Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mumified Oreos ~ Perfect for a Pumpkin’s 1st Birthday

Is this not the most precious face you have ever seen!?


I can’t believe this little pumpkin is turning ONE today!  This is my best friend’s little pumpkin that lit up everybody’s world on Halloween last year!  Her mommy planned a super-special first birthday party for her.  We all had a great time!

I helped her momma with a super special treat for the party….Mumified Oreos.  You can Google, or search Pinterest and see many versions of these, but today we are going to show you how we did it. :0)


We started by twisting apart the Oreos and putting two “cream sides” together…with a stick in the middle. (If we had thought about it, we would have just bought double stuffed Oreos)


Jamie was in charge of the chocolate dipping.  After we had the Oreo on a stick, Jamie covered the entire Oreo with white chocolate (delicious!).



Next, I had some white chocolate in a Ziploc bag.  I cut a little end of the bag and used it like a piping bag to pipe the “mummy wrap” onto the top of the mummy.


And finally, we had a little helper that added the candy eyes to the mummies.  (Jamie found the eyes at Walmart of all places!)


They turned out so super cute….and they were delicious too!



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Warm Home = A Happy Wife

Since Nasty Sandy and the Nor’easter have blown through, the temps around here in Georgia have gotten down right chilly!  I can’t stand to be cold, so I was glad to have some firewood on hand to warm the home.

Oh yeah….and “Having a Fire”was on my bucket list too!  (perfect timing)


* Side note – I went ahead and marked “carved a pumpkin” off the list since it is the one bucket list item that we won’t get accomplished this year.  There was just so much going on in October that we had to prioritize….pumpkin carving had to go.

fire 1fire 2fire 3fire 4

I have the best Hubs….and he makes the BEST fires!  (the pics above and below were AFTER we turned off the gas starter….he rocks!)

fire 5

Of course as soon as the fire was rolling, I was sitting right in front of it sucking up all the heat (I learned that from my momma :0) !

I hope you are all enjoying some cozy warm fires with your family too and staying warm!!


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Monday, October 29, 2012

Caramel Apple Cake

Well, I guess it is time I break down the walls and show you something we tried that was a fail…not an epic fail, but not a success either.  I actually made this recipe way back in September when we went to the apple farm, but I was not going to share it because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.  I finally decided that it still tasted delicious, so I just needed to get over myself and share it with you!  So here goes…


Caramel Apple Cake

Original Recipe Adapted from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs

Make each part in the order as follows:

    Caramel Sauce

    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup whipping cream
    • ½ cup butter (do not use margarine)

    Apple Mix

    • 3 apples 
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ½ tsp cinnamon

    Caramel Cake

    • ½ cup butter
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 cups flour
    • 4 tsp baking powder
    • 1 cup milk
    • ¼ to ⅓ cup Caramel Sauce (I used ⅓ cup)


    Caramel Sauce


    1. Make the caramel sauce first so it has time to cool to room temperature.
    2. In a sauce pan melt the butter, then add the brown sugar and whipping cream.
    3. Stir over low heat until the sauce thickens.
    4. Set aside to cool (or put it in the fridge to cook quickly).

    Apple Mix


    1. Peel and cut up the apples into small chunks (about 1cm cubes).
    2. Add sugar and cinnamon to the apples, and mix well.
    3. Let rest for at least 15 minutes, stirring often so the sugar turns kind of syrupy.
    4. Set aside, it’s time to make the cake batter.

    Caramel Cake

    1. Prepare a Bundt pan with butter and flour, or a cooking spray like Pam. Set aside. (This is where I messed up, royally!  As you see, my cake lost a third of the top that was still stuck in the pan…boo!) 
    2. In a mixer beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
    3. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well.
    4. Add vanilla.
    5. In a separate bowl combine flour and baking powder.
    6. To the butter mixture, add the flour mix in 3 parts, alternating with the milk. So add ⅓ of the flour mix, half of the milk, ⅓ of the flour mix, the rest of the milk, the rest of the flour. Mix well.
    7. Add ¼ to ⅓ cup of the cooled caramel sauce. Mix well.
    8. Put half of the cake batter into the Bundt pan, covering the bottom of the pan.
    9. Give the apple mixture one final stir, and add to the cake in a layer covering the first layer of batter.


