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Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin all the way!!! Seeds and Pie... OH MY!

I love to call this time of year the Pumpkin Saga, because everything we see, do or make is PUMPKIN! lol This weekend was no different, we carved our pumpkin and roasted the pumpkin seeds. I usually make my pumpkin seeds sweet, this year I thought I would try spicy. They are pretty good, a little salty for me, but Hubby loved them.

Items you will need:

Pumpkin Seeds
Olive Oil (I just put some all over the pan lightly, approx 2-3 tablespoons)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt
Spicy Seasoned Salt (I got this at the dollar tree)
Garlic Powder approx 1tsp
Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Onion Powder approx 1 tsp

If you don't like salty, omit the salt and lightly sprinkle the spicy and lawry's seasoned salt. Yes I used all 3 salts!

No need to dry the pumpkin seeds or even rinse them, its ok to leave some pumpkin on them, more flavor... Just remove any big clumps or snotty pumpkin stuff before roasting. Then coat them in the olive oil and add the spices you want to achieve the taste you desire. 

Roast in oven on 300 for 45 minutes turning every 15 minutes

Next comes my super easy Pumpkin pie

Items Needed:

1 can of real Pumpkin pie puree
1 frozen pie crust
1 can of evaporated milk (15 oz can)
2 eggs
2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 to 1 teaspoons of ginger
1-2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice
1/2 cup of Brown sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 400,  poke frozen pie crust with fork and bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, remove from oven. Mix the remaining ingredients (Add spices to your liking, if you want a more flavorful pie add more spices, pour pumpkin mixture into prebaked pie crust and bake pie on 400 for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 and bake for 50-60 minutes. Center of pie will jiggle a little. Place a butter knife in center of pie and if knife comes out clean, pie is done. Remove from oven and allow to cool.  

They cut the pie before I could snap a photo, so here is a half pie picture!

I wanted to show you how thick the pie was.

Monday Craft Corner
 After all this baking yesterday, me and my owl decided to make a fall craft. I am so proud of her, she did such a great job on this one!

Items needed:
Paper plate
black, brown, yellow, white, orange and green construction paper or scrapbook paper
brown paint
black pen
leaves (I purchased these from dollar general for a buck but you can also make them out of paper.)

Step 1: Fold the paper plate on each side
Step 2: cut the top of the paper plate like a U shape or curve
Step 3: Paint the owl plate brown
Step 4: cut 2 white circles for eyes and draw eyeballs with pen
Step 5: cut big yellow circle for moon
Step 6: cut orange triangle for nose/beak
Step 7: cut tree branch out of brown construction paper
Step 8: cut two half moon shapes in green for the owl's feet
Step 9: then glue everything on the black paper like above

Brrr Baby it's cold outside!!! Crock pot full of Chili

Nothing like a crock-pot full of homemade chili to warm us up this chilly fall weekend. The temperature went from 70 to 55 pretty much overnight so last night I went to the store to get items needed for my homemade chili. Once I make the chili we use different items as the base. For example sometimes we use rice or cornbread. I love putting rice in the bowl and pouring chili over top, then top with cheddar cheese. Or putting cornbread as the base, then chili over top with cheese and sometimes sour cream. It is all in what you like.

Items Needed:

1 pound of ground beef (browned)
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cans of chili beans
1 can of dark kidney beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 12oz can or bottle of beer
1 diced jalapeno
1 diced onion (I omit this now since hubby don't like onions) I use onion powder instead
2-3 tablespoons of chili powder
1 tablespoon of garlic
1/2 tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon of cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Base Items:
Cornbread (I just jiffy cornbread mix as box says add 1/2 can of cream corn and a 1tbs of honey)
2-4 cups of White Rice
Cheddar Cheese Shredded
Sour Cream
Frito Scoops

First I cook the meat (I typically add a little spice to my meat as cooking). Once the meat is cooked I put everything in the crock pot. I drain the kidney beans and pinto beans, I do not drain the chili beans. If you feel the chili is to thick you can add beef stock or water. I do add a cup of beef stock to mine because we typically put rice or cornbread as the base and it really gets thick.

Cook in Crock Pot 8-9 hours on low

Monday, October 21, 2013

Singing the Monday Blues with a Green Pumpkin Smoothie...

Oh Monday you truly snuck up on us today, even my owl was confused on why we had to get up early and get ready, she was thinking it was Saturday. Bless her heart. I guess that's how it goes when your having fun with your family.

