Praline Pumpkin Torte

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in fall, featured, Holidays, watercolor | 0 comments

praline pumpkin Keetha watercolor

Every year I look forward to this dessert.

I like pecan pie and sweet potato pie, too, but this cake with its sweet crunch of praline pecans and whipped cream and soft cake layers. Ahhhh.


3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter

3 tablespoons whipping cream

3/4 cup chopped pecans


4 eggs

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin or 2 cups fresh cooked pumpkin if you happen to have that around

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, which I never have so I use a combination of cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt


1 3/4 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Additional chopped pecans for garnish and whatnot

Let’s make it:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9-inch cake pans. Or, if you want two smaller desserts, grease four six-inch cake pans. (The photo at the bottom of the post is of a torte with two six-inch layers. I made it for Thanksgiving and froze the other one for us to have at Christmas.)

I line cake pans with parchment paper because it makes clean up so much easier.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, and cream. Cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into your prepared cake pans. Sprinkle with pecans and let cool.

praline pumpkin ingredients Keetha

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and oil. Add the pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; add to the pumpkin mixture and beat just until blended. Spoon the batter into the cake pans, right on top of the pecans and brown sugar mixture.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

(Along in here, I put the mixing bowl and wire whip into the freezer for a bit. It makes whipping the cream go even better if the bowl and whisk are cold.)

Cool cakes for 5 minutes in pans. Turn out onto a wire rack and let them cool completely.

Place one cake layer, praline side up (I call it the yummy side up), on a serving plate. In a mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Spread about one-third of the whipped cream over cake. Top with second cake layer and spread with one-third of whipped cream, and repeat with the third layer. I like to finish it off with a dusting of cinnamon and some chopped pecans.

Store in the refrigerator or freeze for a week or so. Thaw in the fridge before serving.

Praline Pumpkin Keetha

I don’t know where we found this recipe, but it says it serves 12 to 14. I think that’s 12 to 14 skinny people who probably prefer a fresh pear for dessert because they’re so full from the kale salad they had instead of turkey and dressing.

Scenes from Thanksgiving a few years ago. It includes one of my all-time photographs of anything, ever.


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October Traveler’s Notebook

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in fall, featured, notebooks & calendars | 0 comments

I love fall. October is my favorite.

When I got a sweet little plain calendar, well, it just called out to be embellished.

Keetha October travelers


I got the monthly planner from Yellow House Paper.

Keetha fall planner


I pulled a few (just a few) fall-type odds and ends.

Keetha fall planner goodies



Keetha autumn traveler's notebook

Keetha autumn traveler's


Keetha October front page

I tricked out the back cover, too. Fall comes just once a year, after all!

Keetha Oct notebook raven


Keetha notebook

I made that other bad boy, my “Yay Ideas” notebook, this summer before we left going to the beach. I had just gotten Get It Done by Sam Bennett and knew I’d have lots of ideas to write down.

I used scrapbook paper (from My Mind’s Eye) and plain printer paper.

I have a separate notebook for ideas about blog posts and web site updates and the like.

Keetha traveler's notebk


All of which fit in my traveler’s notebook cover that is so pretty.

Keetha traveler's notebook cover

I just love it. I got it from Perfect Papier. The turquoise color is just gorgeous. I chose the green elastic. Everything about it makes me happy.

Along with the scrumptious fall-flavored notebook within.

Just think! I get to make one for November, too!

(On the monthly planner cover: The scalloped scrapbook paper at the top of the cover is from the Steampunk Spells collection by Graphic 45. The leaf stamp is by Tim Holtz.)




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It’s here! It’s here! {Autumn Edition}

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in fall, featured, Holidays, watercolor | 2 comments

fall watercolor KeethaFall feels like freedom to me, the way summer probably feels to most people.

Summer feels expectant for me because I’m already looking ahead to autumn.

Plus the heat makes me cranky so I stay indoors as much as I can. I don’t enjoy going to the beach or to the lake or anywhere, really, during the summer. (Except, of course, to the bookstore.)

fall watercolor pattern KeethaWhat I do enjoy is the crisp snap of a fall breeze and the splash of gorgeous colors. I love the smell of woodsmoke and hearing the high school marching band practice.

Autumn means coming out of my self-imposed summer hibernation to enjoy the outside world.

Each year when the leaves begin turning and the temperatures fall, it feels like I’m turning the page in a book of fairy tales, one I know by heart, and yet, each time, holding my breath, wondering if this time the magic will be gone.

And then there it is – familiar and comforting, immediately majestic and newly awe-inspiring every single year: Autumn.


all the fall words Keetha


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It’s back to school time here, which kicks off my favorite time of year.

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in fall, featured, watercolor | 0 comments


back to school Keetha

It’s like a marvelous stretch of gorgeous dominos, each one more sparkly than the one before.

It goes like this:

New school supplies


Cooler weather


Sweaters and jackets

— are you sensing Muppet arms? –

turning leaves

falling leaves

scent of fall

popcorn balls

soups and stews



All the magic that comes with Christmas

If only I could explain how giddy I am just from making this list. I’m smiling so hard right now.



Back to school kicks off the season. It’s my own new year. It feels like such a beginning.

pencils watercolor Keetha


Just the idea of fall makes my pulse quicken – the excitement, the possibilities. School-aged kids and college kids get to buy new pens and notebooks and crayons – it’s part of the rite of the season. We can, too!

watercolor pennant Keetha

We fully grown grownups can get our own it’s-a-new-start notebook, crisp and clean and smelling that wonderful new-notebook smell, and packages of pens and pencils.

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Every day

Posted by on Nov 27, 2014 in fall, Holidays | 0 comments

1920x1080 thankful wallpaper

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Thursday’s coming

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in fall, Holidays, Toolbox Tuesday | 0 comments

Toolbox 11-25-14


That means preparing and looking forward while enjoying. I’m rubbing my hands together because I get to bake a pie. My brother told me about an Alton Brown pie crust method he saw on an episode of Good Eats. I may give it a try.

I get to use the set of miniature cookie cutters to make leaves for the edges of the pie pastry. Oh, heck, yeah.


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