Saturday, November 28, 2009


What a fun holiday! We had the Berry's, Grandma Gege and Scottie for Thanksgiving this year and it was so much fun. We even enjoyed a little visit with my Rossell cousins from CA (apparently Broc moved to Denver this summer... who knew??!). It was wonderful to be with so much of our family! The boys played in the annual turkey bowl and the girls had some crazy success with desserts in the kitchen (recipes to follow...). What did people do for Thanksgiving prior to Seriously.
Here are a few snapshots from our time together.

Grandma Gege stuffin' the bird.

Our place settings on my newly painted table!

Thanks to Carolyn Draney for finding these awesome hand pie molds. They were darling and this combination of recipes for apple pie can not be beat. I challenge anyone to a throw down!

Carolyn Draney's Pie Crust

2 ½ c flour
1 t salt
1 c butter
2 T sugar

Mix until crumbly

1 beaten egg
1 T vinegar (cider)
¼ c ice water

Mix but do not over work. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

Makes 2 pie crusts (or 1 top and bottom pie)

Grandma Opel's Apple Pie (from

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Our Pecan Coconut Pie was a smashing success as well...

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add the sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla and salt; mix well. Stir in pecans and coconut. Pour into pastry shell. Make a domed cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Last but not least we made these mini Pumpkin Cakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting... delish!

Pumpkin Cake

2 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups canned pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 12x18 inch pan (or a mini muffin pan). Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine sugar and oil. Blend in vanilla and pumpkin, then beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread batter into prepared 12x18 inch pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes (or 11 minutes for the mini muffins), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon honey

Directions: Melt butter and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer. When mixture starts to stiffen, stop mixer and add honey.
Continue to beat until light and fluffy. Do not over mix, or it will collapse.
Spread immediately and store cake in refrigerator.

*Feel free to add 2-3 cups of powdered sugar if you want the icing stiffer to pipe on top of mini cakes.*

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Thursday, November 12, 2009


I've got a few Thanksgiving designs put together on my new vinyl blog... check it out!
I hope to have some fun Christmas projects posted in no time!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I found this idea on one of my favorite blogs and decided to implement it for the month of November in our house. Last night we had a few friends over for FHE and talked about gratitude. We are going to add leaves of Thanksgiving all month long. As usual, Jackson got completely into it and has been writing leaves at every spare moment....

I was up ALL night with a super sick Sammy so Todd took the bull by the horns and got Jackson off for school. When I finally rolled out of bed around 8:15 I came down and saw that he had been busy making more leaves this morning. I about fell on the floor laughing when I read his most recent leaf! You gotta love 1st graders...
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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

{Elvis Revealed...

So I had this grand plan to get the boys in their costumes early and have a real photoshoot before we went Trick or Treating. Well, it didn't happen then and it still hasn't happened, so this is as good as it gets and I'm okay with that! To be honest they're lucky that they had any costumes at all... I finished them up just 15 minutes before Jackson's school party!

I have to say that they looked pretty rockin' in their matching Elvis costumes. As you can imagine, Jackson was eating it up and started singing and shakin' his booty at every chance he got. It took Sam a little while to get used to the idea but after a while he even got into it (except that he kept telling me that he DID NOT like the wig!). For a holiday that I absolutely love, I have to say that I was glad I could put away the temporary sweat shop I had set up in the basement and the candy disappeared!

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

{Studio T...

A couple of months ago Tina Johnson and I decided to combine efforts and start a little side photography business. We've swapped taking each other's (and a few other families) pictures for Christmas cards for the last few years and Tina took some photos of clients for her husbands dental practice. We've had a good response so we decided to make it official! I love being behind the camera and Tina is a wonderful photographer so it just seemed like the natural thing to do. I feel like I've learned a lot and it's something I can see myself being passionate about. Maybe when the boys are older I could be a little more serious about it? Anyway, I thought I would share our photography blog Studio T here on my personal blog... Let me know what you think?!?