Sunday, September 23, 2012

Apple Crisp Should Be Easy

Apple Crisp is one of my favorite fall treats because it is so simple to make.  At least, it is usually simple to make.  Today I found it more difficult than normal.

I have a handy, dandy "Apple Peeler Corer Slicer" that makes peeling and slicing apples a breeze.  Sometimes my boys will help just to use the fun tool.  I love this thing.

Today I got my handy kitchen tool out from the top of the pantry and put it together.  I got the apple on nice and snug and as I was ready to twirl away until I noticed something.

The part that peels is missing.  :(

I looked in the box.  Not there.  I searched my junk drawers (yes, unfortunately, there is more than one).  Not there either.  You see the part in the picture that looks like a red duck bill?  There is supposed to be a round metal piece attached.  The round part at the end cores and slices.  It's awesome when it works.  Today, instead, I had to do the work.  I had to use a regular vegetable peeler and peel the apples the old fashioned way.  Then I had to slice it with a knife - the old fashioned way.  I decided, at this point, that just ONE Apple Crisp is enough for today.

I really like my Apple Crisp recipe.  It was my mom's recipe so it is the Apple Crisp I grew up eating.  I am not sure where she got the recipe.  Maybe after reading this she will tell me.  :)

What I love about this recipe is how simple it is.  Just sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter and apples.  Hard to mess up.  Right?


I needed 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon.  I grabbed my measuring spoon, measured for the first teaspoon of cinnamon, put it in the bowl and reached for the smaller teaspoon for the 1/2.  Guess what?  The smaller one was 1 WHOLE teaspoon.

Good grief.  What did I use then?

I used a whole TABLESPOON!  I decided that the 1/2 teaspoon might be overkill at this point so I put the measuring spoon away, sighed a bit, and finished making my mixture - extra cinnamon and all.

Here it is - all baked.  I have to say . . . it's still pretty good.  I will try to pay better attention next time though.  I also think I'll go online and see if I can get parts for my not so handy (at the moment) peeler machine.  After all, I have to redeem myself by making a proper Apple Crisp next time.  :)

After all of that, I needed a cup of tea.  The other day I enjoyed my last cup of Apple Cider Herbal Tea from Davidson's Tea.  I always find Herbal Teas a little weak for me so next time I will try 2 tea bags instead of one (when I find more).  I bet it would have been really good with my Apple Crisp.  Maybe next time.  For now, Lipton's Bavarian Wild Berry suits just fine.

This isn't the worst baking mistake I've made but it was today's mistake.  So, I'm curious.  What kind of baking mistakes have you made?  You can share it by leaving a comment below - or you can just comment about my mistake if you want.

Thanks for laughing with me today.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11: Never Forget

It's Tuesday, September 11.  Eleven years ago, it was also a Tuesday.  I was at a MOPS meeting at our church.  It would have been our first meeting for the school year.  Because of my position as treasurer, I wasn't in the meeting right away.  I remember having to go into the church office for something.  Our church secretary had the radio on.  The news was that a plane hit one of the Twin Towers.

Of course, everyone is saddened by a plane accident, especially when it hits such a highly populated place like NYC, but, of course, we now know that there was more going on than that.  It's been so long that I can't tell you exactly how the news unfolded for me, but I know that it didn't take long to learn that planes were hijacked and our country was under attack.

After a rather unsettling MOPS meeting, we all went home, and, I'm sure, many of us were glued to the news that day.  My boys were 3 years old and 3 1/2 months old at the time.  Now, at ages 14 and 11, they only know about this day from what we share with them and what they learn in school.  While I know that they will never FEEL the way we felt on that day 11 years ago (and the days to follow), I hope that the lessons we learned from all of it will not be forgotten.

Eleven years ago, this country came together and said "NO".  "NO" we won't be a victim.  "NO" we won't back down to your threats.  "NO" we won't live in fear.  As we are in an election year, I watch the posts on Facebook.  We all have different ideas of who should be in office and why we like that candidate.  I think that is fine, but when I see posts that poke fun or insult people with different views, I feel we have forgotten what we learned at 9/11.  The people who hate our country, hate all of us.  They don't care about our religious or political views.  When elections come, they can get heated and I think they can easily divide us.  We need to learn to be respectful, whether we agree or disagree, for two reasons.  First of all, insulting someone's views or way of life will never get them to dialogue with you so you can find common ground.  It only creates a wedge.  If you are a Christian, how do you expect to share God's love with someone if you aren't showing it?  If you spent more time talking respectfully with others, you may find you have more in common than you think.  Secondly, we are allowing division, once again, in our church, our community, and in our country.  On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln said "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  At the time of the speech, the country was divided on the issue of slavery.  These days, we are divided on other issues that, while they aren't slavery, can enslave us.  I strongly believe that our country and the freedom we have is a gift from God.  Eleven years ago, we sat in horror as we watched (and felt) our sense of security be snatched from us in just a few minutes.  I believe our freedoms in this country can be lost as well if we don't stand together in mutual respect.  We don't have to agree, but God tells us to love.  We can take a stand for what we believe in but we are not to attack others.  Taking a stand and attacking are very different.

