Canned Apple Pie Filling

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Fresh! Homemade! Canned Apple Pie Filling!

Apples has always been a comfort fruit for me. Yes, I said fruit not food!

Maybe because the old saying goes, “A apple a day, keeps the doctor away”.

Or maybe because for some reason apples represent Americana and Freedom.

Or maybe it’s just the plain fact that apples, when baked, symbolizes a sense of “coming home”.

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There is nothing better in life than walking through your front door and smelling the aroma and baked apples, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

My daddy has lived in my childhood home for 47 years.  It is the place where memories were made with lots of tears, smiles, yelling and laughter.  It’s the place where I still can feel my momma’s presence. The place where life still matters in this world of chaos that we live in. The place where time stands still and hard work can still be found.

My bedroom window, of my childhood home, looked out at a old apple tree.  As a kid I would go out and eat the apples just as soon as they started growing.  My momma and tell me I was asking for a tummy ache.  And even though technically I didn’t ask, I still always ended up with one.

Maybe that’s why apples are so important to me.  It reminds me of the days gone by and the innocence of childhood.

I still pick those apples off that old apple tree, but now I wait just a tad bit longer and let them grow out of some of the tartness.  I recently made some Homemade Canned Apple Pie Filling from my daddy’s apples and I wanted to share of piece of my love for those apple with you.

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Homemade Canned Apple Pie Filling

Ingredients:

16 apples (4 quarts of filling)

6 cups of water

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of corn starch

3 cups of sugar

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of cloves or 6 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

4 quart size caning jars, rings and lids

Hot Water Canner or large stock pot

Instructions:

  1. Wash, peel, and slice up your apples
  2. Boil your canning jars and lids to be filled
  3. Fill your jars 3/4 up with apple pieces
  4. Add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar of apples to help with discoloration
  5. Bring your water to a rolling boil on the stove
  6. Turn the heat down and add your sugar to dissolve
  7. When sugar is dissolved turn off the heat to the pan
  8. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to the sugar water and mix
  9. In a separate bowl combine your corn starch with 2-3 tablespoons of water and mix together
  10. When the corn starch is liquefied add it to the other ingredients and mix
  11.  Pour the mixture into the canning jars over the apples
  12. Make sure to cover the apples completely
  13. Remove air bubbles by running a knife around the insides of the jars.
  14. Add the sterile lids and rims.
  15. Process the pie filling in a hot water bath for 30 minutes
  16. Place the processed jars on a dish towel and allow to cool and seal overnight
  17. Now it’s time to Enjoy!

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Do you remember my Patriotic Mini Apple Pies?

Well now you can use your fresh canned apples in your mini apple pies!

 

Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” #30

   
  Welcome to the 30th week of  Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 
 
32 Blogs  –  1 Party
 Giveaway
We are so excited to have you all party with us.
Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
Last week we had  437 awesome linkups!   
 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!
 
 The hop is hosted and posted on these different blogs
Your link will appear on the blogs of
 
Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?
Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?
This weeks 
Featured Bloggers
DSC_0043
Today I want to share my front porch with you. My accessories have both complimenting and contrasting colors in them. I wanted them to work with my house color (Cabot exterior latex stain in Spruce Blue.) and not clash.

Glass Insulator Lights

Glass Insulator Lights
Today, I thought I would share with you some of the lights what we installed in our new house! 

Carrot Orange Bread

from Wendys Hat

Carrot Orange Bread with Orange Juice Glaze
Created a special treat today that I know you will love.  I’m calling it my Carrot Orange Bread with Orange Juice Glaze.
 
Even though my Peach Cobbler was a failure this week, living in Georgia: I HAVE to can peaches each year. Now, we have a ton of Summer Georgia Peaches for the next few seasons thanks to successful canning. 

Whipped Feta Dip from The Pink Recipe Box

Whipped Feta Dip | www.pinkrecipebox.com

Sometimes I feel like the recipes I share with you guys are too simple and too fast to 
call them recipes. Today is one of those days. 
 

Thrifty Thursday…Glass Mushrooms for the Garden

from Artistic Endeavors Inc 101

A trip to the thrift store with my daughter yielded supplies for a quick garden project.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

from Upstate Ramblings

Slice of Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Pizza makes an good family dinner, because it is not only quick to make it is cost effective too.  But always serving cheese pizza is boring, so I like to change it up with some different toppings.  A few weeks ago I made Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza, and the family loved it!

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos Recipe

from A Mom’s Take

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
While I grew up eating what I now refer to as the American version of a beef taco, I found as an adult that I much prefer the milder flavor and taste of a traditional shredded beef taco.

