October 26, 2012

Vampire Pumpkin

Last year, I saw a pin for a cute little Vampire Pumpkin on Pinterest.  I knew I had to make one.  :)  I remember that my friend Dave (Kristen's husband) made a little vampire pumpkin last year.  It was awesome!!  I had a set of Vampire Teeth I got from a Halloween event last year and I had 2 pins from my sewing kit I could use for eyes.  I decided to make one of my tiny little pumpkins I got from one of the last Farmer Markets I went to into a little Vampire.  I took my pumpkin saw and made a square into the pumpkin to fit the teeth.  I took a spoon and scooped out the seeds and guts.  I then put the teeth in and pushed in the pins for the eyes.  So easy you can totally make this.  :)

Homemade Applesauce

A few weekends ago, I went to Graves Mountain for their Apple Harvest Festival.  I loaded up a bag with apples.  I got 13 apples in my bag.  My apples have been sitting in my pantry and I decided today to make some homemade applesauce.

First things first....wash your apples.

Bring out all your ingredients.

Here's the Classic Applesauce recipe that I use for my applesauce.  I got this from a Family Circle magazine years ago.

I peeled my apples.  If you want a more rustic applesauce you can leave the skin on.

I then took my Pampered Chef apple slicer and got the core out of all the apples.

Then I chopped them up smaller so they would cook up faster.

I added the chopped apples to my pot.

Once all the apples are in the pot I added 3/4 cup water.  I then added in another 3/4 cup of water b/c I felt it needed more.  You could use cranberry or apple juice.  I didn't have either so I just used water.  Mix up and put the lid on and cook on medium for 20 to 25 minutes.

Once the time has passed then you can mash up your apples.  I used my pampered chef mix 'n chop.

Once my apples were mashed to my liking, I then added in some cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, all spice and sugar.

Let cool and add to jars or containers.

Yummy! :)

October 24, 2012

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love baking.  Baking is a stress reliever for me and I love gifting or sharing my baked goodies with friends and family.  Today, I made my chocolate chip cookies that I get so many requests and compliments for.  I baked them with my homemade vanilla extract and they are perfection.

You will need:

1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 sticks butter (room temp, and unsalted)
2 eggs 
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract (homemade)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups Chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix your brown sugar, white sugar and butter together until fluffy.  Mix in 1 egg at a time till mixed.  Mix in your water and then your vanilla.  In a separate bowl, with a fork mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.  Add your flour mixture to the wet mixture a little at a time until all is mixed together.  Lastly, mix in your chocolate chips.

Your cookie dough should look like this.....

On a lightly coated (Pam Spray) cookie sheet add your cookie dough.  I use a big spoon and a medium size spoon to scoop them onto the cookie sheet.  I get 12 cookies on each sheet.  I use 2 cookie sheets.  I only use these pans for my cookies so my pans are in wonderful condition.  I'm very picky about that.  :)

Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes and let cool.  Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 1 to 2 minutes.  Then place them on a cookie rack to cool all the way.

Store in a tupperware container with a slice of bread.  The bread will keep them nice and soft.

And that's the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  :)

October 21, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Back on July 7th, Kristen and I made our own Homemade Vanilla Extract.  We used various blogs from Pinterest to see how to make it.  Here's the vanilla about a month later.

Kristen, picked up these Martha Stewart labels the other day from Staples.  We got white ones a while back but we decided against them when we talked about the design the other day.  Kristen saw these brown ones and knew they would be cute with our bottles.  :)

Here's our design.  I think the vanilla bean clipart is the perfect extra touch.  :)

Printed labels.....OMG!!  :)

We originally had 4 bottles each.  We needed more.  We made a quick trip to Ellwood Thompson's and got more bottles.  I bottled 10 and Kristen bottled 9.  (She bottled 1 larger bottle for herself)

We had a cheese cloth just in case but the coffee filter is actually perfect for this project.  The cheese cloth will be going back to the store.  :)

My Vanilla bottled, labeled and tied with a cute purple gingham ribbon.  :)

My bottle is on the left and Kristen's is on the right.  The bigger bottle is hers to keep.


All 10 of my bottles.....

I can't wait to bake something with my vanilla.  Making your own vanilla is pretty easy to do so I might make some more in the future.  :)  Now, I just gotta decide who gets a bottle from this first batch.

Yard sale and Apple Festival

Last Saturday, Ashley and I had a yard sale at Sharon's house.  Sharon didn't have anything to sell so she sold a few things for our friend, Jessica.  We made some extra cash that's always nice.  :)

Last Sunday, Kristen, Sharon, Agnes and me went to the Graves Mountain Apple Harvest Festival.

Agnes had a 'Agnitude'.  She was not having it.  :(

Some cute handmade soaps.

Lots of vendors there.  I saw this cute hummingbird garden flag.

Apple butter being cooked in a huge kettle.


Agnes sitting in the pumpkin patch.

We put Agnes in a bin of apples but she wasn't too happy.  :(

Apple Butter donuts

Funnel Cake

Sharon was singing and dancing for Agnes.  She liked it.  She's smiling with a mouth full of cheerios.  :)

Agnes waving.  :)

Agnes in the apple orchard.  We didn't find many apples on the trees.  Looks like most of them were already picked.  :(  Ah well.

October 16, 2012

New Things Monday (LATE)

Sorry, about the day late post for my 'New Things Monday'.  And sorry, I didn't post one last Monday.  I haven't really tried anything new lately.

While at the store I picked up a package of Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies.  I like that these cookies are soft.  They were a little smaller than I had imagined the would be but that's okay.  They were very soft and chewy cookies.  I like soft cookies.  Who wants a hard cookie?  Not me.  :)  I found them to be a little like spiced pumpkin pie.  The cream cheese bits are different.  Not bad different but not really cream cheese like to me.  I also think they are just a tad too salty.  I liked them and it was nice to have something pumpkin that I didn't have to bake.  I would try them again.  :)

October 8, 2012

Chili Fest 2012

Yesterday was Rainy and Cold (50 degrees) so it's the prefect day for Chili right?  This year we had 25 Chili Teams cooking in the Chili Fest.  I cooked for the Radio Team again this year with Sam, Fayth, and Sharon.  We made 15 gallons.  For our recipe this year.....we combined my chili recipe and Sam's chili recipe.

Here's our booth all decorated.  It turned out pretty cute....and then the rain came and soaked everything and some of the flames fell down.  Ah well.  The rain stopped right after the chili was done and simmering.

Here's our pot and paddles.  Note to self:  Metal pot would work best not aluminium.  :)

Here's the tomato sauce, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  Yes, there is a lot more here than what we need.  LOL

Here's the green peppers and onions....


Fayth (left) and Sam (right) stirring/cooking the meat.

Sharon chopping the onions.  Sharon chopped the onions and the peppers.  I chopped the celery.  :)

The chili.......looks kinda gross but it was good.

We served a chip on top of each cup.  :)  Lots of spectators loved the chip on top.  Some even asked for more.

Chili samples....