Saturday, October 31, 2009

Flavor Of The Month Oct. 2009 Pumpkin

Bake at 350

These cookies are a tradition for my kids when they were growing up. They loved to decorate the faces. I miss doing them every year.

Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

  • 1 package Yellow Cake Mix
  • ½ cups Quick Cooking Oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 can Pumpkin, Pureed (16 Oz.)
  • ¼ cups Butter Or Margarine, Softened
  • 1 container White Frosting Or Your Own Favorite Frosting Recipe
  • 3 bags Candy To Decorate Pumpkin Faces. I Use M&M's, Candy Corn And Mini M&M's
  • Food Coloring (green And Orange)
Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

2. Mix together all ingredients (except candy for decoration, frosting, and food coloring) until well blended.

3. Drop cookies by 1/4 cupfuls onto prepared cookie sheet. With the back of a spoon, flatten to a round pumpkin shape; move a little dough to the top in a ’stem’ shape. (You will decorate this with green frosting to resemble a pumpkin stem.)

4. Bake 350 F for 14-20 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown.

5.Divide and tint small portions of frosting with green food coloring, the other portion with orange food coloring.

6. Once cookies are cool, frost the stem with green frosting, and the rest of the cookie with orange frosting.

7. Decorate faces with M&M’s, gum drops, dots, licorice, candy corn, etc.

Recipe Friday delayed for Flavor of the Month

I am baking the Pumpkin Pecan Tassies for the Flavor of the month right now. They smell wonderful. It will be fun to see how they turn out. I've only used store bought pie crust once before. A foreign substance for me. I generally make my own pie crust. But since this has been such a busy week, I cheated.

Bake at 350

Pumpkin Pecan Tassies

1 15-oz package rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crusts (2 crusts)
3/4 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 c. half and half, light cream or milk
1/3 c. chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Maple Syrup (optional)

  1. Let piecrusts stand according to package directiosn. Preheat oven to 350F. unroll piecrusts, use a 2 1/2 inch round cutter to cut 12 rounds from each pie crust. Gently ease pastry rounds into the bottums and up sides of 24 ungreased 1 3/4 inch muffin cups.
  2. for filling, in a large bowl, stir together pumpkin, granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice and sale. Add eggs, stir until combines. Gradually add half and half, cream OR milk, stir just until combined.
  3. For topping, stir together pecans, brown sugar and melted butter.
  4. Spoon about 2 tsp. filling into each pastry lined cup. Top each with a scant 1 teaspoon pecan topping. . Bake in preheated oven about 35 minujtes or unitil filling is set and crust is golden brown. Remove tassies from muffin gcups and cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, drizzle tassies with maple syrup just before serving. Makes 24 tassies.
To store: Place tassies in a single layer in an airtight container, cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Before serving, thaw about 1 hour at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random Photos

I made treats for the Arkansas Bus Tour. Rice Krispie treats were for me and Steve, the gooey nut bars for Jim and Joyce. Jim must not have trusted me because he brought candy bars!!!:

The rest are photos from the trip, the train, the view from our balcony in Mt. Magazine Lodge. It was fun and I am so glad I got to go with Jim and Joyce, we met great people on the trip!

Downtown shopping, they had a little park, so cute. Just down the street from the Crescent Hotel.

Waterfall in front of the Mt. Magazine Lodge

View from our balcony at Mt. Magazine Lodge. The bus tour is the way to go, we stay in nicer places than Steve and I normally pick! HAHA

Steve and I on the train leaving Van Buren, Arkansas

Nice old train has been restored. It was considered very high class back in the day. I believe it was an 1886 train.

Sam Walton's daughter, Alice is building an art center featuring American Art called Crystal Bridges. When finished Steve and I would like to return. She's buying paintings for more than $32M to put in this structure.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kids were here....

It's really late, the kids were here to visit........I finally got the photos rotated. I am kinda tired. Tomorrow night I have a hair appt. Then maybe my life will get back to normal.

