Pumpkin Muffins

My friend Andrea posted a photo on her Facebook page with me tagged in it that she thought I would like…since she knows of my pumpkin obsession!

Ingredients

recipe

Instead of a yellow cake mix I used a spice cake since it had….well spices in it! I thought it would be comparable to what is used in pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

Ingredients

I just did like it said and mixed the pumpkin into the cake mix and put 1 and 1/2 scoops into a muffin tin lined with papers. The can of pumpkin in the picture is 15oz and since I make my own puree I measured out that amount.

filled and ready to bake!

filled and ready to bake!

cooked and cooling.

cooked and cooling.

I just tasted one and OMG they are so delicious! They came out light, fluffy and tasting just like pumpkin bread/roll/pie etc….so very good! Yummy! I suppose you could top with frosting (for the ones I made cream cheese frosting came to mind) but then they’d be cupcakes…right? I highly recommend this very easy and delicious recipe!

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Snowball Cookies!

Wow have I really been gone that long? How time flies!! Recently work has been very busy and I have had a ton of changes in my life! So I recently haven’t been doing any Pinterest-ing but I do have some things from the holidays to share! I ¬†have had a major lifestyle change and have cleaned up my eating along with doing DDP Yoga (check it out it’s freaking awesome) so anything new I post will be healthier ūüôā

Peacan Cookies Ingredients

2 cups flour, all purpose

2 cups finely chopped pecans (any nut really)

1 cup softened butter

Powdered Sugar

Toss everything but the powdered sugar into a bowl and combine, dough will be crumbly.

Dry ingredients

Dry ingredients

Finished dough

Finished dough

See how crumbly it is? This is normal since there is no egg to really make it stick like other cookie doughs. Scoop dough and form into roughly 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet.

Rolled and ready to bake

Rolled and ready to bake

Bake at 325 for 18-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Once out of the oven allow to cool for five minutes then roll them in powdered sugar.

Roll in powdered sugar after baking.

Roll in powdered sugar after baking.

Let them cool completely then roll in a second coat of powdered sugar

After cooling roll again in powdered sugar.

After cooling roll again in powdered sugar

These are very crumbly cookies so don’t be alarmed if they crumble slightly when you roll them around the powdered sugar. These are delicious, melt in your mouth cookies and I love making them! I always will make me a hot chai tea latte¬†and then sit down to enjoy a few while I admire the sparking Christmas lights ūüôā

Happy Pinning!

Oreo Cookie Balls

So now that life has settled down following the holidays and my boyfriend’s surgery I can finally relax and post about all the yummy treats I made! One things I made is Oreo Cookie Balls…they are easy to make and very yummy!

Ingriedients:

1 package Oreos

1package Cream Cheese

Ingredients

Ingredients

All you do is put the whole package of Oreo cookies into a food processor and crush until there are fine crumbs.

Processed oreo cookies

Processed oreo cookies

Then you add the room temperature cream cheese to the processed Oreo cookies and form into a soft dough.

Oreo crumbs mixed with cream cheese.

Oreo crumbs mixed with cream cheese.

Then you form the mixture into round balls about bite size and place on a cookie sheet. Then place into a freezer until they are solid and ready to dip.

Formed into balls and ready to cool.

Formed into balls and ready to cool.

Once the balls are frozen melt chocolate in a bowl, I used white chocolate chips, until smooth. You can use any kind of chocolate or almond bark for this step.

Melted white chocolate

Melted white chocolate

Once the chocolate is melted enough to be creamy and smooth you dip the balls into it until fully covered. Then you place them on wax or parchment paper to dry.

 

Rolled in white chocolate and ready to cool again.

Rolled in white chocolate and ready to cool again.

Tips From Me:

#1 When I first made this with my mom they didn’t coat very well the first time so once they hardened I dipped them a second tim to cover any ¬†holes.

#2 These can be made with any flavor of Oreo cookies! These are really rich on their own and the added flavor will add to the richness. My sister once made some with mint Oreo cookies and they were divine but very rich and I couldn’t manage to eat more then half at a time!

