Saturday, October 22, 2011

The loveliest season of the year

Fall is my very favorite time of year. I love the weather, the changing colors of the leaves, pumpkin patches, apple cider, corn mazes and of course the food. The list could go on and on.

Autumn ~

When trees their summer splendor
Change the raiment red and gold,
When summer moons turn mellow,
And the nights are getting cold;
When the squirrels hide their acorns,
And the woodchucks disappear;
Then we know that it is autumn,
Loveliest season of the year.

~Charlotte L. Riser


I wanted to decorate my home this year to celebrate this wonderful season.

I've decided that my new buffet/dresser in my dining area will now be a display spot for decorating for the different seasons and holidays. I want to make our apartment as homey as possible. Making a big deal about a season is a lot of fun and makes me feels like this place is truly home.

I decorated the candle myself with some left over fall garland pieces and some raffia


Also, this fall my husband and I had a wonderful visit with our good friends from Grand Rapids. We wanted to take them to this special place we found last year where we did a corn maze at night. Not one of those scary ones, just a nice, family friendly place.

~ Three Cedars Farm ~ 

Click here to visit their website

A wonderful place for families to make memories and have lots of fun.

They have hayrides that take you out to pick your own pumpkins and to get you to their 7 acre corn maze

We stopped in first at the donut hut ~ The best cider and doughnuts that I have ever eaten!

Then we came out to this cute wooden train for children to play on

Next we visited a section called Story Book Farm

The three little pigs were lots of fun

We also visited Billy Goat Gruff, Mary had a little lamb, Peter Cotton tail, The Little Red Hen

Milked Maggie the Cow

Played in the barn that has a giant slide for the bigger kids

Then we visited the General Store and warmed up to get away from the cold and blustery weather for awhile

I wanted to get my picture next to this amazing giant metal chicken. I'm kind of obsessed with giant metal chickens after reading a funny blog post about an incident with one. I just needed to get inside to the warmth and forgot once we came back outside. Maybe next time...

Lots to see in the gift shop.

There were so many John Deere tractors for the kids to ride on near a corn "sand" box. This one is the real deal though.

My husband Nate and myself

It was a little too cold to venture out to the corn maze on this visit.
We'll see you again next year Three Cedars!


 I have been in the mood for pumpkin flavored things lately. I decided to try my hand at making pumpkin pie spiced creamer! I make my own homemade french vanilla creamer that goes wonderfully with my favorite coffee called Traverse City Cherry. I use just plain coffee for this creamer though.

Pumpkin Pie Creamer ~

2 Cups skim milk
1/2 Cup canned pure pumpkin
1 Can low fat sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Airtight container

Warm the milk and pumpkin in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the vanilla and spices, stir until combined. Remove the pan from the heat and cool.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into the blender with the pumpkin mixture and process for 1 to 2 minutes, or until foamy.

Store the creamer in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.


My next recipe is my Mom's Pumpkin muffin recipe. I was able to use the rest of the pumpkin puree from the creamer recipe and ended up wasting very little.

Pumpkin Muffins ~

Preheat oven to 400 

Sift together ~
2 Cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Set aside,

In a small bowl cream together~
1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup butter

Add ~
1 egg
Beat well,

Stir in ~ 
1 Cup pumpkin
1 Cup milk

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and stir just until moistened.

(doesn't this look delicious?)

Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full, bake 15~20 minutes. Remove from tin at once. Serve hot.

I just love this homemade muffin recipe! It reminds me of my childhood.

(I halved the recipe for just the two of us)

Enjoy the rest of this wonderful fall season. I know that I will!

Virginia Sweet Pea ~ Throwback Thursday

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall in a Crock~Pot

"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an affect on the feelings, as now in October." ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne


One of my favorite memories of Fall was when my Mom would put a kettle full of fruit and spices on the back of stove and have it simmering all day. 
The scent is Fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one! 
It's just wonderful! 
Once, when I was probably old enough to know better, I got too close while trying to smell this mixture and the steam burnt the tip of my nose. 
Yep, the aroma is that great! 


Fall in a Crock pot ~

1 cup water
1 Apple
1 Orange 
1/2 a Lemon
Cloves &

I decided to use this mini-crock that came with my large crock pot. I don't use it a whole lot so this is the perfect use for it!

Cut up the apple, leaving on the skin.
Peel the Orange, eat the orange because you're only using the orange rind.
Cut a Lemon in half and cut the rind off. I use the rest of the Lemon for Tea. No wasting here!

Place 1 cup of water, the apple, orange and lemon rind in the crock

Throw on the cinnamon, and I mean a lot of cinnamon! Then the cloves and nutmeg.

See how pretty it is? It smells amazing and it will make your whole kitchen smell lovely! The only down side is that it smells like something is baking in the oven the whole time. I add water throughout the day when it starts to dry up from the constant heat.

I called my mother to make sure I had this recipe written down correctly and she actually reminded me to not eat any of it. It's just a potpourri. I guess if she found it necessary to give me that reminder then maybe I should share it with you all as well!

Try this recipe and your home will be smelling like homey goodness in no time at all!