Pumpkin Mesh Wreath

First, YAY!! This is my first “official” post on my new site! And WOW…what a pain in the rumpkus (is that a word?) the Blogger to WordPress move has been. THANK GOODNESS for Dynamics of Design. Without them, this site would still be sitting here blank I’m afraid. I will spare you all of the details, but it has definitely been one thing after another. Oh, and did I mention that I happened to have surgery AND my computer crashed during all of this as well? Ha! Fun times. Not! Moving on…

Pumpkin Wreath

This Pumpkin Mesh Wreath is festive, (I think it’s cute), cheap, and super easy to make. I don’t do a lot of Fall decorating, but I usually have a Fall wreath, a couple of garden flags, mums, and pumpkins. Our weather has been so wacky, that my mums are already mostly dead (or lack of water could have caused that. Go figure.)

Since I’m a visual person, I’m going to show each step in pictures. I will explain the best I can, but it’s really easy.

Wreath Supplies

Step One: Supplies

  • One wire wreath (I bought mine at Walmart, I think it was $5)
  • Pipe cleaners (ideally in orange, but I already had these from another wreath. $1 from Dollar Tree)
  • long roll of mesh ribbon (This was from Walmart or Sam’s Club, also around $5)
  • ribbon for the top of pumpkin (I used green burlap – $1 from Dollar Tree. See Step 3)

How to begin

Step Two: Making Body of Wreath

  • Place six pipe cleaners at the top and six at the bottom of  the wreath form. If you look at it as a clock, place the first one at 10:00, the last one at 2:00, and put the other four randomly in between for the top. (You can adjust to exactly where you need them as you go along.) The bottom ones can go between 4 and 8:00.
  • Start at the top “10:00” pipe cleaner, attaching the end of your wire mesh. Pull the mesh down and attach at 8:00 as pictured above (is this clock reference getting old, or is it just me?!).

Body of wreath

  • Repeat the up and down pattern with the mesh until the wire wreath form is covered. If you want it fuller/thicker, just add more pipe cleaners to hold in place. Once the wire is covered, you can adjust/fluff wreath to get the look you want.

Final step

Step 3: ‘Stem’ of Pumpkin

  • I used the above pictured burlap ribbon. However, I think a wired ribbon would look better, and give the “stem” some shape and hold. The burlap kind of just lays there.
  • There is no technique for the stem…I just attached it to the top in and up and down pattern, using the ends of the pipe cleaners that were already in place holding the mesh.

And that’s it! I spent $12 and technically I already had the wreath form and pipe cleaners. You can remove the mesh and add something different for Christmas, or you can save the pumpkin to use next year. It’s nothing fancy, and I may tweak it here or there, but overall, I think it’s cute.

I never thought I would like the mesh wreaths, but somehow they grew on me. How about you? What kind of decorations do you have for Fall? Any Blogger to WordPress nightmares you’d like to share?!

This post has been featured at:

VMG206

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My Time (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesClose to HomeVintage ChicThe Diary of a Real Housewife 

Pumpkin Pie Millet Porridge

I have been trying out some different grains over the past year or so, and most recently it has been millet. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I went to my favorite source, Pinterest! I’ve tried serving it as a side, like I would rice or cous cous, but I wanted to have other options too. Since I’ve made pumpkin pie oats, and pumpkin pie quinoa, I figured a pumpkin pie millet was in order!

It was hearty, filling and very tasty! Oats will always be my favorite “porridge” I think, (because I don’t consider grits to be porridge. Grits will always be number one with this Southern gal!) but this was a nice change that only has 2 grams of fat (zero saturated), 9 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein per serving! Not to mention other vitamins and minerals. So…that’s a pretty healthy bowl of porridge in my opinion. (And it’s gluten free!)

Pumpkin Pie Millet Porridge

1/2 cup millet, uncooked
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
maple syrup, honey or brown sugar – to taste
pecans, walnuts, etc for topping (optional)

milk or cream for topping (optional)

  • Combine millet and water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  • Add pumpkin puree and pie spice. Stir and let simmer another 10-15 minutes until millet is tender, stirring occasionally and adding extra water if needed. (The amount of water will depend on personal preference as far as consistency goes. I let my water absorb, and then added milk once done.)
  • Add a little sweetener if desired, and serve with a drizzle of syrup or honey and nuts, if using. Toasting the pecans really gives them a wonderful flavor, but I skipped this step because I was hungry! You can also top with milk or cream – however you like your porridge!
  • This recipe makes 2 servings. Add water or milk when reheating to reach desired consistency. This reheats well and does not get as “mushy” as reheating oatmeal.

Recipe Source: Naturally Ella

Anyone else trying new foods? I am trying to decrease the amount of gluten in my diet, just to see if it makes a difference in how I feel. Some days I do really well, and other days….not so much!

