Thursday, October 28, 2010


I just want to check in and make sure you all haven't forgotten about me.

I plan to bake this evening.  Some Vegan Pumpkin Bread for my boss, David- recipe compliments of Joy The Baker- and some Pumpkin Pop-Tarts with Maple Glaze, also from Joy.  Then tomorrow evening I plan to make some S'mores Brownies from Joy, as well.  Are you noticing a pattern??  Yes, I do in fact stalk Joy The Baker.  If she only knew, right?  She just has the best recipes.  And interesting stuff, too.  It's not your mom's brownies, or your grandma's cookies.  They're original and AMAZING!

So, I just had to put this little post in to make sure you guys are still with me.  I'll be posting probably tonight when I should be in bed.

We had a Southern BBQ over the weekend and I didn't take any pictures of the food I made, so sorry.  I made some peach cobbler, which was fashioned after this, and a couple of these Flat Apple Pies.

Here's a picture of my friend, Belinda, and I at the party.

I have to add another reason why I've been away:  I've been exhausted lately and it's because my thyroid is on the fritz.  I had a blood test last week and once the doctor read it, he said I have to go on medicine to kick in back into gear.  So, let's hope that the medicine will kick in soon and I can get back to my old self.

Well, that's all for now.  I'll be back later to tempt you with yummy pumpkin recipes.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

My sister, Jessica, had a Lia Sophia jewelry party last night and she asked me to make some cookies.  Well, it being Fall and having lots of pumpkin lying around, I decided to make pumpkin cookies.

With cream cheese frosting, of course.

Here is our array of food we had set out for the party.  Unfortunately, there were five of us at the show: Jessica, me, our grandma, Nan, and the jewelry consultant, Megan and her sister-in-law, Marissa.

And now for the cookies:

First, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Yes, another recipe that will have you dirty more dishes than probably necessary.

Blend together the eggs and sugar.  Did you know that breaking an egg on the counter will keep the yoke from breaking, compared to breaking the egg on the edge of the bowl?

Add in the pumpkin, vanilla, and oil.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients.

The batter comes out not quite cookie and not quite cake.  But there's something about it that makes the cookies more cake-like than cookie, too.

I used a cookie scoop that's a little bit smaller than a 1/4 cup and space them about 2 inches apart.

Look at how tasty!  And they're not even frosted yet.

I whipped up the cream cheese frosting: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Then I had some chocolate frosting in the fridge so I decided to give it a try on the cookies.  For some reason a lot of people have recipes for pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, or pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips.  And I admit the cookies were good with the chocolate frosting.

And now 24 hrs after making the cookies, there are four left :)  I guess we kind of liked them.


Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola or corn oil

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Position a rack in the middle of the oven . Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute.  Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.  On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended.  Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it.

Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart.  You could also simply use a 1/4-cup measuring cup if you don’t have a  scoop.  Use a thin metal spatula to smooth and flatten the rounds.

Bake the  cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes.  Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool cimpletely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp butter, softened

4 cups confectioners' sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla together.  Then spread over the cooled cookies.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Cake

I was going to make pumpkin cookies this evening, but The Chad asked if I could make a pumpkin roll instead.  I got a recipe and unfortunately I didn't have a jelly roll pan.  So, The Chad went to Target and looked for one, calling us in the process to make sure he knew what he was getting.  And when he brought it home it actually wasn't the right pan, but I tried to use it anyway.  Needless to say it made a cake instead of a roll.

Despite not being what I set out to make in the first place, it still looks really tasty.  And by the time I'm posting this, the cake is half gone.

Add three beaten eggs, sugar, and cinnamon to a bowl and give them a good mix.

I did make some pumpkin puree the other day, but I already had this in the pantry, so I decided to use it.

Beat the pumpkin puree with the other wet ingredients.

Add flour and baking soda to the mix.

Pour the mix into a greased pan then place it in the oven.

Yum!  You have to let it cool first, no matter how tempting it looks.

While the cake is cooling, beat together some powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, and cream cheese for the frosting.

Set aside until the cake is completely cooled.  Otherwise you're going to have cream cheese glaze instead of frosting.

The best way to frost the cake is to dump all the frosting in the middle then spread it out from there.  If you do a little at a time you'll get a ton of crumbs in your frosting- not good.

So, it is still thin, but not quite thin enough to make a roll.  Hence why I made it a cake instead.

I had to show you again.  Tempting?  You want some?  Too bad, it's probably already gone :)

More pumpkin recipes to come this month.  I have lots of pumpkin puree.  Lots and lots.

Pumpkin Cake recipe:


  • 3 eggs, beaten

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 8 ounces cream cheese

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a 91/2" x 13" cake pan.

Beat together eggs, white sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree.  In another bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda.  Then add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.  Then pour the batter into the greased cake pan.  Bake for 15 to 25 minutes.

When the cake is finished, place on a cooling rack.  While it is cooling, beat together the cream cheese, butter, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla.

When the cake is completely cool, add all of the frosting to the middle of the cake then spread out to the edges gently.  Careful not to get crumbs in the frosting.  The frosting will not harden.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Laptop Bag

You may remember this laptop sleeve I made about a month ago.  Well, my mom said she wants one too.  I asked her to pick out a fabric for the sleeve, but when she looked through the back of fabric she found an old fabric backpack that I had tried to make into a tote.  She liked it so I had to make it work.



