Pumpkin Doughnut Recipe

Fall is here with its warm days and cool nights. Football stadiums are lit up on Friday and Saturday nights across the country, and I’m digging out my jackets and thermal underwear.

And there’s just something about those cooler temperatures that make you long for soups, cider, and anything pumpkin. Yes, I’m one of THOSE people who never grows tired of pumpkin everything. So, in celebration of Pumpkin season, I’m sharing a recipe I found on Pinterest that I’m going to try, because doughnuts!!! YUM-OOOO!!

Pumpkin Doughnuts, taken from Cooking Classy’s website

Pumpkin Donuts

1 ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour

1 ¾ tsp baking powder

1 ¼ tsp salt

¾ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ginger

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup canola oil

3 large eggs

1 ½ cup canned pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract



1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon



Preheat 350 degrees. Butter the wells in a doughnut pan. One batch yields 18.


In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, until well mixed. In a separate large bowl, sift granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined—breaking up the small lumps of brown sugar as needed. Add canola oil, eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla using a hand mixer until well combined. Spoon or pipe batter into the doughnut forms, filling each up to ¾ full.


Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted comes out clean, 13-16 minutes. Cool doughnuts slightly. In a large resealable bag, shake together the coating sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Add one warm doughnut at a time and shake until evenly coated. Place on wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.


Recipe source: adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Five Fall Favorites

Welcome to Fall! I’m not a summer person. At. All. Give me ten below over 90 above any day! So I’m ecstatic that fall is finally here.

Fall is my favorite season, hands down. Here are a five reasons why:

  1. Sweatshirt and shorts weather begins. And bare feet, of course. That’s my wardrobe throughout winter and into spring. In the house anyway. I will dress warmer to go outside the house once the temps drop below 65. Usually.
  2. I love the fall colors. Who doesn’t? This year I’m hoping to drive up along Lake Superior’s north shore to view the leaves. The colors can be spectacular up there!
  3. Windows in the house are open. Since I dislike hot weather, AC is on pretty much all summer. I love being able to open up the house and let cool breezes refresh it. Don’t you love the scent of fall?
  4. Pumpkin pie season. My favorite pie of all. Just add a dollop or two of whipped cream, and I’m set.
  5. Fun bird watching. I love watching the flight of birds heading south, and it amazes me to think of the God-built-in instinct given to His creatures. Hopefully on our trek along the North Shore we’ll make a stop at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. I’ve heard that’s the best place to take in the migration.

What are your favorite things about fall?

Those Crafty Old Frames

Fall is craft time. That is if you’re at all crafty. Or maybe you’re the type who admires someone else’s crafts and thinks, “I could do that,” but in the end you plunk down some money and buy it already.

I live in a little of both worlds, I guess. I have dreams of making all this cool stuff, but does much of it materialize? Nope, not much anyway.

IMG_1045shelf paneLately it seems that when I do get the urge to browse craft shows or Pinterest, I’m seeing a lot of recycled products, like repurposed old window frames. In fact, we have three of them in our house right now. The first two projects were made by my daughter. She added an old shelf to one frame (without the glass) and applied chalkboard paint to a piece of wood and attached it to the back of the pane to have a place to write messages. Then she attached chicken wire cut to fit another opening and used magnetic clips to hang pictures. I think it turned out pretty cool. This one was a 4-H project from a few years back.

IMG_1044wire paneFor her second project, she attached chicken wire to the back of another frame with a staple gun and used magnetic clips to also showcase photos. I used my antique Sunday school chair as an improvised easel to hold it. Wait a minute—did I just say “my antique chair?” Oh, well, I guess if the shoe fits.

IMG_1046mediumbakepaneThe third project was made by yours truly. Using acrylics, I painted a design for my daughter the baker. After I apply sealer and a hanger, the project will be complete.

If you’re looking for something to do this Saturday the 17th in southwest Iowa come to Clarinda for their annual Craft Carnival, complete with over 430 vendors in five locations throughout town. There’s something for everyone. (Think Christmas presents.)

Curl Up and Read This Fall

Fall is here and soon the leaves will change their glorious colors.  Though we’re not quite to that stage here yet, it’s never too early to curl up with a good book.

My fall pick is A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick. It sounds like a fabulous read, perfect for a cool autumn day.

The publisher’s blurb reads:

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read — as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere — even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill.

Potluck Party

As soon as I feel the suggestion of autumn, I start to feel driven to cook and bake. It’s like an itch.

Do you feel it, too?

Fall seems like the time we yearn for hearty soups, hot casseroles, fresh bread, or warm apple cobblers.

Oh, wait a minute. I said casserole. For my up north friends, that’s hot dish.

For the next two weeks, join us for a Inkspirational Messages Potluck. We’ll bring you recipes worthy of sharing. Some will be easy to make ahead and freeze and others may use some of the ingredients that fall is famous for like apples and pumpkins. Feel free to add your own recipes as we go.

As I said earlier, my time in the kitchen has jumped ten fold with autumn on stage. Last week, I made apple crisp, Oreo cupcakes, turkey breast, and dressing besides all the other normal stuff.

Yesterday, we had a potluck at church. I took a family favorite Turkey Velveeta Joes.  We put it on buns, but you can also serve it over rice. It can be made ahead and frozen, too.

I made a 13 lb. turkey breast in my crock pot. We used half for dinner, then I shredded the rest for this recipe. Voila! Two meals in one.


turkey velveetaCrock Pot Turkey Velveeta Sandwiches

6 C. shredded cooked turkey

2. C. Velveeta, cubed

1 can cream of chicken, 10 oz.