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Mandy’s Recipe BoxSowdering About in SeattleNaptime Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily Dish

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

I have two words to convince you to make this…streusel topping. Is not everything better with a streusel topping? Well, almost everything.

This is probably the best French toast casserole I have made so far…and I’ve made several. It is very similar in taste to my Easy Baked French Toast with Streusel Topping but this has the added benefit of pumpkin…which is a vegetable, making this healthy *wink wink*. I really liked the texture as it wasn’t ‘soggy’ like bread pudding and as I said, the streusel topping just takes it over the top. It makes a nice, sweet, cinnamon-y crunchy topping.

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

 6 1/2 cups stale French bread, cut into approx. 1″ cubes
5 eggs
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 cup milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (or fresh, but not canned pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Streusel Topping:

1/4 cup butter, cold
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease or spray an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, milk, pumpkin, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Add bread cubes and gently stir to combine.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, and pumpkin pie spice. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  • Add bread mixture into prepared pan, gently pressing down with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle streusel over the top.
  • Bake for approx. 45 minutes or until topping is nice and brown and the center is puffed, indicating the middle is center is cooked. The casserole will deflate a little as it cools.
  • Let casserole sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Can be served plain or with your favorite syrup (or this quick and easy version if you suddenly realize you’re all out!)
Recipe adapted from A Kitchen Addiction
The original recipe (link above) said to use softened butter for the streusel. I do not recommend that because the streusel becomes a gooey, sticky blob of cinnamon butter. Ask me how I know this. I had  to carefully try to spread it over the bread cubes. The end result was delicious, but I think you will get a better crumbly, traditional streusel by cutting in cold butter.
Also, if you need an egg-free version, both of these are pretty good! Egg-Free French Toast Casserole and Egg Free Baked Pumpkin French Toast.
This recipe was featured at:
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
Photobucket

Thank you ladies!

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from Above,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage ChicLady Behind the Curtain (Saturday) Six Sisters’ StuffMade from Pinterest

Pumpkin…everything!

I’m sure you’ve gotten the memo…it’s Fall y’all. I’m not sure where the summer went, but it’s G-O-N-E. I actually had to break out a jacket yesterday for my Little Man’s soccer game. As far as I am concerned, the only good things about cooler temps is the “let’s make everything pumpkin” craze. And it’s in full force…and I’m ridin’ that train baby! Pumpkin Pie yogurt – YES, Pumpkin Spice Oreos – haven’t found them yet, but looking! Pumpkin Lattes – YES! And the list goes on (and on. and on…). So, I decided we needed a pumpkin round up! Here goes…pumpkin everything!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

 Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal  or
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal  or
Pumpkin Pie Quinoa or
Overnight Pumpkin Oats – What can I say? I have a thing for pumpkin and grains!

Honey Pumpkin Muffins or
Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spiced Scones

Baked Pumpkin French Toast {egg free}

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Pumpkin Spiced Gingerbread Granola

Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake

Easy Pumpkin Beer Bread or
Pumpkin Cornbread or
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread or
Pumpkin Yeast Bread or
Spiced Pumpkin Biscuits

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

And a little story on how to NOT roast pumpkin seeds.

Are you a pumpkin fan?

Pumpkin Spiced Gingerbread Granola & a GIVEAWAY!

Since Mother Nature has decided we are still in full winter mode, I think it’s still the perfect time for the warmly spiced flavors of this granola. Actually I eat pumpkin year round, and this homemade granola is healthy and delicious. It’s also very easy to make, which is always a bonus.

My 11 year old loves to eat granola for breakfast, and I like to mix it in yogurt. Making it at home ensures that quality, wholesome ingredients are used, and it’s easily adapted to whatever you like and have on hand. And the best part about this granola?!

CLUSTERS!!
I feel good about letting my daughter eat this granola full of super foods like oats and pumpkin; nutritious wheat germ, healthy fats from nuts, and naturally sweetened with molasses. I lovelove molasses. However, if it’s not your cup of tea, you can substitute honey. It will have a milder, less ‘gingerbready’ flavor.

Pumpkin Spiced Gingerbread Granola

1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup oil (I used a canola/olive oil blend)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ (I use Kretschmer Wheat Germ)

1/4 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup almonds

1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • Preheat oven to 325°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, molasses, oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and spices.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, almond meal, chia seeds and nuts. 
  • Pour wet ingredients over the dry, and stir until well coated. 
  • Spread granola out in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for approx 45 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes. If you want clumps, keep the stirring to a minimum (as in don’t stir it too aggressively, trying to keep some places undisturbed) but be sure to keep an eye on the edges as they will burn. Mine got a little over cooked, but just on the very edges. 
  • Allow granola to cool and store in an airtight container. 

