Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall fun! all these pictures were uploading I realized that everything that has been going on lately starts with the letter 'p.' Plants, pretzels, pumpkins, pasta, and pies.

Happy Fall everyone!
This time of the year is so exciting to me. I love waking up and taking the dogs out and feeling the Fall breeze in the air. I love that you can still wear flip flops but order a hot latte at the same time. 
School has been in full swing and I have been trying to do some fun things on the weekend to break up the crazy school days.

This past week we finished out science unit on plants. I wanted to end out unit with a fun celebration so my sweet room mom volunteered to bring in a yummy treat. You know the old school dirt in a cup right? Well...the trick still gets second graders. I told them that my room mom spend hours in her garden digging up soil for them to eat; it worked perfectly because they had learned that soil is full of water and nutrients so they thought they could eat it!

Look at that sweet face! He enjoyed his treat.

She used plant containers and stuffed them with a paper towel in the bottom and then baked a chocolate cupcake in brown parchment paper. Frosted it with brown frosting and used crushed up oreos for dirt. She topped them with gummy worms and leaves from sour candy. They turned out really cute!!

Days later I am still finding "dirt" crumbs all over my classroom....

For the first day of Fall I wanted to bring some treats to school for some teachers. Someone had been requesting my chocolate covered pretzels for days so I knew what I was going to make....
I found these cute little tags online and added brown paper to the back.

 Each year I go to Burts Pumpkin Patch with a great friend.
We started going when we took our first grade classes on a field trip and now we go for ourselves!
This year was extra special because we got to bring her sweet baby boy to the patch and get lots of cute pictures.

This was just part of my pumpkin load....I tend to go overboard with pumpkins. I love decorating my house for Halloween and Thanksgiving with pumpkins all around!

 No baby was harmed in this photo shoot, I promise. I could not grab any great pictures because the sun was right in his face and he was a bit overwhelmed, but he not a doll? I loved the outfit with the pumpkins!

Asher was just hanging out in the pumpkins, happy baby.

 After our pumpkin outing I headed to the outlets and then home to take care of the pups.
Then I headed back up to my friends house so we could make a delicious dinner together.
We started off with baking some rolls. We were both so excited about this recipe but it didn't turn out how we had hoped.

Baby and mommy

The rolls were stuffed with fresh mozzarella pears and covered in cheese and butter.


Homemade sauce

Sitting down with this big bowl of fresh pasta was amazing.

So....I am a sucker for a kitchen gadget. I want every tool out there. I have to remind myself daily of the difference between want and need.  A few weeks ago Williams Sonoma had their pie maker on sale, big time! I, of course, immediately order it and the cook book to go along with it.

We used pre-made pie dough and the maker came with a tool that cuts out the bottom crust.

The first filling we made was for the Almond Frangipane pie.
This was new to me and I am now its number one fan. I dreamed of this pie all last night.

You put the crust down and add the filling and then close!
They bake for about 10 minutes and then....

Ta da!

They were adorable, warm, fresh, and pretty!
You top them with almonds, raspberries, and a dusting of powdered sugar.

The second pie we made was a pear and cranberry pie. 
You know how I love to make things in twos....

This one was a little different because you add puff pastry for the pie top.

They were also really good but the almond pie took the prize!

Today I plan on cleaning my house, relaxing, and planning some new recipes for dinner this week.
Working on a pumpkin granola and new popcorn recipe! 

Oh and by the way, Thanksgiving is only 8 weeks away. I need to get busy!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ladies Night

Last week I had some girl friends from work over for dinner.
Each girl brought a dish for our yummy dinner.

I made my roasted butternut squash salad with craisins, green apple, pecans, and gorgonzola cheese.
I roasted the butternut squash in olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and a touch of chili pepper.
This salad is so great because the squash is just as good left over! It is a staple meal at our house.

Sue is from South Africa and brought these chicken and apricot skewers.
She called them some funny name and we tease her that everything she brings is from "the tribe."

Adriane brought a bag of potatoes :)
I showed her how to make the Pioneer Woman's crash hot potatoes.
Roasted potatoes, salt, pepper, olive oil, parm cheese, and rosemary.
Perfect in every way. Make extra and heat them up in the morning for breakfast potatoes.

Kelly brought this amazing appetizer.
Mini phyllo cups, brie cheese, brown sugar, pecans, and a drizzle of honey.
Oh. My. Goodness.
So good, I lost count of how many I ate.
Kelly also brought her famous chocolate chips cookies, no picture of those because they were gone rather quickly.

We also had that tasty grilled asparagus, corn, basil, and mozzarella salad.
I have a habit of finding a recipe that I like and making it for everyone that I love!

With it being September now I wanted my house to be decorated for Fall.
I decorate my whole house for Halloween so I just wanted some touches of Fall before October.
I am so excited about this vintage Fall banner I made.
I had other plans for it but LOVE how it turned out.

I found these vintage inspired fabrics at the quilt store in Hartwell the other weekend and thought they would work perfectly. I spent $10 on the fabric, had the tag board and twine so it was a cheap project. Love that!

I sewed the pieces together to make quilt squares and then cut them down to the shape of my tag board.
I brushed tacky glue on the tag board and attached the fabric. I put it together with twine for a rustic look.

I changed my entry way frames. Sadly, Summer had to go....

The runner is burlap, ruffled fabric, and rik rak.

Brought back the frames in the living room.
Can you spot Poncho?

My sweet grandparents and puppy Poncho.

Found this towel at JoAnn for cheap and had my friend monogram the big H!
Milo makes his appearance.

I am looking forward to September. I plan to cook lots of yummy comfort foods, go on my annual pumpkin patch trip with a friend and her new baby, and start crafting for Christmas!