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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The kids didn't dress up until tonight so here you go:)

Here's Max. He had to walk WAY ahead of Alivia because he scared her:(

And, Savanah and Claire put my sewing skills to the test. Actually they were easier to make than getting the blue out of her hair.

Hope you all had a WONDERFUL Halloween and bags full of candy!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Carrot Cupcakes

I made some super simple carrot cupcakes and just had to share. I didn't create it, I found it on the internet and I usually give credit where credit is due...BUT I was making 250 cupcakes at the time and didn't copy the site or take any photos, sorry.

But have no fear, it's simple enough without photos. I've taught you well, you got this;)

What you'll need:

Carrot Cake Mix~I think mine was Duncan Hines
3 Eggs
1/4 C Milk
1/2 C Oil
8 oz can crushed Pineapple
1/2 C Raisins
1/2 C chopped Walnuts ~ I left those out because I wasn't sure who was eating them and didn't want to make someone sick

Mix all of the above with a hand mixer. Fill cupcake liners a little over 1/2 full. Bake for recommended time..which I believe is about 15 minutes in my stove. Check the box, it will steer you in the right direction. Cool.

Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 brick Cream Cheese softened
1 stick softened Butter
Bag of Powdered Sugar
1-2 t Vanilla
Couple Tablespoons of Milk.

Mix up the cream cheese and butter with your mixer. Add 3/4 bag powdered sugar, vanilla and couple tablespoons of milk. If it's too thick, add more milk a tablespoon at a time. If it's too runny, add more powdered sugar. It's all about what "YOU" like so make the frosting any consistency you like.

Here is a photo of my work...the carrot ones are in the middle. If any of you want to take on the task of 250 cupcakes, it will take you 6 hours from batter to boxes. I had 4 cupcake pans so my oven was never empty even though I could only cook 2 pans at a time. I would also buy a larger decorating bag if I did this again because I think that would save me about an hour.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Tina and Kevin are celebrating their anniversary today and this is one of my favorite photos from the day.
Max, Dylan, Cody and Savanah...aren't they darling.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Cupcakes

Claire asked if I was making these again. I think I might do something different but thought I'd share these with you.

Cake Mix made according to directions for cupcakes
24 Large Marshmallows
1 Bag of Green Chocolate Melts from Michael's
48 Green Tic Tacs
Can of Chocolate Frosting

Melt your chocolate melts in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, stir and stir some more. Typically it will look like it's going to be lumpy but if you keep stirring the melts will in fact melt. If they are still chunky, try another 15 seconds. The thing with chocolate melts is you don't want to over cook, or it will dry up and you won't be able to dip. The "safest" way to melt the chocolate melts in a double boiler. I am not a fan of that process because it takes a LOT longer. But if you want to be "safe", try that route.

So, you've got your chocolate melted. I used a wooden skewer and poked the marshmallow and then dipped it like fondue and tap, tap, tap the stick against the side of the pan to get the extra choocolate off. Then gently pushed the marshmallow off onto wax paper, push from the top because you'll be covering that up with frosting. Sorry about not having photos of that process but my trusty assistant wasn't feeling well. Immediately push a tic tac into each side of the head and allow to cool. If you want to use a spoon, you can do that instead. Decorate the face of Frank.

When the heads are dry, frost your cupcakes. Push a Frank head into each cupcake and pipe some hair on. I used a leaf tip, but you can use any tip you want.

In hind sight, I would put them so they are standing up to dry so Frank doesn't get a flat back of his head.
Make the scary face!

Pipe on the hair...All done and ready for fun!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel was something I've never made or really thought about until a friend told me it was his favorite apple dessert. I looked on the internet and all the recipes were pretty similar but I chose Paula Dean's version because I like the way she bakes. Easy, yummy, comfort food and this turned out exactly like that. I only changed a tiny bit and I actually doubled it so I could bring some to work. If you're nervous, Paula has a video showing you how easy it is on the above link as well.

What you'll need:

1/4 C Apple Juice
1/2 C Golden Raisins~these can be omitted
2 -3 C Apples, peeled, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/2 Lemon zested
1 t Cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C crushed Animal Crackers ~ she called for shortbread and I didn't have any. I bet graham crackers would work too
1/4 C Pecans chopped
2 T Butter, cut into pieces
5 sheets phyllo dough from 1 pound package of frozen dough thawed
3 T Butter, melted, for brushing phyllo sheets, plus more if needed

1 C Powdered Sugar
1 T Milk
1 t Vanilla

If it seems to thick, add a tiny bit more milk until you get the consistency you are looking for...which is like thick milk.

