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Bread/ Morning Foods

Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips

A can of pumpkin met a bag of chocolate chips and fell in love.

I love seeing pumpkins growing in a field and it always reminds me of school field trips with my kids when they were in kindergarten and everyone got to pick out a pumpkin to take home for carving.

Pumpkin pie has never been one of my favorite fall desserts. Seems like I always make one at Thanksgiving and 3/4 of the pie is still left by the time we are throwing out left overs. I do love pumpkin bread and pumpkin bread pudding with caramel sauce and when I found this recipe for the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins years ago, my initial thoughts were that chocolate and pumpkin was a weird combination. But, I was wrong, and found out they are delicious together.

I hope you will pick up a pumpkin or even a can of pumpkin and do something exciting with it this weekend.


Another strange pumpkin recipe I ran across years ago from a little restaurant in Mendocina, CA is a Pumpkin Tomato Soup. If you love tomato soup, you will really enjoy this version that has pumpkin added. The pumpkin adds a little sweetness and cuts some of the acidity of the tomatoes. Topped with some creme fraiche and it is a great little soup to have in the fall. If you decide to try the soup, don’t make the mistake I did once and buy pumpkin PIE FILLING instead of canned pumpkin.

Back to the muffins. They freeze beautifully, so you can make these before thanksgiving and have them ready when your company comes for the holidays. A few seconds in the microwave and you have melting chocolate chips and pumpkin ready to be devoured by your guests.

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Candy/ Cookies/Bars/ Dessert

Migas Bark

Bark made from breadcrumbs?

Last weekend we were in Chicago visiting our son and daughter-in-law who live in Bucktown. They have such wonderful restaurants, and so many are within walking distance of their home. One night we went to this new little restaurant Mado.  Their motto is Midwestern farmers, Mediterranean flavors. This restaurant is on one of the busiest streets in trendy Bucktown.

This restaurant is owned and operated by a husband and wife Allie and Rob Levitt, who met at culinary school.  They have worked in some of Chicago’s best restaurants. The restaurant processes and cure all their own meats and serve almost all of it, I think. We had a tripe dish while there and my son had a dish that had tenderloin, heart, and belly. The restaurant’s menu changes daily so you never know what delicious things may be showing up on the menu.

The New York Times did a review on the restaurant and said, “don’t miss the migas bark” and that is what the waiter told us that night. We ordered that along with a cornmeal cake which I will be making later this week.

This is my attempt to recreate the migas bark we had that night. 

This is a simple little bark but so good and crunchy you would not know you were eating chocolate and bread crumbs.

Tonight was our lady’s night out and we had sushi and came back to my house for pool floating time. That is always fun with a glass of wine and tonight my husband brought us out a chilled plate piled high with the chocolate migas bark. Yum!

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Start with some very good chocolate. The better the chocolate, the better the bark will be. I used bittersweet because that was the remainder of my 10# block of chocolate I had in my pantry. Mado’s bark was a dark chocolate.

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I stopped by Panera Bread on my way home yesterday and picked up this little sourdough bread bowl. Cute isn’t it. Makes me want to make some soup to put in it, but today it is going for a dunk in the chocolate.

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Make bread crumbs with it, then toasted them in the oven until nice and crispy.

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Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or set bowl over pot of boiling water and stir until melted.

Fold in the crumbs and spread on cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.

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Spread it very thin, the thinner the better.


Migas Bark


  • 1 lb. very good dark chocolate
  • 1 – 1 1/2 bread crumbs torn into pieces


  1. I didn’t measure anything but I would say I used about 1 lb. of chocolate and about 1/2 of that small loaf of bread. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water until melted and smooth. Put the bread into a food processor and process until you have coarse crumbs. I toasted my crumbs in a 175 degree oven about an hour or until they were nice and brown.
  2. I processed the crumbs a little more if I still had some chunks. You do not want fine bread crumbs, just coarsely processed. Mix in the crumbs (use your judgement on how many to use). Pour this mixture out onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator until firm. Break up and put in container until ready to eat. Enjoy.