Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Inspiration

This time of year is so full, and has me busy with lots of projects.  We've been blessed to have some wonderful weather since October 1st with many cool days and chilly nights, giving us a good sense of fall here in the Sunshine State.  As the wind whips through the orange groves and through my open windows, the sounds of autumn invigorate and inspire me to create more.  As I've mentioned, this time of year makes me want to incorporate natural products into my decorating, and I put together a centerpiece using cranberries, sticks, and baby's breath.

I moved my acorns to the centerpiece to add warmth and more reminders of nature.

The sticks actually came from one of those cinnamon brooms that you can pick up at the produce section of the grocery store, and give off the spicy scents of autumn.

I added a few cranberries to the bottom of two half-pint canning jars, and set 50 cent votive holders on top for a unique votive display.

The candlelit sights of autumn bring me pause.

Remember the plate I told you I was thrilled and surprised to discover at Walmart?  The matching tray was such a bargain I went ahead and purchased it, and used it as the base of this centerpiece.

A few days ago I used this delicious recipe to make homemade Apple Butter Bread for my family.  It made a huge loaf, and the kids gobbled it up!  Savoring and enjoying the tastes of autumn.

I added some leftover faux pumpkins and gourds as well some pincecones to an old wire egg basket to give a touch of harvest to the ledge in my entryway.

I find so much beauty in simplicity.

Today I had the opportunity to teach a class on making Whoopie Pies to a group of seniors at a retirement center.  It was my first time teaching a baking class and it was so fun!  I showed them how to make a traditional Chocolate Whoopie Pie with White Frosting, then demonstrated how to make this Pumpkin Whoopie Pie with Cream Cheese Frosting rolled in autumn leave sprinkles for a seasonal treat.  The ladies enjoyed the class, and definitely enjoyed the goodies!

I found this recipe in a Whoopie Pie cookbook from Crate and Barrel, and it was fabulous!  This would be a fun treat to serve or send home with guests at your Thanksgiving celebrations.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Beat 1 cup brown sugar and 1 stick of softened butter.  Add 1 1/2 cups pumpkin and 1 egg, beating well.  Mix 1 tsp vanilla until combined.

Sift together 2 1/4 flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 TBSP cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat on low until incorporated (batter will be thick).  Using 2 TBSP scoop, drop batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes at 350.  Let cakes cool on pan for 5 minutes then cool on rack.

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting

Mix 4 oz cream cheese, 4 TBSP softened butter, 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (I reduce this to a little under 3) and 1 tsp vanilla.  Beat until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes.

Fill pies with frosting, then roll in sprinkles if desired.

The projects will continue during this harvest month as we give thanks and prepare for Christmas.  My scents will continue to be satisfied by the blessings of my favorite season, a season that is always filled with such inspiration.  What's inspiring you this November?!


Joining the inspiration here again!  Always such fun!

1 comment:

  1. Hello!

    What a joy to stop by and peruse your lovely blog here and get to meet you and your dear family! You have created such a warm cozy atmosphere in your home and it is evident on your blog too.

    Your photos are beautiful! Coincidentally, I was going to post Pumpkin Whoopie Pies this Thursday but chose a dip recipe instead. My recipe is a little different ~ from Martha Stewart.

    Thank you for stopping by my place and leaving your comment!

    Kindly, Lorraine