Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin is the best!

I say that with sheer joy! It is possibly one of my favorite things. . . and I am so thankful that there are probably millions of recipes using pumpkin and I plan on making as many as possible!
This recipe is one that I have always admired. However, I have been kind of a baking wimp when it comes to actually making it because it just looked too hard! But contrary to my long-lasting belief that this was super hard, it was probably one of the easiest things I have ever made. I even took enough pictures to make a tutorial, if anyone is interested. . . it was that easy! I was even able to leave it cooling in the towel while out running an errand! So simple and so easy and so very delicious!

Pumpkin Roll

1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Re roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I think I am suffering from chronic laziness. I just don't want to do anything! So, it is Thursday and this is my only blog post for the week. I have lots to post, just haven't felt like getting the cord to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer. Also, I think we are going to be moving shorttly. Escrow should be starting soon! It's looking good. Just praying that sellers would be able to get their loan approved for their potential new home. Thanks for your prayers!

Outside my window... The sun is shining and it's very warm. 5:00 is approaching and people are beginning to come home from work. Less than an hour till the hubby comes home and our weekend begins (he works longer hours to get every other Friday off. . . so nice!)

I am thinking... that I should be finishing the vacuuming and getting ready for tonight. Instead, I would much rather be here, writing, and hanging out with my son (who just finished his snack).

I am creating... well. . . a clean house right now. But there is card making in my VERY near future. Just needed to get the house clean so I could start. Tomorrow, I begin!

I am going... to MOPS tonight. I am leaving Ethan and Jon home to fend for themselves and I am going out. It's going to be nice.

I am reading... so much right now. But, for Bible Study we are continuing with Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, by Jim Cymbalta. So awesome! I think that sometimes we forget how much prayer is vital in our lives. I also heard a quote recently (ironically on facebook) by John Piper about how we won't be able to use lack of time as an excuse for why we didn't pray. . . we have Facebook and Twitter.

I am hoping... to have a great weekend! I think I will, lots of fun things planned!

I am hearing... Ethan clapping and giggling. . . and whining because he's out of snacks and wants to play and I am sitting here typing. In other words, he's bored! Poor guy!

Around the house... pumpkin! Lots of pumpkin! Many new recipes to try! Very excited!

One of my favorite things... Ethan! Seriously! He's a great kid! I am never bored. Today I went and checked on him at nap time. He was just laying there almost asleep, but his eyes were open and he saw me. He just layed there and waved to me! Priceless!

A few plans for the rest of the week: I guess I should say weekend, right? It is Thursday, afterall. MOPS, cards, Chocolate Fountain Night with the ladies in my Bible Study, Teen Valley Ranch Lunch, First Grade Sunday School, and Children's Ministry training. It's going to be a busy weekend!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

An Attitude of Gratefulness

I haven’t had much time to sit and contemplate. I have all these ideas for writing streaming through my head, but this one has stayed constant. Gratefulness. It is something that I have needed to do over the past few weeks, but last week it became even more apparent. . . I was becoming sad and slightly bitter. Not to say that being sad is wrong. . . it’s just that I was sad for incredibly wrong reasons. I forgot about being content and relying on God’s perfect peace. I was not in control and things were not going according to my plan and in my timing, therefore my attitude was in dire need of a readjustment.

Being grateful is taking the time to rejoice in the little things. It is so easy to forget that we have roofs over our heads, food on the table, clothes to wear, families that love us, and most importantly a God that loves us enough to forgive all of our mistakes (and trust me. . . I make a lot of them!). I am so thankful for all the gifts that God has given me. As I look at all the times that God has answered “no” or “wait” to my wishes and desires, I find that his presence never fails and his love abundant! He is constantly blessing me with gifts. . . no, not gifts as in beautifully, and carefully wrapped presents for me, but blessings that encourage me. . . a kind word, a hug, a smile, and even something unexpected.

So, in this time of waiting I am going to wait patiently with anticipation. God will eventually open the doors in his timing, but until then, I am going to hang out and wait for God’s blessings to shower down and swim in the blessings that already surround me!

Here are some quotes that I found about being grateful:
"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." – Epictetus

"Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road." -John Henry Jowett

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”-Eric Hoffer

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."-The Bible Phil 4:6 NKJV

"If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get." - Frank A. Clark

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tis the Season . . .

For Pumpkin!

October is here and my dreams of pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pies, and pumpkin . . . well anything else are coming true. I live for FALL. Well, I live for Christ, but I love fall! I look forward to it all year, especially when I start getting sick of triple digit weather!

Last week, I hosted a play date for the mom's at my MOPS table. I found the Starbucks Pumpkin scone recipe. . . mmmm. . . so delicious! I made mini ones for two reasons. . .
1. smaller ones make a batch go longer
2. I just couldn't see 560 calories in just one large scone. . . why not split them up?

After making the scones, I had a half of can (or about a cup) of pumpkin left and I just couldn't let it go to waste. . . especially since there seems to be a shortage of canned pumpkins out there (Many stores in my area are sold out!). So, I found this recipe for Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies that only called for 1 cup and a delicious cream cheese filling. . . so very tastey! I even added some nutmeg to the cream cheese filling that just added a little touch to the already delicious treat! My small group gobbled them up on Sunday night!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A fall day. . .

came and went.
Yesterday was the first, truly fall day. We had our first rainstorm of the fall/winter season. . . and it was perfect! Today. . . well, today is sunny and humid. . . did spring come early? (It's 85 degrees out there!) To make yesterday even perfect, I was treated to a delicious pumpkin spice latte and got to spend the afternoon veggin'.

