ELEMENTS

Food+Drink

Pumpkin Bars

Food+DrinkElements

November is my favorite month of the year. For all of the cliche reasons but also because the time change forces you to speed up and slow down at the same time. It gets darker earlier (which I don't love) but I make the best use of my daylight and tend to start going in to relax time sooner. And November holds Thanksgiving.... 

IMG_1245.JPG

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Obviously the food plays a big role in that, yes, but it really is about the time I get to spend at home...there are no gift expectations, no set times to do things, and naps usually follow the feast. I don't set enough time aside for naps in life...so I will take advantage of this window of acceptable nap time - the turkey's fault.

IMG_4309.JPG

Seriously the food though - my family has a long list of Thanksgiving staples : whipping cream mashed potatoes, Sissy's dressing, Horseradish Carrots, and so on....but the best best thing on the menu : Pumpkin Bars. Easy, delicious, and I'm sharing with you below! They really are more cake like but pumpkin bars sounds good too. 

PSA - I am NOT a food blogger, so these are not fancy or beautiful photos - just to the point and make you want to make and eat it. Enjoy!


Ingredients : 

For the "Bars"--

4 eggs

2 cups of sugar

2 cups cooked pumpkin (Libby's works just fine)

1 cup oil

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon 


For the Icing--

3 oz softened cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

1 Tbsp. cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 to 3/4 box of Confectioners Sugar 

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Then add sugar and beat well. 

IMG_4311.JPG

Add the pumpkin and the oil. Once blended together, add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. 

IMG_4316.JPG

Pour into an ungreased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 


Sit back and enjoy those smells. 


Once the "bars" are removed, you can make the icing, but make sure you let the bars cool before icing it. 

Cream together the cream cheese and the butter. Once combined, add the cream and vanilla. Slowly beat in the confectioner's sugar until frosting is smooth and spreadable. 

IMG_2764.JPG

Frost when cool. I sprinkle a little extra cinnamon on top for good measure. And I like to store them in the fridge because they'll keep longer. 

IMG_2767.JPG

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cocktail Hour...at home

Food+DrinkElementsComment

Raise your hand if you're feelin' the January blues in more ways than one? I am raising my hand - battling a cold, the cold, slow days, dark nights, you get it...so you may need a cocktail to combat all of the above feelings.

We love a good cocktail...and there is no shortage of delicious drinks to be had in Birmingham. From the Louis at the Pizitz to Collins Bar** to the Atomic to Lou's Pub and Octane and Carrigan's, there is always a delicious drink with the atmosphere and experience to match. 

But sometimes, we have to practice restraint. Not restraint on our after work drink....just on where we have said drink. So I'm sharing the easiest way to make a simple cocktail at home. You need: herbs + sugar + liquor + citrus + soda

Simple Syrup: boil one cup of sugar with your herbs of choice. I chose Rosemary and Basil because...options...

A good handful (1/4 c) of herbs + 1 cup of sugar + 1 c water - bring to a boil

IMG_3370.JPG
IMG_3373.JPG

Let cool for a while before bottling away in mason jars.

IMG_3380.JPG

For Johnnie's drink - 1.5 oz bourbon + 1 oz rosemary simple syrup + juice of 1 lemon wedge

Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice // strain in to a glass // garnish with rosemary and lemon peel

For my drink - 1.5 oz. vodka + 1 oz basil simple syrup + juice of 1 lemon wedge // made the same way as above but I added a splash of soda to balance out the citrus and give it fizz. *add soda last...shaking in the shaker will end in explosion of the soda.

IMG_3385.JPG
IMG_3386.JPG

Cheers + drink responsibly

**fun fact: Johnnie and I's first date was at Collins Bar. His car was towed during the date and his best friend Joey had to come pick us up. It was perfect.