let’s try this again

Happy Friday!  My brain was a pile of mush last night by the time I edited photos.  I had to hang the computer up for the night and get some sleep!  So, a little delayed, but here you go. :)

You really can’t go wrong when you top your oats with Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter, Pumpkin butter + granola.  It’s like a tri-fecta of amazingness.

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Again, I’m stuck on this rolled oats + oat bran + ground flax meal combo.  The flax definitely gives the oats a heartier, nutty flavor.  They also plump them up quite a bit. 

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I believe the word you are looking for is “mmmmm.”

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So, I’m completely obsessed with Mama Pea’s pumpkin spice latte.  It’s pretty much perfection in a mug.  Perfect for a cool fall morning! 

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Natalie [my SIL], stopped by this morning to drop off a gift.  Well, 3 gifts to be exact.  Apples from her neighbors tree!  This little guy is about the size of 2 golf balls.  I never pass up free apples. :)

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The apple needed to be incorporated into lunch.  Hmmmm

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I’ve made apple + cheese sandwiches before, but today I took it to a whole new level. 

Obviously with pumpkin butter. 

Oh man, oh man, this hit the spot.  If the combo freaks you out, don’t let it!  I toasted the english muffin first, then sliced apple and Organic Valley extra sharp white cheddar cheese, and of course got out the jar of pumpkin butter.  Apple + cheese or pear + cheese is extremely tasty.  I think a nice sharp white cheese works best, like sharp white cheddar or parmesan, etc.  However, play around and see what you like.  I topped the muffin and set it to broil.


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Gift #2 that Natalie dropped off:  Maggie

We now have 3 BIG doggies running around an 1100sq ft. house.  Fun times ;)  When Maggie arrived it was like an episode of Scooby Doo x3.  The dogs were SO excited and trying to run, but were going nowhere because of the wood floors.  Dakota’s legs slid out from under her, and she landed on her arse, per usual.  It was quite the scene.

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“why me?”

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Gift #3 was letting me borrow her vacuum!!!  Yes, I consider borrowing a vacuum a gift.  We got rid of our vacuum when we moved from Denver.  I’m pretty sure it was about ready to explode by the noises that were coming from it.  I don’t want to die from a tragic vacuuming accident, so we got rid of it.

Since we have about 85% hardwoods [just 2 bedrooms have carpet], I’ve been sweeping the old fashioned way, and it works out just fine.  However, yes, that means the 2 bedrooms haven’t been vacuumed in almost 2 months.  Which I’m sure you really care about…

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Well, the reason I’m even bringing this up is because IT IS AN AMAZING VACUUM.  It worked surprisingly well on carpets and great for hardwoods too.  The only problem with the hard floors is that there is a fan in the front, so it kind of blows the dog hair around.  I’ve seen multiple vacuums like this, and I don’t really understand the location of the fan.  You just kind of have to vacuum towards the wall to collect everything.

The best part about it, is all of the attachments it comes with.  It’s specifically a pet friendly vacuum.  I can’t even tell you how easily it cleaned dog hair off of our couch.  We’ve tried the scotch tape lint rollers, and many other methods, none of which work too well.  This was amazing.  The other nice thing about it is that it’s pretty lightweight and small. 

As soon as I realized it worked so well, I started vacuuming EVERYTHING.  Even our mattress, which hadn’t been done in way too long. 

Okay, I’ll stop about the vacuum.  I was just really impressed and wanted you to know.  Especially you pet owners! 

Shark Navigator [they found it at Costco]

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[probably not a good idea to post while drinking coffee….I think I tend to ramble more + get excited too easily]

Back to the main point of my post…

Guess what I tried again yesterday??

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Mandel bread!  I’m not giving up people!  Thanks for all of your cute + funny supportive comments.  I must get this right!

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What I like about this recipe, is that there isn’t too much to clean afterwards and it really only takes about 8-10min to throw together.  Now if only it would….

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RISE!!! yaaaaaay

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I watched it in the oven, like a worried mother.  I think I did a little dance when I saw that they were puffing up!

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Time to get twice baked!

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la la la la laaaa

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Kenna could smell the difference!

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Peeeeeak!  That cookie is saying {{eat meeeee}}

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They rose about 80% of what they should, which is fine by me!

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And do you know what the trick was??  Adding LESS baking powder.  Imagine that!  If you are not at high altitude you should have no problems at all.  Here are a few changes I made for these to turn out correctly.  I’ll give the high altitude recipe after a few more trials.

  • less baking powder – I typically do this for high alt. but figured they needed more when they weren’t rising.
  • a touch more flour – I think this helps trap the gasses, [which causes things to rise faster w/o them being cooked enough on the inside] that are released more quickly due to the altitude.
  • baked them for 24min instead of 30 – with a higher oven temp [20*] these bake a lot faster.
  • extra large egg – I read this could help, and typically, recipes need a bit more liquid out here.
  • no salt – it’s not in the original recipe, so I just left it out.

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What do you do after FINALLY reaching success?

Get out your jar of pumpkin butter…slather it onto 2 cookies…

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Then, package up the rest, with a jar of pumpkin butter and give it to your friends!  After the mandel bread victory, we headed to Peter + Michelle’s house for pizza night!  You know, Tamale Peter!

We feasted on bean dip + crackers, 2 delicious homemade pizzas and Ben + Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream.  And now I think you know why I couldn’t stay awake to post last night. ;)

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Off to bake more mandel, get some work done, and hit the pool!  Happppppppy weekend! :)