    10.  Cover the apples with the other half of the batter.

    11. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

    12.  Set the cake aside to cool for at least 10 minutes, then remove from the pan onto a serving plate.

    Putting the Caramel Cake all together:

    1. After you have removed the caramel cake from the pan, wait until the cake has cooled before serving.
    2. Drizzle the cake with some of the remaining caramel sauce!


    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    Fall Bucket List ~ Petite Le Mans


    Yep, here comes one more bucket list post :0).  Every year, for the past 14 years, I have gone to the Petite Le Mans 10 hour race at Road Atlanta...And this year was no exception.  For those of you that don’t know, I spent pretty much my entire childhood at Road Atlanta.  My dad raced, my mom worked rescue, and my grandfather ran the radios at each race.  I loved being at the track, learning about the cars from my dad, learning the hand signals and meaning of all the flags from the rescue workers, and being grandpa’s little helper.  This is all a true story. :0)  I am glad that my Hubs has a love and passion for cars too (honestly, I am glad he doesn’t race, because that would tear my nerves up) and that we can share this love together.

    Two years ago we lost my amazing grandpa to cancer, and every weekend, when the wind blows just right, and we can hear the race cars from Road Atlanta, I feel like it is really grandpa’s whispers from heaven.  That year we lost him, I almost couldn’t go to the track for the Petite, but I did and it rained the entire time.  It was the worst weather of all 15 years.  Last year it was incredibly cold and I got sick…so I only went for the first half of the day.  But this year, dad was in town, the weather was perfect, and I took a personal day to enjoy the race.  Year 15 was the best year so far!

    I hope you enjoy the pictures!

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    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Fall Bucket List ~ Yummy Pumpkin Recipe

    Yep – we are still working on that Fall Bucket List at the Carver house :0).  I have a guilty pleasure and it is pumpkin!  I love just about ANYTHING with pumpkin in it.  It just screams fall to me.  So of course I had “make a yummy pumpkin recipe” on the bucket list.


    As I was on the hunt for something new and different to make with pumpkin this year, I got a blog post in my GoogleReader from My Blessed Life.  I love all of Myra’s recipes and her project gallery always gets my creative mo-jo going, that’s why I subscribe to her blog.  Anyways, she has this awesome recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and I figured I would give them a try.  They turned out soooo delicious!  Hubs and Dad ate them up like they were going out of style :0).


    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Original Recipe from My Blessed Life

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    3/4 cup sugar
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1 egg, beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup canned pumpkin
    1/2 cup
    mini chocolate chips

    In a medium bowl, combine first four ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl, cream sugars and butter. Add egg, vanilla and pumpkin; beat well. Gradually mix in flour mixture on low speed of mixer. Stir in chocolate chips.

    Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container.

    Special Additional Note:  You only use a small amount of a can of pumpkin to make this recipe.  If you have a dog around your house, did you know that pumpkin is good for them?!  They love it too!  It helps regulate their bowels and is good for their tummy.  Harley and Willow finished off our can of pumpkin for us, one spoonful per day. :0)  ** Just make sure it is PURE pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling. **


    Friday, October 26, 2012

    Fall Bucket List ~ Corn Maze Face-Off

    We are still rockin’ and rollin’ on marking things off our fall bucket list.


    One of the best traditions we started a couple of years ago was Hubs vs. Wives in the Corn Maze.  Wives are 0 and 4, but after we invest in some headlamps, ditch the noisy necklaces, and get on our running shoes, we know we are gonna kick Hubs butt next year! 


    We were so close and almost had them this year, but it doesn’t matter because we had loads of fun!


    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Fall Bucket List ~ Mule Camp Market

    Hubs and I are well on our way to marking things off our 2012 Fall Bucket List.  One of the may things that was on our list this year was a visit to Mule Camp Market.


    “The City of Gainesville or Mule Camp Springs as it was once known, hosts this rich Appalachian festival at the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. This festival showcases various mountain arts and crafts. The family can enjoy mule rides, live music, and great food, while the kids enjoy the petting zoo and many other activities.” (source)

    I just love walking through Mule Camp and aweing over all the hand-made items in the booths, while Hubs loves saying, “we could make that”.  :0)


    We had fun enjoying all the booths, walking over the fancy new bridge in our little small town, having Brad’s Burgers for lunch, and picking up some special art for our basement!




