Monday, November 22, 2010

a really yummy fresh apple cake & easy homemade icing

I'm still on an apple kick. They're just so stinkin delicious :)

I found this recipe in Southern Living and loved the way it turned out! Super easy as well...

Fresh Apple Cake
2 Cups Chopped Pecans
1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
2 Cups Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2 cups all-purpose Flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
4 Large Granny Smith Apples

Preheat oven to 350 and bake Pecans in a single layer for 5 - 7 min or until lightly toasted & fragrant. Stir together butter, sugar, eggs, & vanilla until blended. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, & salt. Add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Peel & chop apples into1/4 inch-thick wedges. Stir in apples & 1 1/4 cup pecans. Batter will be very thick. Spread into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan, and bake @ 350 for 45 min. Cool completely before covering w/ Browned-Butter Frosting & remaining pecans.
I got a little excited about icing the cake and thought midway through i might should show you what the cake looked like plain, because it would be a wonderful without the icing as well!

Browned Butter Frosting
1 cup Butter
1 16oz package powdered sugar
1/4 Cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla

Cook Butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly for 6 - 8 minutes, or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove pan from heat & pour butter into a small bowl. Cover & chill 1 hour,or until butter begins to solidify. Beat Butter at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating w/ milk (Beginning & ending with sugar. Beat Mixture at low speed until well blended after each addition. Stir in Vanilla.
The Final product!

Enjoy this beautiful Fall Monday.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A girls weekend in Boston with Mama!

Mom and I had a really fun girls weekend in Boston a few weeks ago. We made the trek north for Ben's game when Clemson played Boston College. Football has been the best excuse for traveling to lots of fun places over the past few years. I can't believe its all about to come to a close (only 2 more games for Benny!) Here are a few of the snapshots of our trip.....
We had BEAUTIFUL fall weather our first afternoon in Boston. Mom and I stayed in Cambridge and decided to walk along the Charles River to Harvard. There were rowers everywhere.... and I though of you Miss Sovik :)
Isn't my mama pretty? I think so!
One of the entrances into Harvard's campus. It was a gorgeous campus!
Sunset over the river... and a little experimenting with the lighting on my camera...
After our first afternoon the weather turned much, much more chilly, and we were thankful we had spent the warm afternoon outside
The Boston Skyline
Revolutionary War Ship: The USS Constitution, aka "Old Ironsides"
Paul Revere House.... they had 16 kiddos in there!?!!
Faneuil Hall
The Old State House, where the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time
Home of The Boston Red Sox!
We ate Lunch at Cheers, where everyone knows your name
My sweet friend Courtney! Her brother plays for clemson too, and she and her family have been such an encouragement to mom and me over the past 2 football seasons.
Love that #78 ... offensive line praying together before the game
Mama and Benny and Me! I'm a lucky girl to have these two :)

off to winston salem this weekend for the 2nd to last Clemson Game for my #78!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shutterfly Christmas Cards

Jay and I have sent out Christmas cards and a Christmas update letter both of our married years together, and I definitely plan to do it again this year. I love to receive holiday cards with photos and letters from our friends and family, and it is such a great way to keep in touch with people that you don't get to see very often. Plus, its always fun to get regular old snail mail :)

I saw on my sweet, and very talented friend Lisa's Blog that Shutterfly has their own Holiday Cards. They are so cute, and very convenient to simply design at home and order from your computer. I am a big fan of the flat photo cards found here: .

Shutterfly also has great New years cards which is a unique and fun alternative to the original red and green Christmas card. They are found here: .

Another tradition I have started with my dear mama is giving her a calendar for Christmas each year full of photos of the past year. (I also always sneak a few in from way back in the day.) It is a great holiday gift that you can enjoy all year long. I really like Shutterfly's designs for their calendars found here: .

I can't believe the holidays are right around the corner! If you are a blogger find out how you can get free holiday cards to show off your family :)

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Love for Apple Pie

I LOVE apple pie. I love all sweets, but hot, fresh, homemade apple pie is definitely one of my favorite things. Ever.

Its been a couple weeks now, but Jay and I spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon picking apples up at Carter Mountain Orchard near Charlottesville, VA. We had a much better, much safer experience compared to last year when mom & I were attacked by 20 some enraged hornets. That was a very painful, very swollen apple picking experience that involved me running through the orchard in my bra to escape the nasty swarm of apple tree loving hornets. Luckily for my arms' sake Jay and I simply enjoyed picking apples and eating apple cider doughnuts. My Apple Pie Recipe is super simple, very basic, and from my dear friend and college roommate nicole. I think the first time I made it was with her for one of our college Thanksgiving feasts. I was lucky enough to make it with my sweet friend Haley (who also shares a passion for cooking apples pies with me!) during our clemson friends lake weekend.
Nicole's Apple Pie:
2 Homemade pie crusts (or use the Pillsbury roll out crusts... they are very yummy, and save quite a bit of time.)
6 Apples (I use whatever apples I have on hand)
3/4 Cup of Sugar
Lots of Cinnamon to taste
5 - 7 tablespoons of Butter
Roll out Pie crust onto a greased round pie dish. Place peeled and sliced into wedges onto crust. Pour sugar over apples. Sprinkle a very liberal amount of cinnamon on top. Place squares of butter, spaced evenly, over apples and sugar. Cover with another pie crust. Sprinkle top with cinnamon & sugar mix. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, and then turn down to 350 degrees and cook an additional 45 minutes. Enjoy it by itself, or with vanilla ice cream, or heck, even for breakfast :)

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Painting on the Patio at Chick-fil-A!

We had a really fun, super cute, and very successful event at Chick-fil-A of Waynesboro last monday. We had originally planned on carving pumpkins on our patio. Bethany and I (neither one of us having children) were really excited about fall and being outside and just thought it was simply the best idea, until I told my very wise mother of our plans. Mama Ram said "Don't you think pumpkin painting would be much better ... and safer?"

Looking back on the event now I can't even imagine giving all 150 kids who came knives to carve pumpkins. And I feel pretty confident we would still have a patio covered in pumpkin guts and seeds. Believe it or not the paint stayed on our table cloths and in the plastic containers we provided. Moral of the story... paint your pumpkins! Kids were able to paint the pumpkins all by themselves, and they were adorable in their Halloween costumes! Our Cow even made an appearance in her princess costume.

It really was a great family night. Jay and I are loving seeing the community enjoy several of the events Bethany and I have planned. Jay and I have a huge heart for people and for families (not really so much for chicken actually...). Our continual prayer is for our little Chick-fil-A of Waynesboro to be a place where people can come for family time or fellowship or just encouragement. We want to love our people so they have a desire to love our customers and our community.

I took lots and lots of pictures, but here are a few of my favorites:

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween :)

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