“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Apple Cookie Cake Recipe

Yesterday was a cool rainy fall day....the perfect day to bake.  Since I promised you an apple recipe, I chose one that uses almost all of the apple. Most recipes call for peeling the apples and throwing away the most beautiful part! Not this recipe, that gorgeous red peel enhances the color and texture. Sometimes my husband fusses about my time spent blogging, except when I post a dessert! To my husbands delight, he gets to eat this yummy Apple Cookie Cake.

First let's talk about apples. I strongly urge you to use organic apples in the recipe or in anything where you will be eating the skin of the apple. My choice in this recipe was a local Paula Red apple. We visited several orchards and I picked up three varieties. They were the Paula Red, Chestnut Crab and Sweet Sixteen.

This first photo shows the gorgeous Paula Red apples.

These are the cute little Chestnut Crab apples.  They are about the size of a golf ball. They look pretty in my Mom's Fire King Jadeite mixing bowl.

All together now....
from bottom left.... Chestnut Crab, Sweet Sixteen and Paula Red apples.

Apple Cookie Cake

Base Ingredients:
     1/3          cup butter
  1                cup  all-purpose flour
     1/3          cup  sugar
  2                tablespoons  chopped crystallized ginger
Filling Ingredients:
     2/3          cup  sugar (or a bit less if your apples are quite sweet)
     1/4          cup  all-purpose flour
     3/4          teaspoon  baking powder
     1/2          teaspoon  ground cinnamon
     1/2          teaspoon  ground ginger
     1/4          teaspoon  salt
  2                eggs
  2                tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  2                medium  red skin apples -- (2 cups) unpeeled, chopped
                    (I used Paula Red Organic Apples)
Heat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and watching closely, until butter just starts to turn golden (3 to 5 minutes). Immediately remove from heat. Add 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar and crystallized ginger; mix well. This mixture will be dry and crumbly. Press into bottom of ungreased 8-inch square baking pan.

Combine 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Stir in eggs until smooth. Stir in apples; pour over crust. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar evenly over filling.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Adapted from: Land O Lakes 

Craving to know more about apples? Click here for varieties and uses.

Before being eaten... crunchy cookie crust, caramel 
apple filling and whipped cream on top!

After.... yum.... My hubbies second piece; 
the empty plate next to his favorite coffee mug.

Next week .... more photos from the Autumn Market and a story about a Wee Old Woman! No, NOT me!! Hope you are all having a great weekend!              ~~Diane~~

Thursday, September 26, 2013

White Horses

Some days you are just lucky. I had a day like that last weekend. My husband and I were driving to an apple orchard outside of town and came across this lovely sight. Three gorgeous white horses in a pasture.

My husband stopped the car and I got out to take some photos. The horses were not interested in me too much, I think they may be used to people stopping and taking their pictures. Only one raised his head to look at me and then they went back to their beautifully choreographed grazing.

I'll get to the apples next time, because I thought these gorgeous creatures deserved their own special post. I even found a nice poem to go along with today's theme.

White Horses

Let us ride white horses,
And pray the silver sand,
Beneath the hooves,
Hold us in high esteem,
And carry us loftily,
To mingle with the stars,
And dance on sunbeams,
Which tumble gracefully,
On a dusty wooden floor...


*** I hope you are enjoying your week.  I will be back in a few days with apples and maybe a recipe! Who knows! See you soon on your blogs!
 ~~ Diane ~~


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Welcome to Autumn

Kiss sweet summer goodbye, here comes Autumn!


We heard the sigh of the first autumnal wind, and even the water had acquired a grayer hue.  The sumac, grape, and maple were already changed, and the milkweed had turned to a deep rich yellow.

"The Four Seasons" by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

The yellow flowers are called Zig-Zag Goldenrod and they are a native plant.

The white blooms of the Royal Standard hosta have a lovely fragrance.

The bees are still busy in the flowers. Do you see them?

Guy Noir enjoying one of our lovely late summer days. Fall is in the air.

The first brightly colored leaf I found this season.

The Sweet Autumn Clematis is filled with this type of
 bee and many smaller ones as well. They and I too, love the heavenly fragrant blossoms!

The gorgeous colors are emerging on these leaves I found in the yard.

Today it really felt like fall. A cool nip in the air, and the freshest of breezes blowing a few leaves from the trees really set the mood for me.  We will be visiting an orchard this weekend for a little apple picking. Hope to have a few nice photos to share with you all.

Have a lovely weekend everyone! ~~ Diane

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nuts About Squirrels

It's true! I really get a kick out of the little buggers! Every now and then I get pretty cross with them when they nip off the top of a tulip or tip over my Fairy in the Fairy Garden, but overall they bring me more pleasure than pain.

Today I thought I would do a little squirrel round-up at my house, just to find out how many squirrely things I had.  I surprised even myself!


A vintage covered candy/nut dish...


A new plate I picked up a few years ago. A vintage McCoy Pottery Squirrel.


A new resin piece I picked up on clearance last year.


A book by Richard E. Mallery that I purchased a year after moving into our home with its squirrel-icious filled backyard.

A vintage Danish print I purchased years ago.


A squirrely souvenir found at an estate sale.


A squirrel nut-cracker....


A concrete squirrel that I painted in honor of our occasional visitors the White Squirrels.


A squirrel sweater I bought on clearance a few years ago.


A pair of vintage Squirrel Salt and Pepper shakers, also found years ago.


The squirrels above are my very own, however I have had a few squirrels in my Etsy shop. Remember the Green Squirrel  (still available) ........

....and the book Miss Suzy?  Sorry she's been sold.

Now I've just added another Squirrel on Log Planter,
1950's Vintage by Enesco. Click on the links if you'd like to see more.

If you are also nuts about squirrels, you should get your very own! Either the real live furry ones or the cute little pottery kind above!

Oh, and the one thing I learned from the squirrel book is this...

"If there's a squirrel, there's a way!"

Till next time ~~~ Always Crave Cute.... Squirrels! ~~ Diane

Friday, September 13, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Wow! What a change! It's like a switch was thrown and it went from hot steamy Summer to cool comfortable Autumn overnight! We still have about a week before Autumn is officially here. I wanted to share some photos I took in late August of my garden.

This first photo was taken during one of our hot steamy mornings.  The camera lens fogged over when the hot humid air hit it. I kind of liked the misty look so I kept it.

After my camera became acclimatized to the outdoor temperature, this is what it really looked like. Kind of an overcast, but very steamy hot day!

Yes, I love my phlox, they smell heavenly! And no, they are not all the same! They all have their own unique shade and markings!

 Some are more pink and some more purple hued.

 A Downy Woodpecker, left a lovely feather for me!

This phlox is quite confused. It has some pink flowers with white accents, some the reverse of that and some just mixed or white!

The white phlox has some wild orange jewel-weed behind it. Jewel-weed is a native plant that the hummingbirds love. It is also known to ease the symptoms of poison ivy exposure.

I will be posting a few more garden pictures with you as we say a long goodbye to Summer. Before I go I want to share with you a quote....

Part of the afternoon had waned, but much of it was left,
and what was left was of the finest and rarest quality. Real
dusk would not arrive for many hours; but the flood of
summer light had begun to ebb, the air had grown mellow,
the shadows were long upon the dense, smooth turf.

Henry James (1843-1916)
American-born English novelist

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