Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pie Pumpkins: A lesson in baking

One year ago, I vowed to never buy canned
pumpkin...ever...again. Of course it sounds crazy, especially when I say it out loud, but at the time I didn't know any better. I certainly didn't know how EASY is was to make fresh pumpkin puree, out of Pie Pumpkins.

Pie Pumpkins, are one of several pumpkin varieties grown for eating, rather then carving/decoration. Compared to populating pumpkins, they are smaller and more dense. Also, when being held by a four year-old child, Pie Pumpkins puts things into perspective. :)

Baking a Pie Pumpkin
One Pie Pumpkin


1. Preheat oven to

350 degrees.

2. Wash pie pumpkin clean and remove stem.

3. Carefully cut the pumpkin in half vertically

4. With a large spoon, discard stringy pulp. If desired save seeds for drying or roasting.

5. Grease a large cookie sheet.

6. Place Pie Pumpkins on the cookie sheet, facing down. Cover with foil.

7. Place cookie sheet on the middle oven rack and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, or until pumpkin is tender.

8. Remove pie pumpkin and cool for another hour.

9. Peel off the skin or scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin.

10. Puree or mash the flesh and store. Note: Home canning pumpkin puree is not recommended, according to the FDA. However, freezing is acceptable.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Madison Food & Wine Show

The word on the street is that this show is excellent! Which is great because I'm totally down to get my food and drink ON! I won't be about to attend on Saturday, but if you thinking about attending and need a ride, let me know! Here is a link to the Tastings and Events.

Dates & Time:
Friday, October 22 5:00 – 9:00 p
Saturday, October 23 Noon – 7:00 p
Sunday, October 24 Noon – 4:00 p
One-day pass: $37 in advance, $42 at the door
Weekend pass: $60 in advance, $70 at the door

Exhibition Hall, Alliant Energy Center
1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
Madison, WI
View Map

Click here for more information

Monday, October 11, 2010

My New Toy

For the past few months, I've been slaving away crocheting scarfs and realized that I needed a change. I could feel my fingers saying, "I'm sick of yarn."

That's the moment that the Brother LX-3125E, entered my life.

While checking out at Wal-Mart, I was so excited that the woman at the cash register said "Have fun with your new sewing machine." I smiled and said thanks, trying to contain my excitement in front of a dashing, twentysomething hunk waiting next in line. I must have looked like a giant nerd, as I walked away grinning.

The next morning I woke up bright and early to work on my first project. Normally I would tell you what that project is, but for those who will be recieving "it" for Christmas, I'd hate to spoil the suprise.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Celebrating my German Heritage: Glühwein

Deemed a popular beverage around the world , Glühwein (German), grzane wino (Polish) , vin brulé (Italian), vin chaud (French), Glögg (Swedish), Mulled Wine (English), is an excellent cure for pre-holiday fever. Typically it's consumed around Christmas time, but then's October...and it's cold outside, so those seem like good enough reasons to whip up a batch.


1 large orange
3 cinnamon sticks
13 whole cloves
1/4 cup honey
1 bottle red wine (red table wine or a bottle of merlot)

  1. Gently zest the orange . When finished zesting, slice the orange.
  2. In a large (non-aluminum) pot, combine the orange zest, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, honey and wine.
  3. Without boiling the mixture, simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes or until hot. Taste and add more honey if necessary.
  4. Strain and serve.

Monday, October 4, 2010

We all Hate-to-Love Martha: Autumn Wreath

(Rising my fist in the air) Darn you Martha Stewart. I love your crafty style so much, that I will vow to painfully endure your creepy smile and twentysomething complexion. Needless to say... about 1 in every 3 women love her too, so the odds are in my favor. I'm not as much of a chump as I credit myself.

I mean if you think about it....Martha is to home economics, as Julia Child is to food (minus the incarceration); both devoted, inspirational conductors of making complicated tasks simple. Simple is exactly what I love about this DIY project:

Autumn Wreath: (Level: Easy)

Step 1
Cut 10- to 15-inch-long pieces of bittersweet. Gather them into bundles. For a 24-inch wreath form, we used 24 bundles with about 5 branches each.

Step 2
You can use either floral wire on a paddle or a roll of 20- to 24-gauge wire (available at hardware stores) to affix the bundles to the form. Attach the wire to a crossbar of the wreath form.

Step 3
Lay a bundle on the top of the form, and wrap the wire tightly around the stems three times. Do not cut the wire.

Step 4
Add another bundle so that its top overlaps the bottom half of the previous bundle; wrap wire around its stems. Continue adding branch bundles until you've covered the frame.Read more at Bittersweet Autumn Wreath - Martha Stewart Holidays

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pumpkin Carving: October 5th, 2010

Missy's House (directions email Missy)
When: 6:00pm
What: Anything & Everything PUMPKIN! Carving, baking and more.
Bring: A pumpkin, knife or carving tools, snacks (optional)
RSVP and Directions:email Missy

Since there will be a pumpkin carving contest at CROPP on Wednesday, October 6th, I thought it would be a great time to come together beforehand and carve! I'll be making a batch of mulled wine and mulled cider. Popcorn and other snacks included.

If you have any questions, let me know!

Many Thanks,
Missy K.

Taste of Home Cooking School is coming to La Crosse!

I enjoy reading magazines, especially "Taste of Home." It's great if you are looking for some easy down-to-earth recipes. I even had one of my recipes published once! Anyways, as I was driving into work, I heard an ad on the radio. It announced that the "Taste of Home Cooking School" is coming to the La Crosse Center! If anyone wants to come with me, let me know and we can carpool. Tickets can be bought online here:

Welcome Note

Let's layout a few ground rules....
  1. There are no expectations. If you want to come and just listen, play music, or be social then all is well by me.
  2. Anyone can join the club. We welcome new participates and encourage. If you would like to join, email with your name and phone number. If anyone is interested, then please pass along this url for further
  3. Ideas are welcomed. If you have an idea for a craft or want to lead a craft night, then send an email to with your suggestions.
  4. Donations are excepted, not required. In order to keep things simple, we won't be accepting money. However, donation such as craft supplies and food are highly encouraged. It is expected that you make on effort to bring your own supplies to each craft night, however don't stress yourself out if you haven't had the chance to pick up supplies. Someone will always have your back!
Well those sound pretty good to me. What do you think? Make sure to chime in by submitting a comment below!

Many Thanks,
Missy K.