As we roll into the season of colored leaves, wool mittens and warm lattes (although that particular season seems to be year round), apples are abundant at the farmers market.
We carried home a big box this weekend, as I had plans for them. Plans I tell you.
The original plan started like this...the big daddy and my little guy were arriving home from their adventures and we would surprise and delight them with a warm meal and an apple ginger cake for dessert.
The plan was set into motion with only a slight rumble about the "ginger" part of the apple cake.
Baking day came closer and my two older ones were "unsure" that ginger was necessary for the cake. Wouldn't they like it better without the ginger? Surely the cake would be easier to make without the ginger.
You can see where this is headed....
I, on the other hand, love ginger bread, cake, cookies you name it. As it turned out though the apple ginger cake became an apple cake.
It was still delicious. The only glitch happened as the cake was not "done", as in it was soup in the middle, when we needed to leave for the airport.
What was a mama to do?
Well, I had two options. One was to pull the whole soupy-center-mess out of the oven declare the outer edges cooked and wing it later. Or, as this is the one I chose, I could turn off the oven leave the cake in it and hope for the best.
It was a bit "too done" around the edges creating a hard sorta layer around the center. Though it did make the center seem much more moist.
What can I say it was edible, mostly.
Next time you can bet your pants I'm making the apple ginger cake.
Next time I'm hoping that my children will say, "Oh mommy this is delicious, I can't believe we doubted you, you are amazing and we think you should always bake just what you think every time."
Wishful thinking? of course.
I will try it anyway, just to see, because you never know...
Plus, I thought it would be lovely to start the week with a big hunk of cake to look at.
Am I right?
Recipe from here.
2 cups of Sugar
1 cup of vegtable oil
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 medium apples, cored, peeled, and diced
1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9 x 13 baking dish.
Mix sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. beat well.
Add flour, baking soda, salt, apples, nuts, and vanilla and beat until combined throughly.
Scrape batter into prepared dish. Bake for one hour.
For the topping boil together the brown sugar, butter, and milk for 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove cake from oven, and immediately poke the tines of a fork down through the cake (about fifteen jabs all around the cake), and pour topping over the hot cake. Serve warm or let cool.
Yields 8 to 12 servings.
We used less sugar than was called for as I like the flavor of the apples instead. The oil can be replaced by applesauce which makes the cake a bit denser but we have grown used to that. For the flour we use all or half whole wheat when we make it. Extra vanilla because we love that and several dashes of cinnamon for well, Fall.
Plus, the topping is optional and quite delicious without it. Next time I may make these into muffins as they are almost breakfast worthy.
It's beginning to look a lot like Fall around here. Trees are beginning to turn a bit yellow. Squash, mums, and pumpkins are arriving at the farmers market. I've needed socks and a scarf.
Soon, we will be in full blown leaf changing beauty around here. I look forward to this all year.
Just so you know...it's on its way!
I might pull out the crock pot this weekend and make the whole house smell good. And, what's pot roast without apple ginger cake? right?
Those are my hopes for the weekend...what are yours?
Hope you have a lovely weekend.
See you on Monday.
My three, almost four year old informed the family at dinner the other night of his birthday wishes.
Rainbows and cake, huh? Sounds pretty easy to me. And, really what else is there?
So that is where I'll be today, in the studio sewing and crafting.
Simultaneously I will, more than likely, be pulling string out of my girlies mouth and detaching her from a ball of yarn but rain or shine that is where I'll be.
While my little guy is off on an adventure with the big daddy I'm hoping to start/maybe finish the few ideas I have for him.
I'm off to get started latte in hand, of course.
Where will you be today?
They said it was easy and a great idea for using as a gift bag.
They said, you can make them by the dozens. Well, maybe I said that last one, but it's true!
This project has had me pondering for a few days. I thought to myself, I have fabric. I have webbing. I have, well not always, but today I have twenty minutes.
