Archive for October, 2012

Apples, apples, apples…

It’s fall!  The leaves are a beautiful array of colors and apples are plentiful.  This means apples are usually on sale in most grocery stores and being the ever diligent budget minded person I am, I start thinking of ways to use them in our meals.  Besides snacking, there are numerous recipes using apples.  I found a couple of great recipes online and thought I’d share.  Both were easy to make and tasted wonderful!

As usual, even though most recipes are probably fine, I’ve gotta make some adjustments.  I’ll be sure to include the things I changed or found might work better.  This past Saturday, I made some delicious apple scones.  This is the first time I’ve made scones, but they turned out to be easy to make.  The recipe for Fresh Apple Cinnamon Scones can be found over at the King Arthur Flour site.

Instead of the all-purpose flour, I used fresh ground whole wheat flour.  I did not use cinnamon chips as I didn’t have any, so I just left those out and didn’t do a substitution.  The only other change to the recipe ingredients I did, was I used regular sugar to make the topping for sprinkling on the dough.  They still tasted good, but I think the coarse sugar would have made them look prettier.

Other than those few changes, I followed the rest of the recipe exactly.  The only thing I believe I’d do different next time would be to chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes before cutting it in wedges.  I think it would have made that step easier, because I found it a little difficult to slide the wedges apart so there was 1/2 inch in between each piece.  Everyone loved these and I even ate a couple another day with a glass of milk for breakfast.

The other thing I love is these can be frozen in dough form and baked when you’re ready.  I read about it in the comment section below the recipe.  The recipe makes two rounds, so you could always bake one and save the other for another day.  Freezing this recipe would make it real convenient to have something fresh baked for breakfast, dessert, or a tasty treat for surprise company.  Here are some pictures(you can see the bit of a mess I made pulling apart the wedges) :

Scone Dough Shaped in a Circle

Scone Dough Shaped in a Circle

Scone Dough Divided Into Wedges

Scone Dough Divided Into Wedges

Finished Scones Ready for Eating

Finished Scones Ready for Eating

Yesterday, I made a tasty and nutritious apple cranberry crisp.   I was a little hesitant about the recipe I found.  It is a light recipe and did not use butter, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste.  I’m a firm believer in using butter in baking, but as I was out of butter I decided to give it a try.  The recipe can be found over at My Recipes for the Apple-Cranberry Crisp.

Now for the changes, you knew they were coming. 🙂  I added 3/4 cup of crushed pineapple drained, which I mixed in with the other fruit.  I sprinkled a tablespoon of lemon juice over the apples after I cut them up.  Lastly, I sprinkled about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground cinnamon on top.  The only reason I put the cinnamon on top is because I forgot to add it into the oat and brown sugar mix which gets sprinkled on top of the apple mix.

This recipe is another winner, despite my initial hesitations.  It tasted so good, I did not miss the butter.  The other plus of this recipe is it has a lot less sugar than crisp I have made in the past.  On the down side, this can make it a little more runnier than I’m used to.   I briefly thought about trying to add a little cornstarch next time, but then quickly dismissed the idea as this was so good there was nothing left after breakfast the next day.  I will make this again.

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Hope you enjoy the recipes and get inspired to make something delicious with apples… 🙂

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Crochet Crazy

Life has been busy, but is calming down for the moment.  Fall is easing in with leaves changing colors and cooler weather.  It’s the perfect time of year for working on craft projects, some practical and some gift projects for Christmas.  I thought I’d share a few of my recent crochet projects.  Maybe you’ll find something you’d like to make.

This is a scarf I made using the  free Vanilla Bean Scarf pattern found over on the Fiber Flux…Adventures in Stitching blog.

Completed Scarf

Completed Scarf

Additional Row on Flat End

Additional Row on Flat End

I love it!  This scarf works up incredibly quick and is beautiful.  I used the Caron Simply Soft yarn with no dye lot, which is my favorite.  I experimented and added 1 row onto the beginning row, which ends up flat in the original pattern.  To make it more wavy, I joined the yarn at the end of the beginning row and chained 3.  In the larger openings of each set of (2dc, ch2, 2dc), I worked 2dc, ch2, 2dc.  At the end of the row I did a dc in the last stitch, finished off, and wove in the end.  I’m still thinking about maybe weaving a piece of ribbon through the larger holes and tacking down the ends of the ribbon with a few stitches.

Another crochet project I completed in just a short time the other day was a small change purse.  I’ve been looking for one and finally just decided to make one.  I crocheted it using a very small ball of leftover cotton yarn, like you make dishcloths out of, and a size C hook.  Here’s my original pattern I created, which is crocheted in one piece.  It does include a little sewing to stitch the sides together and sewing on the button.

Change Purse

Change Purse

Opened Change Purse

Opened Change Purse

Change Purse Pattern

ch 17
row 1:  sc in 2nd ch from hook and sc in each ch across. (16 sc)

row 2:  ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across.

Repeat row 2 till piece measures about 4 inches, do not finish off.

Next row:  ch 1, turn, dec, sc across to last 2 sc, dec; repeat this row till only 6 sc remain

Last row: ch 1, turn, dec, ch 3, skip next 2 sc(makes loop for button closure), dec, finish off

Forming the change purse:  Weave in any remaining loose ends.   Stitching is done using 6 strands embroidery floss in a needle with a large hole.  You could use a matching color, but I used contrasting thread for a decorative touch.  Fold bottom of piece(1st row) up to last row prior to 1st dec row.  Holding together, I blanket stitched through both layers all around; beginning at the top side of the formed pouch, across the bottom, and up along the next side.  Do not finish off, but continue to blanket stitch around the single layer that makes the envelope type flap.  Be sure not to stitch the button loop closed.  Finish off.  Fold the flap down to help determine where to stitch the button on the pocket.  I’m not sure what size button as I just used one I thought was pretty from my button jar.

*Simple sewing version would be to just sew the sides together and sew on the button.*

These are a couple of the projects I’ve completed recently, but I have several other projects in the works.  I’m working on an afghan and some baby clothes for the new grandbaby on the way.  I just started a Creative Crochet board over on Pinterest for project ideas I think are interesting and I’d like to make.  Happy Crocheting!  🙂