November 17, 2012

Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal

I found a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal on Pinterest the a few weeks ago and decided to give it a whirl.  The crowd wasn't too impressed.  So, of course some tweaking was in order.  With the exception of a few of the littler kiddos not liking the chunks of apples this got a round of applause.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal

4 medium apples peeled and chopped
4 T. butter
4 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

4 c. old-fashioned oatmeal (you can use quick cooking, but it will be a bit mushy)
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
dash ground cloves
dash ground nutmeg

3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. honey
1 1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

In a skillet melt butter and stir in brown sugar, apples and cinnamon.  Cook about 3-4 minutes.  In a mixing bowl stir in oatmeal, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  In a separate mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, honey, milk, and vanilla; stir in to dry mixture.  Place apple and butter mixture in a greased 2 quart baking dish.  Pour oatmeal mixture over and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 - 40 minutes.

My kiddos enjoyed this with a bit of milk poured over top.  Enjoy!

October 27, 2012

Harvest Punch

I made this punch for last weekend's open house.  It was tasty and easy to make! 

Harvest Punch

2 - 32 oz. bottles apple juice (I used frozen concentrate)

2 - 32 oz. bottles cranberry juice (I used frozen cranberry pomegranate concentrate)

3 cups orange juice

2 - 2 liters ginger ale

Combine ingredients, chill, and enjoy!

October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

The open house was a huge success!  Thanks so much to all of you who made it out to our old homestead!  I enjoyed visiting with everyone!  If you couldn't make it out feel free to visit my etsy shop HERE and do some Christmas shopping there.  If you are local and can pick up your order email it to me and I'll take care of you.

 One of the newest lovelies added to the shop.  Find it HERE.

I needed a last minute treat to serve at the open house so I googled "pumpkin cheesecake cake mix".  I wanted something easy. I tweaked it a bit (don't I always?!). It certainly was easy!  It was yummy, too!  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

1 package cake mix (yellow or white)
1 egg
1 T. butter (melted)
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (see below)

Mix the ingredients and press into the bottom of a greased 9x13 cake pan.

1 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
2 eggs
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (try one of my two DIY recipes HERE)

Beat the cream cheese until fluffy.  Mix in pumpkin, eggs, pie spice, salt and sweetened condensed milk.  Pour over crust and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Chill; cut into bars.  Store covered in the refrigerator.


Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 1/2 T. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Mix together and store in a container.  (Makes 7 tsp.)

October 17, 2012

You're Invited!

For the first time ever I am having an open house for my craft business!  I am super excited and nervous all at the same time!  Our house has been buzzing with excitement this week!  The kiddos, my hubby, and my mom have all been busy helping me get things in order for this wonderful event! 

I would like to invite each and every one of you to attend!

This Saturday, October 20th 1:00-4:00!

If you are near the Fort Wayne area please shoot me an email HERE and I will get directions to you!

Here's a little sneaky peek of a sample of what we'll have to offer (along with their Etsy links so you can take a peek and/or order if you're out of town) ...

I will have samples of all of my wooden signs (made to order)...

I will, of course, have lots of goat milk soaps (various gift baskets available as well!) ...

And ... new to my shop today ... Names of God Christmas Tree Garland!

What's not shown are various sewn items and hand crafted ornaments made by myself and my children. Spiced chai and caramel corn will be available to sample and purchase (along with other homemade treats to much on while shopping!).  We'll also have some decorated Christmas trees, decorated wreaths and more!

October 5, 2012

Christmas and Winter Wonderland Celebration!

I belong to a group of crafters known as Old Farmhouse Gathering!  There is a wonderful Christmas celebration going on right now in which I have a lovely from my Etsy shop to give away!  Head on over to OFG for more details!

October 2, 2012

Grandma's Banana Bread

My Mother-In-Law makes some yummy banana bread!  I've had this recipe for quite a while and I just keep forgetting to post it.  I made some this morning and the kids loved it!  I thought I'd share it with you!

Grandma's Banana Bread

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg (beaten)
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 cup mashed banana (about two)
1 teaspoon vanilla

In my Kitchen Aid stand mixer I mash up the bananas and then mix in egg, oil, sugar, vanilla, and milk.  Carefully pour in flour.  Mix just until blended.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40-50 minutes (50 is what I usually end up baking it for).  Enjoy!

