Friday, December 31, 2010

Honeybun Cake

I made this cake for our first family Christmas get together.  And was then instructed to make it for the next two as well, it was that good!  I have a small tolerance for overly sweet things, so after one piece I had my fill, but it went quick at each gathering.


•1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
•4 whole Eggs
•1 cup Sour Cream
•¾ cups Vegetable Oil
•1 cup Light Brown Sugar
•2 teaspoons Cinnamon
•2 cups Powdered Sugar
•6 Tablespoons Milk
•1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

By hand, blend the cake mix, eggs, sour cream, and oil until well-incorporated. The mixture will be pale yellow; it’s okay if it has some lumps! Then set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon until well-blended; set aside.

Pour half of the cake batter into a greased 13×9 pan, spreading the batter out into a thin layer. Add half of the swirl mixture to the top, covering the entire layer of batter. Don’t be alarmed if it looks like you’re over-saturating the cake—it’ll taste great! Pour the rest of the batter on top, and spread the batter until the cake is even. Top the cake off with the rest of the swirl mixture. With a knife, swirl the batter.

Place the cake into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the glaze. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until glaze is of desired consistency. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour glaze onto the hot cake. You might have to pick up the cake and tilt it to spread the glaze evenly. Let the cake sit for a few minutes so the glaze can set and serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Resolution Update

Well another year has come and gone.  Did you stick to your resolutions that you made?  Here are the ones I made, let's see how good I did....
1. I resolve to NOT give up any of the few vices that I have.  Actually, I should drink more wine; add to that vice.  I think I did pretty well on this one.  In fact, I've found some new wines that I really love, like this one.

2. To read more books than I did in '09 (which may be hard because I read a lot of books this year).  I think I probably achieved this one as well.  While I have a list of all the books I've read, they are archived by author not chronoligical order, and I'm too lazy to go back and count them all. 

3. To expound on that, I want to will finish this seriesCHECK!  I've read all of the ones that she has published so far.  As well as both the Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard series.

4. To become credit card debt free (and I'm almost there!). CHECK!

5. To run another 5k... okay make that two. CHECK!  I actually ran 4 and one 7k. 

6. To go on our first vacation as a family. CHECK!  We were lucky enough to be able to take a few family vacations this year. 
7. To make it down to Oklahoma to visit these folksCHECK!  It was the first family vacation we took and we had a great time.  I can't wait to go back again!
8. To have a winning season with my volleyball team. Well that one I failed at, but at least we had fun!
9. To not waste money on seasonal fads that probably aren't that cute anyway.  CHECK!
10. To not count calories as well as not deny myself scrumptious desserts and other goodies.  Moderation is what it's all about. CHECK!  Which was evident this past week, holy cow, I've eaten more sweets in one week than I have probably had all year.
11. To do more nice things for random strangers.  I'm not sure if I've completed this to my satisfaction, I think I'll work on it again next year.
12. To slow down and enjoy life's small moments, not just the large ones. CHECK!  But, I think this is one that I can continue to work on as well.

13. To learn how to operate our camcorder and actually use it.  I failed.... miserably.  I haven't used it once, but JC has, so at least one of us is succeeding at it!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sledding

There's more than one way to enjoy a new sled!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Little Humor

Ole Baxter Smith cruises through a stop sign and gets pulled over by a local Texas policeman.  Baxter hands the cop his driver's license, insurance verification, plus his concealed carry permit.

"Okay, Mr. Smith," the cop says, "I see your CCW permit. Are you carrying today?"

"Yes, I am."

"Well then, better tell me what you got."

Smith says, "Well, I got a .357 revolver in my inside coat pocket. There's a 9mm semi-auto in the glove box. And, I've got a .22 magnum derringer in my right boot."

"Okay," the cop says. "Anything else?"

Yeah, back in the trunk, there's an AR15 and a shotgun. That's about it."

"Mr. Smith, are you on your way to or from a gun range...?"


"Well then, what are you afraid of...?"

