Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hello and Welcome SNOW!

Beautiful morning here in Michigan!

Reindeer (OK....deer) finding a few old apples on the ground underneath the snow.

Great day ahead! There will be cocoa, stoking the wood burning stove, housework, quilting, reading, baking, more scheming and dreaming about Christmas surprises and fun (sigh)......just one of those magnificent days, where things seem a little bit quieter and where the sun reflects off of the snow and makes everything extremely bright and magical.

Have a great last day of November everyone! xo

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vampire and Music

Hello Mr. Vampire. Just a little bit more of Fall/Halloween delight!
Fall Echo's--- Marching Band final concert. This is such a fun way to end the marching band season. Love hearing the band perform their regular football field half-time show. My son is the middle snare drum player. He is percussion leader this year.
Rats...a little blurry, but you get the idea. The sound is so massive and cool in the gym.

And, a little surprise!!! Fall Echo's includes the senior band members choosing their favorite song from over the past 4 years. They chose, In The Stone...Journey. We were more than a little bit surprised when our son left the percussion section, ran up to the conductors stand, and led the band in this piece of music. Really super fun.

Wish I could have gotten all the band in this picture.

And, a final farewell to the seniors....(our son is 4th from the right) their names were called out along with their parents, who proudly stood to honor their child, and vice-a-versa. Sigh! WE swallowed hard and worked hard to keep our eyes dry. Proud of our son and these kids, but, sentimental about the conclusion of this era of time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

HALLOWEEN and such!


Zombie time!!

Yep...getting into character and all that goes with it! Party on, Zombie boy!

Lots of Halloween parties over the last week. All good! Our town hosts trick-r-treat from 4pm until 6pm...followed by cider and donuts and a costume parade for the little ones, downtown. Makes for a perfect Halloween and love that everything begins early in the late night stuff.
So, our family had a nice yummy dinner of Pumpkin Corn Chowder and crackers. It was delicious. I must admit, I was sceptical, but, WOW! This was really a tasty Fall soup recipe.

We had what we call "dinner theater" and ate our dinner and watched the Halloween episode of Psych from last week----and for those of you who follow this series, you will understand our dessert choice----we cut up a fresh pineapple and boy oh boy was that delicious.

Now, these little pumpkin cookies may look like dessert. Not so fast! Ha! I made these pumpkin cookies fairly healthy...whole wheat, oatmeal, ground flax seed,wheat germ, raisins, walnuts, very low sugar...added some dark chopped chocolate for the fun of it. These actually became our appetizer...not intentionally. Just turned out that way as everyone arrived home from work, school, and Halloween doings----nearly starving to death. So, piping hot pumpkin goodness was enjoyed right away.

Hope your Halloween was sensational and that your holiday season, (which has begun here in our household ---even heard Christmas carols on the radio over the weekend and I don't seem to mind--ha!), will be wonderful and full of joy and happiness. I have got Thanksgiving thoughts running through my head. Watch out Olsen's....we will be to your house to celebrate and eat turkey and all the fixing's before you know it. And of course, GO LYONS! XO

Pumpkin Corn Chowder

In a large soup pot (Dutch oven works well), melt 2 T butter. Add in and cook for 5 minutes, 1/2 small yellow onion and 2 cloves minced garlic.

Stir in 1 t Curry Powder and cook for 30 seconds or so.

Add in 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes and 2 cups cubed potatoes.

Next, 1 14 ounce can of chicken stock, 1/4 each salt and pepper.

Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes.

When that is all cooked nicely, add in.....1 14 ounce can pumpkin, 1 14.75 ounce can cream style corn, 1, 10.75 ounce can cream of celery soup, 1 cup milk, 1 t dried thyme, crushed. YUM!

I let this soup sit for about an hour and 1/2 before serving...just like spaghetti sauce...this soup tastes better with a little aging. Can't wait to taste what little soup was leftover for my lunch today. Bet the flavor will be bold and divine.

Can serve with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, sour cream or crackers.

Pumpkin Cookies

My mom makes excellent cookies. I do remember her making pumpkin cookies and applesauce cookies. These two cookies were always so moist and delicious.

Oven...375 degrees.

Mix 1 regular can of pumpkin, with 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup shortening. ( Can decrease sugar to about 1/4 and add in 1/4 cup applesauce and reduce shortening to 1/4 cup).

Add in....2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 t baking powder, 1 t baking soda, 1 t ground cinnamon, and 1/4 t salt. And, if your care to, here is where I add in a little ground flax seed, and wheat germ. I also use ground oatmeal with the whole wheat flour to equal the 2 cups.

Then, my favorites...add in raisins and chopped much as you want. So good. Can add in chocolate at this point, as well. Mix and drop by teaspoon full onto greased cookie sheet.

Dough is very soft and fluffy. That is ok. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

SUPER delicious if you can manage to eat these cookies right out of the oven.


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