29 September 2008

Book Club Dessert Recipe

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Tonight is Book Club night and we are to bring dessert. In honor of fall, I decided to make Applesauce Spice Cake. I was inspired by a recipe found on Cherry Hill Cottage but mine is slightly different.

Excuse the date on the pictures... I put in fresh batteries and forgot to enter in the current date!



Applesauce Spice Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
3 eggs
1/2 c oil (did you notice the antique measuring cup? It belonged to my grandmother!)
1 1/4 c applesauce
1/2 c chopped nuts (I used black walnuts that my FIL gave me!)

Blend all ingredients together in a mixing bowl by beating on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl and beat 30 seconds more. Pour into 2 round pans that have been prepared with shortening and flour. Bake at 350 for 38-40 minutes. Let cool. Frost with your favorite vanilla frosting to which 1/2 t cinnamon has been added.

I used unsweetened applesauce since the cake mix is already sweetened. This makes a rich cake that only needs frosting in the middle and on top!



26 September 2008

Update!

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It has been a long while since I lasted posted. Let me tell you what I have been doing.....

Doctor's Appointments!

I have been to the ER twice since Labor Day, both times with excruiating stomach cramps and the last time with extreme vomiting. Not a pretty site.

With all the bloodwork, xrays, sonograms, and CT scans, you'd think I would have an answer to all of this but no. Those fun, lovely tests produced nothing in the way of a diagnosis, but hey, at least there isn't anything seriously wrong (at least for now!)

I have another doctor's appointment on Tuesday to go over the results of the last CT scan. I'll keep you posted (get it?)

14 September 2008

Fall Weddings

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A wedding in the fall is almost as fun as a birthday in the fall!

Yesterday Bob, Eric, Ashley and I attended the wedding of our neighbor boy, Travis and his wife, Katelyn, who I had (as a student) in the fourth grade! Such a beautiful couple!

We are also invited to another fall wedding at a winery at the Lake. That one is in October and of course, you will see pictures of that one, too!

07 September 2008

A Food Challenge and new (for me) blog!

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I have just discovered Gayle at The Grocery Cart Challenge. She is having a recipe swap that looks like fun! You need to check out her blog! She can do amazing things with $50!

Here is my recipe to contribute to the swap:

Pumpkin Bread!

2 c all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c applesauce
2 T olive oil
1 T vanilla extract
2 large eggs beaten
1 c canned pumpkin (not the pie mix)
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 t allspice

Heat oven to 350 and grease and flour a loaf pan (9 by 3"). Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Then in another bowl, mix together the sugar, appleseauce, oil and vanilla. Beat in eggs and then using a large spoon, mix in the pumpkin. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until everything is combined. Pour into loaf pan. Bake about 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the bread cool a bit before trying to remove it from the pan. Run a knife around the edge first, too.

You can make apple bread by substituting 1 cup of chunky applesauce, or banana bread by substituting 1 1/2 c mashed ripe bananas. You can also add 1/4 to 1/2 c of chopped walnuts, too.

I love this recipe because you have most of the stuff at home already PLUS if you are getting pumpkin at 50 cents a can like Gayle did, this is a very inexpensive bread!

1/8th of the loaf is 200 calories, 4 g of fat, 4 g protein, and 38 g of carbs: or so I have been told!

Tailgating Season!

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The University of Missouri had its season opener yesterday and as usual, we were there bright and early to set up our tailgate party. The University has decided to take away all the free parking on campus and convert it to paid parking and most of it requires a donation to the athletic department in order to buy into it. We knew about this change in advance, and had scouted out some possibilities.

One was on the upper level of a parking garage. We both thought it would still work to set up in the sun and the view from the top is fabulous. So we packed the car and drove into Columbia. When we arrived at the parking garage, there was a sign at all the entrances that said: NO BBQ GRILLS. WHAT????

We sat there for a moment, not really knowing what we wanted to do. We decided to drive around and see what other people were doing. Stadium Road was already lined up on both sides with cars with little to no room to set up a party. We drove around Reactor Field, no free parking.

