Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


The Quick Version:
Heat 2 T pumpkin puree and 1 T whipping cream in a mug (Microwave 20 sec.) or if you are making a bunch warm it on the stove in a pan.  Mix together 1/3 C. cocoa mix (I like Stevens Dark Chocolate for this but a milk chocolate would surely be good) and 1 rounded T. Ultra gel for thickening if using. (see below*)  Add: ¼ tsp. Cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg and Allspice for each cup.  Stir everything together in the cup or pan and top with whipped cream or marshmallows in the mug.

I froze 2 T clumps of pumpkin so I can get one or two out when I want to make this and not open a can of pumpkin every time.  (see photo)

If you want to make your own Cocoa Mix here is a recipe:

Mix together in a large bowl:
6 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 ½ C Non Dairy Creamer
1 ½ C Instant nonfat milk
1 1/4 C. Cocoa powder
Scant 3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp Allspice

For every one cup of boiling water add:
2 T. pumpkin puree
1/3 C of the dry cocoa mix
1 T. whipping cream  (optional but it makes it more creamy.  Or you can use 1 T. more of the nondairy creamer if desired.)

I traveled in Europe last year and died for the thick hot chocolate we had everywhere.  I have discovered that a product called * Ultra Gel works good for thickening hot chocolate. I add 1 slightly rounded T. per cup.     I also use Ultra Gel for making frozen jams thicker and to stabilize whipped cream.  It thickens like instant pudding thickeners.  I buy it locally at Kitchen Kneads in Ogden. (If you go there make sure you get the one that can be used in hot or cold liquids)  Here is a place you can order it.

Because I usually only make a cup or two of this hot chocolate and don’t want to open a can of pumpkin every time I froze a cookie sheet filled with 2 T. plops of pumpkin and then put them in a plastic bag to drop in the hot chocolate when I want it.  Heat the pumpkin a little longer in your cup before adding the other ingredients.