Life, Love and my passion for cooking

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Carson City, NV, United States
I grew up in Illinois in a small town. I moved to California in May of 2000.In that time I have experienced life, love and my passion for cooking. We now live in Nevada. I hope to take my passion for cooking to a new level.


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mini Pumpkins

Mini spider pumpkin candles

I saw this idea in a magazine. I thought it would be cute to put these out for Halloween. All you need to make these cute little guys are black pipe cleaners, a sharp small kitchen knife such as a paring knife, the mini pumpkins and candles. I plan to get some flameless votives when I set them out on Halloween.

1. Measure the opening so it fits the candle.

2. Cut open the pumpkin and clean out all the seeds

3. Then cut the pipe cleaners for the legs. Bend the legs so they look like spider legs.

4. Then pull off some of the black fuzz and push them into the side of the pumpkin.

5. Fit the candle in the center. Then light it and you have a fun festive decoration for Halloween.

NOTE: when I first made these I used a glue gun to put the legs on they ended up falling off.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My fall favorites




     I love fall! I enjoy lighting my favorite fall candle preheating the oven and getting started on my recipes. It stays pretty warm in Southern California all year long. I try to take the cool days that we get once in a while and bake my favorite fall cookies and snacks.

     One of my favorite snacks is Pumpkin Seeds. They are so easy and cheap to make. A small sugar pumpkin is only $2.00 at Trader Joe's. I use the pumpkin and the seeds. Pumpkin freezes well so if you only have a few cool days a year make the best of it and bake a few pumpkins and freeze the puree in Ziploc. When pumpkins are almost out at the stores its nice to have it. The canned pumpkin has gone up so much in price that its cheaper to buy a fresh pumpkin. It is time consuming but worth it. You can do so many things with pumpkin. You can make Pancakes, cookies, muffins or even bread. You can even add pumpkin to dishes for dinner.

Pumpkin Seeds

     First cut your pumpkin in half and clean out the inside. Separate the seeds from the pumpkin guts. Sometimes it doesn't all come off but that's ok it will roast up nice in the oven.

     Then, soak the seeds over night in water. Let them sit over night in the refrigerator. The next day preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pour the seeds into a strainer. Rinse them with cool water under the faucet. Spray your cookie sheet with non stick spray. Pour the seeds on the cookie sheet. spread them out evenly. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. I usually use salt and pepper, other options could be cayenne pepper. If you want a sweet snack sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon on them. 

     Next put them in the oven set the time for 25 minutes. Then stir them. I like my seeds nice and crispy so I stir and set for another 25 minutes. I let them cool and put them in a Ziploc for snacking.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall cookies

Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup butter (1 stick room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Molasses
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons milk

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
then add the Molasses and the egg beat until well blended.
Then add the pumpkin stir in the pumpkin. Then add the milk one tablespoon at a time.

In another bowl add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and pumpkin pie spice.

Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture. Blend well but do not over mix. I use a small ice cream scoop that is about a tablespoon in size and add the mixture to a cookie stone. You can use a regular cookie sheet just spray it lightly with non stick spray. bake the cookies for 10-12 min. I start with 10 min. Transfer to a cooling rack let cool.

NOTE: I usually use canned pumpkin. When I have the time I buy a small sugar pumpkin from Trader Joe's. I cut the top and bottom off cut it in half and remove seeds and clean the inside out. Cut it in half again and place it on a cookie sheet in a 375 degree oven for 1 hr. Let the pumpkin cool completely then remove the skin. Puree in a food processor. One pumpkin makes about 1-1/2 cups. Depends on the size. I usually will buy two so I can freeze the rest for more cookies or pumpkin pancakes!:)