Monday, October 31, 2011

Carving Pumpkins

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

I've got some big posts coming this week, so stay tuned!  The wine cellar is finally done!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bloody Finger Cookies

Happy Halloween!

These bloody fingers have become a tradition in our home for Halloween.  I saw the idea in a magazine a couple of years ago and decided to make them with Henry when he was first interested in helping in the kitchen.  We love this shortbread recipe for our Christmas cookies, so I decided to use our own recipe instead of the one from the magazine.  I had two little monsters help me this year.

For this recipe you will need:

1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks) room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

To decorate the cookies you will need:

Red icing or gel
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Add the flour in small amounts.  Add the milk and vanilla last.  Mix well.  The dough may be a little crumbly at first.  Be patient!  The dough should look like this when you are finished.

Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead about 1 minute.

Pinch off about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball.  Shape the balls into "fingers."  To make an indentation for each fingernail, use the flat end of a table knife.  Using the same knife, make slashes on the finger for knuckles.

The boys were very excited to use their own knives for this!  Oh, and sorry about the blurry pictures and wonky colors.  One doesn't have time to play with the settings on your camera when one is baking with impatient boys!

Here are the boys' fingers.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 13-15 minutes, watching closely.  The cookies should almost be white when ready to remove from the oven.  Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating.

To make the fingers appear "bloody" add some red icing to the end of each nail bed.  Press a sliced almond over the icing for a fingernail. 

Creepy and delicious!

Oh, and a happy Reformation to all my Lutheran friends out there!  ;)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Fun with Grams and the Aunties

Last week we went to the best pumpkin patch/apple orchard with my Mom and sisters.  We had a blast!  Going on a weekday to a place like this is key.  We had the place to ourselves for the most part!  The only bummer was that the hay rides only run on the weekends.  There were plenty of other fun things to do though!
This lovely lady is my Mom.  She is wonderful!

I love this picture of Henry with his Auntie Amelia.

The baked goods at this place are amazing.  On weekends the line is out the door!  We all shared a very large and delicious cranberry muffin and some hot apple cider.

Auntie Amelia is a spoiler and bought each of the boys a bag of marbles.

This is the only picture I got of me with my boys all day!

The boys weren't interested in feeding the hungry goats, so Auntie Amelia did it.

She was a little creeped out!

Here is the farm house.  No one lives there anymore.  They have converted the inside of it into a coffee shop and a store.  The inside of the house is beautiful!

For a quarter, the boys got to play on the playground area.  They loved it!

Who wouldn't love a tricycle with monster tires?

Everyone got messy climbing this hay mountain.

The view from the top was actually quite incredible!

After successfully reaching the top, Grams, Auntie Liesl, and Henry posed for a picture.

Then Liesl took a break on this super comfortable log chair.

Henry climbed this and then went down the slide.  Oliver wanted no part of it!  I was actually glad because adults weren't allowed to go up and I wasn't sure how he would do by himself.

After the boys burned off some energy at the playground, we went to see the sheep and the llamas.

As I photographed this llama, I was reminded of how I used to style my bangs in grade school.  Shudder.

We had a great day and already have plans to go back next year!

Have a great day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Some Thanksgiving Inspiration

Sad to say, Thanksgiving is one holiday that often gets overlooked at my house.  Shame on me!  I have so much to be thankful for!  Year after year, I get so excited to decorate for Christmas after Halloween that I barely give it any thought.  So this year, I am going to show Thanksgiving a little thankful love.  God has richly blessed me and I'm going to show my thankfulness, by golly!  Now I'm going to show you the pictures that serve as my inspiration.

Even though I don't host Thanksgiving at my house, I'm going to pretend I do and create a tablescape just for fun.  However, I am going to cook our own Thanksgiving meal the weekend after so that we'll have some of those delicious leftovers we always miss out on by heading to my parents' house.

Pinned Image
Image found via Pinterest

Pinned Image
Image found via Pinterest

I'll make my favorite pie and do the crust like this.  Or at least I'll try!  Seriously, Martha never ceases to amaze me.

Pinned Image
Image found via Pinterest

I love how people are making "Thankful Trees" lately.  Perhaps I'll try!

Pinned Image
Image found via Pinterest

Pinned Image
Image found via Pinterest

I'm also going to try to make a Thanksgiving banner.  I'm thinking maybe something like this.

Pinned Image
Image found via Pinterest

Finally, a Thanksgiving table isn't complete in my book unless there are festive place cards.  Here are some of my favorites because they're so simple and yet stunning!

Pinned Image
Image found via Pinterest

Pinned Image
Image found via Pinterest

Thanks for letting me share my plans for a fun and festive Thanksgiving season.  I'm looking forward to sharing some fun projects!  What about you?  What will you be doing to show your thankfulness?  Or if you already celebrated Thanksgiving, how did you celebrate and make it special?