna says

    I will have to try these! I love things made with box mixes! I’ve enjoyed looking through your blog. Check out Sunshine PenPals and join the fun, we’d love to have you!

    • Diane says

      So fun and easy to whip up, too, Donna!
      Love the name of your group!!
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  5. Cathy says

    I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven’t already this week. The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday’s at midnight.
    http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/. AND starting Wednesday June 4th I will be hosting a Wordless Wednesday link party. Hope you will join us!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs, Cathy

  6. Judy Witt says

    I recently tweaked a spice cake mix. I grated fresh carrots and then added them along with some coconut and I did add more cinnamon and nutmeg. The result was a very tasty carrot cake. In place of the vegetable oil I used coconut oil. My next goal is to use left over coffee in place of the water when making brownies. I also use coconut oil when baking anything for a dessert.

    • Diane says

      What a great idea Judy! I bet that made a lovely carrot cake. I too like to use coconut oil…it’s so much healthier. Right now…my budget can’t support it. I bet the coffee will really enhance the brownies.
      Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas, Judy!!
      Wishing you an Extraordinary weekend!

  7. These muffins look absolutely delicious! I love pumpkin!! I’m going to pin this!
    Restoration Beauty

    • Diane says

      Two thumbs up at our house…hope you’ll enjoy yours too!
      Blessings for a lovely weekend!

  8. Oh my! These look SO good! I’ve made these muffins in the past following the regular directions, but they sound even better with the pumpkin! Visiting from the Marvelous Mondays Hop. Have a wonderful week! Stacie

    • Diane says

      Thank you Stacie! 🙂 We really enjoyed them….hope you will too!
      Hope our week is Extraordinary!

  9. Mmmm these look gorgeous. I’d love for you to share them over at my link party 😀


  10. Yummy! The muffins look delicious!

    • Diane says

      My husband couldn’t get enough of them. [wink]
      Thanks Kim!!!

  11. These looks so moist and delicious! Thanks for sharing at Project Inspire{d} ~ pinning to my party board.

    Hugs, Mary Beth

  12. bj says

    These sound wonderful and your photos of them are magazine worthy. 🙂
    I would NEVER have thought to use pumpkin instead of a liquid….awesome ‘
    step outside the box’
    Over from Eliz an Co.

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much!!
      Pumpkin is fairly ‘soupy’ and I thought it was worth a try. So glad it worked.
      Thanks for popping over, bj, and for your lovely words of encouragement.

  13. Emily says

    These look so good! I love pumpkin anything! 🙂

    I’ve pinned and will definitely give it a try!

  14. Oh my goodness Diane these look so yummy! Thanks for linking up at ITS PARTY TIME. I’m featuring these on Sunday. xoxo

    • Diane says

      And my husband enjoyed the immensely!!
      Thanks Clydia!!

  15. These look delicious! I’d love for you to bring this to Tuesday’s Table – http://zentmrs.blogspot.com/2013/06/tuesdays-table-for-june-4-2013-and.html

  16. These look delicious!! Yum! I am so glad I saw this. I am hosting a giveaway via Arcadian Home on my blog. It would be great if you could stop by. Have a lovely day!

    • Diane says

      And they are!!
      Hope your weekend is extraordinary!

  17. Jeanne says

    I buy extra cranberry sauce every fall when the stores have it cheap. I put frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot with a full can of cranberry sauce and cook on low all day. I have added other seasonings to it to. You can serve the chicken breasts whole when they are cooked. Although my husbands favorite is when I cut up the chicken after its cooked and return it to the sauce while I make rice. We then spoon the chicken and its sauce over the rice.

    As far as other seasonings I have added … 1) a little salt, pepper, and garlic 2) a packet of Lipton onion soup mix 3) a packet of chili seasoning. Any combination of these works. My husbands favorite was when we made a mistake. He was helping and didn’t realize that I had put the packet of onion soup mix in the crock pot already. He found the packet of chili seasoning mix and added it. I think I stirred in a cup or so of water. Two of the grandkids were over that night and quickly ate their rice and chicken and asked for more.

    • Diane says

      What a great idea, Jeanne! Thank you so much for sharing it. I will make a note of it.
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  18. kathy says

    Great idea! I have cans of pumpkin sitting in my pantry from Thanksgiving. I like pumpkin-y things all year round. I will definitely have to try this!

    • Diane says

      Give it a shot then…my husband couldn’t get enough of these muffins!
      Thanks for stopping by Kathy!

  19. Posted at “Open House”

    Wow – they do look delicious!

    • Diane says

      Oh…they’re good, Bernideen…but I doubt they will hold a candle to your tart! 😀
      May your day overflow with joy and blessing!

  20. Your muffins sound like they turned out delicious! What a great way to use the pumpkin and still be able to use the mix, even without milk.

    Thanks for linking up to The Creative HomeAcre Blog Hop! : )

    • Diane says

      Yeah…I think I got a big head on this one!! Just kidding!! But…they were better than I anticipated. 🙂
      Thanks Kathy!!

  21. They look delicious! x

  22. These muffins look great. I like that you tweaked it with what you had! Thanks for linking to TTF this week.


    • Diane says

      As they say…a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
      Kind of a silly saying…but it works. [wind]
      Hope your weekend is extraordinary!

  23. Doni says

    Those muffins look SO GOOD!! I’m glad they turned out so well, and I might just have to give that recipe a try…or at least tweak something like you did!!
    Great idea!!
    Thanks so much for sharing,

    • Diane says

      Tweaking is good. It’s given me the courage to tweak some other things I would never have thought to before.
      Thanks for your warm words of encouragement Doni! [hugs]

  24. Thanks so much for linking your Tweaked muffin recipe up to the Say G’day Saturday party. They look so delicious. I’ve just pinned this and shared it on twitter and facebook too.

    Hope to see you again this weekend!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

    • Diane says

      Awwww…you are so sweet!!
      Blessings to you my friend!!

  25. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says

    These look delicious!

    • Diane says

      Thanks Sharon! My husband couldn’t get enough of them. Yippee!!

  26. Diane, Just wanted to let you know I am featuring your post this week at TTF favorites. The link will be up on my blog tomorrow (WED).


    • Diane says

      Linda, I am thrilled that you would feature my post. Thank you so much for this lovely blessing!

  27. These sound delicious, and seem simple enough for me to make 😉 Found you linked up via The Sits Girls! If you get the chance, I would love for you to stop by and visit me over at my blog! Have a great weekend!

  28. I am lucky enough to have a huge pantry, but the flip side of that is I find myself shoving stuff to the back and then realizing too late that it expired. So right now I am also trying to cook out of my pantry and freezer, and not waste. Your muffins look terrific! I’m not the best baker but I think I can handle tweaking a box mix! Thanks for sharing them with us at Foodie Fridays!

  29. Yummy! Thanks for joining us at Foodie Fridays. Hope to see you again this week.

  30. Hey love, I just wanted to let you know..I did a round up of muffins and included your recipe. Today it was featured at http://www.alifeinbalance.net/68-mouthwatering-christmas-desserts/#comment-90703 too!
    Whoop whoop!
    Have a wonderful week!

    • Diane says

      Thank you Jessica!! You just made my day!
      All the best for a JOY-filled Christmas!!


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