Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maple Spice Pumpkin Seeds


One of the best rewards after gutting carving and cleaning up after making jack-o-laterns is getting all those lovely pumpkin seeds out to roast!

My sister forwarded me a recipe that originally came from allrecipes.com that I've altered slightly (due to difference in ingredients on hand!)

Here's my version:

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds, washed and dried
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Directions

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

 
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter, then stir in the seeds. Cook, stirring constantly, until the seeds turn slightly brown in color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain off any excess butter, and stir in the cinnamon, allspice, and maple syrup until the seeds are thoroughly coated with spices. Spread the seeds out onto the prepared baking sheet.

 
Bake in the preheated oven until crisp and golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes, for 30 to 45 total minutes of baking time.

Here's some lovely pics of my process:

In the RAW!

All buttered up and sizzlin'...


 Roast roast roasting...


 Mid-way, getting a little toss.

 Finished!! Aren't they pretty!?

mmmmm....

I highly recommend these!
They are such a nice change from the regular salted & roasted variety, and not overly sweet.

And they look so darn good...
and...
taste so darn good.

Happy Wednesday Everyone :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thrifty Thrifty!

Going home for any holidays (like our recent Canadian Thanksgiving) means that I also get to hit up my favorite hometown thrift store that I live 5 hours away from now.
Sad, I know.

It pretty much NEVER disappoints!

So I thought I'd share with you my finds from this last haul.


Black iron fruit basket/dessert stand thingy (?)
$4.00


Glass jars $1.50 ea


Pear pepper grinder $1.00
(I actually ALMOST made the huge thrifters mistake of walking away from this...
it would have gone down as a huge thrifting regret!)


Plain wood candlestick $1.00


Glass & Zinc lidded mason jar $0.25

 SUCH A COOL LID!

Cork top glass jar $1.00


Weird/Cool candy dish (?) $1.00


So there it is!
My grand haul...
loves it :)



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Best GOOP ever!

This is one of those childhood delights that I recall, but for whatever reason haven't done it with my kids yet until this past week!
OH
MY
GOSH

I forgot how cool this GOOP is!!

Here's the recipe (per kid):
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
food colouring (optional)

I did mine in cereal bowls then placed over baking sheets to catch most of the splatter.
So all it all, it was an easy cleanup.

My kids-LOVED IT!

They said (and I quote):
"Mom, its FUN to be MESSY!"

They sat and were entertained for over an hour.
I'm not going to lie, I had my hands in the stuff for a good 20 mins too.
It was just TOO cool!!

Here's some pics of our advertures with the GOOP!

This is a two year old's dream...

Note how I remembered to put a BIB on before the next pic! haha.




Here's WHY it's so cool.
You can roll it into a ball... 

Then it INSTANTLY begins to melt...


...into a liquid!


So much fun!

Seriously, I recommend you do this even if you don't have kids.

TRY IT.
TRY IT NOW!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Pumpkin Turkey

Do creative minds breed creative minds?

The answer is yes.
(Or maybe they just raise them)

Look what my Mom came up with for a cool craft!

 
The supplies are few: lollipops, mini gourd pumpkin, orange foam or felt (or paper!), googly eyes, red pipe cleaner and craft glue.

Oh, little Pumpkin Turkey...you are so cute.


 Here's my own little Gourd. He looked like a swan, so he got eyes and became one.

Here's just some fun pics!
This is a market by my parents house, this is the backyard area of the market, that little house belongs to...
 ...Wilbur!
A little pot belly pig who was rescued years ago and now lives at the Market.
He's so sweet.

Here's my *FAIL* picture of the day:
Two girls, BARELY in..and if you look in the cow's face, I'm actually holding up my son's carseat trying to get him in.
It was so painful to hold him up like that, and it didn't even work! haha.
Oh man...fun times!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DIY Mason Jar Foam Soap Pump

So, maybe I buy in bulk.
Even simple things like hand soap.

But come on...Bath & Body Works has those crazy sales where you get a bunch of pump soaps for $15 and you can't help yourself.

So MAYBE I had a shelf full of them in my linen closet, but then they were running low.
No big deal, I can hit up another sale.
BUT WAIT! They've changed their soaps!! The pumps are AWFUL and they squirt all over your clothes
(I'm told they are working to correct this problem).
So I began hunting for a neat solution to reuse the soap PUMPS
(that I am now stashing and saving!).


{-Enter Mason Jars-}

I love them. Don't you?
Plus, they laaaast.
(as long as my two year old doesn't try going for a walk with it and smash it on the ceramic tile, but we're thinking positive!)

So typically Mason Jars have a two-part lid system, I wanted a solid lid so I could cut a hole into it. From some I saw online, others used the antique style zinc lids that are one piecers. I wasn't able to thrift one out, so onto plan two.

