Apple Pie

Here in Alaska we seem to have skipped fall this year and headed right into winter. We woke up yesterday to about two inches of snow in our yard. Thankfully, most of it has melted though. Nevertheless, I refuse to go straight to winter. So, last night I made my quick version of an apple pie.

This is so easy. I use a pie crust recipe that has been in our family for at least five generations (that I know of). Roll it out. Fill with sliced apples (you could use any fruit). Put about 8 slices of butter, sprinkle with apple pie seasoning. Let this bake for 35 - 45 minutes (depends on the thickness of the apple slices. When its done, transfer to your serving dish. Drizzle with homemade caramel sauce Serve warm. Homemade ice cream would also be great with this.

My taste testers PATIENTLY waiting to do their job.

My Favorite Thrift Store Finds

I think this table and floor lamp are the best things that I have gotten from the Thrift Store. I have been looking for a floor lamp for awhile now. I just happened to see this lamp on the way out and grabbed it before anyone else could. I hate to admit it, but one of the kids got knocked down in my excitment and  rush to get this lamp. It was marked for $20, but I asked if they could take a couple dollars off for the shade (it was not very nice). She only charged me $15. I already had this shade.

Now, the table I have had for about a year. When I first got it I painted it white. I admit I was in a hurry and didn't really take my time to do it right. I should have stripped it first. Well, I finally stripped it about two weeks ago. The three layers of paint came off easily. The table original was stained dark. I removed that layer also. I was a little surprised to see this design around the edge.

By the time I was done stripping and sanding most of it was gone. You can still see from certain angles. I really like this table and so glad I got it. I can't remember exactly how much I paid for it, but I know it wasn't more than $20.
I used Briwax (in clear) to cover it.

I'm happy with it. I needed something little for the end of the loveseat. This fits perfectly. I also stripped my dining table and we got new chairs. I'm almost done with it and will be posting some pictures of it also. I am finally getting some of my to-do list checked off.


Friday's Treat ~ Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Well, it is officially fall!! I love this time of year. The leaves are changing. It's time to wear sweaters and riding boots!! Hot cocoa, hot apple cider and of course PUMPKIN!! Why is it that pumpkin is only acceptable during the fall? I love to use pumpkin but can't bring myself to ever make anything with pumpkin in it outside of this season:) 

So here is the first pumpkin dessert of the season { and a new favorite }. I was looking through some recipes    I had saved on the computer and came across this recipe that I wanted to try. I tried to follow it back to its original source but it just kept going and going it seemed so i stopped at the "tasty kitchen". You need to check out this recipe. This is a great dessert { or breakfast cake }. Very moist and flavorful. Now, I did not add the walnuts, I don't like nuts. Because of this going to the office today I did use the cake mix but when I make this for us I think I will use a homemade cake and then add the pumpkin.....either way this is really, really good!

I didn't take a lot of pictures because of the amount where the actual recipe is. I of course made it into the mini cakes instead of the 13x9 pan. I hope you try these. You won't regret it:)

Well, I have several fall and home decor projects that I am working on that I will be sharing with you later today or over the weekend. It may involve several rolls of jute and burlap:)

I hope you have a great weekend!!

Mary Elizabeth


Our Labor Day Trip

I am finally posting some pictures from our trip to Seward, AK, on Labor Day. I will warn you that there are quite a few pictures. We drove down to Seward Sunday night after church and then came back on Monday night. The kids were so excited to go and spend the night at a motel. We also went to the Sea Life Center (something we do every time we go down there).

Hope you enjoy all the pictures!

Waiting for Dad to get the motel room.

So excited. They were checking out everything.




The kids had a great time. This was Jax'x first trip to the ocean. I am a little behind on some of my posts. Hopefully, in the next couple of days I will be showing you what has been going on here.


Friday's Treat ~ Butterfinger Cake

This cake has so many names and so many versions its unbelievable, really. It seems every one had their own version so, I decided to make my own version well:) 

I started with a basic cake layer. Then as soon as you take it out poke some holes all over and then pour a layer of caramel over top. Let that sit until cool. I sprinkled some butterfingers on top of the caramel as well. 

I didn't take pictures of every step because I kept getting sidetracked by this little cutie that was crawling all over the place. I was leaving the kitchen every 2 seconds looking at what she was getting into:) 

If she was in the kitchen she was playing under the sink....haha...my "things" are the best toys apparently. Pans and utensils are her a few of her favorite things:) There is no stopping her now that she can open the cabinets. She is sooo much fun and she was certainly enjoying her self!!

So here is the finished cake. Once it is cool spread a layer of cool whip and then sprinkle with butterfingers. This is really good and very moist.....Now most recipes that I saw said to use a yellow cake mix. I made my own ( recipe follows ). If I was going to be serving this at home I would use real whip cream instead of cool whip and would bake it in a 13*9 pan instead of the baking sheet but this works really well for the office or for party's!

Can you see the caramel sinking into the cake? Sooo good!