Miss O always singing, dancing and entertaining us.......she's going to grow up to be the bestest singer, EVER!..........or so she says!!!

My Noah Benoah, content to play with his GI Joes or Star Wars....

Miss O loves to be in the center of attention.

Miss O loves our whirlpool tub.

Here I am in the backyard of the haunted hotel:

Steve on the back porch of The Crescent Hotel:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gooey Mixed Nut Bars

These were made for our Arkansas bus tour, they are pretty sweet! Taste like a pecan pie bar on steroids:

Gooey Mixed Nut Bars

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup butter
1 pkg. 2 layer size yellow cake mix
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
2 cups mixed nuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with foil. extending foil over pan edges. Coat foil with nonstick, cooking spray; set aside. In large bowl, use a pastry blender to cut the 1/2 cup butter into the dry cake mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minute or until lightly browned and set. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, the 1/3 cup melted butter, vanilla and cinnamon; Whisk to combine. Stir in mixed nuts. Pour nut mixture over warm crust. Bake about 30 minutes more or until bubbly around edges and golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. using edge of foil, lift uncut bars out of the pan. Cut into bars. Makes 32 bars. To store: Layer bars between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marlsgate Plantation!!!

I think for me the highlight of the trip was the plantation we just went to visit today, Mr. G. is the host, he fed us the most amazing southern "Dinner" of ham, rice, sweet potatoes, green beans and homemade dinner rolls.

His hospitality is unrivaled, Steve enjoyed the finery in the home as much as I did. There are at least 3 generations of beautiful linens, dishes, lighting, furniture, etc. HE was most gracious in opening his home and acres to the bus tour. We would love to come back and see how it is all done.

His mother and his brother were there to assist in serving the noon meal, running the gift shop and welcoming us to their home. It was so much fun.

Tonight is a tour of the USS Razorback Submarine and a dinner boat ride. We're looking forward ot it, we are at the presidential Holiday Inn in LIttle Rock, it is impeccably spotless.

Last night we stayed in Mt. Magazine Lodge, in a state park, the only thing I have ever stayed in that was more beautiful for a lodge area was Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National park.

I am dreading the end of this week. It has been great spending time with Jim and Joyce and the others on the bus. There are about 10 or 12 people from our area that we know that are on the bus, it has been fun.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wal-Mart...WHO KNEW????

Arrived in Bentonville AK today.....last night we saw a special on Sam Walton on TV, what could be more timely than that? Turns out today's tour was of Sam Walton's first store in Bentonville, a little 5 and dime store. He was a persistent person! Just goes to show you hard work and persistence pays off, you can be successful financially if you are willing to work and sacrifice.

Our tour guide told us that she learned 3 things living in an area that produced 5 billionaires

  1. Frugality
  2. Persistence
  3. Focus

I thought this was interesting. The Wal-Mart family is worth 280.8 billion $$. To put it into perspective, she told us 1 billion $$$ is 1,000 millions........WOW!!!

The tour guide's mother was a seamstress, she used to patch the jeans the 3 Walton boys wore about every 2-3 weeks. At one point her mother pointed out to Helen that the jeans had to have something left to patch. Mrs. Walton told her to just do the best she could. Apparently she watched every dime......which I believe is how they keep their billions.

All in all, it was a very interesting first day on the trip.

There are 3 billionaires from this area:

  1. J.B. Hunt
  2. Tyson
  3. Wal-Mart

Sam Walton was the one in first place......they have a Wal-Mart museum here that we walked thru that I found to be extremely interesting, I could have stayed there much longer.

Tonight we ate at Bill Clinton's favorite restaurant, AQ chicken. It was good, the service impeccable!

Tomorrow is a train ride, I'm excited about that. Really enjoying the time spent with Jim and Joyce.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vote for Lindsey

Vote for my friend Lindsey's recipe. She'll win some money, link here.

Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Car didn't start

I hate it when the car won't start or does something unexpected!

Monday it woke up and decided it wanted to stay home in the nice warm garage out of the rain and cold wind. It wasn't meant to be, Steve got out the can of starter fluid and made it get back to work!

This started us on a quest to look at cars once again. But with this one being paid for it is hard to go back into making payments.

Oh, the decisions.........this one has to get us thru the winter before I get another one............I mean it!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Photos Sister Breakfast October

This is the condo we stayed in for the breakfast. The dining room table is always so pretty, love the light above it

This bed is huge and like sleeping on a big pillow

This is the little artsy 'niche' in the curved condo, so pretty

Sister in law Brandy on the left, birthday girl, then Deanne and Michelle

I love the kitchen, it is curved, too. Laid out pretty smart!

bedroom in the larger condo where I normally sleep

curved kitchen with Dianne making her tea

Surprise!! Snow on Saturday morning, it snowed all night, the wind blew, it was pretty seeing it hit the ground.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

You've Been Boo'd

I am going to start this next week, here's a link if you don't know what I'm talking about.

Usually I get a cute bowl or witch's boot from Kohl's and fill it, but this year I loved the colored bowls, I decorated them with paint markers, I'll put Halloween candy and kitchen towels in it. It's a fun thing to do, most likely it will get started at work.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recipe Friday Oct. 9th 2009

I don't really have a recipe in mind...I've been trying out new things, I've got to make a pumpkin recipe, it's an assignment for Blog 350.....I'm keeping that one a secret.

We have a traditional recipe we use every year, it's a recipe you shape like a pumpkin, then frost and decorate the face.

Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

1 pkg Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 c. oatmeal
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
16 oz can pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/4 c softened butter
1 egg

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Mix together all ingredients. Drop by 1/4 cup onto sheets. Make a little knob for the stem. Don't be perfect the frosting will cover it. Bake 14 - 20 minutes or til edges are light golden brown. Decorate with orange and green frosting. I buy the can cream cheese frosting and tint it. Decorate faces with gum drops, m&m's, candy corn, licorice etc.. Make them look like Jack-O-Lanterns. Yields: 19 cookies!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jon and Kate Plus 8 drama

I'm tired of it all. This has gone too far. I'm glad Jon is no longer on the show. I loved seeing Kate doing the basement organizing, it is back to the old way of doing the show. If the show continues on this path I will start watching it again. I won't if it is episodes with Jon doing his fake parenting.

There isn't a ton of advertising for insurance companies, toys, movies, etc. She was cleaning and organizing. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I like to watch that...........

The label maker reaction cracked me friend Aimee is an organizing freak, too. She is into containers...........I'd bet a year's salary that she is on a first name basis with her label maker!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Delayed Recipe Friday Oct. 2, 2009

This recipe is fantastic. I got it from Sandra Lee's magazine for Christmas, it's been made 3 times with great success, thought you might like to try it:

Espresso Brownies

1 (19.9oz) Box dark chocolate brownies mix, Betty Crocker

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1/4 c. chocolate syrup

1/4 c. coffee flavored liqeur

2 large eggs

1 c. semisweet chocolate chunks

1 tablespoon hot water

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1 c. canned classic white frosting, Pillsbury (or use your own recipe, only 1 c.)

1 c. powdered sugar

Garnish: 27 chocolate covered espresso beans


· Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 8x8 or 9x9 pan with cooking spray, with flour in the spray

· In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, oil, syrup, liquer, and eggs. Beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from the edge of the pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack in the pan.

· In a small bowl combine the espresso powder and the hot water, stir to dissolve.

· In a large bowl, combine frosting, powdered sugar and espresso mixture, beat at low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread on brownies, cut into 9 squares. Garnish each brownie with 3 espresso beans if desired.

I get the instant expresso powder at Hy-Vee in Omaha. Medaglia D'Oro is the brand, sits in the coffee aisle in a red/white/green jar.