#3 If the almond bark is clumpy and doesn’t coat well add a bit of shortening to it and reheat. This should help thin it out a bit to make it easier to coat with.

I love making these because they are so simple if you ever need a quick dish for a party, potluck, or unexpected guests this is a go to recipe!

Happy Pinning!

Other Pinterest Moms

I agree!

I agree!

I saw this on Facebook and I just had to post here on my blog! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted but things have been so busy lately that I have barely had time to myself let alone looking at Pinterest!! Tonight I am going to make a cake off Pinterest and then before Christmas I am going to make some yummy cookies I found there too! So tomorrow I will be back to my usual cooking/playing on Pinterest!

 

Happy Pinning!

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Now that it’s getting colder there are three things I love to make!

#1:  Homemade soups, stews, and chili! Nothing better then curling up on the couch on a cold day with a movie and a homemade bowl of yummyness!

#2 Fresh baked goodies! I love how the oven warms up your home on those cold days and how the scents make your home smell so good!

and

#3: Hot drinks! Normally I make tea or packaged hot cocoa but I remember making homemade cocoa with my mom when I was young. So I decided to make my own!

The pin:

http://simple-nourished-living.com/2011/02/hot-chocolate-recipe/

 

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/3 cup hot water

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups milk

dash of salt (optional)

Mix sugar, water, and cocoa in a saucepan and cook until boiling, make sure to stir constantly! After mixture comes to a boil continue to stir it and let it boil for 2 minutes.

Cocoa, water, and sugar boiling.

Cocoa, water, and sugar boiling.

After the two minutes is up add the 4 cups milk and heat to desired temperature. But DO NOT let it boil!

Milk added

Milk added

Once it is at the temperature you like remove from heat, add vanilla and whisk until foamy. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows or whatever you like!

Tips from me

#1 I had a few snack sized Hershey’s chocolate bars laying around so I had Alison, my daughter, chop them up into bits. Then we sprinkled a little in the bottom of our mugs before adding the hot chocolate. The we stirred it up and wow it added just a little something extra to the already amazing drink! You can also add the grated up chocolate to the sauce pan instead of putting it in your cups like we did!

Secret ingredient!

Secret ingredient!

Ready to drink!

Ready to drink!

 

Everyone loved this drink and we all agreed that this was WAY better then the packaged mixes! It was so tasty we didn’t have any leftovers! This is my new favorite fall/winter drink and it wasn’t any harder then making packaged mix! Alison couldn’t get enough of it, as shown below, and wants to know when we’ll be making more!

Yummy!!

Yummy!!

Happy Pinning!

Halloween Crafts: Lollipop Ghosts

I love, love, LOVE Halloween! It is my favorite holiday and one day when I own my own home I will decorate so it is Halloween 24/7 365! So when this time of year rolls around I love to decorate, make spooky fun crafts, enjoy lots of pumpkin flavored things, and jsut get ready for the most spook-tacular month of the year!

Ingredients:

Bag of Tootsie Roll Lollipops (or other suckers like Blo Pops, but not flat ones)

Box of tissues

Yarn

Items you need to make this craft.

Items you need to make this craft.

First you are going to cut some yarn in pieces big enough so you can tie it around the lollipop stick.

Cut yarn

Cut yarn

Then you drape a tissue over the lollipop and tie it just under the round sucker part on the stick.

almost done

almost done

Now you can decorate your ghosts! Some people use marker to put eyes, nose, and mouth on them but you can decorate them anyway you want! I put spooky fun stickers on them. Also before you hand them out don’t forget to frill out the bottom of the tissue to make it look like a floaty ghost!

