Monthly Archives: October 2011

Halloween Chandelier



I’m in the middle of getting just a few Halloween projects together to give out to my daughter’s teachers and some of the neighborhood kids. It’s so hard doing projects because there are sooooo many things that can be done. Should I make them cute, scary, elegant? Decisions, decisions! I was trying to kind of get a vintage vibe on this card, but I don’t really know if I achieved it. This card was super easy and fast.

Are you ready for Halloween? Do you have your costume? Got treats? Have a wonderful weekend!


Cardstock: Stampin’ Up! Old Olive, Whisper White

DSP: Stampin Up! Retired

Ink: Stampin’ Up! Pumpkin Pie, PaperTrey Ink Chai

Stamp: Stampin Up! Grand Soiree

Embellishments: Wilton Doily, Local Store Crepe Paper, Stampin’ Up! Ribbon and Dazzling Diamonds



Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread



The weather here is so chilly and rainy that all I want to do is eat and sleep…but there is definitely not much sleep going on with the things I do to keep busy! I absolutely had to make a pumpkin dessert right away after picking pumpkins over the weekend. This Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread is absolutely delicious!

Your kitchen and house will smell absolutely heavenly with this baking in the oven.

Just try it and it will become a favorite at your house.


  • 1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want the filling to be)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cup(s) pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 2 1/2 Tablespoons half & half
  • 1/2  to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pans. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg, and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. Set aside. In a large bowl, blend 1  2/3 cup flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, canola oil, eggs and sugar; beat well. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until combined. Fold in the chopped pecans or walnuts.
Pour half of the pumpkin bread batter evenly into the two prepared loaf pans. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of the pumpkin batter layers in each loaf pan and then spoon or pour  on the remaining pumpkin batter (if you don’t have enough pumpkin batter to cover the cream cheese layer entirely, that’s okay, because you’ll be swirling them together anyway). Take a knife and stick straight down into the top pumpkin batter layer and middle cream cheese layer; swirl the knife around in these two layers, creating a marble effect; this will give the cream cheese filling a nice swirly shape as it bakes.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes; remove to a rack to cool completely. While waiting for the bread to cool, mix your cinnamon glaze: combine powdered sugar and half & half, blending well; then add cinnamon and mix until smooth and creamy. Note: the cinnamon makes this glaze darker in color, so if you want a lighter, creamy color glaze, just add a dash of cinnamon to the mixture. Drizzle over completely cooled bread loaves and then sprinkle on nuts for garnish.
Wash this deliciousness down with a glass of milk or savor the fall flavors with a good up of coffee. It’s hard not to eat more than one piece of this!
Adapted from

Fall Fun



Pumpkins are pretty, round, cute, orange and oh so tasty! Every year we go pumpkin picking and we have such a wonderful time. We decided to go this past weekend when my son came home for the weekend. The weather was perfect.

I love that we can ride on the tractor and pick our own pumpkins…


I really like seeing the pumpkins all huddled up together….and seeing someone’s legs in the picture….I need to perfect my picture-taking skills!

Every year I try to buy a lot of pumpkins to boil down, puree and freeze for my pumpkin recipes….that was not the case this year! I was only allowed one pumpkin because we wouldn’t fit in the car! I was so sad. I guess I will have to head out to a store to buy more.

This is an unfortunate end for a pumpkin but a beautiful beginning to a delicious sweet or savory food.

I pretty much just wash the pumpkin, cut it and pull out the seeds and guts, cut into large chunks, throw in a pot and boil until soft. Scoop the soft pumpkin from the shell and puree in a bowl. I measure it out by the cup and put it in freezer bags and pop it into the freezer until I need it. Go out and pick a pumpkin. I think it will make your day!







Oh, Guacamole!


I absolutely love avocados… it seems I love a lot of things! Avocados are delicious, creamy and versatile. Avocados have been super expensive lately, so I haven’t bought any.  When my husband saw them at the store at a great price he bought two good-sized bags.I needed my guacamole fix! I don’t have an actual recipe, but I will share how I make mine.


