I love fall. Too bad the Northern California weather doesn’t seem to agree with me. Therefore, I will *make* it happen. Even if that means sweating to death in my jeans and adorable flannel shirt, drinking pumpkin lattes when it’s 85 degrees out and burning apple cinnamon candles in my home, despite the a/c running.
So far, none of this has worked. So last Sunday, I pulled out the big guns. It was time to make my momma’s Pumpkin Crunch Cake. Desperate times call for desperate measures, people.
This being the case, I attempted to recall the recipe as best as could, seeing as how my momsie was out of town at the time. Normally, I would just wait to get the correct recipe, but something had to be done about this nonexistent fall season.
I wracked my brain and came up with the main ingredients. Canned pumpkin, yellow cake mix, evaporated milk and BUTTER. Lots and lots of butter.
I also remembered that this was a kind of dump cake, meaning you just mix and bake. Butter and easy? Does it get more *awesome* than that?
So, armed with my foggy memory and cups of butter, I attempted the recipe. Thank heavens, it turned out. Almost as good as my momma’s. Almost.
Pumpkin Crunch Cake
by Sarah’s momma
15 oz. canned pumpkin
10 oz. can evaporated milk
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. butter, melted
1/2 -1 c. chopped walnuts (I used toffee bits as the men folk in my home aren’t fond of walnuts)
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 pan. Set aside.
Mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour into greased pan.
Next, sprinkle yellow cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Drizzle melted butter over the yellow cake mix and sprinkle on the walnuts or toffee bits.
Bake @350 for 40-45 minutes.
Eat heartily and with lots of vanilla ice cream.
For some unknown fantastic reason, the Soccer Head Haunchos decided to favor me this last week by giving the entire league a bye week. For those of you who haven’t had the life sucked out of you by sports, this is a fancy way of saying we had the weekend off. That’s right. NO games. An entire Saturday all to myself with no obligations to get anybody, anywhere. It was glorious.
So, I spent the day doing the following:
Sipping 2 cups of steaming hot coffee. This sounds lame,But considering that I usually inhale said coffee while burning the bejeebers out of my tongue, sipping was sheer bliss.
Taking the boys for a long awaited bike ride. Boys and bikes are always a fun combination.
Surprising bike riding boys with the new Star Wars Lego movie. Because boys can never get enough of Star Wars or Legos.
Sewing in heavenly peace while boys watch said Star Wars Lego movie. (I forgot to mention that this was my *real* motive for the purchase). I was actually able to finish up 3 (yes,3) new market bags for the shop. To be listed this week…
And finally, sweet talking my hubs into making me an iced vanilla latte. He’s so perfect for me.
So, thank Soccer Haunchos. Thank you for giving me a most rare and precious gift: A day off.
That’s right. I’ve decided that I’m going to pretend that I can blog again. I do this about once a year, for those of you who haven’t followed my wanderings for long. I tend to go like gangbusters for about 8 months, and then I fall off the face of the earth. Hey. It’s how I roll.
So, now that I’m back, I have to vent just a bit. As many of you know, it’s September. Which means it’s soccer season. Which also means that I lose all control of my free time and schedule. It’s all about practices, games, snack schedules, banners and mud filled cleats.
Having had the 3 boys for a while now, I’m getting used to having my life overtaken by sports. So this is not my rant. My rant is the crazy parents that I’ve had to deal with now for 4 years running. And I have to say, that the longer we’re in the sport, the crazier they get. Let me introduce you to my favorite nutsoid parent this season: SWAT Team Dad.
SWAT Team Dad’s son and my middle boy are on the same team, which means that I’ve had a chance to observe him up close and personal. And it’s not pretty. He’s so intense with this recreational soccer game, that it freaks me out to think about how he must react to really important things like tax season and the toilet overflowing. My favorite quotes from him to his son so far:
“Pick up those feet! We’re not girls!”
“Lap, em’, son! Pass 3 boys and you get an Icee.”
“Put your head in the game!”
“Sprint! You’re faster than that kid!”
“You wanna make money? $1 for every goal you make!”
Did I mention these are 7 year olds? Seriously, Dude. It’s all I can do to sit there, say nothing and not stare. What I really want to do is tell him to take his motivational insults and his Under Armor hat and jump off a cliff. But, in the spirit of sportsmanship and team support, I keep my mouth shut. Thankfully, we have an awesome coach who sends out weekly emails reminding us to do our one job. Cheer.
Game on, SWAT Team Dad.
