Fox and Broom

A mom's adventures in keeping healthy, keeping her sanity, and making stuff.

Archive for the month “October, 2010”

Low Cal, Low Fat Pumpkin Fluff

This is a recipe sent to me from my sister-in-law. I haven’t tried it as of right this moment, but it sounds like a delicious substitute for the fattier pumpkin pie.

PUMPKIN FLUFF

1 cup = 1 point on Weight Watchers or approx. 50 calories.

1 box of fat free sugar free vanilla pudding (small)

1 box of fat free sugar free butterscotch pudding (small)

2 cups fat free milk

Beat until it gets a bit firm

Add

1 large can pumpkin

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Beat with beaters until thoroughly mixed then refrigerate.

The Joy of Cooking Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Most people love pumpkin pie. I definitely do. Here is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe. It has served me well for the past few years.

The recipe calls for making your pie crust first. Pie crust is one of the few things I just have no patience for. I buy mine frozen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin (see bottom notes for preparing pumpkin)
  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk or heavy cream (if you want to use sweetened condensed milk, just cut out the white sugar)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375º.

Whisk eggs thoroughly. 3 eggs will give the pie a custard-like texture. 2 will bring out the pumpkin flavor and give a more firm texture.

Whisk in remaining ingredients. Pour into a 9″ pie crust. Bake 35 – 45 minutes or until pie is firm. Cool completely on the rack. The pie can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Serve cold or at room temp.

Notes:

  • This is the first year I have made this recipe with evaporated milk. I have had VERY positive responses from people after using the sweetened condensed milk. The pie I made tonight will be going to my son’s kindergarten class, so I hope they like it. It sure does smell good.
  • My pie crust of choice is Marie Callender’s. It tastes perfect and I have had very little trouble with broken crusts.
  • Two ways of  preparing fresh pumpkin (my preferred way is #1):
  1. Preheat oven to about 350/375.  Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out innards,  and place cut sides down on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes or until meaty party is soft. Scoop out meat and use.
  2. Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out innards. Cut pumpkin into cubes and boil for about 30 minutes. Meat will come right off the skin.

Bring it on, Braxton!

I don’t remember having Braxton Hicks with my son. I may have and never realized it. They can be sneaky that way. I’m feeling them this time. The discomfort factor is rising daily. I am at the point where I hope I really do not have to wait 3 more weeks (slightly less than 3 weeks now). My next doctor appointment is in a week’s time and it feels like it is soooo far away.

I have taken a tour of the hospital’s birthing center. I didn’t do that with my boy heh. My husband and I wandered around the hospital for about 10 minutes trying to find the correct elevators. Now I know right where to go. My bag is almost done with being packed. I just need to put in an outfit for me and for the baby to wear home. I have 2 infant car seats all cleaned up and ready to go. I’ve been nesting like mad. Nothing is safe from getting a cleaning. I am going to clean the kids’ room again today.

I am also going to bake a pumpkin pie for my son’s kindergarten class. I forgot that parents will also get homework from school. I don’t think that I put my pumpkin pie recipe on my Pumpkin Recipes page. I will have to add it later today. I think I just didn’t think about adding it since pumpkin pie is so easy and common.

Baby Shower

I had my baby shower yesterday. It was fun and really very exhausting. Then again, a lot of things are very exhausting for me lately. My friends, Genn and Kim and my mother-in-law, Bobi, really outdid themselves. Everything was beautiful and delicious. Even though I unknowingly gave them quite a few challenges. Heh. They had to go with neutral colors since I do not know if we are having a boy or a girl. I also told them that I was looking for owl-related items for the baby. I didn’t realize this would be the theme of the party. Cutesy owl decorations are pretty hard to find. Genn’s 13-year-old daughter made my cake:

I think it is a pretty amazing cake. She made the top layer with Splenda instead of sugar, so I would also be able to enjoy it with only a little guilt at the carb intake. She based the owls on the owls that had been used for the invitations. She is so incredibly talented. I really think that she has found her calling as a pastry chef and I believe she will do very well in that field.

The fruit platters were also incredible. They were created by my mother-in-law:

I received a ton of wonderful gifts and gift cards. There are only a few more items that I really need which I did not receive. The hubby and I are pleased and touched by our friends’ and family’s generosity.

Betty Crocker’s Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Pumpkin Bread
Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (2 cups fresh pumpkin)
1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tspn vanilla
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
2 tspn baking soda
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn ground cloves
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins (dried cranberries) if desired
(I also add in dried ginger. It seems to bring out the pumpkin flavor)

Note: If you use fresh pumpkin, there are 2 pretty easy ways to prepare it.

  • Preheat oven to about 350/375.  Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out innards,  and place cut sides down on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes or until meaty party is soft. Scoop out meat and use.
  • Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out innards. Cut pumpkin into cubes and boil for about 30 minutes. Meat will come right off the skin.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans (I like to use the mini loaf pans). Mix pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and raisins. Stir in nuts and raisins. Divide batter evenly between 2 loaf pans or fill mini loaf pans about 3/4 full (will make about 12-16). Bake 8 inch loaf pans 50-60 minutes, 9 inch loaf pans 1hr 10min to 1 hr 20 min, mini loaf pans 40-50 minutes.

