Cookies and Pictures

If you haven't already figured it out, I love Fall!
First things first, have you tried this wonderfulness in a bag?

pumpkin spice cookies

I'm not usually a pre-made cookie mix kind of gal, but these are so good and super easy. I whipped them up in less than five minutes. I couldn't wait to eat them, so I did not try them with icing. It's probably a good thing - I might just eat the whole batch in one day if they had cream cheese icing on them! They are soft and chewy and the perfect pumpkin treat!

I took some Fall pictures of Belle this weekend and she is such a ham! As you can tell from the pictures below, she is camera ready at all times.

These were taken under my mother-in-law's beautiful maple. The adults had just as much as Belle did playing in the leaves! Who doesn't love a huge pile of orange leaves?!? Happy Fall!!!


Since It's Fall

Since it is my most favorite time of year, it means one thing....

starbucks pumpkin spice latte

Yes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back. Don't think just because it is 90 degrees outside when you drive by that you can't experience this yumminess. They come in Frappacinos too!

Since I believe all things pumpkin are wonderful, I decided to have a pumpkin lab at school. I have been trying to do seasonal labs and incorporate recipes that the students normally would not try. When I told them we were having a pumpkin lab, I of course heard "gross" and "ewww" and "I have never tried pumpkin and I ain't never going to!" (I can't believe I just typed ain't on my blog - twice!!!) When I hear this Miss Hard Headed comes to class and says "Oh, yes you are trying it" and they think I am an evil witch.

First up we had Pumpkin Soup. I got some major "ewwws" on this one. This is while it is cooking.
We then pureed it. The recipe didn't call for it, but we added some milk at the end. We tried it in one class and it needed a little something else, and it was much better with the milk.

Pumpkin pancakes were on the menu,

pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips,

and Pilgrim Pies aka the best things you will ever put past your lips.

Here are the recipes. You should try them out! Needless to say, my students now love pumpkin. They did try everything and managed not to wither away and die. There favorite recipe (and mine too) was the Pilgrim Pies. Delicious!

Pumpkin Soup


1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring.

2. Add pumpkin and cook 3 minutes, until lightly softened.

3. Add stock and paste and stir to mix. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower to a simmer, and cover. Cook 20 minutes, until pumpkin is very tender.

4. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add cheese, salt, and pepper; mix and serve warm.

Pumpkin Pancakes

(From Disney Family Fun)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
3 tbsp. melted butter plus 1 tbsp. for frying
1/2 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin or canned pumpkin
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Add 3 tablespoons of melted butter and the pumpkin to the wet ingredients, and whisk together. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir just until blended a few lumps are okay.

  2. Heat the remaining butter on a griddle over medium-high heat. Then pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. When the flapjacks bubble on top, flip and cook until brown on other side. Makes 20 pancakes.

Pumpkin Bread

(From CD kitchen)
5 eggs
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15 ounce size) solid packed pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar (can substitute Splenda)
2 small boxes regular vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (we added these!)

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add oil and pumpkin; beat until smooth.

Combine remaining ingredients; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture.

Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 8 x 4 x 2-inch loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 75 to 80 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Pilgrim Pies

(from Disney's Family Fun)
2 eggs
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the pumpkin. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture a half cup at a time, blending each time until smooth.

  2. Drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet, using a moist finger or the back of a spoon to slightly flatten each mound. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  3. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar a half cup at a time, until the frosting is spreadable.

  4. To assemble the pies, turn half of the cookies bottom side up and spread a generous amount of cream cheese frosting on each one. Top them with the remaining cookies (turned right side up). Makes 10 to 14 Pilgrim Pies.


Happy Fall Y'all!

I just love fall, don't you? I honestly wish that the weather was like this all of the time. However, I know we would not appreciate these cooler temperatures if we did not have to endure the 100 + degree temps in the summer months of Alabama. We are in the foot hills of the mountains, so we get some cooler weather quicker than we did at home in Georgia. A lot of times we miss this fall weather and go straight to winter, but this year we have been lucky.

With Fall brings the Georgia National Fair. It is mighty convenient that Blair's birthday falls on a holiday weekend that the fair is in town. We have been to the fair every year since I can remember. We used to get a "fair day" at school! (I really think it was Columbus Day, but that was their incentive to make us reach our fundraiser goal!) Where I used to love the Gravitron and the Double Ferris Wheel, those now make me as sick as a dog and the food is the reason I go to the fair. After Blair's big day, I was lucky enough to join my mom for a Josh Turner concert. He is such a cutie and it was a really good show.

Since we didn't have much time to browse around before our concert, we loaded up the family and headed to the fair again on Sunday night - operation eat all the fair foods you like because you won't get to eat them again for another year. Molly's boyfriend, Josh the pig man, got us in free and close parking too! It was really nice of him and we felt like VIPs. I think we played the ag part very well with my BEEF tag on my car!

Now, back to the reason for the fair - or my reason for going!
I had yummy gyro loaded with cucumber sauce. I think this was my favorite thing and I am always disappointed if I try something else and don't eat one.

I also had a Granny Smith Apple Dumpling. It was massive. I ended up sharing with Mo because I would have eaten myself into a sugar coma if I had not stopped!

Everything is yummy yummy there and I can't wait for the fair to come back next year! Look at all of those ribs. I bet they aren't as good as my father-in-law's!

Since I was feeling in the fall season, I decided to make a few fall cookies. They are just the happiest little cookies and unfortunately are sitting in my kitchen waiting on me to come home every day just when I need a little snack.

