Pumpkin Oatmeal Pumpotchies Cookies

24 amazing fall cookie treats!

24 amazing fall cookie treats!

Umm. Say what?

Oatmeal Scotchies gone pumkin, people. That’s what. I just ate one, and literally said ,outloud mind you, “Oh Wow.” (holy cow these are good!) They’re Pumpotchies!

Show me the pumpkin! I passed by the chips in the store, as I was browsing, and thought about Oatmeal Scotchies from the back of the Nestle chips butterscotch-chips bag. I bet I can make these pumpkin chips into something yummy, I thought. And I did.

I adapted these from the original Nestle Oatmeal Scotchies recipe. I literally cut the sugar in half, by omitting the white sugar. They are so sweet with the chips, I cannot imagine them sweeter. I also pumped up the flour making it whole wheat, and switched the 2 sticks of butter, for canola oil and applesauce. Again, you won’t miss a thing. Healthier is better, because then there is the zero guilt thing. It is just oats with some other stuff!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pumpotchies Cookies


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Yield: 24 large cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pumpotchies Cookies


  • ¾ cup wheat flour
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 oz. pumpkin chips or a little over a half a large bag


Preheat oven to 375* Makes 24 large cookies.

Combine flours, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice. Wisk to combine thoroughly.

In separate bowl pour oil, apple sauce, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and honey. Mix thoroughly. Gradually add in the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Stir in oats and chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet (or line with parchment). Bake 9 minutes until brown on the edges. Remove to cookie rack for cooling, and eat, preferably with a hot cup-o-something!


Oh. Wow. Pumpotchies.  You heard it here first, folks!


From mix to cooling in 15 minutes!

Puffed Chicken Pockets

Beautiful AND delicious chicken pockets!

Beautiful AND delicious chicken pockets!

Puffed Chicken Pockets

Serving Size: 4 or 8 if doubled


  • Main Ingredient:
  • Puff Pastry Sheets, Use one puffed pastry sheet, thawed and rolled slightly. Freeze the other one for later use.
  • Mixture:
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, diced into small pieces
  • ½ brick lowfat cream cheese
  • ½ cup cooked vegetables of choice
  • ½ white onion cooked tender
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper
  • ½ tsp salt


Mix all the ingredients for the mixture together, smashing together into a paste-like consistency.

Scoop ¼ of the mixture into the squares.

Pinch the corners together to form a package, seal the edges by wetting with water on your fingers. If this is too messy or the dough isn’t cooperating, just pinch it all together and then flip the ball over, leaving a nice, smooth top. See? So easy. Brush some milk or eggwash over the tops for help browning. Cook 375* for 30 minutes.


If you want a gravy topping, try a can of mushroom soup, with ½ can of white wine whisked in. This can be served over it, or on the side as an option. I don’t always do this, but if the mixture seems too dry, the gravy can certainly help!


This recipe is easily doubled, as most packages of puff-pastry sheets come with 2 packages inside. If your people like 2nds, this is a way to go. Also, if your people are not fans of veggies in their food, all mixed together, as mine are… then the veggies can stay out and serve something on the side. (You can leave the whole recipe alone and just put a cooked chicken chunk inside the puff pastry for your pickiest of eaters, letting the whole family get what they want!)



After baking at 375* for 30 minutes.

After baking at 375* for 30 minutes.


Let’s Talk About Books: A New Cookbook

I just bought a great cookbook, Good Cheap Eats, by Jessica Fisher author of the blog with the same name, and also of the blog, Life as Mom.

I love my newest addition to my shelves!

I love her blogs, and have gotten several recipes that I use regularly from her, like homemade cream of celery soup (no cans!). She has inspired me with her freezer cooking ideas, and menu plans that she shares regularly on her blog. She has an easy and accessible approach to eating in a more healthful and homemade way. Not preachy or impractical, she advocates “baby steps” to eating better (Intro., p.12).

Her own introduction of the book details the contents well: “The recipes in this book are better for your health – and your pocketbook…”(p11).  Better for you and affordable? Say no more; I am sold!

She uses a guide of $10 for most recipes that feed 4 adult appetites. So for my family of 2 adults and 4 picky eaters, it will be perfect! She gives tips on stretching the meals for feeding more with less and has great ideas for cooking once, and eating twice (see Werewolf Meals, p. 263). Her expertise in freezer cooking is reflected in a section devoted to make-ahead-meals.

