Archive for October, 2008

After reading some recent posts on The Pioneer Woman Cooks about cooking with pumpkin, I was inspired to try this myself.  I love pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin bread but I have always used canned pumpkin.  I have NEVER made my own pumpkin puree before.  Well it is actually really easy, just a little time consuming.

To start I purchased 3 pie pumpkins.  These are really easy to find at the grocery stores in October and November and were also available at the pumpkin patch.

I cut off the top of each pumpkin, cut them in half and scooped out the seeds. (Save the seeds for later.)

Next I cut each pumpkin half into quarters and arranged them onto baking sheets.

Roast the pumpkin for about an hour at 350 degrees.

When the pumpkin is nice and tender remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.  Peel the pumpkin and throw it into the food processor and blend until smooth.  If it is too thick you can add a little water.  If it is too thin you can strain it in a cheese cloth.

I scooped mine by cupfulls into freezer bags.  Store flat in the freezer until ready to use.  Set out to thaw or run the bag under cold water for a few minutes.


When you are done you can make roasted pumpkin seeds.  These are a great fall snack.

First rinse all the seeds to remove most of the pumpkin gunk.  Lay the seeds on a baking sheet and allow them to dry over night.  Sprinkle the seeds with a little bit of olive oil and lots of salt and toss to coat.  Place the pan in a 250 degree oven until the seeds are nice and brown.  This will take several hours and you should stir the seeds around every 15 minutes or so.  I like to cook my seeds until they are really brown.  I find they are tastier and have a better crunch.

Store the cooked seeds in an airtight container.

More pumpkin recipes coming soon!

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Welcome to the world, little guy!

My second nephew, Salem Rockwell, was just born about 2 hours ago!

Isn’t he sweet!  My sister said she only had to push for about 5 minutes!  I guess since she has been in so much pain lately it is only fair!

I wasn’t really into blogging yet when my first nephew Silas was born.  Here is a picture of Silas and my very pregnant sister about a week or so ago! 

Silas wont get to meet Salem until tomorrow but at just 19 months apart I am sure they will be best buds!

Congratulations Amanda and Josh!

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Richie and I went to the Pumpkin Patch in Augusta yesterday.  It is a nice place.  They have a corn maze, a little petting zoo, a hay ride, a corn gun, a nice picnic area and even a snack hut with BBQ and such.  We had planned on doing the corn maze but it was $8 per person so we just walked around the patch and then used the money to buy some pumpkins instead.  Here are some pictures.


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September Book List

Once again I am a few days late on my booklist!  Here it is!  All of my recommended reading is available online in my Amazon store unless otherwise noted.  Enjoy!

 *****5      Eclipse – Stephanie Meyer

This was the third book in the Twilight Series.  Again I really enjoyed this one.  I couldn’t put it down once I started reading.

Readers captivated by Twilight and New Moon will eagerly devour Eclipse, the much anticipated third book in Stephenie Meyer’s riveting vampire love saga. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob — knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?


    **** 4   Breaking Dawn – Stephanie Meyer

I enjoyed the fourth book of the Twilight series but not to the degree that I enjoyed the others.  Although the first three books aren’t exactly believable they were convincing.  The fourth book took an outlandish turn that was just a little too weird for me to give it 5 stars.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life-first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse-seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed… forever?

***3 The Wilderness – Liam O’Flaherty 

Henry Lawless is a young mystic visionary who retreats to a quiet valley to pursue a spiritual odyssey. 
Shortly after his arrival, the superficial peace that cloaked this glen is disturbed by his presence and activities. His generosity provokes greed; his love provokes hatreds; his search for truth reveals tragic falsities.  Though the valley has ‘the mystery of a hidden wilderness’, its inhabitants destroy its peace and beauty by their conflicts – each carries within a wilderness of self-absorption. The imagery in this book was wonderful but the story was strange and a little difficult to follow.

This book is currently out of print. I have a Hardcover First US Edition copy of this book in excellent condition that I would be willing to sell or trade for.  Leave a comment if you are interested.

  ****.5  4 1/2  Native Tongue – Carl Hiaasen

I have read many of Carl Hiaasen’s books.  I really enjoy them.  Native Tongue is one of his earlier works and is not quite as well developed as some of his more recent novels.  Filled with mystery, humor, love and sex his novels run the gamut of emotions.

Who let the voles out? The precious, blue-tongued mango voles have been stolen from the Amazing Kingdom theme park on North Key Largo by ruthless thugs who have much bigger-and deadlier-things in mind. On the hunt for the rare rodents is Joe Winder, a burned-out ex-muckraking reporter who now works for the park as their PR man. Even as a scandal breaks out over the theft, Winder finds himself trailing an eco-terrorist geriatric, a certain former-governor-turned-swamp rat, and sleazy land developer Francis X. Kingsbury. Determined to uncover the true nature of the Kingdom, Winder must survive this harrowing wilderness-before the natives get to him….

  ***** 5  Midwife of the Blue Ridge – Christine Blevins

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this book!  This was my best read of the month.  I HIGHLY recommend this book!

A stirring debut novel “of love, struggle, and savagery on America’s colonial frontier” (Bernard Cornwell).

They call her Dark Maggie for her thick black hair, but the name also has a more sinister connotation. As the lone survivor of an attack on her village, she was thought to be cursed—and unfit for marriage. Maggie is also gifted with quick wits and skilled in medicine, trained as a midwife. Venturing to the colonies as an indentured servant, she hopes to escape the superstitions of the old country—and find a home of her own. But what she discovers is a New World fraught with new dangers.


As always you can click either the picture of the book or the title to order from my Amazon store.  You will also find all of my past recommended readings along with other books you may find interesting!


New Magazine Find


This is a great new magazine.  There have been 4 issues of Clean Eating published to date.  I found this magazine for the first time last week and picked up the issue pictured here.  The magazine is FULL of great recipes with simple ingredients and a healthy twist.  The food is so good you wont know it is good for you.  I have already tried the Roasted Garlic, Cauliflower and Leek soup and it was fabulous.  At only 79 calories per 3/4 cup serving it makes a great healthy lunch.  You can visit their website http://www.cleaneatingmag.comto purchase this issue and the 3 previously published issues.  I plan to subscribe to this one!

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