DIY Citrus Avocado Face Mask

from Robyn’s View

Citrus Avocado Face Mask
Avocados are rich in moisturizing oils and healthy fats that you skin will adore. When you combine avocados with the skin brightening properties of citrus, you have a face mask that can’t be beat!

DIY: Cucumber Mint Body Scrub + Free Printable Labels

from Living Frugal with Erika

diy-cucumber-mint-body-scrub-3

I know that we all need a little relaxation from time to time, and what better way than with a DIY Scrub? Not only is this perfect for relaxing at home, it also makes a wonderful frugal gift idea! Take an afternoon and create this easy DIY Cucumber Mint Body Scrub

 Homemade Coffee Sugar Scrub

from Living Chic

coffeesugarscrub

I have been obsessed with Homemade Body Scrub recipes lately. I decided to whip up a Coffee Sugar scrub recipe of my own this morning. It is so easy and very inexpensive.

 

Funfetti Cake Bites

Funfetti Cake Bites
We love dessert at the Smith House, and though I’m obviously not a professional baker, I still enjoy whipping up some sort of sweet treat to share after dinner.

How-to: sew a soft ball

from Green Apple Colttagesoft toy ball

Another baby boy was born on the very day I posted a picture of a home made soft ball  I had sewn for my nephew. A perfect opportunity to sew another one, don’t you think? This time, I added several loops.


Lemon Blueberry Squash Bread

 

from Cooking with K

Lemon Blueberry Squash Bread

Have you every heard of yellow squash in a quick bread recipe?  I was first introduced to it last summer  by my daughter.  I love to bake with zucchini in bread, but never had made any with summer yellow squash.

 

The Last Wall in my Kitchen!!

from Debbie Dabble

Finally, I would like to share with you the last wall in my Kitchen……

And wrap up my Series on my Kitchen where I shared One Wall at a Time……

Every weekday I get an email from Short Daily Devotions, this one yesterday really touched my heart and spoke to me. I really want to share it with you today.

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Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

 

  • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.

 

 

  • Please Link to your family friendly post 

 

 

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Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

 

Birthday Party on a Budget

 


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I love parties!

I love planning parties, decorating for parties, and hosting parties.

During the year, we don’t buy our kiddos a lot of extra except what they need, such as new shoes, clothes, items for an activity and ect.  So when their birthdays come around, I always want to make them special.  I will just say for the record, that yes I sometimes always  go overboard.  It drives the husby crazy!

But I also like to host birthday parties for family and friends as well.  And when I plan birthdays for them I have to stick to a budget.  I will say it’s not always easy.

My two great nieces turned four and five a few weeks back.  they came to stay with us for a few days the week of their birthdays, which happens to be two days apart from each other, and I wanted to make it special for them.

Since I have been tutoring this summer, I happened to have two of the kiddos at my house that day, whom my nieces know from church.  I thought wouldn’t it be fun to throw them a small birthday party!  Of course my mind started spinning as I got to planning.  Even though I wanted to make it special, I also needed to keep it small, in the budget and on a time schedule.

My daughter Lindy started looking for leftover party supplies I keep stashed around the house while I started on cakepops.  I prefer making cakepops for small parties.  They are fast, easy and so much fun.  I make my cake and icing homemade and I had white chocolate and sprinkles on hand from all the baking I do so I was out no expense.

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Lindy found green and yellow streamers that a friend had gave to me, that I thought would make a great background.  Next we  found a roll of leftover pink tablecloth from a church fundraiser last year.  I also found a teal tablecloth that was leftover from Lindy’s birthday last month,  that we used for a table runner.

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It was starting to come together and so far I hadn’t spent anything.

I realized that we didn’t have plates, forks and napkins so I ran to the store to pick those up  and found the cute yellow striped straws for .50.  I left the store with my supplies and only spent $4.00 plus tax.  When I got back home I placed the forks in a cute pink bucket, finished the cake pops and decided on strawberry lemonade to drink.  I mixed together half a package of sugar-free lemonade koolaid and 1/2 pack of sugar-free strawberry  koolaid, added a lemon slice on the side and “voila” we had party punch.

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Instead of using party cups, I used these cute plasic hug juice containers that I save and reuse.  they were perfect with the yellow striped straws.

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At Lindys party, we had photo props, so I pulled those out, put them in a cute bucket, added a couple frames that I had picked up at a thrift store several months back and hadn’t used and we had a really cute photo booth.

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I used a couple cute colored bowls for goldfish and gumballs, also left from Lindy’s party.

I placed the cakepops on a cake stand and we were almost ready.

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The last thing we needed was party hats.  I found a few pieces of leftover scrapbook paper that I had used for a craft and elastic string I had bought for another project I am working on, and we made these cute, tall party hats.