I'll admit there was a bit of, "Yeah right this takes twenty minutes. Sure!" But, I tried it anyway.
To be fair I had the fabric picked out and put on the sewing table but nothing else was done. I started the timer and was off. Cut. Pin. Stitch. Turn. Pin. Stitch. Marvel.
The timer went off and I was literally, without even hurrying, ten seconds from finishing. That time even included picking out thread and re-threading the sewing machine.
Amazed? I was.
I used their pattern sorta as they wrote it except for picking my own size bag. And, it was done.
Impressed that it came together so quickly, I decided that I would line the bag because I just like the look and durability of lined bags. I cut the lining fabric the same size as the bag with enough to fold over on the top. Then...
What I discovered was that lining it and using this type of construction created an entirely reversible bag. hello. The possibilities here are endless.
My mind is thinking different sizes. Different fabrics. Longer straps. No straps. You see what I mean here?
It really comes down to this....
It won't be "will I" make more of these but rather, who do I know that needs one and what will we put in it?!?!!
What would you put in your bag on this lovely Wednesday?
A new dolly found her way to us.
We attended the Gypsy Faire, which I told you about yesterday, on two occasions this past weekend. The first with my girlie in the Ergo carrier and my seven year old boy. We leisurely walked the aisles amazed by all the creative's gathered and appreciating their wares.
Then, it happened.
My girlie saw THIS dolly and started to do the squack, ma ma ma, arm out hand beckoning wave only a thirteen month old could manage. At first, I didn't know what she was talking about. Then, I saw her and all her purple hair glory.
We smiled. We laughed. My seven year old handed her the doll. Big mistake, maybe. She pulled that dolly in for a BIG hug and a little pat pat pat on the tush. There were oohhs and aahhs mostly by this mama and the creative who made her. Then, my girlie brings it home with a "aaahh baby."
I'm sorry but that would have sold it for even the most toughest of characters. Yet, I'm in the "no need to accumulate more stuff place" and after that moment passed I said, "Okay, lets put the dolly away".
Um, wrong answer. The girlie screamed, began the hand beckoning wave again as we walked away. I know, even writing this I'm feeling a little bad. But, the plan was to look, not cart home more stuff. I had to stay strong.
We walked a bit more and having found a "worker guy" old metal lunchbox for my son who needed one, we made it out of there with little damage.
The next day my daughter, wanting to see what the faire was all about, accompanied us for the second time.
That's when it happened, again.
We walked past the booth, with the dolly, this mama oblivious to it all and my girlie starts the hand waving/beckoning thing, again. Only this time she is serious. There is an increase in the volume, speed of hand waving, etc.
I look over to see what she's looking at because folks that dolly was not in the same place she was yesterday and there she was. Sitting so sweet, in a small chair on the ground, smiling up at us, the picture of innocence.
I. had. a. moment.
Okay, my girlie is thirteen months old. Her responce was the same albeit louder and only to this particular dolly. There were piles of delightful dollies there. All of them cute. All of them smiling their "darn-dest".
I mean really, what's a mama to do?
Well, I'll tell you what she does. She leans over, picks up that dolly and she smiles at the woman who made her. That's what she does. The creator smiles and says, "It's always nice to know when they go home with the right child".
Just like that. I hand her some cash and we're off. My head shaking in disbelief that my little one knew that was her dolly. My girlie happily pat pat patting her new dolly's tush saying, "aahhh, baby" and giving her big wet smooches.
And, that's the story.
This dolly has yet to be more than a foot away from my girlie since. She just knew.
So if you want to see for yourself all these darling smiling dollies here's their site.
You will be supporting a delightful mom and daughter team and providing hours of play for your little ones.
So here's to finding "just what we want" today.
For me, I want to laugh. Geniune belly laughing. The kind where no sound escapes your lips because you are laughing so hard. That's what I want today!
What do you want today?
This weekend brought the Gypsy Farm Market to town. Local indie artists with amazing creations to share. Inspiring. Fun. Amazing weather. Time with my children as we attended both days.
