Life in Lape Haven

Category - Tried It Tuesday

Roasted Cinnamon-Spiced Butternut Squash with Sweet Potatoes & Apples

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Roasted Cinnamon-Spiced Butternut Squash with Sweet Potatoes & Apples. This delicious roasted butternut squash side dish spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with sweet potatoes and apples is a great healthy addition to any meal or holiday table throughout the fall and winter.

As much as I love summer, there is something to be said about all the crisp weather, cozy clothes, fall fun, and tasty treats that come with autumn. While I love all the apple and pumpkin goodies to be made (Apple pie? YUM! Pumpkin cookies? Yes, please!), I also get really excited when I start seeing butternut squash in the stores.

I’m not sure when I first tried cooking butternut squash for my family, but it quickly became a staple of our autumn pantry. I love making this Winter Squash soup (Pumpkin-Butternut Squash Soup) by the Food Network’s Ina Garten. However, I think my absolute favorite way to enjoy this seasonal veggie is to simply dice it up and roast it, usually along with some sweet potatoes and apples.

The other night I was ready to make this sweet combination as a side for our dinner, but I couldn’t remember at what temperature I usually roasted it. So, I searched online for “roasted butternut squash.”

The first recipe I checked out was one for cinnamon roasted butternut squash from Chew Out Loud. Suddenly, I was ready to spice up my usual recipe a little bit. 🙂

While their recipe calls for adding brown sugar to their squash, I didn’t since I already add sweet potatoes and apples to the mix. I didn’t want to make my dish into too much of a dessert. I also had to adjust the oil and seasoning a bit since I had more to roast overall.

The resulting Roasted Cinnamon-Spiced Butternut Squash with Sweet Potatoes and Apples was delicious! (Even my little picky eater Josiah ate it well.) Not only is it a tasty side, but it is simple and healthy! This is a perfect dish for any meal throughout the fall and winter and would be a great new addition to your Thanksgiving table.

Note: Don’t let the prepping of the butternut squash intimidate you. It seems tricky, but it’s not that bad. I’ve learned that if you microwave it for a few minutes, that will make peeling it much easier. It will even help make it easier to cut up (butternut squash is a hard squash). Of course, be careful, as it will be hot! For more info on prepping your squash, you can check out this How-to from Simply Recipes.

Here’s how I make this yummy fall dish.

Roasted Cinnamon-Spiced Butternut Squash with Sweet Potatoes & Apples

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Roasted Cinnamon-Spiced Butternut Squash with Sweet Potatoes & Apples. This delicious roasted butternut squash side dish spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with sweet potatoes and apples is a great healthy addition to any meal or holiday table throughout the fall and winter.

Ingredients

  • 1 large Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (in about 1” cubes)
  • 3 small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced (in about 1” cubes)
  • 3 medium Apples, peeled and diced (in about 1” cubes) I used Gala apples, but any sweet variety of apple will work.
  • 5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheet(s) with aluminum foil.
  3. In a large bowl, stir squash, sweet potatoes, and apples together.
  4. Drizzle oil over mix, and gentle toss/fold until all pieces are coated.
  5. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  6. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the seasoning over the squash mix, then stir to evenly coat pieces. Then sprinkle another 1/3 and stir. Then sprinkle the remaining seasoning and stir until all pieces are evenly and thoroughly seasoned.
  7. Spread squash mix out on prepped baking sheet(s) into a single layer so that the pieces are not over-crowded and will bake evenly. (I needed two baking sheets).
  8. Roast about 35-40 minutes (depending on the size of your dicing – mine were slightly smaller, so it cooked faster), until squash is fork-tender. You may want to stir the pieces halfway through or rotate your pan to ensure even browning.
https://lifeinlapehaven.com/2016/11/01/roasted-cinnamon-spiced-butternut-squash/

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Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies

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Giving Him Apple Pieces to Put in the Pan

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies

About six or seven years ago, I finally got brave enough to try making my own pumpkin puree. Once I did it, I realized it wasn’t very intimidating or difficult at all, plus it’s absolutely delicious. (It also freezes well). Of course with lots of fresh pumpkin on-hand, I had to find new recipes to use it in, besides just pumpkin pie.  

