Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Breakfast

I always try to make my boys a fun breakfast on holidays and special days.  Today we had chocolate chip pancakes cut into shapes.  The cat had black sprinkles, pumpkin had orange and the ghost had some powdered sugar.  They also had a ghost banana on a stick with chocolate chip eyes and milk.   

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Party 2011

We hosted a Halloween/Housewarming party at our house.  I knew it was going to be a busy week leading up to the party with all the Halloween activities so decided to keep it as simple as possible.  I supplied the main dishes and had my guests bring a side or dessert.  We had BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, homemade mac n cheese and pumpkin shaped pizzas.  I also had a cheese ball with crackers, cupcakes for the kids to decorate and plenty to drink.  We set up our bounce house in the garage and offered a craft to help keep the kids busy.  It was a ton of fun.  My son has already started planning for next year.
Here are some pictures of the house decorated.  Sorry there are a lot.

Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crafting with your kids: Yarn Spider Web

My friend Sarah called me and told me about a fun project she did with her son.  I knew we would have to do that right away.  My boys loved making this yarn spider web.  In fact, they are still playing in it two hours later.

All you need is chairs and yarn.  We set up 8 chairs in a circle.  I tied the end of the yard to one chair and we had a great time throwing the yarn ball back and forth.  We went in and out , around and around the chairs until we ran out of yarn.
Thanks Sarah for this fun and thrifty idea.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Muffin Exchange

My friend Janessa and I have decided to start doing a freezer cooking swap every couple weeks.  Basically we will pick a theme, each make different recipes and then swap them.  The first theme we chose was muffins.  We each made 5 different types and then shared.  I now have 10 muffins to choose from in the freezer.
Left going clockwise: Fresh Lemon, Pumpkin Apple Steusel, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, Chocolate-Chocolate Chip and Best Applie Pie Muffins Ever.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin and oil.
  5. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten.
     6. Fold in apples.
     7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
     8. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
     9. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    10. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter.
    11. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Fresh Lemon Muffins
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cupmargarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Directions:
    1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating well.
    2. Add eggs; stir in lemon rind and juice.
    3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture.
    4. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans (or an ungreased non-stick pan you trust), filling 2/3 full.
    5. Combine 2 Tbsp sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over batter.
    6. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes.
    7. Remove from pans immediately to cool.
    The Best Apple Pie Muffins Ever


  1. 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  2. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  3. 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  4. Muffins:
    1. cinnamon could be added to the batter ( about 1 teaspoon or less).
    2. Topping: In a small bowl toss together sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon until crumbly; set aside.
    3. Muffins: In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla until smooth.
    4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, soda and salt.
    5. Stir oil mixture into flour mixture alternately with buttermilk.
    6. Fold in apples, mixing just until combined.
    7. Spoon into greased muffin cups filling 3/4 full.
    8. Sprinkle topping over evenly.
    9. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and tops spring back.

    Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins
    • 7 9/10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup warm water
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate minichips, divided
    • Cooking spray

             1. Preheat oven to 400°.
             2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine 1 cup water and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in 1/4 cup minichips. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
            3. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups, and coat liners with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup minichips evenly over batter. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

      1. In large mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and oil until smooth.
      2. Mix dry ingredients together and mix into pumpkin mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
      3. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full.
      4. Bake at 400 F for 16-20 minutes.

    Linked up to What's on your Plate!

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Pumpkin & Spiders

    Can you believe it is one week until Halloween?  I feel so far behind.  My sons costumes aren't even finished.  I am usually on top of things but this year, not so much.  While trying to think of easy and inexpensive ways to decorate my house for Halloween I came up with this idea.  I just used a glass display (I think it is for a cupcake), Spanish moss, a small white pumpkin and plastic spider rings.  It was quick to make and turned out pretty cute.  I plan to share a few more decorations I came up with later this week so check back.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Monster Tooth Pillow

    My son lost his first tooth today.  While he is really excited for the tooth fairy to visit I was a little stressed because I hadn't made his tooth pillow yet.  Luckily I was prepared with an idea I found here.  I didn't have any material so I just used felt and hand sewed it together.  Now my son is ready for his special visitor tonight.

    Linked up to Wow Me Wednesday!

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Menu Plan October 16th - 22nd

    I'm Back!!  Sorry I have been missing for a few weeks.  We moved to a new house so there was a couple weeks of packing and a couple weeks of unpacking which took priority over everything else.  This morning was actually the first time I shopped for groceries in 4 weeks and I haven't clipped or organized coupons in a month.  Getting caught up on my coupon binder is at the top of my to do list this week.  I planned my meals this week so I hope we are able to stick with the plan and get things back on track.

    Had a late lunch so ate cereal for dinner
    Butternut Squash Soup and Homemade Bread
    Homemade Pizza
    White Girl Enchiladas
    Whole Chicken, butternut squash and bread
    Chicken Tetrazzini
    Eat Out

    I also plan to make homemade applesauce and 5 types of muffins to put in the freezer.