Fall Baking Day

Last Friday my good friend, Kara, and I, had our 2nd Annual Fall Baking Day.  As most of you know, I love to bake.  Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this day with my friend.  Kara had the day off from teaching (after a long week of conferences) and we spent the morning making my kitchen smell of pumpkin and cinnamon.  We decided to make cookies and bread to freeze for impromptu visits or holiday family gatherings.  I also practiced Luke's birthday cake for next weekend.  We made chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal cookies, pumpkin scotchies, pumpkin bread, and cinnamon coffee cake bread.  Everything was delicious.  I am going to share my recipe for the chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal cookies I started making back in college.  This is my GO TO cookie recipe and I absolutely love these cookies.

Chocolate chip, Peanut butter, Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 c butter flavored Crisco
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c peanut butter chips
2 c uncooked rolled oats (not instant)

1.  Sift flour with salt and baking soda.
2.  Cream shortening and sugars; beat in eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Stir in sifted dry ingredients.  Stir in rolled oats and all chips.
3.  Make rounded spoonfuls of cookie dough and drop on cookie tray.  Freeze for 30 minutes and then place in freezer bags.
4.  When ready to bake: Thaw cookie dough.  Drop onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.

We found the pumpkin bread recipe over at my baking addiction.  We modified the recipe by making mini loafs.  These would be great for gifts or just grabbing a loaf for when you have a friend over.  This recipe yielded 8 mini pumpkin loaves (4x2 pans).  I found the paper baking pans on Amazon here.  These paper baking pans are awesome, perfect for gifts.  We changed the baking temperature to 325 degrees for 45 minutes for the mini loaves.

The cinnamon coffee cake loaf looked and smelled so yummy.  Kara found the recipe at food.com.  It is a quick, easy recipe.  We followed this recipe exactly and the loaves came out great!

Who knew there was a recipe for pumpkin scotches?  This is a great recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything, I love her blog!  We rolled these in cookie sized balls and placed them in the freezer for 30 minutes, then into Ziploc bags they went.  Of course, we did bake a few and the result...so good!  Kevin was even a fan!  

I hope you try some of these fall baking recipes!  

the supplies
the goodies; ready to freeze


Journey Group Bonfire

A few weekends back our Journey Group (aka Bible study group) came out to the trail for apple picking, dinner, and a bonfire.  We actually had EVERYONE here, which was quite incredible, considering our group has grown to 9 couples/families this past year.  We even had our founding Journey Group leaders there along with a cooking club family.  (We miss you already Kyle, Natalie, and Connor!!) It was quite the fun day; all being together.  

We started off the party by picking apples.  Our large yellow delicious apple tree has been quite full this year and our group picked apples to take home and to give to Mohm's Place in Council Bluffs, a non-profit organization that helps people who are homeless.  We spent a lot of time picking a lot of apples, but there are still apples on our tree.  If you're interested in some...let me know.

After apple picking we let the kiddos play inside and chowed down on some chili and soup.  It wasn't long before the guys wanted to get the fire started.  It started out, um, quite large, but then they got it under control.  The kids enjoyed roasting marshmallows and making s'mores while the adults chatted around the fire.  It ended up being a beautiful evening for a bonfire.  

Kevin, Luke, and I are blessed to be a part of this group and are so thankful we get to walk through life with these friends.  Thanks for coming out everyone!

thanks for the great pic of luke, annie!

getting the fire started
our group! thanks for the picture, carrie!


Random Picture Friday

Hey all!  It's Friday!  Well, for a few more hours anyway.  I am super excited about the weekend because we are HOME this weekend.  That means lots of football and family time.  I love it.  Hope you have a blessed weekend!

journey group bon fire...kevin's awesome drawing of a fire
all the kiddos before the bonfire
jaxon james...our friends kyle and alisha's sweet baby boy-LOOK AT THAT HAIR!!!  love it
my friend, kayla, is having twin boys in january...we celebrated with a baby shower last weekend in sioux city...we missed you brittany and paula!!
luke's new favorite borrowed toy...thanks bethany, jared, and amelia!


Adults Only Getaway

About a month ago Kevin and I were able to sneak away for an adults-only weekend to celebrate his big 29th birthday.  We chose Denver, Colorado, not just for the mountains, but for the breweries as well.  Kevin brews beer and loves picking other brewers brains about how they do what they do.  So, off to Denver we went leaving our little Luke in my mom's care.  

