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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Candy Corn Cheesecake

To me candy corn is as much part of the holiday Halloween as the ghost and witch are. Oh my goodness do I love those little pieces of candy that are meant to resemble the corn kernels that you would find on a corn cob. Growing up with grandparents that were farmers I have seen many a ear of corn and none with sweet pieces of candy on the cob so we wait each year to get that bag of candy corn at the same time each year. Try these cute little desserts that my group found not only super cute but also tasty. I hope you enjoy.






1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 small container (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
Orange and yellow food color
Candy corn (for garnish)

Beat cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until fully smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, then milk (or cream). Add vanilla. Continue mixing. Beat about 1 minute on medium to medium-high speed. Fold cool whip into cream cheese mixture, and stir until fully combined. Scoop about 1/3 of the Cheesecake Mousse into a bowl, and color orange. Color another third of the mixture yellow. Leave the remaining third white. One color at a time (starting with yellow), scoop mixture into a piping bag or large Zip Lock bag, and squeeze a layer of the Cheesecake Mousse into small dessert dishes of your choice. Repeat with orange and then white Mousse. Refrigerate 30 minutes (or up to 1 day) before serving. Garnish with candy corn if desired.


Sugar Free Option:  In the past, I have adjusted this recipe to be sugar free, with good results.  Simply substitute 1/3 cup Splenda for the powdered sugar, and replace regular cool whip with sugar free cool whip.  Omit candy corn garnish.
Recipe options:  This general concept could be created using vanilla pudding or white chocolate mousse (from a mix or from scratch).
 
recipe source here
 
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Healthy and Haunting Dip

Hosting or going to a Halloween party? Need a creepy but fun dish to share? Check out this super fun dip with your friends? Bet you will provide fun along with your dish. Have fun
 
 
 
 
 
vegetable dip
4 long carrots
1 medium carrot
softened cream cheese
sliced-almond
baby carrots

This healthy snack is just the right mix of spooky and fun and it couldn’t be easier to make. To prepare, just fill a serving bowl with your favorite vegetable dip. Wash and peel 4 long carrots for fingers and 1 medium carrot for a thumb. With a paring knife (a parent’s job), cut a flat, shallow notch in the tip of each carrot. Then use a dab of dip or softened cream cheese to glue a sliced-almond fingernail atop each notch. Stick the fingers in the dip, as shown, and serve with plenty of peeled baby carrots for dipping!

recipe source here

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Pumpkins and Gourds help in the fall decor

 
 
 
As I mentioned we stopped by an area while visiting the Amish farmers who sell products to the public just like in the old days. At one place in particular there was a set of young brothers that were minding a pumpkin field they were such good farm hands and they were put in charge of selling and taking the money for the pumpkins. I had a great time and so did my grand-children picking out pumpkins and gourds that we would use to decorate our house and yard. It surprised me that there were so many different varieties and colors. My husband even commented I wonder how there are so many different shapes and colors. We ended up with a great variety and plan to cut jack o lanterns, paint a few pumpkins, roast some pumpkin seeds and have fun decorating as well. One of the best ways to decorate for fall for me is to use what is in nature. The dried twigs, pumpkins, gourds, as well as mums and other fall flowers. The pumpkins and gourds will carry through both the months of October and November as they will last quite a while if their skin is not cut.
 
 
 
The smaller pumpkins and gourds and as I said there was a great variety of these are perfect for setting about inside as well, to use as place settings or to showcase in baskets or jars. There are a number of ways to make them work with the theme you may all ready have with the variety of colors and size available you may add twigs, berries or other items in with them to keep with the theme of your house as well as offer  a bit of fall décor as well.
 
Happy Harvest Season to you I hope you have fun in decorating

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Day Trip In Autumn

 
 
 
 
The days have started to get shorter and the feel in the air is cooler that must mean that we are in autumn. The beauty that Autumn shares with us is one that can be expressed best to me by the term "Gods Coloring Book". As we took a road trip this weekend we were able to see the  beauty in the leaves on trees and there were a few that were all ready standing there in the bare for all to see the limbs and bark that it had after shedding its leaves. The colors of reds, browns, yellows and still even some green and my grandchildren saw other colors that as adults we seemed to over look. As my grand-daughter saw purple in the leaves that were a deep crimson red and while she asked to catch a squirrel and take it home with us we assured her that the squirrels had a job to do in nature as well. The back roads we took that wound and went up and down and at times she said they were like being on a roller coaster took us through some of the prettiest territory back deep into the land that is shared with us by our Amish and Mennonite neighbors.
 
The smells of nature and sights were did not even match the awesome scents that were offered there with the sweets in the bakery or the garden that hosted the fall flowers. All ready to be purchased and to take back home. This was something that we gladly did purchasing fresh baked donuts that kind that you have to hold with two hands because one hand even an adult hand can not master the size of these delicious donuts. The breads that we purchased smelled so awesome with so many choices and yet to say that the cookies we bought (we forgot to use for dessert) are still sitting ready to share with our family. We also met many smiling faces as we bought what they had to offer and I simply love to talk to my friends as their accent is one that reminds me of the old country. The children are all so helpful with one young man helping his parents by putting the bakery goods on the shelf and yet another set of young brothers helping to sell pumpkins for the family. The houses and yards are oh so charming with the simple white and neat oh so neat yards.
 
