Friday, November 20, 2009

For the Love of Pumpkin

Last week, our family enjoyed pumpkin muffins for breakfast.  It is one of my favorite recipes, especially this time of year.  I usually make a triple batch (then it uses the whole can of pumpkin), and we eat them as snacks or freeze some.  Last week's batch turned out perfectly.  I decided to take a picture and post the recipe for you to enjoy.  I had three pans of muffins, and placed one on the table for the perfect muffin photo shoot.  Things went downhill from there...
It seems that our very tall, usually well-behaved,yellow lab Mandie loves pumpkin.  While I was in the shower, she ate all but two of the remaining muffins.  SHE ATE 13 MUFFINS!  She got all of the muffins on the table and then went to the kitchen counter for the rest.  It is ironic that the only other "Mandie ate our food off the counter" story involved two pumpkin pies last year in December.  This dog apparently LOVES pumpkin.  Regardless of the disaster, I decided to share the recipe and a picture. 

Spicy Pumpkin Muffins

(makes 1 dozen med. sized muffins)

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 t. cloves
1/2 c. raisins (opt.)
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. canned pumpkin (or triple the recipe and use the whole can of pumpkin)
1/4 c. oil

2 1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Beat egg, milk, pumpkin and oil in smaller bowl.  Pour pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.  Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture and bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees until nicely browned.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

October Roundup

Yesterday I saw Katie the Scrapbook Lady's idea to "roundup" each month's memories on the last day of the month.  I loved how easy it would be to keep track of the year in a month-by-month system.  The timing seemed good, so here is my October Roundup.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
I am reading the book "Becoming a Woman of Influence: Making a Lasting Impact on Others" by Carol Kent, with my Bible study goup.
I enjoy a subscription to Creating Keepsakes magazine and read it the day it arrives.
I also love life:beautiful, a newer magazine for Christian women, which is published by a friend of mine from college.

What movies, television shows, plays, etc. did I watch this month?
The most memorable of this catagory--Byron and I went to see the musical "Wicked" at the Des Moines Civic Center on the 15th.  I loved it so much, but I regretted that my 15-year-old-drama-and-music-loving-daughter didn't get to see it.  In fact, I regretted it so much that I bought tickets to go see it with my two girls in Kansas City in December.
Also saw the musical show SIX in Branson--a family of brothers who sing a cappella in 6 part harmony. 

What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?
Byron and I went on our first trip to Branson, MO this month.  We are natives of Missouri, but our good Iowa friends had to get us there for the first time.  We had a great time!  Thank you, friends, for inviting us!

Our family spent a lot of time at high school football games.  My oldest son is a running back and oldest daughter is a manager for the team.  Monday and Friday nights were booked with football.  It's a fun time, because you get to squeeze into the bleachers with all your neighbors and friends!  Our team has enjoyed it's best record ever this season (9-1), so we aren't done playing yet. 
Go Ballard!

My oldest daughter and a friend had a joint birthday party last weekend.  We rented out a rollerskating rink for 2 hours and had a blast. Definitely need to do it again, it was so much fun!

We added another pet to our household.  My youngest daughter's turtle came to live inside in a tank.  He is fun to watch and a great conversation piece.  We made a great memory by driving halfway to Missouri to meet grandpa, who had the turtle in a box marked "Iowa or bust".  (Turtle is adopted from the Missouri cousins...more about that story in a later post.)

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
October is a big birthday month for my family--2 of my kids have October birthdays, as well as myself.  We gave P90x to my son who turned 11 (he is obsessed with fitness right now).  I received some nice gifts from my family for my birthday, including some new cds I'd been wanting and the 70th anniversary dvd of "The Wizard of Oz."  We gave our oldest daughter a pair of rainboots and a sweater, plus some cash for an upcoming shopping trip to Mall of America. 

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
October was a GREAT month for special purchases:  vintage red gumball machine, antique BINGO game, and a pair of polkadot rainboots top my list.  They might be my favorite purchases of the year!

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
The first thing that comes to mind is how to prevent my family members from getting H1N1.
Also, because it's my birthday month--yearly exam/mammogram.  We've got to take care of ourselves, gals!

What were my accomplishments this month?
Starting this blog is my favorite accomplishment of the month.
I painted a door in my mudroom with chalkboard paint--love it!

What were my disappointments this month?
The weather has prevented us from having any bonfires this month.  October is usually a month with several gatherings around a fire. It went on record as the third coldest and fourth wettest October. I have a supply of hotdogs, buns, and goodies for s'mores waiting for a nice weekend--I hope November comes through for me!

Anything else noteworthy to include?
A highlight of October was gathering in our church's new addition for the first time.  It was amazing to join approx. 1200 others in worship and song. (That was for the 9:00 service.  The 11:00 had almost as many people.) My life is richly blessed because of Cornerstone Church and it's people, but especially because of the God we serve who makes it all possible.