Thursday, December 1, 2011

A few Thursday things….

It’s so crazy to me that today is already December 1st!  I keep trying to tell myself that the pumpkin has got to go, but it just makes me so sad!  I think I could manage to find a way to eat it all year long…yeah, it’s that good!  With visions of “sweet goodness” dancing in my head, I managed to make up a batch of 

Pumpkin Spiced Granola and
Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
And as I promised, here’s the recipe for…
Pumpkin Dump Cake
1 29-oz. can pure pumpkin
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 tsp sea salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 box gluten-free yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker – you can sub in regular if you don’t need gluten-free)
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the first 6 ingredients until well blended.  Pour batter into the prepared baking pan.
Sprinkle cake mix on top of the batter, and then cover with pecans.  Drizzle melted Earth Balance over the top.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until the top begins to brown and the center is set.
DSCN1924 Easy-peasy….just a whole lot of dumpin’! Oh my! That doesn’t sound so good, but trust me, it tastes good!  This is definitely an “indulgent” dessert that only comes around once a year in our home!  However, I’m thinking the hubs would love to “indulge” in it more often.

There’s no doubt that I’m not tired of the pumpkin and pumpkin flavored goodies, but I’m ready to scale back on the sugar and enjoy the “sweet goodness” of some healthier treats.  Who wouldn’t love a “cookie” that was good enough to eat for breakfast?  All hands raised here!  And did I mention the fact that they are gluten-free, no sugar added, and non- dairy?  Here ya go my friends…new month equals new creations in the kitchen!
Soft Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
(inspired by Amy @ Simply Sugar and Gluten Free)
Yields 2 dozen small cookies
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup cranberries
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw, sliced almonds
1 1/4 cup Pamela’s Gluten free baking mix
1 1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup apple juice (100 % juice)
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp  pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cover the raisins and cranberries with the water in a microwave-safe bowl.  Heat in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and set aside to soak for at least 10 minutes.  Drain the raisins and reserve the soaking water.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, sunflower seeds, and almonds.  Add the raisins and cranberries.
In a 2-cup wet measuring cup, pour in the apple juice, the reserved water, vanilla, and oil.  Mix together.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.
Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
Using a cookie scoop or a small ice-cream scoop, evenly portion the batter onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Use moist fingertips to flatten the cookies to about 1/2 inch thick.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned.  Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, then individually wrap and freeze the leftovers.
DSCN2020 Soaking the raisins and cranberries helps them to plump up and not get crispy while baking.

I think I’ve definitely got the baking itch…after all, ‘tis the season right?  I just wish I had more of an “itch” to get the Christmas decorations up.  Slowly, but surely, they are a comin’! 
DSCN2031I love Holly Berries at Christmas
DSCN2036And lots of sparkles!
DSCN1982It’s kind of hard to see, but this is my princess Cailyn’s tree…decorated by none other than herself!
DSCN1984And my princess Makenna’s tree….just like her mama, ornaments evenly spaced!

I’ve been pre-occupied reading the mound of Christmas stories that we requested from the library along with some of our all-time favorites.DSCN2025 DSCN2028 DSCN2029
 We’re having too much fun digging into the true meaning of CHRISTmas and enjoying these moments together as a family!
Nourishing Thought for Today:
Our family is excitedly getting ready for Christmas and though there may not be many gifts under the tree, we’re preparing our hearts to celebrate the greatest gift of all….God’s son, JESUS!  Each night we’ll be taking the time to read scripture and pray together.  We will be making sure that we are keeping God in all of our Christmas preparations and thus, be ready to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on Christmas day!
DSCN2001 Let the countdown begin!


  1. I just found your blog. I need to find out if Amy has seen it because James has issues with wheat and your stuff looks good! Amy just made the Christmas chain with the kids. I always made them for the girls. So fun to countdown.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Angie! I remember reading somewhere on her blog that James was eating gluten-free stuff...I'd love to share recipes with her!