Its Pumpkin Time!
Its fall! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE pumpkin! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cookies, really anything pumpkin says fall to me. After starting THM I was worried I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my favorite treats, but I am finding that there is a way to THM just about any recipe!
I don’t know how many of you have found and enjoyed the Cottage Whips in the THM recipe books? My husband was sold on them the first time I made one. His favorite so far is the chocolate peanut butter, but we have tried lemon and key lime. I found the lemon and key lime harder to get the sweetness and flavor right in, but they were still enjoyable.
Well since its fall I decided its time to make a pumpkin cheesecake version. This may well become one of my favorites and I could probably eat it year round, but then pumpkin wouldn’t be special to fall. So I will have to restrain myself.
My first cottage whips were made in my blender, but I found that after I had blended them until they were silky smooth, that it was very hard to get the cottage whip out of the blender while trying to navigate around the blades. I bought the food processor unit that fits on my blender and WOW, it’s so much easier to navigate my rubber scrapper around the inside of the food processor since I can pull the blade out first. Here’s my suggestion: if you are going to do the THM diet, invest in a food processor, it will make your life easier.
The cottage whips in the THM cookbook are a single serving and you only use one cup of 1% cottage cheese and are labeled a FP. My 2% cottage cheese has 2.5 grams of fat per ½ cup serving, so my gut would tell me this still falls into FP land, but I am leaving it up to you to decide for yourself. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Whip (4 - ½ Cup Servings)
2 tablespoons 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese
16 oz. 1% or 2% (LOWFAT) Cottage Cheese
½ Cup Pure Canned Pumpkin
2 TSP Pumpkin Pie Spice (more or less to taste)
2 TSP Cinnamon (more or less to taste)
5-6 TBS Sweetener of Choice (or until you like the flavor) (Gentle Sweet)
1 TSP Pure Vanilla
Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth, sweetening to taste.
Hostess gifts used to be the norm along with thank you cards for just about everything from hosting friends for dinner to gifts of all kinds. It seems that these two traditions showing appreciation for family and friends have gone by the wayside. But why has this happened? Are we too selfish to think of others? We think they will cost a lot of money? Are we worried people will think us weird or old-fashioned?
Well, I say who cares what anyone thinks. It’s time to bring these two traditions back to being normal. A hostess gift does not have to cost you a bundle and a thank you note can be sent by e-mail, but personally I think a hand written, mailed note, that someone has taken the time to address, stamp and place in the mail box means so much more!
Thank you cards are very affordable these days with places like Ross, Marshalls, The Dollar Tree and Tuesday Morning. Hostess gifts can also be affordable.
This whole idea of a homemade hostess gift came to me when I was making pumpkin granola for a potluck from a recipe given to me by my sister. As I was putting it in mason jars to take to the potluck, it struck me, if I designed a label and a recipe card to go with it, that it would make a wonderful gift. That’s how this blog post was born. I am including a designed pumpkin granola recipe card along with a blank one with this post. Use it as many times as you like and share it with friends and family. My sister created this granola from a cookie recipe a friend gave her and it was a huge success at my church potluck. Enjoy!
Most of us have mason jars just sitting around our house and they are super easy to fill with some homemade granola, wrap with some pretty scrapbooking paper or one of our mason jar wraps sold HERE and ribbon. Complete these steps and you have a very affordable hostess gift ready to go. Another idea is to include the recipe for your granola on a decorated recipe card. Punch a hole in the card and tie with the ribbon you are using to decorate your mason jar.
There are also many handmade items you can give as hostess gifts, a few homemade note cards, a handmade Christmas ornament, a hand-sewn pot holder or dish cloth, a bread basket liner and more.
Let’s join together to bring back the art of hostess gifts this holiday season. Visit our Etsy store to purchase our Mason jar wraps (They can be used to wrap a peanut jar, a mason jar, a bottle of wine or cider and more!) or thank you cards that you can print at home.
More holiday tips and tricks to come in the next few weeks!