September 12, 2012


Yes, you read correctly... pottage.  Not a word that I would have thought would be typed in this little corner of the web, that's for sure!

Our kiddos' junior church teacher asked if I'd make a recipe for pottage to go along with their Bible story in which Jacob gave Esau a bowl of lentil stew (pottage) in exchange for his birthright.  I had my doubts that the kids would eat it.  Well I was surprised when I saw an empty crock pot!  They didn't like it...they loved it!  They also informed me that it was good, but not worth selling their birthrights for it!  *smile*


1 pound bag of lentils
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 Tablespoons chicken broth powder (I buy it at our local bulk Amish store)
1 teaspoon garlic powder

 Rinse the lentils to remove dirt and/or stones.  Put lentils in a crock pot and cover with 2 inches of water.  Add remaining ingredients, stir a bit, cover and cook for 8 hours.  The recipe I read said to cook it on high for 8 hours, but I cooked it on low for 8 hours and it was fine.  (The crock pot I used cooks fairly high.) 

September 10, 2012

Unbelievable Granola!

Yep!  Unbelievable granola!  Unbelievable because my hubby (who doesn't like granola at all) even likes it!  Win!!! 

This recipe is adapted from my dear friend's blog The Culinary Enthusiast.

Homemade Granola

2/3 cup pecans, chopped coarse
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats*
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons whole flax meal
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup each raisins and golden raisins (or dried cranberries, cherries, whatever!)
*Note - Do not substitute quick-cooking or instant rolled oats in this recipe, or the granola will taste sandy rather than crunchy.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the pecans in a 12‑inch skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and beginning to darken, about 3 minutes. Stir in the oats and oil and continue to toast until the oats begin to turn golden, about 2 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in the honey, whole flax meal, cinnamon, and salt until well coated. Spread the granola evenly over a large rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake, stirring every few minutes, until the granola is light golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the raisins (or whatever). With a spatula, push the granola onto one half of the baking sheet and press gently into a 1/2‑inch-thick slab. Let the granola cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Loosen the dried granola with a spatula, break into small clusters, and serve.  The granola can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  But you won't need to worry about it being stored at all!  We gobble it up in one sitting!  It is super yummy and super addictive!  Even hubby loves it!  The kiddos love it topped on homemade yogurt!

September 7, 2012

Fall Comfort!

We've got a cold front working its way through the area and the temperatures will be down in the 60's!  I'm so excited!  I was perusing my recipes and thought I'd share my fall dinner favorites.  Last year around this time I shared a few posts on my favorite fall snacks HERE and my favorite fall desserts HERE

 (Like it?  You can order one like it over at my Etsy shop!  There are lots of new additions!)

When fall comes I get my crock pots and roasters out even more!  So easy to pop the ingredients in in the morning and have a meal waiting for you at dinnertime!  There's nothing like the fragrant Cinnamon Chicken to have waiting for you in the roaster! 

Chili is my easy go-to!  It does wonderfully in the crock pot or you can pop the ingredients in a pot on the stove and have it ready in an hour or two! 

Of course the easiest is Beef and Noodles!  So yummy and paired with some rolls...perfect! 

Pioneer Beef Stew is super easy, too!  Do you notice a trend?!  Fall is my favorite time of the year full of lots of fun activities so time savers are important! 

One thing my guys think of when they hear the word "Fall" is "FOOOOOTBAALLL!!!"  Football Sandwiches go great while watching the big game!

There you have it!  Some easy and fun fall dinners!  Enjoy!

