Yesterday was the last day of my fall fun activity list. My lobster and I had our horror movie marathon and that was the last item we were able to complete. We didn’t finish ‘have game night’, ‘roast pumpkin seeds’ or ‘go on a nature hike’. Eighteen items out of twenty-one is not bad, we can just save the last three for next year. We enjoyed the activities on the list, there were lots of new adventures, and I think we may have added a few more fall traditions to our list. My favourite activities were the haunted house and the corn maze. It was a great way to get up and out of the house since both of us tend to be homebodies. Can’t wait until next fall.
Last year my Lobster and I bought a pumpkin but did not get around to carving it. I love carving pumpkins so I put it on the fall fun activity list. This year we forgot to even buy a pumpkin. I was so focused on completing items on the list that I forgot to buy a pumpkin. Luckily I did buy one for work. So instead of carving a pumpkin with my lobster, I carved one with my kids. They had so much fun watching and talking about it but none of them wanted to put their hand inside or touch the insides and seeds when I pulled them out.
I was hoping to also ‘go for a morning walk’ with my Lobster but it seems we ran out of time. I went on a walk this morning on my way to work. Two more things to cross off the list.
It was a busy weekend trying to finish more items on the Fall Fun Activity List.
It was a beautiful warm day out so we finally got the chance to read outside and enjoy the fresh air. Since I also made Rice Krispie treats we had a delicious snack to go with our outside time.
Another item off the list, I finished the DIY Fleece Blanket. I love making these knotted fleece blankets. It has been a few years since I have made one so I was excited to put it on my fall fun list. If you have never made one they are a great gift that are easy and quick to make.
DIY Fleece Blanket
- two pieces of fleece material, I usually choose one pattern and one complimentary solid colour, the dimensions vary depending on the size of blanket you want just make sure both pieces are the same (wash material first before making blanket)
First layout both pieces of material flat, one on top of the other, and cut material ends so all edges are even. Then cut out a square in each corner of the blanket, I usually use the length of my scissor blades to measure. Be sure you are cutting both pieces of material.
Next cut strips along each edge the same length of the corner cut out and about 1/2 to 1 inch in width.
Then take the top and bottom piece of each strip and tie them together in a double knot. I like to tie the corner pieces first just to hold everything in place.
Continue to tie all strips together along the edges, be sure they are matched up properly so you are not skipping over a single strip.
Once all the strips are tied you are finished!
I love desserts, I always want something a little sweet after dinner. But what fun is it to only have dessert after dinner? Wouldn’t it be nice to have with lunch or even for breakfast. I like to make my dessert recipes with natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup or sometimes I will use cane sugar depending on the recipe. With the ingredients I often use in my recipes my desserts are usually healthy enough to eat even for breakfast. Yesterday my lobster and I decided we wanted dessert for breakfast so I opened up my kitchen cupboards and created a Maple Apple Crisp.
Maple Apple Crisp
Preheat oven to 350
- 7-9 apples peeled, cored and sliced (I use Macintosh)
- 1/8 cup cane sugar
- 1 Tbsp melted butter (replace with coconut oil for dairy free)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp lemon juice
Mix ingredients together until apples are coated in butter mixture and put in baking dish ( I use an 8×8 size). In a separate bowl add ingredients for the topping.
- 1 cup oats
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Mix topping ingredients together until well blended and crumbly. Sprinkle on top of apples.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve on its own or in a bowl with milk!
Of course I completely forgot to take any pictures of the end result because I was so excited about the ghost walk we had booked for later in the evening. Presented by Ghost Walks my lobster and I were ready for a night of history and ghosts stories
We were not disappointed. It was the first time we had been on a ghost walk and it was amazing. We had a 90 minute tour of the building that consisted of history lessons and stories of ghost activity within the building.
Definitely something to try again next year. For now that is two more items off the Fall Fun Activity List.
I love my crockpot. I use it for everything. I never realized that there were so many different things you could make in a crockpot. This time I used it to make apple cider.
I found a recipe for homemade apple cider. We adjusted it slightly and threw everything in the crockpot. Seven hours later we were tasting our first sip. It was good for a first attempt. I think we will try a different variety of apples next time to see if we find a better flavour combination.