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The kiddos love them!

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Meet Jessie!  Look at that sweet face!

It was fast, threw together all before 1 pm.  It was cheap, spent appx $4.50 total and it was fun!

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Meet Silly Maddie!

Instead of games we let them draw with chalk on the driveway, have fun with the photo booth and watch a movie.

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They had a blast.  Happy Birthday Girls!

I got to thinking, I know other bloggers must have amazing party ideas as well.

So I got with some fellow blogging friends and we shared ideas.

 

Dawn from  HomemakingHacks has an amazing post on….

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Creating your own party decor will help make your party a success! The best news is that it’s probably a lot easier and less expensive than you think! With the help of basics and simple color coordination, you can make all different types of matching party goodies in under an hour.

I am so in love with the tape bunting around the jars!  So adorable! And so creative!

 

Another idea I love comes from Katelyn from What’s Up Fagan’s

 

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Several years ago, I decided not to just throw a birthday party for my daughter, I decided that she needed to do it with me. And not just her, the rest of her siblings needed to help too. It was a perfect way to teach them responsibility, kindness, even organization. I knew my children would have the motivation to help with such a great reward so I went to work. As they have gotten older, they help more and I do less and less.

Being a homeschool momma, I am all about my kiddos being independent and learning life skills at an early age.  Love this!

 

And make sure to drop by and check out Crystal’s Birthday Parties on a Tight Budget from  Crystal and Co.

 

Rainbow cake decorated with birthday candles

 

If you’re like a lot of party-lovin’ moms, you practically drool over fabulous pictures of designer birthday celebrations with gorgeous fondant cakes that START at one hundred dollars…and then reality hits: not in the budget this time. But do you know you can host an awesome kid’s birthday party on a really tight budget? It’s possible! Read on for some of my favorite money saving suggestions.

Thanks Crystal for the Awesome Ideas!

 

I hope you have enjoyed all of the amazing tips to help you stay on budget for your next party.

And make sure you check out each of these amazing blogs!

 

Wine’d Down Wednesday #46

WDW-headerWelcome to the 46th Week of Wine’d Down Wednesday!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone that has been linking with us so far, we are beyond thrilled to have you coming back week after week and just love reading all of your posts! We were all so excited and overjoyed that so many of you want to come and share your awesomeness with us. Keep on sharing and spreading the Wine’d Down love 🙂

Are you interested in joining our fun? Why not co-host with us! We are looking for co-hosts to help spread our wine’d down love! Join us, it’s free! 🙂 If you are interested, email Michelle at Michelle@ourthreepeas.com.

Without further a-do- on to the party!

Our Three Peas
<div align="center"><a href="http://ourthreepeas.com" title="Our Three Peas"><img src="http://ourthreepeas.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/WDW-button200x200.png" alt="Our Three Peas" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

We are so excited you have joined us for a girl’s night out, blog style! So…why Wine’d Down Wednesday? Well, what’s the best kind of party? The kind where wine is served of course! Since we can’t meet our fellow blog friends in person we thought we’d throw a party every week. So grab your wine, link up a recent post, and mingle. Your post doesn’t need to include wine, linking up while drinking wine is completely acceptable and encouraged! We want any of your funniest, heartfelt, absurd, crafty, or delicious posts. As an added bonus, we will also be rotating a different social media outlet each week so you’ll get minglers at all your hangouts.

Our Wine’d Down Wednesday Pinterest board is brimming with all of your amazing posts. Each week we look at all the link ups and each choose the one we like the best! It’s always difficult to each choose just one, but we did and here are our 3 top Wine’d Down favorites for this week:

 

WDW_featured picks

WDW features collage #45

1. Freeze Ahead Strawberry Burritos // Curly Crafty Mama

2. Fish Tacos with Grilled Pineapple // Pure Grace Farms

3. Ice Cream ConeCupcakes // Krafts and Kiddos

4. 25 Things I want My Daughter to Know // Seven Graces

Congrats to all that were chosen! We have pinned these in our Wine’d Down Wednesday Pinterest Board.

Follow The Best of Wine’d Down Wednesday Link Party Board by Kristin (Dizzy Busy and Hungry!) on Pinterest

 

If you were featured, don’t forget to grab our “I’ve been featured on WDW” button!

Our Three Peas
<div align="center"><a href="http://ourthreepeas.com" title="Our Three Peas"><img src="http://ourthreepeas.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/WDW-feature-button-new.jpg" alt="Our Three Peas" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Now come and meet your amazing hosts!