I hope everyone is getting out and enjoying this beautiful weather! Happy Fall!
Check out my sister's awesome giveaway! I want to enter, but I think the sister card rules me out :(


Sweet Blair Turns Two

I can't believe that Blair is two. I will never forget racing down to Georgia that sunny afternoon hoping I would get there in time for her arrival! She has come a long way and is quite possibly the sweetest child ever. I know my sister always says she is so sweet, but she really is! Every time I go down to Georgia I fear that she will have forgotten who Aunt Linnie is, but thanks to Ash and my mom, I think she thinks the pictures around the house have come to life when I am there! She used to be a little skeptical of me, but this weekend she actually let me hold her around my mom - HUGE feat in my book! That girl loves her Gigi! When I left to go home, she smiled and squeezed my cheeks and told me very enthusiastically "BYE BYE". I think she may have been ready for some one on one time with Gigi!

My sister, Ashlee, planned the cutest owl party for Blair's second birthday. She thought of everything and the food was delicious. She made the precious owl invitations and Blair donned an owl dress from Kelly's Kids that was the inspiration for the party. You can read more of the details here. Of course, Mom and I started planning our contributions to the dessert as soon as we found out the theme. Mom made the cutest cake that matched Blair's dress perfectly. I wish I was as talented as my mom! Her cakes are stunning!

I made owl cookies to match the day. I think Blair really liked them too! When she wasn't sticking her finger in the icing on the cake, she was eating icing off of the cookies. She was too cute. The first round she grabbed every single blue one. Then she went to the orange ones. I don't think she ever started handing out the red ones!

Detail picture since I didn't get a good one at the party.

Blair would pick up the cookie and say "hoooo"

I love you sweet Blair!


Cookies Galore

Lucky for me, I have been super busy making cookies lately. I have made a few new designs and completed my first big order all by my lonesome. I have been planning in advance when I need to do certain things and this has helped my stress level immensely. I am trying not to get behind because this chickadee needs all the sleep that she can get. I don't know how my mom stays up until 4 in the morning doing catering things. I literally would fall over and be the crabbiest person in the world the next day. I am an eight hour a night girl so my schedule has helped me maintain my sleep too!

First up I had my big cookie order. I was completely honored to be asked by my best friend Georgia's company to supply the cookies for goodie baskets for some of their clients. I made 375 hammers and screwdrivers for the "Right Tools" baskets.

Here they are all loaded up in my car for their trip to Atlanta!

I also had my first cookie shipping! Thanks to Katie for being my shipping guinea pig. Her little Reese turned one and had animal themed cookies for his big day.

My personal favorite, the blue bird.

Now on to family birthday parties! John Thomas turned six and he wanted a Titanic themed birthday party. His mom surprised him with these cookies. I think he liked them! He always catches me in the process of baking cookies and wants a snack when he comes over. They aren't nearly as good as they are with all of that sugary icing on them. I am sure he appreciated being able to eat cookies that had icing on them! I am surprised I haven't gone into a cookie coma yet. I always seem to have a couple extra that don't need to go to waste!

Here are his Titanic cookies

He also had anchors!

Lillie Kate turned 5 and had a groovy party. She told me she wanted groovy cookies and groovy cookies is what she got! Excuse the quality of these pictures. I took these at 5am and it was dark outside still.

I have had a few people ask about cookie orders. For more information, you can email me at thehunniepot @ gmail dot com!


The Norms of Alabama

Since moving to Alabama I have found there are several norms here that I had never heard of before coming to this area. My favorite one of those is the Trade Day. I had absolutely no idea what this was when Ben told me about it, but it really is an experience to say the least! Trade Days happen on the weekend and in some towns only certain weekends of the month. Fortunately for my junk loving husband, we have two trade days nearby each weekend - one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Yay for us!

Trade Day is a huge yard sale. Now, this is not the kind of yard sale that makes my heart go pitter patter because they have great furniture and antiques. No, this is more of the animals, socks, tools, anything you can think of that you don't really need, but someone is out there selling for a fabulous deal. Trade Day doesn't last all day. You have to wake up at the crack of dawn and take the small road trip to whichever Trade Day you want to go to. There is a restaurant (and I use the term restaurant very loosely) that sells biscuits starting at 4:30 am! I have never gotten there that early, but Ben has dragged me out of bed to go there before 7 o'clock. We usually go later, but most people are packing it up by then.

(This is my mom saying "Oh My. Look at all that junk!")

We took my parents to see this event. They were quite impressed with our little event. My dad actually went to both of them! I don't think I have ever gotten anything at Trade Day. Ben gets tools and such, but I guess it's just fun to look.

Need about 500 pairs of socks? Go to Trade Day!

This is Ben's mecca. All of these tools are sold by the pound and they have every type of nut, bolt, nail, and screw that you can imagine. They are dirt cheap and the man runs this place knows where every single one of them can be found.

They have plenty of chickens there too! It's fun to look at them, but they are mostly roosters and older chickens. I may have to take my roosters down there because my husband is dead set of thinning out the rooster crowd by making chicken and dumplings!! No thank you.

Need a miniature horse or three? Go to Trade Day!

They even sell pigs! (I took this one for my sister.)

No gun trading on the grounds. Don't even think about it.

They have plenty of fresh produce as well. They have several latino markets with really interesting produce.

And your everyday tomato/cantaloupe/watermelon market too!

If you are ever in Alabama and close to a Trade Day, go check it out. You might even find a hidden treasure amidst all the other stuff!