Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall is in the Air!

Autumn is my favorite time of the year.  I love everything about it.  Cool, crisp air.  Color changing trees.  Falling leaves. Pumpkins and squash. Church dinners with friends and family.  Fall festivals.  Sweaters. The anticipation of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The list could go on and on.

In anticipation of Halloween I made some cake pops.  These were a yellow cake that I dyed orange in honor of Halloween.  We are celebrating at my mom's with food and trick or treating.  We all bring something and share and have lots of chatting.  We trick or treat with my niece and her friend.  Afterwards, we rummage through the candy that they don't like and eat too much sugar!  Good times!

The pumpkin cupcakes with orange flavored buttercream were made per the request of my friend's middle son, Matthew.  He told me next time I came to visit that I should make pumpkin cupcakes.  On that visit, Matthew and Henry, Anne's oldest, made pizza and salad with me for dinner.  They loved the cupcakes!  So did their dog as Matthew's fell out his hand! Ha!  He swallowed the entire cupcake before we could grab it!  

Keep an eye on the blog because there will be more fall treats coming! :-)

Going bananas!

My family loves banana bread.  We have always used my mom's recipe.  But...I found one in a cookbook and have doctored it up a bit and they love it.  I receive numerous requests for the recipe and to make it.  My freezer was beginning to overflow with frozen bananas so, it was time to make some banana bread.  I made four batches and ended up with about twenty mini loaves.  I wrapped  each loaf in waxed paper and foil. They are perfect for a snack or gift giving.  My mom loves to use them for birthday and thank you gifts.  She lets me store them at her house in the deep freezer in exchange that she can give some as gifts.  It's a pretty good deal!  She really likes when I frost them with the banana icing.  Although, this time I made them all plain so that the recipient can sprinkle a little powdered sugar on them before serving.  I love seeing my family and others smile when they receive a little gift of "love".

Cr-ow-tons (aka Croutons)

My husband and I had a pretty happening Friday night recently as we made homemade croutons.  Exciting, huh!?  Really, we did have a good time!  Dave and I are going to be making our Christmas gifts this year so we were practicing.  We made four different types of croutons.

My brother, Jim, had given me a container full of his secret lemon pepper blend to use as a gift.  We blended this along with garlic and onion.  We mixed it together with olive oil on multigrain bread.  The second was a basic onion, garlic, pepper mixed with a few tablespoons of unsalted butter and olive oil on whole wheat bread.  Third, we mixed Penzey's Tuscan Sunset blend and parmesan cheese with olive oil on multigrain bread.  Lastly, we used Penzey's Creamy Peppercorn Dressing mix with olive oil on multigrain bread.  We  toasted each pan on about 250 degrees for about 45 minutes.

These turned out very tasty!  We are going to be able to enjoy them throughout the winter as they freeze well!

Cupcakes to go!

Recently, I was asked to make five dozen mini cupcakes.  I had to find mini cupcake carriers and it wasn't too hard.  There are several cake supply stores in town and it took a few phone calls to find some but, I did.  Yay for me!!  I love mini cupcakes because they are so darn cute!  It was requested that I make yellow butter cake with an orange flavored buttercream and dark chocolate cake with a mocha buttercream.  Coincidentally, these cute little cupcakes looked pretty Halloween-y too!  Here's a picture of the cupcakes all packaged and ready to go!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It is the little things!

So, I had to share...Dave thinks he is being funny and snapping silly photos of me from time to time.  I love to get the mail providing there are no bills in it!  This particular day I happen to receive a Cooking Light magazine and I mentioned that it had my favorite food featured on the front cover so, here's the photo showing me and my excitement.  Ha! ;-)

Thank you for looking!

Recently, I was invited to showcase my little "hobby" of sorts to my alma mater.  It was a new idea that they were trying out this year at the annual "Alumni Weekend".  This showcase of sorts was an opportunity to show other alums what we do and see what they do.  They are a lot of talented graduates and business owners!  I hope that they are able to continue this and really see some growth from it in the coming years.

On the road again...

Here it was two weeks after the big Chicago trip and Dave and I were heading to Arkansas.  A friend of ours was going to be married and she had asked for my help coordinating the reception on the big day.  It was a beautiful autumn day for a wedding.  The reception hall sat on top of the highest point overlooking Beaver Lake, I believe.  Fabulous views!  So, back to the reception...Stephanie had created this great look for the hall.  She had come up with the idea of what she wanted for decorations and basically, needed help putting it all together.  My youngest sister in law, Erica, was her Matron of Honor and close friend.  Erica and I drove about forty minutes to the hall from my mother in law's home to lend a helping hand. I was impressed with all the work we did and that we were able to do it all in about four hours.  I really enjoyed spending some time with these two girls and the bride's mother.  Weddings are joyous occasions!
 The  flowers were Zinnias, Sunflowers, and Carnations.  We made all of the centerpieces and miscellaneous floral arrangements.  There were approximately 30 tables that had the centerpieces.  We had close to 175 candles to light the following day!  She also had two fireplace mantles full of candles as well as, the centerpieces.  It was beautiful!

Congratulations to Stephanie and B.A.!  May your lives be filled with love and laughter!