Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pick of the Patch

October is nearly halfway over with, where has the time gone?  Like most weekends my family had a lot going on.  First off it was the weekend Bill and I had planned to go out for our joint birthday dinner, we also had some house cleaning to do, a toilet to install, dinners to cook, and last but not least pumpkins to pick.

Saturday morning the family loaded into the family-mobile and headed up towards Romeo to pick that very special Halloween pumpkin (or two).  While the rain was not falling when we left the house that wasn't the case by the time we arrive at our destination.  Plan A was to actually go out in a pumpkin patch to pick our Halloween pumpkins, Plan B (and what we ultimately did) was to find somewhere that had pumpkins inside.  Luckily we found a nice little produce stand that had a greenhouse complete with pumpkins, gourds, and bails of hay.  Another positive to going out to get pumpkins on a cold rainy day was there weren't many other people out, so we basically had the place to ourselves.

This was Charlie's first year looking for his very own pumpkin, last year he was just too little to go out. He was all smiles as he walked around the giant pumpkins that were bigger than him.  Jean found some pint sized pumpkins that she thought were neat, we took 3 of those home with us.  At the end of the outing we had picked our perfect pumpkins, and now we are looking forward to carving them.

Here is a scrapbook page layout I created for our pumpkin outing.  I used Twin Mom Scraps "Hooty Owl" Page Kit and Armina Designs Double Page Set 15 as my template.  There was a woman at the greenhouse who was sweet enough to ask if we wanted a family picture, I was so happy to see how well the family photo turned out, (even if Jean wasn't looking).  I think it was the perfect photo!

Twin Mom Scraps "Hooty Owl" Kit
Armina Designs Double Page Set 15 Template
 The next few weeks look to be pretty busy ones for my family.  Next week I go to D.C. for a few days for meetings, then the following week I'm in PA for a couple of days, and finally I round out the end of the month going to Kalkaska for a few days.  In between trips for work I get to go on a girls only weekend with my mom and sister, then there is a Halloween Parade in Williamston, we need to find time to carve our pumpkins and of course there is Halloween!!  I can't believe we can fit so much into only a two and a half week time span.  Lucky for my my husband is wonderful with the kids when I'm away, and we have everything scheduled out on the calendar.

Until Next Time....

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall is in the Air

Well here in Michigan the weather is getting cooler, and the leaves are changing colors, these are all signs of Fall.  It won't be too long now until the trees are bare and the snow is covered in a nice blanket of that white fluffy stuff (yes I'm going to say it snow).  For now I'm okay with the cooler temperatures, maybe not so okay with the thoughts of snow and freezing weather, but there is still another month or so before that comes.

No new photos of the kid-o's again this week, but there will be some real soon, I promise.  Next weekend the plan is to go pumpkin picking, (huge photo op.) and then after that it will be the Halloween parade and trick or treating in Williamston with my sister and her family, then pumpkin carving and finally the big event HALLOWEEN!  So more photos to come very soon!!!!

October is a great month, to me it's the start of some real good fall comfort cooking.  With the hot summer weather it's hard for me to want to turn the oven on, but now the thought of warming the house up with the oven and the smells of something good cooking makes me smile.  Tonight's dinner is makes me want it to be Fall all year round.  For my family I made some great Sausage Stuffed Squash!  It was yummy!!!!  The house still has a faint smell of sausage, squash and baking apples wafting through it.  Once again this is not only a great meal full of rich flavors, but it also a budget friendly mean as well.  I didn't price it out, but I think you could get by making a nice dinner for 4 for under 15-20 dollars.  I love cooking using seasonal veggies, not only is it tasty but it's also cheaper.  Okay so enough talking about how great dinner was, I know get to the recipe, right!!!  Okay well here it is, (by the way, this is a recipe my mother in law gave to me, not sure where she got it from).

Sausage Stuffed Squash (pic taken by me)

Sausage Stuffed Squash (pic taken by ME)

Sausage Stuffed Squash
Time from start to finish apx. 1 hour 30 minutes (about 30 minutes hand on)

What you need (serving size 4) (1/2 squash per serving):
-2 medium sized acorn squash
-1 lb bulk pork sausage
-1 cup chopped celery (optional)
-4 Tbps. chopped onion
-1 cup chopped & peeled tart apples (I used Granny Smith)
-2 tsp. flour
-2 eggs lightly beaten
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/4 tsp. salt

Here's how you make it:
1. Cut squash in half & remove seeds
2. Place squash (cut side down) in a greased 13x9x2" baking dish (add about 1/2 to 3/4" of water in the bottom of the baking dish)
3. Cover and bake squash at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until the squash is very tender (my husband likes his squash extra mushy so I normally cook it for 40 minutes)
4. While the squash is in the oven it's time to make the stuffing.  In a medium sized skillet cook the sausage, celery, and onion, (cook until sausage is no longer pink).
5. Add apples and cook for 2 more minutes.
6. Drain fat from sausage mixture.
7. In a bowl combine the flour, eggs and sour cream and mix until smooth, stir into cooked sausage mixture.
8. Now with the cooked squash, remove water from baking dish, turn squash over (so now the cut side is up) & sprinkle squash with salt.
9. Stuff the squash with the sausage mixture, and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes (until heated through) at 350 degrees F.
10. Serve, eat and enjoy!!!

I hope you like this recipe as much as my family does.

Okay well that's about it for now, thanks for checking in.

Until Next Time...