Five Fun Fall Adventures in Hamilton County Indiana

Five Fun Fall Adventures in Hamilton County Indiana

With sunshine and a slight breeze, Saturday was the perfect weather to enjoy a day full of everyday adventures in Hamilton County Indiana. Hamilton County is a northern suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana and boasts some wonderful towns, lots of interesting things to do and a family-friendly atmosphere. We started our day as every morning should begin with a delicious cup of coffee. Indie Coffee Roasters is a local coffee shop at the edge of Main Street in Carmel with a fun, industrial vibe, friendly baristas, and rich, bold coffee. The shop is located in a converted house with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. We enjoyed sipping our coffee on the large patio as the temperature was perfect for our cappuccino’s and latte’s – crisp air but warm sunshine. I have plans to go back there and work in the near future – it’ll be a nice change of pace from my normal coffee shop! Indie Coffee Roasters also has kombucha on tap as well as decadent hot chocolate for the non-coffee drinkers. This was an excellent way to begin our day of exploring. The shop is open Monday – Saturday from 7 AM – 6 PM and is closed on Sunday. Once we were fueled up, we walked through the Carmel Farmer’s Market to pick up some fresh tomatoes and zucchini for the week. Yum! Our next stop was to pick a pumpkin at Russell Farms in Noblesville, IN. If you are looking for family-friendly fall fun, Russell Farms has you covered. Not only did we find the perfect pumpkin, but we also found a lot of fun!...
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Now that the Christmas drinks are out, it’s only a matter of time before the pumpkin spice latte is gone.  I hate to think about waiting a year for one, and I honestly would prefer a healthier version.  So, I decided to create my own mix – using only whole food ingredients. Since I LOVE coffee, it was a rough job . . . but I came up with a version that is quite yummy! I have to warn you, it ISN’T low in calories, but it IS yummy and would be a great alternative to dessert one night! Pumpkin Spice Latte Mix: Makes enough mix for about three drinks 1 cup pumpkin puree (1/2  of a 15 oz. can works well also) 3/4 cup organic whipping cream, half and half, coconut or almond milk (whipping cream is the most decadent, but the others taste good too) 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 T vanilla 1 and 1/2 t. cinnamon 1/2 t. nutmeg 1/2 t. ginger 1/4 t. cloves pinch allspice Step one:  Place all ingredients in your blender.  Blend.  Try not to eat it all with a spoon and pour into a container – this keeps for about a week in your fridge. Step two:  Place about 1/4 cup in the bottom of your coffee mug.  Pour hot, very strong (I used my French Press to make it super strong) coffee over the mix.  Stir well. Step three:  To make it REALLY decadent, top with real whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon. I have to say it was a fun day of testing these drinks, and I think this...
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Halloween! Last week I shared some ways to get rid of the excess candy your kids will collect tonight (their favorite Halloween treat I’m sure).  Today I’m going to share one of  MY favorite Halloween treats – roasted pumpkin seeds! Anytime you roast a pumpkin, make sure and save those seeds.  I typically scoop them all out, rinse them well and let them drain for a while. Then, spread them out on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil and drizzled with olive oil (or coconut oil or butter would work well). Drizzle a bit more oil on top, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in the oven at 325 until golden brown.  Check on them frequently and move them around to ensure they brown evenly.  Typically takes about 20 minutes or so. Pumpkin seeds are delicious on their own or sprinkled over a salad or soup.  But not only do they taste good, they are good for you.  Pumpkin seeds contain protein, zinc, Omega 3 Fatty Acids and a host of other minerals!  Bet your snack of potato chips can’t beat that! So when you carve those pumpkins with your kids, be sure to save the seeds – it’s a fun, nutritious project you can do together. Today is the last day to pick up the FREE e-book “Back to School Stress – NO MORE,” so if you haven’t signed up to receive it yet, be sure and do so now! Shared on Real Food Wednesday and Works for Me...
No more cans!  4 easy steps to making your own pumpkin puree!

No more cans! 4 easy steps to making your own pumpkin puree!

Today’s tip is frugal, healthy AND fun!  Instead of buying cans of pumpkin, try making your own pumpkin puree.  It is so easy, and really fun for the kids too! Remember Pumpkin Day?  Well the day before or the day of, we’ll usually make up a batch of our own pumpkin puree.  It’s super simple. 1.  Start with a pumpkin.  A pie pumpkin works best, but I’ve been known to use whatever I can find at the store or farmers market. 2.  Cut that pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and any stringy pulp, put in a pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour (depends upon the size of the pumpkin). 3.  Once the pumpkin is done, pull it out of the oven, cool it and scrap the flesh from the outside – you’ll know it’s done because it will come out easily with a spoon and you can mash it all up – it will have the same consistency of canned pumpkin, but be much lighter in color. 4.  Store in the fridge and use within the next few days for pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, etc. So, for the price of the pumpkin, you’ll end up with pumpkin to bake with, pumpkin seeds to roast, and an interesting experience for your kids! Want to be the FIRST to hear about my brand new e-course?  It’s all about menu planning and will help you save dinner (and your sanity).  I’m releasing it next Friday on the site, but if you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get a...

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