Remembering September and Looking to October

For photo credit, click on pic

October is here and it is one of my most favorite months; I adore fall weather.  September was disappointing as far as autumn goes — we had temperatures in the upper 80s most of the time.

Now the air truly has a bite of apple crispness and find myself perfectly content to stay home with a large mug of warm milk and and an even bigger book.

Now, for retrospect followed by exciting plans….

Remembering September:

  • I began life as a soccer mom (gasp!); and Hope is really loving the sport.  It is so nice to see her working hard and making friends.
  • Baking:  a made some fall favorites (pumpkin bars and espresso brownies) and baked a new recipe, Cranberry Honey Drop Cookies.
  • The adoption was finalized!  Sam is Hope’s daddy for ever and always!
  • I began a new embroidery project
  • I had a wonderful date day with Sam to Athens.
  • Several wonderful trips to the library and a phenomenal library book sale
  • Celebrated Sam’s 29th birthday
  • Began taking Prepared Child Birth Classes
  • Readying the nursery!
  • Finally I have internet at home
  • Craft night with friends featuring yarn, Thai food, coffee and gossip
  • Read three books (only three!), Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley by Alison Weir, Anatomy of Deception by Lawrence Goldstone, and The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Looking to October:

  • Blogtoberfest! The goal is to post every day in October.  I didn’t accomplish this last year, but I sure did post a heck of a lot more.  My goal is to post every day, even if it is a tiny writeup, rant, or link.
  • Finishing Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour.  This is a fabulous book, but nearly 1,000 pages long.  This is my “I must finish this book before Atticus gets here” challenge.
  • Speaking of Atticus he *might* be here by the end of the month.  Needless to say I’ll be nesting, baby prepping, and finishing childbirth class.  I’m looking forward to this being my last month of pregnancy and having my little man soon!
  • Thrifting!  Tomorrow is the huge community thrift sale, because of Hope’s soccer game I won’t make it there until noon so I hope some deals are left.
  • Working on my new embroidery project and finishing the blanket for Atticus.
  • Organizing my photo albums.  I feel compelled to tackle the box of pictures and put them in order.
  • Breaking out the sewing machine
  • Making holiday plans and beginning my baking and gift plans early
  • READATHON!  Next Saturday!  Yay!
  • Staycation!  Hope has fall break week after next and we have plans to see a movie, have lunch with her Dad at work, take walks and watch plentiful amounts of Dark Shadows.
  • Possibly a foray into Once a Month Cooking…. possibly
  • Organizing my bookshelves.  I’m saving this for my nesting spurt.
  • Baking big loaves of crusty bread and making jar after jar of pumpkin butter and apple butter.
  • Audiobook stockpile!  I’m stocking up on audio books for when I function as a milk tank in late October / early November.  Pass on any recommendations!

There we have it, lots of stuff to look forward to!  In my immediate future I see a shower and hitting the pillow.  I’m tired and I know I’ll be up 5o0 times in the night since Atticus has decided my bladder is the perfect squeeze toy.

Remembering August and Looking to September

Yesterday Hope stayed home from school because of a sore throat, sinus headache and some sniffles.  By two in the afternoon she was feeling much better and I began feeling crappy.  My throat hurts and I’ve been blowing my nose in Starbucks for the past hour (I’m sure the other customers are more than thrilled).

While I was feeling ill yesterday, I flipped through my journal and found something interesting.  On January 31st I listed accomplishments and memories from the month and then made another list of things I was looking forward to in September.  Seasonal allergies aside, there are many exciting things happening in September and August was a good month for me so I thought I’d revive the list.

Remembering August:

Sam's DIY Dali moustache...

Looking to September:

  • another baby shower
  • Hope’s soccer season begins
  • Carl’s R.I.P reading challenge (more on that later)
  • finishing the baby blanket
  • Autumn baking (pumpkin and apple everything)
  • leaves changing and cooler breezes
  • breaking out my Docs
  • getting internet at the house (hopefully next week)
  • baking bread with friends
  • completing the nursery
  • adoption finalized
  • library book sale
  • new embroidery projects
  • pumpkin spice lattes
  • black fingernail polish
  • childbirth class
  • crafting thank you cards
  • paying off my credit cards
  • Sam’s 29th birthday

I’m ready, September!

Baking Fiend Strikes Again!

I’ve spent the past four hours in the kitchen baking up a storm.  I started with my Grandma’s Peanut Butter Bar Recipe, then tweaked a recipe for Dark Chocolate Mocha Brownies, and finished up with Strawberry Peach Cookies.  I forgot to nab after baking pics of the Strawberry Peach cookies and I’m too lazy to go do it now.  You’ll have to use your imagination!

I’ve had requests for recipes, so here you are:

Grandma’s Peanut Butter Bars

  • heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • melt 1/2 C. up Peanut Butter and 1 stick of butter in a 2 quart pan
  • take off heat
  • add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 2 beaten eggs
  • stir in 1 C. all purpose, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • stir in 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Pour into greased pan
  • bake 25 – 30 minutes

Dark Chocolate Mocha Brownies

(modified from The Way the Cookie Crumbles)

5 ounces semisweet chocoloate chips

10 Dove dark chocolate candies (the type in the bag)

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 tablespoons freshly ground coffee

3 large eggs

1¼ cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon table salt

1 cup and 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Fold two 12-inch pieces of foil lengthwise so that they measure 7 inches wide. Fit one sheet in the bottom of the greased pan, pushing it into corners and up the sides of the pan; overhang will help in the removal of the baked brownies. Fit the second sheet in the pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a medium pan on low heat, melt the chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Add in heavy whipping cream and stir.  Whisk in the cocoa and coffee until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture; then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spread into corners, and level the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove the brownies from the pan using the foil overhang. Cut into squares and serve.

Strawberry Peach Cookies

(modified from Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook )

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large, ripe peaches (peeled, pitted, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1/3 cup strawberry preserves
  • cinnamon sugar mixture (1 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda
  3. Mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low, and add in egg and vanilla.  Mix until well-blended.  Add flour mixture and mix until combined.  Add diced peaches and preserves, mix until just combined.
  4. using a tablespoon, drop dough onto buttered cookie sheet spacing 2 inches apart.  (Chill remaining dough between batches)
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture and bake 13 – 15 minutes .  Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack for at least 10 minutes.