Thankfully, the internet loves pumpkin recipes in the fall, so my options were nearly limitless. We’ve had everything from pumpkin ice cream and cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds to pumpkin cornbread and pumpkin soup, with all kinds of goodies in between. However, of all the recipes I’ve tried, only one has become our must-have fall pumpkin tradition: Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies. This fall must-bake is a simple recipe for yummy, super soft pumpkin cookies drizzled with glaze. One of our family's autumn baked goods favorites.

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies

The first time I made them, our family fell in love with these yummy, super soft cookies, so I made more to share with Brad’s family. The cookies were a big hit with them, too, especially with Brad’s grandpa, who wasn’t in the best of health and living with Brad’s parents at the time. He was a very picky eater, so when he talked about how much he liked those cookies, I took it as a big compliment and determined to make them for him as often as I could.

 

Later, during one of his short stays in a nursing home, Brad and I visited Grandpa, taking along pumpkin cookies for him to enjoy. While we were there, the nurse brought in Grandpa’s medicine for him to take, and I watched with a great deal of amusement (and a bit of admiration) as he took his sweet time eating just one cookie – like, 15 minutes, at least – just to avoid taking his pills. (Even the nurse was amused, albeit a little frustrated with him). I have no doubt that the other cookies were eaten much quicker when the nurse wasn’t around. 🙂

Because of Grandpa, who passed away several years ago, these cookies have become a special tradition for more than just how delicious they are. To this day, I can’t think of pumpkin cookies without thinking about him. Each time I make these pumpkin cookies, I smile at the memory of how Brad’s grandpa always smiled when I brought them to him and how thoroughly he managed to enjoy one cookie in particular.

By the way, this is a really easy recipe to make, and while I prefer to use fresh pumpkin puree, you can use canned pumpkin. (If you’d like to try making pumpkin puree, this post from Somewhat Simple, Homemade Pumpkin Puree, explains it fairly well. This is pretty close to how I make my puree, with the only difference being that I put some aluminum foil over the top of the pan to keep the heat in, so it usually only takes about an hour to cook. You definitely want the smaller SUGAR PIE PUMPKINS, not the big jack-o-lantern kind.)

My recipe is adapted from Libby’s Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies. I use less sugar than the original recipe because they are sweet enough, especially when you add the icing. (I also make and use less icing.)

So, here’s a new pumpkin cookie tradition for you to add to your fall must-makes:
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies. This fall must-bake is a simple recipe for yummy, super soft pumpkin cookies drizzled with glaze. One of our family's autumn baked goods favorites.

This fall must-bake is a simple recipe for yummy, super soft pumpkin cookies drizzled with glaze. One of our family's autumn baked goods favorites.

Ingredients

    Cookie Dough
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
    Icing
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Butter, melted
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt).
  3. Cream softened butter and sugar together in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, beating together until smooth.
  5. Slowly add in flour mixture, a little at a time.
  6. Drop batter in rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheet. (I use a scooper/ disher to dip out my cookie dough, so my cookies are usually larger)
  7. Bake at 350 for 15-18, until edges are firm.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before icing.
    To make icing
  1. Whisk together sugar, milk, butter, and vanilla until smooth. You can also add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg to the icing.
  2. Using the whisk (or a fork or spoon), drizzle the icing over top of each cookie, or use a knife or spatula to ice the cookies on top.

I use a scooper/disher to drop out my cookie dough, and this recipe yields about 18 large cookies that way. You can definitely get more cookies if you use a smaller scoop or spoon for the dough.

https://lifeinlapehaven.com/2016/10/04/old-fashioned-pumpkin-cookies/

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Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Easy Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

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Chocolate Cake with Simple “Bavarian” Cream Filling & Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Cake with Simple Bavarian Cream & Chocolate Ganache, Life in Lape Haven. Easy recipes for a tasty Bavarian cream filling and decadent chocolate ganache that take a regular boxed Devil's food cake from ordinary to extraordinary with very little effort or time!