Saturday morning we woke up for All You Can Eat Pancakes at IHOP, talk about feeling like a fatty all day. I had Pumpkin Pancakes and I'll be honest I really didn't like their version much. Maybe they weren't cooked right or it was the batter since they said the reason it took so long was because they had to make the batter. They were thin and gooey not like their traditional pancakes at all. It was more like pie than a pancake. Once our belly's were full, we rolled on over to Walmart to look at some tablets. We are thinking about going all geeky this Christmas and getting the boys tablets. We looked a few different models, not sure yet which one I plan to go with but I will keep you posted. Those new Nabi tablets look kind of cool and kid proof but a little on the expensive side. Then we danced around the toy section so my little owl could point out her favorite items she wants to tell Santa about. Now we kind of know how far in debt we are going to be this Christmas. lol

Finally we made it to Bass Pro where we got our Family Halloween Picture. Little Owl was a little afraid at first, she has a problem with characters that are in costumes like the Easter Bunny, Elmo, Pluto, etc. So when we sat down snoopy, charlie brown and the ghost fell over and she realized they were just wood cut outs so she felt much better about being so close to them. lol

Family Halloween Picture 2013

After Bass Pro we decided to stop by the Kia dealer so I could see my dream car up-close and personal. Talk about a major let down. I love the Kia Optima outside but the inside, Dear Goodness we need some help... The odometer/dash area was great, bright white lights, looks very sleek and new, but then we get over to the radio side and everything is RED! Talk about a eye soar! It just looked cheap and old. Then it has toggle buttons on the steering wheel, yea there is no way that will ever work for me. So needless to say I will never own a Kia.  However they did have a Hyundai Sonata on the lot and I loved it, Kia should probably take lessons from Hyundai. lol at least for interior design. So now I have a new car to drool over if I ever decide to buy one.

Now for my Monday Morning Green Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe:

Items needed:
- a handful of spinach or 1 cup of fresh spinach
- a half of can of pumpkin puree (100% pure pumpkin)
- 1 frozen banana
- 4oz  of almond milk
- 4oz of water (add more if its too thick)
- 1 tsp of honey
- 2 tsp of cinnamon
- 3 or 4 ice cubes

Blend smooth and pour in a cup, this particular smoothie will make 30-36 ounces depending on how much liquid you add and should act as a meal replacement because of the amount and calorie content. Great to add to your breakfast routine!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Another Fall Recipe Baked Snickers Apple Pie

We love Apple Pie and we love Snickers so why not have the best of both worlds in this rich delicious homemade baked pie. Add this to your Thanksgiving day feast or perfect for any fall day. It's comforting, rich and great for using up all your kids Halloween candy.  Just think of the possibilities, Twix Apple Pie, Milky Way Apple Pie and so on!

Items Needed:
1 bag of fun size Snickers
3 or 4 apples peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons of Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons of Cinnamon
Caramel Topping
Frozen Pie Crust

Preheat Oven to 350, pierce the pie crust with a fork and bake in oven for 8 minutes

Place your chopped apple in a saucepan

Add Cinnamon

Add heavy whipping cream & brown sugar to saucepan and turn on medium heat

Cut up Snickers bars into pieces (I used the whole bag)

Once apples are tender and liquid has thicken add mixture to cooked pie pan. 
* If sauce is still too thin add cornstarch to mixture to thicken the filling.

Add chopped Snickers to top of pie and bake in over for 25-30 minutes

Slice and plate with a caramel drizzle and cool whip or vanilla ice cream.


Bird Seed Craft with my Owl on this Beautiful Fall Day!

Today is Sunday and it's a beautiful crisp fall day here in North Carolina. First day in a while we actually got to see the sun, so we took advantage of it and got to do this fun and easy craft. We love to do crafts especially when we can recycle/reuse items. My owl said this was fun and she really enjoyed picking flowers outside while I hung them on the tree limbs. Make sure you hang them higher so your pets don't eat them off the tree.

Items Needed:
Peanut Butter
Used Toilet Paper rolls
Bird Seed or Sunflower Seeds

First I spread peanut butter all over the toilet paper rolls.

 Then my owl decorated each side of the roll with bird seed

Now they are ready to be hung on a tree limb of your choice

Then sit back, relax and watch the birds enjoy the feed

Still on my Pumpkin kick... Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls


It's the time of year where pretty much everything I cook or want is Pumpkin... So naturally this morning was no different. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls was on the menu for breakfast. They are pretty easy to make, much easier if you buy the correct cinnamon rolls that unfold. The ones we bought (pictured below) were not that easy so I just used a knife to cut and unroll.