Finished Ghost

Finished Ghost

This is a fun craft for kids or adults. I work as a Occupational Therapist and I took the items to work and had my patients make some for their kids/grandkids/friend etc. They all had so much fun! Making these will help increase fine motor skills, sequencing, creativity, and if you do them while standing will help balance. So it is ideal for kids, disabled people, or patients in a nursing home…to me thats the best part anyone can make these because they are so easy and simple!!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Yup this anohter pumpkin themed recipe! I love this time of the year because of all the yummy pumpkin themed food and drinks! While making the pumpkin puree (https://aradiasilvermoon.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/pumpkin-puree/) I put the seeds and strings in a bowl of water so I could roast them later. I didn’t even know you could do this until my boyfriend asked about it, apparently he love them! The same pin which inspired me to make my own pumpkin puree had instructions to roast the seeds.

The pin: 

http://dailysavings.allyou.com/2012/09/24/pumpkin-cooking/

It says to place the pumpkin innards in a bowl of water and then mush them until the seeds separate and float to the top.

Soaking

Soaking

Once you have the seeds floating on top of the water scoop them out and lay them out flat to dry them out.

 

Ready to dry!

Ready to dry!

I laid mine on a clean dish towel and let them sit out for a few hours to dry. Then you lay them in a single layer on a lightly oiled pan and season, I used sea salt, and toast at 325 for 10 to 15 minutes. Check them after 10 minutes and gently shake the pan once or twice and if needed toast them longer until lightly browned. After roasted transfer into a bowl to cool down then enjoy!

Roasted and ready to eat!

Roasted and ready to eat!

Tips from me: 

#1 Let them dry completely! When I roasted mine they were still “tacky” feeling and because of this they took extra long to roast.

#2 You can season them anyway you like! My boyfriend told me he likes them sweet so next time I will sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Also the pin states you can use cumin and chili powder or salt and pepper….whatever you want!

#3 Separating the seeds from the ¬†strings can be challenging and you won’t get them all but your patience will be rewarded with yummy crunchy goodness!

I found these to be so yummy and even my uber-picky daughter loved them and stated they tasted like sunflower seeds! I am going back to get more pie pumpkin from the Amish market and will definitely make this again!

Happy Pinning!

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

After making the steel cut pumpkin pie oats and the homemade pumpkin bread I had to break down and buy some more pumpkin so I could continue my cooking. But what I found shocked me! The canned pumpkin was $1.99 for generic and around $2.xx for name brand! I was astonished and decided I wouldn’t buy any! When I got home I looked on my pinterest and I found a how to on making your own pumpkin puree for use in recipes. I also like the idea of making my own because it won’t have any dyes, preservatives, or other artificial ingredients in it!

The pin: 

http://dailysavings.allyou.com/2012/09/24/pumpkin-cooking/

I went to a local grocery store and found they had pie pumpkins on sale for $0.89 and I bought two for under $3. The are a lot smaller then carving pumpkins, you should use pie pumpkin because they have a better taste to them. First you cut them in half legthwise (start at the stem and cut until you reach the stem again. After cutting it scoop out the seeds and put them aside (I am going to roast them for the first time tonight and post about it tomorrow) in a bowl of water.

Cut, scooped, and ready to bake.

Cut, scooped, and ready to bake.

Place both halve cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cook on 350 degrees the time ranges due to several factors. My tiny ones cooked up in 45 minutes but it can take up to 2 hours depending on size and density.

Baking

Baking

After they are cooked fully the flesh should scoop out easily, if not place back in over and cook longer. Wait until the pumpkin is cooled then scoop out the flesh and place into a bowl and toss the rinds in the trash, or compost. The pin said to mash it up but I had trouble and couldn’t mash it well enough so I dumped into a food processor until it was all smooth.

