Friday, November 25, 2011

Fill in the Blank (Black) Friday


 1.   Waking up at the break of dawn to go shopping is my idea of  a nightmare. I think it's completely nuts. This year, I'm focusing on making everything I give away this year. I want people to know that I'm thinking about them, not how much I was willing to spend on them.

2.   If I were to go shopping today I would be on the hunt for a KitchenAid Stand Mixer under $100. I feel like I can't call myself a true baker until I own one of these things. I know that good 'ole fashioned elbow grease is good enough, but if I had to have a luxury kitchen item, this would be it. In Apple Green. Ahhhhhh.

3.  The best thing I ate yesterday was  the sweet corn muffins at the Hilton Garden Inn buffet I went to. It was the best corn muffin I've ever eaten. I considered several times throughout the brunch going up, grabbing like six or seven and smuggling them home in my Vera Bradley. That thing could hold a dozen, but Thanksgiving is about what I'm thankful for, not what I can stuff in my purse. In case you are wondering, no, I did not smuggle any food home. I'm a classy lady. At least, I'd like to think so. Besides, I'm not my grandmother.
 
4. Something I've been learning lately is: do what you love. Even if you have to eat PB & J to get by. After I quit my job, I was worried about money and whether or not I'd be satisfied, but it really feels good to have the time to properly take care of my home, craft, crochet, blog, bake and work on grad school. The sacrifice is worth it.

5.  I cannot start my day without  feeding the cats. Seriously. They'll murder me in my sleep. I don't own cats. They own ME.

6.  My nighttime attire consists of  one of my swim team t-shirts. I've coached high school swimming for three years, so I have quite a collection of t-shirts from competitions. They are comfy. And on chilly nights, my hubby's flannel sleep pants. He never wears them.

7.  I am looking forward to  the 2nd trimester. I'm 11 weeks and 3 days. Only two weeks left. I can't wait to start showing and I'm hoping some of the nausea and exhaustion will subside. I'm actually sick of taking three-hour naps and waking up groggy. 
 
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Bakery: Pumpkin Donut Holes

I woke up craving baked goods. It's inevitable on a Saturday morning. I think that's why I chose Saturdays as my baking day. I needed something quick, something easy, something tasty!

So, I went to the trusty couple of Two Peas and Their Pod to find what I was looking for.

Pumpkin Donut Holes! These came out moist, sweet, delicious and they were so easy and quick to make. The whole project took less than half an hour! The hardest part was the butter-sugaring factory, so I took the easy way out and dumped the cinnamon-sugar mix into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. After I buttered each hole, I dropped it into the bag and after all the holes were safely in place, I zipped it shut and shook my heart out. It reminded me of when I was in Girl Scouts and we used to make "puppy chow" for camping trips (no, not real dog food, powdered sugar-covered peanut butter and chocolate Crispix).



 They came out sooooooo good.



Especially with milk.


Click on the link for Two Peas and Their Pod for the recipe and enjoy!

Fitz couldn't be bothered to even watch me bake. How rude. He is such an aristocat. Haha. Get it? Ok. I'll stop.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Creative Me Monday

Since I've been out of work, I've been catching up on some of my old crafting projects and starting some new ones! Here's a peek of some of the new things I've worked on this week:

Flower brooches inspired by the recent Better Homes and Gardens magazine:



Then I found a picture of a really cute crayon roll-up on Pinterest and decided to try to make my own. I didn't get the measurements quite right, I'll have to add an extra 1/2" if I want to add a full box of 16 crayons:



Happy crafting everyone!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday Bakery: Pumpkin Bread

It's that time of year where foods associated with Thanksgiving are stocked on the most prominent shelves in their full glory in grocery stores. It's hard for me to pass cans of pumpkin without getting ideas or a craving. So I whipped out a recipe for pumpkin bread. If you're a dedicated reader, you'll know that I tried pumpkin bread last year from a box mix and... it... was bad. Really dry, tasteless and needless to say, I was pretty ashamed to call myself a baker.

So I found a recipe, tweaked it a bit and I made the most delicious pumpkin bread I have ever tasted. I am seriously not trying to brag but I was so thankful I finally found a great pumpkin bread recipe. It was moist, spicy and it had the right amount of sweetness.

Pumpkin Bread!

Enjoy:

Pumpkin Bread:

1 15oz can of pure pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Mix the pumpkin , eggs, oil, water and sugar well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Make sure you sift the baking soda and spices or they'll clump together and you'll have powder bombs in your bread, like I did on the first try.  Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Blend well. I recommend using a rubber spatula so you can really scrape down the sides of the bowl while blending. Pour batter into prepared mini loaf pans or in prepared regular-size loaf pans. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Mini loaves!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fill-in-the-Blank-Friday!




1.   My favorite thing about this week was, believe it or not, my last day of work. This job has been so stressful, it felt good to travel down a new path.

2.   Colder weather makes me feel so very happy and giddy inside. It's my favorite time of year. I love bundling and eating hot soup and warm baked goods!

3.  Three things that make me terribly happy as of late are being pregnant, my hubby and his unbelievable support and *sigh* my Keurig. I loves me some hot chocolate!

4. If I could only wear one kind of shoe for the rest of my life, I'd choose  mary janes. Especially my Keen mary janes. They are the perfect shoe. Or maybe my black Uggs? I love those boots. It it were winter all the time, it would be my Uggs, if it were spring/summer all the time, it would be my mary janes.

5.  My personality type is transparent. I can't hide anything. I tell it like it is and I see everything literally. My father-in-law complains about how I misunderstand his southern colloquialisms all the time. (o:

6.  I have a serious problem resisting  chocolate, dresses, bakes goods and craft supplies. Seriously. It's an addiction. I should probably seek help.

7.  My favorite color to wear is brown. I know, it's drab, but it goes with everything! I love it. 

Soup's on!

I've been trying to eat better (not that I've had a huge problem with that before), but I'm having a hard time getting all my veggies in. So I thought one of the best ways to get my veggies in my diet was to make soup! I'm a potato fan, but I really needed a soup that had some protein and greens. So I took a family fave and made some moderations; I removed some of the sodium, added some kale and added some of my favorite pasta.

Country Chicken Noodle Soup

Country Chicken Noodle Soup

1 can of Veg-All (undrained)
1 15 oz can of chunk chicken in water
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
3 cans of water ( I used the Veg-All can)
2 cups of kale
egg noodles
thyme

I put all of the ingredients in a big stockpot and heat to boiling. Then, I lowered the heat to low. I let it simmer until the egg noodles are done. I think there was enough salt in the Veg-All for me, but I would definitely season to taste. This also tasted great re-heated with a dash of Parmesan cheese and some crusty bread or grilled cheese.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Long While...

Notice the absence of "good"? Well, my last post was in August and that's about the time I really dug into my (then) new job as a teacher at a new charter school. Well, to make a long story short, some big changes took place and I'm traveling down a new path now. Now, I'll have more time to take care of myself, time to blog and time to... get ready for the BABY.

Yes, folks, I am preggers! I decided to resign from my position due to having a high-risk pregnancy and I needed to cut down on the stress. So, I'm joining the secret motherhood club and the masses of crafters who have quit their day job. What I'll do in the meantime is up to God, but I do know that I'll finally be able to really, properly, take care of myself.

I'll have time to bake, cook, craft, maybe even start a business. Who knows?

I'll be able to drive again in a week, I'm about 7 weeks along now and my husband already has my baking labels designed and ready to be printed.

Ahhh... feels nice to not have to grade papers.