Sunday, October 30, 2011

What does one do when it snows a very substantial amount of snow in OCTOBER..!??
One cooks and then eats what one cooks

 After returning home from the Salon, I started to prepare a large pot of homemade Vegetable Soup, homemade biscuits and a new recipe for cheese poppers I have been dying to try...The one deterrent I had to keep me cooking. was the fact of losing electric.  To have power surges in my "neck of the woods" is nothing new during ANY storm.  But I must admit, yesterday I did become a bit nervous when the surges were coming more frequently and loss of electricity was longer periods than usual.  Fortunately, the loss of electricity did not occur for more than a few minutes during the entire storm.  The only loss "I" had and still have, is not being able to send pictures in a txt message from my phone.  And this is nothing unusual, either:(
So with that said, I had some really nice pics of the food fest I cooked yesterday, but will have to share them in another post, when the pictures via txt message cooperate..!

I will share with you some pictures my good friend, Linda took early this morning.  The photos are from Speedwell Forge Lake, A Lake just outside the limits of my hometown, Lititz.  This lake is 45 years old and I remember when the dam was built several years later.  This lake is where I and my brothers fished in the evenings with our Dad. Its where I had my "first" hook in my finger, to which to this day I remember as though it happened yesterday.  This Lake is where we went ice skating every winter.  One memorable winter on the Lake was with my Aunt June and Cousin Audrey, they took me by the hands (me in the middle) and the wind was so forceful, it took us from one end of the Lake to the other without having to lift a leg.  The hard part was "trying" to skate back up the Lake against the winds.....We were laughing so hard, it made the job so much harder...but we sure had fun! So many good memories as a child were shared and made on this Lake...
Sadly to say, the Dam was severely damaged from the Hurricane we had this past year, the cost to repair the Dam is over 6 Million and like every other state in this country, PA is broke..!! 

So the decision was made to drain the Lake....:(

The pics shown are the Lake as it has been draining.

On the other side of this tree, was the area I had my "first" hook in finger experience...

It's all so sad to see this Lake being drained down to a small stream...
Hopefully this economy will soon start to rebound and areas such as this Lake that are in need of repairs and rebuilding can be done..
Have a FUN and Safe Halloween...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm not sure where the month of October went..!
It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is four short weeks away and then the Holidays are in full swing...
It seems as though since the beginning of September we have hit the ground running and haven't stopped.  My son has been so busy with work and school, I think he is very much ready for a break, although he is one to not like being in the still position for very long, to which I guess is a good thing...!   I have some knitting I would like to do, I usually give a few items I knit as gifts for Christmas..Some friends are planning to meet at my home early December and bake some cookies, I really enjoy these cookie baking gatherings this time of year.  Many different cookies can be baked and divided among everyone and it helps to cut down the work of one having to do all the work your self and not to mention it gives us girls a chance to catch up and have some girl time...!

 I'm also ready for a's been a while:)  I'm asked frequently by my niece and nephew when I'm coming to Texas??!  I miss them and wish they lived much closer...

As I say Good-Night
Happy Halloween and Have a Fun Filled Week-End with the Spooks..!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Chocolate Cake ready for the Spooks....

Underneath all the sugar on the top of the cake is a layer of Peanut Butter Icing...
You can not eat a rich chocolate cake without PB Icing!! 

Going to a party tonight and I offered to bring a cake,
This is what I came up with to honor the theme of

The only thing I would do different,
make my "RIP' smaller....

This cake will surly keep a few people awake tonight after the party has come to close:)

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

An Apple A Day....

I peeled and cored so many apples the past two days I have a blister on my finger to prove my hard work of labor:)....I am not complaining in the least, I truly love making homemade "whatever" grabs my fancy...
This week was Apple Sauce and Apple Butter with an Apple Pie thrown into the mix....

 Below is the beginning stage of CrockPot Apple Butter

 This was a "first" for me.  I have never attempted making Apple Butter in the past, but I sure do love the stuff!  After doing a little research and comparing different techniques with other brave home based connoisseurs, I decided to give the Crock Pot technique a try...
I filled my large crock to the rim with the three Apples I had purchased, (Post before this one has them listed)...I then added the ingredients that would transform this plain dish into an amazing sauce that tastes so yummmmo on bread, muffins or crackers....

 Added on top of the apples is:
2 Cups of Sugar
2 Tsp of Cinnamon
1/4 tsp of Cloves
1/4 tsp of Nutmeg


I Mixed the apples and spices together, applied the lid and turned on high for 5 hours..
After 5 hours of cooking down the apples, I mixed the apples with my electric mixer to a sauce like mixture, reapplied the lid, turned the temperature down on low and went to bed...
In the morning I gave the mixture a good stir.  I cooked the sauce for approximately 24 hours giving it a good stir every two hours or so.... 
I prepared my jars for canning a head by cleaning them in the dishwasher.  The sauce is very hot when you divide into the jars, I did not have to boil the jars for the lids to seal.  After the jars were filled 1 inch from the jar opening, I turned them upside down for several hours.  Your lid should be completely flat after several hours, if the lid is not flat and you can push the lid in, it has not properly sealed.

