Oh what a joy autumn is. I mean, I love the pumpkin spice lattes and boots and sweaters and football, but I don’t like raking leaves. We had a bad wind storm today, so when I pulled up to my house I was greeted with an obscene amount of leaves covering my driveway and front yard. The wind practically wiped my trees bare!
In order to look at the bright side of things, I started to research fun projects that could be done with the fallen leaves, and figured that you could make some creative art pieces pretty easily! All you’d really need to do is…
1. Gather your supplies (paper, markers, glue, leaves)
2. Draw part of an image (for example, a perch for a bird )
3. Glue the leaves down to complete the image (like making the bird out of various leaves)!
For something so simple, I find this craft to be so dang cute! You don’t need to make a trip to the craft store as any piece of paper and pen or markers will do. Plus, it’s bound to keep the kiddos busy for a while, and you have a handful of leaves you now no longer need to rake! Win win. 😀
One of my favorite parts of the fall season is definitely the roasted pumpkin seeds. It makes all of the hard and time-consuming work carving and scooping out the pumpkins worth it after you’ve roasted up a batch of these!
No matter which flavor variation you choose it’s all very simple – just a little mixing up of the seasonings and placing them in the oven and in no time you have a yummy (and healthy) snack! Did you know that pumpkin seeds contain zinc, protein and antioxidants? Those tiny little seeds are packed with nutrition, making them not just delicious, but also good for you!
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Toss seeds in a bowl with the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Spread on lightly greased cookie sheet in single layer.
Bake about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Those are just two of the most basic pumpkin seed recipes to get you started. Once you try one of these, though, you’ll be hooked and can easily find dozens of different flavor variations.
Let me know if you have a favorite recipe for pumpkin seeds that you’d like to share!
I know that I’m not the only one who LOVES Fall. The weather. The foods. The decorations. The weather. The food. You get the idea 😉 So, about a week or so ago, even though it was 95 degrees out, I went through Starbucks and ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte for myself and a slice of Pumpkin Bread for my children. Happy campers were we! So, I’ve since done the same thing a couple more times. Each time I’ve thought that I could replicate both the drink and the bread at home, and probably much more inexpensively and with much healthier ingredients.
Well, I haven’t attempted my re-make of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. However, I did a little research into a grain-free pumpkin bread. The only thing is that we grow sweet potatoes in our garden. And, sweet potatoes are so yummy, so healthy that I wanted to use them in my recipe.
So, I searched and searched and found a grain-free pumpkin bread recipe that I played around with and I think we have something that you will enjoy as much as we have!
Here’s the recipe.
1/2 cup of sweet potato purée
1/2 cup of honey
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
3/8 cup of coconut flour (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1. First, I baked my sweet potatoes (the day before so that they would be cool when I used them). I had smaller sized potatoes. So, I baked them for about one hour at 400 degrees. Incidentally, I wrapped them in parchment paper and aluminum foil (because parchment is healthier and won’t leave a residue in the food).
2. Then, mash about 1/2 cup worth of the cooked sweet potato. I had small potatoes. So, I used two of them. I just used a fork to mash them in a bowl.
3. Combine all the wet ingredients in a large bowl and the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend well.
5. Let the batter sit for about five minutes to give the coconut flour time to absorb the moisture.
6. Then, pour the batter into a loaf pan. (I lined mine with parchment again. This time just to make it easier to cut out without it sticking to the pan.)
7. Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
And, just so that you know how much my family loved it, here’s a picture of what was left by the end of the night.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! 😉
What’s your favorite fall treat?
It’s Fall! Even for those of us who are still waiting for the temperatures to catch up with the calendar, weather reports say that it will actually feel like Fall in a week! Yay! (Enough with the humidity, already!) I baked some sweet potato last night because I’m making some Fall comfort food plans! 😉
So, if you are like me and are planning on fun Fall foods and activities–all while saving money– you might be interested in finding out what will be on sale this month. Here are highlights of what you can expect.
All Things Halloween! That means you’ll see candy, costumes and accessories, fall decorations, pumpkin carving kits, autumn-scented candles in sale throughout the month in most stores. On Halloween day, restaurants will often have deals for customers in costume also.
Baking Goods. This one is my favorite…and it will go through December (because of all the holidays). Holiday baked goods include canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, baking chips, pie crust (boxed mix and ready-made frozen), cream cheese, sugar, flour and all other baking related items will be discounted. Last year, the price of chocolate chips dropped so much that I was able to stock up and not have to buy chocolate chips for quite some time into the new year!