In my family, there are three of us with birthdays in September. Not only do my dad, my younger brother, and I share a birthday month, but we nearly share a birthday week (Dad’s is on the 5th, Caleb’s is the 7th, and I’m a week later on the 14th). Growing up, my parents did a good job of commemorating each birthday separately, so that we each had our own day and our own birthday cake (or whatever treat we requested).

Of course, now that we all have families of our own, getting together three times in just over a week is simply not practical, so we tend to usually have one party to celebrate for all three of us.

This year, I provided the birthday cake.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Chocolate Cake with Simple Bavarian Cream & Chocolate Ganache. Easy recipes for a tasty Bavarian cream filling and decadent chocolate ganache that take a regular boxed Devil's food cake from ordinary to extraordinary with very little effort or time!

Over the last few weeks, thanks to pregnancy cravings and a lifelong love of chocolate, chocolate cake has been looking especially tempting. However, thanks to pregnancy issues, like heartburn and that persistent yucky taste in my mouth, I knew that indulging that craving wouldn’t come without a price. Up until last week, the cost outweighed the desire. And then I caved.

With only a few days until our planned birthday gathering, I broke down and baked myself a chocolate cake. However, having put off this craving for so long, this wasn’t going to be my regular chocolate cake. It had to be a little something special.


A couple minutes of searching on Pinterest, and I was making a chocolate cake with a delicious but easy Bavarian cream filling, topped with a decadent chocolate ganache.

It came together so simply that I wasn’t sure it would be all that spectacular, but OH MY, it was scrumptious. After cutting into it, I sent a picture to my mom because we like to share good recipes with each other. (I also took some over to them the next day because I’m a sweet daughter and because there was no way my guys and I could – or should – eat it all.)

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Chocolate Cake with Simple Bavarian Cream & Chocolate Ganache. Easy recipes for a tasty Bavarian cream filling and decadent chocolate ganache that take a regular boxed Devil's food cake from ordinary to extraordinary with very little effort or time!

Her text reply was: “Nice. You made it too early. Dad wants chocolate cake Monday.”

So yesterday found me back at, putting together this delicious chocolate cake with its simple but yummy cream filling, all covered with that addictively rich chocolate ganache.

Brad, who is usually more of a vanilla cake fan, loved it, declaring it “one of the best chocolate cakes” he’d ever had. (Although, he tends to think a lot of the things I’m make are “the best ever,” like my homemade vanilla ice cream, which would be amazing with this cake.)

Even though it didn’t turn out to be my prettiest cake ever (I didn’t wait for the ganache to cool quite enough), it was still a big hit at our birthday shindig. I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes one of my requested, regular contributions to family gatherings in the future. I know I wouldn’t mind indulging again!

Okay, so here’s how I made each part of the chocolate cake.
CHOCOLATE CAKE:

This is super easy! It was a boxed Devil’s Food Cake mix from Aldi.  All I did differently from the directions was to substitute melted butter for the vegetable oil (make sure you let it cool after you melt it) and use milk instead of water. I baked it in round 9” pans for about 28 minutes. The cake turned out super moist and yummy, a perfect base for all the extras to come.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

I found this “Perfect Chocolate Ganache” recipe by Natasha’s Kitchen on Pinterest, and by following her very easy instructions, I made my first-ever ganache with only one problem – I did learn that allowing it to cool and thicken a bit more than the 15 minutes she specified made it cover my cake sides a little better.

BAVARIAN CREAM FILLING:

I had picked up a box of vanilla pudding mix when I bought my cake mix, knowing I could somehow combine it with whipped cream to make a tasty cake filling. Using this “Easy Bavarian Cream Filling” recipe from Sprinkled with Jules, with a minor tweak by myself, I had a perfect filling in no time with very little effort. Yes! The filling is a creamy vanilla without being too sweet. Also, I imagine that this idea could easily be switched up using different flavors of pudding mix. Yummy! (Below is my recipe).

Simple “Bavarian” Cream Filling

Yield: About 4 cups

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Chocolate Cake with Simple Bavarian Cream & Chocolate Ganache. Easy recipes for a tasty Bavarian cream filling and decadent chocolate ganache that take a regular boxed Devil's food cake from ordinary to extraordinary with very little effort or time!

