Archive for September, 2010

I have been going crazy trying to find canned pumpkin in the local stores here in Mobile, AL.  I was beginning to panic until I finally found 4 cans.  So over the next month I am going to treat you to some wonderful recipes that call for the hot commodity. This recipe was actually a cake recipe but I decided to make it into muffins / cup cakes.  I also added a home-made cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

1 can pumpkin purée

3 eggs

2 cups flour

½ cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 small bag mini chocolate chips

Pre heat oven to 350

Spray muffin tin

Add dry ingredients to mixer, except the chocolate chips, mixing Mix well.

Add wet ingredients and mix. ( add eggs 1 at a time)

Blend in chocolate chips by hand mixing.

Pour mixture into the greased tin.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Remove and allow to cool before serving and/or frosting.

Cream cheese Frosting

2  8oz. cream cheese, room temp.

½ cup butter, room temp.

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Add cream cheese and butter to mixer and blend well.

Add vanilla and blend well.

Slowly add sugar and make sure to stop and scrape

the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Mix until all sugar is blended and is smooth.

Put into a pastry bag and pipe on top of muffins.


I  really like this recipe. The tops of the muffins were crisp and the insides were nice and moist. Because I used a cream cheese frosting, I put my muffins in the fridge.  I also think that you could leave the chocolate chips out of the mix and it would still be a tasty treat.

OK,  I am off to the Pet store for some turtle food for Dexter.  The weather was nice again today so I hope that Stephen and I can go for a bike ride this evening. I can not wait. I am in desperate need of exercise.  My personal make over has not gone quite according to plans. But I will not give up.

I hope you have a fantastic day.

Until Then,



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So we finally got some rain here in Mobile. It has been forever and everything is turning brown but not in a Fall way.  Saturday the weather man told me that we were going to have a nasty storm come through on Sunday. I was a little skeptical but non the less I was prepared. I gathered all the items to make some Crock pot Potato Soup. The weather man was right. It was a dark and stormy Sunday and to my surprise I woke up today to a  wonderful Fall morning. I had my coffee on the porch and watched the leaves blow down the street on a nice cool breeze.  And in a bit I get to have a great Fall  lunch!   I am in heaven.

Crock-Pot Potato Soup

5lbs. potatoes; peeled and coarsely chopped( I like to leave the skin on. It gives the soup a wonderful texture and taste)

1 sm. onion; chopped

8oz. cream cheese; softened

3-14.5oz. cans reduced sodium chicken broth

1can cream of chicken soup

¼ tsp. pepper( I ended up using more. I added it to taste)

I also added salt and Mrs. Dash Table Blend.

And I added a nice sprinkle of bacon bits to my mixture!

Put potatoes & onion in crock-pot.

Combine the cream cheese, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup & the pepper. Add this mix to the crock-pot.

Cover & cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.

I cooked it over night.

After cooking time, mash the potatoes if you want the soup thicker.

Even after I mashed a bit the soup was still not as thick as I like.

I drained about 3 cups of juice and put it in a pot on med high heat.

Here I added flour and stirred it in until it thickened to my liking.

I then added it back to the crock pot and let it cook another hour and it was

nice and thick! Just right.

Ladle into bowls and garnish!


crisp bacon; crumbled

shredded cheddar cheese

sour cream

sliced scallions


Now this was a perfect recipe for the first cool day of Fall. I tell you I hope that the coolness hangs on! I have so many recipes that are perfect for crisp cool weather.

This afternoon I am making Pumpkin Chip Muffins with a Cream Cheese Icing! Come back for the results!

Until Then,


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There’s a house upon the hilltop
We will not go inside
For that is where the witches live,
There’s a house upon the hilltop

Please come inside.

For that is where the witches live,

Where ghosts and goblins hide.

Soon she’ll have her party,

All the lights are burning bright,

We’ll line up to go inside

The haunted house that night.

The demons there are whirling

And the spirits swirl about.

They sing their songs to Halloween.

“Come join the fun,” they shout.

Everyone will be there

So try with all your might

And oh the magical fun we’ll have

In the haunted house that night.

Ms. Vanessa Valencia of

A Fanciful Twist

invites you to a magical night of mayhem and madness

that is frightfully fun for all!

Please join in the Halloween Celebration!

Tonight they have their party,
All the lights are burning bright,
But oh we will not go inside
The haunted house tonight.

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I love the Fall season.  Have I told you that lately?  I just can not help myself.  I hope that your First Day of Fall was a great one and that your Mabon feasts were delicious.  I know ours was.  I worked all afternoon on a few more projects for my fall porch make over.  I went to JoAnn Fabrics to get some material for my projects and wow did they have a big sale.  You should also keep in mind that they take competitor coupons. I will show my latest additions at the end of this post.  But before that I want to share my Mabon celebration stew recipe.

Mabon Stew

To start off I want to say that this is a recipe that you just throw together.

There are no given measurements. You just throw it all together.


1 small roast

1 small bag of baby carrots

1 small onion

1 green bell pepper.

3-4 cloves of garlic.

5-6 red potatoes.

Olive oil, salt & pepper, celery seed, Mrs. Dash table blend.

1 can of french onion soup.

1 cup of flour.


Place your roast into your crock pot.

Season about 1/2 cup of water with all the dry seasons above.

Turn on high.

In a skillet add a small amount of olive oil and let it get pretty hot.

Add slices of onion, bell pepper and garlic and let them sweat.

When the onions look transparent put everything in the crock pot.

Here you will add your carrots and potatoes(cut into small cubes) as well as the can of french onion soup.

Add water to the top of the roast. I add some s & p and a few splashes of Worcestershire.