I used a pasta jar lid!! and it totally worked.
All I had to do was spray paint it black after cutting.
Easy Peasy!!


I know what you're thinking.
PROJECT *FAIL*!!!
Hang on...

See how the pump hides the rickety cutting job I did with kitchen scissors?
Oh yah ;)

SPRAY PAINT BEFORE SEALING THE PUMP & LID TOGETHER!!

I then sealed up the inside with some Tub & Tile Caulk.
Unfortunately...THIS part was the *FAIL!*
Re-did it with HOT GLUE from a hot glue gun. WAY better.
The caulk just never set fully.


EEE eeee eEEEEE.
I love it.
(hense the EEEEEEE EEEing)


Also, sorry to my Mother in Law, because this is her mason jar that she gave me jam in!
hahahaha}}
I'm kinda just realizing that now.
OOPS!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oh yes, CSN Stores is rockin' this blog!!

Recently, I was contacted by CSN Stores to do a review of one of their products. 
The answer was YES, PLEASE!
I can't wait to share my review with you soon, so stay tuned!

If you haven't heard about CSN Stores, well, you need to hear about them NOW!

They are a fantastic source for TONS of amazing things. There's seriously nothing you can't find there.

This past summer, I was helping my Mom source out a drop-leaf table, unsuccessfully.
So, I was super impressed when I saw one like this on their site!

Isn't this drop leaf table GORGEOUS!?
I was blown away at their prices, and FREE SHIPPING on many items!
FELLOW CANADIANS, you're in luck! They ship to us too!! wooooo!!

So stay tuned for the review, and in the meantime...
go do some looking around at their store.
Christmas is coming, and this is a great way to shop and save money while you're at it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup recipe

Okay, so first off...I apologize for the lack of "step by step" photos.
I honestly wasn't sure how this was going to turn out...so when it turned out FANTASTIC,
I took a pic. haha.

I did a lot of googling to see different butternut squash recipes, chatted with my sis a bit (who then made one herself) and took a bit of her ideas and some of mine and created my own little version.
A version I love.

Some like it sweet, some like it more harvesty (you know what I mean?), some peppery. I'm a little in the middle...

Another difference between mine and some online, was that I ROASTED the squash as opposed to peeling, chopping, simmering...way easier!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Acorn (or Pepper) Squash
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup (approx) Herb & Garlic Cream Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sour Cream, for garnishing
  • 2 cups + Chicken Stock (I used approx 1/2 box of the low-sodium variety)...the amount isn't exact bc you can add, or take away as much as you want, it just has to do with texture preference.
Directions:
  1. Cut your squashes in half (lengthwise) and scoop out seeds. Then roast them (covered in foil) in the oven until tender. I did mine at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hrs.
  2. While it's roasting, simmer your chopped onions in some chicken stock (enough to cover them) until they are cooked through.
  3. Scoop out the squash.
  4. Put squash, onion and chicken stock in the blender and puree it until it's smooth.
  5. Pour it out into a pot, and heat up.
  6. Add cream cheese & salt & pepper (to taste).
  7. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and ENJOY!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Take THAT America!

So...you may have heard me slightly rant about all that we Canadians miss out on.
I know we have loads to be thankful for, but without a Target it gets rough sometimes. (did I mention I'm a little dramatic?)

Recently I saw a recipe post for some brownies using pumpkin pie Hershey's kisses.
Say WHAT?!

Just another nail in the coffin.

You have Pumpkin Pie Spice Hershey Kisses, and WE (just being Canadian) DO NOT!?

Wrong. wrong. wrong.

WRONG!

But it's okay.
I have friends.
Friends who shop over the border and bring me home said Pumpkin Pie Spice Hershey Kisses (and Candy Corn ones too).


Thank you, KATIE!


SO TAKE THAT!
HA!

I shall share in the delight of these Kisses with my American friends and I promise I won't even say anything about us not having a Hobby Lobby, either...
or a Cracker Barrel...
or Trix Cereal...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kid's Bench

 Well, back from our Thanksgiving and just blogging another revamp from stuff in my parents garage!

ha!

Now that it's well-known that I've been doing little projects from my parents rejects, my Mom has been awesome with offering stuff up that would make great revamps.
This one,
takes the cake.


Ahh...I just love it.

Now, here's how it was when it was hand-me-downed. 
  
Super cute...but needed updating
(and removal of the paint stamped words and images)

So a little sanding, and spray painting...

 ...and a little custom vinyl from the wonderful Shelley at Wonderfully Wordy





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Finally, laquered with some clear spray paint
(which I'm not impressed with and plan to go over again with a brush on sealer)

Here it is in the foyer.
Perfect for putting shoes & boots on!
(or holding my purse like it currently is...oops.)

Hope everyone is having a great day!

I will be linking this project up to these parties.

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