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December 2008

November 2008

Menu Of The Week


Okay coconut and bacon, does not really sound good together does it ? I was not even planning on posting this soup until my family went crazy for it. So I guess that meant it was good ;-) The coconut is not really a pronounced flavor or at lest it should not be. It just added to the sweetness of the pumpkin (or in this case the banana squash I used). Pair that sweetness with the salty, smokey flavor of the bacon and it really sings.

You can freeze this soup but do not do the bacon part. Uncooked bacon freeze well. So freeze the soup and the uncooked bacon. Then bake or cook the bacon as you heat up the soup.  

I still do not have my lap top up and running. Also hopefully I will be having Thanksgiving this week (amidst all the Christmas decorating going on) so bear wiht me a bit more. Lots to share xoxoxo

Coconut Pumpkin Soup Garnished with Bacon

6 cups peeled, seeded pumpkin or winter squash, roughly chopped in large pieces

1/2 large onion, roughly chopped in large pieces

3 garlic cloves

3 cups broth

1 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

if you like heat, some chili powder

1 tsp salt and some pepper

1 can of coconut milk

8 slices of bacon cooked *


In a large soup pot added pumpkin, onion, garlic, spices, salt, pepper and broth. Then finish covering veggies with water. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 40 minutes or so, till pumpkin is tender.

Puree with a blender stick or in food processor, till smooth. Add can of coconut milk and simmer on low 15 minutes. Taste to adjust spices and if too thick, add some water. Crumble bacon over each bowl of soup. Serve with a big salad and lots of bread.

*cooking bacon. I bake mine, 350 for 40-45 minutes in the oven just before I start the soup.

I think Pies Baked In Tiny Jars, would be a perfect end. Enjoy !!!!!!!!!


Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving wishes, full of love and yummy things. For anyone who does not celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope today is a day for you to remember what you are thankful for.

Speaking of thankful Tracey McBride has tagged me for 7 things I am grateful for.

1. My Lord, who is my best friend and has given me grace when I so desperately needed it.

2. My husband, who quietly stands in the background and lets me do my thing. As long as I keep him well feed, he is happy ;-)

3. My girls, Auberne' and Chloe, The kindest, most giving and creative girls I know. They bless me everyday.

4. My storybook home. I never in a million years thought I would be able to live in such a rocking home. I never take it for granted.

5. My dishwasher, I did not have a dishwasher for 6 years (my choice). Well I do not know what I was thinking. I am thankful every time I throw in dirty dishes, push a button and walk away.

6, Chocolate, dark, my other dear friend. Which I am really leaning on since my computer died again yesterday. So if you do not hear from me, you know why !!!!

7. My blog, not only have made so many wonderful, dear friends (some who I have meet and talk on the phone with all the time !!) but have found such a amazing outlet for my creativity. Thank you readers, because being able to share with all of you, just makes me want to create all that much more xoxox



I also want to thank Nissa Gadbois for my Simple Gifts award. It was very sweet of you Nissa and that is quite  group of ladies to be honored with. Thank you


ps. Well hubby is still sick so the whole Thanksgiving thing is shelved till next week (I have a freezer full of yummy food waiting) I am instead decorating for Christmas, which is my favorite thing to do. I have sooo much to share. Have a very thankful, Thanksgiving. Eat something yummy for me and I will be back as soon as I can to share lots xoxox

Thanksgiving Menu

Thangiving menu 2008

David works on Thanksgiving, so we are having ours tomorrow. Then we will have a second Thanksgiving at my moms.These recipes are similar to what I will be making. I tend to play and tweak at the last minute. So who knows what I will end up with.

PS. Well hubby is sick, so who knows now what will be happneing, nothing maybe. But I hope my menu inspire you xoxoxox


Pecan Browned Butter

Mashed Potatoes


Mix 1/2 cup whiskey, 1/2 cup rapaduraor brown sugar, 1 TBL. chopped fresh rosemary, 1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper.

Cranberry Salad, I added walnuts. Thank you Abby and Jody for the reminder of this salad.

Pumpkin Cheesecake, I am making this again, because I can make it a week ahead, freeze it. I like ahead cooking.

