Saturday, November 26, 2011

Creamy Pumpkin Trifle!


Awesome New Dessert! from www.dashingdish.com 



Creamy Pumpkin Trifle!

Posted in: Desserts

For Thanksgiving last year, I wanted to make something different than the ‘usual’ pumpkin or pecan pie! I knew my Strawberries ‘n’ Cream Trifle was always a hit during the summer holidays, so I decided to make a ‘fall’ version using pumpkin, cinnamon, and spice cake mix! It turned out even better than I could have imagined, and was gone before many of the pies were even touched!
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The creamy ‘pumpkin pudding’ pairs perfectly with the spice cake…and the gingersnap topping adds the perfect crunch! My relatives could not believe this was a light dessert, and many of them asked for the recipe…Which usually means it was a hit! (not to mention I left with an empty trifle dish) If you are having a fall get-together, and are looking for a crowd pleaser, I can promise you that this dessert won’t let you (or your guests) down!

Ingredients

For the Cake Layer
  • 1 (18.25-oz) box spice-style cake mix (you could also use reduced sugar cake mix for even lower sugar/calories!)
  • 1  cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup water
For the Pudding and Whipped Cream Layers
  • 1 (1 oz) box no sugar added instant vanilla (or butterscotch) pudding mix
  • 1 cup fat free milk (or milk substitute of choice)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tbs brown sugar (or sweetener of choice to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice!)
  • 2 (12-ounce) containers light whipped topping
  • *Optional Topping: 1/3 cup gingersnaps, crushed

Method

  1. To make the cake layer, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Combine cake mix, pumpkin puree, and water in a large bowl. Mix until well combined, and transfer into the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When completely cooled, crumble the cake  (or cut into small squares depending on the look you want) and set aside.
  2. While cake is baking, in a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix together for about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 1 container of cool whip, and 1/2 cup of pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices until well blended. (Note: Leave the other whipped topping as is for the whipped cream layer).
  3. In a trifle bowl or (a large pretty glass serving bowl), layer half of the cake, half of the pudding/pumpkin mixture, and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers until the trifle glass is filled to the top. (I like to end with the whip cream layer!)
  4. Garnish with cinnamon or crushed gingersnaps if desired, (you may also layer the gingersnaps throughout the layers. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until ready to serve. (Also tastes great when made the night before!)
Note: *You may also use wineglasses or individual dessert glasses for individual trifles!

Enjoy!  Love Katie

Servings: 16 (~1 cup per serving)
Calories: 175 per serving
Weight Watcher Points Plus: 6 per serving

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Pumpkin Cake *

Perfect for this time of year and sooo tasty! If you follow the directions its very easy and very delicious!

Filling:
Mix together the following in a bowl:
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 large can solid pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Crust:
Put 1 cup aside to crumble on top:
3/4 cup COLD butter
1 dry yellow cake mix
Mix by **Cutting In** Dry cake mix and COLD butter.
Set aside 1/2 to 1 cup of crust mixture to sprinkle on top.
Pat in bottom of a greased 9 x 13 cake pan (DO NOT use a glass pan, it will destroy your crust).
Pour filling over crust and then crumble the crust mixture that you set aside over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Top with cool whip or icecream

**Here's a definition of what Cutting In means: When a solid fat such as butter is mixed with a dry ingredient like flour until they form into small particles. I would use a food processor fitted with a metal blade and just pulse it. You can also use your trusty fingers to do the job.
This keeps the bottom from getting hard.*

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ranting and Raving

It's been an interesting couple of days/weeks some big parenting wins with the binki gone and even more progress with behavior things like in stores and listening better, and then I turn around to have someone ask "isn't he around other kids?" And find out that others don't think my level of discipline is sufficient, it's so frustrating. I think Nate is wonderful, he does get over excited and loud - especially when over tired, and he's not around other kids that much but we are working on that, it's hard for kids to learn how to be around other kids without doing it. So frustrating, I wish I could explain how I feel better and make my expectations clear and feel that in our home we weren't under scrutiny from people who have different parening beliefs and strategies. I am strongly opposed to hitting or any corporal punishment and am lucky that Jake agrees with me on this. I have seen what it can do to a kid as they grow up and want better for Nate, I feel like my childhood was so blessed because I didn't have the fear that some kids grow up wih my parents didn't spank me or my sisters and taught us how to be well behaved by being kind and loving. That is my plan. It is t easy and I find I difficult to balance being kind and loving and still firm in expectations and rules, but I am studying and learning everyday how to be a better mom to my wonderful child. He is so special and so smart and loving and fun its hard to think anyone could see him any other way. Nathan is an energetic and fun almost 3 year old (one week away) he's bigger than most kids his age about 40lbs and with abs of steel and so strong- he's anything but chubby- and it's hard for him to reign in his excitement when he's with friends because he loves it so much. He struggles with being too physical with kids but is learning to be more careful and gentle especially with little or fragile kids. He is growing up so fast it's amazing to me how much he can mature in just a couple days and I swear some days I come he from work and he looks like he's grown an inch taller his 3T jeans are almost too short for him. I know this is a random rant but I had to get it out of my head and wanted to have it where I could look back and reprocess my thoughts and feelings.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Disneyland, the Drive and Day 1

