Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Fun

 Mia in the school parade.

 Libby & her best friend after the school parade.

 Mia's school class. Mia is in the center.
 Libby all ready for trick-or-treating.

 Libby, REALLY ready for trick-or-treating!

 Mia ready for trick-or-treating, and showing off her pumpkin.

Can't believe that out of six kids, only the last two were trick-or-treating this year!
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Save some calories and drink your pumpkin pie

Because that's what this stuff tastes like. Sooo good!
Let's see. A little comparison here.
An 8th of a homemade 9"pumpkin pie?  316 calories and 14 grams of fat.
A cup of this hot cocoa? ONLY 150 calories and 3 grams of fat.
I could totally drink this instead of eating pie on Thanksgiving.
You might think I'm kidding, but I'm not. I really could.
Speaking of pumpkin:
A can of that stuff actually costs more than $3 this year.
I have one thing to say about that.
And there better be some good sales coming up.
(I think I might cook up and puree my red pumpkins and see what happens...)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Who put the jack in jack-o-lantern?

It was the annual carving o' the jack-o-lanterns Monday night. As always, cleaning out the pumpkins was not the most fun part of the evening, but it was still fun. Here are the results:

Mia painted this one at an activity she went to. Notice the reflection of the backside of the pumpkin. You can see she's been taught well. ;)

 This is Jared's masterpiece. He worked a while on it and did a great job!

 Mia's...the classic barfing pumpkin. Just what I like to see. 

 Libby's...of course done with help from daddy.

 I think Jeff puts the Jack in jack-o-lantern every year.

 Scarface. The best thing about it is the stem!

Jake has also been taught well!

We also did some leaf idea I saw over at Or So She Says.  It was really fun, especially for my 3 younger girls. Jeff also got in on the action! Here's a shot of the waxed leaves. They can be strung into a garland or put in a glass vase or strewn on the Thanksgiving table, or any other use you can think of. 

Book Review: The Alias

This one you will find online. Just click on the title!

Monday, October 24, 2011

apple cake in a cast iron skillet

This is another idea for all those apples that are starting to fall off the tree. This recipe comes from Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman. It was delicious and everyone liked it....except Mia, and she wouldn't even taste it. Too bad for her!

If you like butter & apples (more butter than apples) make this cake. It's so good, and smells great while it bakes. Plus, look how it cool it looks when you turn it out of the skillet! This is perfect for a Sunday...Sunday calories don't count, after all. At least, not in my book. :)  **Note** I did make two minor changes to the recipe. First of all, I laid the apple slices on their sides and did 2 layers of them. Then I sprinkled them with nutmeg. Next time I make it, I want to use brown sugar in the apple layer instead of white. I think it would make the apples look more caramelized and have deeper flavor.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How do ya like them apples?!

We have one big golden delicious apple tree, and two smaller red delicious trees. They all produced a lot of apples this year! Here are some things we've been doing with apples:

 Make apple pie! This is the 4th one I've made in a week. (Three were shared with our family at Jeff's birthday party). This one I made today
(by request of Nicole)
and used the recipe in my Lion House Pies cookbook. Can't wait to taste it.
If you don't have this cookbook and you like baking pies, I highly recommend getting it.

 Make apple butter in your crock pot. Go here for the recipe I've been using. 
It's a little sweet, so I cut the sugar in the recipe by 1 1/2 cups. 

 Don't forget caramel apples! We let the kids have fun decorating them.

This idea compliments of Mia & Libby: carve a face in it and then eat it. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hayride--or, What have I been missing all my life?!

One of the perks of Jeff's new job is that he has the option to work 80 hours in 9 days instead of 10. This means he gets every other Friday off. He used to be able to do this at his previous job until they did away with the option, so it's really nice to get it back. Last Friday was one of those days, so when Libby & Mia got out of school he took them to J&J Nursery for a hayride to the pumpkin patch, and I tagged along. (First time in my life I've gone to a pumpkin patch to choose my own pumpkin, and it was awesome!!) The pics were taken with my camera phone, so they aren't the greatest....but they're better than nothing!

 Aren't they adorable?

 Keeping the pumpkins from rolling off the hayride on the way back.

 Libby & her pumpkin.

 Out in the patch. We were on the outer edge, so you can't see the sea of pumpkins that was behind me.

 My pumpkin. I love an awesome curly stem like this one!

 Libby searching for her perfect pumpkin.

 Mia. I have always loved those cheeks of hers!

The sun was nice and warm that day! Wish it was going to last a little longer.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A doggie birthday cake

This is Molly. She's 6 today! We decided she needed a birthday cake.

I mixed up 1 c. of whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 c. oil, 1/4. peanut butter, 1/3 c. honey, and 1 c. shredded carrots. Bake in a loaf pan at 350 for 25-30 minutes. "Frost" with peanut butter or non-fat cream cheese. We opted for the peanut butter, because Molly loves peanut butter. :)

Here's Jared frosting her little cake.

Here's Molly waiting very patiently while we sang "Happy Birthday" to her.

The cake was a success, being that it only lasted maybe 15 seconds. Happy Birthday to Molly!

Friday, October 7, 2011


It's true that I've posted less often for the past couple of weeks....maybe three? Whatever. Thought I'd catch you up on what's happening around here lately. Don't worry, it isn't anything big. It's just LIFE. So it's all good.

Jeff is really happy in his new job, which I love to see. He's also still running a few times a week, getting ready for that big ol' marathon in the spring. I don't think he ever planned to be a runner, but he's become one. I'm really proud of him!

I've been spending a lot more time at the piano lately, and it's been fun. I'm usually only there when I'm teaching so it's fun to be the one playing for a change! Filling in for the ward choir accompanist is to thank for my re-found musicality. :) BTW, this is the piano that Jeff sneakily bought second-hand, fixed up and re-stained as a surprise for me for our first anniversary. I'm NEVER getting rid of it.

  Nicoley was here last weekend and made this canvas for her apartment. I know my hair dryer got a lot of use melting all those crayons....but it turned out just as awesome as she envisioned.

 One of my solar lights in the garden bit the dust. A certain son who shall remain unnamed may or may not have had something to do with it.

Every time I open up my Nook to read, this is what I get to read first. I love it!

Here are the pumpkins that grew in our garden. The darker ones are the "red pumpkins" we tried. They aren't truly red, but they look kinda cool. Sadly, the "ghost pumpkins" we planted didn't make it.