Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Kind of Orange........

No...not this!
Ummmm.....I don't think so! Yep! Here we go. I love going to our grocery store with the entry way all decked out!
So bright and pretty on a very sunny day!

And then theirs the pumpkin patch on the way to the dentist office.

Do you see it? Beware! Camouflage outhouse ahead...ha! So funny!

A field of ORANGE You can tell how cold it has been at night. The frost and chill has gobbled up the vines and leaves.

But still....loving the ORANGE!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Field Trip to Vermont

Whenever I think of field trips I always think of Magic School Bus. Such a classic for my generation. Today I'd like to take you to Vermont to a very fascinating place I just discovered....

So get ready to "take chances, make mistakes and get messy!"

Ok, here we are at the King Arthur Baker's Store and Cafe in Norwhich, Vermont, home to America's oldest flour company (1790). To give you a time line and a bit of history, George Washington had just been elected to his first term in office. Let's take a look inside...

They offer a full retail shop and cafe filled with cooking merchandise, hard to find ingredients and everything to help the baker from clothes to cook books. Here's what caught my eye..

Ahhh...the way to my heart is with yeast.

Oh hello. Here they offer baking classes to improve your kitchen skills. I would just love that. For some reason, baking in a wide open area with plenty of gadgets and baking tools sounds so much more appealing then my small cramped kitchen and counter top I always don't flour enough and end up scrapping dough off for days after wards. Moving on..

They have a blog Baking Banter that I quickly scoured through, mouth watering at the warm breads and treats they were baking up.. (beware, do NOT proceed on an empty stomach!)

Triple Chocolate Cookie (mix)

Whole grain no-knead bread (recipe)

Carol's Caramel Corn (story and recipe)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (I kid not)

Butterscotch Chocolate Brownies (recipe)

The blog is delightful to read, packed with stories, delicious recipes and step-by-step photos. Now, don't mistake me, I caught onto their game pretty quickly. Why not have their test kitchen log their experiments onto a blog thus enticing unsuspecting potential customers with their eye candy and tried and true recipes? Then subtly provide links to their flour, grains, pans and bake ware so that we too can have perfectly raised gluten-free bread and scones to our heart's content? Oh yeah..::jots down:: must order bread pans...Clearly I did not fall into the trap.

Anyway, what I like about their site is that they also offer many multi-grain breads to bake, tips and secret ingredients to make better breads, rolls etc.. So I'll leave you with my favorite:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

Recipe and Step by Step Instructions here

Have a great weekend and a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Caramel Apples!

Tell me this doesn't make your mouth water..

1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
Dash salt
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 to 12 Popsicle sticks
10 to 12 medium tart apples, washed and dried

In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter; add the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 248° (firm-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.
Insert Popsicle sticks into apples. Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture; turn to coat. Set on greased waxed paper to cool. Yield: 10-12 apples.

*photo and recipe from REAL MOM KITCHEN

For the hard core sweet tooth....

Ahhh....I love this time of year!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Slumber!

A little of this........
and a little of that....
...... make great Halloween pillowcases!

How can you not have fun sleeping on these little beauties?
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Here is my son, in his Halloween costume....Edward Scissorhands. He had a music concert at his school last night and the kids all dressed in all kinds of costumes. It was so fun and funny. A little closer look at the scissorhands that we made out of sheets of crafting foam and 75cent black cotton grocery store gloves. I used my glue gun to adhere the foam to the gloves. It was so easy and super cool.
Really excited for all the Halloween activites coming up! What are you dressing up to be for Halloween? Do tell!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pizza and The Colors of Fall!

Earlier this month, my friend, Tanya, was giving away tons of excess garden peppers. So....

...just had to make a family favorite...Pizza Toast. Yum! This is so quick and easy and you will be surprised how good it tastes. Use good thick break, if at all possible. No need to toast bread before hand, unless you are using thin bread. Toast thin bread so that it can hold the pizza toppings and not get soggy. Now get ready because this is oh so simple. Start out by spreading ketchup all over the top of the bread....sprinkle oregano...add a little garlic and/or onion powder. Next, in any order...cheese, mushrooms, ham, and the colorful sliced peppers, or whatever toppings you happen to have on hand.
Put into a 400 degree oven until......

