Level Headed

September 26, 2011

My friends, today I saw the light! Only briefly, but it was there. A patch of afternoon sun.


Meanwhile, I built some shelves. Pretty proud of this accomplishment!


Now we have double the storage downstairs!


The secret of life: use a level when hanging photos and building things. Especially if you’re alone with no eyeballs to visually check your work!


Matt brought me a present from the bakery!!

Let there be flowing pumpkin all around us! No shortage of pumpkin here. I just have to figure out how to use it all before it goes bad in my fridge once I open a can and transfer to tupperware. Does pumpkin freeze ok?



For dinner I made this BBQ chicken recipe along with maple steamed kale and toasted bread


From Hot Bagel Co’s oven!


Evening activities included mixology:

Overnight oats for her.

Beer yeast for him! [Preparing for a brew fest on a Wednesday off!]


We’d love to watch The Office together, but we’re going to wait one more day until we have our new couch! If we watched it tonight, it would be two people crunched into one armchair! Or the floor. Neither sounds appealing.


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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 [email protected] September 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I’ve frozen pumpkin before and the water sort of separates out. It gets freezer burn pretty quickly too. Maybe you can just take a small can’s worth from the bakery and leave the rest there for muffins .


2 Sweet and Savvy September 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

That chicken looks great! I used to make BBQ chicken all the time, then got kind of sick of it. I will Have to give it another shot. :)


3 Sana September 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm

You are awesome for building furniture, I would give up!


4 Cait @ Beyond Bananas September 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm

You used a level? That is impressive. Probably why everything looks amazing in your place. I try my best to eye it. It never works!


5 Anna (twelve22) September 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I’ve frozen homemade pumpkin puree many times with no problems. I put portions in plastic baggies, which lets me get all the air out, and that seems to prevent freezer burn / separation.


6 Krista (kristastes) September 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm

ditto! getting the air out is key!


7 Erin September 27, 2011 at 12:53 am

I filled up those 1/2 cup Gladware cups to the brim and it worked fine for me too. Especially when I just took it out at night and threw it into a smoothie in the morning.


8 Lauren September 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I’ve frozen pumpkin before and its worked ok. Don’t leave it in the freezer for too long either. I am so jealous of seeing this pumpkin all over blogs! We ordered a case on Amazon and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival-couldn’t find it in any stores yet! I still have a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin my grandma sent so maybe I’ll eat that tomorrow to hold me over until the pumpkin comes. That’s a good idea actually 😀 Yum!


9 Darien September 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm

the best way ive managed to freeze pumpkin is in baggies, flat, with every bit of air squeezed out. (or those crazy vacuum seal appliances work well- but lets be real, my kitchen is too small for extra appliances.) allie is right though, its POSSIBLE to keep the freezerburn to a minimum, but tough to keep the water from separating out. almost seven pounds of pumpkin…dang.


10 Lauren September 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm

One of my husband’s favorite toy’s is his level. He doesn’t hang anything without it. :)


11 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio September 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Y’all are too funny! Can’t wait to see the new couch.


12 Michele W. September 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Yes pumpkin freezes just fine. It is good in the refrigerator for 7 days and in the freezer for 3 months according to Libbys. Freeze it in baggies and get all the air out!


13 lynn @ the actor's diet September 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

yes! pumpkin freezes great – we always have it just in case for my dog…and my oatmeal…
i need a level.


14 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm

You don’t need to freeze it, I’m sure you can polish off that can with some creative concoctions 😉


15 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf September 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I’ve found that pumpkin freezes pretty well. It does kinda sorta get a little more watery once defrosted, but not enough to make a real difference in cooking/baking.


16 Chloe (In Fine Feather) September 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm

IKEA is my nemesis – I swear I always get the wrong parts, or maybe I just can’t read the instructions 😉 So I’m jealous of anyone who doesn’t have a problem with their items – it’s so cheap and I love the designs, I think I’ll just have to rely on consignment shops & craigslist the next time I need furniture!


17 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles September 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm

You are seriously going to town on that house! Sooooooo much done in such a short amount of time! Way to go!!!!


18 Laura (On the Threshold of Greatness) September 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Those curtains are so cute! 😀

I love that Matt brews his own beers. That seems like such a fun (and rewarding!) hobby. Too bad you can’t sample/sell the brews at the bakery… 😉


19 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Yes, it freezes fine provided that you’re not going to be using it to make a pie recipe that you’re submitting to Food & Wine magazine or anything :)

If I use half a can, I take the other half, put it in a tupperware, freeze it, thaw it later on for the next use, i.e. baking, smoothies, oatmeal, etc and no real issues.

