Happy Halloween!


Creepy picture of Brittany...weird.

What are you going to be for Halloween this year? My son has decided to be the Grim Reaper, which I bought for him almost new at a yard sale for only $3. My daughter is either going to be a witch (like her friends) or a peacock (which we got on clearance after Halloween last year). I would normally dress up but it is frigid here this year so I think I am just going to be a very cold mom walking around.

Here is a picture of the kids at Halloween last year…

Brittany decided to be a gypsy and Josh was a bank robber. We had all of the costumes except for the mask Josh is wearing and it was $1.00. As you can see, we don’t spend a lot on Halloween costumes.

Have a safe and fun Halloween and I hope you get all your favorite candy while Trick-or-Treating!

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls…

I whipped these up Monday morning before heading off to the dentist to get my tooth fixed. From start to finish, it was about an hour, which is pretty good for cinnamon rolls. I didn’t use my bread machine or mixer – just a bowl and hefty wooden spoon. It feels good to make some things completely by hand – to kneed the dough yourself and know that you made this without any machinery (excluding the oven).

I toned down the pumpkin the filling since I knew my kids would be eating these and too much pumpkin can turn them off. I don’t plan on even telling them that there is pumpkin in these. This makes about 12 cinnamon rolls, so I am going to take the prettier pan to the my ladies bible study tomorrow. It will be a nice suprise treat for everyone!

On another note, I didn’t make the icing from scratch. I had Duncan Hines vanilla frosting in the fridge so I just threw a little in the microwave for 10 seconds and then drizzled it over the top.

Quick Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls


  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • ⅓ cups Vegetable Oil
  • 1 whole Egg
  • ½ cups Pumpkin Puree
  • 4-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • ⅔ cups Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ cups Brown Sugar
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-½ cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl add warm water, yeast, sugar, and oil and stir together. Allow to set for 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbles start to form. Then stir in egg and pumpkin. Add 2 cups of flour and combine. Add salt and 1 more cup of flour. Stir until a soft dough forms and starts to pull away from sides of bowl. Add additional flour if needed.

Pour dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding flour as needed until dough is soft and smooth but no longer sticky. Allow dough to rest for about 5 minutes.

Roll dough out into a rectangle shape – about 12 x 15 inches.

Make the filling: In a medium sized bowl mix together the butter and pumpkin puree until smooth. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon filling over the top of the dough and spread into a thin, even layer. Sprinkle brown and white sugars evenly over the pumpkin mixture.

Starting from a long side of the rectangle, carefully roll up dough, pinching the edges to seal. Using a sharp knife (I like to use my bread knife) cut the roll into 1 1/2 inch slices. Place onto a greased cake pan, pie plate or other baking dish.

Bake for 25 minutes or until rolls are cooked through and lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla and milk, mixing until smooth.

When rolls are done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool just a bit. Pour icing over the warm cinnamon rolls, gently spreading to cover the rolls.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 16 rolls (or 12 if you cut them bigger like I do!)

Menu Plan Monday 10/29/2012

Can you believe it is already Halloween? Where has the Fall gone? I thought we just put the kids on the bus and then here we are giving out candy and dressing up in costumes. That means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are not far behind!! AAGGHHH!!

Dinner Menu Plan

Sunday: Chicken Pot Pie

Monday: (Crockpot) Beef Stew and Cornbread

Tuesday: (Crockpot) Chicken and Dressing (using leftover cornbread from Monday)

Wednesday: Halloween Pizza Party in the ‘hood (love free pizza with all the cute neighborhood kids!)

Thursday: Chicken Quesadillas and Rice

Friday: Fried Catfish, Rosemary Potatoes, Something green ??

Saturday: Spaghetti and Meatballs and Salad with Garlic Bread

Ghoul Scout Camping..

Brittany and I loaded up the minivan on Saturday morning with tents, sleeping bags, pillows and 3 more girls and another adult and headed to Ghoul Scout Camping. It was one day and night of creepy fun including making feathered masks and spider hair barrets, pumpkin carving, relay races, archery, canoeing and a creepy scare trail through the woods (which yours truly did not go on, I stayed behind with one of the girls).

This weekend was wonderful even though I hit two small speed bumps. We had only been at camp for about an hour when lunch time hit. I was eating when I felt something different and realized that I had broken my tooth. This the the second time I have broken a tooth and both times happened when I was eating a sandwich. Yes, a normal soft bread sandwich. Not jawbreakers or milk duds or taffy but just a turkey sandwich. Fortunately, it did not hurt and except for feeling a hole where part of my tooth used to be, it did not slow us down.

