What better way to start the fall season than with some pumpkin cheesecake muffins. I discovered the recipe a few weeks ago when I began searching for Halloween inspired brunch options. I’ll be hosting my first Witch’s Brunch this year and am in full fall/Halloween swing over here at the farm. While browsing Pinterest, Sally’s Baking Addiction popped up on my feed. Her pumpkin spice muffins stuffed with cheesecake filling and topped with brown sugar cinnamon streusel was the best find EVER. I tested her recipe out as sort of a dress rehearsal for the Witch’s Brunch and am now sharing it with you. Enjoy my friends!
1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola or coconut)
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
* One awesome thing about these muffins is the ability to make them and freeze up to 3 months. It is suggested to thaw overnight and heat up if desired when ready to serve.
Between dirt deliveries, hauling drainage rock, digging trenches and installing the main sump pump, my cowboy has worked himself to death over the past few weeks. Thanks to him and his wonderful childhood friend, Phase 1 of the farm’s drainage plan is DONE. All we are waiting on is the gutter installation.
After digging the hole for the sump basin and trenches for drainage pipe underneath the house, our pump finally has a home.
Underneath the drainage rock is perforated pipe which allows the water to drain to the sump and the pump inside will push the water out through the discharge pipe.
The discharge pipe is located in a low point on the back side of the house, heading towards the pasture. We were fortunate enough to have the help of Andrew’s friend, Jordan, and he brought over his handy dandy Ditch Witch. What a God-send!
Check out this nifty little thing! The best part about it is the size and easy maneuvering.
After burying the pipe on a slope, you can’t even tell it’s there. Amazing.
In addition to the trencher, there are also bucket and grading attachments. They used both when building the berm around the house.
As of right now, the berm stands out because we lack flower beds but we will eventually incorporate more into the landscape. A border of drainage rock will be added on the edge of the berm to hopefully prevent erosion.
After a long weekend and week of digging and hauling rock, my dear cowboy was more than ready for a break. Andrew continues to remain focused on the farm, our labor of love, but there are other things he would rather be doing than digging sumps and trenches. With the arrival of hunting season in our neck of the woods, his heart longs to sit in a tree pretty much every second of every day. They call it “buck fever” and he gets it EVERY YEAR. I get to experience his lovely mood cycles as such:
He’s been hunting any chance he can get, early morning before work and late afternoons. Now that we have property for him to hunt, he takes advantage of every opportunity to sit in the stand. He’s definitely reached the obsession stage of hunting season. Oh, the life of a hunting husband.
His view from the stand this morning was pretty stunning. Our neighbor has an 80 acre cattle pasture that Andrew is blessed to hunt this season as well. Not a bad way to start your Friday morning.
Seeing Andrew’s prayer on his arrow warms my heart and is another reminder of his belief in God’s goodness all around him. Andrew has respect for the animal he pursues and God’s beautiful creation. His efforts in preparation, his time in the stand and the end result of taking an animal he admires and values is a tremendous privilege God has provided to him. Hunting is a spiritual dance between man and animal and communion with nature. I view hunting in a very different light thanks to my hunting husband. I have a much deeper respect for the animals I eat now and I appreciate the circle of life as God intended it to be.
You know I’ll be hunting some myself this year. I’m still trying to snag my first deer! Good luck to all the hunters out there. I hope you have a successful season.
Until next time…
The aftermath of the Great Flood of 2016 has been minimal for us at Cypress Bayou Farm compared to the devastation of so many in our state. On our road alone, people sustained 4-5 feet of water in their homes and the piles of debris at the end of each driveway grow each day. As I drive down my street every afternoon, I see remnants of my neighbor’s lives sitting in a trash pile at the street – antique beds, entire dining room sets, clothes, pictures, artwork, toys, all destroyed. The grieving process that people are going through right now is heartbreaking. Entire families, Mom and Dad, Brothers and Sisters, Aunts and Uncles, have lost everything and have to start from the ground up. When I say “lost everything”, I mean water rose as high as their roof and the framework is all that remains after gutting their home. Countless stories of heartache and destruction are heard day by day and it seems everyone has been touched by this flood somehow. Louisiana is a resilient state after enduring many tumultuous hurricanes over the years and I know we will survive this flood and come back stronger than ever. What is even more apparent during these hard times though is the love we have for each other. Neighbors helping neighbors on this grand scale is something you pray for always and it is ever present here in Louisiana. It has surely restored my faith in humanity.
This past weekend my cowboy and I attended the Sarah’s Laughter Infertility Workshop at Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge, LA. I was reminded by a former high school classmate we attended our SJA Mother Daughter luncheon at this same hotel many moons ago. What a change in pace – sweet luncheons to heavy discussions about infertility. I would say we are sitting at the grown up table now.