A creamy vanilla cream that is not too sweet but is super simple. It's the perfect filling for any cake!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 box Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (3.4 oz size, says serves 4)
  • ¼ tsp. Vanilla
  • 3-5 Tablespoons Milk

Instructions

  1. Whip heavy cream on high with mixer until stiff peaks form, just as you would for homemade whipped cream.
  2. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the vanilla pudding mix, sprinkling it around and mixing until it is thoroughly incorporated. (You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.)
  3. Still mixing on low, add in vanilla extract.
  4. Add milk one tablespoon at a time, until it smooths out to your desired consistency. The more milk you add, the smoother it will be.
  5. You can refrigerate the filling until you are ready to use it.
https://lifeinlapehaven.com/2016/09/06/chocolate-cake-bavarian-cream-chocolate-ganache/

 

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YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kings Island Blue Ice Cream Copycat Recipe

The Best Vanilla Buttercream Frosting I’ve Ever Made 

Tried It Tuesday: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Tried It Tuesday - Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. A delicious, traditional-style homemade vanilla ice cream recipe that's perfect for summer (or anytime of the year!) One of our family's favorites.

There is just something about homemade ice cream, isn’t there?

I think the first time I remember tasting it was when I was a little girl, and we went to a picnic or some kind of special event at my maternal grandparents’ church. Outside near the old schoolhouse that’s next door to the church, someone was using a hand-cranked ice cream churn to make the most amazing vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had – to this day – in my life.

The fact that the cream and eggs came fresh from my grandparents’ farm probably had something to do with it. That, and the fact that my grandma has amazing recipes for just about everything! (Here’s her homemade lime pickles recipe.)

With that memory of ice cream perfection, I had high expectations when I decided to try my hand at making homemade ice cream myself a few years ago. My first step was to get my grandma’s vanilla ice cream recipe…and then sadly realize that there was no way I was going to be able to make it just like hers. Even reducing her 5-quart recipe down to fit our 1.5 quart ice cream maker, I couldn’t duplicate that recipe exactly because it uses raw eggs and had the advantage of super farm fresh ingredients that aren’t as easy to find nowadays, at least not in our budget. 🙂

So, I went searching and did a lot of testing and learning (I suggest watching the “Churn, Baby, Churn” episode of Good Eats. A lot of my ice cream making process comes from Alton Brown’s suggestions.)

I also tried recipes from Columbus’s own Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, which happens to be my favorite ice cream shop ever (the Wildberry Lavender and Darkest Chocolate flavors are spectacular)! Finding her recipes online was really exciting. Her method for making ice cream doesn’t involve eggs at all, so the steps are bit different, but they result in truly yummy ice cream. Of course, just like my grandma’s, even with a recipe given to you, it’s still difficult to duplicate the exact flavor of such great ice cream made with high-quality ingredients.

My ice cream quest, though, did finally bring me to creating my own simple, more traditional-style vanilla ice cream recipe that my husband has declared to be “some of the best vanilla ice cream” he’s “ever had.”

And I agree – it is pretty good.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. A delicious, traditional-style homemade vanilla ice cream recipe that's perfect for summer (or anytime of the year!) One of our family's favorites.

I do have to say, too, that having a good ice cream maker has been helpful and has encouraged me to make ice cream more often, including coming up with a copycat recipe for an Ohio summertime classic, Kings Island’s Blue Ice Cream.

When I first started making ice cream, I had a cheaper plastic ice cream maker that I’d bought on clearance for maybe $15. It was the older kind where you add ice cubes and rock salt, and it was pretty noisy and a little messy. Then not long after that, my hubby found a great deal on a Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream maker on SlickDeals.net that has the bowl that you freeze and then churn the ice cream in it. (My bowl is always in the freezer, so it’s ready to go when I need it.)

I can’t guarantee that SlickDeals would have it again, but here is an Amazon affliliate link (which means if you use the link to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you) to the ice cream maker that I use.

I’ve found that reducing the recipe to be a little less than the 1.5 quarts (or whatever the size of your ice cream maker is) is better. It might make less, but it churns better, which means better texture, when it has a little more room.