Butter Tarts

Thankful Ornament

Thankful cross 

I always like to have a little something for my guests to take home. Auberne' and I cut out these crosses from pretty card stock. Glued small acorns in the center (thank you, who sent me these, you know who you are. You are the sweetest xoxoxo) Also small pine-cones, leaves, corn kernels would work. I will have pens on-hand and let each person write what they are thankful for on their cross. I plan after dinner, to punch a hole in the top and add a ribbon, so they can hang them on their Christmas tree.

Gift Inspirations



I have been looking for gift ideas. These are all ideas I am considering. If I only had more hours in a day. Thank you for the creative inspirations ladies  xoxoxoxo

Bulb forcer

Bulb Forcer - Farm Chicks


Ragamuffin Garland-Nesting Place

Silhouette ornament

Silhouette ornament - A Soft Place to Land


Eiffel Tower Washcloth - Knitting Heaven On Earth


Ribbon Wreath (in red)-The Long Thread

Chai mix- Craft Schmaft

Knitted Mug Cozy

Knitted Cup Cozy - Homespun Living

Orange Chocolate Muffin

Autum cup2 

The other day I had a friend and her three piXies over for tea. My girls adore hers, so it was such a fun afternoon. It is amazing to watch seven females all talk at once, all afternoon and all understand everything that was said. I made a Orange Chocolate Loaf cake. This is actually muffin recipe, but after I had filled all the muffin tins (for the freezer) I still had batter left. So I filled up a loaf pan and froze it. I just baked it off frozen (uncovered). It took a little longer, but it worked out just fine. It must have been good, there was not a crumb left ;-) xoxox

Orange Chocolate Muffin
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or a combo of flours. I used a 1/2 cup of brown rice, oat and whole wheat, 1 cup white)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 2-3 oranges
orange zest from the oranges you used.
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup of melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper baking cups (if you can get those silicone muffin tins, in a metal rack they are amazing. But you let the muffin full cool before pulling them out) . Zest and juice 2 or 3 medium oranges, measure out juice and zest; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add  beaten eggs, buttermilk, orange juice/zest, oil, melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk together well. Stir in wet ingredients just until all the flour has been incorporated. Add chocolate.

Fill each muffin cup almost to the top. Put the muffins in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until center is cooked. Do no over bake. Check to see if they are done by inserting a toothpick into the center of a muffin. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are done.

Turquie and Tom

Bling turkey 

I am starting to think Thanksgiving and wanted place cards. But all the turkeys are so, well, male. I needed a girly, blinged turkey. So I created Turquie (French for turkey). She is all fannied-up for Thanksgiving. But for you who do not want a blinged turkey, I also made a Tom for you. Just click on the image and save in your pictures. I actually think they make a very handsome pair xoxoxxo

Girly turkey 

Tom turkey

10 Frugal Tips


1: When making my 60 second chocolate mouse, if you do not have heavy cream you can use milk. Just add an extra egg yoke.

2: Going through old clothes, I have been using them for fabric. Dresses are especially good. Those full skirts have lots of fabric.

3: I having been using powdered milk in baking. It is working fine for things like cookies, muffins, bread, cakes, etc. It is not good for things with custards, like bread puddings.

4: For lunches, we have made individual mac and cheeses in little foil containers and stuffed baked potatoes. They bake off frozen just fine. We also want to make egg rolls, soup and refried beans. We plan to make large amount and put in the freezer for lunches to.

5: Right now I am making tags and fabric bags for Christmas.

6: I took old beat up tee shirts and cut them into squares for throw away rags. They are perfect for cleaning really greasy jobs.

7: I have been making fruit crisps for breakfast. When you think about it, they are pretty healthy. They are also a way for me to get my picky girl who hates oatmeal to eat her oats.

8: This is not really a tip, because I have not tried it yet. But was wondering if anyone else has and if you were happy with it.

Dishwasher Detergent; 

1 TBL. borax

1 TBL. baking soda

(you can add tea tree or lavender oil for disfentant)

Also using vinager as a rinsing agent.

