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Archive for September, 2013

Pumpkin bread

September 29th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

There's something about fall smells and kitchen aromas!

Yesterday I made applesauce in the Crockpot. Today, I am baking pumpkin bread. Although we are still a little warm temperature wise, I'm ready for fall and I noticed I had a can of pumpkin and thought, "Why not?"

So I found this recipe for pumpkin bread:


Pumpkin bread

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8.5 x 4 x 2.5 inch loaf pans.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, vanilla and sugar until well blended.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined.
4. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour batter into the prepared pans.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This recipe came from "My baking addiction" .com and I can tell you, it smells wonderful!

Tough, Tiring Week

September 26th, 2013 at 06:34 pm

It has been a tough and tiring week. School seems to have so many pressures and deadlines. I have made it through these four days and pleased I did not cave in and decide not to fix supper and eat out. I will admit, the thought crossed my mind a couple of times.

Monday we had vegetable soup -- I made a lot and froze 2 quarts so in case we have another surprise meeting like the previous week, I won't be caught without a meal. Tuesday we had chicken stir fry. Wednesday was pork tenderloin roast, and tonight was clean out the fridge fritatta. I seem to make that most weeks, but it is different every week depending on what leftover vegetables and meat I have. DH likes eggs so he's happy as a clam (however happy clams are) when we have it.

Now onto a rant...is it just me or has society just lost all class? I'm tired of seeing people dress in what I consider inappropriate attire. I remember growing up thinking it would be horrible if someone saw my bra strap sticking out of a blouse or dress. I know it isn't the end of the world, but I am seeing more and more women dressing in tops that show their straps. Maybe I should just be happy they are wearing the undergarment.

One gal I work with was wearing such a sheer garment, there really wasn't any surprise as to what her foundation garments looked like or her skin. We were in a meeting in air conditioning that day, so heat wasn't an excuse.

I was really hoping when the media said Princess Kate was bringing back hose under dresses that it would be true. I'm not talking sundresses or casual wear, but nice dresses in regular weather, not the hot as Hades stuff. I still wear hose and slip when I wear a dress. Guess I'm an old prude. I like the finished look of the hose on legs. And it seems so many women are wearing such short dresses when they sit down, one sees far more than one cares to. I'm not talking about little girls or teenagers. I am seeing this in a professional setting. I know varicose veins are a health issue, but I don't really need to see these in one's upper thighs.

Maybe I'm just in a foul mood from being tired.

Busy week

September 22nd, 2013 at 11:33 am

It has been a busy week. Last Sunday I felt I had things planned and under control and then on Monday morning I learned I was to attend a meeting after school.

It really angered me. The meeting had been planned the week before and the folks in charge did not bother to tell me.

Which means I not only had to attend a stressful meeting I wasn't counting on, I also did not have something ready for supper. I plan my meals and this was a week I didn't need to put stuff in the Crockpot.

So, we wound up eating out and I resented every bite. We could afford it, but it was an unexpected expense. But, I've moved on.

My goal this year is to try and save half of my take home pay from September to May. Unexpected things like this drive me crazy. Oh, well.

I had a chance to make chicken broth this week with some leftover chicken pieces so I made over a quarter and a half.

DH picked a bunch of cherry tomatoes and I made 3 quarts of tomato sauce with them. That is a lot of cherry tomatoes! I freeze it so that makes 7 quarts so far. Not a huge amount, but we only have a couple of cherry tomato plants; DH's garden space is small.

I have a meeting tomorrow after school so the Crockpot will be coming out...glad the temperatures have cooled off...we eat soup even when it is hot, but it seems more seasonable when the weather is a little cooler.

It was an herbal type of day

September 15th, 2013 at 05:22 pm

Sometimes my title writing is a bit lame. Sorry about that.

This afternoon was gathering herbs and drying them. I found an article a couple of years ago on drying herbs in the microwave. We enjoy the herbs during the summer and I try to dry some for the winter. I like the fact I know what is going into my containers and it certainly saves me money.

C is for chocolate

September 14th, 2013 at 05:19 pm

Today was the day for the chocolate tea.

