Weekend Writing Fun

Image Courtesy of http://amazingpics.net/
Let’s see how much writing I can get done today and tomorrow. Working on Winged Shadows 2. Still have to rework the first Winged Shadows, but I’m trying to be good and remain with working on the 3 I’m writing. THEN tackle another after they are done. I’m also hoping that with the publishing of the last Dark Illusions, that I will finally free up at least an hour in the mornings to write during the week Editing OT doesn’t leave me time to write except on the weekends. Maybe I can also get a schedule in place to include working out 3 x a week. Right now it’s mainly when I have the time. I would enjoy doing it consistently.

Book Review – Stephen King – Bag of Bones

As usual, Stephen King delivers the nice creep factor with this book. I was so sucked in that when my older brother opened the garage below me, I might have suffered a bit of a twitch. Possibly. What’s interesting about this book is the way Mike describes feeling a presence in the house, and if anyone has ever been in a house like that, you’d know: that’s a very accurate feeling. It is where I live. You can always feel something around. Only mine isn’t some long dead woman who you have to worry over. Thankfully. I can’t think of any gripes with this. I would’ve preferred this not to be in 1st POV, but you have to write a story as the characters demand, even if sometimes that is not how you want to go, so I understand that, and can’t really think of anything I didn’t like about it. I was enthralled from start to finish, stayed with the story, and couldn’t leave it sitting for too long before I had to grab it and continue once more. Definite recommend for SK fans. It IS a bit longer than normal, but not more so than any other of his books.

Dark Illusions: The Beginning FREE

Amazon has marked Dark Illusions: The Beginning as free. Celebrate here with me a moment. Yay!

So anyhoosles. If you haven’t downloaded the eBook, you can do so now.

The link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007AVHNNO

If you want a format other than the Kindle, you can get that from Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120609

We will have another free download of The Next Chapter next month on Kindle. Keep an eye out for that, if you want the eBook and haven’t downloaded it. Still working on the paperback. I’m really hoping to get it out by next week. The cover is the thing giving me issues.

As soon as the paperback for Dark Illusions: The Next Chapter is finished, I will let everyone know. I am really excited to get that out. I am also going to redo the paperback for The Beginning. When the paperbacks are finished, I plan to let you buy a copy through me, that I will sign for you, no extra expense. Same price you pay in the store, is the same I’d charge you. Well, except for the extra shipping out to you. That’s the expense I’ll pay myself.

Homemade Notebooks from Book Binding Rings

 This has been a huge hit on my Old World Charm – Modern Living site. I hope you get a kick out of it. I’ve continued to make these as I need them. The extra large one I made below I destroyed to use the rings, since I didn’t need the binder anymore. The biggest tip I’d suggest, and that I don’t mention below, is maybe to use a thicker cardboard, or double it up. If you’re like me, you need the durability, but for everyday purposes, the below work great.

The best part of this project is what I mentioned above. If you get sick of it (I become far too bored with things and change them around a lot) you can rip it up, make a new one, or just destroy. Feels nice to destroy sometimes, doesn’t it?
===================================================================
Homemade Notebook 
from book binding rings
Makes: one
Size: Depends on the rings you use. I made a 1 1/2″ using 3 rings, and another 3 1/2″ using two sets of 1 1/2 rings. I’ll explain below. 
Loads of pictures to show each step as well as I can; any questions, post below!
In today’s lesson, we shall learn how to make the below. A HOMEMADE notebook. Notice how next to the original, it doesn’t really look much different. 

The supplies you will need: 
One Mailing Box – you can get a free pack from Post Office, but because I ship so much, and get so much, I end up with these all over. Any box which is just over the size of the rings you’re gonna use, is just fine. The size I have for this (which makes it so much easier) is the box sized at: 11 1/2″ x 2 3/8″ x 13 1/16
Tape, Glue Stick, or both.

Pen to mark your lines

Scissors

Paper Punch.

A good notebook to copy for the template. 
If you don’t have one, you can just google the measurements for whatever size notebook (ie 1 1/2″ rings, equals measurements you’d need for a 1 1/2″ notebook).
And of course, the size of book binding rings YOU want the notebook to be. 
I have 1 1/2″ ones here. 
First, set your notebook on top of the box to determine where to cut and mark the box. Because I used the box above, I found that I only have to turn the box to find that the height was even the same size as the notebook so I really only had one mark, you may have to do more.

