Monday, October 29, 2012

Inside and Out...


Fall has been anything but relaxing.  
I thought I would show you the new 'studio' being built to replace the old greenhouse.
My handy husband is using mostly salvaged finds...


I love the cedar posts.  There will be a deck there...eventually.


All the windows are from the greenhouse.  Plus an extra sky light.


We have cedar siding going on...slowly.
It's been so wet and rainy here.


The girls are impressed...but I think they believe this new shack is for them.
and, meanwhile, on the inside...


We have a fairy birthday party coming up.


I may have gone overboard, but as I have a ton of jam to make this week for orders, 
I've started to decorate already.  
This is a big bee!


But not as big as these huge tissue paper flowers I made!


I've got to glue tiny wings on these ladies...


And attached these to some twinkle lights.
Then the doorbell rang - well, we don't have a doorbell, but there was a knock...


There it is.  
What is it?  
It's my book.  It's not bound, but it's all the pages for me to review.
Wow.  It's pretty cool.
It's so hard not to show you some, but I can't.
I'm getting really excited.


I love this bee so much, I had to show him again.
If you have any great fairy ideas...do share!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This Pumpkin won't go to your Bottom...



I did a little story over on HGTV.ca on decorating pumpkins.


This idea will not go straight to your hips like the last two posts about pumpkins.



Pop over and let me know what you think.  
I used office supplies and acrylics.


I know...I'm sorry, I do have fat food to share.
I made these today for an after school snack and I had to tell you how easy it is.
It's simple puff pastry thawed, rolled out and cut into squares.
 Add few tablespoons of jam that you have mixed with about 1 teaspoon of flour to thicken.
Fold over.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
You could ice them now, but ours didn't last that long.
SO EASY

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Head...


Ok, I'm over my moment (or week) (or lifetime) of self doubting.
I've seen the book layout and I have to say, I'm proud.
I'm very proud.
Now- because my friend Kim needs to stop eating the pumpkin tarts I showed you how to make last week,  I've made this pumpkin roll.
It is bloody good!
It's not my recipe.  
It belongs to an American pumpkin purée maker named Libby's.
Never seen her, never bought the product, but this gal knows a damn good pumpkin roll.
I used my own pumpkin purée from last week.


First, sift icing sugar all over a tea towel.
Preheat oven to 375


Second ..Make the cake:
 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
       1/2 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
         1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
        1/4 teaspoon salt
         3 large eggs
        1 cup granulated sugar
        2/3 cup pumpkin puree - canned or fresh.
         Mix your dried ingredients in a large bowl.
        In a smaller bowl, mix the eggs, pumpkin and sugar.  Beat well, then add to your dried ingredients.
·         Mix till blended.
        Line a 9x13 baking sheet with sides with parchment paper.  Pour your batter into the sheet and spread out evenly.
Bake for 11 - 13 minutes - check at 11 minutes.
Mine was done at 11 minutes.


Once your cake is done, lift it out by the parchment paper and flip it over onto the icing sugar tea towel.
I had never made a roll before, and was nervous about this.
Turns out, it's pretty easy.
Peel off the parchment paper slowly.

Roll the cake up while still hot in the tea towel and lay on a baking rack till cool
Go find something to do.


Intermission.
It's been pouring here, but stopped long enough to get some pretty shots.


Once it's cool, unroll your bundle.


Make your filling:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using a beater, mix these together till smooth.

I have my Grandmothers electric beater.
It's over 30 years old and you have to hold the electric cord in the side or it falls out.
It's old and worn, but it was hers, and I love it so.



Spread your mix all over the cake.


Roll your cake up - not to tight or it will gush out the ends.
You want to cut off the ends so it's clean and perfect.
Speaking of ends...

My back end is going to become a pair of pumpkin rolls if I keep making this.
Eat the ends.
(keep in the fridge covered so it stays moist and fresh)

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Little Bird Told Me...


Today is a very off day for me.
I've been up since 4am.
Fretting.


I've kept busy with apples, grapes and plums.
But I can't ignore the knot in my stomach.
My publisher is sending me the book layout on Monday.
I WROTE A BOOK??  
Am I insane.


Who am I?!


What do I know.
How in the world did I end up taking the photos.
Oh Lord.
I realized I hadn't eaten all day.


So I grabbed a bowl of left over Chicken Kale soup and sat down to watch the birds and squirrels going crazy out my window.
Then it happened...


Asked the bird...
Yes, it is good soup.
I used turkey this week instead of chicken because we just had Thanksgiving.
The recipe is in the book under the fall section.
It has quinoa in it too.

(who is watching who go crazy)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Pie...From Scratch!


We just had Thanksgiving in Canada this past weekend.
I was not in charge of pie, and a new `style` of pumpkin pie was made.
It was...not so good.
Needless to say, no one had pumpkin pie (that they enjoyed)
My nephew was the most upset by this, so yesterday, I made him one.
From scratch!
step 1:
bake one cut and cleaned out sugar pumpkin in the oven till soft.
I did 350 for about 2 hours - my pumpkin was a bit bigger than some.


Once it`s cooled, remove the skin and whiz the pumpkin in a food processor till smooth.
This is where I have to say how very lovely the pumpkin is compared to that from a can.
Huge difference.  But hey, I still use the stuff from a can too.  Do what you can, if you have the time, give it a try.  Plus, you can freeze it for later use.  I got about 6 cups from my pumpkin.
In the end you want two cups - or 500 mls of creamy pumpkin set aside.

whisk together in a small bowl:

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


 I made my own pumpkin pie spice.  
Truth be told, it was because I was out and didn`t want to go to the store.

It`s easy to make, so if you are out too:
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cloves
mix together and keep in sealed jar for the holidays.

back to the pie...

Add your two cups of puréed pumpkin to the egg/sugar mixture and blend well.
Now..secret ingredient time...


Or should I say`magic ingredient`
(clearly this is not a secret as they have it written on the can)
But any ways, add one can of eagle brand sweetened condensed milk to your filling.
lick spoon.
lick can.
wish you bought two cans so you can have more.


Pour your mixture into a nine inch pie plate with an unbaked pastry shell.
I`m not going to overwhelm you with making the pastry too - plus, I`m not allowed to share that recipe as it`s in the cookbook coming out this spring.  But I will share it then!
This recipe is large, so you can either make two pies, or do what I did...


..make mini pies.
I was lazy and so over this whole `pumpkin pie from scratch business` by this point, so I just grabbed chunks of dough and pressed them into a mini muffin pan to form little cups.  
This made 12 mini pies - good for two bites.


I baked the mini pies and the large pie for 10 minutes at 450 
then reduced the heat to 350.
I baked the mini pies for another 15 minutes
I baked the large pie for another 40 minutes - till a toothpick came out clean from the centre of the pie.


Nephew was very happy.


So was the rest of the family.