Thursday, October 06, 2011
Pumpkin bread recipe (Yes I know it is not spark certified and feel free to make changes but this is the best pumpkin bread you will ever eat).
Mix dry ingredients together:
3 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon,cloves, ginger or pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
You can use more of less of the spices at your discretion.
Make a well in the flour mix and add into the hole:
2 cup canned (or fresh) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix but just pumpkin)
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup water
1 cup of walnuts (optional)
Mix well and bake for 1 hour. Makes 2 standard size loaves. Can be made into muffins, mini loaves or mini muffins as well. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
No I dont have the nutritional information and I really dont want to know! lol.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
I did NOT make cake pops but I DID make pumpkin bread pops... Gah! I know. I am such a freak.
I got inspired yesterday when I met Kelly and her friend for coffee and she was eating a pumpkin cream cheese centered muffin. I had a bite and it was fabulous so of course, I had to take it to the next level.
So I came home and baked (the family recipe) pumpkin bread. Then I crumbled it into peices and added cream cheese frosting, rolled it into balls, stuck them in the freezer and today went and got orange candy coating and sprinkles and this is the final product.
Then I took some to 2 of my neighbors, sent a box with Kelly to her boyfriend's family and even took some down to the guys at the Napa Auto parts store that we do business with. I had them in really cute halloween boxes and they are not only adorable, they are crazy delicious. I ate two and stuck the last dozen in the freezer for last minute gifts or for some little kids that may come by in the next few weeks.
It was really fun but baking is a bad, bad temptation for me but I did pretty good only eating two and I got them out of the house as fast as possible! I wish I could send one to every one of you guys for halloween. I mean, ONE wouldn't hurt. Right?
PS: Here is the recipe for cake pops. Yes MICHAEL's craft store has all different colored candy coating. If you try to die almond bark, it gets clumpy.
1 baked cake (any flavor) (or I used pumpkinbread. cant have any crispy bits or crunchy things in it or they fall apart)
1 16 oz tub of frosting (any flavor) (you will only use 3/4 of the can)
Chocolate candy melts wafers (available at Michael's craft store or baking supply store) (any flavor)
sprinkles or decor of any kind
Bake a cake (use a box mix or home recipe) according to directions. Let cool about 20 minutes or more.
Crumble it into small, fine crumbs in a large bowl. Use your hands for best results. Pick out any crispy bits.
Add 3/4 of a 16 oz. can of frosting (you made me a bit more).
Mix well. It should be soft enough to form a ball but not sticky.
You can put the mix in the frig for a little bit to make the dough easier to form if desired.
I use a 1" scoop, form the balls with my hands. Then place on a cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
When all the balls are formed, put in the freezer for at least 20 minutes or for several hours or days.
When you are ready to coat the balls, take them out of the freezer.
Melt the chocolate coating in the microwave in a fairly deep bowl (a 2 cup glass measuring cup works great). Melt 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between. When it is just melted (like you can still see a few small chunks), stir to completly melt. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE CHOCOLATE! Then add 1 tsp of vegetable oil (not olive oil) at a time until the chocolate is fairly thin and runny.
Get the cake pop/candy sucker sticks ready and dip into the chocolate by about 1/2" then stick into each ball. Let dry. (This helps them stay on the stick when you dip them.
One by one, dip the cake balls into the chocolate. Dip all the way into the melted chocolate and try not to twist. Just dunk and lift. If it is too thick, add more oil and stir well.
Lean ball sideways over the bowl and tap stick gently on the bowl to let excess chocolate drip off. Then put ball side down on the waxed paper OR put the stick side down into that green floral styrofoam to dry.
If you want to add sprinkles or candy bits, sprinkle on after the balls have been sitting for a few seconds but not quite dry. You can also add a contrasting drizzle of melted chocolate.
Can be stored on the counter top for 2-3 days or in the freezer for many weeks. I recommend keeping in the freezer. They are really good straight from the freezer, too.The frig does not work well because it makes the pops sweat.
If you GOOGLE cake pops, there are videos that show you how to do it this. The more you do it, the easier it is. It takes a bit of practice but the possibilities and flavor combinations are endless!