August 28, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins

It's almost that time of year again!  One of my favorite times of the year!  FALL!!  Mmmm...fall, how I love thee!  The sights, the sounds, the smells, the flavors of fall...just wonderful!  I've been making these pumpkin muffins a few times a week for the last few weeks for the kiddos.  They love them!  And with the pureed pumpkin, the raw sugar, half wheat flour and local honey makes them kind of healthy, right?  Did you know you can make it even healthier and substitute some flax meal in place of the flour?  I'm not too sure how to do that with the mix recipe, but I just sprinkled some into the mix last time and the kiddos were non the wiser.  I'm sneaky like that!  *wink*

I wish I had a lovely picture of these lovelies sitting in a pretty basket, but I don't.  My kiddos grab these puppies as soon as they can that I don't get a good you'll just have to take my word for it that they are super yummy and delicious!  Instead I've used a lovely candle pic from Country Living.  M'kay?  *wink*

Another variation of the Basic Muffin Mix found HERE. (I'll put it all here since it has been a while since I've posted that recipe.)

Basic Muffin Mix
8 cups all purpose unbleached flour  (lately I have been using half white and half wheat -- the kids can't tell the difference!)
1 1/2 c. sugar (raw sugar is good and it's not noticeable, either!)
3 T. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

Pumpkin Muffins
2 3/4 c. basic muffin mix
1 T. cinnamon (yep, more cinnamon! Yumm!)
1 c. milk
2/3 c. honey
1 egg, beaten
1 c. pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2  c. oil (I use 1/4 c. oil, 1/4 c. applesauce)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  Put muffin mix in medium bowl.  Combine egg, milk, honey, and oil in a small bowl.  Add wet ingredients all at once to muffin mix.  Stir until just moist.  Batter should be lumpy.  Spoon into muffin pans.  Bake approx. 15 - 17 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.


August 24, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Hey there!  I wanted to pop in for a moment to let ya'll know that starting September 1st my 12" x 24" Wedding Vow subway art signs over at the Mercantile will be increasing in price from $30 to $35 (which is still a wonderful price, by the way!).  So place an order soon to take advantage of this great price while you can! 

Hop on over to Old House Mercantile HERE!
There are many different color combinations to choose from!

Don't worry, 11" x 11" signs are staying the same prices!  

Here's a new design that you won't find anywhere else since I had it custom designed!

Hope to see you over at the shop soon!

By the way...only 4 months until Christmas!  *wink*

August 16, 2012

Teriyaki Pork and Rice - Crock Pot Style!

This meal is a mama's blessing!  Straight from the freezer and into the crock pot!  Super easy!

I found a few recipes online combined, tweaked and viola!  A dinner that the kids said ranked right up there with their favorite pizza!  (Which is pretty high on their list, believe me!)  We got an all thumbs up meal here, folks!  Well, except for Abby, who doesn't like pineapple and prefers not to have to chew anything with texture, like meat, so her non-existent thumbs up doesn't count. K?  Thanks!

Teriyaki Pork

Place the pork chops in a gallon size freezer bag and add all other ingredients (except the pineapple)
1 family size pack of pork chops (boneless) --  (I'm thinking about 7 or 8)
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 T. brown sugar
1 cup chicken broth (I use hot water and 1 tsp. powdered chicken broth from our bulk store -- I'm sure chicken bouillon would work)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
sprinkling of salt
20 oz. can chopped pineapple (don't add yet!!)

Place freezer bag in the freezer. Can I warn you here...make sure you put your freezer bag in a bowl that is the size of your crock pot so it would fit in the crock pot easily because you are not going to want to fight with a square bag of chops and a round crock pot. Don't ask me how I know this and You're welcome.  *wink*  When you're ready to use it just take it out of the baggie and put it in the crock pot.  Cook on low for 6 hours (give or take).

Crock Pot Rice

Two to three hours before dinner put the following in a crock pot and cook on high.

3 cups rice
6 cups water
1 T. chicken broth powder (or bouillon)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
sprinkling of salt
chopped carrots (I used a few handfuls of baby carrots that were drying out in the crisper)

One hour or less before dinner take pork chops out, take any fat off, and shred.  Mix in can of chopped pineapple.  Turn the crock pot on high for a bit.  You want the pineapple and juices to warm up so when that happens it's done. 

I served ours with steamed green beans and rolls.  Very yummy!  I think I might cook some pork again like that and instead of adding pineapple I'll just serve it up on rolls for sandwiches. Mmmm mmm good!

August 14, 2012

Sweet Surprise!