9: Pork fat rules in our house, my family is addicted to bacon. So I allow bacon once a week, two piece per-person. I buy the big pack at Costco, and put 8 slices in a little sandwich baggie. Then I put all those baggies in a big freezer baggie. By the way bacon de-frost fasts. My favorite way to use bacon, is to roast a bunch of veggies, toss that with pasta and then crumble the bacon over that. It helps to get those veggies down ;-)

10: I am sooo excited Frugal Luxuries by Tracey McBride has started a blog. I really enjoy her books and look forward to her posts. She also has a second blog Frugal Luxuries by The Seasons.Go say hello  xoxoxox 


Roasted Red Pepper Stew

Falll 2007 

It has been very stormy here lately. As you can see, this picture is the road to my house. I love stew on a cold day. Plus I can make a double or triple batch and freeze the extra for another day. This stew was a big hit the other day. In the summer when peppers are cheap, I dry cubed peppers for winter use. If you have not dried peppers, they are so much better homemade.  

Also if you have never used smoked paprika before, I highly recommend it. It is sooo much more flavorful then regular paprika. I am lucky enough to get it in my bulk section. My favorite is El Rey from Spain.

I added some orzo (rice shaped pasta) in the end, to fill out the stew. Also I added a cup of pureed broccoli. As I have posted before, I hate broccoli and find ways to hide it. I just pulled out a small baggie of frozen broccoli, (I had pureed and froze earlier) and stirred till it melted in the stew.

Lastly, do not skip the part of browning the meat. I know it is a hassle but it will not taste as good, if you do not do it.

Roasted Red Pepper Stew

1 1/2 pounds cubed stew meat

flour with a pinch of salt and pepper to coat meat

1 onion, finely chopped

3 TBL. dried red peppers

1/3 cup dry sherry or wine or 1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 TBL.smoked paprika

3 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed

2 TBL. salt and 1 tsp. pepper


3 red peppers, to roast

1 cup orzo

In a heavy soup pot, heat oil on high. Coat each piece of meat in flour mixture and set in hot oil. Do not crowd pan, brown two sides of meat and pull out and set aside. Keep browning and adding oil as needed, till all meat is browned. Add onions and saute a minute or so, then deglaze pan with sherry. Re-add meat and cover with broth. Add spices, dried peppers and garlic. Cover and simmer on low heat for two hours or more. Till meat is very tender. While meat is cooking, roast peppers.

When meat is cooked, turn heat up to medium high. If there is not much liquid add a cup or two of water. Then add orzo and cook ten minutes. Keep an eye on the pasta, stirring or it will stick to bottom of pan. Add chopped roasted peppers. Serve with a lot of bread and a big salad.

Since this stew has Spanish paprika and peppers, I think this Spanish rice pudding would be a wonderful dessert xoxoxoxo


Squirrel Washcloth


Can you tell I am into squirrels lately ;-) I am really loving this squirrel washcloth. If you are new to knitting, washcloths are a great project for two reasons. One, the cotton yarn you use is easy, cheap and can handle being torn-out and re-knitted a couple of times. Two, washcloths are a small project to learn a new stitch. I would not say this is a hard pattern but also not the best for a new knitter. I highly recommend these knitting videos, if you are like me and like to see how to do a stitch xoxoxox

A Leaf Day

Leaf cookie 

We had a leaf day the other day. Which is perfect because I have to say the fall color this year is amazing. We waxed leaves that we had pick and pressed, a couple of days before. We put them on our window with museum wax. We also made Spiced Semolina leaves. They were really good. The semolina and corn starch give them a nice crisp texture. They are spicy, but lightly. The coriander gives them a slight orange flavor. We will makes these again.

Leaf window

Spiced Semolina Leaf Cookies

3/4 cup white flour

1/4 cup semolina flour

2 TBL. corn starch

1/2 tsp. ground coriander, ginger, cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick of butter, softened

1/2 cup evaporated cain or sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together flours, spices, corn starch, salt and set aside.

In a mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar. Scrap down bowl and add vanilla. Scrap down bowl and add dry ingredient. Mix till comes together.

Roll out 1/4 inch think, cut with cookie cutter and set on a greased cookie sheet. You can re-roll a second time. Set cookie sheets in fridge for 1/2 hour to re-chill butter (this is important or you cookies will spread too much)

Pre-heat oven 350. Bake 8-10 minutes. Till edges lightly brown. Transfer to cooling rack. When completely cool ice.

Make about a dozen cookies


1 cup confectioners sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and drops of water till you have a thick but creamy constancy.