Pumpkin Bread in a Jar Recipe – just in time for fall!

By Ashley Devonish | Category: Activities with Kids, Creating a Home, It Worked 4 Me, Recipes & Kitchen Tips, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013




Pumpkin Bread in a Jar Recipe



  • 1 Cup of Apple Butter
  • 2 Cups of Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 3 Cups of Flour (or Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)
  • 1 15oz Can of Pumpkin
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 12-24 Half Pint Jars
  • 2 Tubs Cool Whip Cream Cheese Frosting (or your favorite Cream Cheese Frosting)


Preheat the oven to 375*.

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together in order until dough forms.

At this point you can either use 12 Half Pint Jars sprayed with non stick baking spray and 1 bread loaf pan, or you can use 24 Half Pint Jars.

Pour the batter in leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top of the jars for room to rise.

This will bake in the oven for 45 minutes- 1 hour or until the bread takes shape. I usually do the standard toothpick or fork test, to be sure no dough comes out on the toothpick.

Let these completely cool then serve with Cool Whip Cream Cheese Frosting.

I typically will use a Wilton 1M tip and cake decorating bag to do the frosting. Garnish with a little cinnamon.







Enjoy! This recipe is so yummy and easy. Makes great gifts too.

Ashley Devonish

I have a passion for helping moms and encouraging them in their journey through motherhood. I invite you to journey along with me!

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Fall Time Recipes

By Ashley Devonish | Category: Activities with Kids, Healthy Living, It Worked 4 Me, Recipes & Kitchen Tips, Surprize Me!, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Although I am not a huge fan of cold weather, I do love holiday foods. Below are two recipes I found on Pinterest that made me super excited for fall! and if you didn’t already know…Starbucks has their pumpkin spice lattes available. Now I am officially ready.



 Peek a Boo Pumpkin Pound Cake



For the pound cake

1 (14-ounce) box pumpkin bread mix
1 (16-ounce) box pound cake mix
Orange food coloring
For the icing

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Prepare pumpkin bread
Mix up pumpkin bread ingredients according to the directions on the box. Add orange food coloring to make it more “pumpkin-y” looking (less brown).

Bake and cut
Bake in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan according to directions. Remove from oven before completely done, about 8-10 minutes less than instructed. Let cool, remove from pan and refrigerate for up to four hours. Cut cold pumpkin bread into large slices. Cut pumpkin shapes from slices.
Align them down the center of a lightly greased and floured 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Make pound cake
Mix up your pound cake batter according to the directions on the box. Pour over your pumpkin bread cutouts in the pan, making sure to cover the tops of the pumpkins. You may have more pound cake batter than you need. Try not to overfill the pan. Bake according to the directions on the box. Let cool when done.

Prepare icing
Meanwhile, prepare the brown butter pecan icing.
Put powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan, melt butter and boil, stirring until it starts to brown and form dark flecks on the sides and bottom.
Remove from heat. Pour the melted brown butter and flecks over the powdered sugar. Add the evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir until combined and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if it appears too runny or more evaporated milk if it seems too stiff.

Ice cake
Remove baked and cooled pound cake from pan and top with brown butter icing. Add chopped pecans, if desired.
Cut into slices and delight your guests with the pumpkin-shaped surprise that peeks out from inside!



Sweet Potato Waffles


These would be great for any meal, breakfast or dinner!

Sweet potato waffles

(adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe)

  • 1 c. sweet potato puree
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 egg whites, room temp.
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1/2 T. orange zest

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl.

In another bowl, mix the sweet potatoes, milk, brown sugar, butter, and orange zest.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients until combined.  Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the egg whites into the sweet potato mixture a 1/3 at a time. It will be thick! Set up your waffle maker and go!



What is your go to fall recipe? Let me know if any of you try these recipes.


Ashley Devonish

I have a passion for helping moms and encouraging them in their journey through motherhood. I invite you to journey along with me!

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Christmas Pretzels: the perfect snack to make with your kids!

By Ashley Devonish | Category: Activities with Kids, Family Focus, Recipes & Kitchen Tips | Posted Sunday, December 23, 2012

This just may be the perfect kid friendly Christmas treat around.  Not only is it easy but you can’t really mess it up!

You will want the following:

-Pretzels (we prefer the stick kind rather than the knotted version as it is easier for small hands to dip)
-Melting chocolate
-Non stick surface to let the pretzels cool on (I used parchment paper) but you could also use a regular plate, cookie sheet, etc)

1) Simply melt your chocolate in a double boiler (if you don’t have one you can make one by simply stacking a metal bowl on top of a pot of boiling water) or in the microwave (be careful to check and stir your chocolate often as it is EASY to overcook it in the microwave).

2) Dip your pretzels into the chocolate mixture

3) Allow them to cool on your parchment paper.  Optional: once they have cooled, re-dip them on the other end.

