Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mother Nature Played A Trick On Me!

Have you ever noticed that Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor sometimes? I think that she just loves to remind everyone that, try as they might, no human can control her! She does what she wants, whenever she wants to, and we lowly mortals have to deal with it, the best way that we know how.

In comparison to the disasters that others have had, ours is a little "drop in the bucket", pardon the pun, but it is bothersome, and is going to cost us some money.

We had hard rain and high winds for over 24 hours, and I found out that the new roof that we had put on 5 years ago, is leaking all over our enclosed porch. I went out yesterday morning, to take photos of my Halloween decorations, and was met with glistening puddles and a multitude of drips from the ceiling, and mini waterfalls cascading down the wall, where the porch meets the house.  I could also hear the water running between the walls, which isn't good.  Hubs called the roofer yesterday.  And I've got some cleaning and drying up to do this morning.  The photos will be delayed a bit.

But I do have some other, miscellaneous Halloween decorations to share. Just little things here and there.

My favorite kitchen towels reflect my love of Vintage Halloween.

And this is a candle box.

My Granddaughter gave me this piece, years ago, bought with her own money at their grade school Fall Festival.  Even with the little stain, that she never noticed, it is a treasure to me.

This is my collection of votive candles.  The paper lantern on the right is an oldie, and very fragile.  That is one of those battery powered lights inside. I'd never risk using a real candle.

And, I have a few old Beistle, Dennison or Juhrs paper decorations. I just love the style of the graphics!

This one is a stand up greeting card. The JOL's facial features have been punched out.

Ok! That's it for now!  I can't believe that Halloween is here! I do hope that the wind dies down, otherwise, I can't hang my decorations out.  They are all lightweights! lol

Everyone have a spooktacular day!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Halloween!

I'm going to try this again, and hopefully the photos will load correctly.

These are the rest of the ornaments that are on my kitchen cabinet.

A gourd kitty (I had to crop the fabric pumpkin to get the image to be right side up, instead of sideways. .strange)

A papier mache kitty in a felt hat

A papier mache kitty with a JOL on her head. It is supposed to hold a candle, but I most certainly don't want to do that!  And that is a wooden noise maker laying beside her.

Then we have a Prim Witch, and assorted kitties and candy molds.

And on the other end, a couple of pumpkins and a candy jar!

Again, please ignore the crumbling plaster and torn paneling. I will be doing a HUGE happy dance when the walls are all done!  So for now, concentrate on Halloween!! lol  I couldn't up on anything tall enough to shoot these straight on, and wasn't going to haul the tall ladder back in. I apologize for the angle.
These pieces are on top of my very tall hutch.

And these are on top of a bookcase!

Some fabric pumpkins, a metal crow, and a wax one on top of a curio cabinet.

And the table that is nestled underneath the stairway.

I'm still having some problems with the layout of the photos. Halloween gremlins must still be at work!

Tomorrow, I'll try and show you my enclosed front porch, and then on Halloween IF it doesn't rain, what I put outdoors. I have to wait until the last minute, because most of them are paper lanterns that don't like to get wet!

More rain and thunderstorms tonight, but at least we haven't had snow. .yet!

Everyone stay warm, stay dry, and stay healthy! I want you to all to be able to enjoy All Hallows Eve!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

National Caramel Apple Day!

Saturday, besides being All Hallow's Eve, is also National Caramel Apple Day!

Instead of waiting until then, when you are busy with last minute costume tweaking, and dashing out for that extra bag of candy to replace the one that you devoured "just one little piece" at a time, until lo and behold, your hand gets stuck in the empty plastic bag, looking for just one more taste. (Don't ask me how I know this to happen. There are gremlins, or at least one, in my house too!), I'm going to share the most delicious recipe with you now, so you have time to get your ingredients and settle in for an evening of gooey, delicious fun!  And it will help you forget about eating any more of that hand-out candy! 

When my kids were little we made these every Autumn.  My neighbor would also make a batch of the caramel, pouring it into jellyroll cake pans, wait for it to set up (you don't refrigerate it!), and then cut it into squares, wrapping each individually in waxed paper, to hand out as treats.  She made hundreds of pieces, and never had any left over.  She also made another batch to tuck pieces into her annual cookie and candy boxes that she passed out to friends and neighbors.

For years now, during the Yuletide baking season, I make another batch, but this time cutting it in half.  I place small mounds of pecans on lightly buttered foil, spoon the hot caramel over them, and after it is set, I spoon melted chocolate that has just a bit of melted shortening blended in, to help it firmly set up, to make homemade turtles!  They are SO good!!

Here is this very versatile recipe!

1 lb. Butter (don't substitute)
4 Cups Sugar
2 Cups White Karo Syrup
2 Cans Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Teasp. Vanilla
Favorite Apples
Crushed Nuts are optional

Wash apples and secure sticks in stem end.  Place on a large foil lined jelly roll pan. (that anti-stick foil is great for this!)

Using a heavy 8 quart saucepan, mix the butter, sugar, syrup and sweetened condensed milk together.

Cook over medium heat to 240 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. Stir constantly because it scorches very easily. (this is the only tricky part. It will turn a beautiful golden brown color, which is what it is supposed to do, but if you let it scorch, even if you get the scorch pieces out, the whole batch will have a slight burned taste to it.  A deep pan and a long handled wooden spoon work great!)

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Dip apples into caramel, spinning to coat.  Using a buttered knife, clean away dripping caramel back into pot and either set the apple on the foil, or roll in crushed nuts or other toppings of your choice.  Place finished apple on foil to set up.

This caramel is best not refrigerated.  Depending upon the size of your apples,this recipe can make 15 or more caramel apples.

