Sunday, October 16, 2016

Slow Cooker Squash Recipes

Hey Y'all!  Are you enjoying Fall where you are?  Here in Central Texas, our temps are finally cooling down (a bit) and that means I'm doing more baking and cooking!  I especially enjoy adding healthy, comfort foods like Spaghetti Squash, Butternut Squash, and Acorn Squash to our menus for some tasty variety.

Slow Cooker cooking makes the effort of preparing squash a lot easier, takes less time in the kitchen, and gives you more time to spend with your family.

Spaghetti Squash:

Spaghetti Squash
  • All you need is a slow cooker (crock pot) that will hold your whole spaghetti squash.
  • Wash the squash, and poke the skin all over with a fork.
  • Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. This will depend on how large your squash is.
  • Carefully remove the squash & let rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes, so you can handle it.
  • Halve the squash lengthwise with a sharp knife (it should be very easy to cut open).
  • Scoop out the seeds, and discard. Hint: I use an ice cream scoop.
  • With a fork, shred the squash into spaghetti-like strands into a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Reheat in microwave, and serve. (Or reheat in a pan on top of the stove.)
  • We enjoy spaghetti squash with butter, salt & pepper; some people rave about how great it tastes with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and meatballs!
  • (Note: to test for doneness, pierce squash with a fork. It should go in very easily.)

Butternut Squash:

Butternut Squash
  • Use the same prep and cooking method as for Spaghetti Squash. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours, or on high about 3 hours.
  • Remove the squash and let it rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes to cool down.
  • Carefully halve the squash lengthwise with a sharp knife.
  • Once you have removed the seeds, use a sharp knife to score it into cubes, or scoop it into a bowl.
  • Reheat in microwave, and serve.
  • Try with garlic butter, salt & pepper. 
Acorn Squash:

Green Acorn Squash
  • Use the same prep and cooking method as for the above Squash. Cook on high for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, or on low for about 4 hours.  Remember to test with a fork.
  • Remove the squash and let it rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes, so you can handle it.
  • Halve the squash with a sharp knife, and remove the seeds.
  • Once you have removed the seeds, scoop out the cooked flesh with a metal spoon, into a microwave-safe bowl. 
  • Reheat in microwave, and serve.
  • Try with butter and brown sugar or pure maple syrup. MMMmmmm!
Babies love plain, cooked squash!  You can put it into a Baby Bullet or whisk it to make it into a puree for infants age 6 to 8 months old and up. Older babies and toddlers can eat small chunks or mashed squash easily; for spaghetti squash, I recommend you cut the strands up pretty well, to make it easier to swallow.

Cooked squash freezes well. Just let it cool down, put into a freezer-safe covered container or freezer bag, and freeze for up to six months. Don't forget to mark it with the date!  When ready to eat, thaw and then reheat on stove top or in the microwave.

Now that you see how easy it is to cook in the slow cooker, you'll want to explore new recipes, like Butternut Squash Soup, Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash, and Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash.  Mmmm, who's hungry?!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Thanksgiving Printables

Sometimes, being a DIY blogger living in a rental house can be frustrating!  Can't paint the dark kitchen cabinets so that they are more farmhouse-style. No stenciling my favorite scripture verse over the entryway. However, what I can do is decorate with printables, and change them out with the seasons, holidays or just because!

Today, I'm sharing with you six Free Printables for your Thanksgiving decor. The backgrounds were created using Joanna Gaines' Market Collection colors "Shiplap" and "Ella Rose" so they would be neutral to fit into your home decor.  (Online colors may appear differently than actual printed signs, or from actual paint.)

Clicking on the photo above will take you to where each file lives, so you can download them.  Use one or all, but please remember that they are offered to you for your personal use only.


As always, I would love it if you would share this with your friends by pinning, sharing on Facebook or Instagram!

Keep checking back for some upcoming Fall Recipes, too! (Crockpot Squash Recipes will save you effort and time!)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Thankful Table Runner & Napkins

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays in the US and Canada; families and friends come together to celebrate the blessings of the year.  Gathering around the table for a feast is traditional and expected, just like the pumpkin pie for dessert! (The year we lived in Hawaii, Ed and I gathered around a picnic table at the beach!)

We've had a burlap runner on our table for about a year, but with no embellishment to it, just plain burlap.  After a recent slipcover project, I had a perfect length of canvas dropcloth left over, that paired well with the burlap, so I knew this was the opportunity to give it a little personality for our Thanksgiving table.

The length and width of your runner will of course depend on your table. **(add an extra 1-inch for the hems!)
Our table is 72" X 36", so my canvas table runner is 78" X 10" and the burlap under it is 84" X 12".  If our table was wider, I could have made a wider runner.

Y'all, I'm giving you alternate methods to complete this project, just choose what you like!