Then Sunday morning my iPhone got wet and refused to power on. I had it in my backback near a bottle of water and did not realize that the cap the water had not been properly screwed on to the bottle. So, I went to retrieve my phone and found it dripping wet. I am not exactly sure how long it had been that way but not more than 2 hours since that was the last time I had used it. I immediately took it out of it’s case and dried it off as best I could. When I got home and googled wet iPhones, I found advice on how to dry it out. It is currently sitting in a tupperware bowl of rice. The advice I have been given is to let it dry out there for 24-48 hours and then see what happens. The funny part is that I won’t be able to call the dentist about having my tooth looked at. Ironic.

Speaking of irony, there is a funny story about the picture shown above. The girls did pumpkin carving with a dad who had come camping with his daughter. As they are cutting open their pumpkins, he is telling them about slicing off his finger with a knife. Not once but twice. The same finger. The good part of the story is that the first time, the hospital sewed the finger on crooked but the second time he cut it off, they sewed it on straight. He also helped build the campfire and told our girls a story of his father-in-law setting him on fire twice. No joke. I am not sure this is the guy I want to teach our girl scouts about knife and fire safety.

There were dozens of really great things that happened to offset the few bad ones. I really loved spending time with Brittany and her Girl Scout friends. It is so important that these girls have time with women at this critical age where they are on the verge of womanhood themselves. They need to see that they are capable of handling things themselves – like paddling a canoe across a cove of the lake without an adult in the boat. They also need to see how to work together as a team – like putting up a tent or setting up camp. And how to be creative – our girls came up with a dance routine and a song to perform at the “Macabaret” Saturday night with very little notice or prompting.

It was also so sweet to hear the girls up giggling and laughing well past lights out time. I smiled as I thought back to my own years at slumber parties with my friends. These will be memories that she treasures as she grows up. And I am glad that I can be a part of making those happen for her. Even though I broke a tooth, maybe lost an iPhone, got very little sleep and froze my petunia off, I wouldn’t trade these memories with Brittany for anything.


Menu Plan Monday 10/8/2012 (on Tuesday)

Sorry I am late this week but at least late is better than never, which was the case last week. The days get so busy that I don’t take the time to come on here and say hello. This week is more of a normal pace with football on Monday and Thursday and camping on Friday night. That leaves Tuesday and Wednesday free and open. Except that I might take the kids to the Cumming Fair on one of those nights. We always seem to have something going on around here!

I am trying to clean out the fridge, freezer, pantry and crispier drawer this week. I don’t like it when I see food not being eaten that I have bought. So, the kids are having some unusual school snacks and lunches but I figure that makes life interesting.

Dinner Menu Plan

Sunday: Lasagna and Biscuits (we went to the pumpkin patch so I thawed out a lasagna that I made a few weeks ago – I love freezer meals!)

Monday: Leftover Lasagna and Biscuits (football practice)

Tuesday: Oven Baked Tilapia, Macaroni & Cheese, Roasted Asparagus

Wednesday: Baked Chicken Fingers, Rice, Broccoli

Thursday: Unbelievable Grilled Chicken, Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Parsnips

Friday: (Crockpot) Salsa Chicken and Chips (Cub Scout camping)

Saturday: BBQ, Beans and Salad (Cub Scout camping)


I was surfing through the blogosphere last week and came across this recipe here. Please check out her pictures, they do this dessert justice. This has the flavors of fall with all the delight of sugar. Caramel. Nuts. Chocolate. A butt load of brown sugar. And even though they have 1 1/2 sticks of butter in them, I did sample a very small bite. But I wish that I hadn’t since now I know how good and gooey they are and it makes me want more. Good thing I am packaging them up this afternoon to go out into the world. My daughter’s 5th grade teacher’s birthday is tomorrow and I bake this treat for her. Not knowing exactly what her favorite flavor is, this bar seemed to fit since it has so many choices. And if she is a healthy nut, it has oatmeal in it – because having oatmeal in it makes it healthy, right?? Go make these but don’t blame me if you slip into a sugar coma. These are that good.


  • 32 caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream. Stir until completely smooth and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Take half of this mixture and press into the bottom of an 8×8 pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the crust. Carefully pour the caramel mixture over the chocolate chips. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel.
  5. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
Tiffany’s notes: This is the original recipe but of course, I tweaked it. I had caramel dip that I subbed instead of melting the caramels with heavy cream. I also sprinkled about 1/4 cup of walnuts over the mixture before putting the oatmeal crumbles on top.