Usher in Thanksgiving with the help of pumpkin spice muffins [Food and dining]

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Thanksgiving is getting the shaft this year.

Before I could even put away my orange Pumpkin Fairy tutu, retailers had dragged out the trees, bows and candy canes.

But what about Thanksgiving? Where are all the pilgrim hats? The horn things filled with food? For goodness' sake, where are the turkeys shaped like hands?

I've baked pumpkin spice muffins twice this past week to get myself and others into the Thanksgiving spirit. As my boyfriend, Rob, said, the muffins "smell like autumn." I hope you can also use this easy recipe to spread some Thanksgiving love.

Pumpkin spice muffins

(Recipe adapted from friend Sally Scherer, who adapted her version from All Recipes)

Ingredients
    •    One 15- or 16-ounce can of pumpkin (I prefer Libby's)
    •    One box of spice cake mix
    •    One 6-ounce bag of dried cranberries, such as Craisins

Directions
1. Dump the spice cake mix and can of pumpkin into a mixing bowl.
2. Blend the cake mix and pumpkin.
3. Pour in the bag of dried cranberries and mix them in with the batter.
4. Lick the beaters (if you used a hand mixer) or spatula. Seriously. It's imperative and delicious.
5.  Spray two muffin pans with nonstick spray or fill with cupcake liners.Fill two-thirds of each cups with batter.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
7. Let muffins cool. Enjoy.

Photo: Ashlee Clark

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