 I have the box taped shut except for the top, and it’s inside out too, so I just laid the notebook on the very side of the box, and then had only to make the one marking.

You can see below, where the line is marked. Only really going to be cutting off just over an inch on this particular box. Different box, but still same.

This is the side you’ll be keeping. One of the solid ends of the box, then cutting down the edges of the others. Cutting off where you’d marked the line, then just cutting along the edges so you’re left with this side. The black circle is the side you keep. The red circles and lines show the edges you’re cutting. You will be cutting all those edges, so that the notebook can open and close. 

Do that for the top, bottom, and opposite side where you marked your line. This side is left untouched.

This is how it will look when it’s spread open. You can see what I meant when I said cut along the edges, and only leave that one side. Ignore the mess, lol. 
When you cut everything up, you’re left with these scraps. Don’t get rid of them. You will need them in the next step. This project uses up all that stuff so you have very little you waste.
Opened, you can see how the box has the perfect center zone for where you will place the rings. The best place to place the links is just off to the right-side, but you’re able to use that center zone too. The notebook I used for a template had the 3-rings just off to the side. It makes the notebook sit flat compared to using them in the center. 

Center area is marked by the black, the ring area, just off to the right, is marked with red. 

This is what I mean by placing the rings off-center. Notice the rings are attached to the right-side of the notebook when it’s closed, not the center. That way, when opening and closing the notebook, you’re able to lie the top flap, flat.
Find one of the pieces you cut off the box to use as the base for the rings. It’s easiest to use the one cut from the opposite side of the box. It will be guaranteed as the same size. You won’t need to alter it more than likely. 
Place it in your guide notebook and set it next to the rings. This is a way to avoid headaches, by using the guide for where the rings go. Mark a line next to where the rings sit on the bought notebook, to your cardboard which is centered, and will be centered in your homemade notebook.

You can see by the red circles, that I have it centered. Since my box is the same height as the notebook, I know, that centering it in the bought notebook, it will be centered in my homemade one. The pinky lines show where you’re going to put your line, directly next to the rings, lining them up.

Three straight lines, just about an inch width, centered. Perfect. Good job!
Now cover that area with tape. You don’t have to, but I like the added strength. Like in the old school days, you’d add the little circles over hole punched paper so the paper didn’t tear easier? Same line of thinking. You will notice in my pictures, not all are covered. Forgot to. Just cover each of the three lines if you want to do this step, not only one as you will see I have. I did all after I took the pictures.
Take your whole punch and punch a hole (I ended up doing two until figuring out the right placement) next to that one-inch line on each side. This is where the rings will go. I found that punching it about one inch or one and a half inches wide, is a good estimate, but with that end piece, it was 3/4 in in from the side of the cardboard. Do it for all three lines.
Go ahead and get your rings ready. Below is a picture of the book binding rings I’m using, in case you got lost as to what rings I’m talking about.
Put all the rings in the holes. When first doing it, it can be tricky, but then you learn to easily pop them in. This is how it looks when you’re got all three in. Good, but we can make it better, right? 

Thought so.

Let’s help them to stand up, and strengthen that board. After all, we need them to actually hold up paper. Otherwise they’ll hold paper, but they won’t make very sturdy notebooks for throwing around.
What they will look like from the underside. There’s where the issue lies. It doesn’t sit flat since it’s circular, so we need to get them to. Since we can’t flatten them (technically you probably could, but where’s the fun in that?) we will fix that issue and make a sturdier ring binder thingie. 
This is where all those scraps come in. We will be making a two piece thickness that we tape to the underside of the ring area. We’ll stick with calling it a ring binder thingie. Have to use professional terms in this tutorial.

So grab your ring binder thingie and line up one of the pieces like below. Mark your line and cut it so that it hits just beside the ring, on the underside, and then the end of your main ring binder thingie. Make two pieces of it. 

I purposely am shoving the cardboard to the side so you can see that the bottom edge will hit just next to the rings. You want it even on all sides.
Tape those suckers down and you will see what it looks like below. I have a width of two pieces against the bottom. They hit just at the end of the ring binder thingie and line up against the ring itself. I leaned it down so you could see it better, but when you make the center pieces, those rings will not lean. Depending on how tight you push the cardboard up against the rings that is. (NOTE: Get cardboard as close to the rings as you can so it remains stuff as it’s moved about.)
Here is another view of it, from the top.
Here is how it looks from the side. I’m holding the ring as it will stand: up. So from this view, you can see that when the final ring binder thingie is taped down to the main notebook cardboard, it will lie flat, or almost flat. You can add a third layer to really make it truly lie flat, but then for me, that’s too bulky. You can decide.
Now do the same, but do it for the middle and end pieces. Same as above. Cut two pieces. Make sure they align with the rings, the tighter they are against the rings, the more they will hold up when you’re flopping the notebook around. 

