Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!






Cold, crisp air.. just what you need to have a wonderful Halloween... I hear in Durham it was a cold, crisp rain but the boys still got to enjoy trick-or-treating.. in their own way!
I love fall...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I am NOT a HOARDER...





really.. I'm not.. although from the looks of these pictures you would never believe me... my husband, Rick, is a hoarder.. I never knew just how bad this was until he stopped working 24/7 and became a family man after 26 years of marriage.. now, 6 years later it's become way... too... much... so, I've taken the challenge.. I'm clearing out the basement, the garage, the closets, spare bedrooms and dining room.. although I will own the dining room.. seriously, it's not that bad... now.. haha..
I'm also going to take giant steps toward thinning my Christmas stash.. I will admit I have a bad habit of purchasing new christmas "stuff" whether I need it or not.. for the past 2 years I have not purchased as much.. notice.. I said.. AS MUCH.. The Christmas stash has been thinned a few times.. I'm about to tackle it again.. wish me luck..
I've made 3 hauls to Goodwill since Sunday.. today is another day.. shhhhhhhhhh.. don't tell Rick.. what he doesn't know won't hurt him!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

it's that time of the year...

I love fall.. almost as much as I love winter... what I love about fall is the scents and smells ... the cooler weather... leaves changing color and falling to be made into piles for jumping.. ahh.. wonderful childhood memories for sure...
What I also love about fall is pumpkin.. I love carving them.. I love roasting the seeds.. I love cooking them down for freezing to be used at a later date.. I prefer the baking method as to the peeling, chopping, boiling on top of the stove method.
Cut the pumpkin open, remove the seeds to be cleaned and baked later, cut the flesh into 2 or 3 chunks, place on broiler pan and bake 300ยบ until the pumpkin is soft. Cool then remove the flesh from the skin. I zip mine through the food processor to make it nice and smooth.
Using pumpkin I've frozen.. I made a Pumpkin Cheesecake... it smells devine! I hope it tastes as good.
I made a couple last year.. and gave them away after having a slice.. I'm pretty sure this will be the case with today's baking as well.. we'll see.

This is the recipe I used.. with a few changes.. of course!

Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake
Originally posted to recipelink.com by Elly, Ohio:



Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham crumbs

5 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 Tbsp. sugar

Filling:

3- 8oz.pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup canned pumpkin

3 eggs

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

Whipped Cream


Mix crust ingredients together, just till coated and crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 2/3 up the sides of an 8" springform pan. Bake for 5 min. at 350. Set aside.


Combine cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl, mix until smooth with an electric mixer. add pumpkin eggs, and spices, beat till smooth and creamy. Pour into the crust. Bake for 60-70 min. or till the top turns a bit darker. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate. After it has thoroughly chilled, remove the pan sides and cut. Serve with whipped cream.





I used a mixture of half ginger snaps and half graham crackers. I like the ginger snap crust but found it to be a bit too gingery last year. Of course, the recipe above says nothing about ginger snaps.. that's change #1




















After the pumpkin thawed *change #2* I put it in a sifter to drain the excess water. I also used a bit more than the recipe calls for because I think this doesn't have the concentrated taste of canned pumpkin. *Change #3 was to leave out allspice... I didn't have any*
I don't know about you but I love the challenge of scraping every single bit that I can from my mixer bowl. I can only do this of course when there are no grandkids around *except with this batter.. I'm not sure they would enjoy it*...

I can't wait to enjoy a slice of this with homemade whipped cream... yes, I'm going to attempt to use my whip cream dispenser again. The last time I did it was with disasterous results. Funny to those of us the cream didn't get all over.. but not so funny for Shelly.. wish I could find that picture... haha

Next up.. Homemade peppermint mocha creamer..

Friday, October 21, 2011

Becky and Landon came to see

the chicks yesterday... I think he liked them! haha..



Thursday, October 20, 2011

here a chick, there a chick,

everywhere a chick, chick... Old McLittle had a farm..