Get the skinny lollipop sticks. michaels has them and the chocolate melts too...
also for cute items, get colorful cupcake wrappers. For other ideas for parties or events. my sister swears by "the perfect browinie pan" that is sold all over the place. I gotta say, they are super amazing and you can always frost them. ANother cute thing to do is take regular size marshmallows, put a stick in them and dip them in the chocolate and then roll in sprinkles or nuts. They look fabulous and are super easy and cheap to do. You can also do the long pretzel rods the same way. dip them halfway and then put sprinkles on them. Good luck and have fun!!
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Come on. Admit it. You drive along in your car, you drink stuff, you eat stuff. Today I was putting groceries in the back seat of my truck and there were about 20 items back there. I immediatly wondered what you all would think if you saw that.
I would not be embarrased. They were all empty water bottles.
No food wrappers, no candy bars wrappers, just water bottles.
And I even recycle them!
That is not always the way it was. A few years ago, it was filled with McDonalds wrappers, 32 oz. soda cups, candy bar wrappers, diet pepsi cans (cause I used to always drink diet soda cause then, in my mind, I could have cookies) and a bunch of other junk. That was only the things I would admit to. There were many, many other items that I would get rid of before I got home because I didn't want anyone to know exactly how much I was actually eating.
But today, I am proud of how I have changed my life. I can go to the store withouth eating something there or on the way home. I can cook without eating a whole meals worth before I even have dinner. I am not hiding anything anymore. That makes me happy.
The only thing besides water bottles is a bunch of black dog hair from Stitchy from when we go to where we walk at night. I can live with that.
So, truthfully, what is laying around in the back seat of your car?
Monday, October 03, 2011
So I know you guys want to know how my birthday went. First I want to thank you ALL for your birthday wishes and goodies etc...I had a great birthday!!
I had to work that day but planned to go to dinner with Frank and my girls and my sister. When I got to restaurant, this is what I saw:
A bunch of my friends and family! Frank had planned a suprise party for me with about 30 people, including my best girlfriend, Lisa, whom I have known since we were 9 years old.
This is a picture of me, her and her hubby.
This is my daughter, Kelly
and my daughter Kady
Me and my neice, Sami, tasting the cake
and one last picture of me and lisa (she looks the same as when we were teenagers. I hate her). lol
Then Thursday morning, we headed to the race track, got the tent up,
set up the trailers, unloaded all the food, the trophies, the raffle prizes and cooked dinner for the masses (about 125 people). Big costco hotdogs, nachos and chili and birthday cake! So many people brought me gifts and cards, it was overwhelming. But the best present was Frank got one of our drivers (he does Elvis weddings) to dress up for me for my birthday!!
Then the party began and Kady came and made adult smoothies for everyone
ANd this was my friend, Spanky. Lucky it wasn't me!!
Here are some of the raffle prizes and trophies....
Friday we cooked over 200 peices of chicken, cut it all up and put in pans with BBQ sauce and served over buns, potato salad, green beans with onions for 250 people.
Saturday, we cooked 180 pounds of tri tip, Baked beans, green salad and rolls for 300 people!
We did a special memorial for Frank's dad and his whole family came and we gave his mom a plaque. 66 dwarf cars lined up on the track. It was really cool.
All in all it was a great weekend, I am loving being 50 but I have had enough distraction from myself and I am ready to get back to taking care of myself. I have had a lot of events, a lot of cake, a lot of alcohol.
Now it is time to get strong, prepare for the upcoming holiday and food eating situations that derail me.
It is time to get solid
It is time to get strong
It is time to get fit(ter)
It is time to quit messing around.
I am posting some mini challenges for anyone who needs a little help getting back on the rails, who needs a little spark in their spark and a reminder and some support for those of us who may have strayed a bit from our path.
This week is about hitting our nutrtional goals for protein. This is not a balls to the wall challenge. This is about basic strategies that work and a gentle nudge in the right direction. This is about friends and reminders and a tentative foothold on which to build. Everyone is welcome and it is completely informal.
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