Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Regardless of Christmas there are pigs to be fed, so hubs took off this morning to do chores with the truck, our only vehicle with 4-wheel drive. We had at least 4 inches of snow in the last 24 hours which means when the snowplow goes by there is no way I’m getting out of the driveway without moving some snow. So with a little help from YouTube and a neighbor’s relative, I figured out how to use the snow-blower for the first time! The driveway might not look good but hey I can get out and its the small things in life that count!

I was sick Christmas Eve Day and it wasn’t really feeling like Christmas to me so I started listening to some music this morning to put me in the mood for celebration today.

Here are my top 5 Christmas songs (I really have more then 5 so this was hard):

5.

4.

3.

2.

1.

 

May the light of Christ shine in you!

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

It’s officially been fall for over a week so I’m not sure why I’ve waited so long to share this amazing recipe.

Fall is my favorite. Why? Well, there are a few things that I love about it…

Corn Harvest 2013

Corn Harvest 2013

  • Beautiful weather-I could live in a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans
  • Harvest-the fields look absolutely beautiful and it smells amazing!
  • Canning and freezing-tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce, apple sauce, jalapeno pepper jelly, corn, beans, and carrots (ok some of those happen in summer, but still…)
  • and APPLES!! (which I love to eat with peanut butter!)

So here is the deal, I have an incredible recipe for you, and by incredible I mean divinely scrumptious. Trust me, you are going to want to make this one and then keep the recipe close by. I made this less then 6 hours ago and there are 3 pieces left out of a 9×13 pan. Did I mention it is EASY to make.

Apple Cake

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

  • 4 cups diced apples
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place diced apples in a large bowl and stir in eggs.

Add sugar, oil, cinnamon and nuts.

Apple Cake

Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to apple mixture. Stir well.

Apple Cake

Bake in a 9×13 pan for 45 minutes.

Apple Cake

Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cream or half & half
  • 1 heaping Tbls flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients, except vanilla.

Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce

Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds, until thickened, stirring constantly.

Caramel Sauce

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm over cake. Refrigerate leftovers.

Apple Cake

Apple Cake

 

I hope you enjoy the cake, please leave a comment and tell me how it was! 

Marcia’s Rhubarb Coffee Cake

If you missed my last post for a  rhubarb recipe you also missed out on how much I LOVE rhubarb. So, to spread the rhubarb recipe love I’m sharing Marcia’s recipe for rhubarb coffee cake.

My parents have a HUGE rhubarb patch with 8+ mounds of rhubarb so growing up we had rhubarb desserts quite often. The rhubarb patch was something my Grandpa and Grandma had when they lived at the farm and I have lots of memories of my Grandma coming out to the farm with a brown paper bag and knife to pick rhubarb. When I moved away from home, one of the first things I wanted for my yard was rhubarb from the farm. Now I have a lovely mound of rhubarb of my own!

Ok, so back to this delicious coffee cake recipe. My neighbor growing up, Marcia, would call up and see if she could stop over a pick rhubarb a few time every year and since we have plenty we always welcomed her over. At least once a summer Marcia would bring over  a rhubarb coffee cake and we finally asked for the recipe one time and boy am I ever glad!

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cub buttermilk
    • note: if you don’t have buttermilk a simple substitution is to use just less then 1 cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Cream the butter, sugar, and egg together.

Combine the flour and baking soda to the creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk.

Mix in rhubarb and vanilla.

rhubarb coffee cake

Pour mixture into a greased 9″x13″ grease baking pan.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and almonds.

rhubarb coffee cake

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Snow Stories

Well there is snow flying again. I know everyone is sick of winter and sick of hearing everyone talk about the snow and cold but as I’m sitting here watching everything turn white, I got to thinking about some great stories that involve snow:

I vividly remember one day in high school where it had snowed a couple of inches and that day I drove my neighbor, Renae, home from school for some reason. We lived just ¼ mile from each other just a couple miles outside of town on a gravel road. We were talking up a storm and before I realized it we were almost to her house. With about 30 yards before the driveway I started to brake only to realize I was not going to make the turn into the driveway. Next thing I know, I locked the brakes up and the car is skidding and sliding, for those who have done this you know there is no turning one direction or the other at this point. We are skidding and sliding and headed for the ditch and front yard, we miss the mailbox by inches on one side of the car and somehow missed a tree on the other side. We came to a halt. We starred at each other. There was dead silence for about 10 seconds follow by hysterical laughing for 5 minutes. Renae got out of the car and walked to the front door which was 10 feet away, and I drove through the front yard back to the drive way and headed home. From the terrifying ride through the ditch and the hysterical laughing its amazing that I didn’t pee my pants!

For those who know my husband  you know that he is an avid hunter. For those who don’t know him, I’m a harvest widow and immediately after harvest I become a hunting widow until mid December. If it flies, it dies and if its brown, its down. The first winter that my husband and I were married was VERY snowy, especially in December, and we didn’t have a snow blower. Every time Kyle was gone hunting it snowed. Did I mention that we did NOT have a snow blower?! The one weekend he was gone it snowed about 12″ of HEAVY, wet, heart attack type snow. Don’t forget, no snow blower. Now my little car was going nowhere without someone cleaning out the driveway. Dreading the task ahead of me I headed out with shovel in hand. I got about halfway done and was pretty proud of myself but I was tired. I wanted to take break but I knew if I did I would not finish shoveling the driveway so I kept at it. Finally, after what felt like 2 hours of shoveling I was DONE! About the time I turned around and got back to the garage I heard the most horrible noise. The SNOWPLOW coming down the street. I wanted to run to the end of the driveway and boycott the snowplow but he probably wouldn’t have stopped for a young lady shaking a shovel at him and I probably would have been covered head to toe in snow and slush. The plow went by and left a thigh high drift at the end of the driveway; now I’m about 6’0″ so this pile was a good 2.75′ off the ground. I think at this point tears were streaming  down face and freezing to my cheeks. I was exhausted and now I had more snow to shovel. I was devastated. Once again I told myself, “Self, you CAN do this. You MUST do this.”  and I did. Now the next morning my alarm clock is going off on my bed side table and I tried to go through the motions of turning the blasted thing off, only to find out that my arms would not move. I could not physically lift them up to shut off the alarm! Now picture this, I literally had to roll out of bed and stand up so that my hands were at the right level to pick up my phone and shut off the alarm! That is a Minnesota upper body work out!

The one weekend it snowed the my husband was home and we got a snowblower

The one weekend it snowed that my husband was home and we got a snow blower

Although the snow is no longer welcome by most Minnesotan’s, especially the farmers who are anxiously awaiting planting, we are glad to have the moisture that was so desperately needed for a good growing season this year. Saturday’s high is 72°, only in Minnesota.

Enjoy the weather. The first person who complains about it being “too hot” better remember how much they wanted the heat not that long ago.