I picked up these cool mini cupcake wrappers at Target yesterday. . . so festive for upcoming Halloween treats. I found some peanut butter cookie dough in the freezer, popped some balls in the tart pan and baked for about 8 minutes. When they got done, I pushed some unwrapped reeces peanut butter cups in the middle.. . a quick and instant peanut butter treat! My peanut butter cookie recipe can be found here. I was going to make some pumpkin recipe of some sort but I only have one can left and it seems that this pumpkin shortage is really happening. . . I can't find it anywhere!

Rain drops outside my front door. Ahhh. . . . the perfect addition to a peaceful afternoon!

My flowers in the rain. . . I love it!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

thinking. . . .

It's Friday morning, the hubby's home, and the kiddo is sick. All plans are cancelled, which makes it bittersweet (I was looking forward to a day trip to Sac, but am okay with staying home), so here I am blogging.

Outside my window... sun once again shining (hey, it's California, what can I expect?), the birds are chirping, and the road is freshly repaved.

I am thinking... that it is nice to hang out in sweats and a sweatshirt and it is okay that I just fell asleep with the kiddo curled at my side, while Jon is out doing my grocery shopping and buying pajamas for the kiddo.

I am wearing...hmmmm. . . sweats and a sweatshirt. I must note that I haven't taken a shower yet and am enjoying a morning of laziness while taking care of my sick baby.

I am creating...nothing at the moment. Although it might be nice to start on some upcoming birthday presents and I am really wanting to make some cards. Oh wait, I need to make a wedding card for tomorrow. I should get on that. . .

I am going... absolutely nowhere. I am not really sure how I feel about that. I had planned on taking the family to Apple Hill today. It just sounded like so much fun. . . and fall-like. Maybe another day.

I am reading... right now. . . just keeping up on the goings of facebook. So, very lazy today.

I am hoping... that God moves this house buying situation along. My patience is wearing thin. I know I am annoying my husband because I don't want to look at other houses. . . it just makes me so sad. Then I start thinking about Christmas and get so frustrated because there are boxes and bikes blocking the fireplace so no stockings to be hung and there are toys and stuff where the tree usually goes. So, I hope that God moves us soon, because I am not sure that we will be celebrating Christmas with decorations this year. . . and this makes me very sad!

I am hearing...absolutely nothing. . . until my cell phone rang.

Around the house... it's clean here. I cleaned yesterday. . . it's nice. Although Ethan has a few toys thrown around, it is nice. A great way to start the weekend. :)

One of my favorite family. I am so very thankful for the treasures that God has given me with them in my life. I am looking forward to a long weekend spending it with them.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Well, it's Friday. . . the week is nearly over. So, I guess just hanging out with the family. I do need to make some treats for Sunday school on Sunday and plan my Sunday School lesson.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

mmm. . . chocolate. I think that I have been in the mood for chocolate. M&M's, dark chocolate bars, you name it. . . chocolate. So, what better treat than chocolate oatmeal cookies.
These cookies are delicious. I found the recipe at Hershey's and it got rated 4 stars.
Here it is:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I omitted these)
Heat oven to 350.
Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy; blend in eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the butter mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes, allowing them to be slightly moist in the center. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire rack.

Monday, October 05, 2009

I finally got my pictures downloaded onto my computer! I have been such a procrastinator! But, oh, we have had so much fun the past few days and weeks! Check my here for details. So, now that I have pictures to show you, I am going to move on, so I can get started on this week!

Pot Holder
I found this Lizzy House fabric last April at the Cotton Ball (Morro Bay's really cool quilt shop) and have been wanting to make potholders out of it ever since. Now that I have my own copy of Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing, I decided to try out her pattern for a basic potholder. I really, really like it! Plus it was super easy! I opted to use the insulated batting that is specially made for hot things. Lotta Jansdotter warns about using cotton batting as it is flammable.

Chocolate Raspberry Bars
I made a pan of these because they looked so delish here. Here's the recipe.
I baked them for Jon. . . he loved them and would eat them again. . . really. . . he's my biggest critic! I also sent some home with our Breauna, a college student who is just such a great friend and help! She deserves all the study food I can whip up for her!
Baby Card
There seems to be a wave of babies being born around here. I made this quick card for Jon's cousin Erin's shower last weekend. The stamp set is Nice and Narrow (SU) and I used the water color pens to color in the ink from the Buckaroo Blue and Chocolate Chip ink pads. I then layered it with matching blue and brown card stock, snipped off the bottom and tied with a light blue ribbon. Then stamped the bottom of the card/inside of the card with "hello little baby" stamp. Super easy and quick. I am finding that this stamp set seems to be my no fail set when I need a quick, impromptu card.
I had my eye on this fabric for a long time. I bought it right after Christmas. I just now started using it. This fabric is the colors of our living room, and so I thought I would start making a batch of coasters. They are basically two pieces of fabric lined with some really thin batting and sewn at 1/4 inch.

Tag Blanket
I am finding more and more that these tag blankets are the answer to a quick, easy, and inexpensive gift. This one went to Jon's cousin Erin's baby on the way. I really like how the Heather Ross fabric looks with the blue chenille fabric.

Now, it is new week and it looks busy. I am hoping for some time to create. I hope it works out! If not, I have a ton of baking to do! Have a great week everyone! Enjoy the beautiful fall weather that God has given us!


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