Saturday, September 29, 2012

Guest Post: Iced Pumpkin Cookies with Megan

I'm so grateful to Margot for letting me share one of my favorite fall recipes today!
Living in Arizona now, I honestly haven't gotten into the "fall spirit" quite yet.
But then when I looked up this recipe again to share with all of you that "fall spirit" kicked into full gear!!
I can't wait to make these again!
And I know you will all love them too :)

Iced Pumpkin Cookies {sooooo good!}
[original recipe here]
photo (17)

Pumpkin Cookies:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside,
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture and beat until creamy.
  4. Mix in dry ingredients.
  5. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
  7. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork
To Make Glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  2. Add milk as needed to achieve drizzling consistency
The first time I made these cookies I literally got sick because I ate so many
But I just couldn’t stop!
Please try them. And then you can thank me for passing along such an easy and most delicious recipe! :)

{sidenote: My husband said to try them with chocolate chips next time and then they’d be perfect. thoughts?}

And happy happy blog party, Margot!!

Thanks so much for such a lovely recipe Megan.
Visit Megan at her Blog And Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Indian Summer

My favourite fall themed poem. I remember having to memorize it in grade 5, and I have yet to forget the first 4 lines. I love it because it is exactly what Autumn looks like in these parts, and it makes it seem so romantic... don't you think?
Along the line of smoky hills
The crimson forest stands,
And all the day the blue-jay calls
Throughout the autumn lands.

Now by the brook the maple leans,
With all his glory spread;
And all the sumachs on the hills
Have turned their green to red.

Now, by great marshes wrapt in mist,
Or past some river's mouth,
Throughout the long still autumn day
Wild birds are flying south.

~William Wilfred Campbell (1860-1919)

Do you have a favourite fall poem, song or story? I'd love to hear it!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guest Post: Canning, Freezing, Dehydrating the Fall Harvest with Ada

Hi Newfoundlander at Heart readers! I'm Ada from Of Woods and Words where I blog about everyday life in Minnesota's Northwoods. I have a DIY spirit and I try to be as sustainable as possible. Today I'm sharing a little about the art of putting up your autumn harvest. You can read more about my gardening exploits here.

Part of why I love autumn so much is because it's harvest season. The planting and the tending of gardens is all well and good, but it's the harvesting of homegrown veggies that I find most satisfying. Nothing bets the sense of accomplishment when you see jars of home-canned food lined up on your pantry shelves or your chest freezer full of homegrown goodies.

If you're lucky enough to grow and harvest your own produce, you certainly don't want your bounty to go to waste. There are three main ways to preserve your harvest so you can enjoy it for months to come: canning, freezing or dehydrating. In the post, I'll discuss each option briefly and hopefully spark an idea or two for some food preservation projects you can tackle yourself this autumn. If you don't have the luxury of growing your own food, you can also use these tips if you like to purchase large quantities of seasonal produce to savor seasonal flavors all year long.  


Can It

 "Taste a little of the summer, you can taste a little of the summer, my grandma put it all in jars." - Greg Brown

Canning is my favorite way to preserve. To me, canning's a bit like magic - I love that after a trip through boiling water bath, I've created a shelf-stable product that I can use at any time during the year without having to thaw it. Canned goods also make great presents.
Canning does require a bit of equipment (a canner, canning rack, jars, two-piece lids) but the process of canning really isn't complicated and after you tackle a couple canning projects, you'll figure out your own rhythm for the process. This tutorial gives you a great run-down of what hot water bath canning is all about.

I can jams, salsas, pickles, pie filling, applesauce, relishes, and my own homemade BBQ sauce (this recipe, doubled). I haven't ventured into the world of pressure canning yet. Pressure canning is necessary for low-acid foods: meats and most vegetables. Personally, I find it easier to freeze all of our low acid food. It's really all about where you have an excess of space. We have very little shelf space in our cabin, but we have a chest freezer, so I end up freezing more produce than I would if I had limited freezer space.

If you're looking for tasty canning recipes, be sure to check out Marisa McClellan's Food in Jars blog. I've yet to find a clunker of a recipe on there.

Best autumn recipes for canning:
Tomato jam (so good on a bagel with cream cheese and a great way to use up bruised, blemished tomatoes.)

Freeze It

Blanch baby, blanch. I've spent a fair amount of time this fall blanching green beans. Blanching is a pre-freeze treatment that kills off any nasty bacteria and removes dirty from your vegetables before freezing. It's an easy peasy process - wash and chop your vegetables, submerge in boiling water for three minutes, drain, cool completely in ice water (to prevent the vegetables from cooking further), drain, freeze. In addition to green beans, I also blanch cabbage chunks to throw into roasts.