This cake recipe comes from the cookbook I told you about here. It really is a no fail cake. So delicious and moist.

Classic American Layer Cake

1 cup unsalted butter. softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 12/ cups milk, warmed

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and then as that mixes in slowly pour in the warm milk and mix until everything is combined. Spoon into prepared pans. 
If you use this as the traditional layer cake use two 9in pans and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. 
If you use this as the sheet cake above I used a large baking sheet and baked it at 350 for about 20 minutes, until slightly golden brown on top. 

I also made my own caramel:) Use a can of sweetened condensed milk and pour into a double boiler and let cook for about 45 minutes or so stirring frequently. 


Dinner Last Night

I have made this recipe for the last couple of years.  I can't remember where I got it though. I think it was off of a cooking show on TV, but not 100% sure. We love this recipe, even the kids like it. I'll give you the recipe as I have it written down then tell you how I make it.

Chicken Portobello Penni

Cook chicken in olive oil. Add 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup plum tomatoes, basil and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Add portobello mushroom sauce. Simmer. Add cooked Penni. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and basil.
I cook the chicken (two breasts) on low heat with olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. When the chicken is done, I shred it. While the chicken is cooking, I chop the spinach (kids like it chopped better then whole leaves) and the tomatoes. I also make the pasta (you could use any kind). Add the shredded chicken back to the pan, add the spinach and tomatoes. Cook on low heat till the spinach is wilted and the tomatoes are cooked down. While that is cooking, I make the mushroom sauce (you can buy it). Saute the mushrooms (one whole package), a little basil, salt and pepper till the mushrooms are cooked down. Add cream, simmer till the sauce has thickened a little. Add about a cup or so of Parmesan cheese. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture. Simmer for about 10 minutes or so. After I put it into the bowels, I sprinkle a little more Parmesan cheese and basil on top.
Hope you enjoy this quick and easy dinner!


Friday's Treat ~ Mini Mocha Cupcakes

These mini cakes are so, sooo good!!! If you are a lover of chocolate and coffee you will definitely want to try these out. Not to mention they are just adorable. 

I have to say that my decorating skills have improved greatly because of this friday tradition....I feel like a real cake decorator:)

I found these little polka dot liners at Michaels for just a $1, aren't they cute?!

I found the recipe for these on the Brown Eyed Baker's blog. You can find the recipe here. She has a lot of good recipes and ideas. I used  a cappuccino powder instead of the espresso powder only because I couldn't find an espresso powder....I used the suisse mocha flavor and loved it! I also dusted the top with a little bit of cocoa.....perfect!!

Try them....I know you will love them!!!!

Have a great weekend!

~ Mary Elizabeth ~


Another Pumpkin Recipe

Pinned Image
via Pinterest

Yesterday afternoon I had a few spare minutes when half the kids were sleeping and the other half were outside. Actually, I just decided to get on the Internet instead of working on my to-do list. I decided to check out Pinterest and saw this recipe for pumpkin cheese bread. In the process I found a new food blog that had a few recipes that I would like to try. I apologize ahead of time for no pictures, it was gone before I could take any. Which is a good thing I guess. Check out this recipe if your family loves pumpkin as much as mine does. I did add more pumpkin then the recipe called for and made one bread loaf size. I can't remember exactly how much longer it baked for though. This was really good but it doesn't have a sweet cakey taste. It was perfect after dinner with a cup of coffee and homemade pumpkin spice creamer drizzled with homemade caramel sauce.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Have a great weekend! Hopefully this afternoon I'll be able to post a couple of pictures for our trip to Seward last weekend. This has been a long week, we were all sick (including me), but fortunately did not lose any power. Which is weird because people all around us still don't have any power.



Friday's Treat

White Chocolate Cheesecake Cookie Bars

My husband has been craving something cheesecake for the last few days so I decided to make some cheesecake bars for his friday treat to work. These were super easy to make, despite all the layers:) 

The first layer is chocolate chip cookie dough. Just use your favorite cookie dough recipe. I used a large baking sheet for this but you could probably use a 13*9 pan too if you wanted to have a thicker crust. You could really do any kind of cookie base....no need to limit yourself to just  chocolate chip cookie dough!!

Next layer is the cheesecake layer. I used 2 8oz packages of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 eggs and about 1/4 cup flour. Mix well and pour over the cookie dough.

Next ( and final ) layer is the graham cracker part. I crushed 1 and 1/2 packages of graham crackers and melted about 1/2 cup of butter. Mixed it together and sprinkled that over the cream cheese layer. I used that much butter so that it wouldn't be too crumbly and it really turned out perfect with that amount:) I am a fan of Paula Dean and her butter addiction...haha:)

baking in the oven.....

You definitely need to use the parchment paper. It makes it so easy to pull out of the pan and cut. I use it all the time!

These really are yummy:) 

Let me know if you try them!!

Have a great holiday!!

Mary Elizabeth


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