"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5


Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding

I am falling in love with all things chocolate and pumpkin!  Last night I made Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding.  It really only took about 5 or 10 min to make and it was yummy.  James thinks it would taste great in a pie crust too.  Does anyone out there know of a way to make it a little stiffer so that we could use this as pie filling?

Check out the recipe here.  There were 4 of us eating it and plenty left over to have again tonight . . . unless James eats it for breakfast. 🙂

Allergy/Intolerance note: We used Safeway brand whipped topping.  Free of soy and not a significant source of lactose.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

On Wednesday I made chocolate chip pumpkin bread for small group.  It was a huge hit!  I didn’t take a picture but you can trust me, it looks like pumpkin bread with chocolate chips.  😉  This is the 2nd time I’ve made this and it has been a crowd pleaser both times.  You can find the recipe HERE.  If you haven’t made bread or anything from scratch before, don’t be intimidated.  This recipe is super easy!  It should be noted though that this recipe is for muffins and I made bread.  Both times I’ve made it I had to turn the temperature up halfway through and cook it a little longer because it wasn’t getting done in the middle.  I have no idea how to combat that so I’m hoping an expert baker out there might be reading this and share their thoughts. 🙂  Oh, and as always, I used a little less butter than it called for.

I have a little bit of pumpkin left so I may have to try another one of their pumpkin recipes!

Strawberries, Rhubarb, and Friends

Ok, so the title of this blog post might be a little bit misleading since there aren’t actually any strawberries in the recipe.  BUT you could add them and it would make it even better!  When I was home last month, my friend Sara introduced me to Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake.  It was so good that we ate the entire pan in about 3 days, just the two of us.  It was so easy to make that I made it for our life group.  They liked it so much that I had to share it with you too!  Very sorry to say though, you may have to wait until next year to make this as rhubarb is now out of season.  😦  I actually made it a few weeks ago and even then had to go to two different stores to find it.

The recipe I used was Aunt Kaye’s Rhubarb Dump Cake  from allrecipes.com but used a little less sugar . . . maybe 3/4 of a cup or so and just a teeny bit less than the recommended amount of butter.  Our oven bakes faster than a sprinter on race day so I only put it in there for about half the time.   You can eat it hot or cold- I actually preferred it cold . . . and for breakfast.  Yum! 🙂

Here is a picture of the end result.  It’s not pretty, but it tastes amazing and no one will ever know that it only took you about 10 min to make!

See all that white stuff on there?  That’s cake mix that didn’t get wet.  I think next time I’ll mist it lightly with a spray bottle before putting it in the oven.  It doesn’t taste bad and it’s still fine to eat if it comes out like this.

A note for fellow allergy sufferers: If you are allergic to soy, you know that it’s really difficult to find cake mixes without soy in it.  My allergy isn’t life threatening but it does make me really sick.  Betty Crocker’s cake mixes say “and/or soy” in the ingredient list and I’ve found that most products that say “and/or soy” have very little soy and I feel only slight discomfort after eating it.

I’ll include some pictures of our life group too.   This group has been such a blessing in our lives.  We’ve done several studies together, pray regularly for each other, and just have a lot of fun!

Girl's Night Aug '10

Iron Mountain March '10

Camping/Hiking March '10

Mariners Game! June '10

Turtle Bread

Last night I tried to make turtle bread. See Betty Crocker’s recipe HERE.  Noticed how cute her turtle is? Mine didn’t exactly turn out like that, lol. I’m going to tell you about this turtle baking adventure so you can try the recipe too, but without making my mistakes.

This was my first time baking with yeast and didn’t really know the difference between the different kinds. Realizing that I had active dry yeast instead of quick active dry yeast, I followed the directions for active dry yeast. Do any of you know if that makes a difference? And does using wheat instead of white flour make a difference?

I decided to make two smaller turtles instead of one big one. Everything seemed to be going fine but after letting the turtles rise, their eyes fell off. If you decide to give this a try, you really have to stick them in there good… and before the bread rises. After sticking the eyes back in their heads deflated and deformed and had to be reshaped.

Next I tried to make the shell as instructed in the recipe. As soon as I touched it the shell started sinking a bit. I’m thinking if I had made the full sized turtle this part might have been a little easier. Instead of cutting into the dough as directed, I found it easier to take a table knife and make a ridge by gently pushing into the bread dough all the way around the turtle. I covered them back up and let it sit a little longer hoping they would rise up again, but they didn’t so in the oven they went.

I started to walk out of the kitchen. BANG! I jumped, the cats jumped… and the turtles jumped. Uh-oh. Note to self: don’t by cheap baking pans. Running back to the oven I immediately saw two very flat turtles and a contorted pan. I should have taken a picture. It was impressively contorted. It jumped one more time after this, but it didn’t seem like anything else could be done so I just left the turtles in there hoping they would at least taste good.

Betty Crocker recommends that you bake for 20-25 minutes. I took the turtles out after 12 minutes and they were a little well done. However, it should be noted that our oven tends to bake a little willy-nilly. Some things take 3 times as long and others take ½ as long. I’m not quite sure why but I have gotten in the habit of checking about half way through just to be safe. 

The turtles were a little dense, but tasted ok especially with honey. On the back of the flour bag there’s a recipe for honey wheat bread. I think I’ll try that next time.

Spiced Peach Puffs

Last night I made spiced peach puffs for dessert.  They aren’t really the kind of dessert we would normally choose, but they were really good!  You can find the recipe HERE.  I’ve actually wanted to try them for quite awhile but the filling calls for heavy whipping cream and I’m lactose intolerant.  I’m also allergic to soy so I wasn’t sure I’d find whipped cream that we could use… until the glorious day we stumbled upon Safeway brand whipped topping.  Free of soy and not a significant source of lactose. Hurray!

Substitutions and recommendations: 

  • This recipe makes more puffs than we could ever eat so I made half a batch and made the puffs twice as big.  I’ll probably make them the correct size next time as they rose up and then sunk back down just a little. 
  • Do make sure you scoop out the inside while they are still warm.  As they cool the inside becomes a little mushy making it harder to get out.  
  • I of course substituted the heavy cream for the whipped topping.   
  • The recipe doesn’t call for this but I sprinkled cinnamon over the top. Yum!

Note: If we were unable to find whipped cream, we were planning to use Breyer’s Lactose Free Vanilla ice cream.  I’m pretty sure this is the best vanilla ice cream ever made.  If you know me you know I’m not a big fan of vanilla, especially in ice cream, but I could eat this all day.  James even prefers it to regular ice cream!