Monday, October 17, 2011

And then there were ...

25.. yes, 25... as in 11 chickens, 2 roosters and 12 chicks!! Rik and Cindy have been searching for this one particular hen.. they had finally resigned themselves to the fact she was "gone" .. as in dead.. carted off by a big bird of some sort.. * I kept saying I had seen her.. but they were doubtful* Rik was sitting at the kitchen table and he happened to see her fly down from the hay rack.. he went to investigate and discovered a huge nest.. he was pretty sure she was sitting.. The next day he checked her again and discovered one chick.. he wasn't sure how many eggs she had.. nor how many had hatched and decided to move her.. that was quickly decided against once he tried and realized she was hatching eggs left and right.. After he got off of work the next day he decided to move her to the coop.. once he gathered the hen, chicks and eggs up he said it went quickly.. we all checked the chicks.. have you ever seen anything so cute?? then tromped back in the house. He thought she had at least a dozen chicks.. After a bit of cuteness Rik and the kids came back in the house.. When Rik checked the next time he decided to remove the eggs that weren't hatched.. a full dozen.. while doing that he got a head count.. a full dozen chicks.. so now.. instead of having 11 hens and 2 roosters.. we have 25 total!! YIKES.. That's a lot of chickens/roosters.. so.. I'm thinking we'll become the "Green Acres" family.. any.day.now!
video

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A boy and his Tractor...





Ben loves his PawPaw.. he especially loves his PawPaw when he gets the tractor out.. LOL.. He even let his cousin Sophia sit on it for a minute or two!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I made a wreath...

and I don't like it.. I've redone the bow... maybe I'll like it better now.. we'll see...







I've also added some fall leaves to my basket by the door.. it looks okay.. I guess I'm in a blah mood.. LOL

Monday, October 10, 2011

Look what I found out today...


Yep.. it's a .. girl!! Benjamin predicted Rik and Cindy would have a boy.. he was right.. he also predicted his mom would have a girl.. again, he was right.. not bad for a 2 year old is it? LOL...

Benjamin's Birthday..

it's been a week since Courtney had Ben's party.. she's been blogging about it for a bit but I wanted to wait until she was finished before blogging my photos.. not that anyone who reads her blog reads mine.. but .. just in case.. you never know.. *nah.. I know.. I'm the only reader here...LOL*
I can't believe Ben is 2.. such a fast 2 years.. he went from a baby to a little man recently as Courtney had his hair cut... such a handsome little man too!
Without further delay.. here are the birthday pictures!!














Thursday, October 6, 2011

I made a tiered serving dish..



from 2 candle holders, a dinner plate, a salad plate and a tidbit dish... Used the good old E6000 glue... only I don't think it's that great. Works fine.. holds everything as promised.. but it's harder than heck to get it out of the tube. From day one I've had nothing but problems.. not... a... fan... Will find a different more user friendly product to use.. soon...
Make sure your dishes are clean and dry. Run a bead of glue on the bottom of the candle holder, place it in the center of the BOTTOM of the salad plate... do the same thing with the 2nd candle stick, placing it in the center of the bottom of the tidbit dish. Set aside and let dry. I left mine overnight. Once dry, run a bead of glue on the top of the candle stick *where the candle would go*, place it in the center of the large plate. You now have the first 2 pieces of the tier. After this dries, repeat with the 2nd candle holder and center in the salad plate. Let dry. Again, I did this over night... so it actually took 2 full days to complete. I'm not the most patient person but take my word.. it's a good idea to learn patience.. yep.. pretty good idea. I think I should have used a saucer and not the tidbit piece.. it's a bit heavy.. but, it looks good sitting on my sideboard... I'll try this again using different things.. good thing Goodwill sells items cheap.. and takes any excess pieces made off of my hands.. LOL..
Of course, I forgot to take photos as I moved along with the project. I will be more responsible the next time.. I promise!