Sunday, October 30, 2005


Pumpkin Carving Fun Posted by Picasa

We made these Yesterday afternoon while carving our pumpkins. This is the first year that the boys actually scooped and scraped the inside of the pumkins. They could not help throwing pumkin guts at eachother. Lots and Lots of FUN!!


Recipe and instructions from Simply Recipes

"Fall has arrived and with it, the pumpkin season. There are always plenty of pumpkins to carve up around Halloween time and a great way to make use of the seeds is eat them, salted and toasted. Our preference is with the shells on - if they are toasted properly they are wonderfully crunchy and easy to eat. It helps if you are going to eat them with the shells on if you use seeds from sugar pumpkins, somewhat smaller than the mega-sized carving pumpkins (not really pumpkins but large squash). The trick? Boil the seeds in salted water first, and then toast them in the oven."

One medium sized pumpkin
Olive oil

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut open the pumpkin and use a strong metal spoon to scoop out the insides. Separate the seeds from the stringy core. Rinse the seeds.

2 In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a tablespoon of salt for every cup of water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

3 Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a cookie sheet. Spread the seeds out over the cookie sheet, all in one layer. Bake on the top rack for 20 minutes or until the seeds begin to brown. When browned to your satisfaction, remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Let the seeds cool all the way down before eating. Either crack to remove the inner seed (a lot of work and in my opinion, unnecessary) or eat whole.

The Perfect HomeMaker June Cleaver Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 28, 2005

Halloween Treat Cups Posted by Picasa

Playing Pirates Posted by Picasa

Gingerbread Waffles with Homemade Apple Butter Posted by Picasa

SMORES with Homemade Marshmellows and Graham Crackers Posted by Picasa


I made this dessert for a camfire theme meal at Bible Study. They were not difficult to make and tasted great! We just placed them under the broiler for one minute watching very carefully.

For homemade graham crackers
8 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For marshmallows
3 envelopes of Knox gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

High-grade bittersweet or milk chocolate (Valrhona, Cacao du Barry, Callebaut, Scharffen Berger)

Make graham crackers
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cream the butter, sugars, and honey in a mixer on medium speed until soft and fluffy. Sift together the flours, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, and pour into the mixing bowl. Mix on slow speed until just combined. Turn out the mixture onto a clean surface. Press the crumbly looking dough together with your hands until it just holds together.

Press the dough onto a 12 x 16-inch piece of parchment paper. Shape the dough into a rectangle and cover it with another 12 x 16-inch piece of parchment. Roll the dough out very thin by rolling from the middle of the paper outward. If the dough is difficult to roll, add a tiny bit of flour between the parchment and the dough on both sides. Transfer the dough onto a baking sheet, patching it to make an exact rectangle.

Bake the dough until the top is golden brown, slightly blistered, and dry-looking, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use an angel food cake cutter or a fork to mark rows of holes, 1/4 inch apart, all over the dough.

Trim the rough outside edges and cut the dough into 14 to 16 squares, about 3 inches each. Use a ruler to make straight cuts and work quickly — the crackers become difficult to cut when they cool. Bake until the cut crackers are a deep golden brown, another 2 to 4 minutes (they will burn quickly, so take care at this stage). Cool them and store them in an airtight container.

Make marshmallows
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture. Scrape into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper). After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan.

Let mixture sit for a few hours. Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners' sugar and cut into 12 equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef's knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners' sugar. Broil the marshmallows until brown, or toast over campfire or hot coals.

Place a cooked marshmallow on top of a graham cracker. Top the marshmallow with shaved bittersweet or milk chocolate and place another graham cracker on top of the marshmallow to make a sandwich. Garnish the sandwich and plate with a bit more shaved chocolate.

Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I made these bars yesterday afternoon. I didn't get a chance to take a photo before they were all gone. They are perfect pumpkin dessert for this time of year and look very nice when cut with all the different layers. I found the recipe in a cookbook that I purchased a few weeks ago. It is Better Homes and Gardens Classic recipes. It has lots of photographs and is full of recipes from past issues of the magazine all categorized according to months/seasons.

"These bars are special when they're made with your own homemade pumpkin puree. But canned pumkin also works beautifully for this recipe, and no one is likey to be the wiser."

Prep: 1 1/2 hr Bake: 55 minutes

2 8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup cooked and pureed pumpkin ( I used canned)
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. semisweet chocolate cut up
2 T butter
1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust, BELOW
1 1/4 cup dairy sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
grated fresh nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 325 for filling, in a large bowl combine cream cheese and 1 3/4 cups sugar; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Stir in the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt. Pour 1 1/4 cups of the filling into a medium bowl. Set both bowls of filling aside.