Pumpkin puree

Pumpkin puree

I baked two pumpkins and got around 3 cups of puree and since the bread calls for one and a half cups I measured out that amount. I put some into the fridge then froze the rest. I found nicer, darker pie pumpkins at a local market that sells Amish and Mennonite produce (they were $1.49 each) and I will bake them today but I don’t expect much change. I asked my mom about how pale the pureed pumpkin was compared to the canned pumpkin (she makes her own canned pumpkin) and she said the color didn’t matter. She said the products I made would be paler in comparison (to canned products) but taste the same since pumpkin has really no taste of it’s own…it’s the spices that make the taste. So don’t be frightened if your puree is pale too. ¬†So for under $3 I got enough pumpkin for 2 loaves of bread compared to $2.xx for one can which would only make one loaf! It was super easy and unless I can find a crazy good deal on canned pumpkin I will make my own!

Happy Pinning!

Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats

‘Tis the season!! No not that season…not yet anyways! I mean the season of everything pumpkin! I LOVE pumpkin so much that I try to use it as much as possible this time of the year! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee creamer, pumpkin roll, pumpkin bread, and now pumpkin pie steel cut oats! I have only recently because aware of how much better steel cut oats are for you vs. rolled oats so I looked up multiple recipes. ¬†Last time, my first blog post on here, was cinnamon apple steel cut oats¬†https://aradiasilvermoon.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/crock-pot-cinnamon-apple-steel-cut-oats/.

The pin: http://fooddoodles.com/2011/11/13/pumpkin-pie-steel-cut-oats-in-the-crockpot/

Ingredients:

  • 2 C steel cut oats
  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin(or about 1 3/4C)
  • 1 400 mL (about 1.5 cups) or 14 oz can full fat coconut milk plus enough water to make 7C(about 5 1/4C water)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp¬†pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 C honey or maple syrup(or leave unsweetened and add after it‚Äôs been cooked)

Mix all ingredients in a crock pot and cook 5-6 hours on low.

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

When done simply spoon up and enjoy with any topping you like!

Delicious!

Delicious!

I loved cooking this overnight because when I work up this morning not only did my house smell so good but a hot breakfast was waiting for me! I didn’t have to cook or prepare anything I could just serve it up and enjoy! It tasted like you crumbled up a slice of pumpkin pie and ate it in milk! So good! I can’t wait to have more tomorrow morning!

Tips from me:

#1 Any milk can be used in place of the coconut milk. I used a almond/cashew/hazelnut milk blend in mine.

#2 The temperature and time may vary from crock pot to crock pot. Mine has timed settings intervals of 4, 6, 8, or 10 hours so I started mine at 8:30 pm and set it on 10 hours so it would be done by 6:30 am and ready to eat!

#3 I didn’t have any honey or maple syrup so I omitted it (it cooked just fine) and I added brown sugar to my bowl and it tasted fabulous!

#4 It makes a lot so be prepared for leftovers if your family is small, like mine!

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Happy Pinning!

P.S.: I would love it if my readers would post some pins in the comments section! I am always looking for new things to try!!

September 11th

I decided today was not a day to write about the latest tasty thing I had cooked/baked or some cute project I had finally completed. Today is a day of remembering all those who lost their lives, their friends, and their family. I was sleeping that morning since I was a new mom, my daughter was just 6 months old, and we’d had a really fussy, cranky late night. I heard her dad yelling for me and I got up rather annoyed to yell at him for waking me and the baby when we’d gotten so little sleep. When I went into the living room he told me a plane had hit the World Trade Center in shock all I said was “On purpose??” we then watched, as most of nation did, in horror as the second plane hit then the fall. I remember sitting there thinking “My God what world have I brought this innocent baby into?” I held her most of the day thinking about all those people who would never get the chance to kiss their kids, wife’s, husband’s, parents, or any of their loved ones again. We were safe in Kansas City but many in NYC were not. I pinned the following pictures to my inspiration board because ¬†everyone who was there that day is inspiring to me.

The board: http://pinterest.com/aradias/inspirations/

Never forget

Never forget

 

Thank you for all who gave their lives past and present whether it be police, firefighters, the members of our military, or the random good Samaritan who stood up to help.

 

God Bless America

God Bless America

 

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. ~Psalm 23

(credit to those who took the photos and made the gif. Also credit to God for his words of comfort in our darkest hours.)