Cover and cook on high for 2.5 hours.

Take 1 cup of flour and put it in a glass bowl. Ladle out enough of the juice from the roast

and stir well.  Make sure that the flour  dissolves. Pour it back into the crock pot

and let cook for about 45 minutes.

This helps to thicken the stew just a bit.

I like to taste the juice every 30 minutes and add seasons if need be.

I decided at the last-minute to make some biscuits, so I don’t have photos of the whole process, but I do have a few.

Pre Heat oven to 450

2 3/4 cups of flour

4 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp of salt

6 tbsp shortening

1 1/4 cup of milk

Roughly 1 cup of shredded cheese.

In your mixer add the first four ingredients and mix well.

Make sure all the shortening is broken up .

Add your cheese and slowly add your milk.

Let this mix together well and then scoop  onto a greased baking pan.

I use parchment paper and a large Pampered chef scoop.

Bake for 12 minutes serve warm.


Here are a few photos of my Fall Porch! I am really pleased. But I think I still want a little more!

Remember the plastic gray urns?

This is one of them after I painted it with the Texture Paint!

Looks way Better I think.

Well I hope to make something sweet tomorrow to start the season off just right.  Come back soon to see what is in store.

Until Then,


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In honor of the Equinox I wanted to make a few recipes that are great for the celebration.This celebration is observed with a harvest feast to celebrate and share the abundance of the past season. The Autumn equinox signals the beginning of Fall.

This casserole is so easy and you can make it ahead of time then pop it in the oven when you are ready for it.  It also freezes well.

Corn & Rice Casserole

1 small package of Saffron Rice 5 oz

2 cups cheddar cheese (I add more)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can of mexicorn or fiesta corn (I use 1.5 cans)

¼ cup of sour cream (I add a bit more)

Salt and pepper

Cook rice according to directions.

Pre heat oven to 350

In a medium bowl mix soup, corn, 1 cup of cheese

& sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the rice is cooked and it has cooled just a bit,

Add it to the mixture and stir it together.

Place the mixture into a casserole dish sprinkle the remaining cheese on top

and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling.

Serve Hot



As I said before this is so simple. We never have any left over.

I am almost done with the fall porch so check back for a look!

Until Then,


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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! For me that is.

The leaves start turning  rich, warm yellow, orange and brown colors.  The air begins to become crisp and the delicious smells of candy corn and pumpkin spices wisp through the breeze.  Ah, heaven!  It seems that the stores begin earlier and earlier every year bringing out fall decor, and by the time October actually rolls around winter decor has nudged it’s way in.  I like to relish in the fall season, so this rear I have decided to start early with my decorating.  I am transforming my front porch and want to take you on the fun journey.  I have a few projects that will save me a lot of money and I am sure they will be fun!!! So for starters her is a photo of my Pre – Fall porch.

Not too much to look at huh?  I have gone to a few stores and picked up some items that will help me turn this dull porch into a magical fall porch.  Here are some of the items that I bought.

I am going to paint some of them, hang some of them, attach some of them to each other. . . you get the idea.  I will have to go through the supplies that I have left over from last year to see what I can re- use.  So here I go. Wish me luck!

I will have an updated photo ready by the Autumn Equinox. (Sept 22) I hope to have some delicious recipes for our Mabon celebration.  Just think, All Hallows Eve is just right around the corner!!! Yeah! I have to start thinking about my costume for this year and begin  preparations for our annual costume party.  Soooo much to do.

Well I am off to bed.

Visit again soon for some lovely treats!

Until Then,


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I told you that I was having a blast from the past with some recipes. Well this one is near and dear to my heart. Why you ask? Well this is the recipe that my Granny made for as long as I can remember.  My Mom says the same thing.  You could always count on Granny Sims making this delightful dessert for Easter, Thanksgiving , Christmas and of course the Sims Family Reunion.  It is funny how your Parents always threaten you as a child and adult with, ” You need to call your (insert grand parent here) Granny, you are going to miss them when you are gone!”  But the truth is,  they were Right! I find myself remembering things from my childhood on a daily basis and smiling.  So with that said, I want to remember Granny (My Mother’s Mom) with this awesome dessert.

Granny Sims’ Chocolate Cake

1 cup of butter

1 cup of milk 1 tsp vanilla

2 cups of sugar

3 cups of flour

3 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt 4 eggs

Pre heat oven to 350

Cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs 1 at a time!

Now add milk and flour, baking soda, salt and vanilla.

Divide the batter into 3 round pans and bake for 15 – 22 minutes,

or until they are firm in the middle and golden brown.

I could only find 2 of my pans. They are larger than what I like to use. They make the cake brown more and the layers are shorter!

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn them out on a rack to cool entirely.

Granny Sims’ Chocolate Icing

3 cups sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 stick butter

4 Tbsp coco powder

1 tsp vanilla

a pinch of salt

Use a heavy pot and place on medium heat.

Add sugar and coco, butter and milk.

Stir well while it is melting.

Let it come to a boil.

Let it boil for 2 minutes.

Turn off heat and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Add a pinch of salt and vanilla.

Beat until it is thick and creamy.

( Make sure the icing is not too hot or it will run over the layers and not set. It need to be cool and somewhat thick & creamy)

Start with the first layer of cake and spread icing over the top.

Nice and thick!!

Then do the second layer then the third.

Now pour a good amount over the top and spread it over the sides.

This cooked icing dries so pretty and tastes sweet!


I love this cake. It is a timeless dessert. I hope you enjoy it.  Maybe you can start a tradition by making this for your family.  It is so worth it!  Thanks Granny.

Until Then,


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