Every time I get a serious craving for some pumpkin muffins, I head down to Trader Joe’s and pick up a package of their Pumpkin Bread mix. If you have never been to a Trader Joe’s, it is an affordable gourmet grocery store–sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? That is the beauty of Trader Joe’s, with its 2-buck Chuck (Charles Shaw wines, which sell for $2.99 a bottle) and its fabulous frozen dinners (such as tilapia with pesto and asparagus, yum yum).

One of my favorite items is, of course, their pumpkin bread mix. I make it in muffin form, and the muffins always come out perfectly–bursting with sweet, slightly spicy pumpkin flavor and moist as can be. And they are sooo easy to make–just add the mix, a couple of eggs, a cup of oil, and some water (these are approximations. follow the recipe on the box.) I also like to add in a handful of cranberries, or chocolate chips. Then bake them for about 20 minutes, and ta-dah!

My friends always ask me for the recipe for these muffins, and I always tell them it’s my secret. Well, the secret is out. Who knew muffins from a mix could be so delicious? Once again another success for Trader Joe’s.