Friday, September 12, 2014

Homemade Apple Butter

Scripture to live By:
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  Colossians 3:1-17

Today, while I was sitting outside cutting up apples, to make apple butter, my little friend shows up and we give him his peanut butter crackers and he comes over to see what I am doing and wants to check it out. I gave him some apple waste and he really like it .  Then he came over and checked out the apples I had in my bowl.  He comes to visit just about every day.  Some days he will stay for a few hours other days  hour or so.  

After I cut up the apples into quarters, I washed them in the kitchen sink and then moved them to a pot that I could cook them in.

I had more apples than I thought I had.  Yet I knew they would cook down.  

Add 2 cups of apple juice let them cook down until they were very soft.

The apples were ready to run through a strainer to get rid of the peeling and have only the pulp left.

I weighed the pulp to see how many pounds of apple sauce I had so I would know how much sugar and spices to add.  The apples were quite sweet so they wouldn't need but about 1/3 the amount of sugar the recipe called for.  

I had 15 pounds of apple sauce so I added the following amounts of seasonings to it:
3 teaspoons of ground all spice
2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon of salt
6 teaspoons of cinnamon
4 cups of granulated sugar

Stir in the above and blend well and then simmered for approximately 30 minutes.

While the apple butter is simmering, wash jars, then sterilize them in boiling water.  I used pint jars.  

Laddle the apple butter into the jars.  Wipe the tops of the jar and put sterilized lids and screw band on securely.

Let sit until the lids seal.  This recipe made a little over 11 pints.

I know this apple butter will be enjoyed this winter when the snow is flying.  

Blessings to you,

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Skylanders Giants Troll Tank Gun Birthday Cake

Scripture to Live By:
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127
Children are such special gifts to our lives, we are to raise for God.  I am so very thankful for the privilege God gave to me to raise three.  I am also thankful for the privilege of working with children in our church. I have worked with children for the past 47 years.

 The following cake was made for a special little boy, who really enjoys playing with Lego's and Mega Blocks.  So when I am given the opportunity to make his birthday cakes each year he usually wants me to put something on it that has to do with blocks.  The box pictures below shows the Mega Bloks Troll Tank Gun he was excited about for this birthday cake.  My husband put this 98 piece tank together to go on the cake. 

The family, I made this cake for, usually wants the cake large enough to serve 50 people, and in two flavors. 
Here is what you will need if you would like to make one like it.
3 cake mixes (2 yellow and 1 chocolate)
9 eggs
2/3 cup of oil for the 2 yellow cakes mixes and 1/2 cup of oil for the chocolate cake mix.

Follow the direction on your cake mixes.  You can go to here to get step by step instructions on how to make a two flavored cake in the same pan.  Bake at 350 degrees until cake is golden brown and the top springs back when touched.  Approximately 30 minutes.  

Let cake cool completely before frosting.  
Frosting recipe for this size of cake:
2 cups of Crisco
2 cups of margarine
8 cups of powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cups of evaporated milk
Mix in mixing bowl with a spoon will keep powered sugar from going out of the bowl when you turn on the mixer. Beat with mixer on high for 7  to 10 minutes.
I divide the frosting in half.  I colored one bowl sky blue and the other bowl leaf green.  I used approximately 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of  Wilton paste coloring, until color I desired was reached.

I frosted all the edges with the green as well as half of the top.  Then I frosted the top of the cake with sky blue, as seen below.  

Blend the grass and the sky together.  

Next I made the road using shortbread cookies.  I started out using two wide and whole cookies three deep then I started trimming the cookie a little for each consecutive row as I went across the cake.  

I just set the tank on the road to make sure it would fit.  

Next I put the boarders around the bottom of the cake using the shell design with green frosting.  

I piped the top border in both green and blue as seen below.  

I used Wilton Sugar Sheets of edible decorating alphabet to put the birthday greeting on the cake. I used tweezers to transfer the letter from the sheet to the cake.  

The Skylander Giants sign can be cut off the box the tank came in and laminated to keep frosting from seeping into it.   I just laid it on the cake.   

Next I mixed up some tan frosting to fill in around the cookies on the road using a star tube. 

I piped some red drop flowers with yellow centers around the border of the cake and a few on the top.

I placed the plastic Flameslinger on the cake and placed 10 white candles on it.  

So many ways to decorate cakes for those who are so special to you, using the things available to you in the cake decorating section of your local department stores, along with the things your children enjoy.  You can come up with some great ideas.  

Hope you like Austyn's cake, I know he did. 


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