Also, this vanilla ice cream recipe does include eggs and tempering them and cooking your base a bit, but don’t let that intimidate you. It’s not complicated. If I can whip this up while my boys are running around me in the kitchen like a couple of crazy monkeys, trust me – You can do this, and you’ll be glad you did.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. A delicious, traditional-style homemade vanilla ice cream recipe that's perfect for summer (or anytime of the year!) One of our family's favorites.

Because, really, there is just something about homemade ice cream, isn’t there?

Here’s my recipe for delicious Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Yield: About 1 quart

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. A delicious, traditional-style homemade vanilla ice cream recipe that's perfect for summer (or anytime of the year!) One of our family's favorites.

A simple, and simply delicious, traditional-style homemade vanilla ice cream that our family loves!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups Milk (Whole is best)
  • 1 ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Add 2 teaspoons from your ½ cup of sugar. Whisk together and set aside. (I put mine right by the stove, so it's close when I need it)
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together cream, milk, and remaining sugar. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbles begin to form along the edge of the pan. (I use a candy thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. You don't want to boil the cream or overheat the mixture. I stay around 150 degrees.)
  3. Remove the cream from the heat.
  4. A spoonful at a time, slowly add the hot cream to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. You are tempering the eggs, bringing them up to temperature slowly. If you add the cream without whisking, you risk scrambled eggs in your ice cream. Not good. Tip: I put a towel under the egg bowl to keep it still while I'm whisking with one hand and ladling with the other.
  5. Once you have added at least half of the cream to the eggs, whisk the egg mixture into the remaining cream and return the saucepan to the heat.
  6. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to about 170 to 175 degrees. The mixture will coat the back of your spoon, and if you draw your finger through it, it will leave a distinct trail. Do not overheat the mixture, or you'll end up with thick custard.
  7. Remove ice cream base from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
  8. Pour ice cream base into a metal bowl set over an ice bath. (To create the “ice bath”: Fill a larger bowl with just enough ice and cold water to come about halfway up the side of your metal bowl when you set your metal bowl into it)
  9. Whisk the mixture to cool.
  10. Pour the cooled ice cream base through a fine strainer into a bowl or dish with a lid. Straining will get out any accidental little bits of scrambled egg. (It happens sometimes.)
  11. Refrigerate for 2 hours (until it cools to 40 degrees) or up to overnight. (You can skip this step, but the warmer your ice cream mixture is, the longer it takes to churn.)
  12. Churn the chilled custard according to your ice maker's instructions.
  13. Once it reaches a thickened soft serve consistency, transfer the ice cream to a bowl or container that holds at least 1 quart (I always just use the same glass bowl that I refrigerated it in).
  14. Cover and freeze for at least an hour until it’s fully set to serve. (Or if you like it more "soft serve," or you're as impatient as we are, you can enjoy it earlier.)
https://lifeinlapehaven.com/2016/08/23/homemade-vanilla-ice-cream/
TRY THESE OTHER YUMMY RECIPES WITH YOUR VANILLA ICE CREAM:

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

The Legacy in an Apple Pie Recipe

Salted Caramel Cream

Chocolate Cake with Bavarian Cream Filling

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies


Get more ideas, recipes, & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.
Join my email list!  

19 Old Wives’ Tales & Myths for Predicting Your Baby’s Gender

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - 19 Old Wives' Tales & Myths for Predicting Your Baby's Gender. Do old wives' tales actually work to correctly predict a baby's gender? I put 19 to the test and compared them with our actual ultrasound.

Probably the two questions that I’ve heard even more this pregnancy than both of my other ones have been: “Do you know what you’re having?” (I always answer, “A baby,” even though I know they’re asking about the gender), and “Are you hoping for a girl?”

Because we have two boys, there are plenty of people who really want us to have a girl, our two boys included. And since the grandchildren on my side of the family are only boys so far – 8 in a row , and Brad’s side has only one girl and then 5 boys in a row…well, there are plenty of hopes for a girl soon to break those streaks as well.

Brad and I, however, are fine either way. We’d like a girl, but we also love having boys. Plus we have basically everything we’d need for a boy, and we’re getting pretty good at parenting boys.