October is National Seafood Month. Did you know that? Well, if you’re a seafood lover, keep your eyes peeled for deals on fish, shrimp, lobster and crab!
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Look for promotions and deals featuring participating “pink” products.
Apples & Pumpkins…uh, I mean, Seasonal Produce. Apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chard, cranberries, parsnip, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash, turnips and yams are among the seasonal produce to expect to see on sale this month.
Is there anything you will stock up on this month, in light of the sales cycle?
You may have noticed that the apple deals have begun! Yay! I'm a big fan of apples. I eat at least an apple a day, as long as we have them around the house. And, they are a staple around here. My children like getting apple sticks at a morning or afternoon snack. As far as I'm concerned, few things top eating apples fresh. However, there are lots of things you can do with apples. I encourage you to take advantage of the apple deals you see! This week Sprouts has organic Pink Lady apples for only $.69/lb. I noticed that this coming week, they will be on sale for $.99/lb. That's still a very good deal when you consider how much organic apples (or fruit of any kind, for that matter) cost!
So, as we enter into apple season, also known as Fall, I thought I'd share a few ideas on how to use all those apples without getting tired of them! 🙂
It's Fall and it's apple season. Enjoy the comfort and yummy-ness of hot apple pie! Why not?
Apple-Cheddar Cheese Snacks
I was in a line at the airport once when someone shared this idea with me. I think we were talking about apple pie and the woman in front of me said she uses a recipe that includes cheddar cheese in her pie. I hadn't heard of the combination. She encouraged me to simply try apple and cheddar cheese together and see how good it tastes. I gave it a try and thoroughly enjoyed it. It makes for an easy, nutritious snack.
Chopped apples taste great in salad. Toss them in a spinach salad–or any green salad–with some walnuts, in a chicken salad or even potato salad or coleslaw (if you're still making those “summer” foods).
Make some apple chips. I've thought about it but haven't done it…yet. Here's a recipe that looks easy and healthy.
What's your favorite way to eat apples?
One of my all time favorite things about Fall is pumpkin sausage soup. It’s my favorite Fall recipe. It’s the only recipe that I’ll only make during a specific season. It screams Fall and it’s perfect and hearty for the changing temperatures and just happens to color coordinate with Fall colors. I am sure the color of the soup interests you 🙂
Not only is this an amazing recipe, it’s very inexpensive to make and is spectacular left over! I know what we are having for dinner!
What You Need
1 (12 ounce) package breakfast sausage
1/2 cup onion, minced or chopped depending on how you like your onions
1-2 garlic clove minced depending on your preference for garlic
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 cup fresh mushrooms cut up if you’d like
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
What To Do
1. Brown the breakfast sausage, drain, then add the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and mushrooms and sauté until done. I like pretty well done, but don’t let it burn.
2. Add pumpkin to this mixture and mix well.
3. Stir in the broth and mix well.
4. Simmer 20-30 minutes.
5. Add heavy cream and water and simmer on low another 10-15 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to your taste.
Fall is here, but don’t distress, there is still fun to have even though summer is gone! Every season offers its own kind of fun and enjoyment. These are some free or low cost things my family and I like to do.
1. Rake up the leaves and have a leaf fight. It doesn’t get more free than that and who doesn’t love a good leaf fight! Or maybe you could try leaf angels!
2. Go to a pumpkin patch. Some require a small fee to get in. Ours is $10 for our whole family, but we get to go through a corn maze, hay ride, petting zoos, and much much more. Most towns have something comparable to this, find out and go!
3. Go to a corn maze. These too have minimal entrance fees, but they aren’t bad. Your whole family can get lost together and have a blast!
4. Do fall crafts! There are so many places online that will teach you to do fall crafts for free. HERE is a great resource. It will also help when it starts getting cold outside and you and the kids have to stay inside.
5. Pumpkin carving. You don’t have to wait until Halloween to carve pumpkins or even paint the litte ones. It take very little money, but does take a lot of time. With activities, this is what you want!
What are you doing this Fall to keep busy?
Fall is my favorite time of year! The leaves, the autumn fun, the treats and delightful smells… You can easily capture the glory of fall in your own home with a good air freshener to set the mood.
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