August 28, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins

It's almost that time of year again!  One of my favorite times of the year!  FALL!!  Mmmm...fall, how I love thee!  The sights, the sounds, the smells, the flavors of fall...just wonderful!  I've been making these pumpkin muffins a few times a week for the last few weeks for the kiddos.  They love them!  And with the pureed pumpkin, the raw sugar, half wheat flour and local honey makes them kind of healthy, right?  Did you know you can make it even healthier and substitute some flax meal in place of the flour?  I'm not too sure how to do that with the mix recipe, but I just sprinkled some into the mix last time and the kiddos were non the wiser.  I'm sneaky like that!  *wink*

I wish I had a lovely picture of these lovelies sitting in a pretty basket, but I don't.  My kiddos grab these puppies as soon as they can that I don't get a good you'll just have to take my word for it that they are super yummy and delicious!  Instead I've used a lovely candle pic from Country Living.  M'kay?  *wink*

Another variation of the Basic Muffin Mix found HERE. (I'll put it all here since it has been a while since I've posted that recipe.)

Basic Muffin Mix
8 cups all purpose unbleached flour  (lately I have been using half white and half wheat -- the kids can't tell the difference!)
1 1/2 c. sugar (raw sugar is good and it's not noticeable, either!)
3 T. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

Pumpkin Muffins
2 3/4 c. basic muffin mix
1 T. cinnamon (yep, more cinnamon! Yumm!)
1 c. milk
2/3 c. honey
1 egg, beaten
1 c. pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2  c. oil (I use 1/4 c. oil, 1/4 c. applesauce)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  Put muffin mix in medium bowl.  Combine egg, milk, honey, and oil in a small bowl.  Add wet ingredients all at once to muffin mix.  Stir until just moist.  Batter should be lumpy.  Spoon into muffin pans.  Bake approx. 15 - 17 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.


August 24, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Hey there!  I wanted to pop in for a moment to let ya'll know that starting September 1st my 12" x 24" Wedding Vow subway art signs over at the Mercantile will be increasing in price from $30 to $35 (which is still a wonderful price, by the way!).  So place an order soon to take advantage of this great price while you can! 

Hop on over to Old House Mercantile HERE!
There are many different color combinations to choose from!

Don't worry, 11" x 11" signs are staying the same prices!  

Here's a new design that you won't find anywhere else since I had it custom designed!

Hope to see you over at the shop soon!

By the way...only 4 months until Christmas!  *wink*

August 16, 2012

Teriyaki Pork and Rice - Crock Pot Style!

This meal is a mama's blessing!  Straight from the freezer and into the crock pot!  Super easy!

I found a few recipes online combined, tweaked and viola!  A dinner that the kids said ranked right up there with their favorite pizza!  (Which is pretty high on their list, believe me!)  We got an all thumbs up meal here, folks!  Well, except for Abby, who doesn't like pineapple and prefers not to have to chew anything with texture, like meat, so her non-existent thumbs up doesn't count. K?  Thanks!

Teriyaki Pork

Place the pork chops in a gallon size freezer bag and add all other ingredients (except the pineapple)
1 family size pack of pork chops (boneless) --  (I'm thinking about 7 or 8)
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 T. brown sugar
1 cup chicken broth (I use hot water and 1 tsp. powdered chicken broth from our bulk store -- I'm sure chicken bouillon would work)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
sprinkling of salt
20 oz. can chopped pineapple (don't add yet!!)

Place freezer bag in the freezer. Can I warn you here...make sure you put your freezer bag in a bowl that is the size of your crock pot so it would fit in the crock pot easily because you are not going to want to fight with a square bag of chops and a round crock pot. Don't ask me how I know this and You're welcome.  *wink*  When you're ready to use it just take it out of the baggie and put it in the crock pot.  Cook on low for 6 hours (give or take).

Crock Pot Rice

Two to three hours before dinner put the following in a crock pot and cook on high.

3 cups rice
6 cups water
1 T. chicken broth powder (or bouillon)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
sprinkling of salt
chopped carrots (I used a few handfuls of baby carrots that were drying out in the crisper)

One hour or less before dinner take pork chops out, take any fat off, and shred.  Mix in can of chopped pineapple.  Turn the crock pot on high for a bit.  You want the pineapple and juices to warm up so when that happens it's done. 

I served ours with steamed green beans and rolls.  Very yummy!  I think I might cook some pork again like that and instead of adding pineapple I'll just serve it up on rolls for sandwiches. Mmmm mmm good!

August 14, 2012

Sweet Surprise!

I'm part of a wonderful group of crafters over at Etsy called the Old Farmhouse Gathering.  We had a giveaway and I posted a hand stitched pumpkin towel for a fall giveaway we had.  They chose three winners who each won ten lovely gifts.  The blessed winner of my towel just sent me a sweet surprise!  These cute little fall magnets! 