For the Strudel:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, pour the apple juice over the raisins and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes and drain excess liquid.

Combine the raisins, apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, cookie crumbs, pecans, and butter in a large bowl.

Remove the phyllo dough from the box, unfold, and cover with a damp towel. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with the remaining sheets, brushing each with melted butter, stacking when done, being sure to keep the unbuttered phyllo covered.

Place the apple mixture on the nearest third of the phyllo stack, being sure to leave a 2-inch border. Gently lift the bottom edge of the phyllo stack to cover the filling and fold the side edges over. Continue to roll the stack away from you until the filling is completely sealed in and the seam is on the bottom. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Pour over the glaze and sprinkle with cinnamon

Apples good to go

Slice the apples thin

Zest your lemon

All the dry

Chop your pecans

2 handfuls

All rolled out

Chop the butter

Phyllo're going to brush the dough with melted butter, lay another piece of phyllo dough and repeat. I kind of pressed the dough together after each addition.

Lay out your filling

Fold edges in


Rolled and ready for a pan..lift gently with two pancake turners

Cut some slits

My filling must have been too wet so they leaked a bit while cooking. I switched pans to a dry one when it came out so the studel didn't get mushy.

Drizzle with glaze

Share with your friends

Friday, October 21, 2011

Apple Pike

Are you tired of apples yet?? This is the last recipe I made. Someone at work gave me this when she heard about my abundance of apples. I added the cinnamon and nutmeg because I thought it sounded like it needed a little something more but maybe that's because I don't think I've made an apple recipe that didn't include cinnamon and I wanted to keep it consistent;).

I also had to increase the cook time from 15 to 30 minutes but that might have just been my oven?? So, give it a check at 15 minutes and see if yours is done and go from there.

I thought it was very similar to an apple bread pudding. I think I would have liked it better warm with ice cream or whipped cream but it was good without it and super easy.

What you'll need:

1 C Flour
3/4 C Sugar
3 Eggs, beaten
1 t Vanilla
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Nutmeg
4 C Apples peeled and chopped

Beat the eggs until well blended, then add Vanilla, Flour, Sugar, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Mix and then fold in the apples. Pour into a greased 9 inch pie plate. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated 400 degree oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


When Claire had her hair like this, Papa would call them her "horns". Oh, how I miss those.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

This was my favorite thing that I made during Apple Fest 2011 and it was a hit at work.

What you'll need:

2 Eggs
1/4 C Butter
1 C Apple Butter
1 C Sour Cream ~ light
2 t Vanilla
1/2 C Sugar
2 C Flour
1/2 t Salt
1 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Nutmeg
1 C Apples chopped small
1/2 C Caramel Bits ~ they are little caramel balls made by Kraft...if you can't find them, it will be good without.

Mix all the ingredients together and put into a sprayed bundt pan. Cook for about 40 minutes at 350 until tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and invert onto a plate. Drizzle Apple Butter Frosting and serve.

Apple Butter Frosting
1/4 C apple butter
1/4 C butter
3/4 C brown sugar
2 T milk
2 t cinnamon
2 C sifted powdered sugar

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the apple butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium low. Continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and the cinnamon and bring to a boil, still stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until thick enough to spread.

Chopped Apples

Dough all mixed up, add chopped apples

Spread in the pan

out of the oven


Monday, October 17, 2011

Apple Crisp

Told ya, it's gonna be an all APPLE week and Apple Crisp is probably my favorite apple dessert. It totally reminds me of fall. I made this recipe twice and it was a hit both times. I did this recipe plus half to make a 13x9 those measurements are after ingredients in bold but don't worry if you aren't exact..this recipe has wiggle room.