"Not a damn thing..."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Giveaway!

Once again, I am not the one that is having a giveaway, but a great friend/photographer is and I wanted to share with you.  I've mentioned her blog on here before and if you didn't check it out then, you should now. 

I REALLY love this jewelry she's featuring:

Head on over to Imaginate Photography and maybe you'll be lucky enough to win her final 12 Days of Christmas contest, you only have until midnight tonight!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Hmm... I'm having a hard time captioning this photo.  Any suggestions?

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Tradition

A friend of mine told me about a Christmas tradition that she does with her kids.  We don't have one started with Monkey yet, and since I loved her idea, I borrowed it!

She wraps up 24 different Christmas books and starting on December 1st, the kids get to open one book and read it before bedtime.  The last book is opened on Christmas Eve.  This helps them keep track of how many days are left until the big day and helps to squelch some of their excitement by getting to open something every night. 

It didn't take Monkey long to figure it out... 

And she loves it!

I do believe this is a tradition that we will continue.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Baby, it's cold outside!

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas

Looking for a gift for that person that has it all?  If they have any sort of sense of humor check out these websites for fun ideas:

Fred & Friends

I personally want this shirt:

And these cookie cutters:

I don't recall if I've mentioned that hubby is a black belt in Taekwondo and a lover of all ninja movies.  I think these would be a perfect stocking stuffer for him!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

1. Tonight is our last night of volleyball.  Very sad about that.  But we'll start up the next league in January,  so I don't have too long to wait!

2. I've got all my Christmas shopping done!  And I did 95% of it online, I LOVE not having to step foot in a store and fight the crowds.

3. Speaking of Christmas shopping, I found an awesome site that gives you daily discounts on all sorts of kids (and adult) items.  I've got some great deals on it!  

4.  Three of my classmates from high school are in a band together (Crickets & Cars) and yesterday, they released their debut album.  Check it out, they are awesomely talented.

5. Have I ever mentioned that I went to high school in a corn field?  It's true. 

6. One week from today Annie will be home.  I haven't seen her since her wedding in June.  I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa to come down the chimney!

7.  We don't go to the movie theater often.  In fact, it's been over two years since we have gone.  I'm squirmy.  I'd rather sit in the comfort of my own home and be able to pause it when I have to go pee.  But I REALLy want to see the movie 127 Hours.  I'll even go sit in the theater for it!  I've heard it is an awesome movie based on an amazing true story.  I love movies that are based on true stories, but what also hooked me, was that people are literally passing out and getting sick during it because of one gruesome scene.  I'm intrigued!  Does that make me odd?

8.  Have you noticed stores are putting out their spring merchandise already?  We haven't even hit the first day of winter yet and there are spring clothes on the racks!

9.  Along the same lines... I'm sick of Christmas music.  It's been playing since Thanksgiving and I'm over it.  I'm not a Christmas music fan in the first place and with the constant playing of it, it's just run into the ground before Christmas even gets here.  Am I alone on this?

10. You know that white cheese sauce Mexican restaurants serve?  Well, I'm trying to perfect that and haven't got it figured out yet.  Any suggestions?  I'll be trying a batch again this weekend.

11. I'm craving Japanese food. 

12.  No, I'm not pregnant.

13.  And I'll leave you with a little piece of wisdom... I've  learned everything from my cows: Never walk on the path that others have made because at some point you will step in crap.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

We had a chance to have some family pictures taken over Thanksgiving weekend.  Here is one that I just love, even though Hank refuses to look at the camera.

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Everyone Has Someone They Can't Forget

Hello darlin'. 

Nice to see you, it's been a long time.


I miss Conway Twitty.  That deep, silky-smooth, sexy voice.  I miss it.  Sure, I can listen to his old records and I still love them as much as I did back when he was alive and kickin'.  But it saddens me to know that I'll never hear a new track from him.  He was one of the all-time greats.

