Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I've been waiting for an opportunity to make cupcakes for weeks since Pam made her beautiful ones for our sons' party. Hers were topped with vibrantly-colored frosting and the kids decorated them with sprinkles. They were yummy, too.
Pumpkin and Leaves
(I desperately wanted to make this one when
I saw it on the cover of a magazine)
Friday, October 17, 2008
Have you ever seen a real walnut? One that's still on the tree or has just fallen off? It looks very different from what you find on the grocery store shelf.
I'm sure there is a philosophical blog article I could write about the lesson to be learned on inner beauty when beholding the walnut (yada, yada, yada), and feel free to leave your own ideas in the comments section, but honestly, I just thought they looked kind of funny and interesting and I wanted to show you.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The leaves are ready to change, and some of them are already turning beautiful shades of red and yellow.
We visited a farm today where we went on a hayride...
played in a sandbox full of corn...
explored a pumpkin patch...
and gathered walnuts.
Today's fun was a welcome change from yesterday's fast food and interstate driving!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Here's our list of munchies for this trip:
Trail Mix made with freeze-dried fruit from Just Tomatoes
Pizza-Flavored Gold Fish Crackers
Triscuits Thin Crisps
Candy Corn (Mommy Emergency Food)
Marshmallows (Toddler Emergency Food)
What do you like to eat when you travel?
I should be arriving at my destination later today, so be sure to check my blog this week as I hope to blog from the road!
Monday, October 13, 2008
At First Sight
What do you listen to when you travel?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I heard about these in my favorite toddler cookbook, The Toddler Cafe, by Jennifer Carden. She uses them in homemade trail mix and I decided to give it a try. We're going on a fairly long road trip in a few days, so we need snacks and I would prefer that they be somewhat healthy.
I ordered the following: Just Cherries (WOW), Just Grapes (thankfully not as good as I'd hoped, but good enough to eat them all anyway), Just Veggies (corn, peas, peppers, tomatoes, and delicious), Just Strawberries (just like the kind you pick out of cereal), Just Raspberries, Just Blueberries, and Just Blackberries. The first four came in little easy-to-open bins, and they are what I'm having a hard time avoiding. My son is, too--my two-year-old keeps circling the table saying, "Box, box, please, please!" He really likes the cherries. So do I.
The last three on the list came in non-resealable plastic bags because I ordered smaller quantities of them, and that is the only thing keeping them from being devoured--my perfectionism will only allow me to open a non-reclosable bag at the perfect time so that they can be enjoyed perfectly. At least it's working for me in this case.
So, do I recommend Just Tomatoes? YES, particularly if you live near me and we can order together. The more you order, the cheaper the unit price, and if you order more than $100, shipping is free. Any takers??? Please???
OK, I've gotta go. My son just nabbed the strawberries and he's waving them in front of me...it's healthy, right?????
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
It's October 1st, and in our house that means it's also time for pumpkins! I tried this muffin recipe for breakfast today--I had some new silicone muffin pans that were just begging for something yummy! (The recipe is courtesy of King Arthur Flour--if you love their flour, visit their site. They have tons of great recipes!)
(Note: I opted to use only the whole wheat flour for these muffins, and they were great!)
Pumpkin Leaf Muffins
These muffins can be baked in our autumn leaf molds for a special seasonal touch, or as a regular muffin. You can customize their flavor with grated carrots, raisins, oatmeal, or 3/4 cup chocolate chips, chopped nuts or apples, or cinnamon chips.
On their own, they're wonderful with a dab of Maple Cinnamon Butter (recipe follows).
1 cup (8 ounces) pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 ounce can)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 ounces) packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons (2 5/8 ounces) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose or King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, molasses, salt, spices, and milk. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Add all at once to the wet ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well combined. Drop about 3 tablespoons (or a scant quarter cup) of the batter into the greased leaf molds, or the wells of a prepared muffin pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until firm to the touch for leaf molds; 18 to 20 minutes for regular muffins. Yield: 16 to 18 leaf shaped muffins, or 12 regular muffins.
Maple Cinnamon Butter
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) brown sugar
Beat all the ingredients together until the mixture is smooth. Serve with Pumpkin Muffins.
**Here are the pics of my finished muffins. I actually like the leaf-shaped ones the best!**
I add shelving layers whenever possible to my cabinets (it is much easier to remove plates, bowls, and glasses this way):
I organized my bake ware and cookware in one cabinet using two chrome adjustable shelves:
My laundry area is actually a closet in my kitchen with the plastic-coated wire rack style of shelving. Before, I had to stack everything, and it always ended in an avalanche of foil and plastic containers. I took some pieces of the cubic closet organizer I have in another room and repurposed it to hold my boxes. (Instead of using the clips that came with organizer for the shelves in the middle I used cable ties to hold everything together.)
(By the way--I'm not a Ziploc hoarder nor am I an employee of the Ziploc company! I'm storing all of those bags for our Once A Month Cooking group!)
This is what works for me! How do you organize your kitchen?
Check out other ideas at Rocks in My Dryer!