Fall Foods

September 15, 2009

There is no time of year that I love better than the fall. I love the smells. I love the weather. I love the activities. I love the colors. I am more reminded of God’s appreciation for beauty at this time of year than any other. What an amazing artist He is, and He chooses to share His masterpiece with us.
Another one of my favorite parts of fall is the flavors of the season. I made this Chicken Butternut Squash soup last year, and I cannot wait until it is cool enough to make is again.
One of my standby favorites is Pumpkin Soup that I first learned how to make in an Apples of Gold class years ago. Oh, and the apples!!! I love any recipe that includes mounds of brown sugar with apples. What is not to love?
I also love when Starbucks introduces their fall lineup- which occurred a couple of weeks ago in our area. Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. Mmmmmmmm……
I posted a variation of this recipe a couple of years ago, but I have since made some modifications, and it is one of my most requested recipes, so here it is again. Bake up some muffins and ENJOY! The secret to this recipe is the heavy spices, so don’t skimp. These will be darker than the Starbucks version, but just as delicious.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Pinch of cardamom
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
4 eggs
2 cups honey granules (can sub white sugar here or 1 cup liquid honey)
2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin (it is so easy to make your own)
1 ¼ cups extra virgin coconut oil
8 oz package cream cheese
1 egg
1 cup powdered evaporated cane juice or powdered honey granules
*Chopped nuts** (walnuts, pecans, pepinos) (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together except cream cheese and nuts. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full. Beat the cream cheese with the egg and powdered sugar. Put 1-2 tsp cream cheese in the middle, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools, as it is very very hot. Makes 24 muffins. I like to make the jumbo muffins.


First Day of School 2009

August 13, 2009

The first day of school went off without a hitch! D’s bus comes at 7:15 in the morning, but the FANTASTIC news is that we know his driver. Ms. Kim was in our small group last semester. How fun is that?“The sun was in my eyes!”I actually did get a photo of him holding the sign right side up, but this one is so much better. 🙂

Crazy faces!

D learned how to cross his eyes, and he knows that it is a surefire way to crack me up!

J Man thinks he knows how to cross his…

Oh well!

D-Man requested a “Green” Birthday Party. My quest was to find foods that are naturally green. In my efforts, poor D may never have another child come to his birthday again.
Very aesthetically pleasing… not very “kid-friendly.” 🙂

We made green playdough (colored with spinach water).


A happy boy on his happy birthday. yummy cupcake!

Cousin Hayden with LOTS of green ice cream…

Uncle Kes sporting his green!

Christopher and Jaxon wearing green.

Making crazy faces with cousin “Little C.”

Crazy excited about opening presents (on his actual birthday)!!!

Cookie cake on birthDAY!

Happy Birthday big five year old!!!!!

J’s class

February 25, 2009

On Valentine’s Day, we had strawberry cupcakes in J-Man’s class. He really enjoyed the super sweet icing!
D received this uber cute V-Day necklace made from saran wrap and candy. He had a really difficult time not touching it for me to snap a photo.

Mason… chillin’ with his Capri sun

J got off of the bus Monday afternoon, and said, “Guess what, Mama? I have something VERY funny to tell you.
Tomorrow is FAT TUESDAY!”
Ha ha ha ha ha ha…..
We celebrated Mardi Gras in his classroom with Masks and King Cake.

Ashley got the baby. I can only imagine what her mom thought when she went home and told her mother, “Mom, there was a baby in my cake.”

Party Pooped!!!

December 31, 2008

What a holiday season! This was the year of the party.
We started with pajama day in J-Man’s classroom and the arrival of The Polar Express. Do you see the children sitting on the train? Their second grade book buddies joined us for the party.

After Ms. Corrigan read The Polar Express to the class, the teachers served a hot cocoa bar with fresh whipped cream, mini marshmellows, crushed peppermint, and colored sprinkles.
One second greader declared it “the best hot chocolate” he had ever tasted! Thanks, Buddy!
After hot cocoa, we got a call from the office that a very cold package had arrived from the North Pole. Our jingle bell necklaces had been shipped via magic straight to our school. They were still cold even!