Well, yesterday we reached that big milestone that many expectant parents look forward to: The 20-Week Ultrasound. You know, the one they do at 18-20 weeks to measure and check all the baby’s body parts, including those that will reveal the gender of your baby.

Since we are “finder-outers” who feel that the surprise of our baby’s gender is as much of a surprise now as it would be when he/she is born, we definitely opted to know if we were are having a boy or a girl.

However, before we did that, I took a suggestion from my sister-in-law (who is also expecting) to go through some old wives’ tales and myths for gender predicting so we can see how those results compare to the ultrasound.

There were way more out there than I have ever heard of, so I only did the ones that I really wanted to, but here are what the old wives’ tales say I should be having (stay with me, and I’ll let you know what the ultrasound showed us). Oh, and these are ALL just for fun. I don’t know that many of them have any scientific evidence to back them up, even though a few of them have proven to be surprisingly accurate more often than not for many moms-to-be.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - 19 Old Wives' Tales & Myths for Predicting Your Baby's Gender. Do old wives' tales actually work to correctly predict a baby's gender? I put 19 to the test and compared them with our actual ultrasound.

19 Old Wives’ Tales & Myths to Predict Gender

#1. HOW YOU CARRY

I would guess that nearly every expectant mother has heard this one at some point. If you’re carrying the baby high, it’s a girl. If your baby belly is lower, it’s a boy.

For me, this bump looks pretty much like my other two, but I’m not sure if any of them were really high or low. However since it’s the same, we’ll say, BOY.

 

#2. CHINESE GENDER PREDICTOR CALENDAR

Supposedly the Chinese have had this one figured out for centuries. By looking at both the age of the mother when the baby was conceived and the month the baby was conceived, this chart can tell you whether you’re having a boy or a girl.

My results: BOY.

 

#3. HEART RATE

I remembered this one from my previous two pregnancies. According to this theory, if your baby’s heartbeat is below 140 beats per minute, you’re carrying a boy. If it’s over 140, it’s a girl.

Based on this, both of my boys should have been girls because they had higher heart rates. This time around, the baby’s heart is generally around 150, so GIRL? (Or just another active boy?)

 

#4. CRAVINGS

If you have developed a serious sweet tooth with this pregnancy, this myth says that you’ve got a girl. If you are going more for the salty or sour items, expect a boy.

Sadly, I’ve never really had cravings! I was so looking forward to the quirky things I’d want when I was pregnant, but alas, I experience more food aversions than cravings. However, with Elijah I ate a lot of fruits and veggies, and with Josiah more sugar and sweets, probably because I was tired after chasing a toddler around while pregnant and needed a boost of energy.

This baby, I’m just coping with the nasty taste I struggle with all pregnancy as best as I can, and salty or sour things work better for that. So, BOY, I guess.

 

#5. Wedding Ring on a String

This is a crazy old tale, and it seems to have a few different versions, so I did two of them.

One is to put your wedding ring on a string or a piece of your hair (went with some thread for this), and hold the ring over your belly. If it starts going in a circle, you’ll have a boy. If it goes back and forth like a pendulum, it’s a girl. This one circled, so BOY.

 

#6. NECKLACE VARIATION

However, another version is to dangle a necklace with a pendant over your hand or wrist. If it circles this time, it’s a girl. Pendulum swing, it’s a boy. This one also circled, but that would mean GIRL.

 

 #7. MAJOR MORNING SICKNESS

If you are seriously fighting morning sickness early on or continuously throughout your pregnancy, you might be having a girl. Slight or non-existent sickness could mean a boy.

This time around I have been more nauseated and have actually felt sicker more often.

Based on this idea: GIRL.

 

#8. MOTHER’S COMPLEXION

If you’re dealing with a lot of blemishes and breakouts throughout your pregnancy, you can expect a daughter, or so this theory says since an old tale says that a girl steals her mother’s beauty. For me, this means BOY.

 

#9. MOTHER’S FEET

If you have been having colder feet lately, blame your little boy. If your tootsies are fine and toasty, it’s a girl.

It’s summer, so I’m not sure how accurate this one’s going to be because my feet have been plenty warm. GIRL.

