Archive | 2013

Christmas Goodie Plates

Today I spent the afternoon with a wonderful friend and we got all our Christmas goodie plates done.  We were much smarter this year and only made 4 things.  Now, don’t these look yummy?  Almond cookies, chocolate fudge, pretzel kisses and white chocolate peppermint bark.  Mmmmm…

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Apple Pie

I had a peck of Honeycrisp apples that needed to get used up today.  So after church and lunch at mom’s, I came home to make a pie.  This recipe is from a neighbor that lived down the street from my parents many years ago.  I used to babysit for her kids and one Saturday she invited my mom and I over to make apple pie.  This recipe card is in her handwriting, it has the pie crust recipe on one side and the apple filling on the other.  And now, 20 years later, I still pull this recipe out any time I make an apple pie.  Very easy and very good on a cold, November day.  My recipe below is for the filling, I am assuming most know how to make a double pie crust.  Enjoy!


Apple Pie:

9 apples peeled and sliced (I like to use Honeycrisp or Granny Smith)

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 t. cinnamon

dash of allspice

dash of nutmeg

dash of cloves

3 large T. flour

Mix all together.  Layer apples into bottom crust.  Continue until pie pan is full.  Place your second crust on top and finish off as you normally would.  Bake the pie at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until crust is nice and brown.  Enjoy!

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Fall Cookie Decorating

Every fall the boys and I decorate cookies in the shape of leaves.  This year we had a very special friend come and help us.  I used to work with Miss Marie and she is like a second mom to me.  I love her dearly, and my kids love her dearly.  I’ve taken senior pics of both of her kids, I’ve taken wedding pics at her daughter’s wedding, and most recently family pics with her daughter.  I love her more than she will ever know and I’m so glad she was here today to make special memories.  Here are some of the fun shots from the day.

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Apple Brownies

This was a post I found on Pinterest months ago.  Finally decided to try it this weekend.  It states it is similar to blond brownies with apple chunks.  Hmmm…not quite.  These tasted really good, but were definitely not a “brownie.”  More of an apple cinnamon cake.  It tasted great with my morning coffee and my husband finished it off last night after I went to bed.  Try it out, let me know what you think.


Apple Brownies:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9×9 inch baking dish (I actually used an 8×8.)
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter, sugar, and egg until fluffy. Fold in the apples.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just blended. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Woodland Wedding Stylized Photography

This was my little project for the fall.  I’ve been wanting to do a stylized wedding shoot for a few years, and finally this year I was able to pull it all together.  My stunning cousin Johanna was my model, she brought along her boyfriend Jake.  I borrowed a friend’s fall-tastic backyard, mom and I styled the shoot, and my very talented sister did hair and makeup.  Dress is from The Bridal Gallery on 44th Street.  Jake’s suit is from Banana Republic.  I made the bouquet and boutonniere.  The day started with a steady drizzle, I thought we would have to scrap the whole thing.  But the rain stopped and off we went.  Everything turned out beautiful!  Thanks to everyone for all their help!

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Apple Bread Pudding

I found this recipe this week in a Taste of Home magazine.  I would never eat bread pudding as a kid, but as an adult, I have formed a small addiction to it.  I love it and anywhere I go that might have it on the menu for dessert, I order it.  So when I saw this recipe for an apple bread pudding with a caramel drizzle over it, I knew it would be on the menu this fall.  This morning I made an entire 9×13 pan and realized that I was going to need to find someone to share it with.  No one in my house will eat this, don’t ask me why…I live with a bunch of freaks.  So I called my BFF and invited myself and my bread pudding over for brunch.  We had pudding, coffee and good talk, a perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday morning.  Enjoy!


Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Drizzle

3/4 cup butter

4 cups chopped peeled tart apples (I used Honeycrisp)

2 cups sugar

3 t. cinnamon (I might have used 3 Tablespoons, I tend to over dose on the spices)

2 t. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 pan.  In a large skillet, mix together the butter, apples, sugar and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat, simmer uncovered until apples are tender, stirring occasionally.

