Copycat Pumpkin Spice Syrup.

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Dear Internet Diary,

Many things have happened since the last time I remembered that I had a blog. On August 22nd, I gave birth to the most beautiful little girl I have ever laid eyes on. Charlotte Jo, Charlie for short. Seriously, I have used the Heart Eyes Emoji way too often in the past 5 weeks…and I ain’t even mad about it! Maternity leave, however, has been a lot of sitting around in between feeding my boob goblin. And maybe I should do something productive (is this considered productive?) besides binge watch ‘The Killing’ on Netflix and crying while counting my stretch marks. Ok, that last part is a lie. I have too many to count. Ok, that’s a lie too. I can count them just fine…

Although this blog has been primarily a dumping ground for food that I made and decided to take pictures of and songs I feel like everyone should listen to because I said so…I plan on sharing more aspects of my life here. I am trudging through this new life as a mama and would love nothing more than to share my misadventures with someone who may be feeling the same as me. But never fear, I still plan on sharing recipes and music. Just be warned that you may scroll through your feed and see a photo of my beautiful child and your ovaries just might explode.

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I mean, seriously. She’s killing it.

And as you’ve probably heard (and everyone loved to tell me while I was pregnant…), having a newborn baby is tiring. Because, duh.

Enter: Coffee. Forever and ever. Amen.

Today is National Coffee Day. And I want to shout it from the rooftops. But, like, I’m a mom now so I can’t be that irresponsible. So, coffee, every word in every love song would still not be enough to let you know how I feel about you.

I decided to make a homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup. And I have decided to share it with you. You can thank me later (And I expect to be thanked, dammit!)

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Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Yields about 3 Cups

Ingredients:

-1 1/2 c. Water
-1 1/2 c. Granulated Sugar
-4 Cinnamon Sticks
-3 T. Pumpkin Puree (I’ll share a recipe this week that uses the remaining puree–I would never make you waste pumpkin, you guys. I’m not a monster.)
-1 t. Ground Nutmeg
-1/2 t. Ground Ginger
-1/2 t. Ground Cloves

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Directions:

Add water and sugar to a small saucepan, heat on low and stir to dissolve sugar completely. Once sugar is dissolved, whisk in pumpkin puree and spices. Simmer on low for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

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I made this with the intent of using it for iced coffee, but I could see it being great on pancakes, drizzled over apple slices, or whatever else floats your pumpkin-flavored boat.

So, my favorite thing to do is promise you more frequent posts. So, that.

I also have a Fall Mix that I am too picky to post just yet–but it’s pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. And I do. Say so. So.

Until next time,

Becka.

Life Lately.

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Sorry for being a stranger around these parts. My life has been wrapped around our upcoming wedding. Here’s just a few photos from our wedding shower, cooking soup on a crisp fall day, Corn Fest, a tattoo that took over two years for me to get finished and a hand painted apple wall for my dining room. Things are starting to really feel real, thanks for bearing with me.

Be back soon.
Becka

Push-Up Popsicles.

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Can I just talk to you about my love and obsession with Michael’s Craft Store? I could literally spend hours in that place–wide-eyed and drooling at the possibilities of things I will never in my wildest dreams have the talent nor the time to complete.

Both of my grandmothers used to tote me along to craft stores in my younger years. I used to walk up and down the aisles with them and pick a project that I wanted to do and we would go back to their respective houses and I would spend the afternoon up to my elbows in glitter and glue and would have a trophy to show for all of my hard work at the end of it. I loved every single second of it.

Now that I’m older, I still have that same childish wonder every time I go into one of those places. I pick something off the shelf and go home with a plan set out and usually, those plans fall through and they sit in a basket in my office, collecting dust.

