Thursday, October 8, 2009

A few of my favorite things...

There are two things I love about fall.  Well, okay, there are MORE than that, but there are two major things that give me warm fuzzies about this time of year...  Number one is decorating my house, and number two is baking our family's amazing pumpkin bread cake.  I thought I'd give you a digital tour of our home, and end with the recipe you've all been waiting for!  The only catch- you have to let me know if you make the pumpkin bread and how you liked it!

The weather has just been perfect for getting in the mood for fall, and I spent lots of time last week setting the mood around here!

I just love decorating our mantel.  I do it for almost every season, but fall and Christmas are my favorites.  I love to put lights among the foliage and shut all the other lights off but a couple of lamps.  Most evenings Craig and I can usually be found relaxing on the couch watching our DVR'd shows and enjoying the "mood" lighting!

This was another favorite purchase this year.  I found these adorable little pumpkin holders at a specialty shop in Clear Lake recently and just couldn't pass them up.  I knew they'd be perfect for adding to the fall fun around here!

Have you ever seen anything so cute!? Lol!

Recently I spray painted this little table for Andrew.  It used to be white on top with light wood around the edges- got it for $7 at a consignment shop and just gave it a makeover!  It fits perfect in the little corner of our kitchen so Andrew can sit and play, color, etc.  He loves his little "spot!"  We eat family dinners at the table together, but he enjoys having snacks here sometimes!

I used chocolate brown chalkboard paint just on the backs of both chairs so I could write Andrew's name on one chair and the names of his little friends that come over on the other one!

My mom got these beautiful place mats for me for my birthday this year and I just love them on my new table.  The colors are so rich.  I love fall colors- my house is even painted in fall colors!

 This is one of my favorite decorations- the shoes of the "wicked witch!"  I absolutely love the Wizard of Oz.  Every year I used to read the book aloud to my class and the kids would do a fun writing project, where they had to invent a new character from Oz.  Then I would create an elaborate Yellow Brick Road display on the bulletin board and we would always have a literature celebration by watching the movie as an ending to the unit.  The day we watched the movie, I would always bring these to school and stick them out from under my desk!  They were a hit!  The kids loved it and it was always fun seeing their faces when they walked in the classroom!

This is our dining room table.  I love to decorate this table and the hurricane candle holder for the seasons (mainly Christmas and fall again!)  At Christmas I fill it up with big Christmas ball ornaments.  I am still planning to fill it with little pumpkins and other fall decorations, but haven't found just the right things yet.

I like to use this little holder for candy on trick or treat the meantime I fill it with fall napkins until the big night! I promised, I have the most delicious fall recipe for you all!  Our famous pumpkin bread cake!  This is by far, the most delicious pumpkin bread you'll ever taste!
You'll need a huge can of pumpkin. Yummy!  We use the big jar to make it extra moist! (29oz)

And here is the long awaited recipe:

Pumpkin Bread Cake 

3 C. Sugar
1 C. oil
4 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. pumpkin spice
2/3 C Water
1 29oz can Pumpkin
3 1/3 C Flour
2 tsp Soda

Mix flour and soda in separate bowl.  Mix other ingredients together in a large bowl and add flour and soda mixture.  Now you have your batter- SOOOO yummy!  And super easy!  
From here, you can get creative.
You can fill bread pans like this:

  The batter will fill 4 pans this size, but only fill them up 1/3 full or it won't get done in the middle.
You can also fill smaller pans of any size.
You can make cupcakes and frost with cream cheese frosting.
Pretty much anything goes!  Experiment.  You won't be disappointed!

This little man wasn't!

He was waiting patiently for the bread to bake!  He kept saying "pumpkin bread?  Pumpkin bread?"

You just bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees (I do all 4 loaves at once for 30 minutes).  I just check with a toothpick.  I like it a little less done (more moist this way) but you can bake till the toothpick comes clean- whichever you prefer.  If you do cupcakes or smaller bread pans, you'll want to cut the time down though.  Don't overbake.
And, Wallah!  The finished product.  I bake 2-3 batches at a time and wrap in aluminum foil.  I keep them refrigerated and stash the rest in the freezer so I can just pull them out when one loaf runs out!  I could live on this stuff!

I hope you enjoyed the fall festivities!  If you aren't signed up to get email notices, it is even easier now- just look on the left sidebar and enter your email.  Feedburner will send you an email, which you have to activate by clicking the link they send you.  After that you're all set!  Just a side note- it'll email you my post in email format so to see the fun blog design and to have access to the links and things I post in my sidebar, you'll have to visit the actual blog.  When you get the email, there will be a link at the top to just click and it'll take you straight here!  No signing in!  I hear people are liking it better than the care page!  We just miss your comments.  Let us know you were here by becoming a follower (right sidebar), or leaving a comment.  We treasure your comments!

Happy Fall!


The Carter's said...

Your house looks beautiful Jen! I love it!!

I'm going to try the pumpkin bread and I'll let you know how it turns out. We're going to the pumpkin patch this weekend and have to take a side dish or dessert, and I just may take your famous pumpkin bread! :)

Big Heart Hugs,

Stefenie said...

Hey Jen! LOVE the decorating! I am sure that Andrew is pretty busy checking them all out!

Thanks for the pumpkin bread recipe. Can't wait to try it!! I'll keep you posted how it turns out.

Stefenie, Ryan, Wyatt and Logan Jacks

Anonymous said...

This is a really random comment because you have no idea who I am, but I occasionally look at your blog because it's linked on the blog of a friend of mine (Susie Berger).

I read your blog and had to try your pumpkin bread recipe immediately and just had to let you know that it's delicious!!! It was so simple- had everything in the house- and makes a great amount. I now have delicious pumpkin muffins, mini pumpkin loafs, and some pumpkin bread to share with my family who are visiting this weekend!

Your holiday decorations are darling, your son is beautiful, and your pumpkin bread is delicious! :)

God Bless.

The Carter's said...

Made the pumpkin bread today for our pumpkin patch was DELICIOUS!! Everyone loved it! It made WAY more than I thought it would, which is a great surprise. I drizzled cream cheese icing on the bread....oh my! :) Yummo! :)

Olivia said...

Ok, LOVE your house..LOVE the Halloween Decor! It makes me want to go out and buy MORE for my house. LOL! Thanks so much for sharing the pumpkin bread recipe. Can't wait to try it.. YUMMMY!

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