Treasure was found.
A double rainbow, in the middle of town, over busy traffic, with the entire arc visible.
I'm not sure I've ever seen one/two so beautiful! We stopped and parked. We watched and participated in its "AWESOMENESS".
In terms of rainbows, this was a show stopper as far as I'm concerned.
A latte. A scone. My two oldest and the wee one together.
Knitting. More knitting. Some angst about thumbs in mittens. A Pride and Prejudice viewing. Plus, time to change my blog header. whoa.
Overall, a great weekend was had by all.
It's beginning to feel alot like Fall....
How was your weekend?
My mom had just passed and I was moments from delivering my second child. The world felt as heavy as my eight and a half month pregnant self. In those moments you wonder about life and fairness and well, love.
Within two days I had gone outside and found eight different hearts just laying there for me to "notice".
I suppose it wasn't meant to hit me until later. The beauty in this small gesture I had been gifted. I failed to even realize that this was happening until a year later. All the hearts placed in my path...
Since then my whole family finds them where ever we go. In fact my son, whom I was pregnant with, spots them even before any of his siblings. Strange? maybe. More beautiful to me now though. He is the one who found all the coral hearts.
I understand that there is so much light as well as dark in the world.
But ultimately, there is love and all we have to do is be willing to notice.
What have you been noticing lately?
I have fond memories of building forts with my three brothers.
Sheets and blankets stretched across tables and chairs. Secret hide-outs formed under desks and between beds. Treasures collected, we would spend hours in our own forts with flashlights, lunch and lots of whispering. Whispering because of course they were secret and if you couldn't see someone then you must certainly be invisible right?
Outdoor forts were created in the shapes of tree houses and secret spaces under big bushes. In muddy holes with wood roofs and behind brick fences.
We lived in a house half an hour out of town which made this kind of play necessary. For we had to entertain ourselves and find inspiration within our space.
I believe this is why I love nature and creativity so much. How a simple tree can become a castle. A space under a bed an underwater cave. This list goes on and on.
Perhaps the most gratifying part is to see your own children participating in that kind of play.
This summer there was a beach, not really a swimming beach, that we affectionately referred to as the "exploring beach". Driftwood lined the sand. Seaweed washed ashore. Marine life in its prime scuttled here and there. It provided hours of entertainment.
This was one of the many forts created while we were there. All three of the older children working together hauling armloads of driftwood they had collected. The big daddy and I talking, listening, and watching.
This beach holds a special place in my heart as it reminds me of those many, many hours spent with my own brothers. And, the new memories of my own children finding their way.
Imagination is such as amazing thing. Given a chance it can create such beauty.
Don't you think?
The weather has shifted ever so slightly.
The children wear light sweaters in the morning that are shed by the afternoon.
An extra blanket is pulled on in the middle of the night as the coolness wafts through the windows.
The trees, though not officially changed, have turned slightly yellow amongst the green.
Next week will officially be Fall but somehow the slight shifts here and there show me that the season's changing. Our beautiful cycle of seasons which brings with each change it's own challenges as well as beauty.
One thing about Fall....well, it's the season of knitting.
So yesterday I cast-on for two pairs of mittens for my two littlest ones.
Hands deep into the yarn stash looking for just the right yarn I surfaced with even more. Lovely skeins of yarn for a multitude of projects I have on the horizon. I'm giddy with excitement.
This Mulberry Magic hat, finished a few days ago, now awaits the ribbon band around the bottom. Then a jaunty head for it to be put upon. I love the color and can already see it sending "cheerfulness" into the middle of winter.
These yummy bits of yarn are a combination of gathering. One I found months ago locally and the colorful skein on the right was a gift from the lovely Phoe. I'm thinking about these two together and hoping to come across just the right pattern for them. Any suggestions?
I'm off to knit some mittens as the weather has turned even a bit cooler today and I feel the need to finish them very soon.
What are you knitting today?