Friday, October 31, 2008

How To: The Great Pumpkin Cake

It all starts with two bunt cakes. I made one pumpkin bread and one banana bread.

Cut the bottoms to make a flat surface. You will want to save that part for snacking!

Place one on top of the other and line up the ridges.

After frosting the cake, roll up a paper bag for a stem and carefully fill in the hole with bits of scrap cake. Carefully frost the last bit.

Decorate as you wish! I had great plans to melt chocolate to make cutouts for decorating. You could also use this for a Thanksgiving cake. Use your imagination and get fancy!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe
2 c baked pumpkin or squash or 1-15 oz can
1 c brown sugar, packed
1 c granulated sugar
2/3 c veg. oil
4 eggs
1 t salt
2 t baking soda
2 t ginger
2/3 c water
3 c flour of your choice
1/2 c mini chips

Mix pumpkin, sugars, oil and eggs. Add salt, baking soda, ginger and water. Mix in flour until incorporated. Stir in mini chips. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour for a bunt pan.

Banana Bread Recipe
6 large bananas
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
4 eggs
2/3 c veg. oil
1 t vanilla
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 c flour of your choice
1/2 c mini chips

Smash bananas. Mix in sugars, eggs and oil. Add vanilla, baking soda and salt. Mix in flour until incorporated. Stir in mini chips. Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour for a bunt pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick of butter, softened
1 pkg cream cheese, cold
2 t vanilla
4 c pwd sugar

Beat butter until lightened, add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add food coloring.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Oh how I love bacon. But don't you just hate standing over the frying pan with hot bacon grease splattering.

A super easy way to avoid this is to bake your bacon in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lay your bacon on a baking tray, remember that it will shrink, so you can squish them on. Depending on how you like your bacon, it will take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Cook until done to your liking. Remove from tray, tongs are great for this, and enjoy. I usually bake up a whole package at a time and then store the rest in the fridge, reheating as I need it.

You could also line your tray with foil which makes for easy clean up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Over The Shoulder Bag

I saw this shoulder bag on How About Orange, followed the link to Tiny Happy's great tutorial and realized this was a must have bag.

This one went to my mom for her birthday.

I fell in love with the fabric and found the perfect button.

I made one for myself out of the cute cherry fabric I bought from Roxanne. I only changed the instructions a tad. Instead of leaving an opening for turning the bag right side out on the bottom of the lining, I left it open on the top of the bag where you are going to sew a top stitch to finish. This step eliminates having to hand stitch the hole in the lining.

I love this bag! If I had the time, I would make an over the shoulder bag in every color.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Pumpkin Patch Time

We went, we conquered, we found the perfect pumpkins!

We all loved tramping through the field, searching for pumpkins was almost secondary.

Diane from CraftyPod was at The Pumpkin Patch with her parents running a fall photo booth. We sneaked up to say "Hello" and snap a picture. We also sat down and had a family photo taken that turned out great, all of us were looking forward and smiling! Thanks Pam, Kirby and Diane!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Am Super Ninja!

I've been wanting to make a pair of fingerless gloves since last winter. Lucky for me, I found the greatest pattern and yarn from Leethal. And double lucky, she lives in my town!

I bought a knit mitt kit with recycled yarn that was retrieved from a sweater and then dyed. They are a super quick knit and as you can see, I've already worn them in from wearing them practically every day.

There is so much more than yarn at Leethal, she sews and prints many wonderful things. I bought Denny a button up shirt that was "made new" with a cool block print camera design. I just love the totally reasonable, totally unique things I found. You can follow Lee on her blog called dostuff!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Winter Squash Redux

* I wrote this last February. Now that squash is back in season, I'm ready to make this next week. Oh winter squash, how many ways do I love thee...

Winter squash, how many ways do I love thee? Last night it was in lasagna. Oh, so delicious.

I just threw a layer of mashed up butternut squash in the middle of my lasagna and baked as usual. Lasagna is such a wonderful winter meal that can be done so many ways.

And I'm always making up a batch of 'Pumpkin' Bread, made with basically any orange flesh squash I have on hand. I played around with the recipe and this one is my family's favorite. The only spice used is powdered ginger, which brings out the squash nicely instead of covering it up.

Sally's Winter Squash Bread

2 c squash purée
1 c granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar
4 eggs
2/3 c oil
2/3 c water
1 t salt
2 t baking soda
2 t powdered ginger
3 c white whole wheat flour (or any flour of your choice)

Mix squash and sugars together in a large bowl. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Stir in oil, water, salt, baking soda and ginger until combined well. Mix in flour just until combined. Bake at 350 in greased bread or muffin pans. Bread takes about 45 min and muffins range from 15-20 min. Bread will also brown much more on top than muffins will. Enjoy!

I don't think I will have enough squash left in my freezer to last through the summer. That's a funny thought, freezing winter vegetables to last you until they are in season again! Winter is almost over, thank goodness, but I sure will miss eating winter squash.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thank You!

For all of your sweet well wishes and condolences, they mean a lot.

We got back Monday, I still can't believe it is Wednesday. I'll be here soon with some fun stuff.