2. In a small saucepan melt chocolate and butter over very low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Stir melted chocolate into the 1 1/4 cups reserved filling. Carefully spread the chocolate filling evenly over the Graham Cracker Crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Carefully pour remaining pumpkin over baked chocolate layer, spreading evenly.

3. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until mixture is slightly puffed around edges and just set in center. Remove from the oven; cool for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sour cream and 1/4 cup sugar. Cover; let stand at room temp while bars cool.

4. Gently spread the sour cream layer onto bars. Cool. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before cutting. Sprinkle with nutmeg just before serving. To Serve, loosen the edges by moving a knife around the pan. keep any remaining bars refrigerated. Makes 24 servings.


Lightly grease a 13X9X2-inch baking pan. In a large mixing bowl stir together 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar. Add 1/3 cup melted butter; mix thoroughly. Press evenly onto bottom of the prepared pan; set aside.

Friday, October 21, 2005


APPLE PIZZA Posted by Picasa

Quinn and I made this recipe for lunch yesterday. We all enjoyed it. The pizza dough recipe is different than the one I normally use. It was very soft so I added a little extra flour to the dough while kneading it.

Children love this recipe, partly because it's "silly," but also because it tastes so good. And they love to help prepare it!

Make the pizza dough at least an hour ahead of time, so it has time to rise.

SHORTCUT NOTE: Use the slicing attachment of the food processor to cut the apples in seconds flat. Just core them and feed them into the machine. Then, without cleaning the processor in between, switch to the grating attachment for the cheese. Presto!

Corn meal for the baking tray (if using Homemade Pizza Dough)
Half a batch Homemade Pizza Dough (recipe follows), or a 12-inch Boboli pizza shell (thin variety)
1 cup medium-sharp cheddar cheese
3 to 4 medium-sized tart apples, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depends on the apples)
1/2 cup maple syrup or apricot jam

1. Preheat the oven to 400ªF. Liberally sprinkle a baking tray with corn meal. Stretch and/or roll half of the risen pizza dough to a 12-inch circle, and gently arrange it on the tray. Bake it by itself for about 8 minutes in the lower half of the oven, until the bottom of the dough is light brown and the top is dry. (If using the Boboli shell, skip this step. Just set the shell on a baking tray without the corn meal.)

2. Remove the tray from the oven. Sprinkle the dough with the cheese. (If using the Boboli, begin here with the cheese.)

3. Arrange the apple slices on top of the cheese in a spiral pattern. Sprinkle with sugar to taste.

4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the apples are beginning to brown around the edges. Remove the pizza from the oven, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

5. While the pizza sits, heat the syrup or melt the apricot jam, and brush the top surface of the pizza with the warm syrup or melted jam. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, cut into wedges. If this is a light lunch or high tea, you can serve it with additional cheddar cheese.


Preparation time: 1 1/2 hours (about 20 minutes of work)
Yield: Enough for 2 12-inch pizzas

This is more accessible than you think.

Please note that this recipe makes enough dough for 2 Apple Pizzas. You can go ahead and make a double batch of pizzas, or use the other half of the dough for something else.

* This can be used for Apple Pizza (above) and also for savory pizzas. For Apple Pizza, use the melted butter option. For anything savory, use olive oil.
* For easy freezing, just seal the dough in a heavy-duty plastic bag and freeze for up to a month. Defrost thoroughly before using.

1 cup lukewarm water (wrist-temperature)
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter - or olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour
Extra flour and/or nonstick spray for handling the dough

1. Place the water in a medium-large bowl, and sprinkle in the yeast. Let it stand 5 minutes, or until the yeast is dissolved and it begins to bubble.

2. Stir in the butter or oil, salt, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat in the flour with a whisk.

3. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. (Switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon as the dough thickens.) The dough will be very soft.

4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured or nonstick-sprayed surface, and knead for several minutes. You can flour or nonstick-spray your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Clean out the bowl, spray it with nonstick spray, and add the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. This will take about 1 hour at room temperature.

5. After the dough has risen, punch it down to deflate it. It is now ready to shape, with no additional kneading necessary! It will be very supple and stretchy. Use a little more flour or nonstick spray to handle it, if necessary.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


1 PKG devil's food cake mix
1 cup Kahlua
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
6 ounces chocolate chips
Grease and flour a bundt can pan. Mix the first 5 ingredients with a mixer for 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool for 10 to 20 minutes, then invert pan onto a serving plate to remove cake. Dust with powdered sugar.