So reluctantly we went back to the garage. We knew we had enough food for the day without grilling the yummy brats we had with us, but heck, we wanted brats.

We had a good time but it was sure different. Eric, his brother Evan, his sister Elise, Elise's friend Allison and the two of us were there. Ashley had to work. So we ate summer sausage and cheese, cherries, grapes, chips, homemade hummus, carrot sticks, pretzel crackers, black olives and cookies.

The Tigers won!

02 September 2008

A little Fall decorating...

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Melissa at the Inspired Room (see blog roll) has challenged us to participate in a Fall Nesting Week this week, and since I am all about being inspired, I thought I would participate! She asked us to share our fall ideas about decorating, and even though I am sure it it not unique, I thought I would share a few photos and thoughts about decorating for the season of Fall.

I like to decorate for fall about as much as I like to decorate for Christmas, which is a lot! I like to decorate in layers, adding more and more as the season progresses. In August I start with a few sunflowers, then in September I add in plain pumpkins and leaves and acorns. In October I add in a few jack o lanterns and then in November I take away the jack o lanterns and put in my pilgrims and decor specific to Thanksgiving. The weekend following Thanksgiving I put everything away, do a really good deep cleaning and decorate for Christmas!

Here is a bit of the first layer in the kitchen...



in the bedroom







and, for now, that's all I can show you... I am feeling a bit "under the weather" (see post below!)

ER, anyone?

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September 1 is such a great day in my book of Great Days! It is the unofficial end of summer, when fall things can come out and your neighbors don't think you are too crazy... my plans for this day included leaf wreaths, autumn scented candles, pumpkins...

instead, I lie away the day on a bed upstairs moaning and groaning with stomach cramps... it is time for Book Club and I tell Bob to go without me... and he does. What??? Anyway, as I lay there I realize these pains are coming quicker and that I am breaking out in a sweat after each one. NO, I am NOT in labor. Remember, I will be 50 in November.

I drive myself to the Urgent Care facility that is not far from home. I plop down a $50 co-pay (yikes!) and then I meet the sweetest nurse named Chris who examines me and thinks it might be my appendix and sends me over to the ER. (they refund my $50 copay!!)

Ok, at this point, I don't care if it is Book Club night or not. I call Bob, tell him I am on my way to the ER and without a beat he says, I'll meet you there. In fact, he beats me there. I park and waddle my way into the ER in the middle of a great cramp. He fills out all the paperwork for me while I do what little I remember of Lamaze (over 22 years ago, thank you) to help ease the pain. I go into the triage office and

WHAM! The triage nurse wraps this blood pressure cuff on me that hurts worse than the stomach cramps and I let her know it. Bob is a bit mortified but keeps in control. Dang, that thing made my blood pressure go up, I just know it.

So I get a room and a cute male nurse who has to stick me twice with a needle trying to find a vein. Eventually he goes into my hand which hurts like the dickens. He takes several viles of blood and then I get a antinausea medicine which helps and hooked up to a saline/water solution. Then I go upstairs and get 6 different xrays done. Then I go back to the room and wait, and wait, and wait. Finally the nurse comes back in and says some of the blood work is in and it all looks good. He opens up the faucet to the saline solution and lets it pour into my body.

We wait and wait. The doc comes in and says there isn't anything he can see from the xrays or blood work so he thinks it is a case of gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Take maalox and these pills for cramping and these pills for nausea. And, sends me home. (at which point I pay a $150 copay. Dang insurance company.)

Which, now I am. I am supposed to follow up with my regular doc today or tomorrow. I will be calling soon to make that appointment. For now, though, I am going to go back to bed and rest like I am supposed to be doing and taking in small amounts of fluid.

Oh, and I am feeling some better, but from time to time I have a little cramp to contend with. I will win in the end, though!

01 September 2008

So beautiful....

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If you would like to see how someone can see God's plan in the midst of everyday living, go read Kelley's post at Aroma of Joy. She reminds us that in all of life's heartaches and trials, God's hand is at work and if you look a little more closely at the situation, you will see how it was meant to be.

Thank you, Kelley!