Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

I needed one more excuse to use my homemade pumpkin puree and homemade pumpkin pie spice mix and this is a GREAT way to use both.  I made pumpkin dip last year and followed a recipe with powdered sugar……it was WAY to sweet.  So, this year I decided to come up with my own pumpkin dip.  I was aiming for rich, creamy and naturally sweetened.  It took me a couple tries to perfect it, and I’m excited to shared it with you just in time for Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Chesecake Dip

Rich, creamy, and sweetened with 100% maple syrup……yummmmm!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¾ cups pumpkin puree or one 15 oz. can
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • liquid stevia, powdered sugar (optional)
  • Graham crackers and apples for dipping
Instructions
  1. Whip together the heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  2. In a separate bowl blend together the rest of the ingredients until smooth then fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Give it a taste, if you think it needs to be sweeter you can add a little more maple syrup or stevia or a little powdered sugar. We usually add about 10 drops of liquid stevia, and that does the trick.

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Natural Cleaning Products! Plus $10 Off Your First Order

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natural cleaning products

Have you ever gone to the store with several cleaning products on your list, determined to buy ONLY all natural cleaning products, because you know you don’t want any more of those nasty chemicals in your house??  You get to the cleaning isle and find that perfect, non-toxic, completely biodegradable toilet bowl cleaner made with plant based ingredients, including essential oils that give it that wonderful citrusy, clean smell.  You are super excited (or maybe am I the only one that gets excited about toilet cleaner) and are about to throw it in the cart when your eyes flitter across the price tag………you choke a little, then your empty hand flinches back like the cleaner just burst into flames.  You let out a long sigh and decide that the toxic cleaner down the isle might be ok if you don’t let the kids do ANY cleaning……or (better yet) maybe EVERYTHING in the house can be cleaned with water, vinegar and baking soda……????

I kept doing this over and over until a couple a months ago when I found ePantry.  It’s an amazing web sight that sells my favorite brands of NATURAL cleaning products at prices I actually find reasonable.  In fact I just finished my second order from them and spent $22.25 on an order that I would have spent $36.12 at the store.  I know because I checked the prices of every item and I saved $13.87 just from that one order!!  Not to mention that I ordered it in my jammies and they will deliver it to my door…..BONUS!

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Now, here is the very best part, if you click over to ePantry through this link you will get $10 off your first order of $20 or more AND through the end of November you will also receive a free soy candle!  I also get a credit when you make your first order, (at no extra cost to you) so it’s a win win win win situation!!

I hope all your holiday planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning is going well and you are blessed with the VERY best Thanksgiving yet!!

Till next time, Grace

A Week Of Photos From The Red Double Wide – 8/1/15

Happy August!

We had a WONDERFUL last week of July. 🙂  The summer is just flying by!!  The wind stopped blowing and the temps went up again.  My husband and I are LOVING the warm summer nights and we’ve had some gorgeous sunsets!  We’ve also been enjoying lots of garden produce.

Hope you enjoy some photos from our week.

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My biggest pumpkin so far.

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Odie turned 11 this month (77 dog years!)

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Just about ready to harvest a couple watermelons with several more on the way!!

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Meat chickens.

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Lots of butterflies around this week.

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Wishes

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We went huckleberry picking.

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Near Mt. Adams.

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Made fluffy, whole wheat, huckleberry pancakes by adding a cup of berries to this recipe.

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Went swimming to cool off a bit and spent lots of time working on 4-H books, posters and demonstrations to get ready for the fair coming up later this month.

Have a great first week of August and stay cool!!

Huckleberries, a Mountain, and Sasquatch!

We headed up to Mt. Adams early yesterday morning with the goal of finding some huckleberries.

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I was a little ashamed when I realized last week that my almost 11 year old had never been huckleberry picking.  She asked; “What’s a huckleberry?”…  WHAT?!?!  Some of my favorite memories are of camping with my grandma and grandpa near Mt. Adams and picking huckleberries every year.

