Sunday, December 18, 2016

Two December Garlands

I had the December garland planned weeks before December, but didn't get started on it until weeks into December. That's life. 

I found a reindeer template on line and cut it out of two shades of brown card stock. I also found a sleigh image and cut it out of red card stock. 


(Excuse please that unsightly door bell ringer.)

I strung the sleigh and reindeer using red and white bakers twine and added a red sequin for Rudolph's nose. 


I love how it turned out, but it was too long to hang on the fireplace, so I hung it in the kitchen above my sink. 

For the fireplace garland I cut out Christmas trees from two shades of green felt and glued sequins on all of the trees. I thought it was a bit much, so I turned most of the trees around to hide the sequins. 





The garland is hidden behind my reindeer stocking holder, but it still works. 


I already have January's garland planned, but no promises it'll be done on time. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Caramel Apple Poke Cake

I can't follow directions. Or rather I can't follow a recipe. Sigh. I needed a dish to take to a potluck following church. I had planned to make Cherry Junk Cake, which calls for an angel food cake, but I wasn't certain it sounded good. I googled angel food cake desserts to see what else I could make with an angel food cake and found the blog Patricia's Patchwork Quilt  Oh my I love this blog! I love too the place she volunteers; Hillcrest Thrift store down the street from the former Old Mill cross stitch shop. 

There are several recipes I am looking forward to trying of hers. I asked a friend to pick a recipe for me to make having given her the options of; Caramel Apple Poke Cake, Blueberries in the Snow, Pumpkin Honey Bun Cake (those 3 from Patricia's blog) or Cherry Junk Cake. Dede picked Caramel Apple Poke Cake.  This was the most labor intensive cake I've made and it's made from a mix! 

You begin like most cake recipes; prepare a spice cake mix and bake according to package directions.  Allow to cool 20 minutes. 


While the cake cools, cook 6 cups of peeled and diced apples on the stove in 2 Tbsp of butter. 


Things were going well up to this point. After the apples have cooked till soft, you're to add sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. I totally missed that step.  

Twenty minutes after the cake has cooled, poke holes in it using a wooden spoon handle and poor over caramel sauce that has been heated slightly in the microwave. Save a little of the sauce to drizzle on top. 


Top with slightly cooled cooked apples. 


Cool several hours and then frost with cream cheese frosting. 

So, how did it taste having skipped an entire step? Good! I thought it tasted great. With the sweet caramel sauce and cream cheese frosting, I don't think the apples needed to be sweetened. Still, I'm tempted to make it again. 

Caramel Apple Poke Cake

1 box spice cake mix and ingredients needed to make it. 
6 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon 
1 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 c caramel sauce 
1 can whipped cream cheese frosting

Prepare cake mix according to package directions in a 9x13 pan.  Cool for 20 minutes

While cake cools, cook diced apples in 2 Tbsp butter until soft. 

Combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. Stir into apples and remove from heat.  (Step I skipped.)

After the cake has cooled for 20 minutes, poke holes using the handle of a wooden spoon. Heat caramel sauce in the microwave till thin and poor over cake. Allow cake to cool several hours and then frost with cream cheese frosting.