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in large bowl until oats are coated, line cookie sheet with parchment, cook at 10 min intervals, stirring between until browned and crunchy, cool and then store in glass containers.
Hello Fall! Yes, I know it may not be autumn right now, but autumn is always just around the corner, and with it comes bright fall colors, changing leaves, cooler evenings, pumpkin-flavored everything, and of course fall weddings, and if you are planning a fall wedding, you will be looking for inspiration right now.
The idea of a fall wedding makes me smile. Ideas float through my head of pumpkin spice cake, apple and pumpkin pie, jewel-toned decorations in emerald, ruby, amethyst, topaz, sapphire, gold and silver, paper leaves, and the smells of Thanksgiving! So how does someone accomplish a fall wedding in a budget-friendly way? Let me supply you with a few tips and tricks that should help.
The start to any beautiful wedding day is to choose a color theme that you love! For a fall wedding, I would suggest incorporating Gold or Silver and jewel-toned fall colors that represent you. A wedding can be any color combination that you dream of and as long as you stick to shades of your chosen colors, they will blend well together. You don't have to worry about them matching perfectly. I would suggest having one or two primary colors and a third color to use as an accent to the main colors. Some color combination ideas would be gold, topaz and emerald or silver, ruby, and sapphire. Don't let these two ideas limit you, as there are many color combinations that could be used. After choosing your color combinations the next step is to think about your invitations.
Invitations set the tone of your wedding and should be chosen early in the planning process so that decorations, coordinating signs, and printed items can be designed to match. One of the best ways to save money on your invitations is to stay away from high-priced invitation companies and look to smaller privately-owned companies. These can be found on Etsy or in your local phonebook. Once on Etsy, just search for DIY Fall Wedding invitations and you will find so many designs to choose from or just visit my SHOP page right here to view all my wedding invitation designs. Any of my designs can be adapted to your chose wedding theme and colors.
One of the great things about invitations from Etsy is easy communication with the designer, being able to customize wording and color (on most invitations). It's wonderful to work with a small shop that truly cares about your special day and providing you with the invitation of your dreams. You will also save time and money by being able to order your invitations from the comfort of your home and choosing your print options, such as printing at home or through a local print shop. In most cases means you will spend less on your invitations than you would from a boutique stationery store.
Now that we have the colors chosen and the invitations were taken care of, it's time to move on to the decorations! Decorations for your wedding don't have to be elaborate to make an impact. They can be made at home quickly and easily and still set the mood for your special day in a beautiful and simplistic way.
One idea that comes to mind is, is using leaves on the top of tables to bring the feeling of fall and to add pops of natural fall colors. The most budget-friendly way to do this is to collect leaves and coat them with Mod Podge to preserve them. (Instructions below) Then I would use these preserved leaves on top of a white, silver, gold or jewel-toned table cloth, with Mason jar candle holders and a fall scented or battery-powered tea light.
Another great addition to fall wedding décor is wood rounds (as seen above). These can be purchased from your local craft store or collected from family and friends who have fallen trees on their property. Wood rounds add height and dimension to your centerpieces allowing you to display candles, flowers, or dishes of food.
Arrangements of pumpkins and gourds next to your candles will also add a wonderful fall feeling to your wedding. These can be found at local farms, grocery stores, or craft stores.
I could go on and on as I have many more decorating ideas. If you need more suggestions or help to complete an idea you have, please feel free to contact me. Good luck with your fall wedding!
Step 1: Gather leaves either from the ground or straight from the tree. Select vibrantly colored leaves that are somewhat dry but not brittle.
Step 2: If your leaves are still very green and moist, place them between two paper towels under a heavy book for a few days so that they dry a bit but are not brittle. If you don't need to dry them, move on to step three.
Step 3: Using a foam brush to apply decoupage (Mod Podge) to one side of your leaf.
Step 4: Place on newspaper to dry until it turns clear and is no longer sticky.
Step 5: Turn leave over and repeat steps 3 and 4.
Once both sides are done your leaves are ready to use!