Sunday, September 30, 2007

While I Wait...

Well, I'm a little bored. I am baking some pumpkin bread for Josh to take to his classmates tomorrow morning for his gradschool class. He's studying, so while I wait the 75 minutes that it takes to bake, rather than empty the dishwasher, I'd rather post a few pics of my "fall decorating". The reason that it's in quotes is because there really isn't much to it this year. I only decorated the dining room because I hate it when everything in the living room gets cluttered.

I guess I'm in the "fall spirit" today! I baked a Pumpkin Crisp for small group tonight, had an afternoon cup of coffee and I'm now baking Pumpkin Bread (recipe below)! This is my favorite pumpkin bread recipe thus far! I LOVE FALL!!!

Mom's Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar

1 cup oil

4 eggs

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

3 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. nutmeg

dash of salt

2 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup water

Cream sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time. Add pumpkin, flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Blend well, then add water with soda dissolved in it. Bake at 325 degrees in greased and sugared loaf pans (makes 3 small pans) for 60-70 minutes.

I usually bake it in one bundt pan for 75 to 80 minutes. I think it's easier to slice and easier to make in a bundt pan. Plus it looks nice on a cake stand.

Pardon my 1970's oven! Here's the pumpkin bread baking:)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Well, I had a lot of buttermilk left after making the Apple Oat Muffins. So, I went to the foodnetwork site this morning to find a good breakfast recipe. I found their Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes, so I decided to give them a whirl! I had everything on hand (including frozen blueberries), so it was perfect!

They were really good! Very fluffy, flavorful and EASY! So, that's my recipe of the day! I just made a half-recipe, which made 5 pancakes for me and Josh.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Recipe courtesy The Cookworks

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup white/1 cup whole wheat)
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, plus some for frying (I used cooking spray for the pan)
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used unthawed frozen blueberries)

Serving suggestions: whipped cream and maple syrup

In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and (cooled) melted butter. Combine the dry and the wet ingredients into a lumpy batter, being careful not to over mix, see Cook's Note*.

Heat some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet and sprinkle the top with some of the blueberries. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and maple syrup.
*Cook's Note: Over mixed batter will result in flat, heavy pancakes.

Now You Know!

Meet the reason I wear (quite a bit of) makeup:Enough said!

Aww...much better!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pumpkin Crisp

YAY FOR FALL!!!! I'm so happy it's fall! That means pumpkin bread, soups and more! This is one of my favorite fall recipes! I don't like pumpin pie, but I do like this recipe!! This is another easy and tasty, not so healthy, recipe! This is the one I took to small group tonight:

Pumpkin Crisp

2 cans pumpkin

1 box yellow cake mix

1 stick butter (softened)

3 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)

2 tsp. Nutmeg (or to taste)

2 tsp. Allspice (or to taste)

1/2 cup sugar

1 to 2 Tbsp. raw sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 pan. In medium bowl, combine cans of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and sugar. Spread on the bottom of the pan. Combine cake mix with the softened butter until the mixture resembles crumbs and is well combined. Spread evenly over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle with raw sugar if desired. Bake for approx. 30 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

This is great served straight from the oven with Cool Whip, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Never in a Million Years

Growing up, I always, without a doubt, wanted to be a wife and mother. There was never a question in my mind about having at least 2 children of my own. I assumed I would be able to get pregnant right off the bat and have all of my babies by the time I was at the oldest, 28. I knew that my life would never feel complete without having children of my own to raise. While I knew I would love to welcome foster children in my home at some point, having my own babies was/is very important to me.

Over the past year or two, I've come to realize that this dream of motherhood is not just my dream, but this dream is shared by many of my friends who are married and now ready for the next step. Sadly, for many of us, this dream is not becoming reality at all.

Never in a million years did I think that my friends and I would go through miscarriages and fertility problems. While I feel like I've waited for a long time, several of my close friends have waited much, much longer. I hurt for these girls and their husbands, because motherhood is one of the most selfless things. They are great girls who will make excellent mothers and it's not fair that they're having to wait and in some cases it's not fair that they won't be able to make that dream a reality without going through drastic measures or adoption.