Items needed:
1 can of 100% of pumpkin
1 can of cinnamon rolls with icing
pumpkin spice to sprinkle on top
1 spray butter to grease the pan

First spray pan with butter or grease with butter so they do not stick 

Unroll and press down to pan with fingers or spoon

1 teaspoon of pumpkin per roll and spread

Roll back into a cinnamon bun and sprinkle pumpkin spice on top

Cover with icing and ENJOY!!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013


Once upon a time there was a little piggy who went to the market and decided she wanted to be a little spicy but maintain a sweet taste. Sassy she thought, so she picked up some Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and a bottle of Dr. Pepper and to her surprise this was the best spicy barbeque she has ever had. So how to make the best spicy barbeque from south of the border. Here is the recipe!!!!

First you need a fairly large crock pot, this seriously won't work any other way. Then you need a large onion, cut in quarters,  a 5-8 pound pork butt. (pictured below), a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper, and a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I also seasoned the pork butt with the following (garlic, Lawry's seasoned salt, pepper, onion powder and ginger) Last time I made this I added 2 tablespoons of honey, you can also add a little brown sugar if you don't have any honey. A little secret on having honey on hand, Chickfila and Popeyes fast food restaurants both have honey packets, just take a few extra next time you have lunch or dinner.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
This product is a little tricky to find however if you look in the Mexican aisle it is usually there. I wanted to add a picture of it to hopefully make it easier for you to look for or to ask your local stock person/cashier.
  • Cut Onions in quarters and put in bottom of crock pot
  • Season the meat to your liking whether it be a pork butt or a pork shoulder or a loin.
  • Place meat in the crock pot on top of the onions
  • Pour chipotle peppers on top of meat
  • Pour 24-32 ounces of Dr. Pepper or until the meat is almost fully covered
  • Add your honey or brown sugar to liquid 

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, turning a few times if you are home. If you are a working mom like me, then set it and forget it. It is always amazing when I get home.

Once the pork is cooked , simply take it out on a plate and shred it with a fork.

OH MY! Yummy... This is by far the tastiest barbeque ever!

You can also try a Dr. Pepper Barbeque sauce, it's pretty simple to make with the recipe below or you can buy a bottle at your grocery store or Walmart.

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped or once again use onion powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or you can use garlic powder or minced garlic
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12 ounces of Dr. Pepper from the 2 liter you already have
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or once again honey
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine-ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Basically you would need to melt the butter in a saucepan. If you use a fresh onion and garlic you will need to add them to the butter and saute until they are fully cooked. Adjust the seasonings to your liking and Enjoy!
For tasty barbeque sandwiches butter the hamburger buns and add a little garlic salt or powder and toast in the oven. If you want to spice things up a little bit,  you can add butter with chili pepper or you can always take a small amount of your homemade Dr. Pepper sauce and spread on the bun and toast

Serve with homemade potato chips or fries! Oh Sweet Potato fries are oooh so delicious!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What I look forward to Wednesday...

It maybe a little strange that I get so excited about Wednesday but there are a few things I look forward to every week on Wednesday. First is Dirty Work Wednesday and the second is double coupon day at Farm Fresh, I know polar opposites but hey that's me. Our local radio station Z104 does a segment called Dirty Work where they have people call or email in with a problem they can't handle and need the morning crew to help out with. This particular morning a man called in and said he ran into his wife at the grocery store unexpected and she acted strange. He noticed a phone number written on her hand and jokingly asked if she was picking up men at the grocery store, she replied no it's a old girlfriend I ran into. Well the poor hubby of 6 years remembered the number and wanted the morning crew of Z104 (Nick, Tricia and Shaggy) to assist to him in getting into the bottom of it. So Nick had this great idea to call both of them and see what happens when they both answer and have a conversation together. They both answer roughly at the same time and are kind of confused on how they both called each other, but remain on the phone. As the conversation continues the number turns out to be a guy named Justin and it was clear there was more going on than just friends. The poor hubby pipes in and now the wife is busted and Justin says "Out" and hangs up and the wife is confused as to what just happened. I know it might seem odd I look forward to this segment of the show every week but if there is one thing I can't stand it would be a liar, second would be a cheater. There are a lot of selfish people in the world today who get by in life lying and cheating and seem to think its okay to run around hurting good people.

