Friday, November 2, 2012

Sweet November

Well, as great as October was, I had a hard time keeping up with the pumpkin theme. Truth be told, my heart runs much deeper than pumpkin and I had a hard time making pumpkin deep, there are somethings that are just meant to be light and fun!

Today, we interrupt our usually scheduled Foodie Friday for some deep thoughts because I've been deprived. But don't worry, I will be posting appetizer ideas next week along with side dishes. I want to make sure you have lots of ideas for holiday meal planning! :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse - Satisfaction Guaranteed!

I've had the luxury of testing this tried and true crowd pleaser out on at least 3 occasions to three separate crowds and each time I get the same reaction "Amazing!" "Can't get enough!" This recipe was featured in the 2009 Holiday issue of Delight Gluten Free Magazine. 

It's my recipe, and my buddy Justina Dean was the photographer. 

A fairly easy recipe, just takes a little extra time. So it's best to make ahead of time with it's 30 minutes of fridge time, then it's 4 hours of fridge time, and then finally letting it chill in your freezer overnight. But it is SO worth it! You will not be disappointed. 

Get the Recipe after the break

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Luminaries

Why not combine the beautiful luminous stringed lights that we put everywhere for Christmas into your Fall and Halloween decorating. I found this idea on Vida De Garota's blog, and I'm really excited to put these easy steps to work when it gets closer to cutting our pumpkins up. You should try it too. Find the original tutorial and photos here.

Step 1: Cut a hole in the BOTTOM of your pumpkin, 
scoop out all the guts and seeds as you would carving a pumpkin the old way. 

Step 2: Mark out a design of where you want your lights on the outside of the pumpkin with a permanent marker. 
You can make a swirling design, or a shape of something 
or just place random dots all over. 

More after the break...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pumpkin for your face!

So another health-minded friend of mine told me that Pumpkin is rich in Salicylic Acid which is so great for the zits and blemishes. A long time ago when I worked at Bath and Body Works I fell in love with a facial line called Pure Simplicity. It was created by the chemist from Estee Lauder, when she joined forces with BBW. The Pure Simplicity line has gone away and replaced with other things, which is the life story of BBW and drives many consumers crazy, I know. But one thing they did keep was the Pumpkin Mask that even Oprah flipped over. The True Blue Spa line at BBW picked it up and I'm SO grateful, because I trust the True Blue Spa brand as well. My face would glow after using this mask. 
But the beautiful thing about Pumpkin as opposed to clay or mud masks is that it is available everywhere. So you can make your own mask! guide Anitra Brown featured a really great and simple pumpkin mask recipe that is worth trying, only three ingredients. There are other pumpkin mask recipes out there but they involve eggs and other crazy things. The less ingredients the better. I'm gonna try this one!

More after the break...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Pumpkin a Day...keeps the the doctor away!

Oh hello there! It's the month of the pumpkin so get used to all things according to pumpkin over here at Bedhead and Brainfarts. Today I would love to share with you some information I found on the benefits of eating pumpkin. If this does not inspire you to incorporate some pumpkin into your life, I don't know what will.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Popular during fall holidays, the pumpkin is one of the most nutritious fruits available. Packed with disease-fighting nutrients, it offers numerous health benefits.
Pumpkin is Rich in Essential Nutrients
More than just a decorative Halloween candleholder or a pie filling to be eaten only once a year, pumpkin is one of the most nutritional foods available year round. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, both the flesh and seeds of the pumpkin provide many health-boosting nutrients.
More after the break...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkins! for decorating

Yay! It's October, my second favorite month of the whole year and another thing I truly love is Pumpkins! If I was a little old lady I would cover my house from head to toe with decorated pumpkins. The only thing holding me back now is I'm not sure I have the time to do all this decorating, my kids would play with all the decor, and I'm not 100% sure my hubby would really dig it as much as I. But one thing's for sure, I can decorate my blog with pumpkins. Hmmmm, I should get on that. But until I do, here is some fun decorating ideas for using pumpkins! Click on the link below from my Pumpkin Pinterest Board to find the the links to all the tutorials and for more pumpkin ideas!

Here's the link: Julie's Pumpkin Pinterest Board

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Foodie Saturday!

What happens when your Friday gets filled up with too many awesome opportunities to pour into others and your family? Foodie Friday gets moved to Saturday!

Today's Food Friday is all things Pumpkin and sort of a to do list for the month of October. For I declare that, as I sip my Pumpkin Protein Smoothie and my kids ask for more, I simply cannot get enough pumpkin in my life. October is the perfect month to celebrate the pumpkin and so emerges the perfect theme for next month. I can't wait! It's gonna be fun.

So today I share with you a bunch of fun pumpkin recipes I have found from others with the links to go check them out. Stay tuned for some fun stuff I'm cooking up next month.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cake Pops anyone?

