Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Pie?

I did something very cruel and unusual yesterday. Something my husband would never do to me, yet I did to him.

I ate all the leftover cake.

We had a little bit of a stressful morning here. Nothing life shattering, but it ended in giving a hunk of money to some bug man. Not the way we like to spend money around here!, but one of those things you just have to do. I don't really want to go into the story much since I'll be sharing a recipe as well.

And I seriously was 2 seconds away from hyperventilating.

So, back to the cake. I was stressed. I called my husband in a panic. The sweet guy actually left work and came home to take care of everything for me. Seriously, he's the best. So after all the to-do I was relieved, yet annoyed, yet relieved, yet....hungry, yet......unable to resist the leftover cake from a going away party for a friend. Before I could stop myself, it was gone!

I tell ya what. Once an emotional eater, always an emotional eater. No matter how hard I try to hide it.

Now, this super sweet husband, who had a long day at work followed by a really sad visitation for an old friend he hadn't seen in years, came home to be with our kids and my bestest girlfriend's boys so her and I could go out to eat. Again, isn't he the greatest? And again, isn't it cruel and unusual that I didn't leave any cake for him?! Yes. Yes, it is.

So I'm attempting to bake a pumpkin pie for him, but have a few problems:

1. No regular sugar
2. A can of evaporated milk that expired 11/08
3. Yet a can of sweetened condensed milk
4. Only 1 cup of leftover pumpkin from the bread I made the other day

After looking all over for recipes, I got some ideas and made this baby up. It's baking in the oven and have no idea how it will's the recipe and I'll update if it gets a thumbs up or a big thumbs down.
(and if it is successful, I need to get this down quick before I forget)

Pumpkin Pie?

Graham cracker crust (just do what you do)

In a saucepan over low-medium heat:
about 1/4 cup of dark corn syrup
10 marshmallows (why 10? Well, I put in a handful and there were 9 so I decided to even it out.)
about 2/3 cup brown sugar
about 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (I'm real exact, huh.)

Stir until melted.

Pumpkin mixture:
3 eggs well beaten
1 cup pure pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tbl honey

Slowly add the marshmallow mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Bake at 350 for 30-40. Wait anxiously to see how in the world it turns out! And wait anxiously to see if I'm forgiven! (of course...I already am...because he is the best, afterall!)

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baking Overload

I've been baking a ton lately and have loved it. I used to bake a lot just for our little family, but then I'd eat the entire finished product. Not kidding. Now I just try and bake when I have good reason too, and then get to sample some without feeling sick to my stomach. Here's a couple of new favorites:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread:

2/3 soft butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 can (1lb) pumpkin
2/3 cup water
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
3 1/3 cup flour
3/4 - 1 cup chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together in order given, mixing well until thick and smooth. Pour into two 9x5 inch bread pans or three 8x4 inch bread pans that have been greased and floured on the bottom (or cut out a little piece of parchment paper for the bottom) Bake at 350 for 70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
This recipe is great because it makes 2 loaves. One for someone else and one for us! I made it yesterday for 2 gals who were going to watch 9 kids at our house. I ran out of sugar, so used about 1 1/2 cups of sugar and then a big glob of honey. I also added not as many chocolate chips and then threw in some raisins and coconut, and for good measure put some brown sugar on top. Since I gave both loaves away I don't know how my substitutions/additions tasted, but it sure smelled good!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 pkg chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugars, and p.b. until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour and baking soda. Stir in chips. Roll into balls onto ungreased (I again used parchment paper) cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets.This last step helps them not fall apart.

More than anything, I love baking cookies! My secret is to always bake them at a little lower of a temp and for a bit longer (mainly because I have a gas stove), but usually take them out just before they're done and leave them on the baking sheet for a bit to finish cooking. I dream of owning a diner someday with my husband, and you can be sure there would be a menu just for the cookies!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I lose a lot of things....pretty much everyday I lose something or other. Most days, it's the remote control.
Enter: My husband's gift:

A lovely remote.
And it's half the size of my daughter.

It's impossible to lose.

Aren't those ruffles cute?

And doesn't she look old?