The layout of the book is great too. Entire meals, not just recipes are planned out for situations like the ones mentioned above as well as cooking for company, vegetarians, or devout meat eaters. As a bonus, she blogs meal plans based on the recipes from the book! How ridiculously easy it will be to create an entire week of awesome food for my family.

The book is in the same accessible tone and easy manner as her blogs. She offers great new recipes that I can’t wait to try. If the book wasn’t so pretty with wonderful pictures, I’d have dog-eared a ton of pages already. I stopped myself though, and used sticky notes, with future meal plans in mind. I was not disappointed in the purchase of this great book, and my family will be the beneficiaries of some delicious new feasts! My advice? Follow her blogs. Buy the book (or borrow it from your library!). You will be inspired to create some new meals – and I know inspiration to make dinner every night is half the battle!


Let’s Talk About Lice…

Gross. Why?

Let’s talk about the fact that no matter how clean my kid is, I don’t want my kid to:

• Share any hair accessories
• Try on hats
• Get her hair brushed by another person’s brush or comb
• Perform gymnastics on a carpet
• Use a friend’s or a school issued helmet

There are so many chances that my kids can get lice, that I am almost crazy trying to avoid it! Back to school? Back to more opportunities for lice exchange. Free ropes course? I see this as a way my kid wil probably share a helmet, and therefore possibly get lice. I am, to my kids’ opinions, a little crazy with the lice prevention.

I wasn’t always. And I truly paid for it. Literally.

Unbeknown to myself or my husband ALL four of my kids had lice for over a month. Yes, I comb their hair. Yes, I wash their clothes and sheets. Yes we bathe every night! Before you judge me, and I sincerely wish you wouldn’t, let me explain some facts, not the least of which is that lice is extremely hard to see.

Lice, take two weeks to form from a microscopic egg, into a bug. They change color, these little eggs from black specks, to grey eggs, to white shells of a hatched egg, leaving behind the shell. After that they just multiply like crazy.

These 4 weeks of infestation, brought lots of tear of the kids… and myself. How could I have missed this? Am I not paying attention enough? Clean enough? So much guilt and shame ensued. But we got rid of it. We survived. And now I have some tips for anyone who has never dealt with the head-bugs, as we call them, and also for people who are dealing with it now.
First, do a regular check on your kids every week. Yes, every week people. Like I said, the life cycle is 2 weeks, so if you comb their hair out once a week, you are cutting the cycle in half: grabbing the eggs before they hatch, and scanning for bugs at the same time.

Second, shampoo on a regular basis with a shampoo that has a scent of tea-tree (Trader Joe’s) or is marketed for anti-lice (Fairytales). I personally am on the fence for this one, but I know people swear for its prevention ability.

Third, and finally, follow the guidelines to avoid situation as mentioned above:

• No sharing combs, brushes
• No sharing towels,
• No sleeping on another’s pillow case
• No somersaults on carpet
• No using a joint helmet- but if they have to, tell me so I can comb through more often.

IF you do happen to get the bugs, I recommend looking up a Bernadette’s Lice Removal Franchise. We did, and it was crazy expensive but it is also free of the chemicals that I wouldn’t put near my kids(drugstore brands). If you are just doing a comb through, use coconut oil or just washed hair for the kids and comb it out on a regular basis. If you are in the midst of removing live bugs or lice, comb every day for the two weeks without fail, and do matter what you put in the hair for chemicals, you will remove the eggs, and the bugs.

The bedding, towels, clothes that the kids have worn have to be washed, but more importantly, dried at a high-heat setting for atleast 50 minutes to kill the bugs. I put most anything that could go in the dryer, in for this amount of time. The bedding has to be dried only (not washed) nightly for the two weeks. Anything that cannot go in the dryer, bag up in a giant trash bag for the two week period. This means anything with fibers, such as stuffed animals, or dolls with hair (not hotwheels or hard-plastic items).

Now I know this is a pain in the neck for sure! I am not denying at all. You may think one week is fine, and you “think you got them all” but in this case I wouldn’t test it. You don’t want to chance them getting it again. It worked for us, so I am letting you know about the process.
The crux of it is doing it all for the 2 week period especially combing, faithfully. The part that you know, but you also don’t want to do, is to let the parents of the kids your lice-ridden kids have played with, or taken lessons with, or gone to school with know. The school may or may not have a policy of letting other kids in the classroom aware (anonymously of course) but best to let them know, so the lice can get treated and won’t revisit anytime soon!