We started off the trip driving to Fort Collins and visiting New Belgium, Odell, and Funkwerks breweries.  It was a dreary, rainy day, so it was perfect to stay inside, taste some beer, and chat it up with some amazing brewers.  That evening we headed back to Denver and had dinner with one of my best friends, Amber.  She took us to an incredible tapas place where we gorged ourselves on small plates.  It was an extra special treat to be able to see her while we were in town!

new belgium

the best sandwich...ever
kevin gets giddy about this stuff
On Saturday it was all about the mountains.  We headed to Breckinridge where we hiked and walked around the quaint little town with our Starbucks and yummy crepes from a crepe stand.  It was an absolutely beautiful day and we felt blessed to get so much in on a Saturday.  That night we headed to Crooked Stave, another out of the way brewery in Denver and then ended with dinner and in bed by 10:00. 

yummy breakfast
on the hike
the, um, out of the way brewery

the trees were so pretty!
We couldn't wait to get back to see our Luke.  Kevin and I raced home to see him and we couldn't cuddle and kiss him enough.  As refreshing as it was to have a getaway, we sure missed our little guy.  Next time we head out to Colorado, we might just be toting Luke with us. 


Activities for 10-12 month old

These past few months Luke has been super busy growing and learning.  Being at home, I have the luxury of doing some 'activities' with him throughout the day.  Summer has been a bit busy on the Trail due to the plants and yard to take care of, but we still managed to do a few fun semi-structured activities these past few months.  

Cushion Climbing
I took all the cushions off the couches and let Luke climb all over them.  His favorite thing to do was 'eat' them aka put his mouth on them and make a loud noise.  I did this activity to work on his gross motor development.  

Shell Exploring
We have many shells in our house from various vacations we have been on and we used them for sensory exploration, mainly to explore different textures.  I put three large shells in a bowl on the left side of Luke's body and then put another bowl on the right side of his body.  My hope was he would move the shells from one bowl to the other (working on directionality for reading; left to right).  He didn't really do this, but he enjoyed testing out the textures and, of course, exploring them with his mouth!

Colored Ice Cubes
I made some colored ice cubes for Luke to play with on hot summer days.  I'm going to be blatantly honest, we never got to them on those hot summer days.  We did, however, get to them last week when our furnace was getting fixed and it was 83 degrees in our house.  This was another sensory exploration activity and one Luke wasn't too sure about.  He enjoyed touching them, but then would suck his fingers for awhile as if thinking what to do next.  When they melted, he was much more ready to explore!


Random Picture Friday

Happy Friday!  I hope you all have a blessed weekend!

grandma kathy and luke in ottumwa last weekend
happy birthday to landon!

luke's new favorite toy...anything that isn't a toy

luke's first tractor ride; doesn't he look thrilled?!


Pumpkin Pound Cake

I love pumpkin.  I mean, I really love it.  I don't reserve pumpkin treats for the fall time, I love them so much, but the fall is just one more excuse to pull out the pumpkin!

I found this recipe over at Something Swanky and I promise you, this pumpkin pound cake is worth the 15 minutes it takes to throw together.  It is moist and gooey and doesn't need any icing, although I'm sure it wouldn't hurt anything...

Kevin and I have been eating on this all week and I am sad that we are down to the last few slices.  Hope you try!

Pumpkin Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
3 egg whites
1 cup canned pumpkin (about 1/2 small can)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and spray loaf pan.
2.  Whisk sugar, yogurt, and egg whites in large bowl.  Stir in the pumpkin.  
3.  Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Stir.
4.  Pour into pan and bake for 60 minutes.  
5.  Let cool on wire rack.

If you're in the mood for fall baking try this recipe for apple pie filling or these pumpkin muffins.


Baby Kathryn

Delicious.  Cheeks.  Beautiful.  Yummy.  Fat, chunky thighs.  Lovable.  Did I say yummy?  Those are the words that come to mind when I think of our sweet baby niece, Kathryn Lynn.  She is absolutely scrumptious.  She has the sweetest lips and smile you have ever seen along with the best, chunkiest cheeks and thighs.  That is one thing I missed with Luke...the chunkiness!  Well, Kathryn makes up for it and I have been lucky enough to spend some time with her these past few weeks.  Diane, Luke, and I made a trip to visit Kathryn in Cedar Rapids and then Kathryn, Hillary, and John made a trip over to visit us....all in two weeks!  Lucky us!  This is purely a picture post, with, you guessed it, lots of beautiful pictures of Miss Kathryn (with a few family pics for good measure).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...