Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pumpkin Apple Bread~

Last Friday, our family had a wonderful evening in front of the fireplace, stoking the fire and listening to old-fashioned records on my record player. (We did all this by candlelight! very fun!) Then my dad suggested my sister and I make a dessert--and what sounds better than 'pumpkin apple bread'? I found a recipe and simplified it for "mini loaves" or muffins. Here's the recipe:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour (I mixed whole wheat/white flour), 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp baking soda & 1.5 tsp salt {To remove lumps, whisk the dry ingredients!)
In a seperate bowl, add 3 cups sugar...
{Don't decrease amount, it doesn't come out too sweet}
15 oz pumpkin puree...

4 large eggs...

And 1/2 cup vegetable oil.

Mix up all the ingredients!

Add 1/2 cup apple juice or cider (yum!)

Now, you pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients

As you combine the wet and d
ry ingredients, don't whip or stir too fast.
This develops gluten and makes it too dense/stiff/or something! ;)

Chop 1 large apple, and add to batter

Now we're ready to bake!

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full...

And bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes

And they're ready! I made 3 batches, so there were about 38 muffins. They aren't sweet like cookies, but taste like a good hearty, (flavorful!) sweet bread. This recipe makes 2 loaves as well, so following the same directions, just pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 60-70 minutes.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God."
~Ray Stannard Baker

Friday, November 21, 2008

Praying for my beloved...

I've been in the habit, for some time now, praying for my future husband! I'd been told to do this years ago, but for some reason, it always never came to be. After recently joining a group challenge of "praying for my beloved", its been...the most special part of my prayer life.

I realized that, short and simple, its all about TRUST. I'm trusting God that he will bring me my future husband in His timing.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time" Ecclesiastes 3:11a

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1

Putting my complete trust in the Lord, leaving all my cares and desires in His hands, has brought the most beautiful contentment in the area of marriage that I've ever felt.

"Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart" Psalm 37:4

Just taking a few moments of prayer has strengthened a different cord, and its almost as if I can feel him praying for me as well.

For those who are praying for your future beloveds as well, when did you start? Is your prayer life different? If you've met and married your beloved whom you prayed for, I'd love to hear about it! Please feel free to leave any comments you may have on this subject! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

'Tis Autumn

Here are a few snapshots I took after our recent November rain...

"A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air."- Eric Sloane

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SecondHand Treasure: Pitcher and Basin!

One of the treasures I've been looking for this past year is a Pitcher/Basin set. I quickly found out an "attractive" set is VERY hard to find! Many are heavily printed in loud 70's styles, cracked, or too modern. Anyway, yesterday at a second-hand store, I found exactly what I've been looking for!!

Intact, old-fashioned, and at an amazing price of $20! (I quickly looked around, dashed for a cart, and wheeled my treasure to the front:) The color is a creamy white. This purchase is the "icing on the cake" because I've wanted it for such a long time! (hmm, maybe I'll be encouraged to make handmade soap now?)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Beautiful Handiwork

I just wanted to highlight my sister's progress--she's amazing at Crocheting, and has alot of fun learning new patterns and designs. After a quilt, purses, hats etc; she's started clothing now. A few months ago, she finished a "Hoodie" style sweater! She inspires me so much, and I love her meek spirit about it. She crochets for her own love of learning--not to sell or profit :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Harvest Turkey Salad (yum!)

For a picnic lunch (to bring to the canning demonstration get-together), my Mom asked me to prepare a quick and easy dish. I thought turkey salad sandwiches would be perfect, so I put together a recipe that's super simple, low on sodium, and still flavorful!

1. Chop about 3 stalks of celery (3/4 cup) into chunky slices...

2. Then peel and dice two "Washington" apples (Makes a little under 2 cups)

Set aside with the celery!

3. Now for the fun part--Take 1 (fully cooked) turkey leg, and chop into chunky pieces. Make sure to leave out the thin bones and skin!

This is what it should look like after chopping (and tasting?lol) I measured 2 cups of meat.

4. In a medium sized bowl, mix together all 3 ingredients!!

5. Add 1/2 cup of Mayo and mix into the salad...

6. Now for the spices! In a tiny dish, combine 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp rubbed sage, 1/4 tsp thyme, and 1/4 tsp white (or black) pepper.

Add the spices into the mixture...

And you're done!! It makes about 3 cups of Turkey salad, so you may want to double it if you have a large family. (Or *cough* if your family eats 2 sandwiches each, like we do! *cough* lol)

The sandwiches were delicious, and WITHOUT any salt! I've been trying to use herb-alternatives, and I think it worked out well! I'll probably make this again with the left-over turkey from Thanksgiving Day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Inspiration of clear skies and changing leaves~

A snapshot of our quiet road..

"Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable, the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blownalong the street or road by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese. Both are warnings of chill days ahead, fireside and topcoat weather."- Hal Borland

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Learning the canning process

After being inspired to be self sufficient, we had mentioned (to a few ladies at church) our desire to start canning! Well, one mother volunteered to host a "canning demonstration" so we could all learn and see it ourselves :) They had just finished processing 4 deer, so there was plenty of extra venison to use for canning! We spent the whole day there, and about 5 home-schooling families came; we had a wonderful time!

Slicing the venison into stew sized pieces

Here's the meat before putting them into the jars

Sterilizing the lids & quart-sized jars

Before pressure canning

A few hours later, the jars are done!


It was intresting to note that canning meat does not require any liquid-It produces its own. When the jars were taken out, the liquid inside was actually boiling rapidly when I took this picture! The Mom's who had eaten canned meat before, said that because its cooked from the outside, its super tender when done! You can add it to any meal and it has an excellent shelf life!

"She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens." Proverbs 31:15

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Preparing for our Fall Garden...

Working our soil with manure and peat moss

Swiss Chard and Wild Lettuce

My mother is preparing the garden bed for new soil

"Peter" Rabbit loves greens, so while we were in the garden, I gave him a treat :)

Collard Greens

"For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." Isaiah 61:11