Tag Archives: food

Halloween party pumpkin dip

I love Halloween. I love it even more now that I have kids to share the fun with. It’s so fun waiting each year for the kids to decide on a new costume idea- although I admit some years they really stretch my limited crafting skills…I thought the astronaut suit was a hard one, until my oldest announced that she wanted to be a kangaroo this year…. A kangaroo.

While the East coast waited in nervous anticipation to see what hurricane Sandy would bring, we baked some extra muffins, filled some extra water jugs, and dug out the flashlights- then spent the evening carving pumpkins while we listened to the wind howl and trees groan. A Halloween memory for sure.
I was pretty relieved this morning when I went out to feed the chickens that our yard looked wet but unscathed. I also discovered that chickens go absolutely crazy-pants for leftover pumpkin guts.

But on to the pumpkin dip…

This past weekend I suddenly remembered that I needed a snack for my daughter to take to a party- and searched Pinterest madly as we drove home from church looking for something I could whip up in a BIG hurry. That’s where I came across recipes for Pumpkin Dip. There are quite a few variations on this, so I went with what looked like the easiest, and am so glad- it’s utterly delicious! Are you ready for this? Prepare to be in pumpkin heaven:

1 can Libby’s pure pumpkin
1 16 oz container of fat free Cool Whip
1 box sugar free vanilla instant pudding mix
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Add all ingredients together and mix until fluffy.
I used ginger snap cookies with this, but it would be great with graham crackers, vanilla cookies, and even sliced apples.

Here is a link to the recipe I used and made my additions to: pumpkin fluff dip

This is going to make a repeat appearance at my office this week … and a few other places this holiday season.

Happy haunting and have a safe Halloween!


Baker, baker… bake me a pie

It’s apple month over at Farm Chick Chit Chat, and to get everyone excited about the new blog we are having an “apple pie recipe-off” to gather everyone’s favorite apple pie recipes.

Confession: I hate making pie. I mean, I LOVE to bake…, just not pie. I think it has something to do with the fact that both my mother and mother-in-law are amazing pie bakers….I have pie- envy. Generally, I won’t even make more than one apple pie a year because, honestly, everyone would rather eat one of theirs

So, with that I give you the best recipe I have… which is mostly just a copy of my mom’s. But to start a good pie, one must have a great crust- and here I have a dilemma. Do I use my mother-in-law’s or my own dear sweet momma’s??? See what I’m saying?? I honestly can’t say which is tastier. My hubby will of course vote for his mom’s (and in a dimwitted moment once actually said that to my mom!!!), so I naturally usually make my mom’s

How about this- I will give you both and you decide. Settle the matter for me, please!

Mom’s Recipe for pie crust
1 stick softened butter
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
Dash of nutmeg
3 tbsp cold water

In a large bowl use a pastry cutter to blend the flour, butter, salt and nutmeg. When crumbly, add cold water slowly and mix until a doughy ball forms. Divide the dough in 1/2 and roll out on a floured surface. Makes 2 crusts.

His mom’s pie crust recipe
3 cups flour
1-1/2 cup Crisco
1 tbsp cider vinegar
5 tbsp water
1 egg

Blend flour and Crisco together in a bowl with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
In a small bowl, mix together egg, vinegar, and water. Mix all together lightly to create a very sticky dough. Divide into 3. Roll dough out on floured surface. (makes 3 crusts)

Okay, so on to the filling:
6-8 peeled chopped apples (Macs or Galas are our preference)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl stir together apples, sugar, and cinnamon and transfer to pie dish onto bottom crust. Add top crust and pinch together in whatever manner suits you ( I usually use a fork). Sprinkle crust liberally with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce temp to 350 and continue baking for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden.


Saturday Salsa

Well, after a 2nd attempt at harvesting tomatoes, followed by a 2nd major allergy attack this week- we’ve got enough in to do the first batch of salsa!  I’m using a basic “traditional salsa” recipe from the Ball Canning website, but altering it a bit to suit our garden harvest and tastes. 

This made 7 pints (I was going for 8, but 7 is precisely what I got…not sure why really, other than a sneaking suspicion this entire crop of tomatoes is really determined to mess with me at every step…)

14 cups peeled, seeded and cored tomatoes, 6 chopped green and sweet red peppers, 8 cloves garlic- minced, 1 medium onion- minced, 1 cup white vinegar,4 Tbsp. lime juice,4 Tsp. salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and boil- then simmer for 15 minutes.  In the meantime, get your large water canner ready w/ boiling water and your clean jars and lids ready and kept warm in simmering water until you are ready to use them (this is supposed to keep jars from breaking when you put the very hot salsa in them).   Next comes the part where you hustle a bit (the kids are bribed to stay out of the kitchen with a promise of Harry Potter and pudding when I am done)…

Ladle the VERY hot salsa into the jars and leave 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar. Make sure the rim of the jar and the lid are wiped clean and dry, then place the lid on, followed by tightening a ring on.  Then the jars go into the boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  I’m using the Ball Canning Discovery Kit and Utensil Set, which are really pretty cheap and easy to use- the only downside is that the basket only holds 3 jars at a time…so the canning process takes a little longer than if I had one of those big old metal sets that my mom and grandmothers used to use (really really wish I hadn’t sold the 2 of them I had found in the shed out back when we bought the house… foresight has never been one of my gifts).

So, here we are- 2-1/2 hours and 1 dead bee later (nasty surprise flying around the kitchen) and we’ve got Salsa!

It’s looking good, maybe a wee bit heavy on the liquid… I’ll have to work on that for the next batch, but it’s easy enough to drain off before eating.  All in all- worth the hassle, I think.

Sunday Blues and Berries…

“The blue’s but a mist from the breath of the wind, a tarnish that goes at a touch of the hand…”- from “Blueberries” by Robert Frost

Today I am spending Sunday in one of my favorite ways: listening to the blues and dealing with the 20+ lbs. of blueberries we picked this weekend. Bessie Smith and Lightnin Hopkins keep me company in the kitchen while I package berries for the freezer, and wait for a batch of lavender Blueberry Muffins


to come out of the oven (the heady scent of lavender fills the room and is delicious). I flip through the recipe box and pull out cards tabbed “Blueberry Crumble,” “Blueberry Salsa” (haven’t been brave enough to try that one yet, but maybe this year), and “Grandmother’s Blueberry Pie,” which I discovered is the same as the one on the box of tapioca, but it certainly sounds tastier than if labeled “Blueberry Pie off box of tapioca.”

We pick at a local blueberry farm and I set aside a vacation day each summer just to spend filling bucket after bucket with the sweet blue marvels. We joke that they should weigh my daughter before she heads into the field to pick, as it’s one fruit that everyone in my family solidly agrees upon and I never ever have to ask them twice to eat them.

“Nine below zero” by Sonny Boy Williamson comes on, and I laugh and tell my kids about the pet fish I had named Sonny Boy Williamson. They think that’s pretty weird. “Yeah, so are you,” I tell them, “Have a muffin.”

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