I just moved the top seam up a little so it was a little bigger and the laptop would fit.  Then I put the brown ribbon in it so she had a drawstring for it.  I was going to sew the straps on it, but I didn't do it before the other, so I was worried I would sew through the drawstring.  I still like it, and my mom does too.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Keeping it Real

The following is mostly from me.  And someone to do them would definitely come in handy.

I know I've showed you before, but I think it has reached a new height.

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Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

In this post I told you to scoop the seeds from the small pumpkin but not to throw them away.  And this is why.  Toasted pumpkin seeds are so good.  And I assume good for you because there's not much to them.

So, here's your pile of pumpkin seeds straight out of the pumpkin.

Separate the seeds from the gooey membrane.  And, yes, your fingers are going to be orange.

Rinse the seeds really well.  And be sure to pick out any pieces of pumpkin that may be trying to hang on.

Spread the seeds out onto a dish towel and pat them dry as best as you can.

Transfer the seeds onto a cookie sheet, or in my case a pizza pan.

Spray the seeds with oil, olive or canola.  Then sprinkle with a generous amount of salt.

After the seeds are oiled and salted throw them in the oven for 25 minutes.

Or until they are nice and light brown like this.

And they're done.

I put mine in a plastic bag and put them in the pantry on our "snack shelf," so hopefully we won't forget that they are there.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Puree

This being the season for Pumpkin and yummy fall recipes.  Let's talk pumpkin puree.  Pumpkin puree is good for pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies...and on and on.

Cans of pumpkin are hard to find any other time of year except right now.  So, buying a pumpkin and making your own puree is great if you want pumpkin goodies other times of year.

My cute little pumpkin.  It was a pretty reasonable price at Walmart.  Next week I'm going to an orchard and vegetable farm and I'm going to get another one...or two :)

Cut the top off the pumpkin.

Cut the pumpkin in half.

Scoop out the inside of the pumpkin.  I used a melon baller.  It worked perfect.

Scoop all the seeds and such into a bowl.  Do NOT throw them away.  Stay tuned for what you can do with them.

Cut the pumpkin into about 8 pieces.

Arrange the pieces a cookie sheet then put them in a 350 degrees oven for 45 minutes.

After the 45 minutes the pieces will look like this, but perfect for peeling off the skins.

If the peel doesn't come off easily then you can cut it off.

Yes, this is like the smallest food processor ever.  Anyway, cut the pumpkin into cubes after you peel off the skin then put it in the food processor and puree.

As I puree it, I add a little water with the pieces I process.

It's ready!

Grab 2 one gallon freezer bags.

Split the puree between the two freezer bags.

Flatten the bag of puree and make sure you get all the air out.  Then seal it and be sure to label it, so everyone knows what this weird orange stuff in your freezer is.

We seem to have this nifty little shelf next to our ice maker that is perfect for the bags of puree.

So, now you have your puree for March or April when all the pumpkins are gone and the cans of pumpkin puree are not on the shelf.  I expect you to puree some pumpkin and impress me with your goodies :)


Pumpkin Puree


1 small pumpkin

water, as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the top off the pumpkin.  Then cut in half.  Use a spoon, ice scoop, or melon baller to scrape out all the seeds and the goopy membrane.  Place the seeds in a bowl.  Cut the halves into quarters (8 pieces total).  Place the pieces on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Place the cooked pumpkin on a cutting board and peel the rind from the pieces.  If the pieces will not peel then use a knife.  Cut the pumpkin into small cubes then toss into a food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Sometimes it is quite dry and hard to puree, so you may need to add 1 tablespoon or so to each batch you puree.

Split the pureed pumpkin into two one gallon freezer bags.  Label the bags and place them in the freezer if not going to be used right away.


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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Maxine's Baby Shower

Max, my co-worker, asked me to help out with her baby shower and I was so excited.  I LOVE showers.  Baby or Wedding.

Max is having a baby boy, Dean Harold.  She's due December 15th.  She's getting along really well.  I am so excited to meet little Dean pretty soon.

For the shower I made Cocktail Meatballs and cupcakes.  And Jessica made pasta salad.

I didn't really take many pictures like I usually, but I took some good pictures at the shower.

Max did the little bags of M&Ms and she came up with the bowl of water with stones in the bottom and then cut the daisies and had them float in the water.  And there's confetti on the table that says "it's a boy."

We played a game where we took some crepe paper, and then measured it around her to see who was correct.  The first person to measure was right on.

Everybody had to try, though.

The next game we did was a game where we paired people off and gave them Play-Do and they had to sculp a baby in 30 seconds.  It was hilarious.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures.  Someone made a little boy that was anatomically correct.  The winners made a cute little baby that really looked like one.

We also played a game where we gave everyone beaded necklaces and they couldn't say "cute."

Time to feel the baby move.  Dean is kind of stubborn though, he doesn't like to move for people

First gift: money.  This is the typical Max face.

Max's husband, Shaun, showing off the shoes I bought for Dean.

Cupcakes!  Jessica bought me this book called "Beautiful Cakes" by Peggy Porschen and it's great for decorating tips, especially piping.  There are great cake recipes.  I used a Victorian Sponge Cake recipe for the vanilla and the Dark Chocolate cake for the others.  I used her recipe for the butter cream that I dyed green.  Then unfortunately, I had to buy a can of chocolate frosting.  I tried to make some and it just did not turn out right.  So, to the store I went.

Max had the monkey ribbon, so I thought it would look cute on the top of the tiered rack.

So, the shower was really fun!  And definitely a hit, from the decorations to the food to the games.

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