As someone who is mostly DIY-ing her own wedding, I’m pretty shitty at following through with projects. I guess I should get on that…

Anyways, I can never leave the store without getting something. It’s like an un-written rule that’s been etched into my brain. Must create, must dabble, must try something new. I came across these fun little treat-pop molds at the store and decided to bring them home with me. “Endless possibilities”, I said. “Easy enough,” I said. But I got them home and had absolutely no idea what to do with them and I wasn’t feeling ambitious enough to bake.

Enter the Push-Up. A nostalgic treat that gummed my grubby paws with syrup after stealing enough money from my dad’s change jar and chased down the ice cream man. Now, I could make my own–no running involved! Muahaha!

These are so easy that I’m not even writing out a real recipe because, well, I didn’t make any of this crap. Haha.

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Basically, you gather a few flavors of sorbet (or, even ice cream–you sneaky devil) and make sure they’re fully frozen before getting started or they’ll start to leak and that sucks. Using a teaspoon, spoon the sorbet into the tubes and press down after each layer to prevent air bubbles. Place them in the freezer and take out just before serving. If you’re giving them to kids I would suggest putting a cupcake liner through the stick portion just in case they start to drip. I’m just looking out for the laundry-doers in your household, guys.

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I used a mixture of rainbow and pomegranate blueberry. Fresh fruit would probably also make a good (and healthier, booooo) addition. I didn’t think of that until now. Whatever.

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And, it’s essential to listen to this song while eating these. Don’t sass.

Enjoy.

Becka

From Scratch: Ginger Ale.

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Is anyone else a big whiny baby about getting sick? Just me? Don’t lie. Being sick is the pits. With a capital ‘P’. Working in the orthodontic field means I am constantly around sick kids who cough in my face while I’m working on them. (Too much? You still with me? Good.) And, regardless of how many times I wash my hands or change my gloves or pop Vitamins like they’re candy–I get sick more often than I’d like. I apparently have the immune system of a 100-year-old woman. Don’t ask me where I came up with that logic. Even I don’t know.

When I was younger, Ginger Ale and crackers were the end-all cure-all to my aching belly. As an adult, they are what I crave when I had too much to drink the night before. Well, that and a Croissanwich from Burger King. Now I really want a Croissanwich. Frick! Why am I doing this to myself?!

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Alright. I’ve calmed down. Back to this Ginger Ale business. I have been curious about this project for a while. And, the recipe seemed pretty fool-proof. So I got down to business. It’s business time. Anyone? 

For this project, you will need an empty Two-Liter bottle with a cap. I’m not asking that much. Figure it out.

Homemade Ginger Ale
Method adapted from here

Ingredients:

  • The juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 T freshly grated ginger
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 t. active dry yeast
  • Cold water

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Directions: 

  1. In a small sauce pan, place one cup cold water, the sugar, grated ginger and the lemon juice. Whisk until sugar dissolves and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is slightly bubbling. (Your house is going to smell amazing. I’m warning you now.) Set that aside and allow to steep for about an hour to incorporate the flavors. 
  2. Strain the mixture over a fine mesh strainer set over a large measuring cup. Press down on the ginger pulp to get out any excess liquid. Place the mixture in the freezer for about 5 minutes, or until it is brought to room temperature (so you don’t kill the yeast. Science)
  3. Using a funnel (or skills), pour the cooled syrup mixture into the clean two-liter bottle. Add in the yeast and fill the bottle to the neck with cold water. Cap the bottle, and gently shake the bottle to mix the yeast.
  4. Leave the bottle at room temperature for 48 hours. This is important if you want a carbonated drink. Which you do. So, do it.
  5. After it has been sitting, you may now refrigerate the ginger ale. Pour it over ice. Add whiskey and a lemon slice. Do your thing.

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If you’re weary of using the yeast or you don’t feel like waiting 2 days for soda, simply make the ginger syrup, strain it and place it in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, pour a few tablespoons of the syrup over ice and top with club soda. Stir and add more syrup until you’re happy with the flavor. Garnish with a lemon slice.

This drink was extremely flavorful and, much to my surprise, very carbonated. Dee-licious.

Becka