World’s Best Pumpkin Seeds!

So, I cooked up a bunch of fresh pumpkin the other day, and froze it for pies or whatever later. I tossed all of the cleaned seeds into a bowl with salt and water and pondered. I still have so many seeds left from Halloween and they don’t seem to be going. Granted, I can’t eat them because of Atkins. But in two weeks… So how to make these seeds special? Try a new recipe! I accidentally stumbled upon the world’s most wonderful pumpkin seed recipe ever. Yeah, I tasted them and then had to walk away because I couldn’t stop. Here ya go!

recipe credit to this blogger, although the recipe is slightly modified Beauty & The Beard

Oh My WOW! Pumpkin Seeds

IMG_6162

Ingredients:

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°

2. Put the seeds into a pan lined with foil. (I ❤ easy clean up). Drizzle with olive oil, and then coat with all spices except salt. Mix well. Evenly coat with salt & pop into the oven.

3. Bake 40 minutes stirring once halfway through.

4. Try not to eat the whole pan at once!

Marinara Sauce

I was challenged by a fellow blogger to post one recipe a week. So here goes….

Marinara SauceMarinara

Ingredients: 

  • 2-14.5 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1- 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp. of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. of onion powder
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth, or wine
  • 1 Tbsp. of brown sugar

Directions:

  • In a food processor, or blender, place the crushed tomatoes, parsley, garlic, and oregano. Process until smooth. (I usually skip this step because I prefer a chunkier sauce.)
  • Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and cook, covered, over low heat for 4-6 hours, stirring occasinally. If you are in a hurry you can cook it on medium heat for 2 hours stirring every 10 minutes.

Notes:

  • If you are in a hurry you can cook it on medium heat for 2 hours stirring every 10-15 minutes.
  • This can also be cooked in a crock pot over low heat for 6-8 hours (no stirring).
  • For a very simple spaghetti add cooked italian sausage and vegetables of choice to the saucepan 1 hour prior to serving.Spaghetti
  • This sauce freezes well.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 4-6 Hours
Servings: 6

Meal Planner Printable

I don’t know what it is about the new year, but it always inspired me to get organized. It probably has something to do with the “new year, new start” way of thinking. Today when I sat down to start meal planning for the next two weeks I decided the way that I currently do my planning is very inefficient. So in the name of efficiency I of course spent the entire day researching, and re-creating the wheel. Needless to say I didn’t get my meal plan and shopping list completed. I happen to be incredibly efficient at procrastination.

It would have been so much easier if I did things the way everyone else did. I don’t know how it’s possible, but I seem to be the only person who does meal planning and shopping two weeks at a time. At the very least I am the only person on Pinterest. So instead of being able to use a pre-existing meal planning printout I got to design my own. My original was in black and white because I hate wasting colored ink on stuff like this, but I made some prettier versions for those of you who have no such restraints.

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Feel free to use them and share with others, but if you link these on your website or blog please mention me.

Homemade Christmas Gifts 2013

I get a little thrill when a gift I give goes over particularly well. It is even more gratifying when the gift is homemade. This year the vast majority of the gifts I gave out were homemade. A big part of the reason was that I couldn’t find anything in the stores that seemed to fit the intended recipient. And I won’t lie, money was a part of it too. I can make a nice gift for a fraction of the price of buying it in the store, even if I have none of the materials on hand. I’ve been so anxious to get this list online and all of the gifts have finally been opened. So….

Finally, the list from this year!

Dish ClothHeating PadsFishing GameOwl OrnamentsBBQ BasketMinecraft Tablet CaseIMG_4932Soft Crochet Ball

If you want to have a homemade Christmas please realize homemade gifts take a lot of time. I started before Thanksgiving, and even working on it every night I didn’t get done until a day or two before Christmas. If it was sewn, it was done by hand with lots of finger poking and exclamations. If it was crocheted I probably had to re-do it once or twice to get it right. I don’t claim to be great at these crafts because I don’t really have a lot of experience, but I think the end result was worth it. I’m proud of my work, and so very thrilled that people enjoyed their gifts.

Spring Fever- Gardening

Ever since it started getting warm outside I’ve been fantasizing about my garden. In my head I have an image of a beautiful and yet functional backyard/patio garden. My garden is mostly in pots because If we move I want to be able to take it with us. It acts as a privacy screen to obstruct the view between our patio and our neighbor’s patio. It will provide many delicious vegetables, and it will smell great with all of the various flowering herbs (and miscellaneous flowers) I hImageave mixed in. And mostly it will be a wonderful and comfortable place for my family and I to relax in the evenings.

Now of course reality and fantasy rarely cooperate with each other. The reality of the situation is that I can’t rationalize spending the kind of money that my fantasy garden will take on a seasonal hobby. To build just the patio planter box and fill it with dirt it would cost over $100 not even including the cost of plants, or seeds. I’m not even going to start digging into the costs of the patio furniture and decorative elements, it’s just too depressing.

So, now I am rebuilding my fantasy garden from scratch. I am using the existing yard instead of pots. If we move the next tenants will have a bonus garden in the backyard when they move in.