Must Have Monday

Its warm enough here in the south to cook out Christmas breakfast.  This totally cool griddle, my grill would make for the best pancakes ever!  Just saying.  Find it here at Williams and Sonoma.

Image Credit, W&S

Kitchen Experiment – Carmel Apple Bake

I had a few apples that were getting near their expiration and an urge for fall baking.  So I pulled together a few things and made an apple crisp bake experiment thingy.  It wasn’t a huge success and it wasn’t a huge fail either.  I think I will be an on going recipe optimization quest.  Here is the basic experiment.
-small tube of buttermilk biscuits (5 biscuits) cut into quarters
-two small apples peeled and roughly chopped
-1 cup Carmel sauce – I used Smuckers Butterscotch Carmel sauce
-1 cup rolled oats
-2 Tbsp melted butter

Place biscuit pieces in the bottom of a shallow ungreased baking dish.  Cover with apple pieces.  Pour Carmel sauce over apples and biscuit pieces.  Mix melted butter with oats and sprinkle over top.  The initial bake time was 15 minutes at 350, but I kept returning it to the oven until the biscuits were cooked through and lightly browned so more like 30 minutes give or take a few.  The Carmel was super bubbly, that was awesome.  Over all I think the oats needed to be a little sweeter, so I might mix some brown sugar or crushed gram crackers with them next time.  I also might cut the apples into smaller pieces or sauté them a little first to make them a little squishy.  Nom Nom. 

Fall Wreath Tutorial

The warm colors of fall never fail to get me in a decorating mood.  I sat down last Saturday and made this wreath.   So of course, I’m gonna blog about it.

All of my supplies came from our new Hobby Lobby.  Obviously choose what you like this is just my “recipe”.  Why I love it: lots of texture, pretty fall colors, and the burlap keeps it from being to garish with the glittery pumpkins. 
24” grape vine wreath
Various floral picks – pumpkins and acorns of varying sizes and finishes
Fall spray of birch leaves; I liked how fluffy they looked
Four inch wide burlap wired ribbon
Large plastic beads

Florist wire
Heavy duty wire cutters
Hot glue gun – the perfect companion to any craft project
The first thing I like to do is decide how I want to orient the wreath and mark the top with a piece of ribbon.  I go this idea from my mom, and it always helps me with the lay out. 
 Next I just play with stuff until I get it kinda where I want it and take a quick picture.  It doesn’t have to be great but just enough that you can get it back in the same general lay out.  
 For this wreath I had to cut the birch spray into two sections for the look I wanted.  Using florist wire attach the “branches”.  Then using the hot glue gun I oriented the branches along the wreath, disguising the glue spots by sticking a leaf on top of them before they dried. 
 Next is the burlap ribbon.  I played with it until  I thought it looked good then stuck the florist wire through the holes and wired it to the wreath.  I saved some of the final securing until after I attached the other pretties but I’ll get to that.   

Next were the floral picks.  For some of them I cut the pick short and glued the florist wire in its place. 
 I started placing the picks along the wreath, gluing and wiring as I went, all while using the picture I had taken as a road map.  The next part was probably my favorite.  I get ticked to use something for other than its intended purpose, and have it turn out cool.  Using the florist wire I turned the large plastic beads I found into another florist pick of sorts.  I grouped them together and attached them all over the wreath.   
Some were between the pumpkins and acorns, others nestled amongst the leaves. 

  I decided I liked where the burlap ribbon was, made a few more folds and secured it with bits of hot glue hidden in the folds.  Finally I wrapped some of the same ribbon around the top, securing with glue and called it finished.  I hope you enjoyed the blog post and get inspired. 

More Fall Brews

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I love fall brews.  With pumpkin beers being on the top of the totem pole.  My husband recently took a trip to Michigan and came back with a local brew, Ichabod pumpkin from Holland brewing company.  Way good.  I have tried UFO Pumpkin, Sam Adams Pumpkin, something with a long name Imperial Pumpkin, and a few others that escape me.  However my favorite has been the Shipyard Pumpkinhead.  The spices were perfect and the pumpkin flavor deliciously mellow and almost pumpkin pie like.  
That is al!