Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pumpkin update and Small Blessings

Ok pumpkin is back!  Evidently many pumpkin fields flooded this year causing a smaller harvest.  But Walmart and HyVee have pumpkins and pumpkin puree in stock again and hopefully will throughout the season.  Just in case they run out, I stocked up!

Also I thought I should note that I've had a CRAZY week.  On top of having a ridiculous amount of work to do this week (I worked some on both of my days off) I had some sort of short-lived stomach flu Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.  I'm a children's pastor.  We have Wednesday evening program.  That was the first thing I said to Spencer after getting sick the first time.  So as I said my week was... crummy in part.

Then I got two phone calls that really turned my week around.  One was just a phone message from a former professor and beloved friend.  He just asked me to call him back sometime and let me know he'd been thinking of me and praying for me.  I don't know why that made such a difference, but it really did.

Then the same day a gal from another church in town phoned to let me know that her pastor had attended our Trunk-or-Treat event last year and had loved it.  The pastor had asked her to phone and find out how they could serve US during the event this year!  I couldn't believe it.  They offered money, volunteers, food, whatever we needed.

It just reminded me how simply things like a phone call to let me know I was being prayed for and a phone call from a church willing to serve made all the difference in my week.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pumpkin Problems!

The day was Thursday, last week.  The time was after work.  The mission: grocery shopping.

I'm a planner.  I plan menus.  I make lists.  I "research" where to get the best coupon+store sales= deals.  On the menu for this last week was pumpkin apple muffins for breakfast.  Now I have had some trouble finding pumpkin at Walmart and Target in the past month or so but I figured that since it was fall (well pretty much) stores would have it in stock.

I did my grocery shopping at Target this time and... no pumpkin.  So I ran to Walmart (it's right across the street and I had to grab ground turkey anyway).  No pumpkin.  I went to HyVee to get Honeycrisp apples (because I love them so much and have to have them as soon as they are in season).  No pumpkin.  I even went to the "health market" side.

I grabbed my apples and went to check out.  The check out woman asked if I found everything ok and I told her about the elusive pumpkin.  She asked her manager and it turns out (attention please) THERE IS A NATIONAL PUMPKIN SHORTAGE!!!  I'm not even kidding.  He said they won't have it til mid-October.  MID-OCTOBER!!  I can't wait that long to eat pumpkin-y things.  No I can't.  What about pumpkin bars and pumpkin apple muffins and other delicious pumpkin things?

My friend Hannah bought a pumpkin and is going to make her own pumpkin puree Pioneer Woman Style but I can't even find pumpkins... this is the worst!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Caramel Apple Pie Recipe

Hannah requested this... Here it is.  Please note that I intentionally did not tell you how many calories are in each slice.  I do know the answer.  It's just not pretty.  Eat the pie and thank me later ok?

Caramel Apple Pie
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded peeled baking apples (I use Granny Smith)
  • 35 caramels (or one pkg of caramel balls already unwrapped and ready for melting.  Find them by the chocolate chips in the grocery store.  Your fingers will thank me later.)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 unbaked pie shell (9 inches)
  • Place apples in a strainer to drain. Place caramels and water in a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water; heat for 10 minutes or until caramels are partially melted. Cover and set aside, keeping caramels in pan over heated water.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, flour and eggs. Squeeze excess moisture from apples and stir into egg mixture. Add peanuts. Add melted caramels and stir to mix. Pour into pie shell.
  • Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until set. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The two of you that read this know that fall is absolutely, most positively, my most favorite time of the year.  One by one the leaves on the trees start donning fabulous colors, the mornings are cool and crisp, and the evenings are a mirror image of those.

Fall just makes me want to wake up and make a nice hot, nutty, brown-sugared breakfast.  It makes me want to exercise more.  It makes me want to eat heaping bowls full of chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes or homemade pot pies.

I love love love watching football with my VERY enthusiastic hubby, having friends over for gamedays and bragging about the Husker wins!

I love the prospect of the holidays and knowing that family time is just THAT much closer.  I love long sleeved t-shirts, sweatshirts, and having to pile extra blankets on the bed at night.

But one of the things I love the most of all are caramel apples.  Don't know why.  Not good for me or my teeth but every year I HAVE to make them... or I'll die... I will.

Tonight there was no time for that.  So in loving memory of the caramel apples yet to come I cam home and made homemade caramel apple spice cider.  Delish!