WDW-hosts

Michelle at Our Three Peas: twitter// Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin’ //Google+

Chastity at My Rays of Sunshine: twitter// Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin’ //Google+

Kristin at Dizzy Busy and Hungry: twitter// Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin’ //Google+

Cathy at Three Kids and a Fish: twitter// Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin’ //Google+

Come Meet Our Fabulous Co-Host!

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We are so excited to have Miranda from Grace and Gravy as our co-host! This southern mom to three, loves to write all about her family, her homeschooling journey and also shares her amazing recipes along the way. Come stop by and give her some wine’d down love by visiting her blog, and on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and on bloglovin‘!

Now for the rules!

1. Follow your hosts and co-host in any way you can.

2. Visit 2-3 other blogs. It’s not a party if you’re not mingling!!

3. Link up to THREE recent post. No posts to other linkups, reviews, or giveaways please. We will only feature you once each week though.

4. Help us spread the word about this party by displaying our button on your post or sidebar.

5. Tweet and spread the word, if you feel so inclined :)

6. Use the hash tag #wineddown when sharing about us!

Got your wine ready??? Not yet? Ok, we’ll wait…….Got it now? Great! Let’s get our links on!

wdw email graphic 3

instagram_wdw

Wake Up Wednesday #26

   
Welcome to the 26th week of 
 
 Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 
 
30 Blogs  –  1 Party
 Giveaway
We are so excited to have you all party with us.
Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
Last week we had  393 awesome linkups!   
 
 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!
 
 The hop is hosted and posted on 30 different blogs
Your link will appear on the blogs of
 
      Notes from Heidi
 
Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?
Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?
This weeks 
Featured Bloggers

Announcing the Arrival of Our Little Guy + Birth Story

So if you follow me on Instagram this is old news but for those who don’t I am SO HAPPY to FINALLY announce our little guy, “E” arrived last Wednesday, 6/25. He was 7 lbs. 4 oz. 20.5 inches long with a full head of hair! He is perfect in every way! I am SO incredibly thankful to God that He blessed us with this little guy- it was quite the delivery but “E” was totally, completely worth it! 

Strawberry Cheesecake Yogurt Pops

Summer itself screams for creamy, ice cold treats to make a really authentic summer day. Sticky hands and happy smiles are the reward these delicious Strawberry Cheesecake Yogurt Pops. Kids and adults will love them, the kids can help making them too. Creamy, sweet, and tangy they satisfy a sweet tooth without overindulging it. Just perfect for a hot afternoon treat. Beautiful enough to serve or bring to any summer BBQ or pool party get together.
English Muffins

from The Pink Recipe Box

English Muffins | www.pinkrecipebox.com

English muffins are one of the very first types of bread that I ever attempted, which is why I always have a soft spot for them. For years I adored English muffins – whether they came from the supermarket out of a packet or in the form of a McMuffin from McDonalds, but it wasn’t until I made my own that I fell completely head over heels in love with them. 

This week, we’ll be touring Becky’s garden again.  This is my third post about her beautiful yard, so be sure to check out the two previous posts to see more of this lovely yard.   Today we’ll be looking at the potting area, and you’re going to love it.

20 Attributes of Pride: Examining Ego, Hindrance & Deliverance from My Salt, His Light

betterthan
I recently attended a mind-blowing bible study on the topic of “Pride”. It’s amazing how we hear a word like pride, and automatically think of others – and not ourselves.
poor Milo
So over the weekend it was time for our dog to get his bath.  Usually my husband is in charge of this process but I happened to be in the bathroom and I was looking at the shampoo he picked up awhile back at the pet store and I was like what?!
This tote was inspired by Ren’s Tote-ally Thankful for our Teachers post at The Inspired Wren! 
 She has a wonderful FREE Lined Canvas Tote Tutorial!  Thanks, Ren!

Homemade Espresso Drinks (Lattes, etc) – No Fancy Machine Needed!from Thrifty N Woman

This cold weather is causing me to seek some solice in a warm, cozy cup of coffee. Well, more accurately, a creamy foamy latte (hazelnut is my flavor of choice this morning). I worked my way through college as a Barista, and have not stopped whipping up espresso drinks since. Now my family and neighbors are the ones drinking my lattes. 

 

5 Ways to Experience His Presence

from Faithful Feat

In this world of go, go, go and do, do, do, it’s easy to drift far from the One who holds us secure. The One who goes before us, stands at our right hand and has the ability to keep us from being shaken.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.



Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

  • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.
  • Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  • I’d love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it’s totally optional
  • Please No adult content blogs
  • Please do not add links to shops or selling websites (they will be deleted from the party)
  • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel’s Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  
Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

Food, Freedom and Festivities: 4th of July

Food, Freedom and Festivities

 

I love the 4th of July!

