Growing Out On A Limb

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Happy Halloween 2010!




Simple but homemade (the best kind!) and it attaches to any clothing so it’s easy to put away for another year!  It was a lot of fun to make and the best part?  He kept the headpiece on for hours!  So worth the effort (as if this smiling face isn’t enough)….



Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin…

This is easily my new favorite go-to quick-and-easy dessert (and, no doubt, the reason I’ve put on a couple pounds since my last prenatal appointment – A week ago).  As proof of that, I think I’ve made it four times in the last three weeks … that’s a lot of pudding.  Last night I made it again without looking at the recipe.  Hmm… maybe sign of a pumpkin pudding problem? 

I am already a pumpkin fanatic but I don’t think you have to be to enjoy this.  It seems so much more decadent than instant pudding but is so easy you can whip it up right in front of your guests. 

And, more importantly, it is Oliver-approved. 

The genius original recipe is here, by Rachel at A Southern Fairy Tale.  I don’t change a thing. 


1 4-serving pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 3/4 cups milk

1 cup whipped topping

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/8 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)



1.  If whipping your own cream (I always do), prepare it now. 

2.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. 

3.  Add in pumpkin and seasonings and whisk until creamy.

4.  Gently whisk in whipped topping until thick and creamy.

5.  Scoop into serving dishes and top with crushed gingersnaps (or dip them whole – whatever your pleasure).

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Apple Cake

Our box of apples is becoming smaller, slowly but surely. 

I have made this cake by bakerella for two different occasions over the past few weeks.  It really is as easy as she makes it sound and as yummy as she makes it look in all of those bright pictures.  I regret that I don’t have pictures – I was eating the last bite last night as I remembered that a photo hadn’t been taken.  A photo of the empty crumb-y pan just wouldn’t be the same. 

For the first take, I substituted raisins (no dates laying around) and chopped hazelnuts (hubby has an aversion to walnuts).  I tried it with dates and cashews the second time, for a mary kay party I was hosting.  Mmmm!  Both versions were good but the dates definitely made a difference. 

I agree with her comment that the cake would be scrumptious if you used half of the topping, but … why?!  It’s cake! 


3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups oil

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

3 cups diced apples

1 cup chopped dates rolled in flour

1 cup chopped walnuts (or whatever nut you like)

For Topping

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. 

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and cinnamon with a wire whisk and set aside. 

Combine sugar and oil using a mixer until blended.  Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined.  Add flour mixture and mix well. 

Stir in nuts, dates, and apples.  The batter will be very thick. 

Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until done. 

Cool cake.

Using a skewer, poke holes in the cake. 

Cook topping ingredients in a saucepan until the mixture bubbles.  Pour topping over cake, letting it seep into the holes. 


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My two monkeys


My little monkey now climbs on … everything! 

He’s discovered that the sofa cushions come off the couch (not once, but several times a day).  He really has no fear of climbing down over the arm of the couch or jumping from couch to chair or going over the back of the couch, like he is in these pics. 


… and back…

… and over…

… and back…

… and then time for a little break. 

Do other kids play with their belly buttons as much as Oliver does?  It is red and sore pretty much all the time! 

Speaking of somersaulting and jumping, I think Deuce is following suit.  Last week’s appointment ended up with us heading to the hospital an hour and a half away for a version (ECV) because the kid was head up at 37 weeks.  So we make arrangements, get up early (5:30 am early), get to the hospital, and the ultrasound shows that the stinker baby turned overnight.  Sheesh!  Hopefully he’s stayed put since then… finding out tomorrow!

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The “IT” toy of the weekend

During a visit with the cousins this weekend, Oliver scored big.  And I mean BIG. 

That is, a “BIG tuck”! 

He pretty much drove home with that truck in his lap (it’s nearly as big as he is, so that was comical).  He tries to bring it to the changing table with him but it kind of gets in the way.  And he carries it around everywhere: 

He likes filling up the back of it with things and carting them around, or just running it on empty on the kitchen table.  It doesn’t matter to me, as long as it continues to put this smile on his face: 

“Zoom!  Zoom!” 


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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

And on goes the pumpkin fetish …

I’ve been making these muffins for a few years now.  They satisfy everything that says ‘pumpkin muffin’ to me and are so good, I honestly am not sure what it would take to make me try another recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  It’s simply never failed me and is so delicious and moist and savory. 

And mmm… pumpkin. 


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup packed pumpkin puree

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare muffin pan by lining with muffin papers or greasing the cups. 

In a bowl, sift together the first seven ingredients (flour to salt). 

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each.  Blend in vanilla extract. 

Alternately add 1/3 of flour mixture and half of pumpkin puree, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix well after each addition. 

Fold in the chocolate chips. 

Evenly fill 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.  (** These actually take more like 26-28 minutes in my propane oven, using a stoneware muffin pan)


 Original recipe here.