Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Taste Buds: Pumpkin Pie Oh My!

It's October Pumpkin season and that means one thing for bakers: Pumpkin Pie!!!
I love me some Paula Dean and all her buttery goodness! She has this recipe on Food Network and I had to share it. I'm not one for pumpkin pie/cake/muffins/etc but this looks so good, especially with a dab of whip cream.
Eat up ya'll!

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
  • 1 piece pre-made pie dough
  • Whipped cream, for topping

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.
- For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
- Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday's in da Bag!


Did I get the song stuck in your head now?

Friday Find: No Carve Pumpkins!

Great idea Real Simple!

Want some tape but with attitude?! Washi paper tape is just like masking tape but available in tons of patterns and colors. "Ready, set, get stickin'!"

- Dry erase marker in a light color (avoid black)
- Scissors
- Washi tape, happytape.com 

1. Using the dry erase marker, create your design, which will guide you when placing the tape. (The marker is great for this project because it lets you draw, rinse, and repeat!)

2. Once you’re set with your design, begin applying tape to the pumpkin's surface. Try using longer strips when possible, because piecing together too many short strips will look sloppy. For this design, begin at the stem and run your tape down the side of the pumpkin, erasing the markings as you adhere the strips to the surface. Finish at the bottom of the pumpkin. After all of the vertical stripes have been made, apply tape around the circumference of the pumpkin to complete your pattern. (If you'd rather stick with stripes, skip the final crisscross step.)

I love, Love, LOVE this idea! My good friend Erin posted a piece about happy tape on her blog way back when and now I see Real Simple has been bit with the washi-tap-love-bug too! Yeah they're a bit pricey compared to Scotch or any clear-taped brand... but can you really put a price on creative decorating? I think not! :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Word of the Day 10/6/2011

Mnemonic (adjective): assisting or designed to assist memory

Examples: To help remember the levels of biological classification, James taught his students the mnemonic sentence “King Philip Came Over For Good Spaghetti” (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species).
"Mnemonic devices can help, like mentally registering the name of a new acquaintance by picturing another friend with that moniker." -- From an article by Kate Zimmerman in the North Shore News (North Vancouver, B.C.), September 4, 2011

Did You Know?: The word "mnemonic" derives from Greek "mnēmōn" ("mindful"), which itself comes from the Greek word meaning "to remember." (In classical mythology, Mnemosyne, the mother of the Muses, is the goddess of memory.) As with many classical borrowings, we retained the double initial consonant, but not the pronunciation of both, since the combination doesn't occur naturally in English. ("Pneumonia" is a similar case.) "Mnemonic" can also be a noun meaning "a mnemonic device." If the spelling of this word strikes you as particularly fiendish to remember, try this mnemonic to get you started on the right track: keep in mind that although the pronunciation begins with an "n" sound, the spelling begins with an "m," as in "memory."

Thirsty-Thursday: Thyme & Lime Lemonade

- 10 fresh thyme sprigs, plus sprigs for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 cups store-bought lemonade or Classic Lemonade
- 3/4 cup vodka (optional, but worth it)

Directions: In a pitcher, using a wooden spoon, mash the thyme with the lime juice. Add the lemonade and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Add the vodka, if using. Serve over ice and garnish with the thyme sprigs.

Doesn't that just look delish! Thanks Real Simple!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Work-It Wednesday: Got 30 Minutes?

Now 30 minutes doesn't sound like a lot of time out of your 24 hours (1440 minutes/day, just sayin'), but I understand it's hard with work/school, family, little ones, etc... but there are numerous gyms all over the place now, or you can easily create a gym at your home... so what's stopping you?! Just take 30 minutes for your health BEFORE you go on the couch and watch your favorite TV show (mine right now is New Girl, so awesome!!), or do what I do and wake up earlier to go to the gym and start your day energized and ready to take whatever comes your way! (but I'm just crazy to wake up earlier, so I don't blame you if that's not your style.) As other health/exercise blogs/websites say: If you're new to exercise, over 40, have a health problem, or take regular medication, check with your doctor before starting a fitness program.

I got an email for WebMD.com and after looking at the 12 different exercises, it seems like a lot, but moves rather fast if you keep up a faster pace. Breakdown of the routine: squats, lunges, Romanian dead lift, the bridge, push ups, chest press, bent-over row, shoulder press, cable pull-down, bicycle crunches, side planks, and cardio. Do this every other day, or 2 days in a row is ok too because these workouts are not too strenuous so you don't need a whole lot of recovering.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday Taste Buds: Pasta w/Sausage & Tomatoes

- 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, broken up with your hands
- cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage links
- 12 ounces cavatappi or some other short pasta
- 3 cups baby spinach (2 1/2 ounces)
- grated Parmesan, for serving

1. Heat oven to 450° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, mix the tomatoes (with their juices) and garlic with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast until the tomatoes have charred in spots and the juices have thickened, 40 to 45 minutes.

2. After the tomatoes have roasted for 20 minutes, place the sausage on a second rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15 to 17 minutes. Thinly slice the sausage.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the tomatoes, sausage, spinach, and 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

My friends and I have pasta night sometimes, and we usually have just spaghetti in meat sauce with sausage, or a sausage link pan-fried up on the side. But this might be the next pasta night dish: a spin on our classic favorite! Don't you agree?!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Welcome Fall Season!

Time for leaves to turn and fall, candy to go on sale, orange is fashionable, and of course costumes for Halloween!!! Bring it on October!

I wish I was out east because when the leaves turn out there, it's beautiful!!!!

Word of the Day 10/3/2011

Corrade (verb): to wear or crumble away through abrasion

Examples: Over the years, the rushing waters had corraded the riverbanks.
"The nearly pyramidal shapes in the Cydonia region of Mars -- which recent imagery suggest are likely no more than ancient mountains corraded by eons of sandstorms --were advanced by the late astronomer Carl Sagan and others as sites to be examined by future missions to Mars as potential artifacts of intelligence." -- From P. J. Capelotti's 2010 book The Human Archaeology of Space: Lunar, Planetary and Interstellar Relics of Exploration

Did You Know?: In Latin "rodere" means "to gnaw" and "radere" means "to scrape." The latter word is at the base of both "abrade" and "corrade." "Corrade," which carved its niche in the English language during the mid-17th century, is used when something, such as moving water, "rubs" or "scrapes" something else away. In contrast, the word "corrode," derived from "rodere," is fitting when something "eats away" at something else especially by chemical action. "Erode" shares that meaning but can also be used to describe abrasive action, much like "corrade." As an aside, the gnawing of small animals, such as mice and squirrels, influenced the formation of the noun "rodent" through "rodere."

I Believe...