Saturday, October 29, 2011

Apple Dumplings and Tea -- Camp Grandma!

We've got a nice productive McIntosh apple tree, but in addition to that our kind neighbors have given me permission to pick apples from their many trees!  I've got apple sauce and apple butter lined up to make, but couldn't wait to get something sweet going so I made apple dumplings. Apple dumplings have always been one of my favorite desserts. 

Most apple dumpling recipes have you put a whole (skinned and cored) apple in each dumpling.  But I have always preferred smaller chunks of apples.  I pretty much just make what would be an apple pie filling and pie crust recipe.  The only thing I need then is a syrup to pour on top.

I love apple dumplings served with vanilla ice cream, but didn't have any, so I used whipped topping.  Still super good! 

My sister's son and daughter-in-law are expecting what will be my sister's first grandchild!  We are so excited for them and I couldn't wait to give her a special sign I painted:

 She visited with Ellie (our second of three grandchildren) her at my "Camp Grandma, Coos Bay Unit" and taught her how to "have tea".    She'll be a perfect grandma and she'll love the new title! 

Here's my sign, painted 5 years ago (I used to make my signs way smaller then, and on old wood:

Hope you all have a safe and fun weekend!
          Hugs, Heidi

Here's a basic APPLE DUMPLING recipe, it's the one I use:
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tblspn. butter

2 1/4 cups four
1/4 TSP. salt
2/3 cup butter
6 to 8 Tblspn iced cold water

6 apples (skinned, cored, and cut in small bite size pieces)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1. Mix the syrup (EXCEPT the butter) ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer, covered for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in butter.
2. Meanwhile mix the crust ingredients and roll out into an 18X12-inch rectangle, then cut into six 6" squares.  (Or get close, like I do!)
3. Mix the apple filling ingredients and divide evenly on the 6 cut squares.
4.  Pull up the four corners of each square into a pocket, or dumpling.  Pitch the edge to keep them closed. Place in a baking pan. 
5. Pour the hot syrup over the dumplings.
6.  Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crust is lightly browned.
7.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or whipped topping.

Makes 6 servings.

(Linked to  Cindy's My Romantic Home Show and Tell here. , Six Sisters Struf Your Stuff Saturday here, Be Different and Act Normal Show and Tell Saturday here,  Tator Tots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up Party hereBlissful and Domestic Feature Friday Link Up Party hereNiffty Thrifty Sunday #29 here, Totally Tasty Tuesday at Mandy's Recipe Box here,  Joy of Desserts here,and Frugal Girls Craft Linky Party here.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Falling Leaves

Just As much as I love to be outside in nature, you must know I always dread the end of summer.  Yet a few weeks later, as in today, I always realize, "HEY, Heidi!  Fall is wonderful, too, for it's own reasons!"

Colorful falling leaves are one of the top reasons!  The crisp smell of the air early in the morning.  The scent in the evening of the wood stoves warming the homes in the area.  So yesterday when I had Ellie and Claira for a couple hours (Melissa was doing a Mary Kay consultation) I decided to try out the craft Heather Bullard blogged about here.

I took an old dictionary I use for crafting and pulled out a bunch of pages.  Ellie (3 going on 6) helped pick out fall color to paint the pages.  We watered down our paint and used old kitchen cookie sheets for easy clean-up.

Painted pages...pages drying...

Pages ready to be cut...

Pages cut out in leaf shapes (I stacked them to cut as many as I could at once, as well as used different scissors).

In the midst of our leaf project Ellie wanted to set up the Barbie pool.  Only by the sink I said. (She still had a POOL of water on my kitchen floor!).

She brought as many Barbies (these are old ones left behind by my grown-up-girls; she even plays with the headless ones, she "pretends" they had head...really.) as she could carry to the pool.

She'd say, "Come to the BARBIE WORLD POOL!" as she'd drop them in.

Then she'd say, "Dreams really do come true!"  (She loves Disney videos, I guess.)

Then back to the leaf project.  We finished up, using hot glue for a fast project.  I tied up an orange ribbon and quickly glued the sets on that.

Ellie is a wonderful crafting partner!  Claira was napping or I'm sure she would have been all over the pool and the paint!

Ellie decided to work on her sticker book as they waited for Mommy Melissa to pick them up and take them to their cousin's birthday party.....waiting to go to a birthday party is hard for a little girl!

Mommy's here..........

...........Heidi's going straight to the couch now....LOL 
What a fun fall day!  I do miss having John Mark here on days like this, but he's a big boy now, in kindergarten!

Blessings and hugs,

(Linked to Cindy's My Romantic Home Friday Show and Tell here,   At the Picket Fence Inspiration Friday here and Nifty Thrifty Things Sunday here, and Under the Table and Dreaming Sunday Showcase Party here.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Craft Idea

A friend of mine needed some creative crafting help with a wedding basket she was putting together.  She saw an Etsy item on my "Favorites" and thought I had made it.  I told her no, but I probably could!  Then I did!  It was a set of "Mr" and "Mrs" ink stamped eggs in a nest.  She needed it the next day, so there was no way she had time to order.

I experimented on wooden eggs as well as various stones and rocks.  For the wooden eggs I first painted them Robin's Egg Blue, then stamped them.  I used "StazOn" ink pad for the letter stamping.   Then I just put them in a small next filled with shredded paper.  Oh, and added a couple little white feathers.  It was such a fun and fast project, and would be cute on wedding reception tables, or as a gift to the new Mr. and Mrs.

Another fun thing I've been playing with this week is Crayola brand "Window Markers".  They come in various tips and sizes.  I found a set at WalMart for about $4.  K-Mart had them, too, in the thicker sizes. What fun we've had writing on our windows!  I wrote a Bible verse out on the window above my kitchen sink, an easy way to memorize. 

Ellie was over the other day and she had fun playing with them, too.

Now a word about Pinterest...found this Pumpkin Pound Cake:
(as pictured on Pinterest)

It really is like having a new magazine daily.  I found this recipe a week ago on Pinterest and made it.  It was delicious!  Try it out.  It's one of those cakes that taste better great right out the oven and even better the next day or two!
(my cake)

Needless to say...Pinterest continues to rock!