Saturday, October 31, 2015

Baking Pumpkin Bars

Happy Halloween.

Getting Ready to Host a Pumpkin Soap Making Workshop so these will be a little snack for this morning
Quick to put together and I had everything on hand.  


  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ICING:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk


  • 1. In a bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
  • 2. For icing, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Add enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Spread over bars. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Curried Pumpkin Seeds

These would be great on top of a Squash Soup.  

    • 1 large egg white
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon Avocado Oil
    • 1 tablespoon Hot curry powder from Penzeys
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 12 ounces hulled pumpkin seeds (about 2 1/2 cups)


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment;  oil the parchment paper- i used some coconut oil.  Whisk egg white, lime juice, and oil in large bowl. Add the spices; whisk. Add pumpkin seeds; toss. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading evenly. Bake until toasted and fragrant, stirring often, about 24 minutes. Cool on sheet. 

Thankful Sign Giveaway

So Thankful to have so many wonderful Followers!  It is GiveAway Time!!  I am giving away a 7"x17" Thankful wood sign!  Perfect for your Home ** Tag someone you are thankful for**Repeat as much as you want for multiple entries!! Bonus entries if you repost this on your Instagram page!!! Winner will be chosen Sunday November 8th!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Bowl Double Chocolate Chip Brownies

Super easy and Very Chocolatey Brownie Recipe

2 cups Chocolate Chips ~ Divided
1/2 cup butter
3 Large Eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup Chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

I love to make this in my large glass batter bowl and Stir by hand.
Melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips with the butter in a glass bowl in the microwave.  30 second intervals and stir until smooth and all is melted.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Then stir in the flour, sugar, espresso powder and baking soda. Stir until everything is well mixed. Now stir in the remaining 1 cup of Chocolate Chips and Nuts. Spread into baking pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Hot Process Soap

Pumpkin Spice Soap Recipe
  • 10 oz olive oil
  • 20 oz coconut oil
  • 8 oz distilled water
  • 4.73 oz pure lye
  • 3 oz pure pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice ~ recipe Follows
  • 15 drops clove essential oil (optional)
  • 15 drops cinnamon OR cassia essential oil (optional)
  • Safety gear for handling lye (long-sleeve shirt, gloves, safety glasses, etc)
  • Equipment for making hot process soap
  1. **If you change any of the ingredients at all, please run the recipe through a soap calculator to ensure you still have a safe ratio of oils to lye.
  2. Weight out all of your ingredients using a kitchen scale. When you are making soap, you must go by weight, not by volume.
  3. When you go to measure out the lye, be sure you are wearing your gloves and safety glasses.
  4. Turn on your crockpot, and place the olive oil and coconut oil inside. Allow the coconut oil to melt completely.
  5. In a well ventilated area (I usually do this on the top of my stove with the fan running), with your safety gear on, carefully stir the lye into the water. Do NOT reverse this and pour the water into the lye, as this can result in a bit of a chemical reaction.
  6. As you stir the lye into the water, the mixture will heat up rapidly, so make sure you don't grab the container with bare hands.
  7. Let the lye/water mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Now, carefully pour the lye/water mixture into the melted oils in your crockpot. I stir gently as I pour, and then switch to my lovely stick blender. (Like I explained in this post, a stick blender is a MUST-HAVE when you're making soap!)
  9. Proceed to blend the soap mixture until it starts to thicken. It usually takes 2-4 minutes.
  10. We are looking for the mixture to become more opaque and develop a pudding-like consistency. This is called "trace".
  11. When the mixture has achieved "light trace" (i.e. it's thickened and smooth, but not quite holding its shape yet), mix in the pumpkin puree.
  12. Continue blending until you've achieved full trace. You'll know you've reached this point when you can drip the mixture on top of itself and it holds its shape.
  13. Place the lid on the slow cooker and allow it to "cook" on LOW for 45-60 minutes. It will go through various stages of bubbling, rising, and frothing. I usually stay semi-close as it cooks, just in case it wants to boil over the top. If you see this start to happen, simply stir it back down.
  14. After 45-60 minutes, perform the 'zap' test to make sure all the lye is reaction. You can do this by pulling a tiny bit of the soap out of the crock, allowing it to cool for a minute, and then touching it to your tongue. If it "zaps" you, you know it needs more cooking time. If it just takes soapy and bitter, you're good to go!
  15. Remove the crock from the heat and stir in the spices and essential oils (if you're using them). (I swirled my spices in only partially, as I wanted some variations in my bars) The soap will want to start setting up, so work quickly.
  16. Spoon the mixture into a mold, and set aside for around 24 hours to allow it to harden completely.
  17. Now comes my favorite part-- unmold the soap, and cut it into bars.
  18. You can technically use the soap immediately, but you'll have a harder, longer-lasting bar if you allow it to cure or air-dry for 1-2 weeks

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe: 4 Tablespoons Cinnamon, 4 tsp nutmeg,3 tsp ginger, 3 tsp cloves, 1 tsp all spice...

RECIPE from Prairie Homestead

Baking Kolaches

Czech Kolaches 

Recipe makes 56
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup butter, cut up
3/4 cup shortening, cut up
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast envelopes
Desired filling (see below)
Powdered Sugar Icing (see below)


In a large saucepan, heat and stir milk, butter, shortening, sugar and salt just until warm (120 degreesF to 130 degrees F) and butter and shortening almost melt. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes. Stir in eggs.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour and the yeast. Add milk mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds or until combined. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining flour, switching to a wooden spoon if necessary to stir in last amount of flour. (Dough will be very soft.) Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Shape chilled dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover; let rise in a warm place 30 minutes. Use your thumb or the back of a round measuring teaspoon to make a deep indentation in center of a few balls at a time. Spoon about 1 teaspoon filling into each indentation. Repeat with remaining balls and filling.

Bake one or two pans of kolaches at a time at 325 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottoms. Immediately remove to racks; cool slightly. If you like, drizzle with icing before serving.

Poppy Seed Filling: In a coffee grinder or small food processor blend 3/4 cup (4 ounces) poppy seeds until fine. Set aside. In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon honey and a dash of salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, lightly beat 2 egg yolks. Gradually stir about half of the warm milk mixture into beaten yolks. Return the yolk mixture to milk mixture in saucepan and stir to combine. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in poppy seeds and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Raspberry Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups frozen raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Apricot Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots and 1 1/2 cups apricot nectar. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cool slightly. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. (Mixture should be thicker than applesauce.) Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for several hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cup.
Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small bowl, combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency. Makes 2/3 cup.

Store unglazed kolaches in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Painted Candy Corns

I love painting these Wooden Candy Corns.  Festive and Fun..  This set was painted by a student in a recent workshop.  We used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and a beautiful orange colored mineral paint by Pure Earth Paint.

Halloween Baking

One of my Favorite Times of the Year for Cookie Decorating.. Is Halloween
I had so much fun at the Last Cookie Decorating Class that I am hosting one more before October is over.  Visit my Facebook Page SimplyHomeSweetHome for more Workshops....

Monday, October 05, 2015

Making Natural Deoderant

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