Yes, I am adventuresome and made some upside down, some rightside up. 

You won’t see this when you’re done. 
Another closer view when both are attached on the bottom.

The rings have very little wiggle room. You can add a piece of tape against the rings, to the bottom of the cardboard too, but meh. I’d like to be able to eventually trash the notebook, remove the rings, and then make another. So I don’t want them wiggle around, but I don’t want the rings to be to permanent, either.
And then you’ve got your final ring binder thingamajiggie! Professional terms here. That’s how we roll. 

It’s bee-you-tee-ful. You did a great job so far. 
Very complicated procedure here. Take it and tape it down. As stated above, right against where the notebook folds, and on the right side. Just makes things lie flat so much better.
Another view of it. (putting in center, instead of the side is another way you can do this.)
We have here, our [almost] final product. You can see the glossiness showing how I literally, just taped it down. Gluing it could provide added strength, but this is also a lazy and quick way. This literally took 15 minutes to make. 
This is the placement of two, in case you want to make a larger binder. This one made me a 4″ binder. Two sets of the 1 1/2″ rings I used. I placed one on the right side, like above, then the other was on the left hand side of the center part. 

To do this, all that’s different, was that I added another what … 2″ to the center area, then added another 2″ to the end of the TOP piece I cut from the first box. Also, I added a full-size 4″ piece to the center area to help strengthen the center so it wouldn’t topple. I placed it on the other side of the center, so you can’t see it here. I will make a full tutorial for this one. I’m getting confused writing this, but you can try your hand before then by this picture. I think it makes sense. Maybe I’ll even do a video for the next one. 
Here is how it looks taped down from the side. It doesn’t lie completely and utterly flat using only two pieces of cardboard, but it lies flatter than how it shows in the picture, when you’re done. 
How it looks when you’ve got some paper within. 
Closed up. Same as above.

A different view.

Here is how the larger size looks. You can see the placement I’m referring to, with the rings. One is at the normal place. The other is just off to the left side of the center area. My photography skills in this are superb.

Here is how the larger size looks with two sets of stuff within. I am working on a rewrite, and that’s the old, and the new, which will be combined later. Plus, I needed a spiral bound to work on the newly written, so you can see, it needed extra room. This works great for it. Because I didn’t but the cardboard up against the rings for this one (when I was added them to the bottom of the ring binder thingie like we did above) it’s a little wiggly when I’m moving it around, but otherwise fine.

This actually shows the difference between one ring binder thingie having the underside cardboard tight against the rings, versus not. On the left side, they cardboard isn’t shoved against the rings. On the right side, they are. See how one leans, and the other doesn’t. That’s why it’s better to place the cardboard right up against the rings in the above step.

Another view of the above one.

And finally, cover it with your own paper. 

The finished, and covered, product! I used pretty gold star and white paper for this one. 

You can make this fancier, but I just folded up typing paper to tape to make pockets. 

To give it that clean look for the backside (or interior, whichever), I first covered the entire thing with paper, like any book cover you may make, taping down the pieces. Then took a final piece on the top to lie flat and cover all the extras. Gives it clean and polished look. Using a glue stick, or tape. Could even use that fun colored tape along the sides.

Finished product next to a real notebook. You can see, I covered this one in a plaid color. Looks a little nicer than my gold stars. haha Still have to make pockets. I’ll probably just make inner pockets with colored paper. 

Now, the major different is that with this one, we don’t have that clear plastic covering the front, but it’s real easy. You can use a ziploc bag and cut it to size, then glue the sides down, or use colored tape and ribbons to secure it down. Then you will have that plastic pocket. 

You can even use a clear plastic book cover material to give it a more rugged extra. Or, still, use clear plastic wrap (yes, the kind you use to cover food, and bowls) to make your pocket and wrap it around the entire area, leaving the opening for slipping things in the tops. 

Many options for it. This was just a basic tutorial, but you can alter whatever to fit your needs best. 

If you enjoyed, or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think. 
Share with your friends. 

