Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Old Fashioned" Pumpkin Cookies

This post was inspired by a question asked over at one of my favorite blogs, Heavenly Homemakers. I have learned a lot from reading Laura's blog and today I learned that you can cook a pumpkin WHOLE! Yes whole, assuming that the pumpkin will fit in your oven. Basically you treat it like baking a gigantic potato, even stabbing it before baking. She shows you the process complete with pictures  here.

Back to the question that was asked...One of her readers asked about a recipe for pumpkin cookies, specifically a recipe from The Joy of Cooking. It's an "older" cookbook, originally published in 1931.
Joy of Cooking

My edition is from 1981 ...

The Joy of Cooking

...and it has the recipe for pumpkin cookies! So Debb, here you go!

Pumpkin Cookies

"A spicy cookie with a mealy, rather unusual texture"
Preheat oven to 375.
Cream together:
1 cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
Add and mix well:
1 cup cooked pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift together and add to above mixture:
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Stir in:
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins
Drop cookies onto a well-greased baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes.
Debb, I'd love to know if you make them and what your thoughts are on "the unusual texture" mentioned in the cook book.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Fall!! Free Fall Chalkboard Printable

I've thought of all the ways to start of this post, like "It's hard to believe it's been almost two years...", "Where has the time gone?""  I'm sorry..." and I've thought of all the explanations I can give and then I decided to just share what I have for now!

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love all  the sights, smells and sounds and tastes of fall! I'm one who starts thinking about fall in the beginning of August! I've been studying Pinterest and looking for new ways to decorate this year and I've  found a few things that I am excited to try. Chalkboards are still "in" I hope? I like them! Making a chalkboard printable  on the computer is much easier than I thought and fun to make!  I've finished my first fall chalkboard printable today and it's the first day of fall.  I've have wanted to start sharing on my blog again for quite a while and the timing was too good to pass up! So here it is:

It seems that a few things have changed with blogger in the last two years, like clicking on a picture brings up a "gallery" type window? I was afraid this would prevent saving the picture. So, I right clicked on the picture and chose "open in a new window". When the new window opened, I clicked on the image which enlarged it to it's original size. That would be what you want to right click on and save to your computer for printing. If you know of a better way or what I should do to make sharing printables easier, please let me know in the comments. I have more that I would like to share! If you download leave me a comment and let me know how you are decorating for fall.

Whew! Posting after almost two years wasn't as hard as I thought!

Happy Fall!

I'll be sharing my  fall printable here:

            Tips & Tricks Linky Party   House on the Way a hBy Stephanie Lynn

Friday, December 16, 2011

In Loving Memory…

of my granddaughter


Chloe Anne Poffenberger

December 16, 2008

Chloe Flower


Although you came and couldn’t stay, you remain in our hearts forever.

Love, Gram

Sunday, December 11, 2011

DIY Christmas Game Boards

There’s nothing like starting a BIG project, like tearing out a kitchen and then leaving everyone, including myself, hanging is there? Once again, it was not intentional. I L-O-V-E blogging and write blog posts all the time…in my head…while I’m driving, cooking, showering, anywhere but it front of the computer. We’ve had Thanksgiving, end of the semester homeschool co-op projects to finish, and then sickness to keep me away from the kitchen and the keyboard. That’s why my kitchen still looks like this:re-do kitchen

along one wall. The rest of it isn’t ready to show yet either but instead of getting back to the kitchen I decided to do a fun  craft project. It’s one I hope will give the kids something “new” to do together.  It would be one thing to say “Go play checkers with your brother/sister.” It’s quite another to say “Go play Christmas checkers with your brother/sister.” That request is new and different and catches the attention before anyone can say. “I don’t want to play checkers….” And who can resist a game of reindeer against snowmen? I planned this game in my head during one of my drives. I had a large game board with large pieces in mind so that my kids could also play with my grandsons when they come up for Christmas. Dollar Tree came to my rescue, having almost everything I needed except the red Duck tape that I found at Wal-mart. At the Dollar Tree, I found two sheets of green poster board,one red and one white foam board. I thought I might have a hard time finding something large enough to be my game pieces, but I was tickled to find these giant pennies in the party favor section.

DSC_0110I got  everything together, poster board, 2 sets of coins, glue, mod podge, spray paint and duck tape.

Christmas game

No laughter here, but I thought I would be able to do this with strips but…uh-uh, I had to cut out the green in squares and lay them on the red poster board.

diy checkers game

Because this is such a big project I wanted to make my own mod podge. I’ve used it before when I made a faux stone arch for my stove. I found the super easy recipe at Life in Rehab. All you need are glue, water and a container.

diy mod podge      make mod podge

And this stuff works too! I put it over my stove, which didn’t have any type of exhaust fan or anything, so it was constantly being hit with steam. When we started taking the kitchen apart, the “faux stone” was still harder to get off than real stone! It took me a while and a lot of scraping, but it’s off. I’m hoping it will protect the checker board from wear and tear the same way!

