Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just some cards...Beautiful Day & Smiles

Tonight I felt inspired to break out some card making supplies and whip up a few birthday and thank you cards.

Recently I had gotten some new punches too that I knew I wanted to incorporate onto the cards. I started with choosing the colors, and coordinating the paper with the stamp pads. I went with a celery, plum and pink; I just love that combination. For the stamp sets I went with some florals to go with the "girly" colors, Beautiful Day and Smiles.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Carmel Apple Muffins

I had plenty of apples left from the apple picking we had done. I really wanted to make some sort of muffins with the apples but I couldn't find a recipe that appealed to me until I visited Chocoholic Anonymous to look at another recipe when this one caught my eye.

I made the batch and the house smelled abosolutely delicious. The recipe makes 24 muffins, more than this family could possibley eat which is okay for me because I just love to share my baked goods with my co-workers. They were a real hit for me and for them, this recipe is a keeper.

*Pecan Streusel Topping*
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/3 cup flour
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups diced apple
2 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup caramel topping
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup granulated sugar (divided use)
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 2 standard muffin tins (12 cups each) or line with paper muffin cups.

Place all of the ingredients for the pecan streusel topping in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers mix the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a mixture resembling coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix together the diced apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice until the apples are well coated. Set aside.

In a medium bowl mix together the sour cream and baking soda, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together 1/2 cup sugar and the butter.

Beat in egg yolks two at a time, mixing completely after each addition.

Stir milk and caramel into the sour cream mixture.

Set your mixer on low and alternate adding flour and caramel mixtures. Mix just until combined; do not over mix.

In another bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue beating while gradually adding the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff and glossy.

Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Fold in the remainder of the egg whites until just barely combined (some white may show in the batter).

Gently fold in the apple and spice mixture.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins filling about 2/3 full.

Sprinkle about 1 tbsp of streusel topping over the batter in each cup.

Place the pans in the heated oven for 16-18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Store in a sealed container.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Creative Cuts Crop

This whole crop thing began during a lunch at Applebees with Donna. What was just an idea quickly became reality. The first one was on National Scrapbooking Day back in May, and we just had our second one yesterday. Yesterday we just about doubled in size from the first one where we had 12 attendees, this time we had 22 woman who love to craft all in one room. Good friends and lots of laugh filled the room. I had good intentions of taking photos to share, but between doing my own scrappin', laughing and making sure there was plenty of food and drink the camera sadly never left my purse.

I want to thank the vendors who came out and supported our crop, Koren from RJ Creations, Laurie from Stampin' Up, and I had some Close To My Heart. They shared ideas and had supplies on hand for anyone who may have forgotten something at home. The make & take's they did were really cool too. Koren did a project using flocking, and Laurie stamped up a cute thank you card.

I did take some photos of the projects I worked on to share with you, as you can see them scattered around this post.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Peach Crisp

Well after picking all of that fruit I needed to prepare some fruit desserts. The peaches were ripe right off of the tree so I figured that was what I should start with. I really love cobbler made with oatmeal and nuts. Crunchy crumbs with tender sweet fruit yummy.

The recipe comes from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.

Peach Crisp

3 pounds peaches
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 to 2/3 cup sugar
1 tea lemon juice
1/4 tea almond extract

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tea cinnamon
1/8 tea nutmeg
1/8 tea salt
6 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all fruit ingredients in a large bowl and pour into a 8X8 baking pan. Cover with foil and bake until fruit is hot and has released its juices, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse almonds, oats, flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a food processor until nuts are chopped. Drizzle with the melted butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Remove fruit from oven and uncover. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake the crisp until the topping is a deep golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let the crisp cool for 10 minutes before serving.

It can be served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I actually just poured a small amount of heavy cream over the top for some extra creaminess.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sewing Patterns for Dummies : Simplicity Patterns : Child and Misses Aprons

Sewing Patterns for Dummies : Simplicity Patterns : Child and Misses Aprons

Well I finally got started today. Took the fabric out of the bag and tackled the pattern. I can cut on the line so this part was easy, it is the actual sewing machine part I am worried about. Here are the pieces I had to cut and isn't this fabric ADORABLE?

I will keep you posted on how the sewing machine goes.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Bounty

After looking for something to do today I decided on visiting the DuBois Farm for their Harvest Festival. Never been there and it looked real nice online. We picked up our friends and were off on our short journey. DuBois Farms is just about 45 minutes, just north of Newburgh.

Once we arrived there was a long dirt driveway leading up to the parking lot, both sides of the lot was fruit trees. We hopped onto the hay wagon and took a short ride up to the main barn where it appeared alot of the days activities were going to take place. Donut eating contests, bubble blowing contests, face painting, burgers and hot dogs being grilled. Busy but not crowded. There was a small information booth set up for you to get maps and bags to pick fruit, we started off with one bag each but after the picking started we realized we were going to need more bags.

They had quite a variety of fruit. Apples, more varieties than you could imagine, Plums, Peaches, Nectarines. After we went through the corn maze the serious picking began, all the while I was wondering what was I going to make first with my pickins'. We spent a few hours there taking full advantage of the fun activities they had set up. I would recommend a trip to DuBois to anyone!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Attempt: Sewing

Well today was back to school and me and my good friend Beth figured we would make the most of our day, breakfast and shopping. As we strolled around Middletown hitting some of the stores I asked Beth if she minded going into Joanne's Fabric, and of course she said she didn't mind. I knew I wanted to get a pattern for an easy apron. I always wanted an apron, I don't know why. Maybe it will complete my Domestic Diva persona?

I wasn't in the store 15 seconds when I spotted a fabric that I LOVED! OWLS! Who doesn't love an owl? I browsed a little more but kept coming back to the OWLS!

Now for the pattern, I didn't know where to begin. Thank God I was with Beth. There are books and books of patterns, then huge cabinets in the store with all of the patterns. I choose a simple apron pattern that is allegedly EASY. We shall see, only time will tell..