Since our crockpot was occupied I had to figure out another way to make dinner. Since ‘make chilli’ was on my Fall Activity list I thought it was a great opportunity to scratch off another item.
My Lobster and I are both a fan of chilli and we found our favourite chilli recipe courtesy of Michael Smith.
His Bacon Chipotle Chili found in Make Ahead Meals is now our go to chilli recipe.
Last year I wanted to try make pumpkin muffins but just did not have the time. This year I added it to the Fall Fun activity list and made the time.
I decided to take my banana muffin recipe and just replace the bananas with pumpkin. It worked out that I had extra pumpkin pie filling from making tarts which just happened to be the amount I needed…it was fate.
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (softened or melted)
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup of apple sauce
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Make a well in centre of flour mixture. In well, mix together maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, apple sauce, and pumpkin filling. Stir together, do not over mix. Spoon batter into muffin tray.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in centre of a muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and let cool.
They tasted delicious; very light and fluffy. I think I enjoyed them more than the regular banana recipe. This recipe is definitely a keeper for our family.
I love driving through the country in the fall time. It is one of the things I miss now that I am living in the city. All the trees with their leaves changing colour is absolutely beautiful. On our way to visit a farm we had to drive through the country to get there. It was a clear day and we got to enjoy the scenery as we were driving by.
Our destination was Springridge Farm. We go there every fall to look through there little shop and pick up some apple cider. Our visit was wonderful as always, we even purchased a few gifts. Two more items off the Fall Fun activity list.
Visit a Corn maze was one of the items on my Fall Fun Activity list that I was looking forward to the most. I had heard of Hanes Corn Maze last year but we did not get the chance to go. I was not going to let that happen this year.
I expected to just be walking through paths in a little corn maze but my expectations were far exceeded. This place was huge, covering over 20 acres, and they had a puzzle game to go with it. They had 17 checkpoints on their map, 6 of which were hidden, that you could find throughout the maze. Each checkpoint had a code and you used the code to solve the riddle at the end to win a prize.
It was tricky at times, my lobster and I got lost on occasion, but we had so much fun. It is definitely becoming a fall tradition.
Thanksgiving is not complete without pumpkin pie and since ‘bake a pie’ was on my fall activity list I can now scratch another item off. Okay I actually just made tarts instead of a full pie but in order to cross it off the fall fun list lets just call them mini pies!
Over the past few years in my journey to eat healthier I have adjusted many favourite dessert recipes to have less sugar, or at least contain a more natural sweetener, as well as no dairy. It was time to come up with a new pumpkin pie filling. With the clock ticking I crafted a new recipe. It took a couple tries to get the spices right but other than that it was a great success.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
*makes for 2 pies or 1.5 dozen tarts
- 3 1/4 cups of pumpkin puree ( 1 can of pumpkin puree)
- 150 ml pure maple syrup
- 100 ml almond milk (can substitute with the milk of your choice)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbs arrowroot powder
- 3 eggs
- Heat oven to 350*. Beat eggs in a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir until blended.
- Pour filling into unbaked pie or tart shells.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes for mini pies or tarts. **I have not tried the recipe in a full sized pie yet. Not sure about baking time, probably around 30-40 min.** To test the pie insert a knife, if the knife comes out clean its done, if not bake for longer.
- Let pie cool before serving.
Normally at Thanksgiving our family takes turns saying what we are thankful for before having our dinner. This year I wanted to make a list of things I was thankful for.
As I was making my list I realized I have so many things to be thankful for. There are days that I forget how much I have. I don’t always appreciate what I have and I need a little reminder to help me. A couple years ago I started a gratitude diary. Every day I wrote down one thing I was grateful for. I am going to start doing this again. We shouldn’t only be thankful once a year when thanksgiving comes around. We should be thankful all the time. With life things get busy and you can get so focused on your day to day schedule you forget what you have around you. So take a minute out of each day and think of something you are grateful for. Try it while your waiting in line or stuck in traffic, it might even help brighten your day a little.