Monday, September 28, 2009

Starbucks pumpkin scones

It's fall and I am in the kitchen baking! I had to go to two different stores before finding canned pumpkin (something about a shortage in our area) but it was worth it! Now I can bake everything pumpkin!

Last year I "discovered" pumpkin scones at Starbucks and it was love at first bite. Okay, maybe not love, but they ARE good! I decided to do a search for a pumpkin scone recipe, and found the actual Starbucks recipe on Recipezaar. I posted the recipe last fall, but it is such a yummy one, I'm doing it again! So if you have a hankering for a pumpkin scone and you have a little time, why not make your very own? Here's how:



2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg

Powdered sugar glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

Spiced glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves


To make the scones, preheat oven to 425 degrees F., or 218 Celsius. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.

Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 14-16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

To make the glaze:

Mix the powdered sugar and milk (and spices if making the spiced glaze) together until smooth. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint glaze over the top of each scone.

Eat and enjoy! :)

I hope you all had a good weekend and a good Monday as well! I will be back ASAP with another pumpkin treat recipe...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

~ Romans 8: 38-39

I love this verse. When I read it, I feel tremendous peace. I am reminded of what I believe is most important: that God loves me, and that will never change. His love for me is unshakable.

A little raw honesty here~ I have been feeling like a failure lately. No monumental reason really. Just a lot of little things adding up until I truly feel like I need a tee-shirt that says, "I suck." I asked my friend if she needed anything from Costco when I went, and somehow left without her list. (I still can't find it.) I didn't have my cell phone with me, so I couldn't call her. I got the wrong book for my son on the Scholastic Book Club order form. I missed the boat entirely, and still haven't called my best friend back since she called last week. (Hi, Amy!) And worst of all, haven't read my Bible in days...

I struggle to keep up with my family, but feel tremendous guilt that, in the process, I seem to fail in the daughter, friend, and sister categories. I am working so hard to be a good wife and mother, but for every thing I do right, there are 100 things I should also be doing. Can you say "F for failure"? That essentially has been my montage all week. Not a very good thing to be saying to oneself, eh?

And so I thank God. For a friend who loves me even though I forget her grocery list. For a son who loves me despite the fact that sometimes I get mixed up. For children and a husband who really don't expect me to be perfect, just want me to be there. And to God I say thanks for reminding me that nothing could change His love for me! You just can't beat that!

Maybe instead of saying "F for failure" I should say "L for loved"...

Monday, September 21, 2009

So many magazines...

...So little time!

I have mentioned before that I have an addiction to magazines...I just can't get enough! And now, I am discovering more and more of their corresponding websites, chock full of ideas and beautiful pictures to gaze at!

And in particular, I am loving the Country Living website. Have you visited it?

I love to pour over the beautiful pictures, filing away all of the fantastic ideas into my memory...

And think how fun it is to spend a little time looking at all the ways people have put a little beautiful into their lives and homes,

I always leave with a fresh perspective and new ideas. Such as...this chalkboard pantry door. I love this idea! I have seen it on a blog a while back, I am almost positive it was on The Candlelit Cottage, and thought it was wonderful! I think it is such a fun way to add a little character, as well as a place to write reminders and lists.

So, if you had to pick just one magazine to read, which would it be?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A garage sale basket....

Gets a new look...

I spray painted it white, of course, and tied the same ribbon on it, because I liked the color. It is inspiring me to paint my master bathroom, where this basket will feel right at home! A nice oatmeal color, I think, should do the trick, with a matching linen sink skirt...

It's always amazing to me how often a simple thing can be the inspiration for an entire room! :) It will be at least a few weeks until I can get to it, but I am planning it all out...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Loving roosters again...

Does this ever happen to you?

You like something~ a certain color or decorating style~ and then you think you have "grown" out of it. So you give most all of those things away, thinking you're done with it~ only to discover to your surprise a few years later that you like it again... Well, this isn't the first time this has happened to me, and I am sure it won't be the last, which is why I am becoming much more discerning about what I give away and what I pack away "for the time being". :)

I found these cute rooster wall hangings at a garage sale over Labor Day weekend...I was just going to buy the one below (to be frugal) but she told me to take the other one as well, which I was happy to do! Total cost: just two dollars!

I also found this sweet milk glass bowl/vase thing at another garage sale the same weekend. ( I am not exactly sure what it's intended for, but I know what I am going to use it for!) For just one dollar, I walked away with something precious! :)

(In the background, you can see the beaded board I have put in so far, although it's not painted yet and I haven't put in the trim at the bottom!) I also found a cute wire basket with a bow at the first garage sale, but want to spray paint it before I show you it! :) Pretty soon, my spray painting days will be over for a few months due to the cooler weather, and I still have SO many things to spray paint, including the drawers to my vintage stove that we are restoring...