  • 12-inch wide burlap, optional because I layered the canvas over burlap
  • 10-inch wide canvas (or larger if you table is wide)
  • Thankful stencil OR printable (see below)
  • black craft paint OR black Laundry Sharpie Marker & graphite tracing paper
  • 3/4-inch Spouncer (found near craft paint), skip if using Sharpie method
  • newspaper to protect your surface
  • sewing machine and thread, OR use Iron-on Hem Tape
  • Iron & ironing board
Canvas will tear straight in one direction, so when you measure, add an extra 1/2-inch and save a lot of cutting on those long sides!
After measuring, and cutting the length of your canvas, fray the long sides slightly, and iron both ends with a quarter-inch hem. Simply fold over 1/4-inch, iron, fold it over another 1/4-inch, and iron. Do this on both ends.

No Sew Method:
Use Iron-On Hem Tape under your last fold, and iron. This will bond your hem into place.

Or, for a secure, permanent hem, sew a straight stitch down the center of both hems.  And that's all the sewing you have to do!

For the word Thankful, I used my Cricut cutting machine, and the "Sophisticated" cartridge. Using vinyl, I cut it out at 2-1/2-inch for the dial size, which made it approximately 8-inches by 2-1/2 inches. Cut 2 stencils, one for each side.
Place the stencil onto your fabric, with newspaper layers underneath, and "spounce" on the black paint, but use a gentle hand on the paint, you don't want too much on your spouncer, because it will bleed under the stencil. Allow to dry, and carefully peel off the stencil.

Alternate method:
If you don't have a cutting machine, it's okay... I didn't leave you out!  Click on this free printable I made just for you!  (You can size it to fit your runner using MS Word or Google Docs.)

Using graphite tracing paper, transfer the outline of the letters to your fabric. Then, use a black Sharpie marker to fill in the word, and have the same look on your table runner without a stencil or paint.

Here's a bonus method to print from your printer directly onto the canvas:
Spray adhesive spray onto a sheet of 8-1/2 X 11-inch cardstock. Apply a 8-1/2 X 11-inch piece of ironed canvas to the cardstock and smooth on completely. Make sure that the canvas fits the cardstock with no overhang, and that the edges are crisply cut, not ragged.
Run this through your printer as if it were just cardstock (you might have to change your settings to photo, to get more ink onto the canvas). Make two, one for each end of the runner.
I have done this method successfully when I made this bunting:

After it has printed, peel the canvas from the cardstock, trim to the correct size for your runner, and fray the edges. Now you can apply this piece of canvas onto your runner, using more of the iron-on hem tape, or sew it on.  
**Please note: I'm not positive of the wash-ability of the table runner, if you use paint or a regular Sharpie permanent marker. If you plan on washing it, I  would recommend you use a black LAUNDRY marking Sharpie, this would probably be washable on gentle with mild detergent, without bleeding.

Whatever method you choose to use, you'll use this table runner for many Thanksgivings! Because natural canvas is a neutral color, it will go nicely with many different decor styles, including my favorite Farmhouse-Style. Small packages of canvas are readily available at most home improvement stores, like Home Depot or Lowe's, and you will have plenty of canvas for many projects! Make some table runners to give as gifts!

What do you think of this table runner?  Let me know, either in the comments below, or find me on Facebook and Instagram.

**Using the same drop cloth canvas, I sewed up ten napkins!  It's just a straight stitch, so it's easy for even beginners to sew!
  • Cut fabric into 20 X 20-inch squares. (Canvas happens to tear straight in one direction, which helps)
  •  Iron the hems all the way around: Fold over 1/4-inch, iron; fold it over another 1/4-inch, and iron.  Do this on all four sides of each napkin.

  • Use a straight stitch on your machine to neatly finish the edges!  By sewing the napkins, they are easily washable, and shouldn't fray.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Butterscotch-Pecan Pumpkin Bread

Glad that y'all stopped by!  Okay, so truth be told, I'm not a "true" Texan, because I wasn't born here. But, I like saying y'all.  And although it doesn't feel like Fall here in central Texas (yesterday it was 95°F), I still got into the spirit of Fall by trying out a new, original recipe that's perfect for pumpkin lovers!

Butterscotch-Pecan Pumpkin Bread

Makes one loaf
  • 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) pkg instant butterscotch pudding (dry powder, unprepared)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Streusel Topping:
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped finely
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Butter or grease a loaf pan. (You could also use nonstick cooking spray.)
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, dry pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Add the pecans. Set aside.
In another bowl, stir together melted butter, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and eggs.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
Pour into prepared pan.
Now combine the streusel topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Mixture should be crumbly.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the bread batter.

Bake at 350° F for 60 to 70 minutes.  Don't over-bake; it will make the bread too dry. As the bread bakes, it will rise and the topping will crack. This is normal.
Place a towel under a cooling rack; sit the pan on cooking rack for 10 minutes, then tip out of pan onto cooking rack to cool completely.  As it cools, it will slightly deflate. This is normal. (The towel is to catch loose crumbs.)

Cut into slices and serve slightly warm. You could spread a little butter on top; a dollop of whipped topping or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream is also wonderful with this bread.

This bread is not overly sweet, but certainly will satisfy your sweet tooth!    

Please try this recipe and let me know what you think!  You can comment below, or catch up with me on Instagram and Facebook