Monday, November 30, 2009

Gingerbread House

I thought it would be fun to construct a gingerbread house this holiday season. I've never done it before so while Sierra was over at the house, I decided to put her to work as my assistant.
Oh, the gingerbread dough smelled soooo good! It took all I had not to shove a big ole hunk of it right in my mouth. Have I ever told you about my strange love and weakness for dough? Biscuit dough, cookie dough, cake batter, cornbread batter, any kind of dough, any kind of batter...I love it all. I know it may sound nasty but I've eaten that stuff all my life. My mama tried to stop me by telling me it would give me worms. Do you think that stopped me? HA! Ask my husband. He thinks I've lost my mind when he walks into the kitchen and sees me with a mouth full of biscuit dough. Anyway...moving on.
I found a basic gingerbread house template on the Internet and used it to cut out all the pieces.
After baking the gingerbread, I let it sit over night on the counter so it would be nice and hard when it was time to construct our house.
Once the house was standing (after a few bumps and hiccups), Mrs. Marilyn, Sierra, and I had so much fun adding all the extras. Let me tell ya, the creativity was a flowing in that kitchen! We were squealing and giggling like little girls over our ideas.Garrett wanted to get his hands on that house some kinda bad! He spent most of his time down by our feet like a little vulture waiting for any candy that we dropped.
A little "snow" on top for the finishing touch.
Isn't it darling?!?!
We had a blast putting this gingerbread house together. However, I have asked my mother-in-law to pop me upside my head if I try to attempt this again next year. Whew!

New Moon

Saturday afternoon, Sierra and I donned our Twilight shirts, howled at the moon, and then headed over to Wilmington to catch the matinee viewing of New Moon, the second instalment of the Twilight saga. She and I are both "Twihards" and there's no one else I'd rather experience the movie with than her. She understands the drama between Bella, Edward, and Jacob. She understands how awesome vampires and werewolves are.
She and I see eye to eye on these matters.
I can't wait til the next movie.
Sierra, next time let's wear glitter so we sparkle. YEAH!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pumpkin Roll

We love pumpkin desserts, especially this time of year. Pumpkin pie is definitely Justin's favorite but I'd say pumpkin roll is a close second. It has a cream cheese filling and a bit more sugar than the pumpkin pie but, hey, it's the holidays!
Cake Ingredients:
3 eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup pumpkin (canned or fresh), 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp cinnamon
Mix eggs and sugar well; add pumpkin.
I like to give my dry ingredients a good sift to get out any lumps.
Fold in dry ingredients.
(Please notice the lovely scar on my right wrist.
You can read about that story here.)
Pour onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I find this works better than just a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
Once it's baked and warm right out of the oven, loosen from parchment paper, lay on towel, and roll it up. Set it aside until it's cooled completely.

Filling Ingredients:
1 8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature), 4 tbs butter (room temperature), 1 cup powder sugar, 1tsp vanilla
Mix together filling ingredients; add vanilla.
Unroll cooked pumpkin roll and spread on all that glorious, delicious filling.
Roll it up as tight as possible, wrap in parchment paper and foil, then place pumpkin roll into the freezer.
I serve it right out of the freezer. We find that texture more appealing than room temperature. Sometimes I sift a little powdered sugar on top to make it all perdy but since it already has 2 cups of sugar in it, I opted to skip those extra calories ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You

I would just like to say thank you to all our veterans past and present who have served our wonderful country. There's one United States Marine I'm especially proud of today who was recently awarded Rookie Recruiter of the Year. It was none other than my big brother, Staff Sergeant Toby J. Cascioli!
I am so very proud of you and honored to have you as a brother. I love you Chee-Chay!
Happy Veteran's Day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Six Years

Justin and I celebrated our 6th year of marriage this past Sunday.
Mindy kept Garrett for us so we could have lunch together. We wanted to try some place new, something romantic. When lunch time rolled around, it was rainy, cold, and we were starving. At that moment, we weren't feeling very adventurous. So, we went to good ole Outback Steakhouse. It never disappoints.
After lunch, we rode to the mall so I could pick out my gift :)
Before heading back, we stopped at Cold Stone for a sweet treat.
I feel so very lucky
to have you in my life.
I've never been more happy
than the day I became your wife.
Garrett is the proof
on how well we work together.
I thank God every single day
that you'll be in my life forever.
Happy Anniversary!

Pumpkin Carving

Believe it or not, I've never carved a pumpkin. I'm sure my parents carved pumpkins with us kids growing up but I can't remember ever doing it on my own. Garrett and I thought his pumpkin needed a little personality so we decided to give it a shot.
I drew on the face and Garrett scooped out the seeds. Well, he "helped" me scoop out the seeds.
I tried getting him to stick his hand down in there to pull all that stringy mush and seeds out. HE DID NOT LIKE THAT STUFF ON HIS HANDS!
Garrett loved "talking" to his pumpkin once he was completed and all lit up.
I had so much fun doing this with my boy. I think we'll have to make it a tradition.
Garrett-O-Lantern 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Justin and I thought it would be fun to take Garrett to the pumpkin patch this year so he could pick out his own pumpkin.
He loves balls and anything that resembles them so he had a blast walking around touching and picking up all the pumpkins.
I liked the itty bitty pumpkins. They were so cute and I thought Garrett would like them also because he could easily hold them. I was wrong.
Daddy knew better. Garrett much preferred the bigger pumpkins.
Garrett says, "Ahh yes, THIS is the one!"