Rather than canning my tomatoes, I prefer to peel my tomatoes (dip in boiling water until the skin pops, then submerge in cold water) and chop them up and freeze them (seeds, juice, chunks and all) in quart-sized bags. I use the tomatoes in marinara sauce and soups. Of course, freezing the tomatoes means you need to plan ahead and thaw out the tomatoes before you're going to use them in a recipe, although I've been known to just throw the whole frozen chunk into boiling pots of soup.
A couple freezing tips:
  • First freeze your berries and blanched veggies in a thin layer on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan (like the green beans above), then transfer the frozen beans into a gallon sized bag. By doing this, you'll create less clutter in your freezer by using fewer bags and it's easy for you to measure out a serving. 
  • I freeze my pesto (I use this recipe) in ice cube trays so I can just pop a cube or two into my pasta.
  • Be sure to double wrap any baked goods you put in the freezer so they don't get freezer burn.  
  • If you're overwhelmed with zucchini, grate it and freeze 1-2 cup portions. You can use it in your baking all winter long.
Dehydrate It

I don't use my dehydrator nearly as much as I thought I would, but it's still a handy tool to have available. I have yet to figure out the perfect dehydrating times for vegetables and fruits though. I always end up making chips!

To date, I've had the most success using the dehydrator to make granola and venison jerky. Last year, I dehydrated a number of zucchinis when I was overwhelmed with our garden's bumper crop. I figured I'd just throw a handful or two of the zucchini "chips" into each batch of chili. We must not have eaten much chili last winter, because I still have a big bag of zucchini chips on my shelf! Which brings us to food preservation rule #1: don't go to the effort of preserving the food unless you know you'll really use it!

If you're getting really serious about "putting up" a bunch of produce, the best guide I've found about preserving food is Ball's Blue Book Guide to Preserving. While the book focuses mainly on canning, it does have brief sections on freezing and dehydrating. I turn to this guide over and over again, both for recipes and general tutorials.

Happy Autumn and Happy Harvest! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Most Important Anniversary of All (& a Winner!)

We made it. Now to be truthful we didn't really have any doubts but when we realized yesterday that we had actually been married for one year we were pretty excited. These days a year is a big deal, as many people don't even make it that long. So a year ago yesterday we made a promise to each other to love and care for each other... forever.

And last night we celebrated with a small dinner together. Reggie got a couple ducks on the weekend and last night we each had a duck, roasted with celery, apple and onion, and mashed potatoes and asparagus. Pip went to bed in good time, and it was nice to be able to sit and eat such and extravagant meal. It felt as though we should have been in a fancy restaurant!

I also wanted to stop in and annouce the winner to the September Blog Giveaway #1:

Sarah Chandler

Check your e-mail, you'll be receiving a message soon!

And for everyone else, make sure to enter Giveaway#2 and check out some of the deals offered by the Blog Party Participants!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Let's Party with a Giveaway #2!

I have another wonderful giveaway for you today.Thanks so much to all these wonderful ladies for contributing items to make this such a great giveaway :)

Here's what's up for grabs this round, and all items will go to one lucky winner!

 Find Ada here:
   Find Lesley here:
Find Janae here:

 Find Vanessa here:

Find Margot here
This Blog! :: Shop :: Twitter :: Facebook

 Find Jen here:


Saturday, September 22, 2012

I've been waiting all year, and it's finally here!

Autumn, is my favourite time of year! There are so many things I love about the season. And I've seen a few posts lately about what other bloggers like or dislike about the season. Personally it's all likes for me. When September rolls around I start to get really excited, because I know in a few short weeks my favourite season will have officially begun. So i suppose you're wondering why it's my favourite? While here is a little list for you to check out:
  • Fall colours. I'm lucky to live in a place that has an official autumn, where the leaves on the trees change to bright reds and yellows. And if you can get to a lookout spot, it makes for an amazing view!
  • Frosty Mornings! So we haven't actually had frost yet, but I always look forward to the first time there is frost on the ground and I can see my breath in the air. Which leads me to...
  • Sweater season! I love layers, and Fall is the best time for it. Nothing better than a chunky sweater and a vest.
  • Warm drinks. Let's be honest, I'm a bit of a tea granny and I drink it all year, even when it's 35degreesC outside! But this time of year there are more going around.
  • The colour orange everywhere! Orange is my favourite (I even had a car that colour once) and in fall I see it everywhere; leaves, fall decor, pumpkins... speaking of...
  • Pumpkins. Baked goods, lattes, their cute shape, their colour (obviously), scented candles.
  • The fall harvest. So many delicious treats are ready come fall, and I love to visit the local farmer's market and take advantage of it!
And I'm sure there's so much more. What about you? What do you like, or dislike for that matter, about fall?


