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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lincolnton...

I love this place!


West Main Street looking towards the Court House.


 West Main Street



Boger City Methodist Pumpkin Patch


East Main Street view of the Court House

Court Square



Cline Farm




Reepsville Road

Monday, October 18, 2010

October Cooking Challenge - Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies


Finished cookies with colored salt and packaged to give away.


This month's cooking challenge on Facebook group Mario's Weekend Cooking Challenge was chocolate chip cookies.  Who can turn down a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie?  Not me!  So of course I joined in.

If you enjoy cooking, you should join the group.  Once a month Mario chooses a recipe from a chef and posts the recipe the Tuesday before so you can go shopping for any ingredients you don't have on hand.  Then on Saturday around 2:00pm everyone starts.  Of course if you can't get started right at 2:00 that's ok.  You have all weekend to join in on the fun.  Post your pics and any questions.  Someone is bound to have an answer or a great idea to share.  Plus it's a lot of fun to see how different one recipe looks when made by multiple people. 


Tristan enjoyed them.

Cooling.

You can find the recipe for this month's challenge here.  Join the group so you can jump on board next month.  So far I have learned to make pizza dough and grill it and make a no-knead bread. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Double, Double Toil and Trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble."


Here are a few of the Halloween decorations around our house. Guess you can't tell I'm really excited for the holiday this year.




Snake Jerky, Jack-O-Lantern Teeth and maggots.
















Snail Slime and Dried Puppy Dog Tails











Jack-O-Lantern with a beaded spider



Wreath on the front door.
Troll Beard

Friday, October 8, 2010

Yummy Delicious!!


First let me tell you, that hands down, this was the best meal I have had in a long time.  I really want to have it for lunch and dinner for the next week.  It was THAT good.  And it was fast.  Of course I help speed the potatoes along a little with my microwave. 

Both of these dishes were also in the October Food Network Magazine.  The chicken recipe is here and the potato recipe is here.

I did make a few changes and substitutions.  I did nothing different with the chicken recipe.  But let me tell you, I am not a fan of cooked apples and this dish left me wanting more of them.  So next time, I am going to double the apples I put in this dish.  



Honey- Mustard Chicken and Apples
 
The potatoes I did make a little differently.  I was pressed for time and wanted everything done at the same time, so when I preheated the oven for the chicken, I tossed my potatoes in right then.  When the chicken went in, the potatoes came out and I nuked them in the microwave until they were done.  I have grown to LOVE sweet potatoes in the last year, so I changed the ratio of white to sweet potato.  I used one large baking potato and cut it in half for both my husband and myself and one whole sweet potato. I wanted more of the sweet in our marbled potatoes.  Since I LOVE goat cheese on my sweet potatoes, I added some Feta cheese (that was what I had on hand) in with the sour cream and and used half the butter recommended.   After everything was mixed up and spooned back into the potatoes, I popped them back in the over until the chicken was done.   When you sit down to eat, the potato tastes AWESOME with some of the gravy from the chicken dish on top of it.



Marbled Stuff Potatoes
 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gnometastic

Gerwick the Gome




Gerwick and Greta Eltwiss


Butternut Squash Soup


Since the first day of fall I have in the mood to cook some really fall-esque dishes.  While at the beach with my family I picked up the October issue of Food Network Magazine to read in out down time.  Looking back now, that was a hilarious idea that was not well thought out since we have an 18 month old.  But during a few of his short naps and early morning sunrise viewing from the balcony I managed to make my way thru the magazine and pick out a few "must makes" for the season.  The squash soup on pumpkin bowls made the cut.  You can find the recipe here

Glazing the squash and onion.


I did make a few changes.  Instead of the recommended Pepitas, I just toasted the seeds from the butternut and acorn squash.  After pureeing my soup, I felt it was a little thin.  I had some leftover rice from dinner the night before, so I added that and pureed until smooth. 

Fall squashes are in season, so check out your local farmers market to see what they have to offer and experiment.

Butternut Squash soup in Acorn Squash Bowl

On a side note for those that really know me.  Yes....I added the onions.  Yes... I ate the soup.  NO.... It didn't kill me.  (obviously.)  But please know... it's not a taste thing for me with the onions... it's all in the texture.  And the texture of an onion gives me the shivers. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Caramel Pumpkin Cider


Caramel Pumpkin Cider

1 Cup Apple Cider
1 to 2 Caramel candies or Caramel flavored Syrup
2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
 A dash Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg
A smidgen (drop) Vanilla Flavor
1 Tablespoon of heavy cream

Warm your apple cider and melt your caramel candies in it.  If you are a using caramel flavored syrup instead, add 2 to 3 teaspoons. 
Add the rest of your ingredients, mix thoroughly and serve warm.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Welcome Autumn!!



What better day to start a new blog than on October 1st?  I am making a fresh start with a lot of things and that includes my blogging.  I want to do and share more fun stuff.  I still love going to my local farmers market to be inspired to cook and create in the kitchen.  But since there is a major transition going on in my life right now, I will have time to do other things too.  Top on that list is spending more time with my son!  I am super excited about that.  For 9 ½ years I have worked out of town and that includes the first year and a half of his life.  At first it was fine, but ultimately I figured out I just wanted to be closer to home and he was the driving force that made up my mind.  So today is my last day at work.  I hope to find something part-time close to home so that I can spend more time with Tristan and do more of the things I love

I have a TON of projects to tackle around the house.  Painting and patching walls for starters.  And Halloween is coming up!  Yay.  I am really excited about that.  Last year I really started getting into Halloween and I want to decorate more this year.  (Having a child is making me want to relive my childhood.)   I plan to post that stuff as well.  Maybe you will take away an idea that you can use or have one to share.
Notice the bits of caramel candy in the buttercreme.









To celebrate the season this week I decided to make Apple Cider cupcakes frosted with Apple Caramel Buttercream.  The Apple Cider cupcake recipe came from The Cupcake Project.  The post is actually titled "Apple Cider Doughnuts:, but they are baked (not fried) and they have a cake like texture. I found the Apple Caramel Buttercream recipe over at Scrumptious Swirls.  Her basic buttercreme recipe is here.  After you make that head over to the link (above) for the Apple Caramel Buttercreme and add the extras for an awesome Fall flavor.  But be careful.... after one taste, it will be hard to not eat the whole bowl full BEFORE icing the cupcakes. 

*Tip - Next time I make this I am going to try using hard caramel candy that I crush myself and mix that into the icing instead of the melted caramel.  I believe it will give the same effect and I won't burn my fingers or end up with a huge chunk of hard caramel because I didn't work quickly enough.

Cupcakes for Tristan's teachers.





hMandif