I cannot tell you enough, how I still fear these critters, even an entire year ahead of them. I know how easy it is to miss them, and how awful we all felt for the two weeks until they were gone. If you have any questions, please let me know, and I can try to find an answer for you. Or if you have a suggestion that worked, let me know for sure! For now, I do my “once a week, take a peek” to at the very least take a good look at their heads and hair.

Let’s Talk About Books

Gotta have a goal. It’s the little things that make me so happy!

I have done it people.  After a long stretch of not finishing a book, I finally finished one! As fellow busy moms/women, I know you can identify with me when I note this as a major accomplishment.  Just taking the time on a routine basis to read is a major feat!

It isn’t a brainy book by any stretch, but it isn’t a young-adult fiction either {read: a favorite Divergent Series, which is wicked fun!} This one is a series of sorts, but really is stand alone books with a main character that plays into the books.  I love a book that will pull me along, so I feel like I can’t wait to hear/read what happens next.  This is that book. It is by Robert Galbraith, who in real-life is the Harry Potter author we all know, J.K. Rowling.  I loved this book and highly recommend it.  So much so, that I also have the 2nd book, Silkworm on my bedside {along with the 2nd Veronica Roth book} waiting for a night to start.  Can- Not- Wait!

Just this one little accomplishment, propelled me to the library to pay my dues, remove my status of “blocked” (gah!) and take out some new books, one of which is an audio book by Jonathan Franzen, Freedom.  I have a 1 and 1/2 hour commute each way, three days a week…This should help!  So let me know, what are you reading that you love- or hate?

My audio “read” now.

A Timely Reminder


That is the only way I can describe my last night’s meeting at my mom’s of twins group. First of all, let me say that I love, love, love meeting with other moms about well, being moms! We meet montly and listen to a speaker, or go bowling, or go for drinks, or just chat and snack and get advice from other moms in the same boat as us.

The first night’s meeting we decided to do a back-to-school group presentation by a woman who specializes in teaching other moms about eating better, and feeding their families better, in order to have a healthier lifestyle.  So good for me.

I know a lot about nutrition and good eating habits but it is always a good thing to be reminded and reexamine foods that I am feeding my family…like the ingredients in vitamins that I would not even eat in a food: aspartame, aluminum, and crazy food-coloring.  Oh man. I really needed this reminder of keeping healthy foods at the forefront of importance in my family’s lives.

I have a picky eater, so the trap that I can fall into, is feeding her nuggets, or pasta, or other not very broad-based foods so that she will eat more.  I know that getting her involved in shopping and discussing the nutrient value of foods motivates her…but time is of the essence and in a hurry, I just push food at them, to save a minute.

To save money, I also tend to stop looking at the nutritive value of foods, and focus only on the inexpensiveness.  Again, I know this is bad. Reality, is I have 6 mouths to feed and they all like different foods.  One dinner. Healthy dinner.

She had some great tips on getting the message to the kids:

  • Shop together- have them find an item with 4 or less ingredients.
  • Have them read the label to you.  If they see all the crazy chemical names, they get it.
  • Have them choose a new vegetable to try…any vegetable!  Worst case, try a fruit!
  • Watch Food Inc., Fed Up, or another documentary about the food industry in America
  • Go to the farm or farmer’s market to shop.  Discuss where the food comes from.

Three things she wanted us to take away were:

  1. Lower sugar intake for yourself and especially kids.
  2. Number two- I forget because I eat so much sugar I think.
  3. And thirdly,  on a different path, she warned to get rid of the antibacterial soaps and lotions, replacing them with natural versions.  I think I knew this too, but again, a reminder in the flesh is a great back to school thing!

If you are interested, she does one-on-one consultations, as well as speaking events such as the one she did for us.  Oh, and she makes snacks too! Yummy.  I am always a sucker for snacks.  Her company, blog, and book are Better Off Well, and her name is Donna Morin. I highly recommend looking into her website.  Good info! {I have NOT received any compensation for this recommendation.  I just think she was really informative and interesting and fun too!