Black & White Photos

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times… there’s something so classic and beautiful about a black and white photo. I recently watched The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Spoiler (but it’s an old movie so…)… at the end of the movie he photographs his brother’s wedding. All the photos they show were in black and white. I’ve always wanted to photograph a black and white wedding. Now, would I only want black and white wedding photos, probably not… BUT!!!!

October 10th, I got to photograph my husband’s friend since junior high’s wedding. It was pretty exciting. And while I edited all photos in color… I turned them all black and white too.

Oh… and if you notice below I have 3 cameras… I’m NOT a professional videographer, but I got to play and make them a video too. It was a lot of fun!

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The Northern Lights Quilt

Finally, the little’s quilt is done. While we were in Alaska, she was infatuated with the Northern Lights. Unfortunately, we weren’t there at the right time to see them. The ideal is mid-August through April. We were there at the end of July… so bummer. I told her we’d have to go back sometime in winter. I want to see a REAL snow! Although… recently I heard about looking at it in an icehouse in Finland. Maybe that’s where/how we should see the Northern Lights.

We immediately started working on the quilts when we got home because the little was so excited. We only bought a panel and one piece of material for her quilt while we were there. The rest was either bought locally or was stuff my grandma had stashed in her sewing room. (more…)

Baking Basics: My Must-Have, On-Hand Ingredients

Welcome back to another Baking Basics installment! Today, let’s talk about how I stalk my pantry for Baking with a little Cooking mixed in.

Most people keep the basics on hand… flour, sugar, eggs, butter. You can make a lot of things with those four ingredients. But, I keep a large array of ingredients on hand. I have some favorites too. I live fairly close to town, but especially this day in age, I try to avoid Walmart at all costs, and where I live, that IS our grocery store. I wish more grocery stores would move into the area… please read this and follow suit!! Once I start to get low on something, I put it on my grocery list so I can re-stock it before I’m completely out.

Below is everything I keep in my pantry on a regular basis, along with brand recommendations and links, where applicable. Is there anything you would add to the list?!

FLOURS

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Bread Flour
  • Cake Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour

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The Moose Quilt

Back to quilts for a minute. I swear, 2020 has just brought out a whole different side of life. One where we pick up things that we either A) wanted to learn how to do, B) used to do but never have time anymore, C) very homebody type skills, or D) all the above.

Now, I’ve made quilts before. Not a bunch, but a few. So that’s to say this isn’t anything new to me… But this particular quilt was a fun quilt to master!

We went on vacation to Alaska this year. While we were in Talkeetna, Alaska, we came across a fabric (material) store called The Patchwork Moose. Initially my mom went into the shop to pick up some fabric from Alaska for my grandma. I was in a store next door when she sent someone to find me. The girls and I then went to see what she was up to. She wanted our opinion on fabric for grandma. Little did my mom know that we would walk out with material for both girls a quilt and one for the hubby and me.

When we got home, the little and I took the material down to show grandma. The little then told grandma that she wanted to work on her quilt right then. Grandma had a few free minutes, so off to the sewing room we headed. (more…)

Fresh Pumpkin Butter (made with homegrown Pumpkins)

This past weekend we had our annual Trails for Kids fundraising ride. We had to postpone it a little bit… because we all know there’s this Pandemic thing going on. Honestly, I think it was a good time. In April we’re always fighting rain. Now, if you think about September… you could fight fall rains, but you also have a little warmer temps… so who knows. It’s kind of hit and miss on both occasions. We actually discussed that during our follow-up board meeting.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… first things first… a few weeks ago my I had to harvest my pumpkins early because of squash bugs. They were sitting in my wagon behind my house waiting for me to do something with them.

Jump forward a couple of weeks… I’ve now made some pumpkin purée, but I still have pumpkins running out of my tookus. That’s even with sitting a few up on the front porch for fall decór. And don’t read that wrong, I was extremely excited that I could grow pumpkins!! But my thought is, I don’t want them going to waste.

