This will be quite the long post, so pardon me as I go on and on. : )
The first thing I wanted to share with you is a new recipe that I tried on Sunday. When my husband and I got home from church I warmed up some leftover soup and while that was warming up, I whipped up some Pumpkin Cornbread with Cinnamon Honey Butter. It totally helped that I had already mixed up the dry ingredients for the pantry shelf so it made it quick and easy. And we enjoyed it immensely. So here is the recipe for those of you who would like to enjoy it immensely too. : )
PUMPKIN CORNBREAD WITH CINNAMON HONEY BUTTER
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
You can stop at this point and put all of these ingredients into a ziploc bag for future use if you would like.
To use the mix:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the above mix into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
In a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 1 cup canned pumpkin. Mix in 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 eggs and mix until well blended. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture just till combined and no streaks of flour remain.
Spray an 8 x 8 pan and pour batter in, spreading it into an even layer. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes or till toothpick comes out free of batter. Cool slightly and then cut into squares. Serve with the:
CINNAMON HONEY BUTTER
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Whip butter till smooth - add honey, powdered sugar, and cinnamon till combined and then till light and fluffy. YUM. : )
I feel like I'm gaining a little weight lately - gee, I wonder why? : o
The next thing is to give you a recipe for a scented vinegar rinse for your laundry. I'm still doing the soaking thing with my clothes, but I wanted to add a scent to the rinse water along with the vinegar, so I found this:
SCENTED VINEGAR RINSE W/ESSENTIAL OIL
Using 1/4 cup vinegar in your laundry's rinse cycle keeps clothes soft (no more expensive fabric softener!). You can set aside a vinegar jug just for laundry and add about 2 dozen drops of your favorite essential oil (I use lavender) to the vinegar - or use as much as you feel is necessary. You'll need to be careful in using EO but I'm finding when it's diluted like this, it's just a hint of lavender and the clothes really are softer and sweeter.
The other product I'm using is a:
LAVENDER LINEN SPRAY
This is wonderful on sheets and pillowcases. Lavender is a soothing smell and it helps for a good night's sleep. In a jar combine 2 Tbsp. witch hazel and 10 drops of lavender EO. Place lid on and shake well for 15-20 seconds to combine. Open jar and add 6 Tbsp. water. Replace lid and shake another 15-20 seconds to combine. Pour mixture into small spray bottle and then spray onto the sheets, blankets, and pillowcases. VERY DREAMY. : )
And then I wanted to share an idea that some of you have probably already heard of. It was new to me until last Christmas when my friend told me that she and her husband received two of them for the Advent season in December. It was such a loving and meaningful gesture for them at the time that I really wanted to do one this year for someone. It is called an Advent Basket. You gather 25 gift items (one for each day of Christmas beginning with the first Sunday in Advent) and then you wrap them and number them if you'd like for each day. Put them all in a basket and think of someone you would like to bless (actually, I think you should have a person in mind before you purchase your items so that it can be personalized somewhat - if it's for a man, obviously what you buy is going to be a little different than if it's for a woman). The basket is given anonymously so that means you will have to ask someone to deliver it to the recipient. Then when they open the last gift you'll also have a little note or card telling them who gave it to them (you). My husband and I went on a shopping spree one day and then yesterday I had the fun of wrapping everything up. I did it early so that I could post it ahead of time hoping to spur all of you on to do one yourself for someone you know that might need a lift during Christmas. Here is the "before" picture:
Here is the "after" picture:
All ready to be put into a basket. I already know to whom this is going and I already have someone who will be willing to take it to her. : )
If you've ever watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", at the end when he likes Christmas after all and feels love and care, you'll see the heart inside of him grow bigger until it almost pops out of his chest. Well, that's truly how I felt yesterday in putting this together. My heart was just so excited in knowing that just maybe I can bring joy to someone this year. I hope you can give this a try. If you think that there isn't anyway you can afford to do this, it is VERY do-able!!! And the gifts are not meant to be expensive or extravagant. I think that would make the recipient uncomfortable. These are gifts that can be used and used up and meaningful. Here is a list of ideas for the gift items to purchase:
ADVENT BASKET IDEAS
*coloring book and colored pencils
*tea or coffee packets
*pretty paper napkins
*Vitamin C lozenges
*LED night light
*word find or crossword puzzle books
*planner or calendar
............and you could add to this list easily! Just think of someone who might be struggling right now - loss of a loved one, loss of a job, stressed out, health issues, etc. and bring some brightness to their lives. It's a little thing with big impact. 'Tis the season for giving!!!!!
And, lastly, if you haven't realized it yet, tomorrow is November. Seriously? Yes. So, as with every month, I will post the November to-do's. Fortunately it's not a lot, but just enough to keep up with the care of your home. Here they are:
*winterize your trees and shrubs so those rabbits don't ruin everything!
*last minute garden clean-up
*clean out your gutters
*test and hang Christmas lights
*winterize your cars - air in tires, the right oil, windshield washer fluid, extra blankets, etc.
*start planning Thanksgiving (I'll have another basket to show you soon!) - will you go somewhere, will you have company, what will you bring, what will you serve, etc.
*start Christmas shopping - November is perfect to do some holiday preserving and baking for gift giving.
That's it! Not bad at all.
And, I think that's it for this post too. Can't think of anything else. Thank you for dropping by for a visit - I love it when you do! : ) God bless.