Caramel Apple Cake

9.27.2010

Caramel Apple Cake

My first recipe putting my apples to work is this yummy cake that I found in my Taste of Home Baking Book.  I love caramel apples so I thought why not try out the cake version!  It turned out perfectly and I finally got to use the bundt pan that I got from the bakery that I used to work at.  I was a wee bit stressed that I wasn't going to get my cake out from the pan perfectly but alas, with some patience and perseverance I was able to get it out just fine.  It was the perfect little surprise for Ethan this evening as it's our anniversary and I wanted to do a little something special.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups chopped peeled apples
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (Topping: 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup milk, 1 cup packed brown sugar and a pinch of salt)

Directions

  • In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy; gradually add sugar. Blend in oil and vanilla. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; add to egg mixture. Stir in apples and pecans. Pour into a greased 10-in. tube pan; bake at 350° for 1-1/4 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
  • In a small saucepan, combine topping ingredients. Bring to a boil; boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly pour over warm cake (some topping will run down onto the serving plate.)

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A Day Trip to Bayfield, Wisconsin

9.26.2010

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One of my favorite things in the entire world to do in the fall is to go to an apple orchard and pick apples.  I love it so much.  It's one of the things that Ethan and I did every fall when we were dating.  It's such a simple thing but what a beautiful way to spend a day.

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Yesterday we drove up to Bayfield, Wisconsin and checked out Sunset Valley Orchard for the first time and we fell in love.  It was 25 acres of apple trees, pumpkins and some of the most beautiful out-buildings and barns that I've seen. 

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It was the first time that we had taken Zoey to an orchard since she was about 2 years old and she loved everything about it.

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Perhaps the neatest thing was when the older gentleman that owned the orchard got really serious and knelt down to tell Zoey the "rules" of picking really great apples.  I could tell Zoey was a bit nervous and then he said that it was really, really, really important that when picking apples you ensure that you are picking good apples and that the only way to do that was to pick one from a tree, shine it on your jacket and than take a bite.  :)  And she did.  Quite a few times actually!

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We ended up picking some good ol' Macintosh apples (Zoey's favorite) and some Honey Gold's.  I will be looking up some recipes soon I am sure on how to use them up!

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The weather as you can see was absolutely perfect for this adventure.  The sun was shining and it was cool enough for a light coat but there wasn't a need for mittens.

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We even got to pick out a pumpkin as well which Zoey was really hoping for.

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I got a ton of great photos, these are just a few of my favorites.

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Here is the man that owns the orchard.  He was a bit smitten with Zoey I believe and watched us walk to our car when leaving.  I think he was touched by how excited Zoey truly was to be there.  He was a joy to get to talk with for the brief time that we were able to.  It's a family run orchard...we met his wife, his children and his grandchildren.  Some of them were picking apples, some were weeding the pumpkin patches, some were weighing apples and the little kids were running around screaming and laughing in the fields.  It was beautiful.

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After picking apples we headed into town to catch the ferry to Madeline Island.

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Zoey was pretty excited...here she is waiting to board the ferry.

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And here she is on the ferry!  She loved it!

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Once on Madeline Island we got some hot cocoa and a cinnamon roll to warm up and than walked the Island a bit.  The highlight for Zoey was the ferry ride for sure.

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On the way home we stopped for dinner in Ashland, Wisconsin at the South Shore Brew Pub where I had the wild mushroom lasagna, Ethan had the black bean burger and sweet potato fries and Zoey had a grilled cheese sandwich with a side of fruit.  Afterwords we stopped for a some Blizzard Ice Cream treats at Dairy Queen...where I got a pumpkin pie Blizzard.  A sure sign that fall is indeed here!  Yum!

It was the perfect fall day spent with my family.  Thankful for days like these.

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Petaloo Layout : First Day of School

9.22.2010

It's been awhile since I've shared any of my Petaloo projects and thought it might be good to remedy that now that I am finally starting to adjust to all of our new school year schedules.  :)  Here is a layout that I just finished up recently using photos of Zoey taken on her first day of First Grade. I used the beautiful Velvet Roses in cream on this layout and swapped out the beaded flower centers (they are beautiful but were just a bit too classy for this themed page) and used buttons from Creative Imaginations' Creative Cafe collection instead.  I love the look!

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I love that these flowers come three in a pack and that they are different sizes...they come in so many colors too!  I also am loving that these flowers are fabric not paper.  I see some headband making in my very near future and know a little girl who will be thrilled I am sure with the outcome!


First Day of School


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Cards Featuring Hero Arts + Luminarte Paints

9.21.2010

They've been shared on the Hero Arts blog already and I wanted to be sure to share them here as well. Last week was a fun week for Creative Imaginations and Hero Arts since we teamed up and featured projects together using a mix of Luminarte and Hero stamps and the result was pretty amazing!

Here are the cards that I created for the feature:

Sending Warm Wishes Card

Hero Materials:
CH216 Sunshine Mixed Accents
CG208 Trees Of The Season
CL272 ClearDesign: All Occasion Messages
AF101 Memories Ink Pad - Black

Additional Materials:
From Creative Imaginations:

* Pearlesque Oyster Petite Twinkling H2O Shimmering Paint
* Wildflowers Wild Plum Twinkling H2O Shimmering Paint

Other: Ribbon

Frightful & Delightful Card

Hero Materials:
CG234 Large Web
CL272 ClearDesign: All Occasion Messages
CL468 Frightful
AF101 Memories Ink Pad - Black
VC250 VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad

Additional Materials:
From Creative Imaginations:

* Ginger Peach Petite Twinkling H20 Shimmering Watercolor
* Sunflower Petite Twinkling H2O Shimmering Watercolor
* Creative Cafe Buttons

Other: Baker's twine, ribbon, silver embossing powder

Sometimes it's fun to change things up a bit and work on a smaller scale and create some cards.  It was fun getting to use some of the new Fall and Halloween themed stamps by Hero Arts as well.  

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Headband, Ponytail Holder and Barrette Container

9.20.2010

I saw a version of this project this morning on the Crate Paper blog by Michelle Lanning and had to make one for myself! Zoey has a million and one headbands, ponytail holders and barrettes so this will be a great way to corral them all and in a cute way nonetheless! I created mine so that I could use the inside for storage as well.

Hair Stuff Container

All you need to create this for your own little girlie girl is a large (empty) Oatmeal container with a lid, some scrapbook paper, embellishments (I kept mine minimal for function) and some strong, permanant adhesive. Cover container and embellish and put to use!

A super easy and fun project!


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Pony Rides, Golf and Some Artistic Princesses...

9.18.2010

What an exciting (and full) day was had here!

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The weather was perfect and we had a play date planned with one of Zoey's friends so we headed to Holiday Acres to ride some ponies.  Zoey got to ride Gus...

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and Ruby got to ride Bertsie.

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They had fun petting the ponies and feeding them hay in addition to getting to ride them.

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Then, it was off to play some miniature golf with some PINK golf balls nonetheless!

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The girls really had fun playing this and of course we bent the rules a bit for them.

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I will say this though...when the holes with water started showing up it really got interesting!  It is safe to say that fishing the golf balls out of the water was the absolute highlight of playing miniature golf.  There were almost some squabbles about whose turn it was to fish out the golf ball with the net!  :)

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Afterwords it was time to retire in some princess attire.

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And to get creative making some butterflies out of coffee filters, pipe cleaners and watercolor paint.

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What a fantastic and full day of giggles, smiles, and play.  I'm now exhausted but have a very, very, very, happy heart!

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