Same goes for Chris Ledoux.  That man could make my heart skip a beat!  He was a rare breed.  A world champion bareback rider and an amazing singer/songwriter.  I'm not one to get emotionally attached to famous people, but when he passed away in 2005, I was actually choked up.  He could write and perform a song that made you feel like he was doing it just for you and he was a genuinely nice guy.  My husband and I actually used one of his songs during our wedding.  

I don't know what sparked it, but over the weekend I listened to both of these fine artists a lot.  It got me to thinking... of all the great singers in the world, I think these two are the ones I miss the most.  I would put Elvis up there too, but he was already gone by the time I was born, so I don't think I can really count him. 

Who do you miss the most?  Or is it not a musician, but an actor that makes you long for yesteryear?  Curious minds want to know.  Or maybe it's just my curious mind.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hunt. Give. Be Merry.

The second shotgun season is well underway in Illinois!  How are all you hunters doing out there?

I told you last year how many hunters in Maryland were getting attacked by HSUS and PETA for donating venison to the needy.  Since these "caring" groups haven't seemed to figure out how to solve the problem of the hungry, there are still millions of people out there that could greatly benefit from your genorosity.

If you'd like to help, check out your local Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and donate a deer today!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pecan Pie

I'm just going to say it... I don't like pecan pie.  It's the very last dessert I would choose on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Actually I wouldn't even choose it at all, I would rather go DESSERTLESS than have a piece of pecan pie.  Hence, I have never made one.  Never. 

However, my husband and father both love pecan pie.  So I decided to try it out this year.  What got me convinced was this:

Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce.  Oh my.  I had to try it.  And try it I did!  Delicious!

I went right on ahead and used Ree's Pecan Pie recipe as well.  I didn't have any more corn syrup so I substituted with a simple syrup made with 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water, cooking over low heat until the sugar was dissolved.  The verdict... it was great AND the cream sauce was amazing!

I even used the leftover sauce to pour over monkey bread in the morning.  Try it, I dare you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Poor Santa

This is what happens when Monkey drops a snowglobe on the bathroom floor!  Whoopsie!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

A More Refreshing Cause, Please

Have you heard of the Pepsi Refresh Project?  It began in January of 2010 and according to the rules is "an online grant program which makes available millions of dollars to be granted to projects which are intended to improve communities through an online, democratic voting process...."

Up to 1,000 ideas can be submitted each month by individuals, companies, and non-profit organizations. Thirty-two of those ideas will be approved for funding based upon the number of votes received from registered online users. Of those thirty-two, two will receive $250,000 and ten each will receive grants of $5 thousand, $25 thousand, or $50 thousand.

Pretty cool, right?  Just imagine all the great ideas that are being submitted:
  • Help students with autism communicate.
  • Find a path to the cure for Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC).
  • Help babies with Cystic Fibrosis breathe easier.
  • Help youth who suffer from depression or Bipolar Disorder.
  • Donate gift bags to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients under 40.

These are all awesome ways to help the communities, but do you know who's in the lead right now

The country’s largest anti-hunting group, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).


HSUS is on the verge of getting a $250,000 grant from Pepsi.  This is the same organization that only gives 1 dollar of every 200 that is donated to hands-on pet shelters!   

The U.S. Sportmen's Alliance (USSA) and the Animal Agriculture Alliance have both sent letters to Pepsi describing HSUS’ history of standing against outdoor traditions and conservation funding as well as the attacks they have leveled against farming.

It's a shame when people are so misled they would cast votes for an organization whose sole purpose is to end hunting, farming and most animal use instead of voting to help babies who have trouble breathing! 

What can you do?  Take action!

•Register at the Pepsi Refresh Program website, and vote for a more worthy proposal.

•Contact Pepsi through their consumer phone number, 1-800-433-2652 or Click here to send an e-mail by picking “Question or comment about the Pepsi Refresh Project” from the drop down menu. Please ask Pepsi Co. not to support the HSUS. Explain that HSUS is the number one anti-hunting and animal ag organization in the United States.