On a lighter note it's HUMP DAY!!! Mike Mike Mike Mike... Sorry as if you aren't already tired of that commercial as it is. I still laugh at the camel. (HAHA) So it's double coupon day up to $1.00 and I can't wait to show off my coupon skills today. I will say I took a break from couponing earlier this year. At first it was fun, I was even doing friendly competitions with friends to see who could save the most money, but then Bloom went out of business. Crushed! That was my store where I saved the most money. I seriously got over $200.00 of groceries for $9.00. Food Lion bought them out and I haven't had much luck with them. I do fairly well at Farm Fresh and Harris Teeter so I reckon I will start back up with them. Wish me luck, I will post my results this afternoon. So come back for an update!

UPDATE: My total before coupons was $56.52. I had $24.10 in coupons. So I got 30 items for $32.42. So I basically paid $1.08 per item. And I even got Johnsonville Italian Sausage, 3 cans of pumpkin and zucchini for the recipe below none of which I had a coupon for. SCORE!!!!!

What's for Dinner: Baked Ziti

This ain't your momma's old school BAKED ZITI. It's October, my Red Sox are in the ALCS and looking good so tonight I plan to spice things up with a little spinach, pumpkin and squash.

1 box of Ziti or any kind of pasta you want.
1 can of 100% Pumpkin
1 or 2 yellow squash or acorn squash
2 tablespoons of flour
1 tablespoon of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of ginger or if you want you can use nutmeg or all spice. I just like ginger better.
Pinch of cayenne pepper, more if you like spice
1 can of evaporvated milk.
Ground Italian Sausage or cut Sausage links (for vegetarians omit completely)
1 package of frozen spinach or fresh if you have it on hand. (I prefer fresh)
1 cup of Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
***SAVE 1/2 Cup of Pasta Water
Preheat Oven to 425.

Prepare Pasta according to box, Cook Sausage and zucchini/squash, once the sausage is cooked and browned and zucchini is cooked add fresh spinach. Combine the pumpkin, flour, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne and ginger, 1/2 cup of pasta water, then slowly add milk to smooth. Poor Pumpkin sauce over drained cooked pasta, add cooked sausage mixture. Spread half the pasta mixture into a baking dish (9x11 or 9x13), top with spinach then cover with remaining pasta mixture, top with cheese and put in oven for 20 minutes or until cheese has melted and is bubbly.

Sausage, Zucchini, Spinach mixture

 Pumpkin Sauce and Noodles

Delicious Baked Ziti with a twist!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Southern Girl Peach Cobbler

So last year I spent countless hours working on a peach cobbler recipe for a friendly head to head competition similar to Bobby Flay's Throwdown on who had the best peach cobbler. We even had a panel of judges also known as our best friends who tasted our cobbler and while my friend's cobbler was great, they declared me the winner.

And here is the winning recipe

  • 6-8 peaches peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of bourbon (feel free to use more if you want)
  • 1tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (I used half white sugar and half brown sugar)
  •  1tbs of lemon juice
  •  2tbs of corn starch
  •  1tsp of pumpkin spice
  •  a dash of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of butter 
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees
That's for the peaches, let them soak/sit while you prepare the dough (recipe below), then baked just the peaches in oven for 10 minutes with 2 tablespoons of butter on a baking sheet or in a pan.

Then for the dough: 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1tsp of cinnamon
  •  2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter. 
Cut the butter into the flour mixture. And spoon fulls of the dough into the hot peach cobbler mix bake 45 minutes. Add vanilla ice cream or cool whip for perfected southern dish!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Crafty Cougar strikes again, my new burlap wreath!!!

 It's Monday and Columbus Day which means I'm home and perfect time to update my wreath. I removed my spring/summer blue and yellow flowers and gave our a wreath a makeover! I went to Walmart this morning and bought some green burlap ribbon for $2.97 and these cream flowers for $3.00. I already had the wired tan burlap ribbon which I also purchased at Walmart for 5.97. The wreath I bought at Michaels a few years ago, you could also pick them up at thrift stores and spruce up one or completely remove everything from it and start over!

Items needed:

  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Sticks
  • Flowers
  • Burlap ribbon (2 colors)
  • Monogram letter
  • Paint
  • Smaller ribbon
  • Wreath of your choice

Paint the Monogram letter the coordinating color.

Hot glue the ribbon on back side of wreath.

Next wrap the burlap ribbon around the wreath creating the design you like the best.

Then wrap the second color burlap ribbon around the wreath

Hot glue the flowers

Once the Monogram letter paint is dry, hot glue the back of the letter onto the wreath.

So easy anyone can do!

