Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Posts from the Pumpkin Pantry

Did anyone notice that my pumpkin to-do list included making a pumpkin pie from my own pumpkin... and I already completed the task?

Dear Husband {{in his infinite wisdom}} insisted that we I make a pumpkin pie from scratch... yep... cooking the pumpkin and everything.   Heaven forbid we just crack open a can of pumpkin and make a pie.

Not pictured:  Lulu.  She was sleeping ALL DAY long because she was literally up the night before ALL NIGHT LONG at an all night bowling event with the church youth group.  ALL NIGHT folks!  That's crazy!

While Sleeping Beauty Lulu slept, Bro, Brielle, and Dear Husband prepped the pumpkin. 

Then Bro scooped the guts out of the pumpkin...

and played in the pumpkin.

Next, Dear Husband divided the pumpkin into wedges so that they could be cooked in the oven.

Cooking the pumpkin in the oven took way too long (after an 1 1/2 hours the pumpkin was still basically raw and hard) so I cut up the pumpkin even more so that I could steam it... in batches.

Finally {{4 hours later}} I had some cooked pumpkin goop...

and I pureed it in the blender.

Meanwhile, while the kids took a nap, Dear Husband carved a jack-o-lantern for us.

Even baby Brielle was able to enjoy some of the pumpkin.

Here is our jack-o-lantern at night.

Here is our extremely delicious pumpkin pie.

Here is some left over pumpkin puree that I put in breastmilk storage freezer bags for Brielle.

How many more pumpkin recipes do I have left to make?  Anyone counting?  Do you have an idea I should add to the list?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Posts from the Pumpkin Pantry - My Personal Pumpkin Project

The Great Pumpkin Cook-Off Continues...

First order of business... many cheers for those of you who enjoyed your own homemade pumpkin creations over the weekend.  I am so so so very proud of you!

Second... I really have a pumpkin to-do list now.  Here's where we sit so far.

1.  Pumpkin Spiced Lattes
2.  Pumpkin Honey Butter
3.  Pumpkin Waffles
4.  Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
5.  Pumpkin Pie from my very own pumpkin
6.  Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
7.  Pumpkin Cheesecake Roll
8.  Pumpkin Baby Food
9.  Pumpkin Facial
10.  Pumpkin Dip with Gingersnap Crackers (got ths recipe from a coworker)
11.  Pumpkin Oatmeal
12.  Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

     or use this easy recipe here:
1 package yellow cake mix

1 package spice cake mix
1 large can pumpkin
1 bag chocolate chips

Mix everything very well. Scoop onto cookies sheets and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
13.  Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts
14.  Pumpkin Bars
15.  Pumpkin Souffle

Am I missing anything?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Festivities. Day 5. Pumpkin Recipes.

Even more pumpkin recipes...

So, you bought the canned pumpkin and your pumpkin spices... and you made the pumpkin spice latte... but you are wondering what to do with the rest of the pumpkin.  I have the answer for y-o-u!

Top 5 Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin

1.  Pumpkin Spiced Latte (obviously).
2.  Pumpkin Honey Butter.  Yes, I made it.  Yes, I loved it.  Yes, it tasted great on my pumpkin waffles.  Yes, I am oh so grateful for the recipe!
Basically you blend together the following ingredients:

2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons canned pure pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

3.  Pumpkin Waffles.  Use your regular waffle recipe but (1) substitute the milk for 1/2 milk and 1/2 canned pumpkin, (2) add 1 tsp. pumpkin spice {{you find it in the spice section of your grocery store}}, and (3) add 1 tsp vanilla extract.  Once you mix it all up you can add more milk if you want to get the desired consistency for pouring.  The result?  Delicious! 

Don't forget the pumpkin butter!  {{Anyone up for pumpkin-infused syrup?  Just askin'.}}

4.  Betty Crocker Pumpkin Swirl Brownies.  The only thing I did different was (1) I used 8 oz of cream cheese instead 3 oz and (2) I added 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices listed on the recipe.  They were amazing!

Okay... so this was going to be a Top 4 Pumpkin list until Yummy Mom posted another pumpkin recipe on her blog.  You can read Yummy Mom's post here... and get the pumpkin oatmeal recipe here.

5.  Pumpkin Oatmeal
In a small saucepan, combine these ingredients:
1 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin or sweet potato puree (I used pumpkin, of course!)
1 tsp. vanilla (says it's optional, but I always love vanilla!)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Then, bring to a gentle boil. Stir in 1 cup old-fashioned oats, reduce heat, and simmer 2-3 minutes.