Modge Podge Works (1)

I glued all the little squares down and coated the whole surface with the homemade mod podge. While it was drying, I cut the white foam board and the other green poster board down to 20’”x20” to match the checker board. I made a sandwich of the foam board in between the checker side and the green poster board. I stacked heavy books all over it while it dried.

make a checker board

To make the game pieces, I spray painted the coins white with Rustoleum spray paint for plastic. While they dried, I printed and cut out the snowmen and reindeer circles I made to go on the coins.

checkers  To glue the cut outs onto the coins, I used “real’ Mod Podge, because it is thick and would fill in the bumpy spots on the coins.  I left the front of the coins, with Abraham Lincoln’s head uncovered to be used as  the “crown” when the checker makes it to the other side.

DIY checkers

When everything was dry, I lined them all up “Reindeer vs. Snowmen” Checkers!

homemade checkers game

I almost forgot to mention that I used the red Duck tape to bind all the edges. You can see it along the bottom edge in the picture above. Here’s a close up of the pieces.


When they are tired of playing checkers, they can flip the board over and play tic-tac-toe!

duck tape tic tac toe

I  LOVE the red tape!

tic tac toe

My youngest son already wants to play but I’m going to let everything “cure” overnight  and let the anticipation build! About five dollars for some family fun isn’t too bad. I even had fun making it!

A faster, easier version would be to make some Christmas-y checkers to use on a regular checker board. If you would like the reindeer/snowman circles, leave me a comment and I’ll see if I can get them to upload like my other printables.

Have  great week!


Sharing this at these fun places:

UndertheTableandDreaming The DIY Show Off its so very cheri
Keeping It Simple The Girl CreativeThe DIY Show Off
BWS tips button

Monday, November 14, 2011

“Coffee-ology” Re-make: Coffee Printables!

My kitchen isn’t the only thing getting a remake lately! I received a sweet comment on my Coffee printables asking for a larger size.  I read it in my email and when I went back to reply that I had been able to resize the prints, I couldn’t find the email. I must have accidentally deleted it. I can’t find the comment on my blog either, it wasn’t on the coffee printable post. I have given up searching and just hope that the requester sees that I’ve been able to resize them. Here they are resized to 12x12. Right click on the images below and then right click and choose “save as” to save the larger printable.

Coffee Definition
Coffee Definition Printable Keen Inspirations12


Coffeeology Printable Keen Inspirations12

You can see my original post  with the smaller printables and what I did with mine here. These could be printed and applied to tiles or canvas and would make a great gift for a coffee lover!  If you are the one who requested the larger size, please let me know that you see this….I’m so sorry that I lost your email!
Happy Monday!

Sharing my printables here this week:

      image name  

image name

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Re-use, Re-cycle Kitchen Re-do!!

Well, it’s taken me a few days to get back here, but I am really excited about my kitchen plan!! After we got started last week, my kitchen project came to a standstill. I have discovered a sure way to bring in work for my self-employed husband. Start him on a project at home! As an electrical contractor, things have been a little, well a lot, slow. As soon as we start tearing the kitchen apart he gets work! Not complaining though. We lost a few days because there were things I needed him to do but as soon as he was free we got started again. I figured I’d work while he was available and blog about it later. 

Before I lay out my  “Re-use, Recycle and Re-do the Kitchen Plan”, I want to give you some background. My kitchen has had the refrigerator and stove on one wall and the dishwasher and sink on others. It was very spread out with a table in the middle of it all. The biggest drawback of the layout is that the outside door and doorway into my utility room/pantry  were on the same side as my stove and fridge, with the fridge coming out into the doorway of the utility room. We didn’t start taking pictures ‘til the refrigerator was already moved, but you can see the space where it was. To the left of the ladder is the white doorway to the utility room. You can see that if you walked straight out of the utility room, you would hit the refrigerator. You had to go in and out of there on an angle.


So why did we start with the refrigerator? Because I have a special friend who knew we were using a refrigerator that was so old that it is “almond” and has definitely seen better days!