Next was D’s holiday party at school, in which all I had to do was send in a couple of boxes of graham crackers. Whew!

Check out this cute kiddo in the Santa hat.

Next was J-Man’s school party. We decorated the teachers,decorated cookies for our snack,played a little bingo and M&M straw grab,made reindeer food to leave out for Rudolph on Christmas Eve,and made adorable snowman pins out of buttons (sorry no close up photo), and jingle bell door hangers.Somewhere in those days, we even managed to decorate gingerbread houses at homeand our family Christmas tree.

There was also a grown- up dinner party complete with leg of lamb, cocktails, and peppermint ice cream cake somewhere in the mix. How did I miss getting photos of that? Hmmmm……

We then celebrated Christmas with The Man’s fam.

Complete with cul-de-sac football.
What a grab!

One of my favorite parties of the year is our annual Happy Birthday Jesus Party. Our craft this year was a terra cotta nativity.
The Force was with D-Man’s Mary and Joseph. I did not, however, allow him to glue them there like he wanted.
We read the Christmas Story and decorated our small tree with nativity ornaments,
and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus (even though I am pretty sure D thinks we are singing to him here).
Finally, two days before Christmas. we had our home Polar Express party with the Sanfords.
Popcorn and cocoa…
and Jaxon’s constant reminders that the movie is about a train!

Wow! What a fun and exciting holiday season, and all of this took place before Christmas day!!! I’m settling down for a long winters nap!!!
…and to all a Good Night!

Open House

December 15, 2008

BooMamaChristmasTourIt’s BooMama’s Christmas Tour of Homes, so I want to take you on a very short tour of my Christmas Decor. Come on in the front door (complete with fingerprints because I want you to have the full effect)…

Say hello to Santa and Mrs. Claus. They welcome you to our home where they sit atop the piano and cheer for our Dawgs (next season). Ahem!!!

Stop by the kitchen table for a snack.The Man is making Stadler Christmas Candies in the kitchen (recipe below).

Or enjoy some Ranger Cookies (recipe below) or Muffins as you gaze upon our Christmas Tree in the Morning Room.

Don’t forget to check out the boys’ homemade nativities from last year’s Happy Birthday Jesus Party. And visit us next week to see this year’s homemade nativity.

Take a glance at our Christmas cards on the basement door that is covered in wrapping paper, and then…

…have a seat in front of the fire place and enjoy some homemade hot cocoa (recipe below).

Here are the recipes:

Stadler Christmas Candies:

1 stick butter, softened

4 cups confectioners sugar

1 cup coconut flakes

1 qt nuts, chopped

1 small can sweetened condensed milk

2 bags semisweet chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together, excluding chocolate. Make into 1 in. balls. Melt chocolate in microwave and dip balls into chocolate thoroughly coating each candy. You may add parafin wax to your chips help the chocolate adhere to the candies. Dry on wax paper.

Ranger Cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
1 cup Sucanat w/ Honey
1 cup Sucanat
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 ½ cups Soft Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups Rolled Oats
½ cup Shredded Coconut
½ cup Chopped Nuts
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream butter, sucanat w/ honey, and sucanat until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix well. Stir in rolled oats, coconut and nuts; mix well.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Makes 2 dozen large cookies.

Stovetop Hot Cocoa

Mix 1/2 cup sugar (I use sucanot a brown sugar equivalent), 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa, and a dash of salt in saucepan. Add 1/3 cup water and heat over medium until mixture boils for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add 4 cups whole milk and heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat and add 1tsp vanilla.

Serve with cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, marshmellows or whipped cream and sprinkles. Caramel makes this an extra special treat as well. See previous post for salted caramel hot chocolate recipe.