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Jo picking her first huckleberries with my sister.

I can now say that my daughters have both been huckleberry picking……sort of.  The actually “picking” part, lasted all of 10 minutes,…  for them anyway.

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When the picking stopped, the whining started….”What time is it?” – “I’m hungry” – “Did we bring something to drink?” – “Can we go back to the van?” – “It’s hot out here” – and,… well, you get the point.

I’m quite sure I NEVER acted like that as a child….at least not while picking huckleberries…..:)

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The first place we stopped had a lot of berries!  I really enjoyed myself,… despite all the whining.

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The purple fingers, the sound of berries hitting the bottom of my bucket, and the sweet, earthy smell of sun warmed huckleberries quickly brought back many good childhood memories.

After we ate lunch we moved down the road a bit where we found far less huckleberries, but we did find lots of wild blueberries.

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They were beautiful, but they really didn’t taste as good as they looked.  I decided to stick with the huckleberries.

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We stopped a few times on the way home so I could take pictures of my favorite mountain.

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I see this mountain out my living room windows everyday, but rarely get to come this close.  Oh, so beautiful!  Not nearly enough snow left up there after the impossibly mild winter and hot, dry spring and summer we’ve had though.

Guess what else we saw on the way home?

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This is my brother Jacob.  He is 25 years old physically, but mentally he’s about 4. (Don’t tell him that though.) Jacob loves SASQUATCH!!!  The entire time we were picking huckleberries, Jacob was stomping around the woods whacking trees with sticks and calling for sasquatch.  Yep,… you read it right.  CALLING for sasquatch!  It’s very funny and cute at first, but after a couple hours it’s just loud and…, well,… loud.  Anyway, after a whole day of searching for big foot he FINALLY found him!  He was soooooo excited, and absolutely loved the creepy red eyes.  He did inform us on the way home that;  That was not a REAL sasquatch, so we need to go back to the mountain so he can search the deepest, darkest woods to find a real one.  As of yet no promises have been made.  😀

What a great day!  I got enough berries to make huckleberry pancakes and a few batches of muffins.  My mom made a pie as soon as she got home.  She’s an overachiever.

My Contributions to Thanksgiving Dinner and a Couple Confessions

Asparagus Wraps

I have a confession to make……I don’t like turkey.  There,… I said it.  Let me be clear though, I don’t HATE turkey, I just don’t favor it.  I can eat it, especially in a casserole or on a sandwich.  But when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I want a big fat plate full of stuffing, a couple servings of salad, and then some more stuffing.  Of course this is all after I have grazed on the veggie trays, fruit trays, deviled eggs, olives, and array of other “appetizers” that will be laying out on the counter before the turkey gets done.  Needless to say by the time dinner is over I will be miserable and useless…..but I don’t think I’m alone here.

So, here are my non turkey contributions to Thanksgiving dinner this year. 🙂

Last week I shared a recipe for homemade thousand island dressing and promised to share my grandma’s special green salad to serve with it.

SaladJust add some baby shrimp, a little crab meat, and some sliced olives to your greens.

Thousand IslandServe it with the homemade thousand island and…who needs turkey!?

At most family functions I bring the deviled eggs.  Not because mine are exceptional or better than others, it’s simply because I HAVE TOO MANY EGGS! (Well,… and mine are fresh!)   So that’s my second addition to Thanksgiving dinner.

Deviled EggsNote: If you also have nice fresh eggs and have a difficult time peeling them, click here to read my little “trick” on how to cook and easily peel farm fresh eggs. 🙂

My next contribution is an easy appetizer…maybe my favorite appetizer.  I call them asparagus wraps.

AsparagusThey are simply softened cream cheese spread on a thin slice of ham wrapped around pickled asparagus….and they are DELICIOUS!

Asparagus WrapsLast Thanksgiving I ran out of time and instead of making these ahead of time I took the supplies and made them after I got to my parents.  They disappeared just as fast as I could make them.