I'm part of a wonderful group of crafters over at Etsy called the Old Farmhouse Gathering.  We had a giveaway and I posted a hand stitched pumpkin towel for a fall giveaway we had.  They chose three winners who each won ten lovely gifts.  The blessed winner of my towel just sent me a sweet surprise!  These cute little fall magnets! 

  Aren't they super cute?!  

 (Sorry it's a bit blurry...I was too busy lazy to go get my tripod.)

Thank you so much Lori over at Apple Grove Treasures for sending me a sweet little surprise today!  Go check out Lori's blog for all sorts of wonderful ideas! 

August 13, 2012

B & B

Nope, not "Bed and Breakfast"..."Baptism and a Birthday!"

Yesterday I had the privilege of witnessing two of my babies get baptised! 

Hannah (age 11) and Isaac (age 10)

wanted to tell the world about their love of Jesus and to show that by being baptised! 

 (Hannah had to have her arm wrapped so it wouldn't get wet.  
We joked that she should have her arm baptised when it heals up!  LOL!)

My hubby (in the Bob the Tomato t-shirt) had the privilege of baptising them alongside our pastor. 

 (Love how his feet went up in the air!)

What a blessing it was to hear them tell the crowd of their love of Jesus, their thankfulness of His death on the cross for their sins, and their desire to follow Him. 

and now for the other "B"...

Happy Birthday to our Hannah Arline!!  We celebrated Saturday with family.  Rebekah made her cake (she loves making them and I love letting her!). 

Happy 12th Birthday, Hannah!  
We love you very much!

August 1, 2012

Yeah for the Blue, Red, and Purple!

We've been super busy lately!  Our week of 4-H festivities was fun and crazy all in the same breath!

Saturday Isaac (age 10) showed his doe, Pixie, at the Summer Doe Show!  She took Champion in Senior Nubian Dairy Doe, Champion in Senior Dairy Doe, and then Reserve Grand Champion in Dairy Doe.  He had quite the loot to bring home between his ribbons, trophy and banner!  We are so proud of him and our Pixie Lou!  We're hoping to breed her this fall and the other kiddos would like to give a try at showing her babies!

In the foods category...

Rebekah received a red ribbon for her tea ring.

Hannah received blue and reserve champion ribbons for her rolled biscuits.

Isaac received  a red ribbon for his applesauce muffins.

In the cake decorating category...

Hannah and Rebekah received blue ribbons for their cakes.

In the Lego category...

Isaac and Noah received blue and honor ribbons for their Lego creations.

In the Arts and Crafts category...

Isaac received a blue ribbon for his punched tin art.

Hannah and Rebekah received blue ribbons for their rag dolls (I forgot to take a photo.)

Noah received blue and honor ribbons for his colored pencil drawing of a Prothonotary Warbler.

In the wood science category...

Noah received blue and honor ribbons for his wood book shelf he built.  (Again...forgot to take a photo.)

In the sewing category...

Hannah received blue and honor ribbons for her pillow.

Rebekah received blue, champion and state fair ribbons for her craft organizer pillow.  (It's showing at the state fair this week!)  (She also got a trophy at awards night for her pillow -- those receiving champion ribbons receive trophies.)

Phew!  That's not all!  This fall they'll be showing their black australorp hens and auctioning them in fall judging.

Well!  I guess that's all there is to report for 4-H!  Things are going to be a little quiet around the bloggy for a while.  School for hubby starts in two weeks so we'll be getting back into the swing of things.  The oldest two kiddos start at a biology lab co-op, dance starts for two of the girlies, and of course we're still keeping busy with piano (we do that year round!)

We have a remodel coming on some time this fall.  We're splitting our play room into two rooms.  Once room for a school room, the other for my mom.  She has a hard time going up and down the stairs.  We'll also be rearranging kiddos around into different rooms.  I've been revamping a few things in the house as far as schedules, closets, etc.  The book Large Family Logistics has been a real big help in getting a few things tweaked with our routine.

My etsy shop is keeping me busy.  Good thing for sure!  I really appreciate all of your orders and sending folks my way!  My goal for last month was three signs a week.  I reached that goal!  I have a new goal!  I would like to be able to ship out five signs per week!  We'll see how the Lord works that out! 

