Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Fall

I LOVE the Fall. It is my favorite time of year!!!

There are so many things that I LOVE about fall!!

Here is a list of things I love about fall.

1. The cool crisp air.
2. The smell of leaves and baked goods cooking.
3. The smell of mums.

4. Chili, soups, and stews that have been simmering on the stove.

(If this recipe is good, I'll share it with you!!)

5. Making as many meals in the Crock Pot as possible. (Did you know that there is a group of girls who started a group on Facebook. Check it out here.....

6. Apple picking.

We usually go two to three times in the fall. The four of us go in the beginning of the season, the kids and I usually go, and we go again at the end of the season. We go with Tommy's paternal side of the family.

We did our first trip this past weekend.

 Once upon a time I thought that apple season was only in the beginning of September. But was I wrong!!! Some of the BEST apples come out in October.

My favorite apples are the Mutzu. They are so yummy.
This past weekend we found a new farm by us. They even press their own apple cider. So it looks like I will be going back on October 8th for the Mutzu and again October 13th for apple cider.

Once apple picking is done comes ...
7. Apple sauce
8. Apple pie
Home made of course.
9. The kids have been asking for Candied apples so I promised we would make them in October.

10. Dipping Apples in Caramel. I buy the Marzetti Light Apple Caramel Dip. So good.
11. Going to farms to to get pumpkins, mums, decorations, cider, etc...

My favorite farm is Johnson's Corner. It's in Medford, NJ (South Jersey)
It's right across the street from my high school!!! Some of the best Apple Cider Donuts!!!
12. Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins.

 We usually buy a lot of pumpkins some for decorations through Thanksgiving. Some other pumpkins are for carving. Tommy is the best pumpkin carver!!

The night before Halloween, we gather in the kitchen to watch and help Tommy carve a pumpkin. We scoop out the pumpkin seeds and cook them for a nice healthy snack.

13. Halloween is another reason I love fall!!!!
We begin decorating  for Halloween the first week of October and I usual stop decorating for Halloween, well on Halloween!!!!
We go to a Halloween Party the weekend of Columbus Day. The campground where my parent's have their camper have a huge Halloween Day. It starts at 10 am for pumpkin painting followed by trick or treating, hay rides, and a Halloween Party!!!
This year's Halloween Party looks to be a great one because (both finger crossed) my brother's will be bringing my nieces too!!!)

Speaking of Halloween the kids already have their costumes. I wanted to make them but Speed Racer wants to be Spider Man and Ballerina changes her mind hourly. (Such a lady.) The other day while we were at Marshall's with my Mom, Ballerina decided she wanted to be a 50's chic. This was after my Mom told Ballerina that she use to where a poodle skirt when she was younger. Well, Ballerina took one look at that poodle skirt and saw the potential of it's twirling ability. She decided right then and there she needed to be a 50's chic.
I thought I would be able to make it and then remembered I have no free time on the weekends to make this stuff!!! So I bought the costumes. Which is fine because the kids will where the costume three or four times and I know that they will play dress up!!!
Speed Racer tried his costume on the other day (Spider Man) and thought that magic powers come with the suit, so he decided to try and scale the wall. He quickly learned he can't scale the walls!! Boys are soooooo funny.

Back to things I love about the fall...

14. The new season of TV. I love when my favorite shows come back to TV.
My favorite show is Modern Family!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show!!! I was one happy girl last night!!!

Modern Family tv show photo
(If you don't watch this show you should.)

15. Football games. Ok, not really but football just reminds me of fall. I use to go to all my high school and college football games  too!!!

16.The array of colors.

17. Sunday morning hikes.

18. Leaves falling on the ground and then being able to walk through them while listening to the crunch sound under your feet.

19. Making leaf piles and having the kids jumping in them. Then deciding to join them for some fun.

20. Sunflowers.

I recently made this for snack.

21. Apple Cider and Hot Apple Cider.

Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Recipe-- My all time favorite drink in the winter/fall/anytime!

22. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Even though our celebrations have gotten smaller, we still love Turkey day.

23. Wearing sweaters and boots.

Don't you just love this outfit.

My favorite colors for the fall are this caramel color and coral!!
Also a splash of leopard print!!!