4 1/2 weeks left…

Well, give or take a week or two. I am feeling it. I feel so tired all the time and nothing I do feels comfortable: sitting, standing, walking, laying on my left side, laying on my right side, and forget about trying to lay on my back. When I am laying on my sides, the baby will kick the crap out of whichever side is down. Not comfortable at all.

I have my baby shower on October 24th! I am excited. It sounds like there will be some fun games and I am hoping to see a lot of my friends. I know everyone can’t make it, but I am looking forward to seeing those who can.

I guess that is it for now. I thought I had more stuff to write about.

Yesterday was ugh. And other things.

I think my glucose levels were really affecting me yesterday. I was having trouble concentrating and felt like I was in a fog for most of the day. They evened out as the day went on and I felt pretty good by the time I went to bed.

I have created a few new pages. You should be able to see them at the top. The content on these pages will change as I add more recipes or think of more things to add to them.

I guess that is it for now. I feel pretty good today and will probably pull weeds from the flower garden. Yay! I know that sounds super exciting hehe.

It’s the small things…

I found “no sugar added” ice cream. I am in heaven. It is sweetened with Splenda© and only has 17g carbs and 3g of sugar. It is seriously wonderful. Ice cream is my biggest weakness in regards to junk food. I can only have a 1/2 cup at a time (and I have limited that to once per day), but ohhhhhhhh. I will take it.

7 Weeks to Go

A month and a half left. Where did this pregnancy time go? My baby shower will be held in 3 weeks time. I still feel pretty unprepared. Then again, I don’t think that anyone ever really feels ready to welcome a new person into this life. If they say they are prepared, they are lying. Even with getting the baby stuff organized, there are so many other things that are impossible to organize: when the new baby wakes up and wants food, when the parents can sleep… Yeah. I am dreading the sleepless nights, but I know they will not be forever and I know that I can handle them. Maybe this is why people say the first kid is the hardest and the 2nd/3rd/4th/etc. are easier. The parent(s) now have an idea as to what to expect.

I think the hardest thing that I am having to deal with is the fact that I have so very very little in the way of baby gear. We’ve moved so much and had to get rid of so much. My son is 5 and we just had no reason or space to keep all of the baby stuff. My mom bought me a new crib. I haven’t been able to put it together, yet. I want to clear out the crib space, first. It is going to have to go in Sol’s room, for now. It will be nice when we can get our own house and each kid can have his/her own room. Sol is being a good sport about it, but I think that he has been acting out about the big change in his own way. He has been whiney and crying about small things. I am working with him on it. Having a new addition to the family is a huge change for the entire family.
I am purchasing what baby gear I can find at yard/garage sales, but I have also become very picky about certain items. Like strollers. I just KNOW what I want to get out of a stroller. I want a good reach with the handles. I want a cup holder. I want it to fold up nicely. I want it to be light and easy to handle. I haven’t found the stroller I want at a yard sale, yet, but I have purchased a Pak ‘n Play and a high chair. The high chair is actually an extra chair as a friend has given me her old one. I figured one of them could live at a grandparent’s house.

On the subject of blood:

I have had some strange bleeding issues lately.

I had some spotting, nothing serious. I did report it to my doctor and was told that if it started up again, I would need to come in. It didn’t. Phew.

The other issue happened yesterday. I was driving my son to meet with his aunt and uncle. It is about a 10 minute drive. Before I got out of our neighborhood, I felt something weird on my chest. I wiped at it with my hand and my hand came up seriously bloody. At first I thought it was a bloody nose, which is common in our area at this time of year. No… my nose was not bleeding. It was a little dot on my chin. This little dot (which I have not recollection of scratching) was gushing out a waterfall of blood. I bled the entire way to our destination. I soaked 2 tissues (the only 2 in my car) and 2 random papers I found in my car. I had blood all down my neck and chest and covering my hands. I looked like I was dressing early for Halloween or an accident victim. It freaked me out not only a little bit. I haven’t had any other issues like this. I have to prick my fingers a few times a day for glucose tests. They definitely do not gush like this. I will be seeing my doc this week and will be bringing this up to him.

Other than this, baby seems to be doing great.  Baby is moving constantly. I have been able, thus far, to control my blood sugar with diet. My dietician was very pleased with my progress. I was worried because I had lost 4 lbs, but was told this is normal in the beginning of a new diet plan. I have mostly cut out sugar and cut waaaaay down on carbs. I make sure not to have any fruit or fruit juice with breakfast. I eat a lot more protein-packed foods.

I will be relieved when the gestational diabetes is gone. This will also make me work harder to be in better shape. I have no desire to regain diabetes at a later date. I have mentioned before that I will be restarting the C25K program in Feb. I have already mapped out a weekly routine with some form of exercise everyday. For now, I am walking. I am starting to have problems walking too much, so the walking is just for a few blocks. More than that gives me a very uncomfortable stitch in my side.

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