Saturday, September 30, 2017

My Favorite Recipes for Fall

I just love fall!  The crisp cool air, the colors of the leaves, the fresh picked apples, pumpkin spice everything...

There are so many wonderful tastes that I associate with fall-- apples, pumpkins, cranberry, pecan, turkey, and squash... and I just love them all.

Here are some of my absolute favorite recipes for fall.

1.  Apple pie!  I am pretty particular about apple pie and prefer my mom's recipe (that I once shared here).

2.  Apple crisp.  Apple crisp is a real close second behind apple pie.  I love the crunchy crumbly topping and that fact that it goes together much quicker than apple pie.  When I'm craving warm apple goodness and don't have the energy to  make a pie I turn to apple crisp; but I like mine with extra crumb topping.

3.  Pecan Crusted Chicken. I love the crunch of the pecans with the tender chicken cutlet and that hint of cinnamon just makes this dish perfect for fall!

4.  Leftover Turkey Pie.  It has become a tradition in our house to make enough extra food on Thanksgiving to make at least 2 turkey pies!  We take all the leftovers from Thanksgiving and layer them into a delicious "pie."  

5.  Chocolate Chunk Butterscotch Blondies.  I stumbled upon this recipe last year when I found some Boo-ttersctoch M&M candies at Target last yer.  They were gone in no time because they were so darn delicious! 

I have a few other recipes that I just love and have not yet gotten around to sharing.  I hope to have them linked up soon but thought I'd list them here anyway!
  • Chocolate chip pecan pie-- yep, that ooey, gooey, pecan pie with added chocolate chips!
  • Butternut Squash muffins
  • Holiday stuffing with pecans and craisins
  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • Pumpkin delight-- a light layered dish with cool whip, pudding, and a pecan crust
  • Crock pot turkey breast
  • Apple spice cupcakes with homemade caramel buttercream frosting
  • Snickerdoodle cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream frosting
  • Pumpkin spice Mousse Squares (I had to add these to the list once I made them!: I can not stop eating them).

What are your favorite fall recipes?  Any suggestions as to what we should try next?

Linking Up With:
Strawberry Butterscotch

Friday, September 29, 2017

Weekly Wrap- Up: The Week We Had No School

We have had some spectacular sunsets and some amazingly warm fall weather too.  Most days the temps are hovering in the mid to upper 80's!  I do miss the fall weather and my jeans and sweaters but I am enjoying the lengthy stay of summer.  We took a week off from our traditional schoolwork and just focused on filling up our days with some fun.

We were heading to a corn maze on Friday with our homeschooling group.  I could not have picked a more perfect first day of fall activity if I had tried!  We quickly finished up a bit of math, grammar, and reading in the morning and worked together to clean a couple rooms in the house.

Alec and I tried our hand at making caramel to make some yummy homemade caramel frosting to top our apple cupcakes with.  Once the caramel was cooled we added powdered sugar to it to make a very yummy frosting.

Making caramel 
Mixing up the frosting 
We headed out to the corn maze and the sky started clouding over.. then began misting.  Not to be deterred we all headed into the maze anyway and spent the next two hours following clues and using the map to navigate the maze.  The kids received free t-shirts for completing all the paperwork/ clues throughout the whole maze and then settled down for some yummy ice cream.

Ian headed off to work first thing on Saturday morning and as soon as breakfast was over, Alec and I set to work frosting the cupcakes. He then headed off to a friend's birthday party.  In the evening we had all the boys grandparents over for a party and the apple spice/ caramel frosted cupcakes were a huge hit!  We spent a good portion of the day outside and Alec and Evan found a preying mantis in our yard; they spent quite a lot of time observing him.

Ian went fishing and to work on Sunday morning while Evan, his father and myself headed out into the woods to clear a few fallen branches from the trails we have.  Evan and his father then went to ride four wheelers for a bit while Alec and I went to work making the ganache for the chocolate cupcakes.  Once cooled, we whipped the ganache and frosted the cupcakes.  We headed to a roller skating rink for another party and enjoyed an afternoon of skating, eating, and socializing.

