Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What I've Been Up To

Barrettes and Pins

Tomato Cage Earring Displays

My friend Christina's pillows displayed at the craft fair.

A little over a week ago I did my first craft fair along with my friend Christina whose table was next to mine.  It wasn't a very big craft fair and it wasn't in a well trafficked area.  Most of the attendees were senior citizens who watch their money closely, so needless to say, it wasn't a big money maker.  Luckily to rent the spot wasn't expensive at all, so we were able to make that money back and a little bit more.  But, I guess it was good for a first experience because it definitely was NOT overwhelming

Since the fair I have been busy with baking, something I always do at this time of the year.  I also finally started my Christmas shopping.  Normally, I am more than half finished with my shopping by now, but with the economy as it is, our spending money is sparse.  My Christmas shopping this year is going to have to be more bargain oriented, which takes a little more planning and time. I am becoming very good at finding nice things on the clearance sales racks.
I am also cooking and freezing meals for my hubby. You see, my youngest daughter will be moving back home for a while and we immediately planned a trip for her and I to go visit my other daughter and grandchildren, leaving poor hubby to fend for himself.  He would love to come too but can't miss work right now.  He is saving his vacation for Christmas time.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's That Time of Year

It's that time of year when the weather gets slightly cooler (I am in Florida) and I start to miss the autumn leaves falling, and the aromas of fresh baked breads and cookies filling the house.  I can't do anything about the autumn leaves but I can fill the house with delicious scents. Last year I found a recipe for the best pumpkin bread I ever had on recipes.com.  Unfortunately, last year during the holiday season I baked so much that I put on some extra pounds that I never got rid of.  I have been trying to put off my itch to start baking in order to stay on my diet and lose a few pounds first. I had been successful until today.  After talking to my sister-in-law on the phone about diets and exercise, she asked me for my pumpkin bread recipe, which I promptly gave her.  But now I wanted to bake even more, so I decided that I would try to make the recipe a little more diet friendly.  I switched out 1/2 cup of butter for 1/2 cup of light butter with canola oil(land o lakes), and instead of 3 eggs I used 1 egg and the equivalent of 2 eggs in egg substitute.  The recipe called for 3 cups of sugar which I used 1 and 1/2 cups sugar and 1 and 1/2 cups of Splenda.  I don't know calorie wise how much I saved but I know that this bread is healthier for me than the original recipe because I have to watch my sugar, and cholesterol being a diabetic with a heart problem.  I was quite pleased with the results and I don't think anyone will notice the difference if I don't tell them.

Here is the revised recipe, if anyone is interested.

1 cup light butter(made with canola oil)
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 cups Splenda
1 egg
1/2 cup egg substitute
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 and 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1-16 oz. can pumpkin
Cream together butter and sugars, add eggs and mix well.  Combine dry ingredients and stir into creamed mixture.  Stir in pumpkin.  Pour into two greased 9x5 loaf pans.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until test done.

Pretty simple and pretty delicious.
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