Apple Crisp
4 C peeled and chopped Apples (6 C)
1/2 C Sugar (3/4 C)
1/2 C Brown Sugar plus about 3-4 T (3/4 C plus 5 T)
1 t Cinnamon (2 t)
1/2 C Flour (3/4 C)
1/2 C Oats (3/4 C)
1/3 C soft Butter (1/2 C)
3/4 t Cinnamon (1 1/4 t)
3/4 t Nutmeg (1 1/2 t)

Toss apples, sugar and 1 t cinnamon and put in 8x8 pan that has been sprayed with Cooking Spray. Sprinkle 3-4 T of Brown sugar on top. Mix together the other ingredients and dump on top of apples. Bake about 40 minutes at 375 or until top is golden and bubbly. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
Here's what you need. It's about 6-7 lunchbox sized apples to make 4 Cups or 4 large ones.
You can slice or chop apples, I just personally like chopped. Just make sure you cut them equally so they cook the same. If you don't, they will cook inconsistent and some will be squishy and some crunchy. If you want to avoid all the hassle, use a can of pie filling, just adjust cooking time to about 25 minutes;)
Spread chopped apples evenly in the pan.
Make sure your dry ingredients are mixed evenly with the butter.
Ready for the oven.
I'll confess and tell you it hasn't been my week and I forgot this in the oven for an extra 10 minutes. It still tasted fine, it was just a bit darker than usual. I can't eat ice cream but if I could, it would be scooped right next to this.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Apple Cupcakes

These were so easy that everyone will think you slaved in the kitchen. You'll be the only one that knows it all started with a box mix and some super yummy frosting.

What you'll need:

Box of Spice Cake Mix ~ I used Duncan Hines
3/4 C Apple Butter

Make cake mix according to box directions, except use milk instead of water. Add Apple Butter. Bake per box recommends.

Frost with Apple Butter Frosting

What you'll need:

1/4 C apple butter
1/4 C butter
3/4 C brown sugar
2 T milk
2 t cinnamon
2 C sifted powdered sugar

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the apple butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium low. Continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and the cinnamon and bring to a boil, still stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until thick enough to spread.

Melt your butter


Easiest way to frost..dip and flip

May I have another one please?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple Butter Frosting

I found this recipe for Apple Butter Frosting And, it was really yummy. I added one more cup of powdered sugar because than it was thick enough to dunk my cupcakes in. I'll tell you how to make the cupcakes next.

What you'll need:

1/4 C apple butter
1/4 C butter
3/4 C brown sugar
2 T milk
2 t cinnamon
2 C sifted powdered sugar

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the apple butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium low. Continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and the cinnamon and bring to a boil, still stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until thick enough to spread.

Melt your butter


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Zombie Pub Crawl

I did something fun this past weekend. We dressed up as Zombies and went pub crawling with about 1000 other zombies. Ok, truth be told, we only crawled to a couple of places but it was a lot of fun.

Ivy was my favorite...

Krit and seaweed covered dude

Chan and her crew

Tina and her BFF Ivy

Me, Justen, Alanna and Tim

Gangs all here

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple Butter

Craig brought me a HUGE bag of apples from his apple tree. Not the kind that you can grab out of the bag and eat. They are ugly and strange shapes but they taste great. So, this week is dedicated to all the apple things I made.

Up first is Apple Butter. I'm not exactly sure why they call it "butter" because it doesn't contain any but it's pretty tasty. Maybe it's because you can put it on toast and you don't need any butter?? Is it just me or do you want to say Budda instead of Butter?? Sorry, lost my train of thought there for a second.

At any rate, it made the house smell lovely. I think everyone should make a batch just so you can smell it cooking.

I found the recipe here. But I didn't weigh my apples like she did because my scale needs a battery. That is probably a good thing since all these apple goodies aren't low in calories and I don't need to see the numbers the scale would produce.

Anyway, let's get this party started.

What you'll need:

5 1/2 lbs of apples peeled and chopped
3 C Sugar
1/4 Brown Sugar
3 t Cinnamon
2 t All Spice
1 t Ground Cloves
1/4 t Salt

Peel and chop you apples. I also ran them through the food processor a bit because she recommended it. Not sure it was completely necessary? Toss all the ingredients together and put in the crockpot on low. Cook 9-11 hours. Uncover, whisk a bit to break the apples up and cook another hour on low. It's ready to go.

Didn't have a scale so I filled up this colander

Top view

Chop them up a bit more

Throw your other stuff in the crockpot

Give it a good toss, cover, turn on low and come back in 10-12 hours.

Whisk it to get all the chunks worked out

Done...Now let's go make something YUMMY or you can be like Dylan and make a PB and Apple budda sandwich:)