Monday, October 17, 2005


 Posted by Picasa
The recipe is from Yankee Magazine. I made this cake for Bible Study a few weeks ago. It is like Angel Food cake with a sweet butter frosting. I think this would be a great spring-time dessert.
Start to Finish Time: 90 minutes
Yield: 12 to 15 servings

* 1-1/4 cups egg whites (about 9 jumbo eggs), at room temperature
* 1-1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 1 cup cake flour
* 4 egg yolks
* 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
* 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour egg whites into a large bowl and add cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. (Egg whites are sufficiently beaten if they stay put when you shake the bowl.) Sprinkle in sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, continuing to beat at high speed until sugar dissolves and egg whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks. (Do not scrape the bowl.) With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour until just blended. Wash and dry the beaters.

In another large bowl, beat egg yolks at high speed until they are thick and lemon colored. With a wire whisk, fold in half of the egg white-flour mixture and grated

orange and lemon zest.

Drop a heaping tablespoon of white batter into an ungreased 8-inch tube pan. Then drop a heaping tablespoon of yellow batter next to white batter. Repeat this process, forming a checkerboard pattern, until pan is three-quarters full. (Bake remaining batter in 4 individual 6-ounce custard cups for 15 minutes.) Bake cake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick poked in center of cake ring comes out clean. Invert cake over a cooling rack (do not remove from pan); cool 1 hour.

Lemon-Orange Butter Cream Frosting

* 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
* 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
* 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
* Garnish: fresh tulip petals

Meanwhile, prepare frosting. Beat butter and lemon and orange zests at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, alternating with lemon and orange juices, beginning and ending with powdered sugar. Beat until spreading consistency.

To remove cake from pan: Gently run knife between cake and pan, both inner and outer rings. If you have difficulty, use your hands to gently pull cake out; it should spring back if you press it in.

Fall Photo Posted by Picasa

Fun At A Pumpkin Farm Posted by Picasa

Toad Lily Bloom Posted by Picasa


 Posted by Picasa

This recipe comes from a favorite cookbook of mine "The Spice Cookbook", that I found at a used bookstore. It is full all different kinds of recipes. I decided to make this quiche to use up some extra pie dough. I was more fond of the recipe than my family, especially Scot. He says its true Real men don't eat Quiche.

6 Strips crisp bacon
9-inch 1-crust pie shell
12 thin slices swiss cheese
4 large eggs
1 T flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp powdered mustard
few grains cayenne
2 cups light cream
1 1/2 tsp melted butter

Cut bacon strips in halves. Line unbaked pie shell with bacon and Swiss cheese. Beat next 5 ingredients together. Add Light cream and melted butter and strain mixture over bacon and cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, or until custard has set.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Rain at last Posted by Picasa

Dinosaur Cookies for Quinn's Preschool Treat Posted by Picasa

Pumpkins and Gourds Posted by Picasa

Scot's Bumpy Pumpkin Posted by Picasa

Fall Decorating: Making Wreaths

 Posted by Picasa

 Posted by Picasa


 Posted by Picasa

I OFT have met her slowly wandering
Beside a leafy stream, her locks blown wild,
Her cheeks a hectic flush, more fair than Spring,
As if on her the sumach copse had smiled.
Or I have seen her sitting, tall and brown,--
Her gentle eyes with foolish weeping dim,--
Beneath a twisted oak from whose red leaves
She wound great drowsy wreaths and cast them down;
The west-wind in her hair, that made it swim
Far out behind, deep as the rustling sheaves.

Or in the hill-lands I have often seen
The marvel of her passage; glimpses faint
Of glimmering woods that glanced the hills between,
Like Indian faces, fierce with forest paint.
Or I have met her 'twixt two beechen hills,
Within a dingled valley near a fall,
Held in her nut-brown hand one cardinal flower;
Or wading dimly where the leaf-dammed rills
Went babbling through the wildwood's arrased hall,
Where burned the beech and maples glared their power.

Or I have met her by some ruined mill,
Where trailed the crimson creeper, serpentine,
On fallen leaves that stirred and rustled chill,
And watched her swinging in the wild-grape vine.
While Beauty, sad among the vales and mountains,
More sad than death, or all that death can teach,
Dreamed of decay and stretched appealing arms,
Where splashed the murmur of the forest's fountains;
With all her loveliness did she beseech,
And all the sorrow of her wildwood charms.

Once only in a hollow, girt with trees,
A-dream amid wild asters filled with rain,
I glimpsed her cheeks red-berried by the breeze,
In her dark eyes the night's sidereal stain.
And once upon an orchard's tangled path,
Where all the golden-rod had turned to brown,
Where russets rolled and leaves were sweet of breath,
I have beheld her 'mid her aftermath
Of blossoms standing, in her gypsy gown,
Within her gaze the deeps of life and death.

Cowboy Quinn ready for Preschool Posted by Picasa

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