Friday, October 31, 2014

Getting Ready for Halloween Night




We are getting ready for the trick or treaters here. The orange lights are strung around a tree next to my front porch and a spooky witch hangs, waiting to scare those brave enough to be out in the dark. The past two days have been spent making pile after pile of leaves for the initial clean up, but there are many more bags to fill before fall ends. Trees are wonderful to have around until they overwhelm our yard, every fall. My husband does a little, I do a little and our teenage yard boy does a little and slowly, but surely they get picked up. My puppy was not thrilled with this photo op, but such is the life of a dog with a blogger in the family :-)



I did a trial run last night of the Halloween cocktail I will be sipping while handing out candy to the trick or treaters and it is a good one. This year I will be enjoying a Caramel Apple Martini, perfect for any fall occasion that calls for a festive cocktail. The caramel vodka is really good and I will be looking for more drink recipes that use it.

To make this yummy martini, simply add 2 ounces of caramel vodka, 2 ounces of apple cider and 1 ounce of Buttershot liqueur to a martini shaker, filled with ice. Shake well and pour into a martini glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar. To get the cinnamon sugar to stick to the glass, rub a little apple cider around the rim. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful Halloween weekend!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sugar Free Banana Bread Coffee Cake



What to do with the two old, tired bananas sitting in my fruit bowl? It is impossible for me to just throw them out, when I know they can make some delicious muffins of bread. But, I was in the mood for something a little different. The perfect solution was found in this Banana Bread Coffee Cake and I even made it sugar free.

What makes a slice of coffee cake different than a slice of banana bread? This coffee cake is more dense than banana bread, but still very moist. Also, it has the most delicious streusel topping; that classic mix of brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and melted butter. It elevates the taste and is very complimentary to the banana flavor.

The next time you reach for over ripe bananas to make your favorite muffin or bread recipe, give this yummy coffee cake recipe a try. I will be having some this morning with my coffee and savoring every bite :-)

Happy Thursday!


Sugar Free Banana Bread Coffee Cake

For the cake batter:

1/2 cup Truvia for baking

4 T butter, melted

2 overripe bananas, mashed

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

For the streusel topping:

1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar

2 T flour

2 tsp cinnamon

2 T melted butter

Spray a 10" pie plate with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl, mix together Truvia, 4 T melted butter, and egg. Add milk and mashed bananas, mixing well. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.

Prepare streusel by mixing together, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and melted butter in a small bowl. Pour cake batter in prepared pie plate, then top with streusel. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean, when tested. Cut in wedges to serve. Enjoy!

{Linking with these friends}


Rattlebridge Farm

Between Naps on the Porch

Savvy Southern Style

Sunny Simple Life


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Autumn Mantel in the Morning Light




Mornings in the fall have a soft light that just begs for candlelight. No more early summer sun shining through the windows, but a soft gray light that slowly starts the day. I decided to capture the beauty of my autumn mantel, lit by candlelight, one quiet morning, long before my house was fully awake. With cup of coffee in hand, I lit some candles and spent some time focusing on the soft glow of morning light.



My autumn mantel is filled with pumpkins of every shape, size and texture that can be found. My newest addition to the mix this year was a large orange pumpkin perched on top of a bed of spanish moss.



The soft light of morning makes the reflecting candlelight glow off the face of the pumpkins. It brings out the subtle colors of autumn and the natural textures, I so love. There is beauty in the mixture of the different shades of red, gold and orange resting together, side by side. Small acorns are tucked here and there to give depth to the display. The arrangement is casual with pumpkins leaning artfully against another. Your eye is drawn to the uniqueness of each piece and the morning light highlights each subtle difference.

Happy Tuesday!


{Linking with these friends}

A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm


Thrifty Decor Chick


Monday, October 27, 2014

Rivalry Weekend




We had the best day on the Michigan State campus on Saturday, with seemingly the whole state of Michigan in attendance as rivalry weekend came once again. You are either a MSU or a University of Michigan fan on game day and the air is filled with good natured insults as friendships and family ties are tested. We are a divided family, since Megan is a University of Michigan grad, in a family full of Spartans.



It was extremely crowded, with everyone fighting for space to set up their tents and tailgate spot, but the atmosphere was electric, with so many people having a great time. Everyone cheered when the sun finally came out, just before noon. Our brunch menu was fantastic, with made to order omelettes and cinnamon french toast. The platter of s'more brownies I made did not last long since everyone can't resist a little chocolate.



Melissa had the day off from her MSU Pompon team duties, so when she stopped by with some friends, we made sure to get some photos with my sister and brother in law for our annual family photo calendar.



Tailgating on Saturdays in the fall is one of my favorite things to do and rivalry weekend is the best weekend there is. You see so many friends all in one place and you never know who will stop by your tailgate. We even had the U.S. Senator from Michigan stop to chat and pose for pictures with us. I just like to sit in my chair until game time and soak in all the atmosphere.

And of course, we are there for the football game and it did not disappoint. MSU came away with a victory, is still ranked high in the polls and we are ready for our next tailgate and big game against Ohio State.

Happy Monday!


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