I was having conversations with my friend Jody on what we were each bringing to the bake sale at the Trails for Kids auction. She mentioned her dad was making biscuits for her to donate. She wasn’t sure if they’d be plain or cheesy/garlicky, but if they were plain, she was going to try and convince him to make Apple Butter. I mentioned since it was fall, she should also throw in some pumpkin butter. She laughed and said she a) didn’t have any, b) didn’t know how to make any, and c) didn’t have time to learn.

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3-2-1 Cake Mix and Cake

This weekend was special. It is our annual Trails for Kids fundraiser. If you have been here anytime at all… you know that usually, we have this ride in April. Also… this year has been “interesting” (to say the least!) so we had to postpone until this past weekend. All summer long we wondered if it would even happen. I mean seriously…

But the time came and it did, in fact, happen! I can’t give away any of the details on the ride just yet but know, it was a MAJOR success! That would be an understatement!

On Friday night of our fundraiser, we have a bake sale. A few years ago I had a chocolate chip cookie in a cast-iron skillet go for $130. Well, this year I had something go for more than that… but that’s another story for another time :). Yup, I’m mean.

Today I want to share a recipe I’ve shared before… BUT… the cool thing is this is perfect for camping. And since this fundraiser involves camping, what better time to share, am I right?

3-2-1 Cake Mix & Cake

Ingredients for Cake Mix Setup:

  • A box of Angel Food Cake mix
  • A box of your favorite flavor of cake (chocolate, funfetti, lemon, you name it!)
  • A ziplock bag

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The Fall Quilt

When we went to Alaska, we went to the cutest quilt shop. Our plans were to make the girls quilts to help commemorate our trip. Well, we bought material for the quilts there that you could only get there… with the plans of getting more “filler” material once we got home. Less to try and pack to get back home. 

Once my grandma and I got the quilt tops done, it was time to find backing. I went online searching for extra wide backing. I found what I wanted for the older’s quilt in Rogers, AR. So since we were already going camping the weekend that I found it, it was a hop, skip, and a jump away to go material shopping. 

In the process, I found this quilt panel.

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A Wedding Cake

Making a wedding cake is STRESSFUL! Anyway, it is stressful in my opinion. If it stressed everyone out, we wouldn’t have wedding cakes. haha. Most everyone I talk to agrees (with each other) that the reason I get stressed out with a wedding cake is I’m too much of a perfectionist. 

Up until here recently, I had only ever made 1 wedding cake that was for an actual wedding. The second wedding cake (or technically first) was for the cake decorating classes I took back in 2007 or 2008. That one didn’t stress me out other than I had to figure out how to do them for the class. Otherwise, easy peasy, lemon squeezy. 

That’s why back in roughly that same year I agreed to do a wedding cake. I can’t find pictures of it right now, but it was a disaster. I cried and cried. I cried to the point I swore I’d never make another wedding cake… until 2020. I guess the year 2020 is a year of many weirdnesses. (more…)

Pumpkin Purée

Let’s make Pumpkin Purée from the fantastic pumpkins you grew in your garden! You didn’t spend all summer growing pumpkins for nothing, after all. Oh, I guess… you can use them for Fall/Halloween decorations… but you should probably put up a few just because, right? Well today, I’m going to show you how!

Pumpkin Purée

1.Start with the pumpkins. Now, my pumpkins here are a little smaller than they should be, but sometimes you have to harvest pumpkins early. That was the case here. These pumpkins weighed in between 4 and 6 pounds. Wash them off. While you will remove the outer shells, it is best to clean off the excess soil. Preheat oven to 375˚F.

2. Make sure you have a sharp knife to be able to slice the pumpkins in half. You’ll also want a spoon, olive oil, and salt. Plus, go ahead and prepare your pans. Get a large jelly roll pan (half sheet) and line with parchment paper. The parchment paper helps with cleanup later. (more…)