Here is the wreath hanging on my door

Love this Product!!!! Skinny Girl Night Firming Cream


 I was strolling one day through Burlington Coat Factory one afternoon and came across this cute little container of firming cream. First thought was what girl doesn't want to be skinny and how could I not give this product a shot.  It was the packaging that caught my eye and the price that sealed the deal being the thrifty mom, it was under $10.00, SCORE!!!!

 So now it has been a few months and a empty container later, I do love this product. I apply it at night before bed and when I wake up I do notice my legs look so much better. It's a thicker cream, smells nice and appears to do what they say it will. So what's not to love!

 So my container is empty and I went on a treasure hunt to find some more. Walmart has discontinued selling this product, however I did find it on Amazon! YEA BABY!!!! I love Amazon too. has a few of their other products.

After some research it looks like Bethenny Frankel launched the beauty cream line in November 2011 and it looks like it has been discontinued. Oh gosh that sucks!!! I better stock up now... She has a new direction with her skinnygirl line and looks like cocktails and wine is the next wave of this company. I might have to find a bottle of her skinnygirl wine and see if I like that as much as her firming cream. Click here or the picture below to view the whole skinnygirl cocktails line.

DIY---Cellulite Scrub and it works!

Like almost every thirty-something lady we tend to struggle with the ugly embarrassing cottage cheese legs also known as cellulite. I've tried several named brand firming lotions for every bit of 8 or more weeks and never notice much of a change. However I will say this scrub works, the downside it is temporary so you have to use it often. This scrub is relatively inexpensive to make, olive oil being the most expensive part of this DIY scrub.


 I don't drink coffee but I am thankful my mother does. So if you don't drink coffee, you can run to your closest convenience store and ask them for their used coffee grounds or hopefully a relative or neighbor won't mind you taking them off their hands. 


NEXT ADD LEMON JUICE. (fresh squeezed lemon juice is better)



(Secret) I apply this mixture to my entire legs, face and neck. I sit in our shower for about 10-15 minutes so it can soak into my skin. This really helps fine lines on my face. The lemon juice is a brightener and leaves your skin looking healthy, tighter and all around younger. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013


So earlier in the week I tried that Listerine Vinegar Foot Soak which did absolutely nothing for my feet. However this secret won't remove the dead skin, it will just help make them soft and it is pretty simple to do.  So here is what you will need.

Yep good ol fashion Vaseline and thick socks.

First I take the Vaseline and lather it thick all over the heel and all the rough patches then I rub the Vaseline all over my toes and feet.

Then once you have both your feet covered in Vaseline put your socks on and leave on overnight!

I typically do this at night time when I am ready for bed. It especially helps in between pedicures.

Perfect gloomy day for an upbeat tropical green smoothie

Good Morning and Happy Saturday! I woke up this morning feeling a bit gloomy thanks to now 5 days of rain and clouds. Oh how I wish I was laying on a beach on some small island sipping this smoothie but I reckon our house on a private dirt lane will have to do! My better half left at 4am to go duck hunting so it's just me and my owl this morning, she is even wearing her owl nightgown. :-)

So here is my recipe for my tropical green smoothie!

First add some Almond Coconut Milk, it depends on how thick or thin you want your smoothie. I added about 1/4 cup.

Then I added the celery I broke them up in pieces and added the leaves as well.

Next I added the pineapple with juice.

Next comes the frozen banana. I keep these in stock in my fridge

Then I added 3-4 ice cubes and you are ready to mix!

And here is the final product included with our recipe!

This recipe will make 28 to 30 ounces. This green smoothie is for meal replacement. LAY BACK & ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oh what fun it is to play dress up with a kitty!!!

My daughter who I will refer to as my owl (obsessed with owls) loves her crazy kitty Jingle. Jingle is her baby and she is her mom which makes me a grandma, yes I am oh so happy to be called grandma at age 36 but at least it is to a cat. Miss Jingle is subjected to dresses, bibs, feedings, burping, nap time and time out as my owl says. I will say this is most patient kitten I have ever seen. I would like to think she actually loves doing all the things my owl subjects her to.

So I can across this costume for Halloween and I think it is perfect for Miss Jingle. I'm so excited about it, I can't wait to show my owl. Of course this costume only sells in Japan.

Then I found this one on EBAY and it ships from North Korea, it may or may not arrive by Halloween. Looks like I will be trying to DIY project here in the next week. Wish me Luck! I will be sure to post an update on whatever we decide to do. :-)

Here is a picture of my owl and her kitty Jingle all dressed up in her fancy party dress. Now don't you think Miss Jingle will love this Hello Kitty Costume. I think so and I'm sure my little owl will agree.