The boys and I spent a quiet day playing games on Monday.  We played Apples to Apples, Scattegories, and Disney Scene it.  We also went to the library, the apple orchard and tried to return cans to the deposit center (but found that they are not open on Mondays).  In the afternoon the boys and I went for a walk in the woods too; it was nice but so darn hot (over 90!)!

Alec had an orthodontic check- up on Tuesday at the same time as their normal karate class so the boys skipped class this week.  They went out for a late breakfast with their grandmother when Alec was done.  I pulled out all sorts of art kits and materials hoping to encourage the boys to get creative. Alec did sit down and finish up his bird painting.  All three boys begged to go to Target and buy a new Lego set with their own money and they all spent the afternoon hard at work in their rooms.

Ian offered to make pancakes for everyone on Wednesday so he spent his morning in the kitchen.  He hasn't made pancakes nearly as often as waffles and had few questions as he was working but they came out beautifully!  The boys spent quite a bit of time  The boys all played in their Legos and with each other ALL morning!  I was even hesitant to tell them it was lunch time.  They were getting along so great and building up a storm. In the late afternoon we decided to head out on a short bike ride; after pumping up all the tires on our bikes.  We found these interesting fuzzy orange mushrooms that looked so much like peaches in our yard.  We were even more intrigued when we discovered that the insides were white and quite quickly turned a blue/ green when exposed to the air!

The inside of the waterfall Minecraft set 

Thursday we had plans to meet up with a bunch of homeschoolers at a local park.  We were discussing the possibility of setting up a weekly meet up of sorts.  We had perfect weather for it; finally feeling like a hint of fall. Two hours of playing with friends and soaking up the fresh air was a wonderful way to end our week.  The boys and I went to return cans and bottle before the meet up and Alec was able to do the math of 250 cans at 5 cents a can in his head; I was pretty proud of that.

I just had to snap a picture of Evan wearing his new How to Train your Dragon Headphones! 

Linking Up With:
The Homeschool Post

Homeschool Coffee Break

Thursday, September 28, 2017

100 Days of Science-- #3 Learning About Air Molecules

We had so much fun with our quick science experiment on Bernoulli's principle last week that we decided to try another fun experiment this week.  I'm really loving this 100 Days of Science Challenge! 

This time we talked all about air molecules, how they move, what makes them speed up and slow down, etc.

The only supplies we needed were:

  • empty water bottle
  • latex balloon
  • freezer
  • warm water 

First we stretched the balloon over the top of our water bottle and made sure to take note of what both the balloon and the water bottle looked like.

Then we stuck the water bottle in the freezer and set the timer for 30 minutes. During the last few minutes of time we filled up the kitchen sink with warm water.

 When the timer went off we observed that the water bottle had "shrunk" a bit and the balloon looked like it was being sucked in.  

My middle son explained that all the molecules were not moving around as much.  "It's like when we're cold and we want to huddle closer together to share heat!"  Not sure that's the best scientific way to look at it but if it helps him remember that cold molecules take up less space than I'm OK with that.

We then put the cold bottle directly into the warm water and watched closely.  Almost immediately we could see the bottle look like it was filling back up and the balloon puffed up a bit too.

We were kind of bummed that the balloon didn't blow up more than that and the boys asked what would happen if we used HOT water.. would the balloon get even bigger?

We decided to give it a try.  First we put our bottle back in the freezer for another 30 minutes.

We then brought a small pan of water to a boil and as soon as our timer went off we stuck the water bottle into the hot water. 

While the balloon did not blow up much more it did blow up a lot faster!

You can see how fast our balloon shot up; it was actually vibrating a bit from side to side 

We could also feel a lot of pressure pushing out against the sides of the bottle.

It was so neat to see the changes that molecules undergo in normal, hot, and cold temperatures.

Others in this series:

1.  Bernoulli's Principle
2.  Field Trip to the Ecotarium 

Linking up With:
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party