And your shelving looks great!


20 The healthy hipster September 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Looks delicious, I always get inspired by your bread as side dish combinations. So tasty and economical! Especially if your in the bread biz. 😉


21 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed September 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm

We have the same curtains, so you obviously have awesome taste.


22 KathEats September 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Haha, they came with the house – but I do like them!!


23 Cara September 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I love those curtains! I have the same one in my bedroom but with brown paint in the background. They look so nice with the white and the sunshine!


24 [email protected] September 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Hehe~It’s so cool to see you both in the kitchen~! that’s so cute. 😀 And have a sweeeet night!


25 Krissy - Shiawase Life September 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I missed that teeny sliver of light… :( Damn work.


26 Hillary September 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Sigh. Pumpkin. I need you in my life now. It’s so hard to find still! Silly pumpkin shortage.


27 Jen September 26, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I have the same problem with pumpkin so usually I use it for baking a batch of muffins or a bread loaf.

I would totally cram into a chair or just sit on the floor to watch The Office! I’ve spent many a night on the floor – just have fun with it :)


28 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Yay for more storage space! You can never have enough.

So I bought a remote control for my Rebel and it doesn’t seem to want to work too well! It was only $6 and it’s wireless, did I buy the wrong one? It was made by Canon (RC-6). What kind do you have?


29 KathEats September 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Did you put it on remote setting?


30 KathEats September 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

(in the self timer series of options)


31 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Yes. It works, sort of, but not well. As in, not all the time (after like 10 tries!) Maybe the battery needs replacement? 😕


32 KathEats September 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

Oh bummer. Mine was about $12 and it’s Canon as well. I’m guessing it is the battery?


33 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I’ll try replacing it. If not, I’ll have to look for another. Hopefully it’s the battery. Thanks, Kath! :)


34 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Yes! Pumpkin freezes well. It will separate a little, but just stir it when you defrost it. Dinner looks delicious. Enjoy the rest of your night.


35 kathleen @ the daily crumb September 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm

yes! definitely freeze the pumpkin. i followed caitlin’s tutorial (http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2010/02/does-pumpkin-freeze-well.html) and it worked out just fine.

nice job on the shelves! more the anything i wish i had the patience for those DIY projects…


36 Dynamics September 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Although I have not tried pumpkin, I use my FoodSaver and my Mason jars and things last days to weeks longer in the fridge. In the freezer I use the FoodSaver bags. In the three years I have been using the Foodsaver, nothing has gone bad or gotten freezer burn.


37 Danielle September 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I totally do the mixology thing every night! My kitchen is always a mess in the evenings from cooking dinner and getting breakfast/lunch ready for the next day. But totally worth it because it makes the mornings much quicker and I get to sleep in just a bit longer!
I’m loving all the little projects you’ve been doing around your house! Can’t wait to see what else you do. :)


38 Kristin September 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm

If you freeze the pumpkin in cubes they are wonderful to throw in pumpkin pie smoothies! :)


39 Katie @ Real Food Katie's Way September 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I freeze pumpkin often but it does get watery…I just drain it out or pat it with paper towel…

It’s no where near as good as when it’s just opened though!


40 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) September 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I found canned pumpkin in my grocery store today! So excited to put it to use. The crusty bread with your dinner looks amazing. Every time I see it on your dinner plate it makes me want some asap. Love all of your house projects too. Coming right along!


41 Sara September 26, 2011 at 9:03 pm

hey kath,
i’m not sure where i should check on the website — do you have a recipe for that maple kale? i’ve got some in my fridge and need a break from kale chips (another kerf discovery) — thanks!


42 KathEats September 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

Hey Sara,

It’s not so much a recipe as a technique.

Wash and rinse kale and tear into bite-sized pieces.
Heat big pot to medium high.
Don’t dry kale – let it stay wet and add it along with about 2 tbsp water.
Add lid and steam for 5 minutes.
Remove and partially drain.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Drizzle with maple. Toss.


43 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 26, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I’ve frozen pumpkin before, it didn’t turn out so good! :)


44 Deva @ Deva by Definition September 26, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I’ve frozen pumpkin before and found that when I thawed it out that I had to stir it up a bit – when I froze it in tupperware. In baggies it did ok!