Henry is gaining some independence. The other morning he beat me downstairs and this is what I found. He had opened a banana and sliced it himself. (thank goodness for our IKEA plastic silverware!)

The next morning he tried to slather on half a stick of butter onto a piece of toast. He also had a chair up to the fridge and was in the freezer trying to get out some ice.

Guess we have to pay more attention, huh?

We had a great weekend. We ate lunch on Friday on the 40-something floor of a building downtown with some friends. It was so cool! I really don't think I've been up that high before. We had our annual pumpkin carving contest with our Adult Bible Fellowship group and it was great like always. My hard working husband had to work all day yesterday after church, so it was an uneventful day, but still good.

We've got a busy week planned....but looking forward to it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pasta Primavera

We had a pasta party at our house over the weekend for the runners. I love pasta so I was excited to try a new recipe. I found this recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis on the foodnetwork website. It's a keeper.

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips (I just used 2 red peppers)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1 pound farfalle (I used Rigatoni)
15 cherry tomatoes, halved ( I left out)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Cutting up all the veggies took a while, but it's worth it. I also read some of the reviews and decided to add 2 cloves or minced garlic when roasting the veggies, added a little more herbs to the veggies and marinated them for about 1/2 hour before roasting. I also added thinly sliced chicken that I had sauteed earlier, but I bet grilled would be better. Yummy!

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Catch Up

RJ ran his very first 1/2 marathon on Sunday. I was so proud of him! He's been training with some friends since this summer and has worked so hard. What a man. It was an early morning and a cold one too, but had a great time. I almost cut out early because Henry was having a horrible time for the first bit, but we stuck it out and got to see him finish the race. 

Here he is with his running buddies. We had them all over for a pasta supper the night before and then after the race we all went out to eat at Jethro's. Too bad I didn't have a "I'm running a 1/2 marathon" excuse to eat all that food.

 I am finally getting around to some projects that have been's the frame and mirror I bought this summer at a thrift store. If I remember correctly, together they were $5.
 And here's the after. I painted them black, glued fabric to the back of the frame, and then nailed up the mirror in the middle. I actually had something extremely similar already there (just a different frame and mirror but with the same fabric) but I really wanted this mirror in the dining room so did a switcheroo.
 I also re-did our chandelier. It used to have lovely shades on, but took them off for something different.
 Then went to Hobby Lobby and for $2 got this garland and ornaments and made it fancy with the help of a hot glue gun. I love me a hot glue gun. I think this house is held together with a hot glue gun.

But you know, when the perfectly fine chandelier had the perfectly fine shades on it, life was....perfectly fine. I've tried recently to not read too much of those uber amazing home decorating blogs and spend too much time searching every amazing thing on Etsy because it makes my head spin. So it was fun to do my own little project without getting crazy about it. I still want to paint the chairs in the dining room...a project I've been "wanting" to do for about 2 years now, but it will happen when it happens.
Because life is perfectly fine right now without it.

Oh, this weather today is absolutely gorgeous! Finally, a FALL day. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Yesterday was a not-so-good day.

I ate 6 cookies straight from the oven.

(yes, I'm a recovering emotional eater, and no, I don't regret it)

I cried a little.

Had a crabby little boy.

(who went to bed at 5:45)

And had gotten no more than 2 hours of sleep at a time the night before.

(because of a little girl and her somethingthat's bothering her)

BUT, today is better!

We went to The Baker's Pantry.

And Target.

(and successfully didn't buy any of those extra-things-that-often-end-up-in-my-cart-from-the-75%off-section)

And I'm going a little paint crazy during nap time.

(with 5 frames/mirrors/lamp bases)

And am going to make some yummy sounding granola cookies for MOPS tomorrow.

Am excited to bake apple pies at MOPS tomorrow.

And can't wait for my husband to get home from work.