Homemade Tater Tots and boy are they delish

Credit for the original recipe is found here – http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/03/homemade-tater-tots.html
I will write up how I did it, but the original tells how to freeze it, and the like. Mine will just tell how to make a quick batch which will disappear within no time. And I do mean NO time. 

Homemade Tater Tots
Ingredients:
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut up into 1-inch chunks. About 4-5 large ones.
2 quarts frying oil (whichever you prefer, and use, I did just plain shortening)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
Ground black pepper (recipes calls for fresh, but I used my regular been sittin on the stove forever pepper :p)
Directions:
 
Wash potatoes for about 10 seconds in cold water, then place in wire mesh strainer for 5 minutes to drain.
Get oil to temperature of 350* and then fry small batches of potatoes for approximately 4 minutes each. You want them to just be cooked, and a light golden brown color.
Transfer to a place to drain, and cool for about 10 minutes. Turn oil down to low.
When cooled, pulse in a food processor until the chunks are about 1/4 to 1/8 inch in size. You don’t want them TOO small because they’ll turn to mush. I did mine fairly small, but will stick with 1/4 inch size, or even 1/2 next time. Again, work in small batches. Three is the number the recipe gives, and I found that’s a good one.
Add salt, starch, pepper, sugar, and any other flavorings you want in it. (I used 1 tsp garlic salt, and 1 tsp of seasoning salt.) Toss to combine. Take about a tablespoon or two and place into your hand, forming into cylinders as big as you want the “tots” to end up.
(Optional: Flash freeze at this point if you want to. Which means place on a cookie sheet, place in freezer, then when semi frozen, toss into a ziploc freezer bag, then proceed below whenever you want the batch to cook, if so desired.)
Reheat oil to 350*. Work in small batches (3) once more and then fry for one minute before you touch them to separate, then simply fry until the color you wish, and they’re crispy, or extra crispy. I liked them a darker brown, so they’d be really crispy and delicious myself, but you can stick with golden brown if you wish.
Transfer to place to drain and cool, toss with salt, serve hot. Enjoy!

Easy cake doughnut holes (lots of step-by-step images)

Some of the most delicious doughnut holes on the planet. Not even kidding. Fairly simple to make too. One winter when the heater decided to stop working, my mom was in Texas, brother was long-haul truck driving, and I was on my own, I used a bag of these to pay my brother’s friends for coming out, working all day, and replacing the broken parts for free. They said the doughnut holes didn’t last but an hour after they left here, haha. 

I posted original recipe here – http://oldworldcharm-modernliving.blogspot.com/2011/03/easy-cake-doughnut-holes.html, but this one is going to have step-by-step pictures and my changes.
 
My sexy writing and scribble to quickly get the recipe down on a piece of paper. You can see it came from the Food Network as the original recipe. lol 

Ingredients:
 
3 1/2 cups cake flour (or use all-purpose)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter*
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
 
fat for frying (or not if you prefer baking)
 
*for chocolate doughnut holes, melt 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate along with butter and continue as directed
 
Directions:
 
Sift together the flour, banking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the eggs until foamy, gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until thick and yellow. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat an combine with milk and vanilla extract. Stir the milk mixture into the egg mixture until blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Chill for 30 minutes to make it easier to deal with.
 
Using 2 spoons,  scoop one inch size balls (they puff up BIG time when frying) and drop into oil.
 
Heat 3-inches of vegetable oil or shortening to 375* in an electric fryer or deep saucepan. Fry doughnuts until golden, about 5 minutes each side. To keep oil temp constant, fry only a small batch at a time. Drain on paper towels. 
 
If you’d prefer to bake them instead, then you can skip the fridge part and simply place them (halfway full) into a doughnut pan, muffin pan (make sure to grease!), or any other pan you wish to cook it in. Bake in a 325* oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. Start keeping a close eye on it at 10 minutes and then test with toothpick. When inserted in center and comes out clean, you’ll know they’re done!

Step-by-step pictures and steps simplified!

Take out 2 eggs and your one cup of milk and set out for thirty minutes to come to room temperature. Or forget about it and leave them out for almost an hour like I did. Yes… that’s over a cup. Details. 

