Showing posts from October, 2013

Glowing Milk Carton Silly Faces

My girls are turning into little crafters and so, on their own, they found some Pinterest inspiration and made these cute little glowing milk carton faces. I love Pinterest.  And I love projects that the kids can do ALL BY THEMSELVES! The faces were just  drawn on with a Sharpie.  Cut a hole in the back of the carton to insert the (battery operated) candle. Oh, yeah.  And don't forget to rinse the milk carton first!

2 Pumpkin Carving Tools You Shouldn't Be Without

This is typical for us.  Somewhere around late September the kids start asking when they can get their pumpkins.  "Too early," I say.  In early October it continues.  "Still too early.  We don't want them to rot before Halloween."  Rewind 14 years.  That's how long we lived in Atlanta.  A place where pumpkins will actually rot and be filled with fire ants if put out on your front steps any more than, say, two hours before trick-or-treating.  I keep forgetting.  We're not in Atlanta anymore. So this past Sunday, after church, we experienced what was perhaps our last gorgeous 50 degree day before snowfall. We packed up the kids and drove to the Apple Orchard where there are breathtaking, scenic fields filled with pumpkins just ripe for picking. Or so we thought. When we arrived, we hiked through fragrant, picturesque rows of apple trees only to arrive upon lovely fall fields.  With no pumpkins.  The words Bad Mommy comes to mind. But we did bu

Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

I have a confessions to make.  It's about my six-pack.  My six-pack of canned pumpkin, that is. (Why?  What did you think I was talking about?) It's almost gone and I'm thinking about going back to Costco and buying another one. Is that wrong? These Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are a perfect alternative to pie.  And we all know that pie month is just around the corner!  They start with an Oreo crust. And an Oreo crust, my friends, is a perfect reason to make just about anything! Simply pulse the entire package with some melted butter in a food processor. Or if you don't have a food processor, like me (I know, it's shocking), simply put them in a gallon freezer ziploc bag and beat them into submission with a rolling pin. Either way works. It's all good. Pat the Oreos into a parchment lined 9x13 baking pan. It just makes scooping out the pieces that much easier. Mix the filling mixture until creamy and smooth and pour it on top

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

The kids had a couple days off of school last week and that meant one thing. Pancakes. Sleeping in and pancakes just go hand in hand, don't you think?  The lofty aroma of pumpkin spice on the griddle draws even the teenage boy down from his gentle slumber.  I love my baby boy. Which is why I made pumpkin pancakes. Now, for the record, I'm all for scratch cooking.  But there is nothing wrong with doctoring up a mix now and then. Perfectionist cooking can lead us astray. I mean, how many times have you intended to make this awesome, organic, nutritious meal only to resort to a frozen pizza when you notice that it's 6:30 PM and the kids are yelling, "Feed Me!"? Oh..... you haven't?  Oh... OK, then......  Nevermind........ But do try these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes.   They make getting up on a cold, October morning just a little bit easier. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes Serves 4 hungry kids Ingredients : 2 cups Complete Butterm

Pumpkin Scones

It's October, and that means Costco is selling cans of pumpkin by the six-pack.   Ahhh.... I love Costco.  I mean, who doesn't need six cans of pumpkin? And what could be better than scones and tea on a brisk, October day?  My interpretation of the scone is that they are England's version of Southern Biscuits.  But they're triangles.  Not circles.  (OK, they could be circles.) And they're served with hot tea.  Not Iced Tea.  And they're slightly sweeter.  But not too sweet. And they are usually served between meals and hardly ever with gravy.  Other than that, they are very similar. And delightful.  And perfect for a crisp, autumn day. Pumpkin Scones I ngredients: 2 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ginger 1/8 teaspoon cloves 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1 stick butter, cold and cubed 2/3 cup pumpkin 3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half Preheat oven to 400 degre

Italian Wedding Soup

If there's one thing that I love about fall, it's soup.  I love eating it.  I love making it. I love the way it entices my kids to eat vegetables that would otherwise sit lonely and unloved on their plate. Soup melds flavors. Soup offers comfort. Soup warms the soul. I was first introduced to Italian Wedding Soup when a southern neighbor brought over a pot of it shortly after the birth of my third child.  Strangely, she wasn't Italian and no one was getting married. The name, it turns out, is a mistranslation of the Italian phrase, " si sposono bene" , meaning that two things are well married.  The marriage of the greens and meat in clear broth is such a delightful combination that it was widely described as si sposono bene . There are hundreds of variations on the recipe, but the soup usually contains greens such as spinach, escarole or broccoli rabe, meatballs, and tiny pasta in a chicken broth. Here's my take with turkey meatballs (for