November 28, 2013

Homemade Pumpkin Bars with Chocolate Chips

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you're having a lovely and happy day.  Today, was my first Thanksgiving off in 11 years.  Feels good!!!  :)  My husband and I decided to have our own dinner at home and to have a Modern Family Marathon.  If you haven't seen this show check it out.  It's so funny!

I got in a baking mood this morning.  I baked some french loafs, and I cooked a pumpkin and then made pumpkin bars with it.

Here's the little pie pumpkin that I used.  I got it from the farmers market back in September.  I washed it real good and then cut it in half.  I then scooped out the seeds (placed them to the side to clean and dry out) and I placed the pumpkin halves cut side down in a pie dish.  (The pumpkin was very small)  I cooked the pumpkin on 350 degrees for about a half an hour until a fork poked pierced through.  Once it was done, I put the pumpkin on a cutting board and let it cool for about 15 minutes.  I then took the pulp which came off the rind really easily and ground it in my mini food processor.  Bigger pumpkins have a lot of water so you'll need to filter the water out.  This little guy didn't have much water at all.  I got 1 cup of pumpkin from this little guy which was perfect b/c that's what I needed to make my pumpkin bars.

I searched on pinterest for pumpkin bars and came across this on at the live in kitchen.

I changed up some things.  Here's what I did instead.

2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 farm fresh eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used my homemade vanilla)
1 cup real pumpkin pulp
1 pkg (2 cups) chocolate chips

I first mixed the dry ingredients in a bowl.  In another bowl I mixed the wet ingredients.  I then mixed in the dry to the wet until all combined.  After it was mixed I mixed in the chocolate chips.  I put the batter into a squared brownie pan that I first sprayed with PAM spray.  I baked on 350 degrees until my cake tester came out clean.  It was about 35 minutes.

These are so good and perfect.  My husband and I love them a lot.  I know I'll be making these again.

Are you on instagram?  Follow me.  :)

November 17, 2013

Homemade Pancake Mix

From scratch pancakes are the best!  I made mixed up 2 batches of my pancake mix.  You can use the pancake mix at a food swap, give away as gifts or to keep for yourself.  Having the dry ingredients all ready makes it easy when you want to make pancakes.  You just mix in the wet ingredients and fruit and cook.  :)

I put the recipe on a little card and tied it on the jar with twine.

Love these wide mouth ball jars.  They are cute and they are the perfect size for the pancake mix.

To make your own pancake mix you will need:

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Indoor Garden Update: Day 268

It's been a while since I've given an update on my garden.  I still have a garden but it's indoors in containers.  I'm so happy that my plants are happy and are still growing.

Here's my pepper plants, and my lemon tree.

Let's start with my meyer lemon tree shall we?  There's lots of little baby lemons.  They looks like little green limes right now.  They are adorable!

This is the biggest lemon so far.  I'd say it's the size of a marble.

There's also lots of flower blooms and buds.

Here's my yellow petite bell peppers.  I took 7 off last weekend.

Some are ready to be picked some are not.  These are the 2nd batch of peppers for this plant.

Here's my red bells.  None of them are red yet.  All green and plump.  :)

It's loaded.  The one pictured on the bottom is my biggest one so far.  These are all 2nd batch as well.  I've already gotten many other peppers from this plant.

While checking plants and getting rid of dead flower blossoms I noticed a few small red bugs.  :|  I looked them up.  Seems they might be flea beetles.  GROSS!  They don't kill plants but they can be annoying.  I killed all the ones I saw but they are sooooo tiny.  I don't want to spray chemicals on my plants but I might need to spray something on the leaves to make sure these bugs don't come back.

Meyer Lemon Seeds

I saved my meyer lemon seeds from my first lemon.  I mailed one seed to my Amish friend, Lovina.  Her birthday is tomorrow so I thought she might like a nice little surprise.  I put the seed in her birthday card.  
I had 5 seeds left.  I decided to plant them and if they sprout they will make nice little gifts.  :)

I grabbed 5 generic solo cups and went to the shed to begin.

