Oct 18, 2011

Proper Pumpkin Puree


Okay....so I digress....

I found a little tutorial here from Julia at Blissfully Content, about how she does pumpkin puree and I'm a changed woman!

First I must tell you how much I enjoy her blog.  It is chocked full of creative ideas, useful tips, amazing photography, delicious cooking and a good heart attitude - I just LOVE that her scripture verse posted above her photo is Philippians 4:11- I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content - ah, something I need to take to heart so, SO much more then I do!  But we'll talk about that another day! ;)

So anyways.  I picked up a few more pumpkins and gave her puree way a whirl.  And it's the best, hands down - beats my old, chop 'till you drop way - AND it doesn't take hours to bake - where do I get these crazy ideas, hours to bake a pumpkin, I tell you....?!?!

I found it easy and also the puree has much less moisture in it, then my 'old' way, which is a good thing!

Well, that's all, just wanted to let you know the change in pumpkin pureeing and oh, more muffins to share with you all.  Made with the new way of pumpkin pureeing.





Pumpkin, pecan, chocolate muffins - now if you haven't done chocolate with pumpkin - GET ON IT!  Seriously, why do people keep these things from me?!?


The only real thing I changed about the way Julia did hers and how I did mine, was that I still freeze my puree in one cup servings.  It just works better for me, my muffins use one cup and another recipe I love uses three cups of puree, so having one cup servings works well for me.  But serious check out Julia's blog, she has some amazing pumpkin puree use ideas below the tutorial - I really want to make the cinnamon buns! Yum! :D


Anyways, that's all, the weather was awfully stormy over the weekend and most of the trees have lost their leaves now, so my Spectrum of Light series may pose more of a challenge then I had anticipated....sure, first fall with a nice new camera and the season is over before I know it. 

Funny, I say nice new camera, but in the six and a half months I've had it, I've take over 15 000 photos!  Maybe not so new now?!?! ;)  But still nice!

Okay, okay....speaking of photos, I'm actually suppose to be editing photos from the last wedding I did- paying my sitter to watch my kids while I blog....maybe not the most practical idea.  *wink*

Man, I seem awfully rambly today....okay well, have a great one y'all ('cause I love a good, y'all!), get baking and enjoy fall because I'm itching to get the Christmas season under way!

;)



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Oct 13, 2011

Pictures of Thankfulness

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone for us here in the North.  But I have to say it was the most fabulous Thanksgiving weekend in a long time!  I mean the weather was out of this world, it was sunny, hot, breezy, sunny - to the point that we actually ate one (of our three!) Thanksgiving dinners out doors!

So we were blessed with much family, way to much food and amazing weather! 


I took copious photos this weekend and wish to share all my thankfulness in the form of a visual feast.  Get a cup of something hot, sit back, light a candle and come along and share in my weekend of Thanksgiving.






I am Thankful for....




...beautiful flowers...







 ...homemade red pepper jelly and crusty bread.  Small silly dogs and the people who love them!









....tomatoes still ripening on the vine in October and even more thankful for 'fresh from the vine', tomatoes, being served for supper.










 Little nephews!










Family from out of town.....








and the sweet treats they bring with them!







 And canned cranberries, that look just that!  ;)








I am Thankful for...




...dear friends who invite us to partake in their family feast.  For their faith and the sharing of it!









The faith of little children!









The blessing of setting a place for our children.








And friends who can always make you smile. :)








I am Thankful for....






....children at play.....










... and family games of ring toss.








Tire swings and the kid in all of us.







More games and more family.








Sweet smiles....








...and young love! ♥










All of God's creatures....well most of them.  ;)









And for all the beauty around me, even in my very own backyard.





Last, but most definitely not least.....





I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.
Psalm 118:21



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Oct 7, 2011

Apple Cake and Thanksgiving


Naturally, after going apple picking we had to bake something!  So I did some quick googling and found this recipe.  It was pretty straight forward, I substituted the walnuts for pecans and I didn't mix it for the entire 15 minutes that it said to.

That's just too long....

....plus my mixer is super fast.....


....and, are you kidding me, fifteen minutes!!!


Anyways.


So my 'helpers' and I got busy.  Aren't they cute in their little aprons?  These sweet creations are courtesy of their granny, because she's good like that and because this gal don't sew much.....at least not yet! ;)





 The cake turned out pretty good.  It wasn't fabulous, but it was very tasty and easy to make, so that works for me.


I had totally meant to take photos of the finished product to share with you .....but that didn't happen and now the cake is all gone.



But trust me it was good and it actually made a large amount, lots to share or give away! 










Ah another beauty of homeschooling - we have all the time in the world to bake and it counts and both Math and Science!



My husband says we should do math and science every day!






Well here in Canada it is Thanksgiving this weekend - I know we're crazy eh?!?!


;)


But oh joy, the weather is suppose to be gorgeous, the leaves are turning such lovely colours, the mornings are crisp and cool and the days are sunny and warm and we have three turkey dinners to go to! 


