Wood 2×4 Pumpkin Craft

by Katie on October 29, 2014

Just so you know, I’m totally obsessed with fall decorations! The pumpkins, leaves, scarecrows…I just LOVE it all. This easy wood 2×4 pumpkin craft made a nice addition to my collection this year! It’s easy, cheap and very festive…what’s not to love about that!

I’m sure a lot of you have most of the things on hand…so it makes them super cheap!

Wood Pumpkin {2x4} Craft - so easy and simple to make plus they cost next to nothing to make!
I first saw the idea for these pumpkin at Today’s Fabulous Finds and I knew that they would be a great craft to make at our ladies craft night at church. Just last week we had our craft night and it was a ton of fun.

I made up cute bags that included everything that each lady needed so that they could give them as a gift OR just take their new craft home in style. The packaging makes the craft, right? I love cute packaging.

Ladies Craft Night - Wood Pumpkin Set

I meant to take some photos during the craft night so you could see first-hand how easy it is to make these, but I got busy making sure everyone had what they needed so I didn’t get to it.  Trust me – there is nothing to these.  They are super simple and great to make for yourself, with your kids, or for a ladies craft night!

Here is what you need:
2×4 cut into 3 pieces (4″, 6″ and 8″)
orange craft paint
brown craft paint
foam paint brush (2)
tree branch pieces (3)
toppings of choice: ribbon, fabric scraps, raffia, paper wrapped floral wire

Sand the edges of the wood pieces so they aren’t rough and you don’t get splinters.

Paint your pumpkins with the orange craft paint. Let dry (takes about 10 minutes) and come back and paint another coat. Let dry. Mix a little brown paint and water and paint the pumpkins lightly. Take a paper towel and wipe off the excess. You just want the brown paint to get in the grain of the wood…so you don’t need much.

Once the pumpkins are dry, glue the branch pieces on top. Add ribbons, raffia, paper wrapped floral wire or whatever you want!


Menu Plan Monday

by Katie on October 27, 2014

Happy Monday! Can you believe that it’s the last week of October already?! I would say I wonder where my fall is going to, but I know the answer…I’ve been working like crazy on this house of mine.

We just had our floors refinished and were out of our home for two weeks, but we are back now! I’m really happy with the way they look and am really happy that we did it, but I will say that it’s a ton of work preparing for something like this. I’m beginning to realize that any home project turns into a ton of work.  Is that true with you?

Now to unpack all the boxes and get my house put back together. Anyone want to come do it for me? I will sit and drink iced coffee and keep you company. Please!!!

Now that we are back home and things are getting back to normal it’s time to tackle a menu plan and hopefully work on restocking the freezer with some prepared foods!

menu planning

Breakfast: Quiche Cups (make extra to freeze), Hard Boiled Eggs, Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter

Lunch: Leftovers, Salad with Chicken or Tuna Salad and Fruit

Monday- Out to eat
Tuesday- Italian Turkey Sausage, Roasted Chipotle Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli
Wednesday- Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce and Steamed Veggies
Thursday- Balsamic Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes and Peas
Friday- Chili with Corn Dog Muffins and Trick or Treat!
Saturday- Out to eat
Sunday-  Chorizo Breakfast Hash, Toast, and Fruit


Pumpkin Fruit Dip

by Katie on October 23, 2014

I made this Pumpkin Fruit Dip for a craft class I had at church earlier this week. We made some really cute wood pumpkins and I wanted to make a few snacks for the ladies to eat while they worked. Crafts are fun, but everything is more fun when good food is involved!

I knew I wanted to make a fruit dip, but wanted to create something new so I took my regular fruit dip recipe and added some pumpkin to it.  The result was a super delicious fruit dip that has a great pumpkin flavor and is perfect for dipping apple slices.

It’s fantastic! But you don’t have to just trust me…it received great reviews at craft night! If you need to take something to a fall party – this is it! It takes no time to whip up and you won’t be able to stop eating it!

This recipe does make a good amount, so you may want to cut it in half if it’s just for your family.

Last year I posted a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Dip, which is amazing as well but it’s different than this. This is a fruit dip and the other dip is better with graham crackers!

Pumpkin Fruit Dip - perfect for dipping apple slices!

Pumpkin Fruit Dip


  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 jars (7 oz.) marshmallow fluff
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  1. First off, make sure your cream cheese is softened completely so you don't get little chunks in our dip.
  2. Beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add in marshmallow fluff, pumpkin, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice and mix until combined. Refrigerate until serving.


Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

by Katie on October 21, 2014

My life is divided into two categories – life with gluten and without gluten. Most of my life was a normal gluten-filled life. Three years ago it all changed.

A lot of things were difficult for me when it came to giving up gluten. One was that I run a cake business out of my home and I knew it would be super difficult to stay away from it when I was around it so often. It takes some serious will power to resist a cupcake. Right?

Pizza was also a very hard thing to give up. We didn’t eat pizza that often, but loved the convenience of  ordering a pizza on a busy night and the taste of making a great homemade pizza and enjoying a night in.

The first gluten-free pizza crust I bought tasted like a cracker. A cracker with pizza sauce just isn’t good…no matter how hard you try to convince yourself.  I wanted a cracker-less pizza SO bad and wanted to just eat it and deal with it. Lucky for me (and unlucky for me) – the consequence of me eating gluten is pretty much like the effects of food poisoning…so I never cheat and thought it meant a life of no pizza (besides the cracker variety).

Then I tried this recipe in Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap (a must for fellow gluten-free eaters)!

It’s so good – and doesn’t taste like a saltine cracker! It actually tastes like real pizza!!

I always make my own pizza sauce recipe because it is so easy and tastes better than the kind you buy. And if you eat gluten, you may want to check out this recipe for my pizza crust and this recipe for my wheat pizza crust that I used to enjoy before going gluten free.

Gluten Free Pizza Dough Recipe - this gluten free pizza crust makes a delicious pizza that you will love!

Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza Dough


  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (unless your flour includes it - I use Better Batter and it does)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees F)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus 1-2 more for drizzling dough)
  • garlic powder, if desired
  • parmesan cheese, if desired


  1. In a medium size bowl combine the flour, xanthan gum (if using), yeast, sugar and salt.
  2. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the water in a steady stream to the flour mixture and mix with a spoon to combine. If the dough seems super sticky, add more flour by the tablespoonful at a time. Press the dough into a disk.
  3. Place the dough in a new medium size bowl and drizzle it with olive oil. Turn the dough to coat with the oil. This will prevent a crust from forming while the dough is rising. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).
  4. After the dough has risen, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour before rolling out.
  5. To make the pizza: Roll out the dough and brush it with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and parmesan cheese and blind bake (bake the crust with no toppings) it at 400 degrees for about 5-7 minutes so the crust is crisp. Top with sauce, cheese and toppings and return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes or until done how you desire it.

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Pumpkin Recipe Round-Up {All from The Cutting Back Kitchen Archives}

October 16, 2014

I’m digging deep into the archives today to pull out some long-forgotten pumpkin recipes. Some are from the beginning of the blog…so I can guarantee that they are good, but I can’t guarantee the photo quality. I’m really surprised that I have managed to have this many pumpkin recipes considering that my husband loathes pumpkin […]

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Weekly Menu Plan

October 14, 2014

Well, we are officially homeless for the week. This is the week we are getting our first floor wood floors refinished. I shared a “last day of golden oak” picture on Instagram Monday. I took the picture at 9 am and when I returned at 12 to pick a new stain color the golden oak […]

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Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin {Book Review}

October 7, 2014

About the Book: The Old Testament Comes to Thrilling Life in the Latest from Lynn Austin In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king’s palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and […]

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Weekly Menu Plan

October 7, 2014

I will be cooking through Thursday this week and then we will have to resort to eating out or quick eating as we have to move out of our house because we are getting our floors refinished next week. We have been working on house projects for what seems like forever. I’m tired of talking […]

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Cherry Baked Oatmeal Cups {Perfect Back to School Freezer Breakfast}

October 1, 2014

Cherry Baked Oatmeal Cups make mornings easier!  Mornings are hard, right? Nobody likes getting up early. You’re tired. You’re in a crazy rush to get out the door on time. And you know what often gets neglected? Breakfast. {If you are shaking your head no to everything I just said…well, I’m afraid we can’t be […]

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Menu Plan Monday

September 29, 2014

My menu plan can be summed up with two words this week – EATING OUT!  Okay, that’s a joke, but I’m not going to lie…that’s what I feel like doing at this very moment on this very Monday afternoon. I was a baking machine this past week and had what might have been my busiest […]

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