For more information on the TRUTH about HSUS, visit HumaneWatch.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I have shared my love for my favorite magazine ever with Monkey.  I think she's taken a liking to it!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bang Bang

I am swamped at work.  I mean swamped.  To the point of exhaution really.  So I'm sorry for the lack of content, I really am.  I know this isn't the first time I've apologized, but I really do mean it!  Once things settle down at work, I'll be back.  I promise.

Until then, guess what this weekend is?  Shotgun season!  And my father-in-law has already bagged a buck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monkey's new favorite reading spot... on Hank's dog bed!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pumpkin Apple Butter

Who doesn't love a little apple butter on a piece of toast or biscuit in the morning?  The problem with apple butter is that it takes a lot of care and quite a while to make it.  But alas, there is an easier method... the crockpot, of course!  And since I still have pumpkin puree coming out my ears, I made pumpkin apple butter this time.

What You'll Need:
  • 8 apples
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
What You Do:

Peel, core and slice the apples. 

And now here comes the easy part, dump all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 14 hours. 

Divide in 2 cup portions, put one in the fridge for immediate use and the rest in the freezer or give to friends.  They'll love you for it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Today is Veteran's Day.  On this day, and every day, there are countless reasons to thank a veteran.  I give you a measly thirteen:

1. Every time you read a newspaper of your choice.

2. Every time you say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

3. Every time you exercise your right to vote.

4. Every time you speak your mind without concern for retribution.

5. Every time you purchase a firearm.

6. Every time you go to the church of your choice.

7. Every time you wake up in your own bed in your own home.

8. Every time you sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

9. Every time you freely travel from city to city, and state to state.

10. Every time you send your children to the school of your choice.

11. Every time you enjoy your liesure time (watching sport, hanging out with your friends in a bar, etc.) rather than being on a battlefield.

12. Every time you attend a protest, rally, or march for a cause.

13. Thank a veteren for your right to live free.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On This Day...

On this day last year John Allen Muhammad, born John Allen Williams, was executed by lethal injection in a Virginia prison for killing at least 10 people in a string of shootings in the US in 2002.  The majority of the shootings took place in the Washington DC/Beltway area, dubbing Muhammad and his teenaged accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo the "DC snipers".

On this day in 2006, Zimbabwe's government launched a programme to issue 99-year leases to black farmers allocated land previously seized mostly from white farmers

On this day in 1999, The US Justice Department stripped a retired Ohio factory worker of his citizenship, charging he served as an armed guard at a Nazi slave labour camp. The Office of Special Investigations has stripped 63 Nazi persecutors of citizenship, blocked 150 people from entering the US, and is investigating over 250 people on similar charges.

On this day in 1989, Todor Zhivkov resigns after 35 years as Communist Party leader of Bulgaria.

On this day in 1977, actress Brittany Murphy was born.

On this day in 1969, Sesame Street made its debut on PBS television in the US.

On this day in 1959, actress Mackenzie Phillips was born.

On this day in 1949, my mother's parents were wed.

Since then, they've brought seven children into this world and said goodbye to two of them long before they should have. 

They've helped nurture and spoil 14 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

After 62 years together, some would think they'd get tired of being around each other.  Not these two.  After Grandpa's fall last week, one of the first things they talked about in the hospital was how they were going to celebrate their anniversary when he wasn't able to be on his feet like normal.

Grandpa's answer:  Very carefully.
That's love.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Corn Chowder

Oh dear.  Oh my.  This soup is lip-smacking, mouth-watering scrumptious.  With the weather being slightly cooler  down right chilly here recently, I felt like whipping up a nice warm chowder.  And this one, well simply put, it satisfies.

What You'll Need:
  • 1 lb hot sausage
  • EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • A few dashes of Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
  • 4 cups fresh corn
  • 1 can diced green chilies (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
What You Do:

Slice corn kernels off cob.  Or, if you're like me, open the freezer and pull out a bag of corn from the summer when you had way too much sweet corn on your hands and let thaw.

Brown sausage over medium heat and drain off grease.

