Friday, October 2, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Instant Oatmeal

I admit it...I buy a big box of instant oatmeal at Costco every month. My kids love it, they can make it themselves..and I get to lay in bed a little bit longer on the mornings it's on the menu. (They even make it for the toddler!) I love my kids. The last couple times I have bought it, ALL of the maple and brown sugar are clumpy and we cannot break it apart. I took the first box back when I realized the problem and got another one. However the second box did the same thing. So this time they ate all the other flavors and I won't be buying more. I found a recipe online for instant oatmeal packets and did a little tweaking..and voila!! I made two big batches of two different flavors that will hopefully last us a couple weeks. (big family problems)

First things is what you need! (You can put these into individual baggies- but that is not necessary and creates a lot of waste.)

10 Cups Quick cooking oats
1t salt
2 Cups brown sugar
1 Cup powdered milk
3t cinnamon
3t pumpkin pie spice

Take 6 cups of the oats and put it in a big bowl. Put the rest of the oats (2 cups at a time) in the blender and blend into a powder, i just pulse it. This is what will thicken your oatmeal and give it the instant texture we are used to. Then mix the two kinds of oats together. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Put into a good air tight container.

To make: use 1/2 cup of oatmeal mixture and add hot or boiling water until you reach your desired consistency. My husband likes his oatmeal cooked in the microwave, so you can also add some water then pop it in the microwave for a minute or two until it is cooked that way.

I also made Apple Cinnamon flavor- Keep everything the same except go up to 4t cinnamon and add 3 cups crumbled dehydrated apples and omit the pumpkin pie spice.

I'm not sure of cost comparison with store bought, but I do know homemade is way better because there are less ingredients. Also, I buy everything in bulk- so the only thing I might have to go back to the store for to make more would be pumpkin pie spice.
I put my label maker to good use too ;-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Practically Perfect Pumpkin Snicker-doodles

I bought some pumpkin Snicker-doodles at Wal-Mart the other day because we had company and my girls couldn't eat the pie we were having because it had traces of nuts in it. The cookies were good, but a little too pumpkiny for our liking. I searched online and couldn't find a recipe I was happy with. I found one but it had no cream of tarter in it, and that is a main ingredient of snicker-doodles, so i was skeptical it would be like I wanted. I decided to alter my regular snicker-doodle recipe and see how it goes. It went very well and my family loves them. Hopefully you will like them too.

1 C butter (softened)
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C pumpkin
2 t vanilla
2 eggs
2 3/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 t cream of tartar
1/2 t nutmeg
1t cinnamon

Seperate small bowl:
3T sugar
2 t cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar together in a Kitchen Aid mixer. Add in eggs and vanilla and continue mixing. Then add in pumpkin. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and mix together. Add those into the mixer with the wet ingredients. After mixing well put in the refrigerator for 2 hours to chill. Pre-heat oven to 400*. Get a scoop of cookie dough and roll into a ball and roll in cinnamon/sugar then place onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, take off pan and cool on wire rack. Enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hot Air Balloon Festival

Every year on the Labor Day weekend there is a Hot Air Balloon show near-bye. We usually go to the night time event called the balloon glow. We live about thirty minutes away so its never appealing to get up and go to the early morning lift off. This year was no different; so we headed out after dinner. It was very crowded, but everyone had fun. The weather was perfect so the balloons had no trouble inflating when it came time for that. Little Brother loved the cat balloon and we even got a trading card of sorts with its picture on it and he carried that around for days talking about the balloons. He was very scared of the balloons though because of how big they were and how loud the fire was. He had a death grip on me and wouldn't let go. We all stuck to each other like glue while we walked around looking at the balloons. I was so afraid of losing a kiddo!! Here are some fun pictures we took while we were there.

USAF had lots of sky divers when we first got there. The kids really enjoyed this part.

Little Brother loved clapping for each one as they came down to the ground.

Being silly with his big sister- he calls her la la.

The balloons are so big!

Little brothers favorite balloon because it was a football and he LOVES football.

This was the cat balloon. I didn't get a picture of the actual balloon.

Daddy and his kiddos with the Darth Vader balloon and Yoda. We could have done pictures with all the Star Wars characters but the line was very long.

Me and my babies. (one baby will be taller than me any day now)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

My 7 year old daughter woke up on Saturday morning REALLY wanting some pumpkin bread. All the big kids had already gotten up and eaten cereal for breakfast but I decided I could still make this and they could eat it for morning snack. It turned out so delicious. Everyone loved it. I found a general recipe on my All Recipes app but tweaked it a little and I am glad I did because it was so good. This will definitely be a keeper recipe that we will have often this Fall.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread


1 2/3 cups all purpose flour (or gluten free flour- I use Namaste all purpose gluten free)
1 cup        sugar
1T            cinnamon
1t             baking soda
1/4t          baking powder
1/4t          salt
1 pinch    ground nutmeg
1 cup       pumpkin puree
1/2 cup    butter (melted)
2              eggs
1t             vanilla
1 cup       chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a loaf pan. Stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. In a separate bowl (I use my Kitchen Aide mixer) mix together butter, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla.  Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and continue mixing. Add chocolate chips and stir with a spoon. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until your knife comes out clean.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Field Trip: Colorado History Museum

This past Friday we had to take our two girls for some allergy testing at their Dr. office in Denver. My husband took the day off from work to come with us since its a longer drive than I like and to help wrangle the toddler. The girls did great and it was a really good visit. Afterwards we grabbed some lunch then headed over to the Colorado History Museum. The kids had a great time last time we went and they have a new exhibit with toys from the 50's, 60's and 70's. The kids had so much fun looking at them and playing with some of them. We all had a really good time. We didn't stay too long because we didn't want to get stuck in rush hour traffic heading home.

Playing with the cash register.

Milking the cow.

Way up high saying hello.

Big sister having a turn milking the cow.

Shopping in the store.

Taking a car ride.

He LOVED driving the car.

Taking their pictures to be in an old fashioned yearbook.

The boys trying out the outhouse

The girls' turn.

Having a little picnic.

Waiting for the chickens to lay eggs.

He loved these dogs.

Watching old commercials.

The commercials were fun to watch.

Having slinky races.

This contraption was very interesting and fun to play with.

Playing with nerf balls.

Tons of fun doing the hula hoops.

Loved the Mr. Potato head.

He decided to climb right in to the dollhouse.