The pumpkin muffins were great! I’m so incredibly pleased.

The flour seems to make a slightly denser muffin than the wheat flour I usually use. I also ran out of baking powder making them and dumped the rest into the batter hoping it was enough. I’m not sure if that’s why these were a little denser or if it was the flour. They’re usually extremely light and very springy. If I hadn’t eaten the original version in the past, I never would have known anything was different. They were absolutely delicious.

I found a whipped cream cream cheese icing recipe on Pinterest, and used that to top the muffin with. Guess that makes them cupcakes now, but that’s ok. They were really light and not too overly sweet. Just enough to satisfy a pumpkin spice craving I had.

Pumpkin spice muffins

Esther helped me make pumpkin spice muffins tonight.

I’ve been craving pumpkin spice, so stopped at the store to try a new gluten free flour to make something. I bought the Krusteaz brand, since they were out of any other brands. It’s supposed to substitute 1:1 for regular flour, so I started with a half batch of the muffins for myself to try. We made a full batch of regular muffins for the rest of the family.

We use the King Arthur Flour Pumpkin Donuts recipe, but make them into muffins instead (I don’t have enough donut pans). The recipe makes about 15 or 16 muffins.

They’re still cooling, so we’ll see how they turn out. I want to make a whipped cream cream cheese icing to go on top of them too, but haven’t found a recipe for that yet.

Friday night pizza night


Every Friday night we have pizza. Sometimes it’s homemade pizza at home, and sometimes it’s leftover pizza from my inlaw’s school. My favorite is the homemade. It’s funny how things change. For years I hated homemade pizza. Now I love it. I think it’s the crust.

Over the years we’ve tried several crust recipes, from whole wheat to low carb to just basic white. Even though we prefer whole wheat baked goods for almost everything else, this recipe using all purpose white flour is still my favorite. I got it from a college friend my freshman year in college. I think it’s from the Betty Crocker cookbook but I’m not entirely sure.

Homemade Pizza

Makes 2 9×13 crusts

2 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
4 Tbsp oil
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
5 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400. Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixer bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Beat well. Let rest 5 minutes.

Pat crust into well-greased pan and top with pizza sauce, desired toppings (our favorites are mushrooms, pepperoni, and sausage), and cheese.

Bake at 400 for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

Pumpkin Cookies

A friend of mine on Facebook sent me a recipe for Pumpkin Cookies. I thought they sounded good, but made a few changes when I made them. Here’s the recipe the way I made it:

Pumpkin Cookies
Servings: 36
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  1. Cream together butter, sugar, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.

  2. Drop by tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

  3. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 96 Calories; 5g Fat (49.6% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 20mg Cholesterol; 115mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

I used regular all-purpose flour tonight, but next time will probably make them with at least half wheat flour. They seem like they would taste better with a flour that’s a bit heartier than regular white flour. They were delicious though!



Iced coffee recipe


The other day, Mommyof8blessings asked if I’d share the recipe for my iced coffee. Unfortunately, I usually just dump things into the glass and eyeball it.

Here’s what I use though:

1-2 packets sweetener (I prefer Splenda)
generous splash of liquid French vanilla coffee creamer
equal parts coffee and milk to fill the glass
handful of ice cubes to chill it

Any flavored creamer would work, but I prefer the vanilla. Vanilla isn’t my favorite for hot coffee, but it is for iced. I’ve also used powdered milk for the milk portion of this, and it’s turned out fine that way as well.

Cheddar Parmesan Herb Bread

Cheddar Parmesan Herb Bread

Cheddar Parmesan Herb bread

9 oz warm water
2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs yeast (or 1 packet – I use bulk)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbs dipping spices

Put first six ingredients in your bread machine in the order listed. Allow machine to run through the dough cycle only.

Remove dough from machine and place on oiled countertop. Roll dough into a large rectangle. Sprinkle cheeses and spices evenly across top, and roll up, jelly-roll style. Pinch edges to seal and place on greased cookie sheet to rise until almost doubled in size.

Bake in preheated 350* oven for about 20 minutes. You may need to cover the top with foil so it doesn’t get too dark while the inside finishes baking.

I made this stromboli-style, and everyone seemed to like it. The next time I make it, I’ll probably just dump the cheese and spices in with the rest of the bread ingredients. Not to make it easier (though it would really simplify it!), but because I think the flavor would be better with the herbs throughout the bread.



Dill pickle recipe

A few people have asked if I’d share my dill pickle recipe. This is the recipe my grandmother used for years, and she recently told me it’s the recipe her grandmother always used to use. She said she liked it because the ingredients are per jar – making it really easy to make pickles as your cucumbers are ready, instead of having to wait until you have a lot at once.

These pickles also have to age for a while. Mine will sit at least 6 weeks, but longer wouldn’t hurt.

Dill Pickles
Makes 1 Quart

1/2 to 1 Tbsp salt
1 cup white vinegar
1-2 heads dill
1/2 tsp. powdered alum

Put salt, vinegar, and dill in bottom of can. Add cucumbers and more dill, finish filling with boiling water and seal up.

Since I’d never made pickles before, I wasn’t convinced that the brine alone would be enough to preserve the pickles. We ran the jars through the water bath canner for 15 minutes (based on another pickle recipe we found). I’m still not 100% sure that’s the best way to do it, but I’m curious.

Chocolate milkshake with a twist

Today’s afternoon snack was unbelievably delicious – it was a chocolate milkshake with a twist. One of Wendy’s toffee coffee twisted frostys sounded nice, but I had no plans to make the 30-minute drive to go get one.

I wasn’t sure what to do to imitate the flavor since there’s no toffee-flavored anything in the house right now. I finally settled on a chocolate milkshake with coffee flavoring. I only added a tiny bit of instant coffee powder, but the amount of richness it added really surprised me. As a general rule, I do NOT like mocha-flavored coffee, so I was surprised I liked this as well as I did.

Here’s how to make it. This is the small mixer cup for my Magic Bullet knockoff (gotta love Aldi!). It holds about a cup, maybe a cup and a half, tops.

Fill your container most of the way with chocolate ice cream. I used homemade because that’s all we had in the house.


Add a splash of milk. In my case, use the rest of the gallon. It was maybe a third of a cup.

Dump in about a half teaspoon of instant coffee granules. This was decaf.

Insert into blender base. . .

Blend. . .

Enjoy. This never made it to a fancy cup. It was fantastic.