Bonus:  Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.  I am also thinking that I can buy the cinnamon rolls in the grocery store and add pumpkin and pumpkin spice to the icing packet before adding to the cinnamon rolls.  I'm going to try this concoction this weekend and let you know how it works out.

Here is your weekend to-do-list. 
{{Yes, I'm actually giving out homework!}}

Step 1:
Get thee to a grocery store to
buy canned pumpkin and pumpkin spice mix. 

Step 2:
Create something fun and delicious for your family!

Step 3:
Come back and tell us what you made and how you liked it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Festivities. Day 4. Pumpkin Patch.

We have been visiting the same pumpkin patch since our biggest pumpkin (often referred to as Lulu) was the size of baby Brielle.

I must visit the pumpkin patch each year because pumpkin patch pictures are the best it is such a fun activity for the kids.   

Look at my little lady.  Don't you just want to squeeze her?

My big boy demonstrated the proper way to load a pumpkin onto the wagon... all by himself, of course.

Even Daddy and Mommy look great in a pumpkin patch.

My Three Pumpkins.

This year we came home with three large pumpkins and they are sitting on our front steps.  Maybe next year we could paint a face on our pumpkins.  Maybe the year after THAT we could get around to carving the pumpkins.  Maybe the year after THAT Mommy will make a pumpkin pie from the pumpkins... maybe!

Do you have pumpkins at your house? 
Are you going to carve them?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Festivities. Day 3. House Stuff.

Despite popular belief, we aren't always out having a faboulous time in this gorgeous weather.  Occasionally, we relax around the house.

Or, we take care of household chores.

Lucky for Dear Husband, he has a helper {{ahem, not me}}.

Out with the old dishwasher...

... and in with the new(ish)... emphasis on the "ish" part.  ;-)

Are you completing some last-minute household chores
before old man winter sets in?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Festivities. Day 2. Cheer.

Do you have your Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand? 

Here is the pumpkin pie spice ingredients that some of you asked about.  So sorry that you do not have pumpkin in Australia.  However, you can probably still make the drink even without the pumpkin.  I was already thinking of trying it without real pumpkin because pumpkin doesn't have much of a flavor unless you spice it up.  I don't know how much value the pumpkin adds to the taste of the Pumpkin Spice Latte.  If I try it sans pumpkin then I will let you know. 

Okay.  Moving on.

When most people think of Fall they also think of football.  I, however, think of cheer.  Lulu... cheers for the local parks and recreation league.  We... ahem... follow her to football games.

Usually I attend the games with Brody.

They have lots of open space for him to run around.


Sometimes, Dear husband and baby Bri come with us.


Here she is laughing at her brother... with her signature smile.


After awhile it gets dark and Bro gets hungry.


It gets chilly too, and we have to bundle the baby.


Sometimes our favorite grandparents come to visit.  Yippee!

Luvs2Boat cracks me up.  He'll find a "teaching moment" anywhere.  Here, he is teaching Bro some very important letters: N-F-L.


No matter what, Lulu always has time for her adoring fans!

On this particular occasion, I won the Family Basket that the cheerleaders raffled off.   Surprise!!!!! 

Two days in a row!  Oh my!  Hope to see you back tomorrow!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Festival: Day 1... Fall Days After School

OK - we hope to be we'll be blogging all week folks! Crazy? I know!

First, before we get started I encourage you all to sit down with a cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte. This is a fall specialty coffee drink that Starbucks makes and, unlike their other seasonal drinks, this one really is seasonal; when they run out of pumpkin spice syrup then the drinks are gone until next season... until now!

I make my own pumpkin spice lattes at home, using a recipe I found online, and it is delicious! So, before you read any further... go make yourself a cup of pumpkin spice latte and then come back because it's gonna be a fun week.

Top 3 Things about DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte
1.  Much cheaper than Starbucks.
2.  You can control the fat and sugar content yourself.
3.  Does not require leaving the house or getting out of your jammies.

Moving on...

Dear Husband and I have been working opposite hours recently.  That is, he's home in the morning and I am home nights and weekends.  While this is great for the kiddos, it is not so great for Mommy... but that's okay because great-for-the-kiddos is more important than great-for-mommy, isn't it? 

Recently, I took advatage of a fall afternoon by taking the little ones to downtown Annapolis... by myself... which I think was more fun for them than it was for me because I had to keep one hand on Brielle while hoping that Bro didn't fall into the water. 