.....everything is nice and melted and toasty! Makes for a great quick lunch or dinner, paired with a salad or fruit.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Wondering what to do this weekend?

Click here for free chips and queso at Chilli's!

If you give them a little bit more info, you can also get a free dessert!

Also, until the 25th of this month (this Monday!) you can get a FREE 20-page Picaboo photo book (valued at $40), just pay shipping. Use the code FALLBK. (This is for new customers only)
Click here to get started!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Make MUFFINS!!!!!!

I love these muffins. They are hearty...and a little bit more on the healthy side of life.
I follow a basic muffin recipe out of my old and trusty Betty Crocker"s Cookbook, but, I also go a bit "free-style"with ingredients. Like...

...chopping up golden delicious apples, adding in raisins, chopped walnuts....

...and some yummy cinnamon. I slowly cook until the apples are nice and soft. Smells fantastic!

I use my potato masher to slightly mash my hot apple ingredients...just a little mashing is all you need. Add this to any basic muffin recipe.....but, use brown sugar, and a combo of wheat flour and oatmeal flour. Add a little splash of wheat germ to really make this muffin special.

I load my muffin cup liners about 3/4 of the way full.

And, then sprinkle the tops with my homemade granola.
Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes.

Smells great and tastes great. I broke a muffin open so that you could see the inside. It was most likely still a little toooooo hot and soft. But, really. I would rather eat these muffins hot from the oven than any other way.

These muffins are easy to take anywhere for a snack. They seem to hold together very well, once cooled.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Apple Butter, Anyone? With A Little Surprise....Check It Out!

I was craving apple butter. I looked up a few of my old recipes and decided to make up a smaller batch...ya know....I've got to have it now, but, have little time, batch of apple butter. Can do! I cut up 6-7 golden delicious apples-did not peel the apples. Added, 2 cups of fresh apple cider. I put in a little less than 1/4 cup of brown sugar. I then sprinkled the apples with some pumpkin spice. I simmered the apples until they were soft and the liquid had reduced by half.

Then, here comes the fun, magical part. Let your apples cool a little bit. Put them into a quart sized jar.

Attach the bottom from your blender to your jar! Yes! It fits. Can you believe it?!

Start to blend and blend and blend. I was still so amazed that I never ever knew this little trick.

Keep it going until you reach the consistancy that you desire.

I then poured out my fresh and yummy smelling apple butter into a smaller pint sized jar. 6-7 apples makes about 1 and 1/2 pints of apple butter.

It has been so good. Imagine, not only on fresh rolls, bread, and muffins, but, on waffles, oatmeal and even on vanilla ice cream. Delicious!!! Next...pear butter. I have got to do it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall First's!

Found this little bit of cuteness at Kohl's.

Just had to do something fun for my little grand-daughter.

Voila! There you go. A little something special for baby's First Halloween!

A BIG thanks to new friend Julie Harward for the idea. She does fabulous work for her grandchildren by using premade little shirts and then attaching wonderful colors and tiers of fabric. Check her Halloween delights out here!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Happy Monday! These just make me smile!!
These are such a favorite and have been since childhood. I made a zillion of these yesterday afternoon and had such fun giving them away to neighbors and friends.
I used my mom's sugar cookie recipe, rolled, baked and decorated. A little trick I discovered....I had rolled and cut about 40 cookies when it dawned on me that I could maybe do this in an easier way. I rolled cookie dough into small balls....just like you would do with peanut butter cookies....did the criss-cross press with a fork. Amazingly, the cookies turned out nice and round, without having to roll and cut. Hmmmmm. Maybe I am the last one to know about this-ha! Anyway, so, I made a bunch of plain sugar cookies using this method, as well.
All good. Have a good start to the week.
p.s. I had to use chocolate chips for the mouths. I usually use raisins. I think the raisins lay better on the cookie and look happier....if that is possible.
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