While I could easily eat a Costco size pumpkin pie by myself on a daily basis, I would soon be the size of Costco. So, in an ever evolving desire to be healthy and enjoy the pumpkin pie I love so much, I have been working as much pumpkin into my diet as humanly possible.
Since I have been on a smoothie bender for awhile, I have now developed a pumpkin pie smoothie! Tastes just like I took the pie and squished it up AND made it healthy!
6-7z pumpkin (or half a can if you don’t want to actually measure. Trader’s Joe’s organic canned pumpkin is my favorite)
1/2 really ripe pear
2T peanut butter
1T Chia seeds
1/4 cup water, milk or juice
1in fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (or 1/2t ground ginger)
1t pumpkin pie spice
The chia seeds really make the smoothie filling and keeps you full longer. If you leave the chia seeds out, omit the water. Chia will absorb the liquid and thicken into a gel. If you like a thinner smoothie, add more water. This recipe make one 16 ounce smoothie, but doubles and triples easily to make ahead for the week.
This year Thanksgiving fell during Hanukkah. I celebrated with friends playing dreidel and assembling lego’s.
I love lighting the menorah each night and I always have to take some pictures. For this week’s photo challenge of Let There be Light!, I didn’t have to look to far to find something to post.
I have one of my sister’s paintings on my mantle. A couple years ago I put the menorah in front of the painting and was delighted with the result. I was not expecting the reflection or the delicate circle of light.
This next picture is of this year’s candle lighting. Myself and the six year old who made the lovely menorah both thought these looked like a line of toilets, while they are really supposed to be oil lamps. I think I may have even said something to the effect of “Let’s get this potty started” when it was time to light the candles. Please feel free to inset any other toilet pun you feeling coming on in the comment section below.
I hope you and your families have had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Happy Hanukkah or better known as Thanksgivikkah.
This summer Coe and I went on a road trip across the country. We drove down south to celebrate my mother’s birthday. Going, we drove like a shot, only stopping when necessary. Coming home, we zigged and zagged a little more to see a few sights. I was delightfully surprised when I came across this unexpected gem of a rest stop somewhere in Texas.
When I walked into the restroom, it looked totally boring, like any other rest stop potty. There was a wall of sinks and when I took a hard left to head to the loo, there was this mural and no ceiling!
This may be a bit of an overshare, but the potties were undercover, but had a lovely view of the blue skies.
This week’s Photo Challenge topic is Layers. I mentioned earlier that we have been having the craziest fall weather. I’ve not minded in the slightest. The sun can stay shining all year if she chooses to- I’d be delighted! I took this photo last week. My roses were blooming in November! The delicate layers of petals have since blown away with a storm.
There are days where nothing makes us feel better than comfort food. Rich, warm, fatty, decadent, savory or sweet. We all have that thing that takes us to a warm, safe place. My mother never made meatloaf and mashed potatoes, but I love it so. I also don’t recall her making lasagna. She did teach me to make macaroni and cheese very early on (blue box of course). But when I came home today and saw the distinctive square box on my porch, my spirit soared!! I had fresh, raw pecans waiting for me. For those of you who did not grow up in the south, there is nothing better. They are soft and tender, earthy and sweet. I could have easily eaten the entire gallon bag right there on my porch, but I restrained myself (sort of). Thanks Mom!
Nothing makes a winter day better than a warm bowl of soup. We have had the most ridiculous weather this fall. I had roses blooming in my yard last week and tonight we are having a squall. Thanks to my friend Pat, I now have a freezer full of warm savory goodness She hosted a soup exchange and we each had to bring 8 quarts of our homemade soup to share with the other guests.
We had such a good turnout for the exchange. Pat thought everyone would be health conscience, but almost all the soups had some cream and there was quite a showing of bacon. The funnies thing was two different ladies, who had never met, made the SAME soup! It was an interesting contrast, but both were quite good. I had been craving tomato soup and had easily bookmarked half a dozen different recipes, but mostly settled on a Cooking Light version. I had to add a few tweaks and I am delighted with how it turned out.
Creamy Tomato-Balsamic Soup
Originally yields: 4 servings- serving size: about 1/2 cup (My variations made 18 pints.)
1 cup less-sodium beef broth, divided (3 32z cartons)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (probably 3T)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. (Probably 1/2c)
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (4-5T)
1 cup coarsely chopped onion (4 onions)
(I added 6 parsnips, chopped)
5 garlic cloves (1 whole head)
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained (6 cans)
Cooking spray (omitted)
3/4 cup half-and-half (probably about 16-20z)
Cracked black pepper (omitted)
Preheat oven to 500.
Combine 1/2 cup of broth, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Place onion, garlic, (parsnips), and tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Pour broth mixture over tomato mixture. Bake at 500* for 50 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned.
(I skipped all of this)Place tomato mixture in a blender. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and half-and-half, and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Garnish with cracked black pepper, if desired.