I don’t remember exactly when I decided it was my favorite, or really why it was my favorite.

Maybe it’s the summertime and sunshine, or flag blowing in the wind.  Could be just the Freedom and Fireworks with friends and family.

No matter what the reason be, I just know I love the feeling I get on the 4th!

I love to make goodies for the BBQ’s and Picnics and crafts to decorate the house.

This year we spent the 4th at friends house having a BBQ/Pool Party.  I wanted to make it special for the family who invited us.  I always find it a treat to be invited to holiday’s and I want sure I impress to be invited again!

For the BBQ, I chose to make Freedom Frost Spritzer, Patriotic Mini Apple Pies, and Freedom Sprinkle Sugar Cookies (Y’all, all 4th of July goodies have to be named).

The hostess was more than happy to turn over the dessert making to me, but I wanted to make sure that since it was a Pool Party, the desserts were easy to grab and eat.

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First up is the Freedom Frost Spritzer.

Here is Arkansas, it is super HOT, and the humidity makes you sweat buckets after being outside for even 5 minutes.  Because of that, it is super important to stay hydrated.  This drink is cool and refreshing, as well as, great to help you stay replenished because it contains electrolytes.

I’ll be honest with you.  I’m not a huge fan of gatorade, but adding in the lemon-lime soda and the ginger-ale, completely changes the flavor and I really love it.

Go all out if you feel like it and add whole cherries or a few strawberry slices for a more festive look.

Ingredients:

1 32 oz bottle of Frost Glacier Freeze Gatorade

1 20 oz lemon-lime drink

1 20 oz ginger-ale

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How to make it:

1) Freeze your bottles of drinks until slushy (If you don’t have time to wait til they are slushy, just add ice to your drink dispenser)

2) Add your gatorade, lemon-lime drink and ginger-ale together

3) Add any fruit that you like

4) Serve

So quick and easy!

 

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For one of the desserts I decided on Patriotic Mini Apple Pies.

I LOVE making these!  They are so cute and easy.  You really can’t mess them up.

So if you are frightened of your pie looking like it was made by preschoolers, then this is definitely the way to go.

And who doesn’t like bite size apple pie? Right!  I think my husby consumed 6 in a matter of 5 minutes!

 

What you need:

1 package of pre-made Pie Crusts

(or click on picture for Pie Crust Recipe)

1 Can of Apple Filling

1 tbsp of Cinnamon or sugar crystals

1 tbsp of Butter

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Now let’s begin:

1) Start with making your pie crusts.

If you are not a pie making person, then use the ready made pie crusts out of the dairy section of your local grocer.

Simplify!  There is no shame in using a pre-made crust (:

My favorite recipe is The Pioneer Woman’s Pie Crust.  If you don’t have a favorite recipe, then by all means try this one!

 

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Click on picture for Pie Crust Recipe

 

Don’t you just love old pastry cutters?  I do!  I love cutting the butter into the flour! Makes me think of simplier times.  Sigh

2) After you crust is complete and rolled, cut out 4 inch circles.  I use a lid of a canister that I have because it is perfect size.  Anything you have will work.  Don’t panic if its not the exact size.  I promise the pie will go on.

3) Use a cupcake/muffin pan and cut 3-4 inch long strips of parchment paper appx 1 inch wide.  Enough for all slots in your pan.

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The parchment paper will make it so much easier to lift pies out of pan after they have cooked.

4) Take your crust circles and place in cupcake holes.  I try to make pleads in my crust as much as I can for a little extra character.

5) Fill your pie crusts will apple filling.  I used can apples for these and used appx 2 apples and a little filling in each pie.

**Check back soon for my post on Homemade Apple Filling! (The Apples are just now ready to pick)

6) Save enough dough to cut out mini stars.

This star cutter was actually from a Christmas Mini Cookie Cutter Set I got for super cheap after the holidays!  Hey works for me!

7) I then added a tiny bit of butter on top of the stars and sprinkled cinnamon.  YUM!

 

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If you will notice in the picture above, these are sprinkled with red sugar crystals.  My husby thought some of the stars should be red!  If it makes him happy, then yes I will add red sugar crystals to half of my pies!

8) Bake at 350 for appx 20 mins, checking your pies along the way.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I do.  And with the parchment paper as tabs, they should be really easy to lift out of the pan.

 

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Can you really have a Holiday without Sugar Cookies?   Are they not a staple of days gone by?  I decided for this 4th of July I would make Freedom Sprinkle Sugar Cookies, which is your basic sugar cookies with festive sprinkles.