Brody is such a great brother and always eager to get his hands on his sister.  Brielle looks none-to-pleased to be here.

Brody refused to smile.  He wanted to play, NOT take pictures.  He made this face on purpose.  He's actually posing here folks. 

Yeah - there's mommy's smile.

Looking at her smile, I can't forget to mention that Brielle smiles at anyone and everyone for no reason at all.  She is the happiest baby I have ever met and the polar opposite of her brother.

We also ate dinner on the dock and watched the ducks swim by.  I think that we all had a good time.  

How was that Pumpkin Spice Latte? 
You come back tomorrow, ok?  

Friday, October 8, 2010


Looooooong to-do list for this weekend.

Cheer practice.

Go to pumpkin patch.

Girl Scout meeting.

Go to Lulu's cheer game.

Regular chores like dinner and laundry and stuff.

Learn and practice Lulu's song for her Women's Choir audition which is on Monday.

Go to Joanna's fabrics and get fabric to make a Redskins pillowcase dress.  {{wink, wink}}

Make fondue for Saturday night... because I am craving chocolate fondue.


Lulu got an "A" on her math test.  We cannot remember a time that she has ever earned an "A" or maybe even a "B" on a math test, despite our best efforts.  Honestly, it is NOT unusual for her to meet with her tutor and math teacher about a test and then take the test and come home with a 15%.  Not unusual at all.

We celebrated by going out to a local ice-cream restaurant!  There isn't much that would cause me to take this crew to get ice-cream, by myself, on a school night.  She totally deserved it! 

Please excuse the cell phone picture but it was all I could do to get all of us and our stuff out of the house... much less lug the camera too.


Way to go Lulu!  {{seriously folks, I was tearing up when the math teacher showed me the grade at our parent-teacher meeting... real tears.}}  It's NOT about the grade but it is so deflating to work so hard and to try your best and to come home with a 15%... consistently!  You can't imagine!

Have a good weekend!  I hope to have some great pictures for you next week! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's almost been 7 years.

Have you been to Lilypie?  You can create lots of neat little tickers there. 

I created this one for our upcoming anniversary.  Then I read the caption at the bottom and it read, "5 days until our anniversary."  So, I said to myself, "5 DAYS?  Oh, I must have not submitted the correct date - let me go back."  {{SHOCKER}}  Guess what?  Um... it's actually 5 days 'til our anniversary!!!!!!  Whoops!

I need to add "get anniversary card" to my to-do list AND move it to the top.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

I mean, people keep reminding me that it is coming, but I keep forgetting.

It looks like I'll have to think of something witty to post as my facebook status for our anniversary... I'd like to come up with something a bit more creative than... "Seven years ago today I married the best man EVER - Happy Anniversary honey."

Let's see...

Top 7 things I love about my husband on our 7th Anniversary...
Top 7 things I'd like to do with my husband.. {{maybe that's NOT for everyone to see}}
How do I love the, let me count the ways...

Maybe something with a nautical theme... "7 years ago today we set sail on this journey... blah, blah, blah"

I'll let you know what I come up with.  Any ideas?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Still Super Woman?

I still feel like Super Woman. Why is this?

1. I am still on cloud 9 from the Girl's Night out last weekend.


2. I have been going to bed on time.


3. I'm giddy because I finally fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes.


4. Fall is here and the heat and humidity of the summer is not dragging me down anymore.


5. I feel productive because in addition to being a mom, wife, employee, and so on... I have been so crafty lately...

I made these pillowcases to go with Bro's toddler pillow he uses at naptime at school.  They highlight his favorite things: Buzz Lightyear, Curious George, and tractors.

Then, I made this little tag blanket for Bri.

Then, I made another tag blanket for my cousin, along with these matching burp cloths.  They are regular fabric on one side and terry cloth on the other.

This week I am making things for the Homecoming bakesale table that the cheerleaders put together.

So far, I am drowning in chocolate-covered Oreo cookie pops.

Also, I bought the materials to make this bee costume for Bri.  Yes, I even have the little feather boa part to go around the bottom.

Photo credit:  mammajane's shop

Note, I did have ONE not-so-Super-Woman-moment recently.  That is, I lost Lulu's Girl Scout cookie order sheet.  I don't know where it is.  I should be stopping my the cookie mom's house this weekend to get a new form.  Can you believe it?  Me? Of all people!  Lost the cookie sheet?

So, I am not exactly sure why I feel like Superwoman... I would love to know why so that I can keep the momentum going.

What makes YOU feel like Super Woman?