A little back story to our trip to Disneyland - it was early February  and we were discussing the possibility of a family vacation or doing something fun for spring break - Jake's work had an early spring break and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to travel. So I booked a hotel on Priceline one Monday - Wednesday rolled around and Jake was had to "resign" from his job... Well the 300 was already spent and non-refundable... So what to do? Jake thought we might have to just cancel and lose the money, but I thought that we should just go for it, use some tax return money and some severance package money and have a nice family trip. It definitely was a wonderful trip, I am glad we went!

So our journey begins! Our plan was to leave at 6:00 a.m. on March 19th and were trying desperately to get everything done the night before but Nate had other plans, he knew something was up and would not go to bed...

It was about midnight by the time he went to bed - I don't know what time he really fell asleep because we went to bed then too. So instead of getting up at 5:00 like we'd planned we got up at 7:00 and out of the house at about 8:00.

We drove and drove and drove, and stopped to go potty and stretch our legs and fill up the gas - thanks to the gas buddy app for finding cheaper gas prices! Nate LOVED watching movies in the car - thanks Barb and Gary for letting us use the DVD player! He slept a bit but was awake and happy most of the time. He was a bit antsy and there but a change in movie or a new treat seemed to help lots. He finally fell asleep for a nap around St. George and slept until just past Vegas.

We stopped just after Las Vegas in Jean for lunch and a bit of walking around. Nate was in a sour mood at this point and would not eat anything, we got pancakes, eggs and bacon and would have nothing to do with them. While Jake was freshening up Nate went to the car and I offered him what we had in the car to eat: string cheese, grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple and goldfish - those he gobbled right up...Silly Kid!

The drive was windy and used too much gas, we learned which stations to not go to in the future. Gas Buddy was a great app to have and made filling up kind of a funner thing to figure out where we were trying to go.

So we arrive in California pretty late and were happy to check in and get to our room - we ordered a pizza for delivery that night because it was late and we didn't want to get in the car again. The room was not great... It was a great deal and saved us money, but we never could get the "Free WiFi" to work or even find the network... And walking around in socks was gross, within a few minutes the bottoms were almost black, so we made sure to keep them on and keep Nate up off the floor as much as possible. 

Sleep was a challenge every night, Nate usually sleeps in his own room where its basically silent and dark... Hotel - not so much. So we had to lay with him to get him to sleep most nights and almost pin him down. The beds weren't very comfy and the pillows were useless - we ended up buying some while we were there.

The first morning we got up and headed out for Disneyland, we thought we were prepared for the weather, bundled up with sweatshirts and a blanket for Nate,but it was pretty cold and rainy, that describes pretty much the whole trips weather, it was kind of nice though because it scared some people away so the lines were short and the crowds weren't too bad. It was our first morning and we walked into the park right as Mickey was coming out to meet people, it was great we hopped in a pretty short line and got a photo, Nate was so excited! 


This was his "say cheese" face pretty much the whole trip it was so funny, he was so excited to be there and to meet Mickey, I was afraid he would be really nervous, but no he was so excited!


After meeting Mickey we decided to start with Tomorrowland and got in line for the Astro Orbiter first, we attempted to all ride in one, but no luck, so I rode with Nate and Jake went alone, which allowed for better photos!

Buzz came next, which was Nate's favorite (at least the most requested)



Then we journeyed into Fantasyland, and got in line for what we thought was a Tinkerbell ride, but it was to meet Tink, the line was short and Nate likes the Tinkerbell movies (I know, its not manly, but they are cute shows) so we met Tink!

 (Side note about this fish - Gerry has a pond with a fish that spits water and when Nate saw/sees it he talks to it about Tinkerbell, so cute!)
 Can you name the fairies? I was trying to remember all of their names because they have lots of them there, but I can only remember Rosetta, Vidia, Fawn, Tinkerbell, Silvermist, and Terrence. 

 These flowers were giant, as you progressed in the line the scenery got bigger so it was like you were shrinking to fairy size.


There is his crazy "cheese!" face

Then off to the teacups Nate really love this ride too! (He pretty much loved everything!)





 This is my FAVORITE picture!

One thing that was so nice about the cool weather and just being there ourselves was that we could go on all the rides, even ones we've heard were lame, so we went on the Storybook Land Canal Boats - I thought it was pretty cute actually.