I put a little container soil in the bottom of each up.

I then put 1 seed in the middle of each cup and pushed it down a little bit.

I then put some more soil on top and gave everyone a drink.  I brought them in the house and they are sitting in the sunny window sill with my inside container garden.

I hope they spout and turn into little lemon trees.  :)

Nate's latest run

My husband, raised the most money for his Team in Training Virginia Chapter for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Here's Nate with his shirt.  He just ironed on his 'rock star' patch.  :)  Nate shaved his head a few weeks back when he got to his first place position.  He's loving the shaved head so he's going with it for now.

This past Friday night we went to an inspiration dinner where Nate was to get an awards for all the money he raised.

Here's the table scape.

Cute little cards at each place setting.

A pamphlet at each seat with everyone's names who was on the team.

A note from a little girl named Campbell.  She goes by the name Campbell Soup.  She's a beautiful little girl who's fighting everyday.  She wasn't able to make it to the dinner but her parents did.  She also sent a video message to everyone.  She's adorable!!

Here's Nate getting his award.

Nate and his award.

Yesterday morning was the 8k, half marathon and full marathon.  Nate did the half marathon.  His 7th marathon so far.

Here's the team ready to head out in the pouring rain.  (hence the trash bags)

Nate was in wave 'HA'.  He's where the red arrow is.  :)

Can you see him?

Nate is running by his mom and me with a big grin.  Go Nate Go!

And he's off.

Linda and I had some time while Nate was running.  We walked down to the finish line and waited.  We walked over on a bridge and looked at the James River.

It started pouring down rain again so we hung out under the railroad tracks and then a train came.  I took some pictures of the train.

We then walked around some more checking out the vendors.  We got a free smoothie from McDonald's and then we found food vendors.  I got a funnel cake which I paid $7 for.  LOL  We were hungry tho and all the free food was for the runners.  I wanted a bottle of water but it was $3 and when I told the Vendor he took all my money for the funnel cake he told me to go ahead and grab a bottle of water for free.  That was kind of him.  :)  We then went back over to the finish line to wait for Nate.

Linda spotted Nate first and I just snapped away with pictures.  (see red arrows)

Here's Nate crossing the finish.

Linda and I went to wait at the LLS tent b/c we knew Nate had to check in with them.  We found Nate and got a picture of him.  We're so proud of him.  

November 2, 2013

Spotsylvania Farmers Market: Visit 4 (Gordon Road)

This morning, I went to the Farmers Market off Gordon Road.  I haven't been in over a month and was happy to go.  I had a list.....apples, potatoes, and onions.  I had $23 in cash to spend.

I first got some honey crisp "crack" apples.  :)  And I also got one granny smith apple.

Here's some pears.

At another stand.....Some butternut squash with imperfections and some pumpkins.  Guess the season is winding down.

I went over to one of my favorite stands, Ochoa Produce.
I got my peppers, onions and a tomato from here.

Lots of mini pumpkins.

As I was taking this picture the farmer jokingly told me "Take all the pictures you want, they are $1 each".  We both laughed.  ahahahaha  :)

Here's some peanuts.  My dad would love these.

Peppers....The yellow ones look just like my petite peppers I have growing.  :)

I didn't see any potatoes at the Ochoa stand that I wanted.  So, I went to the C&T Produce Stand.  They had a ton of potatoes.  2lbs for $1.  That's a great deal!!  :)

There was a nice crowd but not too many people.

Here's some pictures of fresh produce at other stand.

As you walk around this girl plays sweet music on her violin.  She's wonderful.  I saw many people dropping money in her violin case.  As I was walking out and I had some leftover change that I took out of my pocket and toss in the case.  She said thank you.  :)

So here's what I got......
I got everything on my list and a few other goodies that weren't.  I went to the grocery store (Wegmans) after the farmers market and gladly skipped the crowed produce department because I already had all the fruit and veggies I needed.  :)