I wasn't sure what to expect. We could have iced tea, flavored iced tea, coffee, hot tea, or water.

We were served 7 different bite size morself of dessert type items made with chocolate, both milk and white.

Yum!

We did spend $10 each for it, but we felt it was worth every penny. I haven't been making any kind of sweet desserts so it was a treat.

We pushed supper back a bit and we had leftover vegetable soup. I had made a big pot in the Crockpot the other night and what we had left over, I froze. I thawed it, heated it and served it with crackers and it hit the spot.

I enjoyed the chocolate and the tea and it truly was a pleasure...sometimes we have to spend a little money for something fun.

Now it is back to real life.

Just Call Me Cindy, Cinderella, that is!

September 13th, 2013 at 06:33 pm

No wicked stepmother here, of course, but after work I have been cleaning and washing, and doing laundry. Made me think of Cinderella!

The last few days have been crazy at work and by the time I get home I have been very tired. The schools buildings were extremely hot the first four days of this week and I write gleefully they cooled off today so it was bearable. Staff and students alike were grumpy most of the week because of their misery

DH went to Aldi today and we went to the other store for the few items he couldn't get. Between coupons and such, we spend less than $100 at both places, probably even less than $85 if I truly figured it. I have some ideas for menus for the weekend and next week. Nothing extraordinary, but we are fed and it is usually healthy. I think my menus are getting a little predictable so I need to change things up a bit.

Back to being Cindy...Instead of a ball, we are going to a chocolate tea tomorrow afternoon at a tea room. So, I don't think I need glass slippers and a fancy gown.

And fortunately, the carriage won't be turning into a pumpkin!

What I have learned...

September 2nd, 2013 at 04:43 pm

Well, we have three months of having the booth under our belts.

I finished doing the paperwork today to see how we did.

One thing I learned is people around here do not buy deviled egg dishes. I sold the ones I had for what we had in them to a kind lady who was going to give them to a friend to replace the ones he lost due to divorce. I feel fortunate I didn't lose money.

Another thing I learned is to look at what everyone else has in their booths and not buy the same stuff. If it isn't selling in their booths, chances are it isn't going to sell in ours. So, we usually do a sweep every month to see what everyone has and look for different items.

In an earlier post I told my husband that we have to buy things that we ourselves might not like, but because someone else might collect it. It is difficult to do this because we usually gravitate to those items we ourselves like, but I have some things in our booth that I personally would not want. But we all have different likes.

In a previous post someone suggested to buy in such a way you can mark the price up to three times the amount. Sage advice, I might add.

I have been listening to what my friends say they buy and look for those items. One friend likes snowmen so when I find them reasonable, I pick them up and am storing most of them for more seasonable shopping, although I have a couple of things out. Another friend likes bird items and she has been a very faithful customer.

I think another thing I've learned is I have to do what I call, "hustle." I post photos on Facebook each week of stuff. I email people when I have items I think they might like. I move items around in the booth and exchange things out every few weeks so it looks different. We have seen booths that have looked the same for months. I wonder how they even make booth rent.

Our booth is small. I have it pretty packed. In all honesty, it has been fun.

So, I'm pleased to report that for the first month we broke even. The second month we made about $24. And last month we made about $36 after paying expenses.

We are using the profits to buy more items, but I think the education has been a benefit as well. I have no desire to go into business for myself, but it has been enjoyable.

The heat may break

September 1st, 2013 at 05:54 pm

Rumor has it we are to get a cold front and the oppressive heat here in the Midwest may have a break. This week was horrendous with the heat and humidity. I think yesterday was the worse and it seemed to even hurt to breathe.

DH harvested some of his carrots and we had them as part of our supper. I cleaned them, boiled them in water until soft, then drained and coated with butter and honey. Yum! It was less than two hours from soil to table.

We had meatloaf last night as well. I baked it in a toaster oven which kept the kitchen from heating up. I made a bigger loaf so we have some for sandwiches this week.

We don't have big plans for Labor Day other than appreciating the day off and the fact DH had a good job before he retired and I have a good job. What are your Labor Day plans?