Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{Not So Confidential} - October in Review

Goodbye October.  Goodbye walks in the park with beautiful scenery like this:

Hyland Lake Park Reserve
{What I made} Craft Projects

{What I made} Yummy Eats
Last month I joined the fun that is the Fat Mum Slim Photo a day challenge.  While I haven't managed yet to complete a whole month of the challenge, I love playing along when I can and putting my creative hat on.  I post my photos on Instagram and would love to have some followers {I'm lynnbodensteiner}  I'll follow back.  Here is my favorite from October:

20. 4 o'clock #lateasusual

Sunday, October 28, 2012

{Popsicle of the Month} - Root Beer Float Pops

Never mind that this weekend the temperatures are only in the forties and that it snowed on Thursday {it didn't stick though because the ground isn't cold.}  Last Sunday it was a spectacular 70 degrees.  So, before fall turns into winter I made these super easy and wonderfully yummy popsicles.

I recommend planning ahead when making these popsicles because you will want to use flat root beer so open a can the day before and leave in the refrigerator.

Root Beer Float Pops
Vanilla Ice Cream
Cold, Flat Root Beer
Using a spoon, loosely fill your popsicle molds with small scoops of ice cream.  Pour the root beer into the molds and fill to the top.  Insert sticks into molds and freeze until firm.

I am sharing this simply delicious treat at these parties.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

{Healthy Eating} - Turkey Sloppy Janes with Oven Fries

I am trying to keep potato chips and french fries out of my diet.  So far, so good.  But these oven fries are an exception.  They are easy to make, tasty, and dare I say it - healthy.

Here's how I make them:
Cut potatoes into matchsticks.  Soak the potatoes in cold water for 20 or so minutes.  Dry the potatoes and place in a bowl.  Toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread in single layer on foil lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  Then enjoy!

I recently made oven fries along with these Turkey Sloppy Janes {recipe from Whole Foods Market} and some mixed greens.

{Disclaimer: I don't typically eat my sandwiches on hot dog buns.  But I had hot dog buns so that is what I ate.  I do however have a funny story about a potluck, sloppy joes and hot dog buns.  That is for another day though.}

The turkey sloppy janes are packed with veggies {are dates a fruit or veggie - I think fruit} and lean ground turkey.  Yum - very delicious and healthy.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

{Homemade is Better} - Dried Apples and Apple Chips

Apple Fest continues!  And why shouldn't it.  Apples and fall go together like peanut butter and jelly {or something like that}.

Growing up, my mom had a dehydrator and she made all kinds of great things but I think our family favorite was probably the dried apples {but the fruit leather was right behind it}.  I wish I had a dehydrator but turns out you don't really need one in order to make yummy dried apples and apple chips.  All you need is apples and an oven.  How easy and healthy is that?

Peel, or don't peel - I did both - your apples.  Slice them to your desired thickness.  I used a mandoline.  For apple chips I made 1/8" slices and the dried apples 3/16" slices.  Put the apples on a cooling rack set on a cookie sheet and place in 250 degree (F) oven and forget about them.  Okay, so don't really forget about them.  I didn't pay close attention to the time but it was between 1-2 hours.  It really depends on your oven, the thickness of the slices, and what you want - is it crispy chips or chewy apple slices.  It's really up to you.  And when they are done you have some healthy snacks.

{Why is homemade better?}  Compare to the ingredients in Target brand Dried Apples


Seneca Original Crispy Apple Chips

Of course, you can jazz up your apple slices as well.  Which is what I did thanks to some ideas I found on the internet.

  1. Cinnamon Apple Chips
  2. Strawberry Apple Chips
  3. Caramel Apple Chips
  4. Maple Walnut Apple Chips
These dried apples and apple chips would not have been possible without the inspiration from these great recipes:

Be sure to check them all out!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

{I Scream, You Scream} - Caramel Apple Ice Cream

So, I spent the entire month of September working on one project.  I finally finished the first part of it the first week of October.  It's a quilt so the next step was to send it off to be quilted.  

Instead of getting started on another project, I went to visit my parents in Iowa last weekend.  My mom and I headed east on Saturday to do some leaf peeping along the Mississippi River and then to Gays Mills, Wisconsin for some apples.  {Gays Mills calls itself the apple capital of Wisconsin.  I think there are seven orchards there and we stopped at three.}  The day was a little gray but there were still some very pretty fall scenes.  

Sunday was a picture perfect day.  I enjoyed a morning walk with my parents dog, Sasha.  We ended up detouring through the woods and along the Turkey River.  We didn't mean to go that way but I was drawn into the woods by the peacefullness of the leaves fluttering to the forest floor.  It was such a relaxing and beautiful scene.

This weekend I again have not made it into the craft room {Shame on me!  My project list is not getting any shorter at this rate.}  Instead, I am having apple fest in my kitchen thanks to the apples I picked up last weekend in Gays Mills.  

I was most excited to try out my new ice cream maker that my mom picked up on clearance for me at Wal-Mart.  {It's nothing fancy but what do you expect for $10.  If I have fun doing this, maybe someday I'll invest in something a little more upscale.}  I did some internet searching and decided on this Caramel Apple Ice Cream from Boulder Locavore.  {I love caramel apples.  I even bought two on our trip to Gays Mills.}

The ice cream didn't turn out perfect but it still tasted pretty good.  

It's a shame that I'm going to have to keep practicing my ice cream making skills - not!  I love ice cream and can't wait to make some more.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

{Confidential} - October Project Board

Yikes - I only crossed off two things from September!  {Full disclosure - I didn't even make those two things.  I decided they weren't going to get done so I tabled them until next year.}  The good news is that I've already crossed off two of these this month!

{P.S.  I know the photo is not great.  I'll try to do better next month}

Monday, October 1, 2012

{Not So Confidential} - September in Review

Please come in and have a seat.  This looks like a good spot.

{What I made} Craft Projects
         I need September to be a couple of days longer.  I've been working on one big project         
         all month and it still isn't finished.  {Insert sad face here.}

{What I made} Yummy Eats
{What I'm watching} The new television season has started.  Yipee!  I love How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls, Castle, Parenthood, Glee, The Good Wife, and Revenge.  What are your favorites?