20 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving

Is Thanksgiving going to be at your home this year?  Here are 20 tips to help you so your not so overwhelmed.


Menu Basics


Tip #1: Plan your menu!

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and you need a plan of attack! The first step? Figuring out which dishes to make this year.

Click here for the rest of the tips…


Pumpkin Pie Dip

Pumpkin Pie Dip. Photo by jonesies

Two of my favorite things: Pumpkin and Dipping.  You can’t go wrong when you put the two together in this recipe from food.com.  You have to try it!


1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin pie filling (pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2-1 teaspoon ground ginger
apple, slices


1 –    Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
2 –   Add pie filling, cinnamon, and ginger, beating well.
3 –   Cover and chill 8 hours.
4 –   Serve with gingersnaps and apple slices.

Read more…

Recipes: 7 easy Halloween treats for kids

Are you looking for simple Halloween treats to make?  Here are 7 adorable and easy treats, from baby center blog, you or your kids can make.

1. Pumpkin Rice Krispies Treats

1 PUMPKIN RICE KRISPIES TREATS 300x185 7 easy Halloween treats for kids

A few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry will make it fun and easy for the kids to decorate the classic Rice Krispies Treats with orange coloring and a fun, Jack-O-Lantern face.

2. Pumpkin and Ghost Brownie Pops

2 PUMPKIN BROWNIE POPS 300x172 7 easy Halloween treats for kids

Using a silicone brownie pop baking sheet, you can quickly take a boxed brownie mix for boring to spooky with a little frosting and candy sticks.

3. Candy Corn Kix Mix Popcorn Balls

3 POPCORN BALLS 300x173 7 easy Halloween treats for kids

Popcorn balls have never been quite so festive with the addition of gelatin to make them extra soft and gooey, along with candy corn for one sweet treat.

4. Candy Corn Dipped Marshmallow Pops

4 CANDY CORN POPS 300x199 7 easy Halloween treats for kids

Halloween treats always taste better on a stick. Using a few candy melts you can make an ordinary marshmallow a fun treat.

5. Pumpkin Spiced Hot Cocoa

5 PUMPKIN COCOA 300x199 7 easy Halloween treats for kids

Kick up the hot cocoa a notch by adding some seasonal spices. Pumpkin pie meets chocolaty goodness with this fall favorite.

6. Jack-O-Lantern Iced Brownies

6 PUMPKIN BROWNIES 300x255 7 easy Halloween treats for kids

Another fun and easy to make treat for kids to decorate with brownies cut from a cookie cutter to look like pumpkins.

7. Pumpkin Lollipop Treats

7 PUMPKINS LOLLIPOPS 300x192 7 easy Halloween treats for kids

Looking for a fun candy to share with trick-or-treaters or classroom parties? These easy lollipop treats are perfectly sized for candy wrappers and can be molded into dozens of fun Halloween shapes.

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Recipes: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

What would Halloween be without some good pumpkin treats.  Here is a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
cup chocolate chips


1   Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2   Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3   Beat in egg, pumpkin and vanilla(mixture will look slightly curdled).
4   Mix and sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, and cinnamon.
5   Add to creamed mixture and mix well.
6   Add chocolate chips and mix thoroughly.
7   Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop cookies onto ungreased baking sheet (do not crowd cookie dough, since it will spread).
8   Bake at 300 degrees around 22 to 24 minutes.
9   Remove from oven, let sit on cookie sheet for a minute or so, then place cookies on racks to cool.

Recipes: Apple Crisp

In my last post I shared our favorite recipe for Peach Pie.  This is another family favorite, Apple Crisp.  Your can substitute the apples for peaches, pie cherries or your favorite fruit.

Apple Crisp:

4 Apples peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp flour

Sprinkle Cinnamon and Nutmeg


1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup butter

3/4 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350.  Place apples, sugar, and flour in 9″ baking dish and mix together.  Combing the topping in a separate bowl and mix.  Spread the crumble mixture over the apples and bake for 35 min.

Enjoy with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.

Recipes: Peach Pie

My favorite part of Fall is the harvest.  Peaches, apples, corn yummm.  After we have bushels of peaches I always make pie.  Here is our favorite family recipe for Peach Pie.  Our families next favorite harvest dessert is Apple Crisp.  I’ll give you that recipe in the next post.

Pie Crust:

3 1/8 Cup flour

1/2 Tbsp. salt

1 1/4 Cup shortening

Mix together until it forms small peas.

Then take :

2 1/2 cup of the mix above and add:

1/4 Cup ice water

1 egg

1 Tbsp white vinegar

Barely mix until just moist (this will keep the crust flakey, the more you mix the tougher it gets )

Divide the dough into 2 parts.  Roll out dough and place into a lightly greased pie dish.  You can also carefully roll the pastry around the rolling pin and then “unroll” it into the dish, it’s less likely to break this way.

Then add the pie filling from below.  Now roll out you second piece of dough and place carefully on top of your pie.  Dampen the top edge of the base with a very small amount of water to help join the two layers before laying on the dough and then I use a fork to push the edges together.
Cut vent holes.  Bake at 425 30- 45 min. or until it bubbles and the crust is brown.

Peach Pie Filling:

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons butterStir dry ingredients together.
Sprinkle peaches with lemon juice and almond extract.
Add dry ingredients and toss gently to mix.

Enjoy hot with a dollop of whipped cream.  Delicious!

Recipes: Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie

These are whole wheat cookies, but you’d never know it.  They are soft and chewy like a chocolate chip cookie should be.

~Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie~

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons  honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon  cider vinegar
1 large egg (I use ener-g egg replacer)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
2 cups  chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°:F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.To prepare the dough:In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, honey, vanilla, and salt till smooth. Beat in the vinegar, egg, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the flour, then the chocolate chips, mixing JUST till combined. Drop the dough, by tablespoonfuls, onto the prepared baking sheets. A tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.To bake the cookies: Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, until they’re starting to brown around the edges. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

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