6 eggs

2 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup heavy cream

dash of nutmeg (Again, I tend to be very liberal with my dashes)

1 loaf of almost stale bread (recipe called for french loaf, I just used plain white bread)

For bread pudding, whisk eggs, milk, sugar and nutmeg until blended.  Stir in bread crumbs and apple mixture.  Transfer to a greased 9×13 pan.  Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes, until a knife comes out clean in the middle.  I just used a jar of ice cream caramel to drizzle over each individual serving.  Serve warm, it’s soooo good.  Transfer left overs into the refrigerator, when ready to eat, just microwave for a few seconds until hot again and enjoy all over again!

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Tomato Jam

About a year ago, we were out in Wisconsin visiting my Grandma, who is now over 80 years old.  Her and her boyfriend still have a huge garden that they harvest and almost everything that comes out of it, they can.  At dinner one night, my Grandma pulled out a jar of tomato jam.  I thought in my head, “Gross, who eats this stuff.  It sounds disgusting.”  My Grandma told me to take a piece of toast and just try it.  Four pieces of toast later, I was hooked.  This has turned into my favorite jam ever and I decided to plant tomato plants this year just so i could make a bunch of it.  Well, my tomato plants were terrible, I ended up getting about 4 tomatoes from them.  But my sister, who has a very green thumb and a huge garden, had plenty to share.  So today was tomato jam day.  I’m not kidding, you must try this jam.  I promise, you will definitely be wanting more!

Tomato Jam:

3 cups of peeled and crushed tomatoes

3 T. lemon juice

1/2 t. cloves

1/2 t. allspice

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 box Sure-Gel

4 1/2 c. sugar

Mix all but sugar together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add sugar.  Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.  Have your jars sterilized and ready to fill according to how you normally can.  Laddle into jars and process with a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove from bath and cool.  Enjoy!

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Summer Weddings

I feel bad, I’ve been so busy with wedding season, I really have not had time to blog much this summer.  I thought I would throw up a quick post with some of my favorite images from this summer’s weddings (so far).  I’ve had 3 weddings in the past 8 days, so I have plenty to pick from 🙂

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Baked Brie and Chutney Tarts

Tonight we had some friends over for dinner.  We decided to do an appetizer buffet instead of an actual sit-down dinner.  We had baked brie tarts, rosemary shortbread cookiees, spicy corn dip and nachos, mushrooms sauce on crustini’s, coconut flan, and pita sandwiches with walnut feta stuffing.  Everything was wonderful, but these little bite-size tarts were especially awesome.  I thought I’d share the pics and recipe!  Enjoy!


Bake Brie with Apricot Cherry Chutney

2 packages of mini fillo cups (I had Athens brand that I found right in the grocery store freezer)

1 wheel brie cheese, cut into 30 pieces

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dried apricots, diced

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

salt/pepper to taste

1/2 cup brown sugar

zest from about half a lemon

dash of cayenne pepper

Chutney should be prepared at least 4 hours prior.  It can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and just stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Mix the cherries, apricots, onions, vinegar, water, salt, pepper, brown sugar, lemon zest and cayenne pepper in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Simmer over heat for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool, then place in refrigerator until ready to use.  When ready to make tarts, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place mini cups on a cookie sheet.  place cheese bites into each cup.  Place a dollop of chutney on each tart.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until brie is melted.  Remove and serve warm!  Enjoy!






Rhubarb Orange Marmalade

This week’s recipe was rhubarb orange marmalade.  I’ve been trying to do one recipe a week in my new canning obsession.  This recipe had three ingredients and turned out awesome!  So so so so good.  If you like orange marmalade, you will love this.  If you still have rhubarb, make this today!  You will not be disappointed.  Enjoy!

Rhubarb Orange Marmalade Jam:

6 cups chopped rhubarb

6 cups sugar

2 medium oranges

Combine rhubarb and sugar in a large dutch oven.  Grind oranges in their entirety in a food processor, add to rhubarb and sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring OFTEN until marmalade sheets from a spoon (when you dip a cool metal spoon in the mix and when pulled out, the jam runs off the spoon in a sheet, not in drips), about 1 hour.  Remove from heat, skim off foam.  Carefully ladle hot mix into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4″ head space.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

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