Fusilli with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

I had pumpkin puree leftover from the Pumpkin Fudge I made earlier in the week (recipe here).  Wasting it was just not an option so I began googling pumpkin sauce recipes.  For my Creamy Pumpkin Sauce I included variations of all the common ingredients I already had in my fridge and pantry.  I even surprised myself with how tasty it was!  Here is the final recipe:

  • ¾ can Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ lb Fusilli pasta (or your pasta of choice)
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves of Garlic minced
  • ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ cup Sour Cream
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Dash of ground All Spice
  • Dash of ground Cinnamon
  1. In a medium saucepan, sauté the minced garlic in the olive oil over medium heat, until soft, not brown.
  2. Begin boiling the pasta until al dente.
  3. Spoon in the pumpkin, heavy whipping cream and sour cream until mixed well and bring to a slow boil.
  4. Add the spices, salt and grated parmesan cheese until mixed and melted.
  5. Drain the pasta and stir into pumpkin sauce until well-covered.

Next time I will plan ahead and add half a pound of Italian sausage too!

DIY: Candlesticks & Lamps

When my boyfriend and I moved-in together it became quite a challenge to combine all of our mismatched belongings in an organized manner.  To create a sense of cohesiveness I bought 3 brass candlesticks ($3 each) and two brass lamps ($8 each) at a local Goodwill Superstore.  I spray-painted them each with two coats of the “Carbon” colored Rustoleum Metallic Paint and Primer in One.  Although each candlestick and lamp are a different design, the matching color brings a consistent style to our small cozy home.

You will need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Acetone
  • Old rag
  • Tarp
  • Spray paint with primer

 

 

Candlesticks and Lamps before: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Layout your tarp outside (because of paint fumes) on a flat surface: table, sidewalk, driveway, etc.  (I used an old piece of plywood my dad had laying around and placed it on top of an old table on our patio.)
  2. Take the candlesticks apart and remove the light fixtures from the lamps.
  3. Carefully and meticulously sand the surface of each candlestick and lamp getting into every nook and cranny.  (This will help the paint to stick.)
  4. Clean off the dust and any candle wax residue with acetone using an old rag.
  5. Put the candlesticks back together and set them upside down for the first coat.
  6. Spray a solid first coat on each candlestick and let dry for several hours.  (I waited overnight.)
  7. Turn the candlesticks upright, spray paint the second coat, and let dry.
  8. Reattach the light fixtures to the lamps and add lampshades (I got mine from Target).
  9. Ta dahhhh!

Pumpkin Fudge

I made a pumpkin dessert for an early Halloween party at work.  I found this Pumpkin Fudge recipe on Pinterest (and many more goodies I am dying to try!).  It was pretty easy to make but just make sure you have a candy thermometer.  It took about 14 minutes for the mixture to reach 234 degrees.  The fudge turned out great but it was VERY sweet!  Just make sure when you serve it to cut it in 1 inch squares or smaller.  Also, pumpkin was not the dominant flavor, but it definitely tasted deliciously like Fall.

Here’s the receipe: http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2010/10/21/pumpkin-fudge/  

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet and place in preheated oven 5-7 minutes until fragrant. Shake the baking sheet halfway through baking so the nuts will toast evenly. Remove nuts from oven and set aside to cool completely.
  2. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil letting the foil extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, pumpkin, butter and spice. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234° to 240º F (soft-ball stage).
  4. Quickly stir in white chocolate chips, marshmallow crème, 3/4 cup walnuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until morsels are melted. Immediately pour into prepared pan and top with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts. Let stand on wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cooled. Refrigerate tightly covered. To cut, lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Collegiate Rice Krispie Treats

Tailgating is one of my favorite activities.  After loading up on salty foods like hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chips, etc I’m always looking for a sweet treat.  You certainly can’t go wrong with Rice Krispie Treats!  They are quick and easy to make.  I added food coloring to each batch for Florida Gator team colors – blue and orange.  CHOMP!

1.  First, spray the entire inside of your pot with cooking spray so the marshmallow doesn’t stick to it.  Then melt 3 tablespoons of butter or margarine.