1 can cream of mushroom, 10 oz.

1/2 C. onion, diced

1/2 C. diced celery optional. (My hubby hates celery, so I add a 1 tsp. of celery seed instead.)

1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray then add shredded turkey.

2. Stir in cubed Velveeta, soups, and onion (and celery if used).

3. Cook on low for 3 hours or high for 1 hour depending on how soon you need it ready. I cooked mine on high for an hour, then put it in “keep warm” until our potluck. Make sure veggies are cooked and Velveeta melted before serving.

4. Serve on dollar rolls or hamburger sized buns. Makes 18 hamburger sized buns with 1/2 C. turkey mixture on each.

This is a great way to use up extra turkey at Thanksgiving, too.

Let’s talk turkey. What about you? Are you feeling the fall push to get in the kitchen? What do you like to make? And how do you use up the extra turkey after the big day?



Run the Race

September is a time of big change in my area, and it often feels like the beginning of race. Kids are back in school. Business conferences abound. The air cools, winds blow, a hint of winter scents the air, and leaves become a kaleidoscope of colors as the days race toward winter.

Sometimes those changes are welcome, yet other times they hurl tension into our lives: adjusting to new schedules, prepping the yard for winter, going to all those conferences!, taking time to appreciate nature’s new artwork.

Some people love change, yet others prefer the status quo.

Autumn ValleyBut, the fact is, life changes. It throws detours at you, forces you to jump hurdles, makes you climb mountains, or slog through valleys. At times life blinds you with its brightness or envelopes you in darkness. Sometimes you get stuck in the muck, other times you’re slipping on icy terrain.

Regardless of what road life takes you on, the important thing is to keep going, though it often seems so easy to say I Quit! I’m done!

Raise your hand if you’ve said that in the last year. In the last month? Week? Today? Yeah, I think my hand went up every time.

Yet, I’m continually reminded of Paul’s letter to the Philippians where he tells them “… I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Road through ForestAre you in a place in your life right now where you want to quit? Have you encountered nothing but dead ends and potholes and detours? Is a cold, dead winter all you see ahead of you? Then pray about it. Lay your concerns at Jesus’ feet …

Then stop and listen.

Maybe you’ll hear, Keep going! in spite of the road block ahead of you. God can move it! Or maybe you’ll hear, Your race has changed course. What’s important is that you “…run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1b – 2a)

And remember, while you’re running life’s race, don’t forget to enjoy the ever-changing view!

E is for Eager

I love fall, especially September. I was one of those kids who loved school. I was ready for it to start by mid-August (but I always had to wait until the Tuesday after Labor Day). I still wander through the school supply aisle when summer winds down – what writer doesn’t love new pens, pencils, and paper?

Living in Minnesota, I love the change of every season. Even when we first head into winter. (The problem is, it takes MONTHS to head from winter into spring so to say I’m eager for warmer weather by then is a huge understatement.)

candy cornI’ve been eager for September to arrive, eager for the cooler weather, although we had a really lovely summer here, and for the smell of bonfires and the sound of football games on a Friday evening. And my hubby is eager for candy corn and those candy pumpkins.

The changing color of the landscape is always something I look forward to, although I can’t say I’m quite as excited by how quickly the yard gets piled with leaves needing to be raked. I’m eager for the amazing smells of fall – baking pies,  crisp fall air, evening fires, and apple orchards.

I’m also eager to see where God is leading me in the coming months. To book publication? A new job? New writing friends? My eagerness can easily slide into impatience when change is slow to come. In the midst of the life’s occasional harshness, I have to cling to His enduring promises. And yes, be eager for whatever He has in store for me, because it will only bring me closer to Him.pumpkin pie

What are you eager for as we head into fall? Are there potential changes looming? A particular dream you’re waiting to see realized? Are you eager for that first taste of pumpkin or apple pie, or to eat smores around a blazing fire? Whatever it is, I pray it’s all that you hope it will be.


A Harvest Worth Working For

Galatians 6:7-9

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Harvest blog 2 The acreage my husband and I live on is bordered by two fields farmed by two separate farmers. Neither field is irrigated so the two separate farmers prepare their soil, plant their seed, and leave the rest to God.

 Most years both farmers reap their harvest of golden ears of corn or dried soy bean pods. Yet in the thirteen years we’ve lived on this acreage, we’ve seen straight line winds flatten a corn crop, flood waters wash sections of their crops away, and a drought dry up plants before they could mature. Yet every spring both farmers return to their fields, prepare the soil, plant the seed and trust God to provide the right amount of moisture and sunshine to produce a marketable harvest.

 Everyone can learn a lesson from these dry land farmers. They are tireless stewards of the land. They prepare and care for the soil so the seeds they sow will grow into a bountiful harvest. As Christian’s we need to be mindful of doing God’s work on earth. Sometimes we grow weary trying to do ‘good’ in a world that rewards bad behavior and sin yet what could be a better bountiful harvest than living in Heaven with God after our earthly lives are over?

 The good work God instructs us to do isn’t always hard. Here are a few examples:

 James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Is there an elderly person in your neighbor or family that seems forgotten? Call them, send them a card, or drop by for a visit.

 Leviticus 19:15 Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. Treat everyone the same.Harvest blog 1

 Proverbs 12:18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Keep your words kind.

 Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Be happy!

Proverbs 11:18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.  Always be honest.

These instructions are simple and basic yet can help reap a Heavenly harvest. Please comment and share any examples of your own.