Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

My office is not very "into" holidays. I work for a large manufacturing company, with a very diverse work force. Some folks decorate their offices or areas for Christmas. A few decorate for Halloween. Almost no one wears a costume.

That being said, I couldn't resist the opportunity to bring a little holiday cheer to our weekly team meeting.....

Hope you have a spooktacular day!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween is coming!

It is pumpkin patch time again - though it can be hard to get into the spirit of fall when the thermometer reads 95 F!

We spent our pumpkin patch time at Bates Nut Farm.  Lots of fun activities - straw maze, hay rides, music, food... and of course, pumpkins!

Even The Girl and The Boy enjoyed it -

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday!

The Mr, cooking our dinner at "The Strip Club" for my father in law's birthday. Pin It

Friday, October 24, 2008

In the baking mood?

I am apparently in the baking mood right now. This morning I baked these extra-tasty applesauce muffins:


1/2 c. oil
1 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 egg

Put all into mixing bowl and mix well. Bake in muffin pans at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

This is a really fast recipe - I mixed it right when I got up and baked them while I showered. Nothing like the smell of fresh baked goodies in the morning!

Zentmrs Pin It

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hungry for fall flavors?

You should totally try this pumpkin banana bread! I baked for some friends, so didn't eat any myself :-( but it made the house smell delicious!


1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
3 eggs
1 c. canned pumpkin (I used about 1/2 cup more to enhance the pumpkin flavor and color)
2 med. ripe bananas (I used 3 for a more banana-y flavor)
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and mashed bananas; continue beating until mixed (mixture will have curdled appearance). Add remaining ingredients except nuts; mix until moistened. Stir in nuts.

Spread into 2 greased 8x4 loaf pans. Bake 50-60 minutes or until wooden pick in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

If you try it, let me know if you like the recipe!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I just love all my new blog friends. Who would have thought that I would "meet" so many wonderful people around the world?!

Some people I know IRL that I wish blogged:
  • my sister
  • my law school friend Lynne
  • my friend from forever Noreen
  • Lisa, who takes amazing photographs
  • Patrick, who lives in NC, whose views are completely opposite of mine in many ways, but is totally entertaining
  • Heather & Jon, who live too far away to see, and whose kids are growing up so fast!
  • Scott in WI, who runs his own homebrew business and lives in a log home raising lots of interesting things like bees and chickens and hogs, and has an adorable little boy
  • my former co-worked Darcy, who is now living in Italy with her husband and little girl

You never know... maybe one of them reads this and will take the hint!

Zentmrs Pin It

Monday, October 20, 2008

31 Things

My 31 Things...

1. Where is your cell phone? right next to me
2. Where is your significant other? on business travel until Friday :-(
3. Your hair color? blonde
4. Your mother? Cathy
5. Your father? John
6. Your favorite thing? my camera and 50 mm 1.4 lens
7. Your dream last night? Hmmm... can't recall
8. Your dream/goal? we want to take a trip around the world
9. The room you're in? Family room
10. Your hobby? photography!
11. Your fear? losing The Mr
12. Where do you want to be in six years? living my wonderful life with the best hubby ever
13. Where were you last night? at home
14. What you’re not? on vacation
15. One of your wish list items? macro lens
16. Where you grew up? Minnesota
17. The last thing you did? cleared out my Reader
18. What are you wearing? work outfit still, black pants, white shirt, black heels
19. Your TV? on, showing DVRed M*A*S*H
20. Your pet? 5 cats (yes, we know it is too many) - Heideki, Lucy, Morgan, Anna and Viceroy
21. Your computer? laptop PC
22. Your mood? tired, but happy to be done for the day
23. Missing someone? The Mr!
24. Your car? Cadillac CTS-V and Suzuki XL-7
25. Something you’re not wearing? my sweater as it is nice and toasty in my house
26. Favorite store?
27. Your summer? too fast!
28. Love someone? Family, friends... so many peopel!
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When is the last time you laughed? 3 minutes ago
31. Last time you cried? Last Saturday during a concert when there was a moment to remember a lost loved one

Zentmrs Pin It

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WWWAT - Capturing the Light

It's Wordless Wednesday With a Twist once again. This time the theme is: Capturing the Light. For more WWWAT visit Rachel at The Adventures of an American Alien.

I love this photo of the sunset on the beach. I love the lines and the color and I wish I were there now. ;-)

And (though I know this is against the rules) this photo from last year's wildfires here in San Diego is a reminder of a different kind of light. Hopefully one we won't see again very soon.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fire season


I wonder what kind of people would burn their trash next to a shake-shingle roof in during a red-flag warning condition?!

This is what happens:

And LA still burns today.

I believe we get some relief from the hot and dry Santa Ana winds this evening.

Zentmrs Pin It

Another great giveaway!

Nina is having her first giveaway! Head on over to enter to win this:

These are ADORABLE... so maybe don't go over and enter so that I can win!! (kidding!)

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pumpkin Theme Dinner!

We had our "We've Fallen in to a Pumpkin" theme dinner last week. The Mr covered our entire dining room in orange plastic, so it did indeed look as if we were in the inside of a pumpkin!

The menu was everything pumpkin!
  • Tuscan White Bean and Pumpkin Soup (recipe below)
  • Pumpkin Chicken Mole
  • Pumkin Gratin crusted with Rosemary and Parmesan
  • Pumpkin Muffins
  • Pumpkin Souffle (recipe below)
I added left-over chili to the soup to make a really hearty main dish, and served it with the waffles. The sweetness of the waffles was a little like cornbread, and we ate them like crackers with the chili-soup. The souffle was a delicious cheesecake-like dessert, light after the spicy meal. Yum!

Tuscan Pumpkin-White Bean Soup

  • 1 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray, or enough to coat pot
  • 1 medium onion(s), coarsely chopped
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth
  • 15 1/2 oz canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

- Coat a large soup pot with cooking spray and set over medium-low heat. Add onion, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in pumpkin, broth, beans and oregano; simmer 8 minutes.
- In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. (Note: Make sure not to overfill blender in order to avoid splattering.) Return soup to pot and reheat; season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Pumpkin Souffle

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin, puree
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk
  • 4 oz Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 large egg(s), separated
  • 1 large egg white(s)
  • 1/3 cup(s) sugar

- Heat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 2 1/2-quart soufflé dish with cooking spray, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Over medium heat, cook pumpkin until no longer steaming, about 8 minutes. Mix together cornstarch and evaporated milk, whisk into pumpkin. Bring to boil; remove from heat and cool.
- Beat Neufchatel with pumpkin pie spice and ginger; beat in yolks to combine. Beat in cooled pumpkin mixture.
- Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/3 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time until stiff. In three additions, fold whites into pumpkin mixture. Pour into prepared dish. Bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

October is here!

October is a great month for theme dinners and my annual favorite is "Pumpkins" which will be held this Sunday. Stay tuned for the festivities!

And Halloween is coming! Some images from last Halloween...

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Free Handbag Anyone?

Handbag Planet is giving away a free handbag every hour to celebrate the launch of their new website. Go HERE to enter!

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Another sure sign of fall...

... brilliant sunshine and 100 degree temps? This is crazy - where is my crisp cool air?? (remind me tomorrow when I am complaining about the cold front coming in that I can't have it both ways)!

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