All posts by chitowndph@gmail.com

Apple Bread Heartbreak

I don’t know about you but I LOVE the fall season!  The cooler temps, the colors, the smells…not to mention the chili cook-offs, football, cider, and PUMPKIN!  There is so much about fall that just stimulates the senses.  I love to bake so fall lends itself perfect to my theory that we need to fatten ourselves up in order to survive the cold winter.  (ok, that’s not true, I like to stay in shape as much as the next person but I also consistently sabotage myself with all my baking!)

So, needless to say I was extremely excited to go apple-picking at a local orchard yesterday.  Joseph and I grabbed up the kids and headed out first thing in the morning.  We settled on a place about half an hour from the house that grows honeycrisps; our favorite.

Let me start by saying that this is all somewhat new to me.  As a kid I lived in northern Michigan where pretty much everything was at our disposal.  We didn’t have the big city lifestyle that made you “pack up” and spend the day at the orchard.  We were more of the “we lived close enough to an orchard and knew the owners so we just walked over, got a few apples, made a pie, shared the pie with said neighbors and everyone was happy” type.  So, little did I know that these excursions actually existed for “city-folk” until I moved here.

Ok, back to apple-picking.  I guess I really didn’t do my homework because the orchard didn’t sell by the bushel and we ended up bringing home about 1/2 peck (12-15 medium size honeycrisps for those of you wondering) of apples.   Basically, enough to munch on for a few days but not enough to bake with!  So, today, instead of baking my apple bread (and pie!) I will just share with you my recipe in hopes that I’ll soon have enough apples to make it myself.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 eggs (+ 2 egg whites)
  • 1 cup apples (grated fresh)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp ginger root (fresh, grated)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 tbsps 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  In another bowl, whisk together the egg and egg whites, applesauce, oil and milk.  Add the grated apple and ginger and combine.  Add the “wet” ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.  In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool on rack and slice into 16 pieces.

And in order to give credit where credit is due…here is the link to the original recipe:

Creative Fun Magnets!

While on maternity leave (I only have 3 weeks left!) I decided to get going on my Christmas crafts.  I signed up for two craft shows this year; a small one the weekend before Thanksgiving and a larger one the weekend after.  I know that it’s only September but in the craft world that means I’m actually pretty far behind.  If you’ve ever walked into Hobby Lobby or Michaels around this time you may be surprised to see all the Christmas collections out, this is because us crafters need as much time as we can to get our products ready for sale!

After a particularly rough evening involving a sick 2-year-old and a colicky baby I’m surprised I actually have the energy to do this, but, here I am!

My project of choice are these adorable Christmas-themed magnets!

final

They are cheap and very easy to make.  They would be a great craft to do with any child over the age of five, probably not younger as it involves glue, precision and some strength.

You’ll need the following:

    1. Clear Glass Disks (found in the floral section of your craft store)
    2. Quick Dry adhesive – I used Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive and E6000® Craft Adhesive
    3. Craft Paper
    4. 3/4-inch magnets 
    5. 1-inch paper punch – I have a Creative memories circle punch

I started by choosing the clearest glass disks, free of  bubbles and smears.  (Check back later because I have another craft project for these “imperfect” baubles!!) The less foggy the disk, the better your image will appear.

Choosing the craft paper is my favorite part of this project!  Since scrapbooking has seemed to stand the test of time, it’s easy to find paper that fits your project theme!  (holidays, sports, hobbies, etc.) Again, I’m going with Christmas in preparations for craft shows.   I like to choose a pattern that already had a defined circular space like the paper below.

paperpaper punch

Tip:  Turn your circle puncher over in order be able to see what you’re punching.  It takes a little more effort in the “punching” department but it ensures that you are punching what you want without having to guess!  I know this sounds obvious, but believe me it took some time for me to realize that was an option. 

I used just a dab of adhesive and centered the paper punch on the flat side of my glass marble.  Be sure to gently move the paper around to spread out the adhesive.  You want to be sure the glue is even so it dries clear and free of bumps and bubbles.

I let these dry about an hour before adding my magnet.  I tried adding the magnet right away but ended up with paper that slipped and a few “oops’s” – Better just to be patient to get it right the first time.  After the allotted time, I used the E3600 adhesive to attach the magnets.  These tend to slip and slide so I carefully flipped them over and let them dry magnet side down.

The result, after about another hour of drying, are these adorable magnets!  I am going to sell these at the craft show for $.50 each and bundle a few up to sell as a set.  I’ll let you know how they sell!

 

 

Hello World…

…and welcome to my blog!  My name is Kate and, as my name suggests, I love to get creative.  I am a wife and a working mother of two young boys; my crazy-cute Henry, 2 and my new cuddle-bug Porter, 1 month.

When I first began to think about starting a blog, I wanted to focus on one specific creative arena that I enjoy partaking in, such as cooking and baking.  I love to cook and could write about all the different recipes and techniques I use.  The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized I do more than just cook and bake.  I thought about the gift baskets I make for friends and family, then the Christmas craft shows I participate in with my paper crafts, and the end result is this blog!  My goal is to create something that shows my diversity as a creative, crafty person.  I want to share with you my success and my struggles.  I want to give you great recipes, fun projects to do with your kids, and simple homemade gifts for friends and teachers.

I hope you enjoy my writing.  Please feel free to leave your comments or send me an email!

-Kate