Wishful Thinking

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

3 eggs

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.

October 18, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, House and Home. 2 comments.

Random Ramblings of a Phantom Blogger.

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.

September 16, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family. 2 comments.

Giveaway Goodness

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

 

 

Slouch Beret in Taupe, Navy or Plum

or: the Mesh Net Scarf, a $35 value

 

Mesh Net Scarf in Peacock

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!

December 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations. 29 comments.

These aren’t your momma’s colors

Color Thursday again, and this time, I’m debunking a myth. A myth that rust is a color that should stay in the 70’s. A myth that a rust/brown combo is a thing of the past. I know what you’re thinking. And no, I’m not crazy. This color duo is quite trendy and up to date. I’ll prove it to you.

 

See Exhibit A

 

Simply Sweet Elastic Headband

 

November Earrings

 

 

Recycled T-shirt Rug

 

Custom Made Tableware

 

And now for Exhibit B

 

Two Tone Chunky Cowl

 

Slimline Journal

 

Retro Coffee Set

 

Vintage Cuff Bracelet

 

Gorgeous together, yes? I tend to think so. Let’s give rust the attention it deserves. No longer will it be associated with polyester and leisure suits. Gone are the days of this color being confined to 30 year old appliances. Embrace rust! It will love you back.

October 28, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Hands Full Creations, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

I declare it Fall.

And to prove it, I’m going to share my all time favorite fall time recipe, Dipped Gingersnaps. My addict/husband begs me to make them year round, but I simply can’t get myself to do it. After all, there’s nothing more autumn-like than ginger and cinnamon. I’m just not convinced that they’d be quite as fantastic if I whipped up a batch in July. Could be the control freak in me, not sure. Hubby/Addict has also made it quite clear that he thinks I’m nuts for sharing the recipe. He’d prefer I keep it under lock and key, surrounded by razor wire and lasers. Why, I’m not exactly sure. Something about not giving away a precious gem, but I can’t help but disagree. I feel recipes are meant to be shared amongst friends. And that’s what we are, yes? So, without further ado, my recipe.

 

Dipped Gingersnaps

 

4 cups flour

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

1/2 cups molasses

2 eggs

2 packages vanilla chips

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine oil and sugar. Mix well. Add molasses and continue stirring. Add eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition.

Now add dry mixture in several small batches, mixing well after each addition. Dough will be fairly stiff.

Pour a bit of granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll dough in to small balls, about 1 inch in size. Roll balls in sugar an place on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Can’t stress this enough. They won’t be nearly as soft and yummy if you let them bake longer.

Once cookies have cooled you can start melting the chips for dipping. Be sure to spread some parchment paper or waxed paper on your counters before you start dipping. You’ll want a clean surface to lay your dipped cookies on.

Place vanilla chips and shortening in a medium sized bowl. In a small saucepan, add about 2 inches of water, and place over low heat. Place your medium sized bowl over water in saucepan, making sure bowl is big enough to sit on the saucepan. The steam from the boiling water will melt the vanilla chips nice and slow.

Stir chips and shortening until completely melted. Once melted, start dipping your cookies. Dip each cookie in melted chips, about half way, shaking off excess. Place on parchment or waxed paper. Let cool for a few hours until the coating has hardened. Enjoy!

Makes 4 dozen

The finished product

 

I was going to take pics of the whole baking process, but in typical Sarah fashion, I forgot. Oh well. This photo will motivate the most health conscience, fitness freak to whip up a batch of gingery goodness. So, enjoy and Happy Fall!

October 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations, House and Home. 2 comments.

Gingerbread bars

Even though it is still 90 degrees here in L.A., I can still pretend that it’s fall,right? I decorated my house, got out sugar and spice candles, and made my very first batch of Gingerbread Bars. These are one of my all time favorite fall-y recipes. They are super easy and oh-so-yummy!

Gingerbread Bars

3/4 c. shortening

2 c. flour

1 c. sugar

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. molasses

1 egg

2 tbs. sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large saucepan, melt shortening, cool 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for the 2 tbs. sugar. Press in bottom of 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake for 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars. Enjoy!

October 28, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me. 3 comments.