Yay! It's time to start up Foodie Friday again. I would have started earlier today but I had to snuggle my kids first! *On a side note, Asher had a major Asthma Attack last night that really rocked us but it was a good learning experience for us, for I feel like we've got a handle on how to help him recover because he was freaking out. We kept him home from school today to make sure everything returns to normal and that it's not a virus, so I took some extra time to snuggle my big boy I don't get much of these opportunities anymore.

Okay, so back to cake pops.

You see, we actually eat a decent amount of cake at our place. Because when you are gluten-free your options are limited for a quick and easy dessert. I get sick of paying a fortune for the already made gluten-free treats at the store. And I usually run out of time to make something out of the norm. So we usually go for gluten-free cookies, brownies, cupcakes or cakes, and the kids love to help me.

So when birthdays roll around I am usually looking for something outside of the cookies, brownies, cupcakes or cake because I don't feel like it is as special since we make those often.

That's where cake pops became all the rage to me. My friend Katie, is a cake pop extraordinare, she just started a personal blog called Sugar CEO, but you can find all of her amazing creations through her Facebook photos. She makes them for people's special occasions and she calls them KatePops. I want her to go into business. Here are some of her creations... (I wish I could share all of them, she has so many designs, but I don't want to let all of her secrets out of the bag)

Kate Pops 

We've been going on about having me come over for a cake pop tutorial, to learn from her talent and I still plan to do it. But for Asher's bday this last Spring I just had to go for it. I found it was easier than I thought. I don't get my cake pops as nice and round or decorate them as amazingly as she does. But all I had to please was a group of 5 year olds. And that was a success!

So without further a do, gluten-free cake pops everyone!

What you'll need:
box of Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix
package of Pamela's gluten-free chocolate cake mix
(the other ingredients to make these cake mixes, like eggs and oil)
lollipop sticks
vanilla frosting
chocolate frosting
2 packages of Wilton's candy melts in your desired color
2 packages of Wilton's candy melts in another desired color
sprinkles or sugar crystals
oil (to use in melting the candy melts)
a styrofoam block or something like it to stand up your cake pops

Okay, let's go:
Bake the yellow and chocolate cake according to package instructions.

Once the cake is cooled, crumble the cake into a large mixing bowl

Now add some frosting

Mix the crumbled cake and frosting together well

roll into 1 inch  balls, and place on a foil lined baking sheet

Stick the balls into the fridge, anywhere from 30-60 minutes is good, you might even be able to do less. I did this while I made the chocolate melts and cleaned up the kitchen a little bit. 

Also, another reason why cake pops are the best. You can freeze these balls until you are ready to make them for a special event. I made the vanilla ones for Asher's bday party and I froze the chocolate ones for a few weeks after going out of town and the taste was still great. 

Now you want to make your coating. Depending on how many cake pops you want you can heat up 1 package or 2. Also if you want different colors you can heat up more, this is up to you. Just remember with leftover coating to transfer the rest into a container you wan to store it in, I prefer glass. If you allow it to fully harden you won't be able to scrape it out of your bowl without heating it up again. I would store in the fridge, but I'm sure there is a tutorial out there on how to store Wilton's candy melts after they're melted.

So melt them according to the package, but I also had 1-2 tablespoons of oil to make it even smoother. Some people don't do that , but I was worried about smoothness and this seemed to work well. 

Pull your cake balls out of the fridge. Get your lollipop sticks ready and dip each lollipop stick end into the candy melts. And then insert into each cake ball, this will help hold your pop top on the stick. 

Refrigerate again for a good 10 minutes or so, to let that lollipop harden in the cake ball.

Now you're ready for dipping. Dip the cake pop into the coating and cover completely.

Tap it on the edge of the bowl to get off the excess coating. Depending on how hot and thin your candy melt is will depend on how long this will take to stop dripping. When I first began I just had a lot of excess, so I would twirl it around as it dripped trying to keep a nice round shape. I think letting your candy melt cool of a little (without hardening) will allow it to hard faster on the dipped cake ball. 

Once all the excess is off and it is starting to get set on the cake pop, you need to add your decoration. Some people roll the cake pop in a plate of sprinkles, I just would drop my sprinkles over the top of my cake pop and try to throw it sideways to cover the pop all over. If using sugar crystals it may be easier to roll your pop. 
Then stick the pop in the styrofoam to set. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve the cake pops. Again, they can be frozen for a couple weeks, and refrigerated for days. Freezing for too long will affect the flavor. And you will want to sit them out a little while before you serve them so they are not too hard. However I really like them cold, kind of refreshing. 

Serve and enjoy!

I hope to figure out how to make cake pops for my kids like my friend Katie, but the look on Asher's face for his bday was priceless and I realized that I can't start out making them so awesome I have to build up to that, especially since he thought my mediocre cake pops were so amazing!

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