 

#10. WHICH BREAST IS BIGGER

Okay, if this is TMI for you, just move past it. However, this belief states that if you notice that you are slightly lopsided up top, you can predict your baby’s gender. If your right side is bigger, it’s a boy. If it’s your left, it’s a girl.

BOY.

 

#11. DREAMS OF BABY

This one says that when you dream of your baby, if you dream of a boy, it’s actually a girl. If you’re dreaming of a girl, expect a boy. Your dreams supposedly show the opposite of what you’re having.

I’ve had two dreams of a baby boy, so does that mean a GIRL?

 

#12. HAIRY LEGS

According to this one, if the hair on your legs is growing in faster than normal, you’re having a boy.

Thankfully that hasn’t  happened to me because shaving when you’re pregnant is enough of a PAIN!  So, GIRL.

 

#13. CRAVINGS, Part 2

If the expectant mom is craving proteins, such as meat and cheese, she can plan on a boy.

Don’t know that it’s a craving, but cheese is something that I CAN eat. BOY.

 

#14. COLOR OF YOUR URINE

Yeah, kind of gross, but here’s what it says: If your pee is bright yellow, it’s a girl. Dull or clear, it’s a boy. I also saw the reverse of this, too – bright is for boys, and dull/clear is a girl. So…hmmm.

Plus if you’re taking a prenatal vitamin (which will make urine quite bright) and drinking the water you should be (which will give you clearer results), this test is just going to be all kinds of confused.

INCONCLUSIVE.

 

#15. BABY NAMES

If you can only think of names for one gender, that’s the gender you’ll have.

For us, we’ve only come up with girls’ names so far…GIRL.


#16. WEIGHT GAIN

This old wives’ tale says that if you’re gaining all your weight out front, you’ll have a boy. But if your weight is spread out all over, you’ve got a girl.

Hmmm…GIRL.

 

#17. HEADACHES

If you are experiencing headaches during your pregnancy, this theory says it’s because you’re going to have a boy.

No headaches here, so GIRL, although I don’t think I’ve ever had headaches with my boys (not until after they were born, anyway. Haha).

 

#18. SKIN

Dry skin during pregnancy is said to be caused by carrying a boy, while smooth, soft skin can be the result of expecting a girl.

I haven’t noticed any major dry skin, so we’ll say GIRL.

 

#19. FAMILY HISTORY

Do you have siblings? If so, you can predict your child’s gender by looking at the gender order for you and your brothers and sisters.

Were you  the first born? You’ll have what your mom had, only starting at the second child.

If you’re in the middle, start with her third child.

For the baby of the family, you get to copy your mother’s order exactly.

Thankfully, my parents had three kids, so this works out easily for us. I don’t know how you do this if your parents only have one or two children.

According to this, we’re due for a GIRL.

 

RESULTS

Based on these old wives’ tales:

7/19 Point to a BOY

11/19 Say expect a GIRL

1/19 Inconclusive

 

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND OLD WIVES’ TALES

Of course, none of these old wives’ tales, myths, and internet ideas are as accurate as what an ultrasound can reveal. Even though some ultrasounds have been proven wrong when the baby is actually born (surprise it’s NOT a boy!), they are generally correct 90-95% of the time.

Our ultrasounds have been pretty obvious each time, even to Brad, who can’t always follow all the shadows and blobs on the screen. (Love you, honey!)  And since I’m…ahem…older this time around, we actually have to have our ultrasounds done at the hospital because they have better technology to screen for deformities and issues that are statistically a higher risk since I’m now over 35. So, if we could tell the first two times, we should definitely be able to tell this time around with better equipment and picture quality.

And this ultrasound was just as easy to tell. It was no different. And by no different, I mean we’ve seen this kind of ultrasound before…twice. 🙂

 

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - 19 Old Wives' Tales & Myths for Predicting Your Baby's Gender. Do old wives' tales actually work to correctly predict a baby's gender? I put 19 to the test and compared them with our actual ultrasound.

We are very happy to announce that we will be welcoming our THIRD boy! Even though our boys were kind of hoping for a girl, they were very quick to embrace the idea of having a new little brother, and Brad and I are preparing for all the fun ahead with keeping up with three active boys. (By the way, we made our own color powder to put in a balloon.)