    We even found some inspiration for a 2Dog Dog House!


    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Crock Pot Cheeseburger Soup

    Y’all know I love anything I can put in the crock pot.  I also love any kind of hearty soup, Hubs loves anything with meat and cheese, and it was a cool day so why not try this recipe. 

    I found this recipe through Pinterest, on the Living Life of Riley Blog and I must say that I was uber-impressed with Nikki’s on-the-fly creation skills in this recipe.  I wish I could just pull randomness out of my freezer and create something this delicious! 


    Crock Pot Cheeseburger Soup (adapted from Living Life of Riley)


    • 1 lb of ground beef
    • 1 container of Philadelphia Cooking Crème – Garlic Flavor
    • 1 bag Ore Ida Hashbrowns
    • 1 Velveeta cheese 8 oz stick
    • 1 chicken broth stock (32 oz)
    • 1 small onion, diced

    Brown the ground beef with the diced onion.  Place the hashbrowns in the crockpot, then the ground beef, then the chicken stock and cooking crème, and finally dice up the Velveeta stick and mix it all together.  Cook on high for 4 – 5 hours, stirring occasionally.  I served it with French’s Fried Onions on top – delicious!

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    Cheap Sweetness ~ A Flashback

    Do you remember those sweet mixed-tapes that your letter-jacket-wearing-boyfriend would make for you back in the day?  They were always so sweet with all the mushy love songs that would make you cry and tell all your girlfriends about what an awesome guy you had and would never let go…

    AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative WorksPhoto (some rights reserved) by Ani-Bee

    Well, I decided to try a much more up-to-date version of the  mixed tape to show the hubs how amazing he is to me.  I started by jumping over to YouTube and hunting down some of those classic songs that remind me of the Hubs.

    Here is my final playlist – I tried to make the final playlist about 30 minutes long to last for the duration of his ride to work.


    How did you get these songs off YouTube and saved as an MP3, you ask??  Well, I found this post on Pinterest and thought it was too good to be true….but it really worked!!


    Um…THANK YOU!  I am not sure if it is totally ethical or not, but I am not selling or even handing out the songs, I am only using them for this one little purpose of cheering up my hubby.  If I am wrong, I will come back and take down this post quickly…but until then….

    So once I had all my MP3’s on a flash drive (because our new Kia accepts flash drive content – whoop whoop!) I had to find the perfect time to sneak down and get the car all set up.


    I put the flash drive in place and set the car on the USB-flash drive mode, so that as soon as Hubs turned on the car, the songs would start playing.


    Then I put this sweet little note on the wheel so he knew why his typical morning playlist had been sabotaged! Smile 



    I can imagine the smile on his face as he thinks about all these songs and where we were, what we were doing, and the memories we were making the first time we heard them together.

    $$$ Cost of this cheap sweetness – nada, zilch, ZERO dollars!  Gotta Love it!

    Update:  If I had known that the flash drive content would show up on his radio monitor with the words exactly how I saved it, I would have tried to think of something sweet, cute, or a memory to save each song as so that it would show up on his screen as the song played.  Just one more little touch to make it more personal.  Unfortunately, I was setting this up at the last minute.  Oh well, I will save it for next time!

    Monday, October 22, 2012

    Fall Bucket List ~ Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

    One of my favorite things about fall and the cooler weather, is all the yummy chili recipes that I can try!  One thing on my bucket list was to make a hearty chili and I was determined to step away from my go-to recipe and find something new to try.  This Cream Cheese Chicken Chili was so delicious that it has officially bumped my old go-to chili recipe off it’s 5 year podium!


    Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (recipe from Yummy Healthy Easy):

    • 1 can black beans
    • 1 can corn, undrained
    • 1 can Rotel, undrained
    • 1 package ranch dressing mix
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • 1 8-oz package light cream cheese
    • 2 chicken breasts

    This chili makes the best leftovers and even freezes good.


    Drain and rinse the black beans. Place your chicken at the bottom of the crock pot, then pour out the whole can of corn (undrained), Rotel tomatoes, and black beans on top of chicken.


    Top with seasonings and ranch dressing mix. Stir together. Place cream cheese on top (see picture above). Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours.


    Before serving, use two forks to shred the chicken and stir in the cream cheese.  Serve warm, even a dollop of sour cream on top is tasty!