This is our first fall in Tennessee and it has been absolutely wonderful watching the leaves change on the mountains this month! We took advantage of the beautiful backdrops to get family pictures done with my side of the family and Kristy Vest Photography. We hadn't done it since Ethan was just 6 months old, and there were only 3 cousins. Now my sister and I have added 2 more to the clan. What a difference 3 years makes!
|Family picture, Fall 2012|
|Family picture, Fall 2009|
I think it's safe to say we all look a little better now, too. Haha!
Here are some of my favorite pics of my little family. :)
And a couple of my favorites of the cousins...
And finally a sweet pic with our mom. :)
Today I'll share some other things we have been enjoying this fall! First up, the most amazing pumpkin dessert you will ever eat. I promise. Pumpkin pie fanatics (my hubby included) have even declared it to be better than pumpkin pie and a suitable substitute for the holidays! Woo hoo! I was never a pumpkin fan when I was younger, but it has started to grow on me as I get older. I now enjoy pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cake pops, pumpkin cookies, and now pumpkin crunch! My dear sister introduced me to this recipe last fall, and I made it a couple times before the end of "pumpkin season." Now that fall is back, we can't get enough of this deliciousness! Without further adieu, I bring you the recipe for...
- 1 15-oz can solid packed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling; I use Libby's)
- 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pkg white cake mix (original recipe calls for yellow, but I prefer white)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (or enough to cover the top)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted (original recipe calls for 1 cup, but 1/2 cup is plenty)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9" x 13" glass baking dish. Combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Once well blended, pour this into the pan. Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the pumpkin mixture. Top with nuts (I just sprinkle them evenly over the surface - not sure how much I actually use) and drizzle the melted butter over the nuts. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown and pumpkin mixture is set. Enjoy!
This is an awesome dessert. It even makes a good breakfast. ;) Once you eat it, you'll never look at pumpkin pie the same way again. It gets its name from the crunch that results from baking the cake mix and melted butter topping. The crunchy texture of the topping paired with the creamy, custard-like texture of the pumpkin filling is delightful.
The sweetness of the cake topping paired with the earthy taste of the pumpkin filling is also pretty amazing. Excuse me, I have to go get a piece to eat now...
Along with some amazing pumpkin dishes to eat this fall, we wanted to take the boys to pick pumpkins from the patch! We started going two years ago, in Georgia, when Ethan was around Noah's size. Uncle Bob's Pumpkin Patch, in Newnan, was a good time. Last year, we went to Jack-O-Lantern Lane, in Alabama. We had an awesome time there! This year, we checked out Fender's Farm here in Tennessee. We had a pretty good time, but unfortunately, it wasn't quite as awesome as the other two we had been to visit. :( This farm was more focused on their corn maze. It was pretty impressive, but not really something a 3-year-old and 1-year-old are really into yet.
|Ethan was navigating through the maze.|
We took a short tractor ride around the farm to their play area.
|Here we go!|
|Ethan enjoyed the ride more than Noah.|
It was a pretty decent play area with various things for Ethan to enjoy...
|Trying to figure it out!|
|Roping his steer!|
Noah loved the farm animals that we could pet. He just wanted to run around and "moo" at all of them. :)
|"Meh, meh" went the goat. "Moo, moo" went Noah. ;)|
On our way back to the main area, we could stop to pick our pumpkins. Unfortunately, it was a really small patch and quite a few of the pumpkins were starting to rot already. :/ It was also getting dark and pretty chilly, so it wasn't quite the experience that I was hoping for this year. I may have to see if I can find anything else in the area to visit this weekend!
What fun things have you been doing and/or tasty pumpkin dishes have you been eating this fall?