We were a bit camera happy on the first day of our trip - well everyday probably!

Pirates, we also did Pirates at least once everyday I think. We wanted to try the Blue Bayou restaurant but at $35 for a lunch plate we decided to pass.

Speaking of food a bit - we save SO much money by packing in our own drinks, we bought a case of bottled sodas for each of us before we left and (some waters too) and we were so glad we did, drinks in the park cost about $3 each and you can't carry them on to the rides, so you'd have to buy a new drink each time if you didn't have a bottled drink. Yikes! 

After doing Pirates again on day one the rain came in HARD! We decided to escape the weather and head back to the hotel for a break or the day which ever worked, it ended up being the day with record rainfall and snow in the higher cities. We hoped for better weather as we hunkered down for some much needed rest.








Sunday, January 23, 2011

Public Notice

I never remember to post on my public blog about my private blog... So we are back to one, public blog.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Disneyland 2010 Part 1

We were so lucky this year to get to go to California with the Graves' clan! I was a bit nervous for the travel aspects of the trip because we have Nate (who was almost 2) and Brooke and Dave have Aaron who was about 5 months. We flew into the Long Beach airport - the flight was pretty good, a bit stressful and cramped but still worked out very well! Nate did pretty good, the only problem was that he kept kicking the seats in front of us. Nobody complained though luckily!
We then drove to Newport Beach where we stayed at the Marriott Villa's - very beautiful! It was nice because it was a condo, so there were 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms a full kitchen and laundry. Plus the living room had a pull out sofa. Everyone was so generous, we got the bedroom next to the kitchen which had its own pull out sofa - so Nate got his own bed! (not that he slept in it alone) And we were able to make bottles as needed without waking everyone up. It was an awesome place, I think I could go there and spend a week just at the resort and the beach that is just down the hill from it. We were so busy we didn't really get to enjoy all it had to offer. - But it was alright we went to see Mickey!

We ended up renting 2 cars because the rental place said they had no 8 seater's but then when we got to the hotel we looked and the van really did seat 8, there was an attachment for the middle seat that made it a real seat - perfect for a infant carrier! (I would love the van we had it was a Toyota - Sienna? Maybe, but it was awesome) So we were able to pile in there and just use the other sedan as needed for small trips/errands and as Nate was melting down some times.

Day 1 we drove to Disneyland, it took a while, and we went straight to Buzz Lightyear it was so fun! Nate absolutely loved it!!!

We got to see Mickey Mouse Clubhouse live on stage which was so great!



video 

We were all pleasantly surprised how cute it was!
Gerry fell asleep...

They also have Captain EO back on the screen to honor Michael Jackson and it was pretty cool, quite strange but fun! Nate didn't really appreciate all of the 3D effects - there is a bug thing that flies very close and he kept trying it shew it away. 


We also rode the rides in California Adventure - the kids rides are so cute there, the Bug's Life rides were so fun, Nate was laughing hysterically on the Lady Bug ride, it is kind of like the Tea Cups but you don't spin yourself. It was so much fun!

I think my favorite ride is for sure the Tower of Terror it is such a fun ride! We rode it a few times, Janet was nice enough to watch Nate for us so we could!

We went to the stage performance of Aladdin the first day also, it was really good, Nate was a squirmy worm so we watch the last part from the back.

Disneyland

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Cake

Perfect for this time of year and sooo tasty! If you follow the directions its very easy and very delicious!


Filling:
Mix together the following in a bowl:
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 large can solid pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Crust:
Put 1 cup aside to crumble on top:
3/4 cup COLD butter
1 dry yellow cake mix
Mix by **Cutting In** Dry cake mix and COLD butter.
Set aside 1/2 to 1 cup of crust mixture to sprinkle on top.
Pat in bottom of a greased 9 x 13 cake pan (DO NOT use a glass pan, it will destroy your crust).
Pour filling over crust and then crumble the crust mixture that you set aside over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Top with cool whip or icecream

**Here's a definition of what Cutting In means: When a solid fat such as butter is mixed with a dry ingredient like flour until they form into small particles. I would use a food processor fitted with a metal blade and just pulse it. You can also use your trusty fingers to do the job.

This keeps the bottom from getting hard.**

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nate's 2 Year Check Up Update

Well in the last week Nate has been to 4 doctors... The first was on Wednesday, it was a follow up for the study he did last year for the H1N1 vaccine. The next was on Friday morning, it was a visit to the allergist to see what is going on with his allergies and skin problems, 3rd was also Friday - night - to the insta-care to get the crayon out of his nose. Finally 4th was to the pediatrician to have his 2 year check up. Its been a busy doctor week!

For the Allergy doctor we found out he is very allergic to dogs, cats and mold, and borderline to apples. We've started a new skin regimen that has improved his hand overnight!
Next the pediatrician, he like always is off the charts!