:)



And there is always much to be Thankful for!







 I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
 
Psalm 9:1


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!





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Oct 5, 2011

Making Pumpkin Puree

Good day!

So I'm at it again, basking in the glory of fall cooking and all that it has to offer.  I'm seriously enjoying other bloggers that are also deep into autumn yumminess and inspiring me to make more and expand my repertoire...if only more of you lived closer, then I could share all my goodies with you! :)


After apple picking, then next fall essential on my list - pumpkins! 


I went to a local garden/farm place and inquired what was my best 'bang for my buck' - in that, I wanted to use the flesh for cooking and baking but also it must and I mean, must have lots of seeds for roasting. 


I left with four, inexpensive and cute, pie pumpkins.

:)


The people at the garden place were right, these little guys were loaded with seeds, about twice as much as a larger pumpkin!


Nice!



So I roasted up a bunch of seeds and set to work on making my first batch of pumpkin puree for the season.  Here is my little tutorial on how I make pumpkin puree.  It's not the traditional way, in that I do not roast it in the oven but it works for me and the results seem just as good.  It involves a lot of chopping though, so it's up to you - oven on all day or chopping for a bit?!?


Oh and I must give photo credit, the first five photos are taken by my sweet hubby.  After graciously helping me by taking these photos he said he thinks he likes this photography thing now. ;)




Pumpkin Puree, Kaitlin's Way! ;)




1.  First I cut an opening in the top of the pumpkin and removed the seeds, saving those for roasting!  Then I cut the pumpkin down into more manageable chunks.











2.  Take the larger chunks and break them down into even smaller chunks.  About 3 inches by 3 inches or so.  





3.  I then cut off the gooey flesh bit that is left over after removing the seeds.



 

4.  Followed by cutting off the skin.  Being careful, all the while, to not remove any finger tips! ;)  







5.  I cubed each chunk, cutting it up into even smaller pieces, about what you would do to make mash potatoes.  Throw those pieces into a large pot, my one small pumpkin almost filled the big pot in the picture. 









6.  Add water until covered and then put the pot on the stove and bring the whole bit to a boil.  Turn heat down and allow to boil until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  It's basically making mashed potatoes but with pumpkin.  When it is tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, drain and then mash.  I used a potato masher this year, but I've used a hand mixer or blender before.  Whatever you fancy!











I let the whole mess cool for a while, I think until the next day - I just got busy, you don't have to leave it quite that long! But once cooled, I measured it in one cup servings, placed those into sandwich bags and frozen them in a larger freezer bag.  I got about 4 cups from this one little pumpkin.  You could be more careful when breaking it down to preserve as much as possible and you might get even more. 


So now when I need some pumpkin, I just go to the freezer and take out those single servings.  Most recipes only call for one cup of pumpkin, so that's why I recommend doing it in one cup baggies.  Plus they defrost really quickly in warm water!



And then you can create yummy things like these Pumpkin, Apple, Pecan and Cinnamon Muffins!




Again the, Super Fantastic Muffin Recipe to the rescue!  I just swapped out the banana and apple sauce for one cup of pumpkin and added little more milk.  Fantastic!  Though I think I would use applesauce next time but I didn't have any applesauce when I made these, hence the extra milk. :P


There you go, my fairly easy pumpkin puree.  Though there are other ways to do it, even in the slow cooker apparently, that's how I do it.  So go ahead and make up some yummy, nutritious and fall fantastic food and share it with us all!  Oh and don't forget to stop by, I'll have the coffee ready!





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Oct 3, 2011

Shine Sunflower Shine




Gorgeous eh?!?! 


 
Just lovely - such a beautiful flower and what a way to welcome in Autumn!  These, sadly, are not from my garden, they are grown at a local farm. 





 
Truth be told, I actually took these photos back at the end of August but I'm so glad I did, these beauties do not last long and now that it has turned much cooler, they are all gone.






So I had taken the time to stop and smell the roses....er sunflowers one warm summer evening and enjoy their loveliness.  I stayed a while, enjoying their beauty and the complexity of their design.  I had come all by myself but after a short time I realized I wasn't alone....
















....no, many a little 'friends' were there enjoying these flowers with me.

;)




 Each year I find it amazing how God drenches us in scads of colour before the bleakness of winter sets in.  This being, if you live where I do anyways.  Here the autumn is such a vivacious time of colour - filled, chock-full to the brim in beauty, I so truly love it! 





But then alas, winter sets in.  And, in it's own right, it is beautiful but fall has such splendor!  So once again as the colours fade and the cool days turn to cold, I will be starting my Spectrum of Light series, where in I try to find and show you the beauty and colour that is all around, even on the bleak winter days. 





So join me as we bask in the beauty God bestows on us before the grayness of late Fall and the whiteness of Winter set in and stay with me throughout these days as we search for colour and enjoy the wonders that the changing of seasons will bring.












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