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Monday, September 24, 2012

In the baking mood

Saturday was the official start of Autumn.  And what better way to ring in the second most wonderful time of the year, than with Pumpkin Gingerbread.  Once September hits, my thoughts often turn toward pumpkin recipes.  Pumpkin bars.... pumpkin pancakes.... pumpkin pasta, etc.  But when I found the pumpkin gingerbread recipe on Pinterest, well.... how could I pass it up.  And boy am I glad I made it!

Recipe courtesy of

2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnut oil (or vegetable oil of choice)
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree (from approximately 1 1/2 large sweet potatoes, roasted and cooled, skins removed)

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F and lightly coat a loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until light, creamy and tripled in volume, about 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, drizzle the oil into the egg-sugar mixture. Beat until incorporated. Add the molasses, vanilla and sweet potato puree and beat until combined. [Superstar tip: after adding the oil, use the same measuring cup for the molasses. The coating of oil in the cup will ensure all of the molasses makes it out.]

5. Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture, gently folding it into the batter until incorporated. Be careful not to over mix the batter, as doing so activates the gluten in the flour and results in a heavier, denser crumb.

6. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out with a light coating of moist crumbs. Allow to cool before serving. The loaf will keep, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for several days.


Friday, September 21, 2012

What to Wear to an Elopement

What to Wear to an Elopement

This is what I wore on my wedding day.  The shirt is not exact, the one I wore had patchwork on the pockets and cuffs. The earrings I wore were drop stars- in remembrance  of my maiden name. The shoes were absolutely perfect since I was marrying a Brit :)  Life is good!!!

What to Wear to an Elopement

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What did you do this summer? Part 2

The day started out as any other Cape Cod summer day- humid and hot.  The Cicadas were already humming but the sky was slightly overcast.  We woke early the morning of August 9th, around 8:00 in the morning.  Early for me during the summer.  Nigel made breakfast; eggs with cheese, bacon and toast while I painted my nails for the big day.  And of course, we had a large pot of tea.

I also picked flowers from our garden for my bouquet.  Various hydrangeas, cone flowers and Rudbeckia. We also ran to the grocery store for Baby's Breathe.  I combined the fresh flowers with the paper daisies.

Before noon, we dressed in grubbies and ran over to Town Hall to pick up our marriage certificate. Wow this was official!  Then we headed to The Tea Shoppe in Mashpee for our cake.  The baker did such a wonderful job! Vanilla cake with lemon curd filling.... so yummy!
Next, we trimmed the path where we would walking be down later . Nigel and I armed with rusty hedge clippers.  He proceeded to chop away at every living plant on the path including grass and dead leaves. :)  Didn't want anything sticking out that might get caught on my outfit. When all this was done, we decorated the path; hanging the banner, ribbons and other various decorations we worked so hard on. Of course, like any female decorating, I kept moving things around to find the perfect position.

With an hour and a half to spare.  We ran back to shower and dress. This is where I said goodbye to Starzyk and going to become a Quinnin.  The keep with tradition (the only thing we decided to do) was not to see each other until the ceremony. I dressed upstairs, Nigel got ready downstairs. The JP and photographer arrived. After the photos, Nigel and I ate dinner at Quick's Hole.  A little restaurant in Woods Hole that makes the BEST lobster burritos.  And celebrated with ice cream from Smitty's.  Thank goodness, Smitty finally showed up.  I was getting snickers from some of the girls behind the counter trying to figure out why I was all dressed up.  Hey, every now and then one needs to dress up on the Cape!  Haha   It was a wonderful day, a day that went by too fast but the memories will stay with us forever.  Love you Nigel!  Can't wait to see what adventures await us...

(photographs provided by Kat Hanafin)

Monday, September 10, 2012

What did you do this summer? Part 1

"Well, I traveled, went to Maui....  the Cape to work on the house..... helped my family..... got married..... ran a race.... saw The Devers...   "What?!! You're married??!!!"

A week before we left for the Cape; we were eating dinner at my family's and while driving back home Nigel asked,  "Why don't you bring a dress while we're at the Cape and we'll get married."  "Are you serious?"  "Of course!"  I was so excited thinking of the possibility of getting married back in my home state, in my beloved Cape Cod.

The next day it hit me.... "I don't have a dress!!!"  Frantically, I started searching the web..... for two hours!  I finally realized I needed to bring in reinforcements; someone who knew the ins and outs of on-line shopping. But my sister was out of town...  haha, I called my Mum.  "Hi, what's up?" " If I was to tell you, hypothetically speaking of course, that while we were at the Cape we were going to get married, what would you say?"  My Mum answered, "What??!"  I quickly repeated myself only to hear, "Yes, I heard you.  I couldn't be happier and more thrilled."  I quickly led her to my Pinterest fashion board and showed her what I was hoping to wear.  Later that day, I was racing around to find a shirt, hair accessories, etc.  When I received an email on my smartphone from my Mum regarding a pair of shoes.

We ordered everything express delivery and within 3 days, I had the outfit I was going to wear.  Everything was just too easy.  We went to Paper Source and Michael's to buy possibly decorations, not that I knew how I was going to decorate. Here it was, my turn... after helping so many people with their weddings and baking their wedding cakes.  It was my turn, only to figure out, I had no idea what I was going to do!  But it all came out well, lucky I had a party board on Pinterest and also by checking out for wedding ideas.  Once we got the Cape, I showed Nigel where we were going to get married (such a sport for traveling to a strange state and just going with what I wanted. I should marry him :)  )

Over the next few days, we set out making decorations and going on our honeymoon to Nantucket (before the wedding). Hey, we did everything else backwards why change it now.  We came back the night before the wedding, where we sat up finishing everything else and Nigel calming me down that everything will look great.  And it did.  Stay tuned for more......

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Capturing the Week- Sept 4-9

The kids are really liking having their picture taken.


Still Life- Sunflower

Popular colors

Trying to pick a color for the spare bedroom.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Days of School

  I need to apologize for my absence for the last few months.  But I'll get around to that later.  Anyway, last week was the first day of school for us.  Just like the children, teachers get just as nervous about the upcoming.  What kind of class will they be?  Will they like me?  Can we work together towards a common goal?

Like in the past, I set my alarm earlier than normal.  And just like the past (this includes when I went to school) I was anxious about starting the new year which resulted in very little sleep.  Once dressed and bags packed, I head to school.  Even though the kids won't arrive for another 40 minutes, I feel as if I'm late.  As I talked with my team teacher, a teacher from the next room calls us in.  She asked me to write a wish on a piece of paper.  I totally draw a blank on what I want (most of my wishes have come true earlier in August).  I finally write down, "I wish for a peaceful school year."  The other teachers and I roll our wishing paper up, standing it on end.  Suddenly, one of their kids enters the classroom.  Quickly and too my surprise, she sets the paper on fire!  And to my amazement, it floats effortlessly to the sky in a puff of smoke.  Will my wish come true?  We'll see, it's still early (but so far, so good).  I want to wish all the other teachers out there a peaceful and bright school year!  Good luck!

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