Thursday, October 6, 2011

Travels and Pumpkins.

Well this time last week, Joseph and I were driving through the day to Winchester, Virginia for my uncle's funeral. Friday was the funeral. It was a sad time, but it was also great to see all of my dad's side of the family. My thoughts and prayers have been going out to my aunt and cousins these past few weeks. I cannot imagine how it feels to lose a father and a husband this early in life. It was his time, though, and I'm glad we got to see him at our wedding in June. It was a hard trip for him, as he was already not feeling good, and Joseph and I both really appreciate him and his family coming down to Birmingham for it. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of him at the wedding, but at the visitation on Thursday night there was a slide show with some pictures from the wedding of uncle Tim having a great time! We all miss him so much, but we are glad he is no longer suffering. 

Friday night, Joseph and I headed with my cousin Paul and his lovely bride Nora to stay with them in Kodak, Tennessee (a small town near Knoxville) so we did not have to drive all the way to Atlanta that night. They live in the most awesome place, Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge. There are beautiful trails, a river, and the cute house that Paul and Nora live in! How did they get to live there, might you ask? Nora was hired as the lands manager for the refuge, and they "made" her live in the house! How great is that?!? 

Here is a picture of the lovely couple on their wedding day in August of this year

Saturday morning, we woke up, took a tour of the barn and area around Paul and Nora's house, ate some awesome blueberry pancakes, and hit the road! We traveled to Kennesaw, Georgia for Joseph's dad's cousin, Mark's wedding (It's complicated, so we just call him uncle Mark!). It was a beautiful reception at Mark and his new wife Maja's house in Atlanta. Fortunately, there is a room (formally known as the cigar room/office) where we periodically peered in to catch snippets of the Alabama Florida game! All I have to say is 38-10. Ridiculous. We had a great time with Joseph's family celebrating life and love. Seeing Mark and Maja together reminded me of our wedding day, and what a whirlwind it was. I wish I had taken pictures of the reception, but we were too busy having a GREAT TIME! 

Sunday afternoon, Joseph and I drove back to Birmingham, and Monday-Wednesday I went back to real life at work. It was actually a good week, even though I chose to work 3 days in a row, which is not my favorite. So I made it through the week, and now it's Thursday. Today I was browsing my friends' blogs, and I found these (Click on link to view recipe). Yum. What are they? Spiced pumpkin muffins. Thanks to Maria, my nursing school co-graduate, I made an amazing dessert/breakfast/afternoon snack food for Joseph and I.

Let's get down to business.

First, get all of your ingredients together. I'll give Maria the cred on the recipe. The only thing I omitted was the allspice, simply because I didn't have any on hand. 

After you have preheated your oven to 400, and followed the recipe, cook for 15-18 min, or until golden brown. 

While the muffins are baking, I decided to make a simple cream cheese icing to go on top of some of the muffins. It makes them a little more sweet/appropriate to eat as dessert, and the non-iced muffins are for breakfast. 

The ingredients you need for icing are: 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
4 oz cream cheese
3/4 teaspoon vanilla 
2 cups powdered sugar

First, cream butter, vanilla and cream cheese with electric mixer until blended. Then add powdered sugar a little at a time, until your icing reaches desired consistency (I used a little less than 2 cups). 

Once the icing is done, it's probably time to take your muffins out! Yum! 

Use a knife to smooth icing on the muffins you choose after they have cooled for about 10 minutes (unless they smell so good that you want to eat one right away, like me!).

They go great with a glass of milk and your favorite TV show. 

Down to the last bite! So good! 

Now I will put away the left over icing for another culinary adventure that needs cream cheese added. Enjoy the first taste of fall, which to me MUST include pumpkin! 


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