Now for my next confession…..I’ve never made pumpkin pie.  Actually I’ve only ever made one pie in my entire life and that was an apple pie.  It was about ten years ago and it turned out kinda weird??  So this Thanksgiving I have decided to try my first ever pumpkin pie!  I’ll be sure to take pictures and let you know how it turns out.

I am sooooo thankful that my parents now have a large, conveniently located house that is perfect for large family gatherings.  This has not always been the case, and Thanksgiving dinners took place at our house.  I think squished and crazy would be the best words to describe those gatherings.  As I shared, turkey is not my favorite meal and therefore cooking one is not my idea of fun.  The last Thanksgiving we hosted, I spent my morning rushing around cleaning, opening doors and windows to fan the smoke out from the ran over turkey drippings.  Oh, and meanwhile Digger was in the bathroom with a small blow torch trying to melt the spilled wax out of the sink (but that’s a story for another post).  I am much happier to make my additions to dinner at home, pack them in a cooler, and leave my messy house.  Then I can enjoy a wonderful meal with our awesome (and large) family at my parents house….and I’m sure my moms home grown turkey will be wonderful…under tons of stuffing and gravy!

What are your contributions to Thanksgiving dinner?  Do you have the privilege of hosting and cooking the turkey?  If so, my prayers are with you. 😉

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.”  Psalms 107:1

July 2013 – A Month of Photos From the Red Double Wide

Garden 6

July was a month of bbq’s with great friends, many 4-H meetings, baby chicks, HOT weather, gardening, and allergies!  Despite the sneezing, runny noses, and watery eyes it was a wonderful, busy month.

We started off the month by celebrating the 4th of July with a family trip to the beautiful San Juan Islands.  It was a great trip and so wonderful to see family that we hadn’t seen for a while.  Visiting the beach was also wonderful!

Two days after we got home from our little vacation our meat chicks arrived!

3 Days OldThey are the girls 4-H projects.  To read more about our meat chickens click here.

chick Collage

Butterfly
Front yard visitor
Spinich & Raspberries
First harvest from the garden

We have an AWESOME group of people from our church that came out and joined us for a taco feed and go-kart party.  Our go-cart track goes through our hay field and it’s about three-fourths of a mile long.  As you can see from the picture this is not a clean sport!  Everyone was sooooooo dirty but it was a blast!

Go-Karts

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My weed filled garden! The corn is taller than me now. 🙂
Garden 2
Squash plant
Garden 6
Baby Tomatoes
Painting
The girls painting the new chicken pen for their 4-H meat chickens.
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The finished pen!
Harvest
My dad getting ready for harvest….I can’t believe it’s that time of year already!

Hope all of you had a great July!  In August I’m looking forward to our county fair and preserving the harvest from my garden.

Happy Fourth Of July! and “Free Flag” By: Jo

flag

We are going to be out of town for a few days, so I wanted to wish all of you a Happy Fourth of July before we left.  So……HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY EVERYONE!

In Honor of this special holiday I wanted to share something my eight year old daughter wrote earlier this year.  Her language book had asked her to “write a story about our flag” and this is what she wrote:

Free FlagIt still brings tears to my eyes when I read it.  It reminds me to thank God (everyday) for the freedoms that we enjoy and pray that no more of those freedoms are taken away from us.

flagHave a wonderful Independence Day and remember to hold your “Free Flag” up high!

June 2013 – A Month of Photos From The Red Double Wide

June 2013 Stig

June was a wonderful and busy month.

This last week of June has brought several HOT days and the garden has really taken off! (and with some late spring rains so have the weeds!)  Needless to say I’ve spent a great deal of time over the past month in the garden. 😀

We have been getting quite a few raspberries.  If the kids stop eating them we might even have enough for some jam!

Raspberry CollageThe men of the house…..shooting skeet. 🙂

June 2013 DiggerJune 2013June 2013Happy dog!