In a large pot, over medium heat, drizzle a few tablespoons of EVOO.  Throw in diced onion, garlic and potatoes.  Add butter and melt.  Add chilies and corn

Pour in chicken broth and cream.  Add salt, pepper and sausage.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes and serve.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

1. I'm glad the elections are finally over. I get so tired of all the negative ads out there. How's about telling me what YOU stand for and what YOU want to achieve for the government. Not the faults of your competitor.

2. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson was the first to use a smear campaign against his opponent? Geeze, if only he knew what he started!

3. My Grandpa had a little spill on Tuesday.  The doctors originally thought he broke his hip, but after surgery last night it turns out he broke his femur.  Still not a good thing, but better than having to have a hip replacement.  It shouldn't be as long of a recovery for him, but still going to be a painful and hard one.  Please keep him in your prayers!

4. I'm really missing my friend Annie right now.  The only thing that makes me happy summer is over is the fact that she'll be coming home for the holidays!

5. Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday.  I am not looking forward to losing an hour of sleep or getting off work as it's getting dark.  If I was President I would make it Daylight Savings Time YEAR ROUND.

6. And while I was at it, I would mandate a 4-day work week as well.

7. I taught my sister how to make pumpkin puree and roasted pumpkin seeds this week.  I don't think she was really paying attention... I think she just wanted me to do the work for her!  I have two more pumpkins to use, so be prepared for more pumpkin recipes on this here blog.

8. On that note, I've seen recipes for beef stew baked in a pumpkin.  Beef stew is not one of my favorite meals, but I like the idea of baking a meal inside a pumpkin.  I've got an idea I'm working on... I'll let you know how it turns out. 

9. I am STILL swamped at work planning events and working at getting two websites launched.  I could use a vacation.

10. It's volleyball night!  This might be the first time this season where we actually have the entire team there.  It seems like every week we have to have a sub for someone.

11. Monkey dressed up for Halloween this year.  Want to take a guess as to what she was?  A monkey of course!  Cutest little monkey I've ever seen, that's for sure.

12. 5 years ago today, I had Lasik surgery.  It was worth every single penny. 

13. I finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and am now reading Undone by Karin Slaughter. What are you reading?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

No matter how bad of a day I have, this little ornery girl can bring a smile to my face.

And I love her for that.

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Creme Pies

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 drops vanilla extract
  • 2 dashed cinnamon
What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together brown sugar, sugar, oil and pumpkin until well combined.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well, followed by vanilla.

In a seperate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.  Slowly mix these into the batter until well combined.

Using a small ice-cream scoop or 1/8-cup measuring cup, scoop batter onto greased baking sheet.  You want each cookie to be about 2 inches in diameter.

Bake for 11 minutes and cool.

While cookies are baking, beat together cream cheese and butter.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. 

After cookies have cooled, frost flat side of one cookie and top with another. 

Refridgerate until ready to serve.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Do It For Your Country

Today is November 1st.  The first day of November. 

You know what that means... only 24 days until Thanksgiving and less than two months 'til Christmas. 

But do you know what else it means? 

Tomorrow is November 2nd.  The second day of November.

And that means it's ELECTION DAY!

Get out there people and

I don't even care WHO you vote for... okay, maybe I do care, but everyone has the right to their own opinions... even if yours is wrong.  So just get out there and do it, let your voice be heard!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cake

And here is the second installement of sweet pumpkin treats.  I still have more pumpkin puree left, so I'll keep experimenting until we get tired of it! 

This cake is really good, but the best part of it is the icing.  I'm not kidding when I say it is the BEST icing I've ever had.  It's not sickeningly sweet like a lot of icings and it is only two ingredients!  It can't get any easier than that.

What You’ll Need:

For batter:
  • 1 box spice cake
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • ½ cup water
For icing:
  • 1 packet of dry Jello Cheesecake Mix
  • 1 Tub Cool Whip
What You Do:

Mix Jello cheesecake into a tub of cool whip and let sit over night.

Mix box of spice cake with pumpkin puree and ½ cup of water.

