The clocks went back an hour last week and it really feels like Autumn is here. There have been some beautiful sunny, crisp days this week and there have also been some rotten, wet days too:
But the leaves are turning brown and falling and each day looks beautiful wether it is sunny or wet.
This week I have been busy catching up in my home after last weeks decorating. Someone asked me last week how I organise myself so that I do so much…..in truth, if I’m doing something like decorating, then the bare minimum gets done. We have quick meals or freezer meals which I have cooked ahead of time and I keep on top of the washing, but everything else is put on hold…..as you can see from the mess in our kitchen in the photograph below:
I have concentrated on finishing my daughter’s bedroom this week. We had ordered some flat pack furniture that was delivered on Saturday.
The furniture is an early birthday and Christmas present for my daughter and she has also paid for some of it from her allowance too.
I have got to say that the instructions for assembling it were terrible and it took me ages to put it together and there was a small piece missing which the shop have promised they will post to us.
But when they were finished they did look good and my daughter was very pleased:
I also put her curtain pole back up after painting it, but found that the rings wouldn’t slide across the pole easily when I tried to shut the curtains. So I used a wax candle to rub across the top of the pole and it now works well (this is something you can do with any curtain track that sticks).
I am very pleased with the curtain pole, but it will look better when I get around to making the new curtains for her too.
This week I also stained the old mirror from my youngest daughter’s bedroom, as she didn’t want it.
As you can see in the photograph above, I used my very old tin of left over woodstain.
The mirror now sits in my eldest daughter’s bedroom, matching her furniture:
Incidentally, my eldest daughter’s old mirror now sits in my bedroom, as the frame on my old mirror had final broken after twenty three years of use).
As I still had some woodstain left, I used it to paint the shelves that again my youngest daughter didn’t want in her new bedroom. The shelves now sit in my kitchen where the old chest freezer used to be before it broke. These shelves will be great for both my daughters’ school work, to keep it tidy:
Finally, we gave my daughters old desk to ‘Loros’ to resell and I put her old wardrobe onto ‘freecycle‘ and it was picked up by a lovely lady on Wednesday. This wardrobe was given to us second hand, thirteen years ago and I think it still looked in good condition. So it was lovely to know that it will still be used, rather than ending up in a landfill site.
Tomorrow is halloween and each year many pumpkins are carved and the insides are just thrown away and I so hate waste. So I thought today I would share a few of my favourite pumpkin recipes with you:
Spicy Pumpkin Soup….the recipe is here.
Pumpkin and Orange Cake….the recipe is here.
Pumpkin and Apple Chutney….the recipe is here.
Pumpkin Lasange…the recipe is here.
Pumpkin, Raisin and Orange Muffins….the recipe is here.
Don’t forget you can freeze raw pumpkin. In the photograph below you can see the frozen pumpkin that I used to make the cake recipe below…..this is raw pumpkin that had been in my freezer since January this year and I cooked it without defrosting it first.
Also, most recipes ask for ‘pumpkin puree’…..to make this just cook the pumpkin in boiling water until it is soft and then drain the water and mash it. I have found that you need approximately double the amount of raw pumpkin to make the pumpkin puree i.e 600g of raw pumpkin makes approx. 300g of pumpkin puree.
Pumpkin puree can also be frozen in batches, ready weighted out for your favourite recipes.
This year I decided to make a different pumpkin muffin with a mascarpone cheese frosting and it turned out well and tasted really nice:
Pumpkin Muffins with a Mascarpone Frosting:
230g self-raising flour
150g granulated sugar
100g soft brown sugar
100ml sunflower oil
170g of pumpkin puree
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
250g mascarpone cheese
50g icing sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Extra bit of soft brown sugar for decoration (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180C / Gas 4 /350F
Sieve the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger into a bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl mix together the granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil until combined.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Mix in the pumpkin and vanilla.
Fold in the flour from the separate bowl, a little bit at a time.
Half fill muffin cases with the mixture and then bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Put the cakes on a cooling tray.
When the cakes have cooled down, mix the mascarpone cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice together and either pipe it or spread it on the cakes. I then put an extra pinch of soft brown sugar on each cake for decoration.
Thank you for reading my blog today.
I will be back next Friday as usual. Have a great week!