If you want to get fancy, you can decorate the still wet chocolate with sprinkles, candy bits (such as crushed candy canes) or shaved chocolate. OR let your children make their initials using the pretzel rods!

Ashley Devonish

I have a passion for helping moms and encouraging them in their journey through motherhood. I invite you to journey along with me!

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How to make sandwiches ahead of time

By Ashley Devonish | Category: It Worked 4 Me, Recipes & Kitchen Tips | Posted Monday, September 24, 2012

These are a few of my un-favorite things:

-mindless repetitive tasks

-heading to town in the morning without snacks or a lunch for the kids


As our family has grown, packing an on-the-go lunch has become more time consuming.  It recently occurred to me that I could circumvent some of the preparation time with a little advanced planning.  I am certainly not the first to think of this idea (Smuckers Uncrustables anyone?).  But it was a lightbulb moment for me.

Perhaps you have been doing this yourself for eons, but just in case you are like me, I thought I would share this simple tip for making sure you always have a sandwich to grab on the go.

Here’s how:

-I decided that if I was going to do this, I might as well make up several sandwiches at once.  I use one loaf of bread.

-I laid out the bread and slathered them with peanut butter and jam.  Putting peanut butter on every slice of bread with the jam layered on top helps prevent the sandwiches from getting soggy.

-I assembled the sandwiches and separated them with a paper towel (an alternative thrifty option that I thought of was to use the thin paper squares that sperate out the Tillamook sliced cheddar cheese that we purchase at Costco).  The reason for putting a layer in between each sandwich is to make it easy to separate them after they have frozen.  If you use plastic sandwich baggies you could simply bag them instead.  However, I use reusable sandwich bags so it wasn’t a good option for me to bag them at this step.

-I put the prepared sandwiches right back in the bag that the bread came in and secured it at the top and placed it in the freezer.

-Now I had a handful of sandwiches ready to go at a moments notice.  I found that they thaw quickly enough that I could pull one out of the freezer in the morning and they would be ready to eat by lunch.  The kids have not mentioned noticing any difference in taste, however, I have noticed that they will dry out faster so I need to be sure they are eaten the day I thaw them to prevent this.

How about you?  What kinds of snacks have you found work well to prepare ahead of time?  

Ashley Devonish

I have a passion for helping moms and encouraging them in their journey through motherhood. I invite you to journey along with me!

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The Magical Fruit Called Beans

By Jackie Mccobb | Category: Recipes & Kitchen Tips | Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It would appear that the whole world is under financial strain. Our mighty dollar has weakened, and we are almost all feeling the pinch, no? For that reason, we all desire to be more frugal and so we flock to great money-saving blogs (such as this one) looking for deals, coupons, and helpful tips on how to spend less.

Overseas I have had to become quite creative in regards to frugality. Deals online are no longer great deals when you have to pay shipping.  (Like the time I saw a skirt on sale at Old Navy for $10 and they would ship it to me for only $60! Yowzers.)

We’ve done our best to cut back as much as we can…we line-dry clothes, walk as much as we can, turn lights off when we leave the room, use cloth diapers on the baby, etc, etc, etc. Those are things we are all doing! Next in line to trim back was the grocery list. There are no coupons here and the only things that go on sale are junk food items.

Therefore…BEANS. We eat ‘em. A lot!

Knowing that we are all trying to pinch pennies, save more, spend less, I thought I would share some of the tasty, different bean recipes I have tried and loved. (Because we did the simple black beans over rice and got tired of it pretty quick.)

Black Bean Tart with Chili Crust (I haven’t actually tried these yet, but it looks interesting)

Black Bean and Brown Rice Cakes (Could these be used as a burger patty I wonder?)

Black Bean and Cheese Taquitos (I leave the cheese out, brush olive oil on the tortillas and bake them!)

And when you’ve tried all of those and are running low on creativity, go back to the Pioneer Woman’s Pinto Beans and Cornbread. She will never steer you wrong.

Of course there are also the great bean recipes that Heather has previously shared:

Black bean brownies

Slow cooker refried beans

Easy (and super yummy) hummus

Mexican Bean Burgers

and the ebook ebook called The Everything Beans book which Heather said has been a wonderful resource for her.

So beans are my little money saving tip and I have to ask, if there are any other Americans overseas reading this…please share in the comments any tips you have for me!


Jackie Mccobb

Hola! My name is Jackie McCobb and my family and I live in the wonderful country of Paraguay. We are church planting missionaries and have lived here for 6 years. We absolutely love it! I have three sweet little girls, each one born in a different country, we have moved around a lot. I have many stories to tell about all of my globe-trotting (I grew up in the Amazon jungle of Venezuela, for example) so hang around and let’s get to know each other.

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