living. loving. laughing.

living.  loving.  laughing.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

today's 10

1. the orange is over - and it's about time, because the green and red has arrived!

2. JOY and PEACE adorn our living room...but they're ain't a whole lot of other decorations. Will we even get a tree this year? That is the question.

3. This morning I made some yummy honey butter to go with some yummy homemade biscuits...but decided to use vegan "buttery sticks" in place of the real butter. NEVER DO THAT. I repeat never, ever use a buttery stick if you have to. Ick. Bleh. Yuck. Don't do it!

4. We celebrated Thanksgiving with a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free friend, hence the leftover buttery sticks. Again, eat fatty animal-laden real butter as much as you can!

5. Join me in therefore gaining the holiday 15 - or the marriage 15. Oh dear.

6. What are you READING now that's striking your fancy? I've been a book whore, as of late, and I want to know what you're devouring.

7. Yes, I Just said "book" and "whore" together - it's for literary affect.

8. james and I will be putting our fondue pot to use in our first annual 70's fondue christmas party. Wear 70's green and red! eat fondue! see above marriage-15 pounds!

9. we have discovered the brisbane dog park and it is just lovely. mr. darcy has a new best friend name ruckus who lives a couple doors down; ruckus is about the side of my stomach, but plays ball quite well.

10. life is good. life is good.

Monday, November 22, 2010

12 days of orangeness

I think the now-extinct 30 days of pumpkin officially lasted 12 days. I'm not really sure; once my skin started turning this lovely hue of orange, I knew it was all downhill from there. Here follows the remaining days:

Day 5: a loaf of pumpkin sugary goodness. "Winner" and I were Young Life leaders together in college, once having a sleepover in my freshman room dorm...oh, if only we could find the video (that's right, it'd be on VHS) of that night now. James and I volunteered one night at a homeless shelter, serving dinner with our community group, so this yummy loaf was our addition. No regrets!

Day 5 recipe: Winnie's delish harvest loaf

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 16 oz can pumpkin
2 2/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 bag mini chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar together with mixer. Mix in eggs and pumpkin, and then add remaining ingredients and mix. In a greased loaf pans, spread mixture evenly, and bake at 350° for 60 minutes, DO NOT OVERCOOK mini loafs 40-45 minutes.

Day 6 recipe: Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. Uh-oh, you know when the recipe comes from one such southern belle, Mrs. Paula Dean, that it's gotta scream DELICIOUSNESS. Wow. Yum. Let's be glad we gave away most of the batch as to alleviate the marriage-15.

Day 6 recipe: sin on earth yumminess.

Days 7 and 11: What's for breakfast? Pumpkin muffins, what else? Since we blew up the waffle iron, muffins it is. I've actually made these twice, and ba da bing, ba da bang, yum!

Days 7 and 11 muffins: muffins without the added pecans (because we didn't have any!)

Day 8: We transported the remaining 100+ pumpkins to the county dump, so with rotten pumpkin guts on my new jeans and a nose tainted and in need of a face mask, there was no WAY I was eating pumpkin today. Bleh.

Day 9: 20 pumpkin pies! This was the catalyst for using up all the Wyldlife pumpkins: make pumpkin pies for our top 20 donors. I will hint at this one kitchen disaster that was quickly averted, after the first four pies had finished baking: if a recipe calls for SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK, don't instead use EVAPORATED milk, thereby eliminating sugar from the recipe. All I have to say is that those cans look MIGHTY similar...

Day 9 recipe: who needs sugar in a pumpkin pie? eh.

Day 10: I must say, I'm really not THAT into baking, but I feel like it's the most viable option with pumpkin, so when the idea of pumpkin crab bisque came my way, I was like BRING IT! I was so grateful for my Lily-friend who operated the blender in small portions so that I wouldn't again be scarred by blended pumpkin puree all over the kitchen when it pops off. Lily says we need to get an immersion blender...I say, Lily, you can be my blender!

Day 10 recipe: yes, I'll have some soup for dinner!

Day 11: repeat!

Day 12: P-Dub comes through again with the healthiest "butter" I've ever eaten! I've been putting this on top of applesauce, or, well let's be honest, just eating it out of the tub. Shhh.

Day 12 recipe: 1 cup pumpkin + 1 cup vanilla/plain/coconut (the last of which I had in the fridge) + 1 cup powdered sugar (dun dun dun...) + 1 t pumpkin spice = yummy goodness.


So with 12 days of pumpkin under my belt, 4 no-sugar pumpkin pies, enough baking to carry me into the next year, and a husband who's willing to eat it all, I say pumpkin be gone! Farewell!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

pumpkins, pumpkins...

I have this amazing helper of a woman who becomes the necessary detailed brain when it comes to planning wyldlife (middle school young life) events. She thinks of the big and little things, and she carries them out, and she does what she's asked, and more. So as we began planning last week's kick-off pumpkin bash, we made it her goal to get pumpkins. And get pumpkins she did - 298 of them to be exact. As the night itself came and went, so did the pumpkins - some of them that is. We seem to have about 200 extra pumpkins, and more guts than one can dream of, without the means now to properly dispose of all the said pumpkins because of the garbage company's weekly allowance. So made use of the pumpkins, I will!

Day 1: thanks to our trusty "www", I learned how to cook and puree said "pumpkin pie" pumpkins, roast a batch of seeds, and make a jarful of frosted pumpkin cookies (which I gave away all but four - girl's gotta keep off the butter weight!).

Recipe #1: Frosted pumpkin cookies...

Day 2: Our refrigerator is now chalk-full of pumpkin puree, with another two pumpkins sitting on the counter patiently waiting their time (and another 87 back at the office...). Since yesterday was a dessert, might as well incorporate today's into dinner; along with chicken parmigiana and spinach, we had pumpkin cheese puffs! Note: minus"puff," and insert "flat."

Recipe #2: The puffs that sound better than they taste...

Day 3: Is James seeing the trend yet? Well then, we're doing straight up pumpkin for dinner!

Recipe #3: pumpkin chunk + butter chunk + brown sugar goodness, roasted for an hour = yummy vegetable for dinner!

Day 4: James just learned that pumpkin can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months; he's now pretty scared that we'll be eating pumpkin through Easter. But James, we eat seasonally! Silly boy. Might as well start the day off right with pumpkin waffles!

Recipe #4: pumpkin waffles that caused the waffle iron to short-circuit and spark...


My goal is 30 days of pumpkin - it just sounds so doable, so practical, and perhaps for some of you, so biblical. Will we make it? Stay tuned...