2.  Add one 10 oz. package of regular-sized marshmallows over low heat until they are completely melted.  Be sure to also spray your mixing spoon with cooking spray or you WILL have a mess on your hands!

3. Add food coloring if you so desire.  I added red & yellow to the first batch and several drops of blue to the other batch.  Looking back I would have added more blue knowing now that the yellow hue of the rice krispies made them look a little green.  (Boooo!)

4. Add 6 cups of Rice Krispies and stir until they are completely covered by marshmallow.

5.  Voilà!  Pour each batch into a 9×13 pan and let them cool.  To make them fill the pan neatly and evenly, spray your hand with cooking spray and pat them down.

Happy First Day of Fall

In honor of the first day of Fall I have officially opened my new Yankee Candle Autumn Wreath Scented Gel Car Freshener. I have been awaiting this day for some time. Why you ask? Florida, especially Miami, does not quite feel like Fall yet so it might as well smell like it! Here’s to some cooler weather and to all the pumpkin flavored goodies to come this season.

Anyone have any good recipes with a pumpkin spin? Please reply!

You can buy your own Yankee Candle Autumn Wreath Scented Gel Car Freshener here:

http://wholesale.yankeecandle.com/cgi-bin/ycwhp/listing.jsp?category=%2fRetail%2fHome+%26%2338%3b+Car+Fragrance%2fCar+Gels

Esty Purchase Success!

Last week, a friend and illustrator posted a link on my Facebook page to another Etsy illustrator that she thought I would like, a shop called “Wild & Free”. I fell in love with every drawing! They are creative, colorful, simple and sweet. I ordered her “Our Tree” original illustration and asked her to include my boyfriend and I’s initials inside the heart. I received it in the mail this week and simply cannot wait to find the perfect frame and hang it in our home. You can check out her shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/wildandfreee?ref=pr_shop_more

I had never purchased anything on Etsy before but it was so easy and a truly delightful experience. I don’t think I’ll buy art or gifts anywhere else again. (Holiday shopping here I come!) The fact that everything has a personal creative touch makes all the difference. I’ve toyed with the thought of opening my own Etsy shop selling vintage treasures one day, we’ll see… In the meantime, I’m going to make note of my favorite Etsy shops and post them. Any recommendations of shops I should check out? I’d love to hear about them.

Happy Shopping!

Meal Memories: Spanish Tortilla and Coca Cola with Lemon

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April 13, 2011 – I spent my 27th birthday in San Sebastian, Spain. It is a sleepy coastal fishing town with gorgeous views of the ocean, delicious tapas restaurants and bakeries galore. We had been trekking all over Barcelona and Paris and were pretty exhausted by this point. We took advantage of my birthday and finally slept-in, ordered room service and watched the only English TV channel airing random episodes of Family Guy, Bones, Desperate Housewives, and Modern Family.

By 4pm we finally crawled out of the hotel and ventured into town. It was too early for dinner (restaurants do not open for dinner in Spain until 7pm or later) so we decided to find a snack in the meantime. We seated ourselves at a small casual outdoor cafe. The locals were enjoying bottles of wine, beer, espresso, you name it. The only food they were serving at this time were Spanish Tortillas. It sounded okay so we ordered two. We also ordered two Cokes. (Coke Zero for Fern, he only drinks diet. I can’t stand the taste of the substitute sugar. We will never share a soda, ha.) One of my favorite parts of Europe was the addition of a slice of lemon to each soda. I can’t explain the excitement of my taste buds at such a small gesture but now I try to replicate it at home to bring me back to my “happy place”.  Soon the warm buttery tortillas finally arrived at our table, each with a fresh piece of baguette. The tortillas had a thin slices of ham and cheese in the middle of the potato, onion and egg concoction. It was the perfect temperature, the perfect texture and totally hit the spot. I was voracious by this point but forced myself to slow down and enjoy every morsel. We had plenty of tasty and enjoyable meals in Europe but this was the most memorable and special. Maybe next year for my birthday I’ll request an entire Tortilla instead of a cake!

P.S. I printed this picture and attached it to our refrigerator. Every time I see it my mouth waters… Probably a bad idea but the memory makes me happy🙂