So, less than half of the old wives’ tales agreed with our ultrasound.

EXPECTANT MOMS, WHAT WERE YOUR RESULTS? Have you tried any of these or other old wives’ tales to predict your baby’s gender? What does your ultrasound show (or what did you have)? Let me know, and I can update this article with your totals, too!


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5 Tips & Tricks That I Learned with My 3rd Baby That I Wish I’d Known with My 1st

 

Tried It Tuesday: Homemade Blackberry Muffins

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Homemade Blackberry Muffins. Delicious, quick, and easy homemade muffin recipe using fresh blackberries and a secret ingredient to give you tender, fluffy muffins.

One of the many things I love about summer and this time of year is that you can get all kinds of fresh fruit and veggie. I especially look forward to all the berries – blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

There are so many yummy ways to enjoy fresh berries, but the down side is, if you don’t eat them or make something with them, they will go bad quickly. (Booo.) Sadly, this week I had to throw out some once-upon-a-time beautiful strawberries that I had only had for a couple days. It was so disappointing. Looking around at the containers of blackberries and blueberries nearby, I was determined to make good use of those other berries that I had purchased at the same time as the strawberries before they, too, got mushy, moldy, and yucky.

The blackberries were my first concern because they tend to have a shorter shelf life than blueberries. Plus, I already have a great recipe for blueberry hand pies.

So, the hunt was on for a new blackberry recipe that would use up my 12 ounces of tasty blackberries and one that wouldn’t be too involved. (It’s VBS week here, so our days are busy.)

Thankfully, I found one quickly, and before long the boys were anxiously awaiting their first taste of homemade blackberry muffins.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Homemade Blackberry Muffins. Delicious, quick, and easy homemade muffin recipe using fresh blackberries and a secret ingredient to give you tender, fluffy muffins.

This recipe was very easy to put together – mix your dry ingredients, mix your wet ingredients, combine them all together, add your berries, fill your tins, bake, EAT. Plus, muffins are perfect anytime of the day – breakfast, snack, dessert, or anytime this expectant mommy is hungry…again. 🙂

According to Simply Recipes, where I got this blackberry muffin recipe, the secret to these muffins being tender and fluffy is the sour cream. However, for my version, I used plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream because it’s what we had, and it worked out wonderfully. I also used a bit more cinnamon.

I found that my muffins could have actually come out of the oven EARLIER than 17 minutes, which was the shortest cook time given. I would say maybe 15 minutes would have been perfect. Since my muffins overcooked just a smidge, they were a little drier than I had hoped once they cooled. But they are still yummy. Oh, and just a reminder:  expect some seeds since you’re baking with blackberries. 🙂

Overall, these are definitely some muffins I’ll be baking again. I may even try them with blueberries instead of blackberries, maybe in the next few days since I have some blueberries that I don’t want to go bad.

Here’s how I made Homemade Blackberry Muffins.
Homemade Blackberry Muffins

Yield: 18 muffins

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Homemade Blackberry Muffins. Delicious, quick, and easy homemade muffin recipe using fresh blackberries and a secret ingredient to give you tender, fluffy muffins.

Delicious, quick, and easy homemade muffin recipe using fresh blackberries and a secret ingredient to give you tender, fluffy muffins.

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • ½ - 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp. Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) Butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh Blackberries (cut berries in half)
  • Note: You can use frozen berries, but make sure you defrost them first and then drain off any excess juices. Also, coat them lightly in flour.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare 2 (12-cup) muffin tins by either greasing them lightly or using paper liners. (This recipe makes about 18 muffins when you fill the muffin cup all the way.)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients with the sugar: eggs, Greek yogurt, milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla.
  5. Combine the wet ingredient mixture with the flour mixture, stirring only until everything is moistened. (Avoid over-mixing as this creates a denser muffin).
  6. Gently fold in the blackberries.
  7. Batter will be a little lumpy and thick, almost like cookie dough.
  8. Fill the muffin tins with the batter. I like to use a scooper, especially with a thicker batter.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees, 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean. (I would check the muffins at 15 minutes.)
  10. Let muffins cool a few minutes before removing from the muffin tins. These are best when served warm.
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