There is an insane storm going on outside. Crazy rain, wind strong enough to blow our spa cover off, and *cold* temperatures that are making this California girl terribly unhappy. I know, I know. Those of you that don’t live in California are laughing at my weakness, but hey, 40 degrees is down right frigid to us. So go easy on me.
Weather like this makes me want to curl up in a ball on the couch with a good book. And I like to stay in that ball for the remainder of the day. So that’s what I plan on doing today. I’ve taken stock of the books I’m reading and thought I’d share them with you. It’s always cool to see what other people are reading and get some good ideas for the next rainy day read-in. I am a multi-book reader, by the way. I have to have at least 3 books going at once. It drives my husband crazy. So here they are:
1. Emma by Jane Austen – I’ve read this so many times, and yet I’m reading it again. And I’ll read it again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that…
2.Henry and the Paper Route by Beverly Clearly – Okay, okay. This isn’t really my book, but I’m reading it with Max and we both are enjoying it *immensely.* If you have boys, or have been a boy, you will end up loving Henry.
3. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather – I bought this about a year ago, right after I read My Antonia. I do love the way she describes the characters in her books and how she’s not afraid to let them have flaws.
4. Abraham Lincoln by Carl Sanburg – Not for the faint of heart. This book is my attempt at continuing education, and while I’m learning *tons* I can only take it in small doses. So, with that being the case, I should finish it in the year 2025.
So, what are you reading? I’m always looking for new books to add to my ever growing ‘to read’ list. That’s the list that for every one book I read, I add six new ones. So, share your faves, peeps! And happy reading.
Congrats to Copper’s Wife, the winner of our Third Eye Artisans giveaway! And let me tell you, you couldn’t have won this cozy scarf or beret at a better time. It’s stormy in Nor. Cal right now!
Thanks to all of you who did enter but didn’t win. I’m so thankful that you took the time and effort to show Third Eye some love. And to show *her* appreciation, Julie’s offering everyone who entered free shipping good on the entire purchase of anything in her shop. Just be sure to enter the word ‘GIVEAWAY’ in the message to seller, and she’ll refund you via PayPal.
Alright, faithful readers. ‘Tis the season for giving, so I thought I’d get myself in the mood by hosting another giveaway! Woot, woot! This time, I’m featuring Julie from Third Eye Artisans and her cozy yarn goodness. Julie’s love for texture and color shine through in her beautiful crocheted pieces, and each item in her shop showcases her love for her craft. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s my momma. Here are a few examples of her fantastic work.
Awesome, yes? I have one of those cowls, and I *love* it. It’s a good day when one can look fabulous while staying warm. Want to learn a bit more about Third Eye? Here’s what Julie has to say about her shop and love of color:
“I must confess that my love of using bright, vivid color began at a less than happy time of my life when I was in the first grade. After being given a ditto page (remember those?) of Abraham Lincoln to color, I excitedly opened my brand new box of Crayola Crayons (back in those days there were only 8). I used every crayon in the box to color my Mr. Lincoln. When I was finished, the teacher held up my paper and used it as an example to the other students of how *not* to color President Lincoln. “Use only black or brown.” she said. I continue to use all of the colors available to me which, thankfully, are way more than eight now. Beige is not in my crayon box either. This is why you see such a variety of items, in a variety of colors and textures, in my shop. With very rare exception, my items are one of a kind (ooak). Everything is my favorite! It’s all I can do to list the pieces after I make them because I want to keep them all!….ARGH!!!! “
So, time to see what you can win! Julie is offering a choice between two of her lovely designs. Take a good look at both and then enter to win below!
First up: the Slouch Beret, a $23 value
or: the Mesh Net Scarf, a $35 value
Want to enter? Here’s how:
1. Head over to Third Eye Artisans and heart the shop. This is a MANDATORY entry. (1 entry)
2. Like Julie’s Facebook fan page. (1 entry)
3. Follow Julie on Twitter. (1 entry)
4. Follow my blog. (1 entry)
5. Tweet about this giveaway. Simple copy and paste this: Enter to win a #handmade scarf or hat by @thirdeyeonetsy at https://handsfullcreations.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/giveaway-goodness/ (1 entry)
6. ‘Suggest’ Julie’s Facebook fan page to at least 3 friends. (3 entries)
Do not forget to leave a comment on this blog post and tell me which of the above entry forms you have chosen! Feel free to enter as many times as you like, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry. Also, be sure to include your email address, or if you prefer, a Facebook, Twitter or Etsy user name where I can contact you. Giveaway starts now and ends on Sunday, December 12th, at 11:59pm PCT. A winner will be randomly selected and notified within 24 hours of the giveaway ending. Have fun and good luck!