Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Years

Happy New Years Everyone! Christmas was a whirlwind with family, friends and lots and lots of food. Every year with the hustle and bustle of parties, presents, and parcel post I wonder if I'll get it all done. This year especially... because I got an early Christmas present and didn't know if I could mange it all.  (more on that later!) Luckily everything came together with alot of help from my hubby!!

The only thing missing from my recap was the Christmas Quilt I made for my Mom and Dad. I was literally finishing the binding Christmas morning before they came over to see the kid's presents. I finished it by the skin of my teeth, but they loved it and I couldn't have been more happy with the results. Picture of the quilt to come.

Here is just a recap of our Christmas week and I hope you have a fantastic 2012!

No presents under the tree until Christmas morning.
BIL Rob and hubby!

New shiny plastic presents
Traditional aebleskiver Christmas breakfast: recipe here
Mom's world famous chocolates ~ or at least famous in these parts.

Christmas Break wouldn't be complete without one of these famous ice cream cones from JCW's.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Apple Upside Down Cake ~ Mid Week Munchies

I knew when I put my Mom in charge of the desserts at the Quilt Retreat last month they would be a smashing success and this cake from King Arthur Flour didn't disappoint. It was a weekend favorite. Enjoy.

Recipe and Picture from King Arthur Flour

2 medium apples

4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons boiled cider or thawed apple juice concentrate
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup light corn syrup

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons boiled cider or thawed apple juice concentrate
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan at least 2" deep. The success of this cake hinges on the right kind of pan. Line the bottom with parchment, and grease the parchment.

2) Slice the top, including the stem, off one of the apples and set it aside before peeling and slicing the rest of the apples into 1/4" thick wedges.  Place the apple top, stem side down, in the middle of the pan, and overlap the rest of the apple wedges in a ring around it.

3) Prepare the topping by heating the butter, sugar, boiled cider, cinnamon, and corn syrup together over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

4) Pour 1/2 cup of the syrup mixture into the prepared pan, and set the rest aside.

5) To make the cake: Beat the oil, brown sugar, boiled cider, eggs, spices, and salt together for 2 minutes at medium speed

6) Mix the flour with the baking soda, and stir it into the batter.  Add the chopped apple and nuts, and mix until just blended.

7) Drop scoops of the batter atop the apples in the pan, gently spreading to cover.

8) Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean.

9) Remove the cake from the oven, and run a thin spatula around the edge to loosen. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a serving plate, bottom side up. Scrape out any sauce that remains in the pan, and spread it over the cake.

10) Reheat the reserved topping. If butter starts to separate as you reheat, add water by the teaspoon and stir until the butter rejoins the rest of the sauce.  Pour the sauce over the cake. Serve cake warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Handmade Holiday Swap

Before Turkey Day I signed up to be apart of Susan and Kersey's "Holiday Gift Swap"  I thought it was a great idea and I super way to get some exception handmade gifts crossed off my list. I wasn't sure what I wanted to make but I knew it would involve fabric, quilting and something use-able. The day before I was suppose to send my "gifts" in the mail... I finally settle on an idea: drink coasters and as quick as I had decided I changed my mind again: table runner.

I was put into a group with 6 other artists and just going off our #'s there was at least 178 participates. Pretty cool! I was #8 so I don't know if I signed up really early or they went alphabetically. I know I am late sending my gifts {Dec. 1st} was the deadline, but luckily I have only received one "gift" {thanks Joy} so maybe because of the holidays were all a little late, right?

These beauties are being delivered to the post office today when Mr. H wakes up from his nap.
 I was inspired to make the Trees after Maggie's  table runner from the Retreat. The trees and borders came together really fast, but the binding was a beast. I hate doing bindings. I loved the hand stitching embellishment of the bakers twine. I think it gives a "Christmasy" feel without over dueing it.
 I had enough fabric to make 4 identical runners and 1 I had to use different fabric. I went a little out of my comfort zone and tried to design a runner that was a little more sophisticated and not so cutesy Christmas. I hope the ladies really like them.

Linking up:

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