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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday ~ October 30th

Good Morning Ladies!

We have a special whole grain recipe for you today along with the blog hop this week, and another fun tidbit...

Joyous Notions's Twisted Almond Wreath was featured in Solo Foods e-Cookbook - No Kid Hungry.

Please leave links for the blog hop! Have a wonderful day!
~ Jessica


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing we love to do in our work is encourage ladies in making their homes... we are so pleased to start this Homemaking Blog Hop each week! Please join us, and share your links!

Topics can include... crafting, homemaking, encouragement, recipes, homeschooling, sewing, quilting, organizing, anything that has to do with making our homes! 


At the bottom, use the link tool to share your link, title and pick your image, it's so simple! And yes, you can share multiple links. =) 


Grab our Blog Hop button to add to your blog to share the fun! *Required to participate*








And don't forget to watch for...




Monday, October 28, 2013

Around the House...

Just a few pictures of my projects this week... :)

I have really been wanting to make some soap! I finally got to make some on Monday, and my recipe came out so good, I'm making candy cane soap for the Christmas issue! I love homemade soap... the colors came out so pretty too.




And my quilt... I'm glad I waited so long to start quilting it. Now that I've had time to work on it again, I've decided to quilt it by hand.




What are you working on? Share with us! 
Have a blessed week, ~Jessica


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday ~ October 22nd

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

The fall issue of Seasons at Home has arrived and we are shipping them out! If you haven't subscribed, and would like to (we'd love to have you join up!).... you can subscribe here. :)

We are currently getting ready for the Winter/Christmas issue, plus some other fun products for 2014. And also The Five Days of Christmas.

Please leave links for the blog hop! Have a wonderful day!
~ Jessica
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing we love to do in our work is encourage ladies in making their homes... we are so pleased to start this Homemaking Blog Hop each week! Please join us, and share your links!

Topics can include... crafting, homemaking, encouragement, recipes, homeschooling, sewing, quilting, organizing, anything that has to do with making our homes! 


At the bottom, use the link tool to share your link, title and pick your image, it's so simple! And yes, you can share multiple links. =) 


Grab our Blog Hop button to add to your blog to share the fun! *Required to participate*








And don't forget to watch for...




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday! ~ October 16th

Enjoy the blog hop this week ladies! We are really hoping to see this grow, and you can help us by sharing it on your blog. We appreciate it so much!

Have a wonderful week!
~ Jessica
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing we love to do in our work is encourage ladies in making their homes... we are so pleased to start this Homemaking Blog Hop each week! Please join us, and share your links!

Topics can include... crafting, homemaking, encouragement, recipes, homeschooling, sewing, quilting, organizing, anything that has to do with making our homes! 


At the bottom, use the link tool to share your link, title and pick your image, it's so simple! And yes, you can share multiple links. =) 


Grab our Blog Hop button to add to your blog to share the fun! *Required to participate*










Pumpkin {Sweet Potato} Spice Bars

We have been enjoying a quieter week, finishing up some projects, and starting new ones. Family is coming into town and plans need to be made for the Christmas season, it's all going to go by so fast, as usual - trying to enjoy every bit of the season as it comes!

The fall color change is beautiful and we have been seeing the first bits of snow, including more snow today. Yesterday was windy and cold - a baking day!

I intended to make these with pumpkin, but found I only had sweet potatoes available... so you can also make sweet potato spice bars with this recipe. Either way, these are delicious! I know what I'm having with my coffee tomorrow morning... 

Pumpkin {Sweet Potato} Spice Bars


In a small bowl, soak 1 1/2 cups of raisins in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, combine: 
     2 1/2 cups soft wheat flour
     1 1/2 tsp. each of baking soda and baking powder
     1 tsp. sea salt
     2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
     1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Whisk together. In a separate bowl, combine: 
     1 cup butter, melted
     1 1/2 cups brown sugar
     2 large eggs
     1 tbsp. vanilla extract
     
Whisk together until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree` or 1 1/2 cups of cooked, mashed sweet potato and stir until smooth. Add this mixture, drained raisins and 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional) to the dry ingredients and stir well. A little bit of rum, 2 tbsp. or so, does not hurt the batter here either! So, perhaps add some? I did. 