Put your 3.5 cups of flour into a bowl.
Add your 3 tsp baking powder
Add your 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cinnamon goes in
This is how I measure out some nutmeg. I like to throw in a “fingertip.” Very professional measure-er I am. 
Mix up your dry ingredients; set aside.
Mix your eggs until foamy. I cheated and brought out my new electric hand mixer.
Add your sugar.
Mix until it thickens and changes color. See how it’s turned a light pale yellow.
My new mixer. 🙂
Add your milk and mix up.
Add wet ingredients to your dry. I’m sure some would do it in parts, I just dump all in.
Mix just until incorporated. To maintain the softness of the doughnut interior, you don’t want to over mix it. Just until you no longer see dry.
Cover with plastic and stick in fridge. Wait at least 30 minutes, or forget about it and not be able to get around to it like I did for a few hours. Either way, it’ll be fine, but 30 minutes will chill it so you can work with it better.
Heat your oil. 
Start your oil at medium.

Now this is how I get the perfect circular ball of dough. I scoop an inch of dough and pull it back and forth from one spoon to another. Scraping down the sides spoon with the dough. That way you end up with a small circular ball. 

And you can see, you end up with a small ball. 
 

About half the size of the teaspoon.

Drop into the hot oil, by pushing it quickly off the spoon. You want to be lower, but it’s hard to get a picture of what I’m doing with it, and do it at the same time. 
Fry your doughnut holes until they’re brown.
Making sure to turn them as they fry.
Nice and golden brown!
This is what happens when you put a tablespoon of dough. That’s a regular teaspoon and the ball of dough is almost bigger than a golf ball! Whoops. Too big.
Inch ball of dough makes a ball the appropriate size–about the same width and size of the teaspoon, which is typical doughnut hole size. Much better.
It’s a good idea to periodically break them open and make sure they’ve cooked all the way through. This is perfect. Like a cake inside.
Even if you get them too dark, they still taste great. This is showing varying colors they will cook. You can see the one in the back which is in half. It was way too big so it didn’t cook through. Simple fix. Break in half, then just drop in to cook center.
Since mine were getting too dark, too quick (which wasn’t letting the interior cook), I lowered the heat. This is showing that yes, you can cook them at a lower heat, and they will still be fine.
Set them aside to cool and drain.
When the doughnuts are cool, you can coat them with cinnamon sugar…
While hot, coat in powdered sugar to give them an icing coating.
Or wait until they cool so that they can be covered in powdered sugar and it doesn’t melt.
You end up with a big HUGE mountain of delicious doughnut holes! They can be left plain as well. They are delicious.
 
If you try the recipe, drop me a comment and let me know how they turn out!

Character Profile – Kat – Dark Illusions

Quote from Kat
You’re welcome to save this image. Right click and “save as.”

Ah, the girl that everyone loves so much. And yet wants to ring her neck, as well.

Kat.

I know you’re dying to know whether that is her full name or not. Well, you’ll have to wait. Unless you cheat and scroll to the bottom, but I know you’ll be good. Correct?

I can tell you that I never made a last name for her. Most of the characters don’t have one. I don’t have much of a reason for it. I never find it important unless someone uses their full name for a purpose, as in the case of Julian. I don’t do that in any of my books. One thing my editor and I go back and forth with. My hatred of those little details that don’t really matter, and hers that some of them do. I compromise sometimes, but that’s one of those things that I wouldn’t.

Who is she?

Kat is a strong-willed individual. She never had it easy growing up and always had to stand up to everyone around her. She got used to being on her own so giving up her independence proves difficult for her. Relationships are tough, and having people who want her to give them her heart, is tougher. Love has been hard for her so to put it simply, she is scared of it.

Then she meets Julian and everything she gave up hoping for, is there in front of her face, yet he denies it over and over again. So she does what she does best. She runs and runs fiercely. Kat always hides a part of her from the entire world, giving them only what they want to see. The one person she can’t do that with is Julian. He sees her as she is. He fights it, but he knows her in ways that only he can. They are both scared of what can exist between them so when Julian says they can’t be together, she not only accepts it and forces herself to face it every single second, but then she erects a wall between them that he has to work to destroy. She wants that though. She wants to know that he is strong enough to handle what she is capable of giving to someone and she refuses to give that to just anyone.

What looks do I have in my mind when I write Kat?

Here are some pictures of celebrities. Girl next door-ish with a certain vibe about her.

(I like to link so that if you don’t want to look, you don’t have to SEE it, and ruin your own ideas in your mind.)