I do hope that you'll try these. They are so much better than caramel apples made with those little squares wrapped in cellophane! 

Wishing everyone a beautiful pre-Halloween night! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some More Halloween Decorations

I guess I have more decorations than I realized!  I have an Amish made, Hoosier type cabinet, and these are the decorations that are now taking up residence on it.

A few ornaments to hang from the various door and drawer knobs:

Papier Mache Man In The Moon

Paper Clay Pumpkin Woman with her Black Kitty. 

A tiny Papier Mache Pumpkin bucket.

Adjacent Paper Clay Pumpkin Man with his Lantern and a Fabric Painted Witch's shoe.

And a little goblin with rope arms and legs!

Hmmm, I'm going to have to post more photos later. For some reason, the photos are coming out sideways on the blog, even though they are correct in the preview.

Maybe the goblins are practicing up for their big night!  Spooky!!!!

Everyone have a great evening!

Another Halloween GiveAway!!

I don't know how I missed it, but am SO happy that I found it before the drawing date!

Mother Moon is having a wonderful. "A Little Tonic Before Bedtime" give-away, with wonderful treats, and not a trick in sight!  The drawing is on All Hallow's Eve, so you still have a couple of days to get your name into her cauldron!

Please click on her name to be whisked away to her blog!

Have a spirited evening, everyone!

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Funkins Are Done!

That dessert must have been the magic incentive, because the third Funkin was finished in record time!

Now, these are in no particular order, but I want you to figure out which pattern I picked out for him to carve.  And to give you a little clue. .I may keep "mine" out all year around! lol

Although he hasn't said, I think that the Eagle is my hubby's favorite one this year.  It did come out quite smashing! Oops! I guess I shouldn't use that term when speaking of pumpkins! It makes them sweat!

Here are the other two that he carved this year.  He also said that he may not be so ambitious next year.

Then, I reminded him that we still have a number of empty windows to fill, to which he replied, that I had better get busy! lol

But he does SUCH a good job!!

Ok. there you have them!  Which pattern did I pick out?  How well do you know me? lol

May you all have as much fun with your JOL's as we do with ours!!

Oh! And if you live in apartment, carve one and put on your table, for you to enjoy. I speak from experience, it will make you smile!

I'm Back In The Kitchen Again!

The new JOL's are forthcoming.  Hubs got two of them done yesterday, and started on the third before he ran out of steam.  The last one has some intricate carving, and he didn't want to take a chance on ruining it.  He also suggested that something sweet to eat might give him the fortitude to see this project through to the end.

Since he did such a good job on the pattern that I picked out, I decided to make something a little special, using cream cheese that he loves so much!

I use a homemade apple pie filling that I freeze, but you can also use a commercially canned apple pie filling, and it will taste very yummy!

Harvest Apple Streusel Squares

2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
3/4 Cup Butter or Margarine, melted
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1 - 8 Ounce Package Cream Cheese, softened
1 - 14 Ounce Can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Large Eggs
1 - 21 Ounce Can Apple Pie Filling
1/2 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Teasp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Cold Butter or Margarine
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/3 Cup Chopped Pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.  Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and pecans in small bowl.  Press evenly into prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until fluffy.  Add sweetened condensed milk and eggs.  Blend well.  Pour over prepared crust.  Spoon apple pie filling over cream cheese layer.

Combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in medium bowl.  Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in cranberries and pecans. Sprinkle over apple layer.

Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until golden. Do not overbake.  Cool before serving.

A little perk. .the house smells wonderful!!   And, I think I hear a Funkin being carved! 

Have a fantastic Fall day!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hubby's Turn

No, he isn't going to be doing any posting. He says that it is better left to me, but I'm going to show the JOL's that he has done for the past few years.

I used to carve real pumpkins, and he would never get in on the fun.  He never carved them as a kid, and ever the practical person, thought that it was a waste of a perfectly good pumpkin! (What he ever saw in me, I'll never know, but I swear that I was brought into his life to try and bring out the kid in him and show him that it is ok to have some fun in life)

But when Funkins were introduced, and when I pointed out that we could keep his hard work from year to year, he was intrigued.  Then, when I showed him patterns, and how he could apply them, I knew he was snagged!  He is actually doing three this year, which I'll show you later. He is planning on finishing them up today.  One is a pattern that I picked out, and we'll see if you can figure out which of the three it is. .but until then, here are the ones that he has carved in past years:

This was the first one.  He wanted to do a simple one to see how he liked carving them.  He still gets lots of oooh's and aaah's when kids come to trick or treat.

The next year, after he was through carving, realized that he put this guy's ears on the front on his head, and was going to throw it away, but I pointed out that especially at Halloween, you are going to see all sorts of characters, and not all of them look like we do!  And maybe this guy liked looking at who or what he was hearing, and vice versa!  

Then he decided to do a happy face, and came up with this design.  We have a CD that you can put on your computer, with face parts so that you can design your own. 

The next one he did looks rather forlorn, like everyone is putting rocks in his trick or treat bag!

That same year, he carved his first message pumpkin.

After that, they started getting a little darker, a little scarier!

Like a Vampire!  And a skull!

But then my sweetie carved this one for me, last year!  Not so spooky, but I love her!

I think that my darlin' hubs is making up for lost time, in fine fashion!

Wishing you a "Perfect Pumpkin" Day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Octoberfarm Give Away!

Jaz, over at Octoberfarm, is having a fabulous giveaway, with treats from her recent trip to Salem!  Whoo Whoo!!!  Either click on the blog name, or the button on my sidebar!

I'm sorting through more Halloween photos to share!  Be back later!!

Have a good afternoon!