June 2013 StigDusty found this cute toad.  He kept it in a 5 gallon bucket until the girls and I got home so they could see it, and I could take a picture.  He then let it go in the garden, after naming him “Bruce the pirate toad”.

June 2013 ToadJo’s cats Boots and Tiger…Boots has six toes on her front paws, but this is not what makes her special.  Jo bought her the pink collar with her own allowance money.  We tried to tell her the cat would lose that thing the first chance she got, but for all the world Boots seems to be proud of it.  Often as not she is now referred to as “Prissy Missy”.
June 2013 catsStirring the compost pile. (How redneck!)

June 2013 CompostJo loves to read and she loves animals….this is her reading a book while the chickens and kittens play.  As you can tell by the hair, this was about three minutes after she rolled out of bed.  She would live in the barn yard, if we let her.   😀

June 2013 readingThese are the potatoes we planted in our recycled potato bin.  It’s amazing how much they grew in June!

Potato Bin CollageMore pics of the garden….(please ignore the weeds!)

Garden CollageIn July I’m looking forward to more gardening, trips to the pool, baking, BBQ’s, and 4-H meetings.

Thanks for dropping by the Red Double Wide!

-Grace

May 2013 – A Month of Photos From the Red Double Wide

Another month gone by!  Here are some of my favorite photos from May.

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Moving straw into the barn….the easy way!
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Poor chicken!
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The lilacs in the front yard were beautiful and smelled wonderful.
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This is my niece in the garden. Playing in the dirt is always fun!
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Jo’s cat had three kittens….this one is Marshmallow. 🙂
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The kids found many “wooly worms” aka caterpillars.
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This is Digger working on the new garden fence with help from the chickens.

DSCN7165 (640x480)-1The potatoes are growing that we planted in the recycled potato bin!

PicMonkey Collage-2This is Stinky she is guarding Diggers truck and trailer.  To read Stinky and Diggers story click here.

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This picture really didn’t do this sunset justice….absolutely gorgeous!

May was a good month, the first couple weeks were warm and beautiful.  They involved LOTS of mowing and weed control.  The last couple weeks were cooler and wet, we found ourselves indoors quite a bit.  Everything is nice and green now and I’m looking forward to a nice warm June!

April 2013 – A Month of Photos From the Red Double Wide

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I’ve gone a little crazy with my camera lately, so I thought I would share (some of ) my favorite photos from the past month.  Spring time is so beautiful and FUN!

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This is one of our raspberry bushes that border our garden….can’t wait for fresh raspberries!
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The chickens were in heaven when digger tilled the garden.
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“Garden Butts”
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“Sleepy Dog” – This is a VERY rare moment, he is usually dropping a ball on our feet, drooling all over our pants, or trying to get the cats and chickens to play.
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Hyacinth – Not only my favorite flower but my favorite color too! I need to plant more.
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Great Grandma enjoying some snuggles with a barn kitten.
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Little Chefs first time mowing with a push mower. She decided she prefers the riding mower! I don’t blame her…I took turns with her and realized how much harder a little labor is after a long winter indoors.
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This is Diggers Grandpa….our riding mower broke down so he came out on his 94th birthday with his brand new mower and mowed some of our lawn for us!! (He had a blast and left asking when we might need him again!) What a great guy, we are so blessed to have him and Grandma close to us.
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This mama barn cat is blind in one eye, but it doesn’t seem to effect her at all. She is the best mouser we have and a wonderful mommy!!  She has two chunky adorable kittens right now.

     DSCN6157 (640x480)-1DSCN6523 (640x480)-1DSCN6497 (640x480)-1DSCN6628 (640x487)-1Don’t let these pictures deceive you!  We have had some beautiful days in April, but we also had our share of wind, rain, hail, and more wind!  We haven’t yet planted anything in the garden (it’s still getting really cold some nights) but my seed order should be here tomorrow and Digger is working on getting the fence up around the garden.  No use planting until the chickens are fenced out!

Happy Spring Everyone!!

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