Pour into a greased and floured 18" x 13" jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn out on to a rack to finish cooling, or leave in the pan to cool. Frost with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and cut into bars. Serve and store leftover bars in the refrigerator.                                                                                 ~ Makes about 32 bars
     
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

In a small bowl, combine:
     1/4 cup butter, softened
     1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
     1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
     2 tsp. vanilla extract
     2 tbsp. half & half
     2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
     
Beat on high speed with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add a little more half & half (one tablespoon at a time) if the frosting is too dry. Spread over cool bars.



Happy Fall! ~ Jessica ~ 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fall Blog Hop Day 5 - It's Treat Day!

Welcome to day five of our fall blog hop! Our hop will consist of several things: giveaways, fun posts, and an opportunity to leave your link to your fall post! Please share the hop with your friends!

Make sure to follow the guidelines for the hop. Make sure to thank the link participants when you visit their blog!
Enter below to win today's giveaway!


Today's Giveaway:
Seasons at Home Magazine 2013 Subscription





Download Coupon - $14.95 value From Stacy Farrell at Homeschool Adventure - The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions - with George MacDonald -
The Wise Woman enchants readers while it contrasts the ugliness of pride, selfishness and conceit with the beauty of humility, sacrifice, and compassion. By offering 16 to 24 literary analysis questions per chapter, this 160-page spiral bound edition provokes meaningful discussion and teaches critical thinking in a way that is engaging and transformational. 
Read More...


It's Saturday... and we have some deliciously fun 
recipes for you to make today!

Salted Caramel Rice Crispy Treats
I have seen lots of recipes for these floating around, but most of them have way too much caramel in and on them! This is our lighter version of a delicious fall treat.
AND OH WERE THEY GOOD! From Theresa :)


Butter a 9" x 13" glass casserole dish and set aside. In a large pot melt: 
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. half & half 
2 tsp. vanilla extract
30 unwrapped Kraft caramels
1 10 oz. bag of mini marshmallows

Melt together over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Add 7 cups of crispy rice cereal and stir to coat. Press mixture firmly in buttered pan. Sprinkle with about 1 1/2 tsp. of sea salt or flaked sea salt. Flaked sea salt is wonderful for this, but I used our regular sea salt! 





You can drizzle 1/3 cup of caramel topping over the bars before sprinkling them with salt, but I found them to be perfectly sweet enough! Cut the rice crispies into bars, and enjoy... 

~ Makes about 18 treats ~




Apple Butter Pie Pops

These were fun, and the children enjoyed them! We cut them out with acorn-shaped cookie cutters. You will need cake/cookie pop sticks.

I used my recipe for Apple Butter that I made in the fall issue of Seasons at Home. But you can you use any apple butter, homemade or store-bought, they will still be good! You can also use apple pie filling, but I would blend the filling in the food processor slightly to chop the apples a little finer.  

Cinnamon Pie Crust

In a small bowl, combine the following:
1 cup butter, cold 
2 tbsp. sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

Use a fork or a pastry blender (a pastry blender will make fast work of this!), cut the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 

Drizzle with 1/4 cup of very cold water. Bring the flour mixture and water together with the fork, then use your fingers to form a dough. Do NOT knead the dough, just press the mixture until a dough forms. Chill for 30 minutes. 


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough 1/4" thick between wax paper. Cut out shapes with a round, other cookie cutter. I would try to use rounder shapes, not shapes with a lot of points, like leaves. 

Place cut-outs on the lined baking sheet, and remember when you position them that you need to have room for the cookie sticks! Fill the center of each each one with 1 tbsp. of apple butter or pie filling. Place a cookie stick in the center as shown. 


Cover with another crust cut-out and seal the edges by lightly pressing with your fingers and crimping with a fork. Brush with an egg wash or melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and serve! For a party, tie each pop with colored ribbon!


Cinnamon Glazed Pecans


Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat 2 egg whites until frothy. Add 1 cup of sugar and beat for 1-2 minutes, until thick. 


Add 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 cup melted butter. Mix until smooth. Stir in 3 cups pecan halves. Stir until completely coated. 



Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees stirring every 10 minutes, for about one hour or until dry and crunchy.