45 Carla @Will Run for Health September 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I always moan about the 3 minutes it takes to make overnight oats, but rejoice in the morning when they are there waiting on me :)


46 Liz September 26, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Whoa! 7lb cans of pumpkin! 😀


47 [email protected] Grains of Paradise September 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I freeze pumpkin puree all the time. I actually put it in ice cube trays and once frozen I pop them into a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer. I love frozen pumpkin in a smoothie with almond milk, frozen bananas, vanilla, agave, and pumpkin pie spice! So good!!!


48 [email protected] September 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm

You can freeze the pumpkin, but I’ve read in several places that you don’t want to freeze it for more than 6 months and freeze them in smaller quart size bags, not gallon size (of course unless you need to use that much in one sitting!)

Last year there was a shortage of canned pumpkin in the Chicago land area, but I haven’t checked the shelves yet!


49 Candice September 26, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I freeze enough pumpkin (from the pun’kin patch) every season to last the year. Muffin tin cups are roughly 1/3 cup – I fill up my tins and flash freeze those puppies. After they set, turn them upside down onto a platter; the warmth of your hands loosens them and they pop out. Frozen, pre-portioned pumpkin to last until next year. The only problem is, I always seem to run out around May . . . :-)


50 Jen September 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Do you put the tray in the freezer with a bag over it?


51 Candice September 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Nope – it usually takes about 40 minutes for them to get solid. I do put the frozen pumpkin “hockey pucks”, as my husband calls them, into zip-top bags for freezer storage.


52 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com September 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I’ve shopped for canned pumpkins and can’t wait to slather some on the toast with sprinkling of pecans for easy and delicious breakfast tomorrow 😀


53 Molly @ RDexposed September 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I appreciate a well balance wall item! As well as a well home brew!


54 Lara @TresLaLa September 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm

My house is covered in random brew stuff. I swear I knock over the hubby’s hydrometer (?) on a weekly basis. The first time the hubby salvaged his yeast, I was kind of awestruck!


55 Sweet Marcella September 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Good to know people are saying you can freeze pumpkin! I currently have some in a tupperware in my fridge.

I looked for canned pumpkin at Meijer yesterday and they were definitely out! I may have to make my own pumpkin puree this year….


56 hippierunner September 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm

You have to see the office already! It was amazing! :)


57 Baking Serendipity September 26, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Love canned pumpkin :) High five on that shelf. My building skills would have resulted in one that tipped over…even with the level! Eek!


58 Rachel @ Healthy Teacher September 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I wish my husband wasn’t petrified of kale.


59 von September 26, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I freeze pumplin butter almost every fall, so I’d definitely freeze just plain pumpkin. You could add the proper spices to left over pumpkin, freeze, and have it ready to spread on some of your yummy breads or pancakes. Worth a try.


60 Haleigh September 26, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I know how you feel about not having a couch. My husband and I went without for almost 2 months. It was torture! No movie nights for us. It’s a good thing it was during the summer though, because then it was much too beautiful outside to watch much tv. Anyway, I hope that you enjoy your evening :)


61 Khushboo September 27, 2011 at 12:24 am

Love how hands-on you are with setting up your new home :)


62 Erin September 27, 2011 at 12:57 am

Why do you read this blog?


63 sb September 27, 2011 at 1:04 am

I know, right?!


64 sb September 27, 2011 at 1:04 am

Now, I finally know who this song was written about!!


Lyrics here:

Kath and Matt, you guys have the patience of saints.


65 Erin September 27, 2011 at 1:32 am

I definitely don’t think I’d call myself a KERF minion, but I’m stumped as to why someone would have so many issues with a particular blog and yet continue to read it. And I always roll my eyes a little when someone anonymously posts a scathing comment. If healthy living blogs are freaky and cultish, maybe you should read a different one. Plenty of people seem to enjoy this one as is. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but the viciousness of your comments seems a bit unnecessary.


66 [email protected] September 27, 2011 at 2:36 am

canned pumpkin seems to be popping up everywhere in the blogging world lately…do you have any favorite, healthy pumpkin recipes?


67 Bonbon September 27, 2011 at 5:35 am

I just wanted to say…. WHOA! THOSE ARE HUGE CANS OF PUMPKIN! I feel vicarious excitement about that…..think of all the things you can do with it!!! Pumpkin waffles sound pretty good!


68 Bonbon September 27, 2011 at 5:45 am

I just skimmed through some of the comments above, and Kath, you’re doing the blog for the people that actually enjoy it 😀 Don’t let one cranky and emaciated tree ruin the beautiful and HEALTHY forest!


