Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween - How Not to Make Caramel Apples

Buy Purple Spartans at the Farmers Market 2 weeks ago - deep red skin that polishes up beautifully -sometimes called lunch box apples because they are not too big and don't bruise easily - sweet and juicy too.

Search the Internet for recipes that don't involve syrup, molasses, caramels, or candy thermometers because its 9:30 pm and its too late to go shopping.
Let your son poke the apples with the skewers because he really likes poking things with sticks but tell him after each one that its the last one he is doing and that he really needs to go to bed now.
Add 2 tbsp butter to pan and then 2 cups dark brown sugar to pan over high heat - note recipe calls for light brown sugar over low heat and gentle boil but go your own way instead.
Wonder why the melted sugar is still gritty - add sweetened condensed milk to compensate - not in recipe
Leave pot unattended to put son back to bed. Listen to him maintain he can't sleep - its just too exciting to think about his Death Eater Ring Wraith skeleton faced double nunchaka carrying costume.
Go back to kitchen to find burned bottom of sugar mixture - but not too burned - tastes a bit brule.
Dip apples - search for something to dip the dipped apples in to cover up the strange looking caramel with the burned bits.
Settle on almonds - press into apples - Looks good.
Inadvertently break stick on apple as nuts pressed in - take a deep breath - continue more carefully.
Give dipped apple to son.
Verdict - "pretty good for your first try at caramel apples" thumbs up sign
Give another apple to husband
Verdict - "delicious - can I have another"
Son now asleep - wonder if soporific effect due to apple or just coincidence, fleeting thought about Snow White.
Try apple yourself.
Verdict - "Actually pretty good"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Witch Sighting ---

There were 2 little pixies sitting in the pumpkin patch. The first one said: "Ohh my its getting late!" The second one said: "There are witches in the air... but we don't care!"

As soon as I saw the photo on Pam's blog header I knew I wanted to incorporate that image of her as a witch flying through the air for the Zombie Swap. (A good witch) Then she updated her blog heading with a new photo and I had to search deeply in her blog to find that image again - I found it - Phew!! and the other great images of her family. Her husband had a bit of mischief in his eyes which seemed perfect if she was flying in to give him a kiss. There are so many great photos of her daughters on her blog it was hard to chose but they do look cute in the pumpkin and so pumpkin pixies were created.

I was really reluctant to send a glass container in the mail and wanted to incorporate quilting so a shadow box format came about and it also speaks to Pam's scrapbooking interest. Pam's girls are young so I wanted something not too scary but that still reflected Halloween so pumpkin orange, gold, green and brown colours seemed right. I have not done much hand sewing for awhile so that was a bit challenging but I really enjoyed working on this and am glad to hear Pam liked it too.

I also really liked seeing what others have made and checking out their blogs. Pam for instance makes very beautiful jewelry ( and I love the potions that Pam made me and just can't thank Saucy enough for hosting this swap.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Its here - Pam's Perfect Poisonous Paralyzing and Petrifying Potions

Pam prepared potions as her contribution to Saucy's Zombie swap. I love it and here are some photos that Pat helped me take. He definitely sees it as an interactive display. The tiny skeleton has been attacked by the spider, has been head down in a jar, splayed in front of the display etcetera. I have it set up on a little table at the entrance to our living room and every time I turn around he has adjusted it. Pam used jars that had spices in them so there are remnant fragrances in the jars which Pat is fascinated by - of course he has taken the tops off - he is really impressed that they have different odours. Pat is a huge Harry Potter fan and potions could not have been a more perfect choice for me. Thanks so much Pam!!!

Here are a few teasers about my Zombie swap sent to Pam. I will post details when I get confirmation that Pam has received it.

Thanks so much Saucy for hosting this swap!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hello Everyone

This is my second round of Club Little House and am so looking forward to this round. I am a crafter wannabee and have been inspired by the creativity of the fellow members. I work long hours at a job I adore and until recently longer hours on looking after my family but the nest has emptied with only our youngest Pat at home now. I've always loved sewing and drawing and done things for the kids but now have time (albeit little bits and pieces) to do something creative. Im new to blogging and some of the technical aspects slow me down but its been great to participate in blogland. I finished Saucy's very fun Zombie swap contribution last night and its on its way to my partner tomorrow. I can now get immersed in making my 12 littles. Its funny I see life size versions of what I am making everywhere now - sort of like when you are are pregnant it seems like there are so many more pregnant people around.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Grape Jam

I bought some lovely grapes and wanted to make jam or jelly but time went on and I did not get to it. So I asked Ian if he could try his hand at it while I was away. Initially reluctant as he had never made jam before he toiled away and cooked the grapes down and the huge bowl of grapes turned into this tiny half jar batch of jelly jam. So much work for so little result BUT the quality!!! Ohhh my the flavour is so INTENSE and the jam is truly solid. One finger lick of jam has grapes bursting in your mouth. Wonderful!!!l

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quilt Giveaway !!!

Elizabeth Cranmer of Pigtails and Snails ( has a very generous giveaway of a beautiful quilt she designed made up in lovely yellow, cream and brown tones. Seriously beautiful and wonderfully quilted by Cathy Keevill of Black Bear Quilting and Pine Freckle Forest. An Inspiration - check it out.


pumpkin pink cottage etsy shop

Check out the Pumpkin Pink Cottage Blog for a very sweet giveaway.

All you have to do is leave a comment and indicate your favorite holiday dessert. That will get you one entry into the give away. Post this give away in your blog with a link to the pumpkin pink cottage blog and its etsy store and that will get you 4 more entries. Do both and that gets you a total of 5 entries...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I had to be in Toronto on business on Tuesday and so arrived on Sunday with Pat.  We got to spend some time with Mat, Devon and Cait and Pat's friend - a good time was had by all.  

I made a great Thanksgiving dinner which we had in Vancouver on Saturday.   I took lots of photos but had trouble transferring them to my email so lost quite a few.  I found little orange peppers at the farmers market  and they looked like mini pumpkins.  I stuffed them with tomato, eggplant and mushroom and roasted them a bit.  They looked adorable and tasted wonderful.  We had a great turkey with stuffing and home made cranberry
 sauce with local cranberries and pumpkin pie.  Too bad about the pics...

In Toronto Pat and I stayed at the Pantages hotel.  It was great fun.  

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wine country

Had the opportunity to visit some wineries around Penticton and bought some wine home for Ian.  Super Ego - from Therapy vineyards - how could I resist that bottle!!    

On the way to Kelowna we stopped to buy some fruit - beautiful peach plums and prune plums - delicious.  Bought grapes for jam too ... still waiting to be cooked up for jam - maybe bit off a little too much to do.