Well I'll leave with you Hannah's Champion Biscuit recipe...and the sausage gravy recipe that goes with it!  Yumm!


Sausage Gravy
1 lb. sausage
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 1/2 cups milk
Brown and crumble sausage (don't drain it). Add flour, salt and pepper and stir. If the sausage is dry, you may need to add a bit of shortening when adding flour. Add milk while stirring. Heat until it starts to boil and reduce heat and continue to stir until thickened. Makes about 5 cups of gravy.

Homemade Biscuits
4 cups flour

1 tsp. salt
8 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cream of tartar
4 tsp. sugar
1 cup shortening
1 1/3 cup milk
Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add milk all at once and stir until dough follows fork around bowl. Roll 1/2 thick.* Use a large glass or a canning jar to cut biscuits. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 30 biscuits.

*Note: The key to light and fluffy biscuits is not to work the dough too much.

July 18, 2012

Life and Pumpkin Donuts

I'll share a yummy recipe with you in a moment, but first I need to explain my absence and why I'll be "out of the office" for the next week or so.

We've been busy with vacation bible school at our church!  It's been fun!  I'm the craft lady and I get to do all sorts of fun things with the kiddos!  They are a great bunch of kids! We've made creation banners, Bible sunglasses, God's eye crosses, paper plate 3-D art, and twirly birds.  Tonight is our last night and we'll be creating dinosaur suncatchers and pipe cleaner spiders.  (They all tie in with the Bible stories for each night...really!) 

I've received several orders on my Etsy shop for the wooden signs I make.  Actually, it's a group effort.  Hubby buys the wood and cuts it if needed, our oldest son sands the wood for me with the power sander, I paint the signs, then the girls help me package them up for shipping.  The 4 orders are definitely keeping me busy this week!

We have a wedding open house for my brother and sister - in - law on Saturday to attend.  Saturday also begins our week of 4-H judging.  Our second oldest son, Isaac, will be showing his doe, Pixie, on Saturday.  (We'll be shaving her and bathing her today!) Sunday afternoon three of our 4-H-ers will be making their foods items for judging on Monday.  The girls will be showing some sewing projects and the boys will be showing their Lego creations.  The girls also have dolls to show in the arts and crafts area, Isaac will show a punched tin artwork he made for me for the kitchen (he's a sweetie!), and Noah will be showing a drawing and a bookshelf (both of which need to be completed this weekend -- eek!).  Not to mention all the paperwork, workbooks, and record sheets that need to be filled out for each entry!  Wowsers!  (I'll be sharing the latest judging news on Facebook so you'll want to tune in there for ribbons and placement announcements ... if you're interested.  *smile*)

(Isaac and Pixie last year....they won Reserve Champion)

We are going to be busy around here!  But...before I take a little break I thought I'd leave a recipe for you! 

I'm making good on my promise to share the pumpkin donut recipe I shared a photo of on Facebook a few weeks ago!  It's from The Happy Housewife blog.


Pumpkin Donuts

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons butter (room temp)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup buttermilk (find my substitute HERE)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin

 Oil for frying (I used shortening)

Cream together sugars and butter.  Mix in egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and buttermilk.  Add salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.  Slowly mix in flour until the dough is easy to work with and can be rolled out without sticking on a lightly floured surface.  Fill the fryer (I have a Fry Daddy) with 3 inches of oil and heat to 350 degrees. Make sure you use a thermometer because the wrong temperature will ruin the donuts (I just started frying when I put a drop of dough in and it started sizzling...that's when I started putting in donuts).  Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut out large circles (I used a large drinking glass and a small cap for the middle). Drop donuts in frying pan (or fryer) two at a time. Fry for one minute and then flip. Fry an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Do not over cook.  Place on paper towels to cool (line the counter with paper bags or newspaper so the counter doesn't get greasy).

I made a glaze of milk, cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar. Keep the glaze a little runny so you can drizzle it over the donuts.

We made these on the 4th of July and even though they were pumpkin (an usual fall treat) they were enjoyed!!  We hope you enjoy the donuts as much as we did!

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