October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Sometimes the season calls for something special, something besides candy! Pumpkin Pie Granola was just the ticket this week...and it worked perfectly for Halloween treats at the office.

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Pie Granola
6 c. extra thick, cut rolled oats
1 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1 c. pecans, broken
1 c. flaxmeal
1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. water
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. honey
1 heaping Tbsp molasses
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. allspice
3/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger
dried cranberries, raisins

Stir first 5 ingredients and set aside.  Dissolve salt into water, heating in microwave if necessary.  Add all other ingredients except dried fruit.  Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients.  Spread out on 2 cookie sheets.  Bake @ 350° x 30-40 mins, stirring every 10 mins until lightly browned.

October 30, 2013


I think most of us fully appreciate dishwashers and the time they save us.  But like many things in life, they become a habit, part of a routine, and often unappreciated.  The job of unloading, in fact, is something I dread.  Honestly?  I would rather put tubes in people, and that's near the bottom of my list.

Imagine my <<!joy!>> on a particularly tiring afternoon to open the dishwasher and discover it was empty!  Woohoo!!  My dearest Sir Bradley did it for me when it was clearly my turn!  Not only that, but he did it when he was pressured for time and I know he was exhausted.

Joy!  Joy!  Joy!

October 29, 2013

Dog Antics

See Elsie run.

See Elsie play keep away with her new ball.  That fun squishy feel is just too irresistible.

October 28, 2013

Oh, the Leaves

The colors are so beautiful!  They will quickly be gone, so I'm trying to soak them in while I can!

October 25, 2013

Friday Wishes

Have a wonderful Friday, my friends!  I hope your weekend is both exhilarating and relaxing!

October 24, 2013

Planting Kale

...Future home of winter kale that will grace my eggs.
...Moveable, to avoid hungry deer.  =)

October 23, 2013

Picking Walnuts, Cont.

My eyes finally moved from the cars to the orchard.  Such a gorgeous day!

The adventure began.

I did not fully realize the implications of the actual location of the walnuts.  One billion nuts were spread all over the orchard.  On the ground.  I failed to consider that one must bend and squat to pick up each little nut.

Bend, squat, stand.
Squat, stand.
Squat, waddle, try to pick up a couple, stand.
Bend, squat, stand.
Squat, stand.
Pray you can get up.
Pray more that you can walk the following morning.

28 pounds of walnuts...better than a gym membership!

October 22, 2013

Jalopies 2 and 3

Oh, it was quite organic indeed!

The property owner was puzzled as to why I would be taking pictures of the old cars, but he was happy to inform me that he sold one of them.

October 21, 2013

Walnut Picking

The walnut orchard was home to a few jalopies, leading me to believe we were entering an "organic" estate.  =)

October 18, 2013

Fall Leaves

Friday, color, fresh air, cooler mornings, sunny afternoons...all good.

Have a ridiculously amazing day!

October 17, 2013

Short Lived Fun

Miss Elsie went crazy with a wayward rose hip...she flipped it and tossed it and thoroughly enjoyed a wild chase as I tried prevent a million red polka dot stains on my carpet.

In the end, there were no stains and she didn't enjoy eating her spoils.  The taste was bad even for a lab.

Sorry, Els.   =)

October 15, 2013

Rose Hip Tea!


Last year the rose hip tea adventure was a complete disaster and I swore I would never touch the stuff again.  It was just awful.  But as I mentioned last week, I learned that a friend's mother carefully removes all of the seeds and hairs from the rose hips before making her jelly.

The harvest in the fields were calling.

This new technique, however, is not for the faint of heart. With a little practice and the help of a pickle fork, I was able to clean one hip a minute.  That's a whole lot of time for one cup of tea.

I tried steeping them in the teapot with no success.  These are tough little berries. They must be boiled, and then smashed up a bit once they soften.  A final strain is needed.

And so here is the beautiful cup of tea, with a touch of honey.  Delicious!  I am truly amazed.  Wonders never cease.

October 11, 2013

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Cookies

Friday and cookies.  The combination is hard to beat!

For all my gluten free friends, here is a new discovery to top off your weekend.  And for my card carrying wheat friends, don't pass up this positively sensational treat!

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Full of chocolate goodness, these cookies are quite rich, with a fine, cake-like crumb.  Best served warm, fresh out of the toaster oven! 

1 egg
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. dark cocoa powder
2 c. Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking flour
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whip the egg, butter, and sugars until thoroughly smooth.  Then mix everything together.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  These spread very little.
Bake @ 350° x 12 mins.  Makes 1-1/2 doz.

October 9, 2013

October Fog

You know it's October when...

...there's so much fog you can't see the valley.
...you are ready for morning fires in the wood stove.
...you can't wait for a hot cup of tea!

October 8, 2013

Off the Grid?

Cooking on a wood stove, giving up a blow dryer, reading by the light of a kerosene lamp...it just kinda sounds romantic, no?  Living off the grid would be a lively and amusing challenge!

But off the internet?  Seriously????  We lost connection for 14 hours and I can't fully describe my disappointment, frustration, and vulnerability.

Some pioneer woman I am.


October 7, 2013

Rose Hips Again

OK, the wild rose hips are bigger than ever this year, and even though I remember promising to never, never try them again, well... I'm trying.  A friend's Romanian mother reportedly removes all of the seeds first, so perhaps that's the trick to making these taste good.  We shall see!

This year, however, I'm only using a portion of our lovely, wild of harvest.  If the tea continues to disappoint, I see some wonderful centerpiece decorations in my future.

More pictures to come!

October 3, 2013

Girls in the Dirt

It's seems, my dear, that you forgot your linen napkin.

October 2, 2013

These Hands

It was a good conversation at the table, and interesting to discreetly watch the hands through the camera lens as I listened to father and son talk.

I am thankful for these fatherly hands which have corrected, instructed, loved, wrestled, played, cleaned, encouraged, and comforted over the years!

Blessings indeed.

October 1, 2013

Harvest Jar Candles

It's October!  What happened?!

As time flies by, we're doing more small things to celebrate the change in seasons.  I let a few things slip when the kids left (what's the point, right?), but now we enjoy them for our sake.

So this year I hauled the scarecrow back out, picked the single pumpkin growing in the yard, gathered pinecones, decorated candles, and lit the kerosene lamp.  It was all very fun. =)

Harvest Jar Candle Instructions:
Muslin, fabric scraps, burlap, twine, canning jars (any size), and candles (any size) are all you need. Cut, fray, and wrap the fabric, then tie it all up with twine.  No glue needed.  I filled my jars 2/3 with dried beans to keep the tea candles in place.  It doesn't get any easier!