Guest Post: Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread with Janae

Hello! My name is Janae and over at my blog I love to do and write about both easy and challenging DIY projects and recipes. Honestly, my favorite recipes are the ones that involve some really simple ingredients. This recipe I'm posting about today  is one of those.
Pumpkin has made its way back into the menu at every restaurant, bakery, and coffee shop. That's one of the many things about this season that I'm thrilled about. Pumpkin is one of those amazing foods that can be used as way more than just a flavor. It can replace oil, butter, eggs, or all of the additional ingredients in the directions on the back of a box of cake mix. This is one of my favorite recipes using pumpkin. It's both delicious and easy as can be.
Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread 1 box of spice cake mix 1 can of pumpkin Mix pumpkin and cake mix thoroughly. Pour into a greased 8" x 8" pan. Bake according to directions on back of box, usually about 350 degrees for 28-33 minutes. Try adding any nuts or chocolate chips in as desired before pouring into baking dishes. Also try topping it with cream cheese and powdered sugar, a simple sugar glaze, Nutella, or anything else that strikes your fancy.
This stuff is good as it is. It's amazing with pecans and milk chocolate chips. Spread cream cheese over the top and it's decadent. It's super moist and some-what dense, making it pretty filling. That doesn't stop me from eating half the pan in one sitting though.
A couple of tips: It may seem like the pumpkin isn't mixing very well at first. Just keep stirring. It will gradually mix together until it looks kind of doughy.
If you don't have an 8" x 8" pan, it's okay. Try using bread pans, a small casserole dish, or a muffin tin. Just adjust the cooking time to whatever is recommended on the box.
Mmmm... It's great for dessert, breakfast, brunch, or a decadent snack. It's my favorite dish to contribute to a potluck or even Thanksgiving dinner. Try it out! You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guest Post: The Perfect Pumpkin Soup with Vanessa

There's nothing quite as delicious as a bowl of steaming hot soup on one of the first chilly nights of the year. I'm a sucker for a meal that's brimming with fresh vegetables, so this pumpkin soup is just the ticket for a yummy fall meal. This recipe uses a butternut pumpkin, which gives the finished soup a slightly sweet taste. The addition of a couple of potatoes will enhance the creamy texture of the soup. This is comfort food at its best!
  • One butternut pumpkin
  • One medium brown onion
  • Four cups of vegetable stock
  • Four rashers of short-cut bacon
  • Two potatoes
  • One tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Put stock into a large saucepan. Place on stove and heat to a rapid simmer
  • Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds. Roughly chop the pumpkin into small pieces and place into the saucepan.
  • Remove the rind from the bacon. Roughly slice the bacon into small strips and add to the saucepan
  • Peel the potatoes and chop into small pieces. Add the potato to the saucepan
  • Peel and slice the onion. Add the onion to the saucepan
  • Add the thyme and pepper to the soup.
  • Reduce the heat, cover the saucepan and allow the soup to simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Use an immersion blender to purée the soup.
  • Serve with crusty bread and a sprinkling of pepper on top.
If you're a vegetarian, you can adapt this dish by omitting the bacon. However, if you leave out the bacon, you might need to add a sprinkling of salt to the soup to enhance the flavour.
Not only is this soup hearty and delicious, it's really good for you. Pumpkins are filled with vitamin A and Beta Carotene, which help to support your immune system and ward off winter nasties.
For more recipes and news on my latest adventures, please visit my website.

Thank you so much to Margot for hosting this Blog Party. Enjoy the rest of September and be sure to visit the other lovely blogs who are participating.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fancy a Little September Shopping?

Well do I have some deals for you! So many of the Blog Party Participants offered up discount codes for their beautiful shops, that I thought it deserved a post all it's own.

So whether you were planning on doing some September spending, or perhaps getting an early start on you Christmas shopping; I encourage you to support these lovely people and their shops, and save at little cash at the same time!

Visit Jen's Shop and receive 20% off with code NEWFOUNDLAND

Janae from Gourmet by Janae

Visit Janae's Shop and receive 15% off using code 15forME

Visit Ada's Shop and receive 15% off with code NAHPARTY

Tara from Sew Tara

Visit Tara's Shop and receive 10% off with code NAH10

Vanessa from Nessbow

Visit Vanessa's Shop and receive 15% off with code NAHPARTY12

Ashley from After Nine to Five
 Visit Ashley's Shop and receive 15% off with code NAH15

And, as a thank you for supporting these wonderful shops I will send you a small surprise gift! So If you use one of these codes during the Blog Party (now until October 6th) please leave me a comment here, let me know what you bought and your e-mail address and I'll be in touch!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Let's Party with a Giveaway!

I have a super fantastic giveaway for you today. I reached out to some past and present sponsors as well as some fantastic blog friends to help make my blog party a lot of fun and  the response was amazing. So amazing in fact that this is just Giveaway #1 - that's right, there's another one coming up. But let's not get ahead of ourselves!

Here's what's up for grabs this round, and all items will go to one lucky winner!

Find Jamie here:

*no custom prints allowed*
 Find Ashley here:

Find Katie here:

  Find Lesley here:

Find Ada here:
Blog :: Shop :: Twitter :: Facebook

Find Janae here:
Blog :: Shop :: Twitter :: Facebook

  Find Margot here
This Blog! :: Shop :: Twitter :: Facebook