Sunday, October 29, 2017

Host a Sweater Pumpkin Party

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Crafting is fun, but crafting with friends is even better. Have some fall fun by hosting a Sweater Pumpkin Making Party. You just need a few quick things:

1) Friends or acquaintances
2) Consumable Sweater pumpkin makings: old sweaters (I got mine at Goodwill); polyfil (I got mine at Saver's); yarn; embroidery floss; and sticks for stems (I gathered mine from my yard and baked them in a 170F oven for several hours)
3) Hardware: Scissors or cutting mat with cutting roller, hot glue gun

We followed this video for our sweater making, and it's really easy. 

Hosting the pumpkin making party is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1) Pick a day and invite your friends; I like to use Facebook events. 
2) Plan a potluck, if you want. I threw together some Chili Mac in the crock pot and friends brought sides and dessert. I have some ideas for fall cocktails too! 
3) You can either provide the sweaters and essentials, let's say you're cleaning out your closet, or have friends bring their own.


You don't have to follow a traditional color scheme for your sweater pumpkins. Go with
what works with your decor! 

One of the great things about making sweater pumpkins, is that they don't have to be perfect! When was the last time you saw a perfect pumpkin? Have fun with it! Share a picture of how your pumpkins turn out!  

Friday, October 27, 2017

Utah Pumpkinmaker Cocktail

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Utah Pumpkinmaker Cocktail Recipe, using local
favorites.

     It's Fall Cocktail Friday! This week is an autumnal take on the classic Boilermaker drink using a pair of Utah local brews - Wasatch Brewery's Black o' Lantern Pumpkin Stout and Ogden's Own Distillery's Underground Herbal Spirit. People often think that no one in Utah drinks, but there are plenty of us out there, and though Utah can have some funky liquor laws there are still excellent local breweries and distilleries. The Utah Pumpkinmaker Cocktail is for the savory cocktail lover. Both Underground and the Pumpkin Stout are excellent on their own.
     Underground is a liqueur containing 33 different herbs and spices. It has a lower sugar content than most liqueurs, which means firstly, all of those 33 flavors dance across your palate as you enjoy it, and secondly it isn't nearly as syrupy as many other liqueurs. 
     Black o' Lantern has Imperial roots... Imperial Stout roots that is, to which pumpkin and spices are added. Beer Advocate gives it a 3.7/5 and I find that the balance of the stout, pumpkin and spices are excellent with enough malt and hop to keep the beer from being too cloying as can sometimes be the case.

So you take the brilliance of the pumpkin stout with the spiciness of Underground add a dose of Halloween Frankensteinian experimentation and you create a savory pumpkin pie in a glass, with a kick! It's ALIVE!!!

Ingredients:

1 can of Wasatch Black o'Lantern (or your favorite pumpkin ale)
1 oz. shot of Underground (or a herbal liqueur such as J├Ągermeister)

Directions:

Pour the beer into a pint glass and Underground into a shot glass. Drop the shot of Underground into your glass of pumpkin ale and enjoy (responsibly)!

There is a great debate about whether the shot should be dropped in the beer or served on the side for the traditional Boilermaker. That's for you to decide, but for the Utah Pumpkinmaker you want to meld the flavors.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Loving life when sick

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Loving life when sick may seem impossible, so maybe it would be more appropriate to say, love and care for yourself when sick. We've hit that time of year, when people are dropping like flies with health maladies. Cold. Flu. Pneumonia. Stomach Viruses. It's sickness season.

Life is busy, busy, busy. And when illness hits, it can be hard to throttle down, but it's important to practice self-care to help yourself recover more quickly. If you won't do it for yourself, do it for the unsuspecting souls around you. Trust me - your coworkers, friends, fellow volunteers, parishioners, PTA members, cosplayers, etc. - they don't want what you've got. Keep your germs to yourself and stay home, especially if you're coughing or sneezing like it's your full time job. 

Since you're at home practicing self-care, here are some things to do to help you love life a little bit more while you're sick. 

Try yoga for when you're sick


Get some sleep - your body is tired, so go with it


Consume something tasty and good for you, like honey, chicken soup, vitamin C. Here are some other ideas, plus info about the effectiveness


Take care of yourself so you can get back to your regularly scheduled loved, lived life quickly. Do you have a tip that helps you feel better when you're sick? We'd love to hear it in the comments below. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Good or Bad Quote

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This quote always reminds me that I can choose to focus on the good or I can choose to focus on the bad. Today I choose to search for the silver linings. 


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Pumpkin Cardamom French Toast

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We admit it - we get caught up in the pumpkin hysteria each Fall too. But, the same old pumpkin spices can get old fast, so this weekend we whipped up some pumpkin french toast with the exotic influence of cardamom and ginger. Give this Pumpkin Cardamom French Toast recipe a try and let us know what you think!


Ingredients: 

1/2 c. canned pumpkin
3 eggs
3/4 c. whole milk
1 t. cinnamon
3.4 t. cardamom
1/4 t. ginger
1 t. vanilla
1 loaf of white bread, cut into thick slices (We used sourdough and the tartness was a nice off-set to the sweetness of the pumpkin and syrup, but it's not for everyone)
Cooking spray
Maple syrup & butter for serving



Directions:

1. In a square Pyrex pan mix pumpkin through vanilla, being sure the eggs get well incorporated. (We find the square pan makes it easier to submerge a couple of pieces of bread at a time.)
2. Preheat a skillet or griddle. Spray lightly with cooking spray, if needed. 
3. Slice the bread into thick (around 1") slices.
4. Place bread in the delicious pumpkin batter. Once saturated to your liking, place on the hot griddle. Cook until brown; flip and cook on that side as well. 
5. Spread on some butter and drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fall Cocktail Friday

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The gradual fade of summer to fall brings mixed weather; some chilly autumn days you want to bundle up with a blanket and a hot drink while others bring heat and sunshine, t-shirt and cold drink weather. At the end of the work week, it's the perfect time to relax with Fall Cocktail Friday. This week's recipe, Bourbon Autumn Apple, is good hot or cold, like layering clothes for Fall. 



Ingredients

1 c. apple juice
4 oz bourbon
2 oz barenjager
2 oz triple sec or Grand Marnier
1 apple, sliced
Fresh grated nutmeg
A sprinkle of cinnamon


Directions

Mix all ingredients up to nutmeg in a cocktail mixer. Add ice if serving chilled or heat it in a saucepan or microwave for a cold day. Garnish with a slice of apple, grate some nutmeg, sprinkle some cinnamon, and enjoy.