Every once in a while, being a journalist is really cool. About two months ago, I got to interview Lisa Kivirist, who owns an inn in Wisconsin. She was helping lobby for legislation that would allow home cooks and farmers to sell small amounts of baked goods without jumping through the hoops to get a commercial food preparation license.
I got her name from a farm organization, started talking to her and realized that she was THE Lisa Kivirist, who invented my beloved (and G.’s beloved) zucchini cake.
Here’s how much we love that cake: I had just spent a day covering first lady Michelle Obama during her visit to Wisconsin. G. was not impressed. I told him I had talked to Lisa, and he was so excited.
“Did you tell her Jeffrey has made three of them?” he asked.
Jeffrey is G.’s nephew, and a new convert to the zucchini cake brotherhood. I failed to tell Lisa about him. I will rectify that next time.
Anyway, we got talking, and it turns out that Lisa recently published a new cookbook. I bought a copy. (Of course I did; I’m a cookbook addict.)
It took me a while to get around to sending my check, so the book only arrived recently. I dove right in and made Lisa’s winter squash spice muffins, which are one of the most popular things she serves at her bed and breakfast.
G. was in heaven! I made them right before we took off for a dance event, so we’d dance for a few hours, eat a muffin and then go back and dance more. We figured the calories don’t count that way. But even if they did, we’d still eat the muffins. A lot of them.
Lisa Kivirist’s Winter Squash Spice Muffins
1 cup winter squash puree (I use fresh pumpkin.)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Grease 12 standard muffin cups. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine eggs, squash and butter in a big bowl.
Add spices, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and flour. Stir well.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill the muffin cups until they are almost full. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.