I put 2 cartons beef broth and reserved tomato juice from cans (plus a little water from rinsing cans out) on the stove to preheat. Once roasted veggies are done, I scooped into the pot plus any juice left in roast pan. Use a stick blender and puree until smooth. Stir in half and half. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
Pat also had the brilliant idea of putting the servings of soup in mason jars. Think about it- a leak proof container that once you remove the lid can be your microwavable soup bowl. I don’t know if this gem is at all Goodwill stores, but in Portland, mason jars are all .29 a piece!
I have been wanting to write for awhile, but finding what to say has been hard. I hit a wall this past winter. Too much life, too much work, too much bacon (what?!). I was feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and fat. I needed a break and I got it.
I was off work for four months and in that time I went on 2 vacations. The second one, which I was most resistant to go on, was the most restorative. A week of pampering and relaxation was just what my sad soul needed to find it’s center. That trip alone is worth it’s own post.
Now easing back into the craziness of my “normal” life has been it’s own challenge. In my time off I made some decisions that have been brewing for awhile. Now I just have to take the time and steps to put all of these things in their proper places. In the meantime though, I am happy to be back here.
I’m coming back with the Weekly Photo Challenge A) because I have been going through lots of picture files lately and have found all sorts of things I want to post and B) I thought this topic was quite fitting for me.
I am a creature of habit. Coe is like her mama. She remembers what time of day we do things, she knows the way to the park, she has a favorite path through the park, and she even has a favorite toy to take to the park. Our best habit and one she annoyingly makes me do most days is getting up and going for our morning walks. Monday through Friday, we walk in the dark on a pretty well lit route. Weekends and days off we take a more leisurely route. She reads the neighborhood gossip and I enjoy my coffee. Our mornings out are a nice habitual way to start the day.
I have been on a three week road trip, painted most of my house, restored my beloved vanagon and I can find nothing to write about. At least my creative brain isn’t coming up with anything.
I’m just spent. I don’t like this space. Midway between transitions and stuck in a rut…
Do you ever have a morning where you just can’t get out of bed? Well, I am having that summer. I slept for the first full week of summer vacation. And since then, I have slept 8-10 hours a night, sometime more, PLUS a nap most days. I’m sensing my body is trying to tell me something.
We have a new employee at the distillery and she is a doll. Cute, energetic, and hardworking. She jumped in feet first and has required very little hand holding. Everything I love in an employee. We were talking on Sunday about how we both work 7 days a week and even if we aren’t “working”, we make work for ourselves.
I have been operating on a non-stop schedule for quite some time and cognitively know that this should stop at some point. But, I operate best when I have a full plate. I am certain I have some form of undiagnosed ADD and I have found that if I have a specific task with a specific deadline and a specific goal, then I can get it done, quite successfully. Leave me alone to my own devises and I will loll around all day, dink my way through a store, do half a project, and… uhhh, what was I saying?
A friend keeps trying to tell me how I need to go into business for myself. Oh HELL NO! I cannot keep myself on task for my own projects. I must have a reason to get out of bed and a reason to get out of the house. You should see my basement at the moment. I started working on it a couple of weeks ago, now this project has stalled and is making it very difficult to do laundry.
Do you know how many “draft” posts I have in my file? a gazillion! Well, 16 to be exact. Do you know how many of those you will actually see? The magic 8 ball says the outlook is good that I’ll eventually finish them. 8 ball may be a bit more optimistic than I am. but that’s probably because I feel another nap coming on…
The last few summers here in Oregon have been woefully inadequate. I’m from a sun loving state, so I need a couple good months of sun to replenish my vitamin D. This summer has been exactly what I needed! We’ve had a marathon run of cool mornings that turn into gloriously hot afternoons. I’ve been in heaven.
Oregon is a state controlled liquor state, which means you cannot buy booze at the grocery store. The tasting room at the distillery is technically a tiny liquor store. We can only sells the products we make. Since we are not a bar, we can serve “mini” cocktails that have no more than 1/2 ounce of spirit in up to 2 ounces of mixer. The OLCC has us on a pretty short, but manageable leash.
What says summer better than a Margarita?! We don’t make a tequilla, but one thing I love in my margarita is our Hot Monkey hot pepper infused vodka. We came up with a modified margarita to serve this weekend. The following recipe is for a real “adult” size beverage for you to enjoy at home.
Salt the rim of your glass. If you really want to be on fire, mix a pinch of chili powder or cayene in with your salt before rimming.
In your cocktail shaker, add:
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime
2 ounce pomegranate juice*
2 ounce Hot Monkey vodka
1 ounce simple syrup
2-3 dashes Fee Bros orange bitters
Shake and pour into your glass over fresh ice.
*a fun alternative is pomegranate flavored fizzy soda from the supermarket, just shake everything else and pour that on top.