For those of you going through this right now, please know that I am praying for you and sad with you. I know each of us will get through this, but it's an exhausting journey in the meantime.

While I am at peace with not trying right now, and happy in every other aspect of my life right now, there is still that part of me that is incomplete, as I know it is for others. I look forward to the day when we can all look back on this time of our life/phase of our life and know that it was all worth it!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

100 Things About Me

I'm a little, actually a lot, late getting in on this one, but I thought I'd tell 100 things about me just for fun. Here goes....

1. I am married to a wonderful husband
2. His name is Josh
3. We met in September of my freshman year
4. That was six years ago
5. We were married over 3 years ago
6. I have a wonderful mom and dad
7. I have 2 older brothers who are very talented and sweet
8. I have a great sister-in-law
9. She's pregnant with my first niece
10. I'm very excited to become an aunt!!
11. I have a great brother-in-law
12. I have great in-laws
13. My mother in-law and I are both pre-k teachers
14. My family is very musical
15. Josh's family is very musical, too
16. I was born in Elk City
17. I lived there until I was almost 5
18. I have lived in Edmond/OKC ever since
19. I love baking
20. I love decorating
21. I love having a clean house
22. Chocolate is my favorite!
23. I also LOVE Mexican food!
24. I have wonderful grandmas
25. I plan on naming my daughter after my Grandma Lucy
26. We've been trying to have a baby for 15 months
27. We had a miscarriage last October
28. We've been on Clomid and seen doctors
29. I'm taking a break from the doctors and from trying
30. I am at peace with it all and glad to have a break!
31. I am excited to be a mother one day
32. I want at least 2, maybe 3 kids
33. I love being around kids
34. I get to keep a precious baby on Fridays!
35. I get to keep my niece soon, too...yay!
36. I had back surgery when I was 14
37. I have rods in my back for scoliosis
38. Blue Cross denied me for coverage because of them....I don't like Blue Cross anymore!
39. I have asthma
40. I've had it since 7th grade
41. I seem to have a cavity every time I go to the dentist
42. I HATE going to the dentist!
43. I have to do sedation's the best!
44. I am trying to be healthier
45. I am going to the gym at least 4 days a week
46. I'm working on cooking/eating more healthfully
47. I love watching tv
48. I love watching movies
49. Josh and I love to rent movies
50. I have become a major home-body
51. I am a blog stalker
52. I'm glad I finally have my own
53. I went to Oklahoma Christian for college
54. I received a degree in early childhood education
55. I taught first grade for 2 years in Yukon
56. I'm glad I'm teaching at a Christian school now
57. Pre-K kids are very fun
58. I stay up WAY too late
59. I love to surf the internet until 1am or later
60. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with Josh the MOST
61. I do not like pushy people
62. I do not like bananas
63. I do not like seafood
64. I do not like being outside
65. Unless it's bug-free
66. Or the weather is nice and cool
67. I am not athletic at all
68. I enjoy painting and crafting
69. I like finding bargains
70. I like having people over
71. I like trying new recipes
72. I like trying new restaurants
73. I love weekend trips to the metroplex with Josh
74. I refuse to spend much money on myself
75. I'd rather spend money on other people
76. I have to wear makeup when I leave the house
77. I love to sleep late
78. If it were up to me, nothing would ever start before 2:00pm (sleep in and lounge around for a long time!)
79. I love morning television
80. I love Starbuck's raspberry mochas
81. I love Cocina de Mino's cheese dip and quesadillas
82. I love Braum's new Chocolate Mojito ice cream
83. I'm sad it isn't available to take home
84. I love Starbuck's "date nights" with Josh
85. I love Saturday matinee and Chick-fil-a dates with Josh
86. I'd rather have a fun, relaxing, inexpensive date than an expensive dress-up type date, unless it's a very special occasion
87. I love walking around Lake Hefner
88. I love Starbuck's cranberry-orange scones
89. Target is my favorite place to shop
90. I love my Sunday night small group
91. I like our new church
92. I love magazines
93. I like it when everyone is together for a big family meal at my parent's house and both of my brothers are there
94. I miss my big brother, Joe, I rarely get to see him
95. Sometimes I'm sad that we're all grown up and don't get to hang out like we used to
96. I love shopping trips and lunch dates with my mom
97. I love that my parents and my in-laws have awesome marriages that have both lasted 30 years
98. I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful husband, family, home, friends, job and church family
99. I am glad that I am finally doing everything I love
100. I want to be a stay-at-home mom with my kiddos