I want to leave you with a video from The Skit Guys.  I think it can express things better than my blog. I love your comments.  I hope you'll leave one here.  Where were you on 9/11?  Please share.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Saturday's Yard Sale Finds

With the start of the school year and cooler weather ahead, it feels like yard sale season is winding down.  I have quite a few things to create with so, while I still enjoy looking for great things, I have to be careful I don't go overboard.  My goal is to actually repurpose or freshen up the things I purchased before next summer.  If I have too many things, my to do list will be too big, but who can resist things that are FREE or just a dime?

I am not a fan of driving from one small yard sale to another.  I prefer neighborhood sales or those that are in a cluster area.  On Saturday, I found two yard sales listed in the paper that were close to me.  I decided I was just going to stay close to home this time so I could be home at a decent time and finish some things at home.

I'm just going to tell you about the moving sale I went to.  I actually went twice.  This lady had so many beautiful things for sale.  I wish I had a house that they would fit in, but, because I don't, I had to leave them there.  :(

I did get a few things that made me smile though.

First, I found this teapot.  It still had the tag on it ($79.00).  I love it because it has an insert for my loose tea.  It came with the teapot warmer which I researched.  I found that it is sold by Stash Tea Company for $12.  For this set, I paid $2.

Lately, I've enjoyed collecting glass containers.  The more unique the better.  I love the look of grain or noodles in a glass jar.  I haven't decided what will be housed in this one, but I loved it.  Couldn't leave it on the table when it was only 50 cents.

This adorable teacup and saucer was only a buck.  I found a tea stain on it (what is a teacup without one, right?)  I think a little distilled white vinegar with clean it right up.

I'm creating a little tea corner in my living room.  This looks nice in the corner.  This is how I'm using it:

More glassware.  The one on left was 10 cents.  The one on the right was free.  Gotta love free.  I'm thinking of putting a candle holder inside the one on the right and some fall "potpourri" between the jar and candle holder.

Another freebie  --- :)

From a different angle.  I don't know if I want to shine up the silver or not.

After getting these goodies, I left the yard sale, but I couldn't stop thinking about something I saw there.  I have been wanting new dishes for years.  What I have in mind is hard to find.  I found one I loved which were way over my budget, but they've been hard to forget about.  There was a set of dishes for sale that were very much like what I was wanting.  The box had 10 large plates, 10 smaller plates, 10 mugs and 2 bowls.  I was stuck on the fact that there were only 2 bowls.  I would need more bowls.  After all, my family eats a lot of ice cream. :)  I left the dishes at the yard sale and as I was heading toward home, I kept thinking about them.  I really liked them.  I would probably not find something like them again.  I definitely would have trouble finding that many dishes at one sale either.  I could get other bowls to coordinate with the set.  Ok.  It was settled.  I turned my car around and went back to the sale.  I was just hoping that they were still there.

The lady at the sale recognized me and knew I was back for something.  I told her about the dishes and how I was hesitant because there were only 2 bowls.  She said, "No, there are 10 bowls.  I have the whole set.  They must be inside.  I'll go get them for you."  In that case, the set was definitely sold.

Then I got bad news.  She couldn't find the bowls.  She was in the process of moving and someone helping her must have accidentally packed them to go to her new house.  We exchanged emails.  I also gave her my phone numbers.  She seemed like a very efficient woman so I think I'll be getting those bowls once she gets settled.  I'm enjoying them while I wait.

I love the pattern.  I received several pieces of milk glass from my great aunt and grandmother.  I love them too, but they never seemed to go well with the color scheme of the kitchen (cream/brown).  The design in these bowls seem to pull the white milk glass right in.

The kitchen feels more complete now (although I'm never done).  I learned these dishes are called 'J'Adore Creme' from Laurie Gates.  See how well they go with my table and chairs?  :D

I think my fireplace needs some sprucing up now.  Nothing a little fall decorating can't fix.

Time for Tea
The other day I received a shipment of tea that I purchased from Teavana.  Since I had new mugs and it's time to put the summer drinks away for a bit, I decided I had to give my Strawberry Lemonade Herbal Tea a try.  It was recommended that I get their German Rock sugar.  I don't usually use sugar in my tea but since this one was fruity . . . and a lemonade, I figured it would work well.  I'm thinking next time I'm going to try making it an iced tea, but it was great as a hot tea too.

Thank you for visiting me today.  I hope you'll stop by again next time.