69 Bonbon September 27, 2011 at 5:53 am

Oh, don’t you just love my TREE analogy? It’s definitely very GREEN and Eco-Friendly and Gluten-Free and Sustainable and Free Range and locally source, they are practically everywhere! 😀


70 Kori September 27, 2011 at 6:20 am

Haha yout analogy is awesome!! What I want to know is why this individual continues to read KERF if (s)he is so appalled by it. Kath doesn’t always make oatmeal either: pancakes, oat bakes, yogurt bowls, cold cereal, etc all make appearances. It sounds to me like the individual is bitter not about Kath but about his/her failure at living a healthy life. Jealously is a nasty trait to have, and (s)he needs to get help.


71 KathEats September 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

I do :)


72 [email protected] Flying ONION September 27, 2011 at 6:34 am

Maple steamed kale. That sounds awesome! With kale being so delicious right now, I just can’t get enough. I’ll have to try this. 😀


73 Brooke September 27, 2011 at 6:39 am

Where did the curtains come from I love cherries!


74 KathEats September 27, 2011 at 11:48 am

They came with the house, but I think they are IKEA


75 sue September 27, 2011 at 7:11 am

You responded to my email – what a nice surprise. I asked you about the “bull burgers” – so, I was hoping you might be able to tell me what’s in them. I’ve made veggie burgers before and they just don’t taste good or… I haven’t found a good recipe yet. Thanks a bunch for any input with this!


76 KathEats September 27, 2011 at 11:48 am

Here’s their website – I think ingredients are listed there. It’s lentils + barley, veggies and egg.



77 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 27, 2011 at 7:13 am

Either you can freeze it… or make a ginormous pumpkin pie! I like the latter idea. 😉


78 Karen September 27, 2011 at 7:32 am

I’m not sure re. freezing canned pumpkin, but fresh pumpkin/squash freezes just fine. (I’m not a canned p’kin fan…it tastes, well, canned to me.)

Great handiwork, Kath…jealous of your leveling skills!

I’m afraid to say that based on the first episode of the season, The Office has lost its mojo…it’s just not the same without Michael Scott. In fact, the season opener left this household very disappointed. So sad…


79 Cait's Plate September 27, 2011 at 8:18 am

First of all – I CAN’T FIND PUMPKIN ANYWHERE!! It’s driving me crazy!! This happens from time to time and it’s just the worst. It’s nearly October and I have yet to find any. This is just absolutely unacceptable.

Second of all – We have those same storage shelves, they’re AWESOME.


80 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning September 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

Frozen pumpkin makes for EXCELLENT pumpkin pie smoothies!


81 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope September 27, 2011 at 8:34 am

Great job building the furniture! :) Dinner looks phenomenal! I’m loving kale lately. Perhaps I will have some with dinner tonight. Yum!


82 Di September 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

I have a shelving unit like that in my kitchen. It’s not IKEA, I got mine from Costco. I put all the appliances that I use quite regularly on it that way I don’t have to dig them out of my cabinets or upper shelves of my pantry. I have items like the crock pots, food processor, blender, popcorn air popper, big container of Pretzels (husband’s item), bowls etc. stored on it.


83 Nadia September 27, 2011 at 10:48 am

Where are those shelves from? Looks sturdy and stylish!


84 KathEats September 27, 2011 at 11:48 am

they’re from Lowe’s!


85 JenATX September 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm

hey kath, noticed you haven’t been doing much yoga lately, and then i noticed that neither have i! i think i have the yoga blue (too expensive for class, tired of my go-to youtube clips)


86 KathEats September 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Yeah life has been busy! I did yoga last Friday though!


87 Angel7 September 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm

You are becoming Mrs. Handywoman :)

I cannot believe there is a pumpkin shortage, or at least that is what I heard.

And yes, I have heard that you can freeze pumpkin, and it still tastes good!

I love the idea of making maple steamed kale–thank you for that idea! I believe that our daughter will love that!

I love, love, love The Office!!! However, I do not think it will be the same without Steve Carell’s humor! He is SOOOOOOO hysterical! I bet he makes his wife laugh all the time.



88 Heather @ Better With Veggies September 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Wow – a yeast starter, you guys are much more advanced homebrewers than we are! One day we’ll get there too. :)

I stocked up on cans of Pumpkin while grocery shopping yesterday and I think my husband thinks I’m crazy now. “What in the world are you going to do with all this Pumpkin?” I have no idea yet, but it sure is yummy!


89 Nathalie September 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Just tried your BBQ sauce tonight!!! SUPER delicious! I would totally do this with tofu. You can marinate it in the sauce and then bake it in the oven at 375 for about 30 min. Yummy…


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