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3 – Hair Color

Even though she gives into those animalistic desires and plays with Sean and the others, she is loyal. Her heart never sways from the man she wants, just her body. She tries to respect his decision about being together, but for her, she wants a connection that is unlike anything in existence and she knows she can have it with Julian so her heart remains his. From the moment they meet, nobody can take her heart from him. Not even her.

A question my editor asked, which I will use here as well.

Does Kat realize what she does to men is part of her innate abilities? That it isn’t a natural feeling men have for her but a pull due to her powers? Or does she just think she is that good at seducing men?

Kat has always found men around her, and that they’ve always held a dangerous sort of attraction for her. Wanting to possess her, being pulled in by her innocent, yet mischievous ways. To put it simply, men like her. She knows that. Always has, but she’s never really been interested in them. In the stories you can see that she also has a naturally high sex drive, but she never acted on it.

When she is Awakened her urges become much harder to suppress, especially when surrounded by all those men who don’t take no very well and are incredibly used to seducing women into doing what they want.

So she does know what she does to the men around her, even the women, but at the same time, when she becomes Awakened something more powerful in her inner essence is released. An uncanny ability that grows from her natural ability to seduce men with very little effort on her part (because of her charm and grace), to something sinister, dangerous. It frightens her as she has never enjoyed too much attention on her at once, but at the same time, it excites her.

I wrote Kat to be on the very edge of a witch/enchantress type of individual. I hint at it with the first book, and when Cyrus watches her with Cameron. Saying, “damn witch that woman.” I wanted people to say wait, is she a witch? Is something within her unnatural? Because though there isn’t . . . there is. Why else would men gravitate toward her? Something in her DNA brings it out in them.

It is her nature. And she is dangerously aware of it. It is part of why she keeps to herself, as well as how much she simply enjoys her own company. It doesn’t seem that way, but you can see it in the little things. She doesn’t like going to party’s, she sits in her own booth at the club, she prefers to hang out in the garden at Julian’s home/castle, over being in the midst of the hubub that goes on within.

She may play, but notice she only plays with the men she knows wants her, and will do anything to get to her. So is it a naive playing she does, or playing when she might know deep down that it’s either play with them, or have them grab her in a dark alley whether she wants it or not? Only she can truly answer that. I don’t even know it, I’m afraid.

One thing I know is that Kat is never to be underestimated. Though she comes across as playful, underneath that lies someone paying a bit more attention than anyone knows. The play comes in to distract from what she is really doing.

Watching.
Listening.
Learning.

Is Kat her full name?

No.

It’s Katarina.

Pronounced: Kat – uh – reena.

Lost files: The job Kat initially had when I first wrote this was as a fledgling writer. When she’s reading her books, I had originally written that as her writing in a journal/book, and even had plans to write out those things she worked on, as a separate blog. I ended up scrapping that because I couldn’t think of anything good to elaborate on it.

Want to ask her a question? Post below and I’ll ask her, then I’ll add it below.

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies

I always love making these cookies around the winter time, to go along with it being Christmas, and Fall, but these taste practically like doughnuts, so they’d be good year-round really. 

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies
Yield: About 5 dozen

Ingredients:
        
         Cookie:
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup cooked pumpkin (or you can substitute canned, but make sure it’s pure pumpkin, or else you’ll have to omit the: pumpkin pie spice–I typically have pumpkin pie filling so it does work with that too)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps pumpkin pie spice, or ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 up chopped walnuts
          Frosting:
          (I typically leave this out and do a dusting of powdered sugar, or nothing.)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon
Walnut pieces, if desired to top (I sometimes use almond slices, or pecans, all depends on what I have on hand.)
 
Directions:
 
Heat oven to 350*
Combine butter, brown sugar, and sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed and add in flour, pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until well mixed.
Mix in walnuts by hand.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.
Cook for 8-10 minutes or until set. They may seem to be not cooked, but these are a really soft cookie. You can check they’re done by lifting one up and looking at the bottom. You want a medium brown color, sort of like caramel. Softer cookies can be light brown on the bottoms, but know they’ll have a really moist texture either way. I like them somewhere in the middle as I like them pretty moist like a cake.
Let cool while you combine all the frosting ingredients except for the walnut pieces (or almonds, etc., whatever you’ll top them with). Beat at low speed until smooth. Frost the cooled cookies however you wish, then garnish with the walnuts, if so desired.
Enjoy! Let me know, in the comments, what you think of them, if you try them out!