 YUMMY!
We hope you enjoyed the Fall Blog Hop!! Thank you so much for visiting and come back! Sign up for our newsletter and watch for our upcoming Holiday Hops!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

PUMPKINS! Fall Blog Hop Day 4

Welcome to day four of our fall blog hop! Our hop will consist of several things: giveaways, fun posts, and an opportunity to leave your link to your fall post! Please share the hop with your friends!

If you leave a link, make sure to follow the guidelines for the hop by providing a back link to us. Make sure to thank the link participants when you visit their blog!
Enter below to win today's giveaway!

Today's Giveaway:
Seasons at Home Magazine 2013 Subscription - 3 Issues

 AND


Too Many Pumpkins - by Linda White - Our featured fall book!


AND WOW!!

A One Year Membership to Schoolhouseteachers.com!

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is a members-only website by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Each month members have access to exclusive lessons from our Schoolhouse Teachers; have access to AppleCore for planning and tracking; have access to the TOS digital back issues; access all five of our exclusive Schoolhouse Planners; and access our recorded Expos-To-Go. Come do your homework with us! It is as easy as: Point, Click, Teach. One winner will receive a one-year membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com valued at $99.
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Today's Post features our October book giveaway, Pumpkin Yarn Craft and some pumpkin recipes!

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White is one of our favorite fall books! 

Rebecca Estelle does not like pumpkins! When a truck comes by at harvest and dumps one into her yard, her attitude must change.


This part is when my 5-year-old gasps and says, "PUMPKINS!" How did all those pumpkins get there? What will Rebecca Estelle do with all those pumpkins? You'll need to find out! Once you read the book, make the pumpkins below, bake pumpkin cookies, roast pumpkin seeds...Have fun!
Today's craft: Yarn Pumpkins

Supplies: Orange yarn, clear glue, green pipe cleaners, balloons

1. On the balloon you want to create sections with the yarn. Start by tying the yarn around the knot on top of the balloon. Bring the yarn down and up the other side, and again wrap the yarn around the knot.


Continue until you have at least 8 sections around the balloon, tie at the top. I had to do this for them.

2. Take a paintbrush and paint glue over the sectioned yarn.


 3. Now the messy part! I don't love messes but it's necessary here. Take a length of yarn that is easy for the child to work with, at least as long to go around the balloon once. I would say 10"-15". Soak this in glue, and squeeze down the glue back into the cup.

 4. Now it's a matter of wrapping the glue soaked yarn around the balloon and repeating until the balloon is well covered.

 


You might want to keep little wipes handy for them to occasionally wipe the glue off.














5. Let dry. We hung ours outside with yarn to dry in the air. It took several hours, and don't rush. If it feels slightly wet, it is. Overnight is probably better but they couldn't wait for the best part. When dry, pop the balloon.



 6. Don't panic if your creation caves in! They can be shaped back out to a round pumpkin shape. Carefully get the balloon out, you'll need to cut it off the inside top. Don't cut your pumpkin! Re-shape if needed. The time consuming part is getting all the glue off the yarn to make it pretty, but do this after you re-shape.



7. Now twirl some green pipe cleaner and tie onto the top knot.



How cute is that? Too bad you can't do this in orange fire-proof material, because I think a candle would look swell in there. You can hang these or shape them to sit on a table. On day two, they were a bit sturdier.

Bake up some of the softest pumpkin cookies ever! This was our one of our little ones very first cookie. They don't need the frosting, but you'll miss a real treat if you leave them plain!

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Soak 2 cups of raisins in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. 
In a mixer combine: 
     2 1/2 cups butter, softened
     1 cup sugar
     1 cup brown sugar
     2 large eggs
     1 tbsp. vanilla extract
     1 15 oz. can of pure pumpkin

Beat on high speed until fluffy. Add: 
     1 1/4 tsp. sea salt
     1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
     1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
     1 tsp. baking soda
     1 tsp. baking powder
     7 cups soft wheat flour

Let the cookie batter sit for 10 minutes. Drop by rounded tablespoons on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a rack. Frost with Butter Frosting! 

Butter Frosting

In a bowl, combine: 
     1/4 cup melted butter
     2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
     2 tbsp. half & half
     2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
     
Whisk together until smooth.

----------

 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. Worcester sauce
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
pinch pepper

Mix together in a bowl and bake at 350 degrees, stirring every 7-10 minutes. These are done in about 30 minutes.   




















We hope you enjoyed today's fall hop!


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