Pour into 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

After cake has cooled, ice with cool whip mixture.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Rockin with the rhythm...

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bookworm in the Making

I really do have the best family in the world.  Aunt Susie surprised me with a big bag of books for Monkey the other day. And when I say big, I mean BIG.  It ripped wide open when I picked it up!   

Most of the books are by Richard Hefter and are part of the Strawberry Library of First Learning.  I regret to say that I had never heard of them.  They really are good books though.  Each one has a strawberry somewhere on the cover identifying it as part of the series.

They are so colorful and bright and full of pictures, Monkey loves looking at them.  And the best part is each one teaches something different.  You have the alphabet...


These probably aren't very politically correct these days, but I like it!

I doubt these are even in print anymore, but if you can find them at a garage sale or an old library book sale, I'd recommend them!

Monkey's favorite so far though isn't a Strawberry book.  It's this one:

It's smaller than the rest and she has taken to bringing it with her for car rides.  Just her size.

Thanks Aunt Susie, your the best!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Breaking Down Barriers, One _____ at a Time

I spent most of the morning yesterday with a very interesting group of men from China.  They were all from maize research institutes and academia and came to America to learn about our farming practices.  China is about 30 years behind us in farming techniques and they were eager to learn all they could about how we do things.  At times it was hard to understand what they were saying, as I'm sure it was hard for them to understand me.  The language barrier would prove to be quite difficult, but with the help of a translator and a lot of patience, it ended up being a great experience to talk with them.

One nice gentleman even gifted me with this:

Can you guess what it is?  I suppose if you can read Chinese you probably don't have to guess.  But since I can't and have no clue what the front of the box says I was at a loss at first for what it was. 

A bookmark!  How cool is that?  I wonder if he reads my blog and knew how much I would enjoy such a neat gift...

Yeah, I doubt it.  I'm guessing it's just an easy gift to travel with.  Either way, I love it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Blondies

Here is one of the new pumpkin dessert recipes I've recently tried.  I used fresh pumkin puree instead of the canned kind and at first it was a little too moist.  Overnight it sat up nicely though and I must admit, it's pretty darn delicious. 

What You'll Need:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease a 9x13 pan.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

In an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until well mixed.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.  Mix in the pumpkin puree.  With the mixer on LOW, add the dry ingredients.  Fold in the chips and pecans.

Spread the batter in prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. 

Cool and serve.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I don't know what it is about this photo, but I am 100% in love with it.  Could be because the subject is so loveable, I suppose.

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you had to choose between sweet and savory, which would you choose? 

I would pick savory 99% of the time.  That's why when I make recipes using fresh pumpkin I always save the seeds and roast them up.  They are a perfect little snack and with three ingredients, they couldn't be any easier to make.

What You'll Need:

Fresh pumpkin seeds, rinsed with cold water
Sea Salt

What You Do:

Generously drizzle a baking sheet with EVOO.  Place the seeds in a single layer on the sheet, stirring to coat. 

Generously sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Stir half-way through.

And that's it, let cool and snack away! 

**Expect some sweet pumpkin recipes coming... I've been trying out some new things!

Monday, October 18, 2010

What a Beautiful Mess

Five months ago I turned 30.  I don't feel 30, but according to my Mom I was most definately born in 1980.  I still find it hard to believe, but I suppose she would remember it. 

If you can rewind back to May and remember the cake my sister got for the surprise birthday party.... remember how awesome it was? 

Well guess what?  It made it onto the Cake Wrecks website as one of the Wreckies of the Month!  I'm sure the baker would be very proud.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Farms

We went to two different pumpkin farms over the weekend.  One was pretty lame to be honest, but hey, it was free, can't really complain about free!  The other one, the kids had a lot of fun at, but let me tell ya... it was WAY too busy for this mama.  Too many bratty kids and rude parents running around for my taste.  Next time we'll make sure to go first thing in the morning when hopefully it's not as busy.

The big jumping pillow was by far the favorite play item of the weekend.