Happy Thanksgiving

Well, that was fun…


…and made a lovely addition to our soup at supper last night. Our bacon-potato-carrot-hard-boiled-egg-soup-with-a-little-chicken-and-parsley. {Yum.}

My online friend Beth linked to the turkey platter idea and my children had fun putting it together while the broth ran over and burned on the stovetop and the babies yelled for food and I called for Ryan to come home from his office in the next room so I could survive the final moments of dinner prep.

Meanwhile, in other news, the twins have taken mess-making to a whole new level.



Continue reading

Pumpkin-Spice-Latte Trifle

Confession: This is the time of year when I can’t help grabbing my camera and capturing the last bits of color outdoors. They fill my mind with light.



(Hold on, hold on. I’ll get to the food in a minute.)




I found a spot of loveliness in my kitchen too… a sensory delight, and not for eyes only.


(See? I told you.)

I have a winner of a recipe to share with you today: a luscious trifle made with pumpkin bread and cappuccino mousse.

The component recipes are not original with me. The pumpkin bread recipe was handed down from my mother, and the homemade mousse was once published in a Taste of Home magazine. I only had the happy idea of combining them, a year or two ago. You stack them up with whipped cream and Heath bits… and try not to dissolve into tears when you taste your first bite.

With a hint of coffee, it’s probably the dessert version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte—and perfect for this month of the year. (It would have been perfect for last month too, but I didn’t publish it then.)

You could use any sort of pumpkin cake for the cubes, but I love the denser texture and subtler sweetness of pumpkin bread.


Pumpkin Bread

3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp ginger
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp soda
1 ½ tsp salt

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.

4 eggs
2 ½ cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups canned or home-pureed pumpkin
2/3 cup water

Blend well, then add dry ingredients and mix. Divide batter into three loaf pans and bake at 350° for 50 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.

Cut a cooled loaf of pumpkin bread into cubes and layer with creamy Cappuccino Mousse (Taste of Home’s recipe here), whipped cream or Cool Whip, and Heath bits.

The extra loaves of bread freeze well, or make lovely gifts.


Do you have a favorite fall-flavors recipe to share in time for Thanksgiving? I’d love to give it a try!

Charlie Anderson

The other day, my daughter told me about a book she and Grandma heard during story time at the local library.

IMG_2287_2She said it was called Charlie Anderson, a title I’d never run across before. My interest was piqued when she told me it was about a cat named Charlie, who leaves his people and goes into the woods every night. On the other side of the woods lives a family with a cat named Anderson, who goes off into the woods every morning. I started laughing.

“Honey, that’s awesome!” I said.

“So they call him Charlie Anderson,” she told me.

“We’ll check it out the next time we go to the library,” I promised. Continue reading

The rest of the mog story

Confession: I am slightly embarrassed. And extremely grateful.

Today my son brought home a package he’d found in his locker at school.


Inside the wrappings and quirky box and fun tissue paper


was this.

Picture of mug with this note: "I always wondered why I ended up with a mug like this. Now I know- It was for such a time as this!"

It’s made by my favorite potter (Alison Hershberger of White Hill Pottery), just like the one I smashed, and it’s large and perfect and shockingly beautiful.


I knew God was in the business of giving undeserved gifts, but apparently one of my local blog readers is too. I don’t know who you are—your careful typing left little chance of that—but I am so grateful. I will cherish this mog until smash do us part.

Thank you!


Our maiden voyage… Ahhhh!


Mogs and mistakes

It seems that posting even twice a week will be over my head at times. I will write when I can. “Just enough to stay sane,” a wise friend told me, and I will be taking her advice. It will help if both you and I forget about my little Mondays and Fridays idea. Pretend that didn’t happen.

Confession: I burned the first batch of caramel good and hard to the bottom of the saucepan, because I was washing supper dishes and singing I Stand Amazed in the Presence, and I forgot to stir even once.

With guests due to arrive within the hour for an apple dipping party, my knight-of-twelve-years-and-counting-who-has-gotten-me-out-of-worse-scrapes-than-this-one offered to make the emergency run for more caramels. {You know the Dr. Laura definition of true love? Swimming through shark-infested waters to bring her a glass of lemonade.}

I turned to drying the dishes, but the kiddos were wild and needy and hyper. Abruptly, I set my tea towel on the counter to rescue one who appeared in danger of sudden death from starvation or sibling attack or something perilous—and when I snatched up the towel again two minutes later, I forgot it was wrapped around my favorite of favorite mugs, the one my best friend gave me for my birthday, hand-crafted by her other best friend.

There was a rather dreadful smash. Continue reading