I love making sugar cookies, but what I love more is letting the kiddos decorate them!  This has been a tradition in our house since the kids could walk.  Don’t you just love traditions? No matter if it’s Easter, Christmas or the 4th, we need decorated sugar cookies!

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For my sugar cookie recipe you will need:

2 cups of sugar (wouldn’t be sugar cookies without lots of sugar)

2 cups of All-Purpose Flour

1 cup of butter softened (2 sticks)

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp of salt (I love kosher salt)

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla or vanilla paste (I prefer paste, so much more flavor)

1/4 cup of flour for rolling

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This is how I do it:

1) I start with a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.

I LOVE parchment paper.

I don’t know how I ever survived without it!

Doesn’t it make life so much simpler?

2) Then I cream together my butter and sugar until it is completely mixed, almost to a mixed stage.

3) Then I add in my egg and vanilla.

4) In a separate bowl, i slightly whisk together my flour, salt and baking powder.

5) I then add the dry ingredients to my sugar/butter/egg mixture.

6) Mix together well.

7) At this point you have 2 options.  You can roll into balls and bake, or you can roll out like pie crusts appx 1/8 inch thick and cut out circles.

I normally roll out and cut into circles with a round cookie/fondant cutter.  you can also use a biscuit cutter (:

If you go for this option, you will need to lay out a piece of parchment paper and use your remainder of flour so your dough does not stick.

8) Lay your circles or dough balls  appx 3 inch apart on cookie sheet.

9) Bake at 350 for 8-10 or until they start to turn slightly brown around edges.

Don’t over bake, they are suppose to be chewy.

Yields appx 20 cookies.

10) After cookies cool then decorate with your favorite icing, sprinkles and sugar crystals.

Enjoy!

cookie platter

Now that the snacks are made, it’s time for a little decorating!  I drive my husby crazy sometimes with all of my decorating for parties, events, holidays and just to make the house more cozy and appealing me me.

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I wanted to do something very simple for the front porch.  We have a super cute wrought iron table on one side and a white porch swing on the other, so just a little something festive was the key.  I chose to decorate the table which sits in front of an old screen door.  I covered the table in a blue star material and added a chalkboard, a rusted star planter, which i added a flag material to, and a patriotic plaid placemat for a center piece.

Nothing fancy but perfect!

4th decor

 

I have several of these white wooden garden chairs.  I have some inside and I leave some outside.  I really enjoy sitting ferns and planters of flowers on the outside chairs.  In this pic I am using the rusted planter with flag print material.  Such a cute idea to sit beside your front steps or on the porch.

Sometimes all you  need is subtle touches.

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This idea is great for a small 4th of July get together or a morning brunch.  I used my table from my porch, added a couple of my garden chairs and make a super cute place sitting with all of the festive food.

Now how easy is that.  Took maybe 5 minutes.

I love having small get togethers and brunches.  This set up is also great for a Tea Party.

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And what kind of Holiday would it be without dressing festive?

My kiddos and I have done several different shirts in the past for the 4Th.  This year we have been on a Tie-Dye kick so we decided 4th Tie-Dye Shirts would be perfect.

We have done several different dyeing in the past.  We have used the regular tie-dye, we have used kool-aid, but I feel the Rit dye works the best for fading.

What we used:

White t-shirts (we chose v-necks for a different look this year)

package of rubber bands

Rit Dye in Cherry Red and Royal Blue

2 large bowls

Newspaper

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How we made them:

1) First wrap rubberbands around your shirt

The awesome thing about tie-dye is that you really can’t mess it up.  Every shirt has its own unique design.

I prefer to wad my shirt up and place rubberbands in random places (:

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2) Add 1/3 bottle of dye to appx 2 gallons of hot water in a large bowl.

I use the same color bowl as dye so it won’t stain.  And yes I use a little more dye, and less water than called for because I want my colors to pop!

3) Place newspapers on floor (or go outside) and set bowls of die on top.

4) Dip one section of your shirt in a color and hold for 3-4 minutes.

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5) Gently wring out using a glove or plastic bag on hand and dip another section in same color or other color dye.

You can do half the shirt one color, the other half another color or sections in each color

6) When shirt is covered in dye, place in plastic bag and let leave for 12 hours so colors will set in.

7) After the 12 hours, remove shirt from bag and rinse with warm water as you start to remove rubberbands.

8) After all bands are removed, rinse shirt in cool water, until water is mostly clear.

9) Hang shirt up to dry part way and then continue drying in clothes dryer.

10) Remove shirt and you are ready to wear!

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After all the drinks, desserts and shirts were made, we were ready for a great night of Food, Freedom and Festivities with friends.

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We ate, and swam, and got ready for fireworks!

