Monday, November 24, 2014

Fall leaves and acorns for dessert.

As long as I can remember...I've had a love for the autumnal colors of fall.  Burgundy's and gold's blended together producing jewel toned leaves, no two alike.  My favorite pastime is gathering bouquets of  fall leaves.  I spritz them with cinnamon oil and set them out in various places in my home. 
What better way to celebrate the autumnal colors of Thanksgiving than by creating a fall cookie dessert for my family and  friends.

Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake Cookies
and Caramel Kiss Acorns.

Along with my staple......Trader Joes
 (frozen) ready made pie crust.

Before rolling the pie crust,  I brushed dots of food coloring concentrate directly onto the pie crust dough. Various fall colors of yellow, green, orange, and red.  Then I gathered up the dough gently kneading and mixing the colors just until it produced a marbled effect.

 Rolling the dough thin for a crisp cookie shell.

After cutting out the various leaf shapes, I popped them in the oven.  While the leaves were baking I mixed the pumpkin butter, cream cheese, filling together for the cookies.

These measurements are an approximation. 
The cream cheese to pumpkin butter ratio  are to each individuals taste of sweetness.

1 jar of (Trader Joes) pumpkin butter. 
(any pumpkin butter will work)
1-11.5oz. whipped cream cheese.
Gently whisk together a few tablespoons at a time of each ingredient until you reach the desired  amount and sweetness.

Spread a teaspoon of filling on each (baked) leaf, adding a sprinkling of
 Craisins and pecans.
Sandwich the matching leaf to form the cookie.
For a few of the cookies I mixed a smidgen of the cranberry sauce to the Craisins.
I  thought it would provide a nice touch to include a few acorns with the Fall leaf cookies.

 Soften 3-4 caramel  squares by hand or in the microwave 10- 20 seconds. 
Don't over melt, they just need to be pliable.
Flatten the caramel with a rolling pin. 
 Cut with a small round fluted  cookie cutter to form the acorn top.
Wrap the acorn tops around a chocolate Kiss.
I used a mini chocolate morsel for the stem.

For the tag I personalized  a fall leaf I gathered from my walk.
Tied it all together with a glittered dot ribbon.

If you're really feeling ambitious you can tackle this Thanksgiving turkey cake 
from Hungry Happenings!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Carving time!

  Halloween is upon us. Which means it's time to release our creativity at carving and or decorating pumpkins.
  I searched high and low to find inspiration from all resources.  Starting with a scenic afternoon drive through our neighborhoods,where we discovered a pumpkin patch  with some extraordinarily large pumpkins!!  You can see them peeking through their leaves.  One pumpkin actually had it's own protective shelter.  From the size of  the tent, it looked to be the largest!

 Now that we've got those creative juices flowing here are a few more inspirational ideas for you to choose from.

( Source Pinterest)
Cookie Monster doubles as a cookie jar.  
Win, win!

(source Pinterest)
Those of you who have followed my blog, know my affection for kitties!!  
This was my pick for most adorable!

(source Four Generations One Roof)
Witches brew.
This is such a clever idea executed with just a few supplies found around the house.

 These definitely bump pumpkin carving up to a whole new level!!

I'm always left in awww when I see actual carvings that are truly works of art.  If only there was a way to preserve these to have out year after year.

Marilyn Monroe's Hollywood glam.
Her beauty would definitely light up any starry night.

The Great Pumpkin.
A Halloween classic loved by all!

Cinderellas carriage.
Remember it turns at midnight.

 Fresh floral decor.
Here's a design that can be a centerpiece for both a Halloween or Thanksgiving dinning table.

Vintage fabric pumpkins.
  Embellished with detailed beading and antique jewelry touches.

(source Pinterest)
Shabby chic Papier-mâché.
Text papers with rubber stamping and a crystal accent is the piece de resistance.
This whole vignette is  made complete on the antique silver tray.

If your preference for pumpkin carving is one of a more simplistic approach like mine.
A carved  pumpkin punch bowl filled with a Fall punch may be more to your liking.

 Apple Orchard Punch

1 (32 fluid ounce) bottle apple juice, chilled
1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
 1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 liters ginger ale
In a large punch bowl, combine apple juice, cranberry juice concentrate and orange juice. Stir until dissolved, then slowly pour in the ginger ale.
  1. Thinly slice the apple vertically, forming whole apple slices. Float apple slices on top of punch.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Schools back in session

With the hustle and bustle of school activities there's always a need for a few DIY's to make it a little more convenient and fun. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Zucchini not so fried!

When we're dinning out one of my go-to appetizers is fried zucchini.
Whats there not to love about deep fried.

Well...I took it as a challenge to revise the original recipe into a less carb and gluten free option. I thought it would be even better if I could omit the deep frying.
Here's the final recipe that met with my family and friends approval.


The featured product is a new discovery,
diffrent from it's original,
Ian's Italian Panko.

Cut approximately 3 cups of zucchini rounds.
In a bowl crack 3-4 eggs and
whip in 3-4 (heaping) tablespoons of mayonnaise.
(If you're watching fat can substitute with low-fat mayo)

I found using mayo creates a thicker viscous batter which helps bind the Panko crumbs to the zucchini rounds.
 Dip (raw) rounds in the egg/mayo batter followed with a dip into the Panko crumbs.
Lightly pat off the excess crumbs. 

 Bake on a  greased cookie sheet at 350 for 20 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and golden brown. 
With the last 2 minutes of baking time remaining...
 I sprinkled a pinch of Italian cheese over the  zucchini rounds.


  Homemade Ranch dressing is the dipping sauce of choice. 
But, to the prepared Ranch dressing,
I added Italian & garlic seasonings,  
red pepper flakes,
with a (generous) tablespoon of olive oil.
Make sure you bake plenty!
 Because before you know it the plate is empty.


 I realize at times a demonstration is much easier to follow so, I've been mulling the idea around of filming turtorials for some of these recipes I've created.
It would be a variety of recipes not necessarrily limited to low carb.
What do you think?