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Madoline Jean Anatra. Born into our family on Sunday, October 21 at 10:41 a.m., weighing 7 lb. and 15 lovely oz. And as her mother says, "21 perfect inches long". 

Today was a day to celebrate.  I had the opportunity to meet and snuggle; Miss Madoline Anatra, my precious little niece (great niece actually....but that makes me sound old, so let's just say niece for now). LOL

Today I felt like I had the opportunity to revisit the gal I used to be.  When I received the 'green light' that I could make my appearance, meet Miss Madoline AND take lunch for us all to enjoy, I scurried to the kitchen with great delight.  There was  a party for a princess to be prepared!  

How else could I share my joy but through the simple act of  preparing food and nourishment for my beautiful niece and her husband...both of whom I found to be weathered, weary and very hungry!  I wanted to take foods that would be hearty and nourishing; both for the body and the soul.  The menu was not elaborate or gourmet.  With my family, I try to balance healthy along with the things that we have always enjoyed together.  A large platter of cheeses, crackers and fruit.  A bubbling pot of creamy Mexican Pumpkin Chili and raspberry vanilla cupcakes  for dessert.  The cupcakes of course topped with coconut and pink sprinkles.  

How wonderful to pull up around their table and share a meal and hear the stories of Miss Madoline's arrival.  I am so proud of this new baby princess and even more proud of her amazing parents!  

I have included two more pumpkin recipes for you to try.  I promise I will soon move along from my pumpkin phase, but there are so many good ones to share...I can't stop yet!

Mexican Pumpkin Chili
The pumpkin in this recipe makes the chili nice and creamy, while adding great nutrients and minerals along the way too!  It is a hearty, thick ‘fill you up’ kind of soup. 

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. ground turkey
2 cans (14.5 oz each) no-salt-added diced organic tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) organic pumpkin puree
1 can (15 oz.) organic tomato sauce
1 can (15.25 oz.) organic Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles (I couldn’t find organic)
1/2 cup loose-pack frozen organic whole-kernel corn
2 Tbsp. organic chili powder
1 tsp. organic ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon organic fresh ground black pepper

Heat coconut oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.  Add turkey; cook until browned.  Drain.  Add  tomatoes with juice, pumpkin, tomato sauce, beans, chiles, corn, chili powder, cumin and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

We topped our steamy bowls with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled blue corn tortilla chips. 

½ cup organic pumpkin puree
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached organic flour
1 cup organic spelt flour
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds (if desired)

1. In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, 1 cup warm water, yeast and salt.  Sift in flours and the pumpkin pie spice.  Combine all ingredients with a spatula until the dough is fully mixed and all the flour is moistened. Cover bowl with a damp towel, and allow dough to rise for at least 8 hours.
2. Punch dough down and place dough in a lightly greased loaf pan.
3. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
6. Bake for 35 minutes in preheated oven or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

The lengthy rise of this dough creates an airy textured bread.   This would be a good bread to mix together in the morning and leave it to rise on the kitchen counter while you are at work.   I thought it was great warm out of the oven (as most things are!) and I enjoyed it toasted in the morning as well.  The texture reminds me of an English muffin with a nice hint of pumpkin.  This was my first time to use the organic spelt flour, which offers a robust, nutty flavor and is a good source of fiber, protein, iron, niacin and thiamin.

See you in the pumpkin patch my little princess!



  1. RE-posted from my email:
    You're so cool! I don't suppose I've read through anything like this before. So great to find somebody with some original thoughts on this topic.

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  2. Wow...I love it when people think I'm coo!
    Thank you and I'm glad you enjoy my presentation. To be honest, it is effortless to write about my, love my family!


  3. Excellent article. I absolutely love this site. Keep writing!
    Quest Bars blogesaurus


  4. This is a topic which is near to my heart...
    Cheers! Where are your contact details though?


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