•3 avocados, pitted and smashed up (cross-cut first, then smash in the shell, scoop out of the shell)

•1 med. tomato, diced

•¼  small onion, finely diced

•1 cup Chihuahua cheese, shredded

•pinch of salt

You can omit or add more of whichever ingredient you like to make it to your liking. I have seen it with diced jalapeños, but I don’t add it because not everyone likes spicy.

You can also add a squeeze of  lime juice to stall the natural darkening process that happens with avocados.

Mix all ingredients together and get the party started!



Green Tomato Cake…



This year we have tons of green tomatoes because of the weather. My husband picked them and asked what he should do with them. Of course I said “Well, I can try looking up new recipes for green tomatoes” and he cringed. He HATES when I say  ” I tried a new recipe”. He’s afraid to be really hungry then he is not going to like what I cooked.

Anyway, I did find a recipe for Green Tomato Cake and it’s like magic!

You go from this…

to this…

The cake is very good believe it or not! I frosted it with cream cheese frosting and it just amazing…If you don’t believe me just try it!

Green Tomato Cake Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Place chopped tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Place in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until creamy.
  4. Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add raisins and nuts to dry mixture; add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Dough will be very stiff. Mix well.
  5. Add drained tomatoes and mix well. Pour into the prepared 9 x 13 inch pan.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting ( I doubled this for this cake)

•4 oz.cream cheese, at room temperature

•½ unsalted butter, at room temperature


•2 ¼ cupsconfectioner’s sugar, sifted

If you make this you will amaze everyone! Enjoy!



Adapted from

Pumpkin Cupcakes in a jar



Yay for Friday! I look so forward to Fridays then the weekend is gone in the blink of an eye! I also love Halloween. I love the decorations that can be either scary, cute or elegant. I love the excitement of the children picking out their costumes and hoping they get tons of treats and no tricks! Here’s a little treat for you! I made these adorable and delicious pumpkin cupcakes in a jar for a swap that I am in….they were a hit!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

1 ½ cups         all-purpose flour

1 tsp                ground cinnamon

¾ tsp               baking powder

¾ tsp               baking soda

½ tsp               ground allspice

½ tsp               ground nutmeg

¼ tsp               salt

1 ½ cups         granulated sugar

½ cup              vegetable oil

2                      eggs

1                      cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

  1. In a small bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, nutmeg and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil and eggs until smooth. Add pumpkin, beating well. Add flour mixture, beating until smooth.
  3. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 27 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cook completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

Cream Cheese Icing

4 oz.                cream cheese, at room temperature

½ cup              unsalted butter, at room temperature

pinch               salt

2 ¼ cups         confectioner’s sugar, sifted

* If you like a lot of frosting like I do make sure you double your recipe.

1.   In a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together cream cheese, butter and salt until creamy. With mixer on low-speed, beat in confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup at a time so that the sugar doesn’t fly all over the place. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy

2.   Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes and refrigerate until ready to serve or for up to 1 day.

After the cupcakes are cooled cut each in half horizontally and layer in your jar with bottom of cupcake, frosting, top of cupcake and more frosting and add some sprinkles if you like. Put your jar lids on and tie a spoon around the jar with ribbon. It’s ready to enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from the book “125 best Cupcake recipes by Julie Hasson

Vintage Love



I don’t know about anyone else, but I love vintage things! I think that liking “old” stuff  is either in you when you ‘re born or  you acquire the taste for it as you get older. That just sounds wrong, but it’s the truth! When I was younger I wanted everything to be modern. I didn’t even want traditional. It had to be black or glass and sleek. Now I am super digging traditional or vintage stuff! Or how about shabby chic? I love that look! At least once a year my friends and I head out to Kane County Flea Market to check out “old” stuff. Somehow I always find a treasure. It has to be something that really catches  my eye or that I can use. Have I used all the stuff I have bought? NO! But it’s really pretty! How about this gorgeous bar ware? LOVE IT! Have I used it? NO. I will someday…I had to have it. It was calling me when I saw it…..

If you see something you must have just buy it (don’t tell the hubby)…but make it something you will use or because you love it! I really shouldn’t say that! Imagine who could have used it? Or imagine being at a glamorous party, having glamorous drinks, with glamorous people….