This is what the Apple Butter looked like the following morning after placed in jars...
I am so pleased with the texture outcome!! 
And the taste is...AMAZING!

With the same batch of Apples, I also made Apple Sauce...
This is a very easy recipe of Apples and Cinnamon.
No sugar is needed when you use a good variety of sweet apples...
 Prepare your apples the same as you would for the Apple Butter..
Place apples in a large cooking pot, add your cinnamon to your taste
and bring the apple mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently. 
Your apples will not take long to cook down and become soft.
After the apples are cooked down, take a potato masher or any kitchen gadget you have to 
mash the apples to a sauce like texture.  After your apples are mashed to your liking,
immediately place the sauce into your jars and seal the lids, place jars upside down as 
shown below.  Apple Sauce can also be placed in freezer containers and froze when 
Completely cooled.  I have done the freezer containers in the past and it tastes just as fresh as
jarring them. 

If I have time next week, I am seriously contemplating another trip for apples and completing 
the process again...

I'm thinking a head for the holidays, the Apple Butter would make a nice gift basket with some Home Made Bread, some Crackers and a variety of muffins...!

Thanks for stopping by, have a safe and fun week-end my friends..!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's that time of year...

Warm Apple Pie

 I used three varieties of Apples for this pie...

  • Jonagold apple

    Photo of Jonagold
    A very popular commercial variety, with a good flavor. Inherits many of the good qualities of its parents Jonathan and Golden Delicious.
  • Jonathan apple

    Photo of Jonathan
    A classic American variety, and widely regarded as one of the best flavored with a good sweet/sharp balance. A precocious and productive tree in US apple-growing regions.
  • Cortland apple

    Photo of Cortland
    One of the more successful McIntosh offspring, with all the usual characteristics, including the sweet vinous flavor.

I filled the crust lined pie plate half way full with the three varieties of Apples,
I sprinkled on sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg...
added the second half of the apples making a nice round top with the apples,
sprinkled the same spices and sugar on top, added small slices of butter and applied
the top pie crust.  

I am a very big fan of Egg Washing the top pie crust....
As you can see, I generously washed the pie with a mixture of egg and water.
After the egg wash was applied, I generously sprinkled sugar on top and made three
openings for the steam to escape while baking 
(these openings are also helpful when you need 
to test the consistency of the Apples during baking) 

Baked at 350 degrees for One Hour....
I am pleased with the results of this pie after baking, sometimes the apples shrink during baking
to the point there is a space between the top crust and apples...
This pie stayed true to its form...

Now time for the taste testing....!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lady In Red

This Red Lined Wool Jacket cost me a total of $16.00!
That's right, Folks.....ONLY $16.00 at  Totsy.

If you have never heard of the site Totsy...hurry on over and sign up today so you too can take advantage of the fantastic discounts they offer..!! 

I Can't wait to dress this jacket up with one of my Black Scarfs I knit, along with a favorite pair of jeans and black boots..! I have no worries the winter will not be cold enough to show off this new fantastic find...

Have a great week, friends!  The leaves are finally changing colors here in PA and what a spectacular view of the mountains I have from my windows....The view is truly picturesque!! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Growing Up Too Fast....

My beautiful niece is pictured here attending a formal dance along with her close friends...
Shayna is wearing the awesome Teal dress and note...No Shoes!!  Looks as though Shayna has the same habit of kicking of her shoes as her Aunt:)  I am a bit bias when I say to others how proud I am of this young lady..!  I know how hard it is to keep your teenager grounded without holding them back.  Shayna's parents do a great job maintaining a healthy balance with Shayna as she matures into her own person and finding her place.  Her passion is soccer, she has played the sport since her young elementary years, to which she has excelled.  For several years weekend trips have been made to Dallas, a two hour trip one way for her to play on a top notch Soccer League.  This year as a Freshman, she made the JV team at her High School along with suiting up for Varsity Games.  The Dallas League recently has been invited to play in a Tournament in Atlanta this December.  The Tournament is played after the College Big Four Soccer play offs are finished.  What an honor and great experience this group of young ladies will have playing among some of the best of the best ladies soccer teams...!  Yes, I am very proud of Shayna and honored to be called her Aunt.....

Monday, October 3, 2011

Forgotten Treasures....

Slowly the basement is being cleared of "stuff" we just do not use or need.  This is all being done in preparation of downsizing.  I recently came across a bag of  Table Cloths, Aprons and Dish Towels that were my Mothers.  Shown are the Dish Towels she had... I had forgotten I had those treasures in my basement, I was so thrilled when I came across them tucked neatly inside a large plastic bag.  So, today while I was working in the kitchen prepping and baking my raw pumpkin for baking some pies, I steam washed all the treasured items so I can now use them in my day to day chores and activities in my kitchen.....When I make one of my mothers favorite dishes or remember her words of instructions on how to properly prepare a certain mix or dish, I can feel her presence with me, guiding me every step of the way.  Now I can use some of the same items she used as she worked in her kitchen, her presence being even more prevalent...

Sunnier skies are predicted here later in the week, I sure do hope to see the sun shine for more than a few minutes.  Have a great week, my friends!


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