  Aren't they super cute?!  

 (Sorry it's a bit blurry...I was too busy lazy to go get my tripod.)

Thank you so much Lori over at Apple Grove Treasures for sending me a sweet little surprise today!  Go check out Lori's blog for all sorts of wonderful ideas! 

August 13, 2012

B & B

Nope, not "Bed and Breakfast"..."Baptism and a Birthday!"

Yesterday I had the privilege of witnessing two of my babies get baptised! 

Hannah (age 11) and Isaac (age 10)

wanted to tell the world about their love of Jesus and to show that by being baptised! 

 (Hannah had to have her arm wrapped so it wouldn't get wet.  
We joked that she should have her arm baptised when it heals up!  LOL!)

My hubby (in the Bob the Tomato t-shirt) had the privilege of baptising them alongside our pastor. 

 (Love how his feet went up in the air!)

What a blessing it was to hear them tell the crowd of their love of Jesus, their thankfulness of His death on the cross for their sins, and their desire to follow Him. 

and now for the other "B"...

Happy Birthday to our Hannah Arline!!  We celebrated Saturday with family.  Rebekah made her cake (she loves making them and I love letting her!). 

Happy 12th Birthday, Hannah!  
We love you very much!

August 1, 2012

Yeah for the Blue, Red, and Purple!

We've been super busy lately!  Our week of 4-H festivities was fun and crazy all in the same breath!

Saturday Isaac (age 10) showed his doe, Pixie, at the Summer Doe Show!  She took Champion in Senior Nubian Dairy Doe, Champion in Senior Dairy Doe, and then Reserve Grand Champion in Dairy Doe.  He had quite the loot to bring home between his ribbons, trophy and banner!  We are so proud of him and our Pixie Lou!  We're hoping to breed her this fall and the other kiddos would like to give a try at showing her babies!

In the foods category...

Rebekah received a red ribbon for her tea ring.

Hannah received blue and reserve champion ribbons for her rolled biscuits.

Isaac received  a red ribbon for his applesauce muffins.

In the cake decorating category...

Hannah and Rebekah received blue ribbons for their cakes.

In the Lego category...

Isaac and Noah received blue and honor ribbons for their Lego creations.

In the Arts and Crafts category...

Isaac received a blue ribbon for his punched tin art.

Hannah and Rebekah received blue ribbons for their rag dolls (I forgot to take a photo.)

Noah received blue and honor ribbons for his colored pencil drawing of a Prothonotary Warbler.

In the wood science category...

Noah received blue and honor ribbons for his wood book shelf he built.  (Again...forgot to take a photo.)

In the sewing category...

Hannah received blue and honor ribbons for her pillow.

Rebekah received blue, champion and state fair ribbons for her craft organizer pillow.  (It's showing at the state fair this week!)  (She also got a trophy at awards night for her pillow -- those receiving champion ribbons receive trophies.)

Phew!  That's not all!  This fall they'll be showing their black australorp hens and auctioning them in fall judging.

Well!  I guess that's all there is to report for 4-H!  Things are going to be a little quiet around the bloggy for a while.  School for hubby starts in two weeks so we'll be getting back into the swing of things.  The oldest two kiddos start at a biology lab co-op, dance starts for two of the girlies, and of course we're still keeping busy with piano (we do that year round!)

We have a remodel coming on some time this fall.  We're splitting our play room into two rooms.  Once room for a school room, the other for my mom.  She has a hard time going up and down the stairs.  We'll also be rearranging kiddos around into different rooms.  I've been revamping a few things in the house as far as schedules, closets, etc.  The book Large Family Logistics has been a real big help in getting a few things tweaked with our routine.

My etsy shop is keeping me busy.  Good thing for sure!  I really appreciate all of your orders and sending folks my way!  My goal for last month was three signs a week.  I reached that goal!  I have a new goal!  I would like to be able to ship out five signs per week!  We'll see how the Lord works that out! 

Well I'll leave with you Hannah's Champion Biscuit recipe...and the sausage gravy recipe that goes with it!  Yumm!


Sausage Gravy
1 lb. sausage
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 1/2 cups milk
Brown and crumble sausage (don't drain it). Add flour, salt and pepper and stir. If the sausage is dry, you may need to add a bit of shortening when adding flour. Add milk while stirring. Heat until it starts to boil and reduce heat and continue to stir until thickened. Makes about 5 cups of gravy.

Homemade Biscuits
4 cups flour

1 tsp. salt
8 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cream of tartar
4 tsp. sugar
1 cup shortening
1 1/3 cup milk
Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add milk all at once and stir until dough follows fork around bowl. Roll 1/2 thick.* Use a large glass or a canning jar to cut biscuits. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 30 biscuits.

*Note: The key to light and fluffy biscuits is not to work the dough too much.

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