Friday, October 25, 2013

Friend Meeting Friend....


I had the pure pleasure of finally meeting my friend, Karen who I have come to know over the years through blogging. Karen's blog is...
 Karen is from Wisconsin and has family in Lancaster County which brings her and her husband to PA several times a year.  Karen Loves my hometown of Lititz!  We have tried several times to meet up when she was in the area, but with her busy schedule while she was here and mine the days were always cut too short for a meet up.  Finally, we made it happen!

Karen contacted me when she knew of her most recent plans coming to Lancaster.  We immediately agreed to meet for lunch in Lititz at A Tea Affair.  We were hoping for another blogger to join us, Teresa from Teresas Primitive Treasures . But unfortunately, Teresa was not able to break away...next time!
My cousin Linda, however was also able to join us for High Tea.  This was Linda and Karen's  first time at A Tea Affair, so it was very exciting to share their first time experience with them. 

Here are a few photos of our Luncheon....

With Karen at Lunch

With Karen and my Cousin Linda
 We each had our Pot Of Tea...I think between the three of us, we had 6 different Teas. 
Our First Course was a Blueberry Muffin with Strawberry Jam.
Second Course was a fresh Salad and Soup.
Karen enjoying her Vegetable Soup

I chose the Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Our Tea Sandwiches and Desserts
 Our Third and Final Course of Tea Sandwiches and Desserts.

 We each brought our Desserts home, it is just so much food!

We had a very enjoyable time as we chatted and ate our scrumptious lunch.



My Hand Made Gift from Karen



Outside picture of A Tea Affair

Several outside tables and chairs make a very comfortable outside area



The day was so nice spending it with Linda and getting to know Karen on a more personal level.  We're hoping to meet up again during her next visit.
And the Santa she gave me, already has a home!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing our day at 


Friday, October 11, 2013

Recipe Pumpkin Pie Spice




FYI....

This is a short FYI for those who suddenly find themselves in need of 
"Pumpkin Pie Spice" for a recipe and do not have the "Pumpkin Pie Spice" on hand.
Here is the Ratio and ingredients for the Pumpkin Spice:

For Each 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice:

  2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 

(Picture from Internet)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Caramel Chocolate Apples



As promised....here are the instructions to how I made my 
Caramel and Chocolate Apples.


Start with fresh apples that are uniform in size.  

 I purchased my apples from a local orchard where they were picked early morning
the day I purchased them.  Since they came directly from the orchard, there was no shine on them like you find on grocery store bought apples.
If you use apples with a shine, the shine must be removed first before coating them with the caramel and or chocolate.  This can be done by washing/soaking them in a vinegar bath and rinsing well with cold water.  Dry the apples completely, you do not want any moisture or water droplets to get into your caramel or chocolate.
Insert sticks of your choice. I also lined my Jelly Roll pans with parchment paper and taped down the sides on the under side of the pans.



 Time to melt the Caramel.  I used Caramel Bits, which are unwrapped. I found mine at Walmart in the candy isle.  They were very hard to find, but worth the time it took to find them.  I purchased 10 bags for 60 apples and used 9 bags with very little left.


 I recommend you use a large measuring cup to melt the caramel.
Follow the instructions on the package for melting with the microwave.




As you can see above, the caramel melted very nicely. And using the measuring cup,
the heat remained in the glass to keep the caramel at the right consistency for coating.
I took a spoon and scrapped off a good portion of the caramel from the bottom of the apple before placing on the pan.  The caramel will still pool a bit at the bottom but not as much if you scrap off the bottoms. 






After the caramel set for about 30 mins. I then melted my chocolate in another measuring cup in the microwave.  If you want to tint a white chocolate as I did,  you use an oil base food coloring.  Do not use the food coloring  you would use in cake batter.  Add the color after the chocolate has melted and mix well.
I used a plastic bottle to apply the chocolate on top of the apples. 
Here is a picture of the plastic bottle and funnel I filled with the chocolate






After I added the chocolate to a few apples, I placed chocolate morsels or peanuts on top of the chocolate.  If your working with Peanuts, I suggest you package those without peanuts first so no peanut dust or pieces get onto them.  So many people have sever peanut allergies....
I then did a thin drizzle with the chocolate from the plastic bottle.





Let them set for about two hours.  Do Not Put them in the refrigerator. 
The apples will sweat and have moisture on them.  That is not a good thing!



Gently pull them from the parchment paper and place them in a sturdy wrapper.
I found these on Amazon.




Here is the completed process wrapped and sealed.
The bags are 5X11. 
I made labels with a message from the Bride and Groom.  I placed the labels on the bags before I placed the apples inside. 
You can add a bow or any other decoration you wish along with the closure.
We opted to not add any additional closure.

Here is a picture of the Bride's very good friend and Significant.  They came early to the reception as we were setting out the Apples and this is what I saw when I turned around...Too funny!
 
The Apples were a huge hit...!  Guests were eating them at the reception to which I had many raves and compliments...!
I also was contacted from the Groom's Mother asking me if I could do an order for a personal friend of hers.  Unfortunately, I had to decline due to time constraints.
Next Time...

If your unsure of the instructions, please feel free to contact me...

K

 

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Calendar Reads October...?!

We have been having very unseasonal warm days here in PA,  just as much of the Country is also experiencing.  Absolutely no complaints from me!  I could live in this warm climate every day, all year long...

Saturday was a very special day for us.  My Son's very good friends were Married.  The Bride and my Son have been very close friends for many years with a strong bond between them.  
A few weeks ago, the Bride asked me if I would make Caramel Apples for each guest to be giving at the Reception as Favors.  I was honored to be asked and started organizing immediately what I needed in supplies according to what the Bride had in mind as flavor and design.

Here are some pictures of the final creations.
I will post more detailed instructions and wedding pictures later in the week.


 
Caramel with Dark Wilbur Chocolate and Peanuts


 Caramel with White Tinted Chocolate and Semi Sweet Chips

My weeks have been busy and productive...this week is no exception.
I will try and post more later this week.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week..!
K

 

    
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