Recipe adapted from Carla’s Confections

Now, onto the GIVEAWAY! Kretschmer Wheat Germ has agreed to provide 2 jars of wheat germ to a Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader. And WHY would you want to win jars of wheat germ?! Because it’s a nutrition power house! It’s a great way to add extra nutrition into your family’s diet, and it has such a nice nutty crunch. Also, it has only 50 calories per 2-tablespoon serving. Win-Win!

Per their website, Kretschmer Wheat Germ includes:
Vitamin E: This fat-soluble antioxidant helps to protect cells and tissues from damage and may ward off certain diseases.

  • Folic Acid: A must-have for pregnant women—and a good idea for everyone else—this B vitamin helps make healthy new cells to protect against certain cancers.
  • Magnesium: This mineral helps keep your heart, bones and immune system strong. Recent data also suggests it may even slash your Type-2 diabetes risk.
  • Thiamin: This B vitamin helps convert carbohydrates into energy. It’s also essential for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system.
  • Phosphorous: Working with calcium to build strong bones and teeth, this mineral is also necessary for the growth, maintenance and repair of all tissues.
  • Zinc: Your body uses this mineral for hundreds of functions, such as fighting off viruses, helping wounds heal, DNA synthesis and proper cell division.
BONUS: Wheat germ is also a fiber-rich source of high-quality non-animal protein and only contains heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat. Extra bonus: There’s no sodium.

So that’s why you want to incorporate wheat germ into your diet! Plus, it’s great mixed in yogurt, in granola recipes as above, baking, and I like to use it in a low fat topping for muffins….

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form! Shipping is only available within the US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: A jar of Kretschmer Wheat Germ was provided for sampling. No monetary compensation was received and I was under no obligation to post. I enjoy the product and all opinions are my own. 

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

I love oatmeal. L-O-V-E it. And adding pumpkin to oatmeal makes it even, you know….mo’betta 🙂 Especially when you add all the delicious Fall spices that makes everything with pumpkin taste like pumpkin pie. I already have Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal, Overnight Pumpkin Oats, and Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats  on the blog, so it was only natural that I try a baked version. Baked oatmeal has been my least favorite way to eat my oats because it’s always seemed a little dry. However, that all changed with this recipe.

a little maple syrup on top didn’t hurt either

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond-coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup xylitol (can use sugar substitute or more brown sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I mix my own)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill 7-grain Cereal (or more oats)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients from pumpkin through salt, until blended.
  4. Stir in oats, pecans and raisins. 
  5. Pour the oatmeal/pumpkin mixture into prepared baking dish and spread evenly. 
  6. Sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar if desired.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for additional 10-15 minutes or until center is set.
Recipe adapted from RelativeTaste

This was great to prepare on Saturday and have the leftovers for the rest of the week. I cut mine into 9 squares, for about 5 Weight Watchers points per square. Some days I ate it with a little sugar free syrup over the top, and other days I added more milk and turned it into a creamy bowl of pumpkin oatmeal goodness.

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s OverflowingMade from Pinterest

Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats

I loooove oatmeal!  Regular oats, steel cut oats, instant…I like it all, but steel cut is definitely my favorite.  It’s one of the few healthy foods that I eat b/c I want to, not b/c I feel like I should!  Now, if I could just convince the rest of my family….
These oats are made with pumpkin and spices and taste like a big bowl of comfort.

  Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats

 1/3 cup steel cut oats
1 cup water
pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
10 drops vanilla stevia (I use NuNaturals)
Add oats to water with a pinch of salt in a small pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla stevia (or 1 tsp vanilla extract with sweetener of choice – to taste).  Stir to combine and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve with walnuts and a sprinkle of raw sugar if desired.
And if you are experiencing freakishly warm weather like we have been in eastern NC, you can have breakfast outside! I’m sorta loving this view 🙂

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Want a big bowl of bran twigs for breakfast? What? That doesn’t sound appetizing? Hmmm, what about a warm, moist muffin reminiscent of pumpkin pie with a crunchy cinnamon topping? Sounds a little better right?  Now, what if I tell you these muffins are full of those twiggy bran pieces.  Not just any bran either.  Fiber One bran cereal.  So not only are you getting a muffin full of fiber, you are also getting the health benefits of pumpkin – full of antioxidants.  But the most important part….they taste delicious!
 Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
slightly adapted from Crazy for Crust
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups bran cereal (I used Fiber One original, not flakes)
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
For streusel topping:
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or butter spread, melted
Handful of rolled oats (optional)
 
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin cup with cooking spray.
  2. Place the bran cereal and milk in a large bowl. Let soak while you mix your dry ingredients.
  3. Place 1 1/4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a separate bowl and whisk.
  4. Add pumpkin to bran mixture and stir to combine. 
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet. Stir until just combined. 
  6. Evenly divide batter among 12 muffin cups (they don’t rise much, so you can fill them pretty full).
  7. Mix melted butter, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and rolled oats in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of batter.
  8. Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving. Best served warm.