(since I didn't get to see him yesterday)

Now off to get my kid-lettes who just woke up from their naps.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


We ended up having a really busy week last week, but it was a fun kind of busy. Had a couple of play dates and went in with a friend on a garage sale. It was a cold, but good time. So today we're taking it easy and having a much needed day at home to get some things done. BUT, I did have an errand to run this morning that happened to be by K-Mart. I don't go there too often, but am usually pleasantly surprised when I do. I got a pair of jeans, a dress, a swim suit, and a vest-type-thing all for $1.99 each. That's my kind of sale!  I really, really hate swim suits, but we're going on a big trip in about a month and will be staying in a hotel for a night or two so might, for once, participate in swimming. Scary!

Harper is mastering sitting and is getting closer and closer to figuring out crawling....she's rocking on her hands and knees. Her top teeth are still working their way through with one out and the other partially out. She's been a super star during the day, but they seem to bother her at night. Or something is bothering her at night. She's been sleeping horribly the last few weeks and has me dreaming of a day where I can sleep for 4 straight hours. Is that too much to ask? It's like we have a new born all over again. Henry is doing really well right now. We had a rough week last week trying to get back on track with disciplining. It was a good learning experience for all of us. Still working on it, but I can see some progress! He's such a sweet little boy....full of energy and goofiness.....but there were some attitudes that were getting out of hand....including mine!

And finally....some pictures!






Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Black Bean Lasagna

So I guess you may have noticed....I like black beans! My mom found this recipe and sent it to me. I tried it last night and it is gooood. We have no intentions....yet.....of becoming vegetarians, but have cut back quite a bit on our meat consumption so this is a great alternative to traditional lasagna.

And it warmed up my house.

Black Bean Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles (8 ounces) *I normally opt for the whole wheat variety, but the day I went shopping, it just seemed too expensive....maybe next time.*

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper *I used red*
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-ounce cans low-sodium tomato sauce or tomato sauce with seasonings
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro *I used fresh parsley*
1 12-ounce container low-fat cottage cheese *I used fat free*
1 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese  *I suppose you could use fat-free, but I like the 1/3 less fat the best*
1/4 cup light dairy sour cream *I left this out*
*I also added a bunch of sliced mushrooms and cooked them with the pepper and onion. Really, any vegetables would be good!*

1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain, or buy the oven-ready ones. Mash one can of the beans; set aside.

2. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; add onion, green sweet pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until tender but not brown. Add mashed beans, unmashed beans, tomato sauce, and snipped cilantro; heat through.
3. In a large bowl combine cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream; set aside. Spray a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or 3-quart rectangular casserole with nonstick coating. Arrange three of the noodles in the dish. Top with one-third of the bean mixture. Spread with one-third of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with bean mixture. Reserve the remaining cheese mixture.
4. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through. Dollop with reserved cheese mixture. Let stand for 10 minutes. Garnish with tomato slices and cilantro, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Make-Ahead Tip: Refrigerate unbaked casserole, covered, up to 1 day, and bake as directed. Or, freeze up to 1 month; thaw frozen casserole in refrigerator overnight, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through.

I'm looking forward to the leftovers tonight! And, after some tears and discipline breaks, Henry ate his plate full. After every bite, he'd say suprisingly, "I yike it!". I think he was nervous because, I'll admit, it's not the yummiest looking thing I've ever seen, but it is good.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fun, Busy Weekend

We got to get all dressed up for a lovely wedding on Saturday.

 Henry looked like such a little man.
It was such a beautiful wedding and the reception was a blast!
 I didn't get a picture or the adult meals, but this was the kid's meal. It was yummy. So was ours.
 Harper did a great job and lasted until 10pm. This morning I can see her top two teeth just under the surface. And she hasn't even fussed. What a sweetie.
 The beautiful couple! They were so happy. Just beautiful.
A bad camera.
 The dance. The kids had so much fun and I even got RJ to dance with me! We didn't stay too long since the kids were exhausted and my feet were killing me, but it was still a blast.
 It was a great weekend with family.
We've got a pretty full week this week too, but it should be fun.

Just curious. Do you have your heat on yet? It's 58 degrees in our house. I'm freezing, and we're all bundling up. We're too stubborn to turn the heat on because it just seems way too early....doesn't it!? Well, and heating up a 98-year old home is a bit....pricey.


Related Posts with Thumbnails