She shared an extra one she has had with us! It’s bigger, white and not falling apart, see it has both top and bottom handles! It went directly to it’s new spot in the kitchen.

remodel kitchen before

Thank you special friend! I figured that if we were going to be moving the refrigerator anyway, that it would be a great time to start my kitchen project even if it was the beginning of November! The only obstacle would be getting hubby on board. I began by explaining why I wanted to move everything off of the stove/refrigerator wall and gave reasons he would agree with, like everything on that wall is basically in the pathway of the outside door to the utility room door. That made it hard when we brought in firewood. Then I  followed with the idea that things would flow better with all the appliances close and on the same side. He liked both reasons, but still didn’t realize how easy this was going to be because our cabinets were mostly in sections already. We had put them together to work for us when we first got them. Not only that, but the cabinet sections were going to fit without ANY cutting!  I had already measured. Hubby had to measure for himself. After measuring and re-measuring to be sure, he said “hey, this is going to be pretty easy!”  Uh-huh, I already knew that!  Glad to have you aboard honey! Then I laid out the plan for him in full:

1. Move refrigerator and stove almost directly across the kitchen to opposite wall.

2. Take out the cabinets that were on the opposite wall and replace them with the cabinets that fit from the other wall.

3. Re-paint cabinets black and walls beige. Buy new knobs for cabinets.

4.Put open shelving on the now empty wall. May have some cost here….

5. Re-do bakers rack and put it on the empty wall. May need more black spray paint.

6.Lay new tile on floor. Will need glue and grout.

7.Tile over formica countertops. Biggest expense is here for the tile, more glue and more grout.

8. Find a trim color and paint the trim….another expense, unless I win another contest and more free paint! Smile

Should be pretty fast and easy, right? Well, the fridge is moved…


Monday, November 7, 2011

Who tears their kitchen apart the first week in November?!?!?!?

ME!!! It seems that our family always starts a project right before the holidays, like we need more pressure?!?!? Last year it was the utility room and bathroom. Those projects never made it to the blog, mostly because they aren’t/weren’t completely finished. The kitchen WILL be different! I’m sooo excited about it!! It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for quite a while, so let me take you back to the beginning…

As I’ve mentioned before, we live in our basement, building “up” without taking out a loan. It’s been a MUCH longer process than we had ever anticipated. The economy going south hasn’t helped at all either. Anyway, we started out with a “this is only temporary” mentality and we didn’t put much thought into looks, only functionality. The longer we are down here, the more I want something that looks good! The kitchen started out with salmon-y pink, formica cabinets, which were given to us. Now, this was almost 10 years ago, so no one was sharing how to paint formica on their DIY blog, so we worked with what we had and I put up some hideous wall paper to coordinate. Several years later, we had to rebuild the cabinets around the sink because of a moisture problem. Unfortunately, we couldn’t match the old salmon-y counter top and had to get something new. Could have been a great opportunity….

However, Hubby decided to “surprise me” and bring home new counter tops! Yeah…trouble is we have different tastes. Since they were already cut and couldn’t go back, I again worked with what I had and went from “salmony-pink” to “grey-green”!

I look back know and call this my “what was I thinking phase?” At the time I did it I must have been happy but now I keep wondering, “what was I thinkin’?!?!?”. This is what I’ve had for the last 5 or 6 years….


So, last spring, when my DIY solar street lamp won at the DIY Club for March, part of the prize was 2 gallons of paint from Mythic Paint. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them…paint the kitchen and get rid of all that green!  I had been toying with painting the cabinets black to coordinate with the counter tops and possibly repainting the walls a beige with gray undertones instead of yellow. These are the colors that I chose.

               Cloud Burst                                                                          Almond Biscotti

Cloud Burst 133-6                                                 


Then due to life happening over the summer and the thought that we might have to tear the sink cabinets out AGAIN, the painting the project went on hold.  While googling black cabinets recently I found this picture :


and my project idea was re-born! This is Emily’s kitchen from Chatting at the Sky. I haven’t told her yet that I’ve had a picture of her kitchen on my laptop for my background screen for inspiration, but I will. Winking smile

Well after finding her kitchen and falling in love, the project went from a  simple painting the cabinets to a full blown “re-model” in my mind. The only problem? No money…. the more I thought about it the more I knew I could make it work, creatively, of course! I will be working with what I have, what I have been given or bartered for but will still have to buy some things. My original goal was to keep this under $100 out of pocket cash, but since I have decided on some tile and don’t want to give in on that, it will probably be more like $200. I am really excited about sharing my ideas on how to make this work so cheaply, but I’m also looking forward to getting some input! I hope you’ll follow along with me on this project, I’m sure I’ll need some encouragement as well as help! Like, what color trim paint would you use with the paint colors I’ve chosen? NOT “white”, we have basic white now and it doesn’t work for basement living…shows EVERYTHING!

I know I have some questions to answer and some comments to return, I’m not ignoring anyone, my laptop went down week before last and had to have everything re-installed. I’m still trying to get caught up!

If you’ve done a kitchen remodel and have any “what not to do” advice, I’d love to hear it! Tomorrow I will be sharing “The Plan”.