 

 

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And after dark we enjoyed playing with a few sparklers.

 

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Overall it was a another wonderful 4Th of July.

I hope you had am amazing day of Food, Freedom and Festivities in your neck of the woods!

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Blackberry and Lemon Cake….Oh My!

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Isn’t the world just a little sweeter because of blackberries!

Yummy!
My dad calls me last week and lets me know the blackberries are ready to be picked. Here’s the thing with blackerries with my family, it’s whoever can get to my dad’s the fastest! Well, it didn’t take me long to high-tail it to the garden (:
It just so happened to be Father’s Day and I had intentionally intended to bake  a blueberries and lemon cake for my sweet husby.

After we picked all the blackberries, I thought well why not blackberries instead of blueberries.

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My husby had his doubts for a mere 2 seconds but that soon changed.

It has just enough lemon flavor, but the blackberries help cut out the too-sweet taste. I topped it with a lemon buttercream frosting that came out perfecto!

This would make an amazing cake for your next potluck or bbq. Or how about for the upcoming 4Th Celebration?

But seriously, this cake is to die for.  It’s a mix between a pound cake and a cobbler, yumm-o!  It didn’t stay long around these parts.  I had a lot of grabby hands reaching for it.

But I would love for you to try this cake for yourself and tell me your thought!

Ingredients:
Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
5 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil or butter
2 cups blackberries
1/4 lemon juice
1 cup of milk
Frosting:
4 sticks of butter
1 bag of powered sugar
3 tbs of milk or heavy cream (just to help mix the powered sugar with butter)
3 tbs lemon juice

 

Cake:
1) Mix your eggs together with your sugar until completely mixed
2) Add in your oil and lemon juice
3) In a seperate bowl, wisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt
4) Add in 1/2 flour mixture and 1/2 milk and mix together
5) Add in remainder of flour and milk and continue mixing until combined
6) Pour your mixture into 3-8 inch round cake pans (grease well)
7) Add 1/3 of blackberries to each pan
8) Bake at 325 degrees on middle rack for appx 35 minutes
9) Remove cake from pan and let cool before frosting
*If you have any loose crumbs on cake, refrigerate for 30 minutes before frosting

____________________________________________________

Frosting:
1) Whip butter with the mixer until completely smooth (make sure butter is soft before mixing)
2) Add in 1 cup of powered sugar and 1 tbsp of milk or heavy cream, at a time to butter and whip together.
3) Continue adding the sugar and cream and whipping until all powered sugar has been added to butter.
4)Now add in your lemon juice for flavor.

5)If your frosting is to dry add another tbsp of cream. If frosting is too thin add another 1/2 cup of powered sugar until you get the consistency you desire.

 

Final Phase:

1)Spread frosting between layers and stack, evening up as much as possible

2)Now you are ready to frost your cake, add a few blackberries on top for decor and enjoy

You will not regret your choice for this cake!

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And if you missed the DIY Tutorial for the Cute and Easy CakeStand, you can find it here:  https://graceandgravy.com/2014/06/12/thursdays-diy-tutorialcakeplate/

 

Also today is June 24th!  That means that Wild Iris Ridge is released today!  If you haven’t read the reviews for this new book, please do!  This is such a great summer read, that I am giving everyone permission to grab a cup of coffee, cuddle up in a comfy chair and spend the afternoon reading.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18722897-wild-iris-ridge?from_search=true

It is available for purchase online from Amazon @

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=wild+iris+ridge+raeanne+thayne&sprefix=wild+ir%2Cstripbooks%2C346

or B&N @ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-iris-ridge-raeanne-thayne/1117254482?ean=9780373778591

Make sure to check it out!

Thursday’s DIY Tutorial:CakePlate

I love Good Deals!

I love thrifty finds and turning them into something amazing I can use. Whether its just for fun or decorating project for the house.

This past week I was in my local Dollar General Store, when I came across white ceramic candlesticks on clearance for $1.50! Well, I don’t know about you but that was too good of a deal to pass up. My mind instantly started turning thinking of something I could make out of a candlestick.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I could have just used it the way it was but it really didn’t match any decor in my home right now. Then I thought, if I attach a plate on the top I could turn it into a Cake Plate. BINGO!

I love cake plates, but gosh they are so expensive!

So I paid for my candlestick and headed home. Later in the week I drove to a nearby town to a Dollar Tree and picked up a white cermanic plate for $1. And then I was ready to craft!

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I went home, pulled out my trusty glue gun/sticks and my E6000 glue, which by the way if you havent used to AWESOME, and started my project.