I wanted also to apologize for not coming around and saying hello for the last week or two~ the last couple of weeks have been unusually busy. I am hoping things will be calmer this week, so I can find out how you all are doing now! :) I hope you are all having a good new week! :)

Have a good night,

Monday, September 7, 2009

A letter to the President

Dear President Obama,

There are many reasons I could write to you today, for there are a great many concerns I have regarding your policies and plans for our country. I could discuss the many promises you made, especially during your campaign for the presidency~ promises that you promptly broke. I could bring up the monumental debt you and Congress are dragging us into with your stimulus and spending bills. You are mortgaging our children and grandchildren's futures, mortgaging our country's future. The majority of Americans have said an emphatic "NO!" to your health care "reform", and many of us have written and called our representatives and senators saying that we do not want a "public option". But still you press on, not heeding what those you work for are telling you. I know this may come as a complete surprise to you, Mr. President, but you work for us, and it bothers me greatly how both you and Congress seem to think you know better than us what we want and need, not listening to a word we say.

I could discuss any of these points at great length with you, but I am exceedingly alarmed at what I found on the Department of Education website this past week. Not only will you be delivering a speech to our children, which I almost could have tolerated it if it stayed on track and did not become political, but these page long guidelines for what to have them do and think about regarding the speech is simply too much. I am really glad to see that the White House removed the idea of having children write letters to themselves, asking what "they could do to help" you, but what is left is not all that much better, to tell you the truth. I think this time would be much better spent on literacy and math, and think it's rather ridiculous to expect those as young as pre-Kindergarten to spend a day breaking down a Presidential speech and analyzing its meaning.

I firmly believe this is politicizing the classrooms and it is not acceptable. I am drawing my line in the sand. To you and all of government, I say, stay away from my kids!


A concerned American mother

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A new school year

Tomorrow is the first day of school, and we are ready and set! Our son is heading off to middle school and so our days will start about 45 minutes earlier now. For now I am walking him and his friend to the bus stop, because it's way down the next street...he rather wishes I wouldn't though! :) I'll be honest~ it really isn't that I want to walk to the bus stop at 7:30 (I'd rather not) but have you heard that recent story of that girl who was kidnapped at age 11 and what has happened to her these past 18 years? Oh, I am SO going to walk him tomorrow, and the next day. And the next...until I feel comfortable with it, which with any luck, will be just in time for college, LOL! No, I am joking about that last part...I have told him it could be a week, a month, a year...Anyway...

Here is a little home improvement update: In the picture you can see our new counters, just a little! I am really happy with them, and they make the kitchen look SO much better! I am putting up beaded board everywhere in our kitchen and dining room, and it is going to take a while because I am still learning as I go. I love the feeling of serious girl-power I get every time I use that table saw, or maybe it's just adrenaline from the sheer terror of what could happen... I don't know, but it makes me feel like I can do long as I am really careful and don't cut off any fingers! :) I bought Benjamin Moore paint for our cabinets, because it is very durable, unlike what we used before. I bought it in a satin sheen, which is similar to a semi-gloss in other paint brands, and first tried it out on the shelves I am painting for our closet. I noticed it showed all of my brush strokes and was really unhappy with the way it looked. I know it's a high quality paint, but I was ready to throw it under the bus, so to speak. I thought I'd try out their eggshell and see if it was easier to work with, because usually the flatter the sheen, the more forgiving it is! I love it, but not necessarily for my cabinets. They said the satin would hold up better for cabinetry, and I think they're right. They told me to add this conditioning stuff to it so that it would help hide the brush strokes, so we'll see tomorrow what happens. Have any of you used Benjamin Moore paint and what do you think of it? Just curious...I got this new "Shortcut" paint brush at BM that I love~ it has a much smaller handle for holding it, and I think it will be wonderful for painting those tight spaces in my cabinets, without the handle getting in the way.

I also have been sorting through our bath towels, and realized I wasn't going to be able to put off purchasing new ones for our hall bath any longer! But I have a secret weapon, and it's called Marshall's! They have great prices on towels there, and I found this set with two hand towels, wash cloths, and bath towels for 20 dollars, which is a pretty good deal. Two of those sets will do for now, and my family will be much happier! :) If you need towels right now, this is a good place to go! :)

When I get a little further with our kitchen I will be sure to show you more "progress pictures"...I want to get a lot of the beaded board done before I show you the counters so you can see more progress and less ugliness! :)

I hope you are having a great week! :) Have a blessed night, you all!