Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Apple Kuchen

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I thought I'd share this delicious recipe that uses the apples that are in season now. It works well on a dessert buffet or transports easily if you are traveling for your holiday dinner. My friend shared this recipe from her Dutch heritage with me and it has become a seasonal tradition to make this in our home ever since. Her family uses the spelling "apple kuiken", but when I tried to research more about this dish, I found it often spelled "kuchen", which is the German word for cake. However you choose to spell it, it is sweet and tasty and a perfect addition to your collection of fall recipes.

2 cups of flour
1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
1 Tbsp baking powder                              
1 egg
4-5 cups of apples

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
approximately 2 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel, core and cut the apples into thin slices.
Lightly grease a rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
Cut the ingredients together using a pastry blender and pat into the bottom of the pan.
Line the sliced apples on top.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle on top of the apples.
Top with dots of butter.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Monday, November 2, 2015

More Fabric Pumpkins

Happy November everybody! I know many bloggers are moving into Christmas posts now that the calendar page has turned another month, but I am enjoying the fall too much to start Christmas crafts and decorating just yet. With Thanksgiving being a gentle reminder to have gratitude and be thankful for all of the blessings in your life, I just want to soak in these last few weeks and enjoy this time of reflection before some of the hustle and bustle of the next holiday season officially begins.
When I ended the post about how I created  a small fabric pumpkin patch for my glass scarecrow, I promised to show you how I created some other fabric pumpkins. 
Two of the pumpkins are "no sew" crafts, and the last one requires a minimal amount of sewing. The first pumpkin has a really unusual base....a roll of toilet paper. I read about how to make these pumpkins on Debbie-Dabble's Home and Garden Blog. Debbie loves Christmas but goes all out for other holidays as well, and when I saw these cute pumpkins that she made using rolls of toilet paper and small amounts of fabric, I knew I had to try making one. For this craft take an inexpensive roll of toilet paper and a piece of fabric (I had 1/4 yard of plaid fabric, but didn't need that much).
Simply place your roll of bathroom tissue in the center of your fabric square.
Then pull up the fabric and tuck it into the center of the roll, sort of pleating the fabric as you go along. I used the handle of a small screw driver to tightly push the fabric down as the tube became more full.
Once completed, I wrapped twine around a piece of thin cardboard that I rolled up. I placed some hot glue on the end and inserted it into the center of the tube to act as a pumpkin stem.
Finally, I embellished it with some silk leaves I had in my stash of craft supplies.
The next "no sew" pumpkin was made using the sleeves of an old sweater, some jute twine and some cotton fiberfill stuffing.
I've seen these all over pinterest, but I turned to  a post that Kim at Curtain Queen Creates did last year about creating pumpkins from shirt sleeves as a guide.  For this pumpkin I cut part of one of the sweater sleeves about 10 inches long and then turned it inside out. I cut 6 strands of twine about 36 inches long and knotted them together, placing them inside the knit "tube" with the knot of twine remaining outside the tube. Then I twisted a rubber band around the sweater and twine slightly above the knot.
 At this point, I turned the sleeve "right side out". This will cause the knot of your twine to be inside the pumpkin. The area where the twine comes out of the fabric will ultimately be the bottom of your pumpkin.
Now you need to stuff the pumpkin with the fiberfill, making it as plump as you would like. Then firmly grasp the remaining tube of sweater above the stuffing and attach another rubber band to keep it secure.

Now bring the strands of twine up from the bottom, spacing them as evenly as possible and wrap them around the the top to form the pumpkin stem. Trim any extra parts of the sweater that are left above your twine wrapped stem.
To finish the pumpkin I twisted a piece of the jute twine, tied a piece of raffia around the stem and glued on a few leaves.
The final fabric pumpkin requires minimal sewing. For this one I cut a rectangle of burlap and sewed the long sides together using 1/4 inch seam allowance to create a tube just like the sweater sleeve. Following the same procedure as I did with the sweater sleeve above, I created a similar pumpkin out of burlap.
All of these pumpkins were inexpensive and rather easy to make. They are adding a cozy touch throughout our home this fall and are a fun way to add some autumnal colors indoors.