The Kingcades' Kitchen

So, just in case you were wondering where I cook up these recipes, here is my little kitchen. I will say it is somewhat small, but very efficient. I'm not having to run across the kitchen for anything, because it's all right there! We painted the walls when we moved in and added the black and cream damask favorite! I got the barstools for $5 each at a garage sale while I was in college and painted them black before we moved last summer. They are my very cheap rendition of Pottery Barn's barstools. I'm all about a bargain!We don't use our eat-in area in the kitchen for eating, but rather for rocking babies. It's also a great place to have a phone conversation or a cup of coffee!

Apple Oat Muffins

Well, today turned out MUCH warmer than expected! So, I'm in my fall clothes when I really should be wearing a tank top and flip flops!

I'm ready for Saturday! I need more sleep, I need to get things done around the house and I want to hang out with my husband. Just one more day! I'm really not complaining, I am just looking forward to a day at home!

As promised, here is the recipe for the husband-approved, waistline approved Apple Oat Muffins! These really are good, especially in the fall. They are perfect for a hearty grab-and-go breakfast and extra good with a cup of joe! Hope you enjoy!

Apple Oat Muffins (from Good Housekeeping)

A ingredients:
2 cups oats
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 c. white flour and 3/4 c. whole wheat flour)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

B Ingredients:
1 c. buttermilk
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used applesauce)
1 lg. egg, lightly beaten

C Ingredients:
1 c. shredded Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples (1 to 2 medium)
1/2 c. walnuts

Combine A ingredients in a large bowl. In medium bowl, with fork, beat B ingredients. Stir in C ingredients. Add apple mixture to flour mixture and stir until moistened (batter will be thick and lumpy).

Spoon into 12 greased muffin pan cups Bake at 400 degrees for 23-25 minutes or until muffins begin to brown nad toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Immediately remove muffins from pan. Serve warm or cool on wire rack.

I'm Too Tired to Go to Bed

Yes, I know this sounds crazy, but are you ever too tired to go to bed? Josh thinks I'm crazy, but almost every night I am just too tired to drag my lazy self to bed and go to sleep. I would rather sit at my comfy desk and blog stalk on my laptop or surf the web until 1:00am than walk 20 feet to my bedroom. That's pretty sad, I know!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Recipes I'm Trying

First off, welcome to my new blog! I've been a blog stalker for quite some time now, and I decided that I should start blogging's about time! But, since I usually have nothing interesting to share and I'm not that funny, I thought I'd try my hand at sharing my favorite recipes, since I love to cook!

Josh and I have been working on eating more healthfully and excercising, so I'm trying to work on making our favorite foods a little more figure-friendly!

Tonight I tried making some brownies, which Jessica gave me the recipe for, thanks! These are much lower in fat and provide more nutritional value than your typical brownies.

Lower Fat Brownies

1 box brownie mix
1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (my addition-I used Nestle 65% cacoa...but Ghiradelli would be best)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (my addition)

Bake according to package instructions.

Results: Well, don't expect the same cakey and flaky texture of your typical brownie. The flavor is all there and they are extra fudgy. As long as you aren't expecting REAL brownies, you'll like these! Josh liked them very well, so they pass the hubby test:)

I plan on posting the very tasty recipe for Apple Oat Muffins from my latest Good Housekeeping magazine, with a few nutritional upgrades, of course! I will say that these were Josh's favorite muffins.