24. Making crafts with the kids.
25. Fires in the backyard.
26. Having quiet nights with Tommy by the fire.
27. Buffalo Wings ( Love to have them once a year and it's usually in the fall.)
28. Butternut squash. Love it roasted!!!
29. Gourds, indian corn, corn husks, and hay bales.
30. My favorite thing about fall is something that happened twenty years ago!! That's right 20 years!!!!

Hubby and I met, became fast best friends, and fell in love in the fall!!!

I recently saw a bucket list on Pinterst. I thought I would share it with you!!!
fall printable.
I'm going to print this out, hang it up, and cross it off as I go!!!!

What are some of your favorite things about fall!!!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lavender and Lemon Cookies

I hope that you are all building your arks. This rain is really getting to me!! I need the sun!!

With all this rain the kids and I were able to do some baking today.

Over a month ago Ballerina and I were watching Giada. We do this every weekend. It's our tradition. We love Giada. So do the boys in this house!!

Giada made lavender and lemon cookies. Well, Ballerina wanted to make them right away. There was one problem I didn't have most of the ingredients in this recipe. I don't keep things like almond flour, arrowroot, or culinary lavender .

While we were in Maine, Camden to be exact I went into a store that specialized in nothing but lavender. Ballerina and I were in heaven. This household LOVES lavender. While at the store I asked the owner if she had culinary lavender, and she said of course. SCORE!!!! I found one of the three ingredients.

Yesterday, while the kids were in school I had the chance to run into a Natural Food store to pick up some arrowroot and almond flour.

(Good thing cashier put label on this bag. Imagine if I got pulled over by the cops with this bag on the car seat) LOL!!!
They had a small bag of almond flour, I'm talking 8oz for $12. I was able to get the arrowroot.
When I returned to my car I looked up on my phone (while parked) exactly what is almond flour. It's just ground up blanched almonds. It  has to be the consistency of corn meal. I thought to myself since I only need 1/2 cup I will make it myself.

Buy blanched slivered almonds.

Place the almonds into the food processor until it looks like this!!
Ta-da I saved myself A LOT of money by doing this!

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, pulse together the flours, arrowroot, sugar, lavender, salt and baking soda.

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • In a food processor, pulse together the flours, arrowroot, sugar, lavender, salt and baking soda.

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled

  • 1 large lemon, zested

  • Add the butter and lemon zest. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse meal. Add the 2 tbsp of honey and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Pulse until the mixture forms a soft dough.

     Form the dough into 1-inch round balls and press into discs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick.

    Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light brown around the edges, 9 to 11 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely, about 15 minutes.

    The cookies are very different!! But they are good!! You can really taste the lavender and lemon!!
    This would be excellent to serve at a tea party!!

    I do grow lavender in my garden but not enough for this recipe. Maybe next year!!
    I think but I'm not 100% sure this might be a vegan cookie. No we are not vegans, we just like to try different things!! I'm gonna have to find some other recipes with lavender!

    Have you tried anything different lately?

    Have a great night!!

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    First Day of School-Pre-K


    The kids were so excited to go to school.

    Speed Racer wanted to go to school as soon as he woke up!! Ballerina had second thoughts but quickly got excited about it right away. Mommy was brave all morning!!! It wasn’t until I left the building that I cried!! But that’s normal!! Right?!?!?!






    I still can’t believe that they are old enough to go to school!!!

    When we got to school they introduced themselves to some kids and when we finally got to the classroom they ran off to play!! I had to beg Ballerina for a kiss and Speed Racer did come over and say good bye to me.

    They had a great time at school. Played a lot, learned some shapes and numbers. They painted some pictures too!!

    The kids can’t wait to go back unfortunately they have to wait till next Wednesday!!

    Now you are wondering what did I for three hours!!

    Well Tommy and I went out for lunch!! I know a date in the afternoon!!! It was nice but I sat there wondering and worrying the whole time.

    After lunch I went to get a mani and pedi. I had a hard time understanding the lady who did my services. Now I walk around with something I didn’t want or ask for!! Ugh!!! It doesn’t look bad and I wouldn’t mind it if I wasn’t going to a wedding tonight!!

    The kids are spending the night with my parents and Tommy and I have yet another date…at a wedding!! We are getting spoiled!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    I can’t wait to get dressed up and be around adults!!

    I hope to take lot of pictures and share!!!!

    Have a great day!!!


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