Merry Christmas!
In joy, Troye

I have always wanted to participate in 12 Days of Christmas for the boys’ teachers. Thanks to some encouragement from my friend, Kimberly, and some help from my friend, Amy, I am going for it this year.
Because there are only 12 school day left before the Christmas break, our 12 days begin today.
Day 1: Candied CranberriesThese are so stinking yummy if you enjoy cranberries, and they have a really pretty presentation. I will be making these for holiday parties this season.
Here is the recipe if you would like to make them as well…
Candied Cranberries

Bring 2 cups of water and two cups of sugar to simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat (do not boil because cranberries will pop). Remove simple syrup from heat and stir 2 cups of cranberries into the liquid. Pour into a bowl, and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours). Drain cranberries, reserving liquid, and roll them in 3/4 cup of superfine sugar. If you cannot find superfine sugar, just put your sugar in the food processor for a minute or two. Spread into a single layer on a cookie sheet and let dry for 1 hour.

Important: Use the reserved liquid for a fun Holiday cocktail and garnish with your candied cranberries.

Merry Christmas!

In joy, Troye!

Thanksgiving Day Fun

November 28, 2008

Since I have gotten REALLY behind on my thankfulness month, I just decided to fill you in on my Thanksgiving day and play catch up later. But yesterday, I was thankful for SO many things, but i must admit that one of them was yummy, yummy, good food. Anyone who knows me knows that I like- no LOVE- to eat!!! I will try to list all the things that I ate yesterday- and not sit here and feel bloated…


Dressing (twice)

Gravy (twice)

Cranberry sauce (twice)

Sweet Potato casserole

Stuffed olives

Green bean casserole (twice)

Mashed potatoes

apple pie

pecan pie

Butter beans


Scalloped apples

pumpkin pie

Macaroni and cheese

Fried Okra

That might be it. I’m not sure. I’m going for a run now!!!

My youngest child also LOVES to eat. He might even have me beat in the appreciation of food category. He also loves to play- and this motorized Dora car was a rip- roaring good time yesterday. But one would hate to have to stop eating to drive. 🙂 Check it out!!! Enjoy!

In joy, Troye!

All rightie Girls! Here is is finally. It has only taken me two weeks to get this together.

And, by the way, today I am thankful for finally finishing this post. So, here goes…

My friend Susannah moved to California two weeks ago.

On her last Girls’ Night, she made us promise not to do anything special. “No goodbyes.” So, we didn’t say goodbye, we just hosted “Susannah’s Favorite Things.”While we ate dinner (chicken lettuce wraps and egg rolls), we brought out her first box of her favorite things.

Mango Body Butter from The Body Shop (and I must agree it is a little slice of heaven!)

And Sea Salt Caramel Truffles from Scoops.

After dinner, we brought out round 2.

A chick-fil-a pez dispenser

Cute kitchen gloves

Cranberry room spray

And, cute gift cards.

After supper, we all sat around the coffee table and shared a variety of cakes from a local bakery. Chocolate Raspberry. Chocolate Chocolate. Some other Chocolate. And, Banana Cream.
The finale…

A Williams-Sonoma Holiday Cookbook.

A set of ramekins.

And, a recipe book full of Susannah’s favorite recipes that we each contributed.

Here is the gang.

Susannah, Anna (and Dylan), Amy, Kimberly, Kristina, and me.

October 15, 2008

We took a trip to the pumpkin patch Sunday afternoon. We only passed about a dozen other pumpkin patches on the way, but my sis-in-law assured us that this one was the best. And it was. It was perfect for the preschool/ young elementary aged children. And, when you paid to get in everything was included. Sweet!There was a 30 minute hayride- that we rode twice with Aunt Sharon and JT.
The hayride stopped to let the kids feed the fish.

Pony rides.
A petting zoo…
Complete with hornary old pig that J enjoyed terrorizing.

A wooden maze that ended with a slide.


A playground complete with two sandboxes.

A trainride.

And a firepit for marshmellows. Mmmmmm.

The boys had a blast, and we even picked out a pumpkin. I don’t have a photo of that for some crazy reason. I think we were over it by the time we actually made it to the pumpkin patch.

It was Southern Tree Plantation in Blairsville. It is worth the trip- and it wasn’t crowded like Burts. Sorry Burt!