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There is just something about a quiet “Crafternoon”, using my creativity and just relaxing. Sometimes when I’m by myself it’s a little too quiet, so I have to turn on my “Crafternoon” Playlist, which is my favorite music while working.

This playlist I call “ThriftedGrace”. I hope you guys will check it out!

Anyway, back to my cake plate. It’s so simple. Really guys, like 3 steps and your done! A 10 minute project which would be great decor for a party, or celebration such as a Baby or Bridal Shower or a Wedding. Mine I think will look just right on my kitchen island with a nice chocolate cake sitting on it! HAHA!

Items you need:
Candlestick
Plate
Glue Gun/Glue Sticks
E6000

1) Squirt E6000 around the edges and on top of Candlestick
2) Add hot glue to underside of plate
3) Even up and press the plate firmly on top of Candlestick
4) Bake a cake and enjoy your creation!

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That’s all it is. $2.50 Project!

The E6000 works so well, the only thing I use the hotglue for is to set it in place til the E6000 settles good!

I was also looking around at the Dollar Tree and found short glass candlesticks and clear dessert plates that would make a really cute cupcake platter (for 1) or to serve a few cookies or tea sandwiches on. So many possiblilites. I don’t know if I will ever buy a “real” Cake Plate again!

So then I got to thinking……I know other bloggers/crafters have thought of this before, so i decided to find some! And what I found amazed me! I decided to share a few of my favorites with you!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/222435669066839074/ (Must try this one one)

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/222435669066789968/ (To serve candy! Love it!)

http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-to-make-homemade-cake-stand.html (would be beautiful for a wedding)

Hope you enjoyed my DIY Tutorial on Cake Plates!

In Case You Missed It

Wow, what a busy week full of celebrations and activities this has been. Now don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating, I love parties, but there was just a few too many in one week for me!

But I didn’t want to leave out any special occasions from my blog so I decided to do a picture collage of all the events I did not to get to share throughout the week!

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We started last Friday morning with my Grandson Wyatt’s Kindergarden Graduation.(yes grandson, no judgement please) (Top left and middle picture) It was so adorable all of the children getting to walk across the stage in their little gown and cap!

That night we celebrated my son Keegan’s 15th Birthday with family and friends. I will share a full blog post of that later!

Saturday arrived and we spent the day celebrating my great-nephew’s 1st Birthday with a full FIESTA! His daddy is full hispanic and his family was gracious enough to host us all for a day of fun and AWESOME FOOD! (Top right picture, Middle left picture) I seriously felt I was in back in Guatemala, (sigh) it was wonderful!

Our church is starting a new series in our Children’s Department, so my sweet husby and I spent one evening this week decorating for “Clubhouse Pirate Adventure”. Argggg! Ahoy Matey! (middle center and middle right pictures) We always have a great time coming up with the vision and putting it into place! And to see the smiles on all the kiddo’s faces this weekend was PRICELESS!

After all of that celebrating and decorating, we slowed it down for a Date Night! (Bottom left picture) We had a bit of celebrating to do ourselves. I had just received notice that day, that i was selected to be a part of Author ReaAnne Thayne’s Street Team for her upcoming new release “Wild Iris Ridge”. I was beyond excited!
We decided on a quiet evening at a local Coffee Shop where we had some yummy drinks and treats. We ended the night at the bookstore which is one of my FAVORITE places! He is so good to me!

Yesterday, we wrapped the week up with my granddaughter Lilli’s 3rd Birthday! (Bottom center and bottom right pictures) Look how sweet she is blowing out her candle. (: And yes that is my VERY pregnant daughter beside sweet Lilli. She is due in 7 weeks! Lilli had a pool party and BBQ for her birthday and being the cool Mimi that I am, I made her a Bubble Guppie cake!

I was so shocked to see her jump off that diving board! WOW!

For once I can honestly say I am so glad tomorrow is Monday and a new week! I think its time for a slow-down!

I also wanted to share the Awesome Blogs I linked up with this weekend:
http://www.sweetbellaroos.com
http://easylifemealandpartyplanning.blogspot.com
http://memoriesbythemile.com
http://www.flamingotoes.com
http://www.cookinforthesevendwarfs.com/

Drop by and check them out!

And “In Case You Missed It”, make sure to check out my blog posts from this past week!

http://graceandgravy.com/2014/05/25/sometimes-we-just-need-a-do-over/

http://graceandgravy.com/2014/05/28/freedom-at-its-finest-and-potato-salad-too/

http://graceandgravy.com/2014/05/28/a-little-taste-of-mexico-and-the-truth-about-link-parties/

http://graceandgravy.com/2014/05/30/diy-homemade-powder-laundry-soap/

Have an AWESOME Monday!