If you ever have a chance to visit the back roads and our friends that live there take the time to do so it may just do your heart as well as it does ours.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ideas For Using All Those Pumpkins

10 Cool Pumpkin Ideas


When we hear about pumpkins, we think of Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns, pumpkin pie, and potentially Thanksgiving front door decorations. Actually, there are lots more ways to use a pumpkin – and you might like them even better!
During October, pumpkins abound. (In some cases, they are too bountiful.) And it’s not unusual to see excess pumpkins cast aside or left to rot after Halloween. However, there’s really no need to let all those pumpkins go to waste.
The following are a few of the great uses for pumpkins:.
1. Pumpkins in Dishes.
As a food, pumpkins are low in calories yet high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, protein, and potassium. Dig out your preferred cookbook and search for dishes containing pumpkin.
Pumpkin breads, pumpkin pies, soup and pumpkin muffins are favorites, however you can probably find lots of others. There are more exotic dishes to try also – pumpkin juice, pumpkin ice cream, as well as fried pumpkin. It might even turn out to be your favorite vegetable!
2. Pumpkin Seeds.
pumpkin seedsAlso called “pepitas,” pumpkin seeds are known to be highly nutritious and are used in weight-loss diets. They provide fiber, healthy fats and protein, along with such minerals as magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc and copper.
They are also known to strengthen the immune system and to be good for people with high cholesterol. In fact, you can find pumpkin seeds in health food snacks like paleo bars because they are so nutritious. Check out the Live Pumpkin Bar here.
Roasted pumpkin seeds make excellent snacks between meals, can be sprinkled over a holiday squash soup and are a favorite in Mexican food preparation. Candied pumpkin seeds are great for parties also – as well as your youngsters may accept them amongst their Halloween candy. Here’s how to make a batch:
3. Pumpkins for Animals.Mashed pumpkin is a good remedy for digestive trouble in dogs. It can be used to combat weight gain or diarrhea, and for resistance to infections. It is also said to be good for a dog’s night vision and general health.
Simply add a few spoonfuls of cooked and mashed pumpkin to your dog’s food. (Important: it must be pure mashed pumpkin, not a mix!) For information on how to create your very own mashed pumpkin, see # 4 below.
Cats may like pumpkin too, and it can be offered to help cats with similar digestive troubles, in addition to hairballs.
Keep in mind, if your pet is sick, take him to the vet! Ask your vet about making use of pumpkin as a home treatment.
4. Pumpkins for Later.
You can save them for later use in dishes and for winter holidays if you have more pumpkins than you know what to do with. There are several ways to create pumpkin puree which can be frozen for later. The following are three preparation methods:.
1. Baking – Cut the pumpkin into two halves, place it on a baking sheet with the flat side down, and bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for about an hour, or until it hurts when tested with a fork.
2. Microwave – Follow the above procedure, but instead of placing the pumpkin in an oven, microwave it on high for about 15 minutes, or until it hurts.
3. Boiling – Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and then wash. Then, place the chunks in a pot, cover with water (fully immersing the pumpkins, while leaving one inch of water on top), and boil until tender.
Once you’ve utilized among the approaches above to soften the pumpkin, cool it off, peel it, and mash it in a food mill. You can also make use of a potato masher or another similar device.
Just seal the puree into zip lock bags, or whatever is hassle-free, and freeze it for for the winter season. The puree can be used as a substitute for canned pumpkin, in any dish.
5. Pumpkins as Dishes.
You can clean a pumpkin well, cut it in half, and dry it for use as a serving bowl or a flower vase. You can also utilize a halved pumpkin to prepare or bake other foods in. Great if you’re going to a potluck dinner or need an easy, festive table centerpiece.
6. Pumpkins for the Skin.
Pumpkins contain anti-oxidants and alpha-hydroxy, which are said to be helpful for the skin. You can use pumpkin peels as a facial, to fight wrinkles or help with other skin troubles.

7. Pumpkins for Children and Games.
You can use pumpkins in kids’s drawing and carving contests. If your kids are too little to begin sculpting yet, they can also decorate pumpkins with markers or paint – or even create a pumpkin collage.
Chalkboard paint is a cool way to turn anything ordinary into a fun, artistic item. Paint a pumpkin with chalkboard paint and kids can draw on it, erase it and draw again. Super cool. Here are 9 more crafty chalkboard paint ideas.
8. Pumpkins as Ornaments.
Pumpkins, gourds, and squash can be used to create candle holders, Thanksgiving centerpieces and other ornaments. You could even paint them with black chalkboard paint! Check out these stencil ideas.
9. Musical Pumpkins.
Yes, that’s right, pumpkins make excellent musical instruments. Or, at least they can if you know how to make (and play) them. You can find a range of concepts for instruments that can be made from pumpkins, gourds, and squashes. Although many musical instruments are made from gourds, one can easily imagine how a large or small pumpkin would do just as well oftentimes.
10. Pumpkins for Crafts.
You might try some more advanced and imaginative uses of pumpkins if you are an experienced craftsman or a sincere enthusiast. You can make pumpkin leather like the American Indians did, or just settle with a simple pumpkin bird house.
As you can see, there’s really no need for pumpkins to go to waste, either before Halloween or afterwards.
Instead of letting additional pumpkins go to waste, these are a couple of ways to stretch your grocery spending plan a bit more, enjoy some health benefits, get your children away from the tv and get some fun family time as well.