Monday, September 24, 2012

Something for Me

Like many of you, I give away or sell most of the things I make, but this sampler is going on my wall! I stitched this in record time (for me), beginning it on our trip last week to Colorado and finishing it last night.
It's a Notforgotten Farm design from Country Sampler's Primitive Sisters club. I was really intrigued when I received the kit and saw the thread colors...
I would have never picked such bright colors for a primitive piece!
The cooler temperatures make me want to put on my apron and get baking! I've certainly pinned enough pumpkin recipes to keep me busy through Thanksgiving, so I thought I'd better try one of them.
Pumpkin Apple Bread with Apple Cider Glaze
by Nancy Creative
Streusel Topping:
1 T AP flour
5 T brown sugar (not firmly packed)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 T unsalted butter, not softened


3 cups AP flour (I used 1 cup AP and 2 cups whole wheat)
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup canola oil
2 1/4 cups sugar (I used 2 and though that was plenty)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups peeled, cored and finely chopped apples (about 2 medium sized)

Apple Cider Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 T apple cider or apple juice

Streusel topping:  In a small bowl, blend steusel ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture is crumbly; set aside.

Bread:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour two 9 x 5" loaf pans. In medium bowl, blend together flour, salt baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.  In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, canola oil, sugar and eggs.  Add flour mixture to this mixture and stir until well combined.  Fold in apples.  Divide batter between two loaf pans and sprinkle each with half of the streusel topping.  Bake 50-55 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of loaves comes out clean. Cool loaves in pans on rack for about 15 minutes, then remove loaves from pan and leave on rack to cool completely.

Glaze:  Mix the powdered sugar and apple cider together, blending well. Drizzle over cooled loaves and let glaze set before serving.

I'm taking part in Mix it Up Monday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Simply Primitives Update

Simply Primitives has been updated! If you haven't yet checked out the new offerings for September you'll want to drop by and see what's new.
Brenda Gervais Designs
After sending in my listings for Simply Primitives we hopped in the car for a whirlwind trip to Colorado to visit our son. I am happy to say that I got my fill of mountain awesomeness!
Lake Loveland
Being in the mountains leaves me awestruck and fills me with thanksgiving for being just a little piece of God's amazing creation.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pumpkin Sticky Bun Muffins

Don't you just love pumpkins? I can't wait until they make their appearance at the grocery stores so I've already got a few of my faux pumpkins out.
Pretty much any recipe with pumpkin in it catches my eye and I'm stocked up on pumpkin puree, so here's the first pumpkin recipe of the season:

Sticky-Bun Pumpkin Muffins

(from Southern Living)

Makes 24 muffins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 cups pecan halves & pieces
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup

3 1/2 cups AP flour
3 cups granulated sugar (I used 2 because to me 3 would be overly sweet)
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
2/3 cup water

Bake pecans in a single layer on a cookie sheet 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through and checking frequently, until fragrant and slightly toasted.

Stir together melted butter and next two ingredients.  Spoon 1 rounded tsp. of butter mixture into each muffin cup and top with 1 rounded tablespoon of pecans.

Stir together flour and next four ingredients in large mixing bowl. Whisk together pumpkin & next three ingredients. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the pumpkin mixture, stirring until just moistened.

Spoon batter into prepared muffins tins.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Invert pan immediately to remove muffins and spoon any topping remaining in cups over muffins. Try to let these cool at least five minutes before tasting!
I don't buy a lot of cooking magazines because I already have a lot and find most of the recipes I use online, but Southern Living's Fall Baking issue was a must for me. I like that it includes savory recipes as well as muffins and desserts. The muffin recipe above came from this issue. Happy baking!

I'm sharing on Mix It Up Monday:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

First Weekends in the West Bottoms

Hickory Dickory
The West Bottoms is the place to be in KC on the first weekend of the month. I've heard about the great vintage shops there for over a year now and finally made my first visit yesterday. Now I can't wait to go again next month!
"Columbian Steel Tank Co., Tanks for the World"
I love it that enterprising vendors have reclaimed abandoned manufacturing offices and are drawing huge crowds. Vendors are encouraged to have enough inventory to turn two or even three times over the weekend.
Bella Patina
Bella Patina

I'm pretty confident that anything your mom or grandma may have owned or ever thought to own could be found here.
Bottom's Up
Good JuJu
I was so happy to see several old friends among the vendors, especially Chris Farr and her talented daughter. Chris uses vintage molds to make the most wonderful ceramic pieces while her daughter creates jewelry with a vintage look.

The buildings themselves are such treasures. I marveled at the detail and workmanship that went into the most mundane things. Imagine going to work and entering the building via these steps with their whimsical design

or taking the elevator in the elegant Stowe building and seeing it's name in mosaic tile when you arrive at your floor. 

It was a warm afternoon and I also marvel that they were able to get any work done during the long, hot summer. Even with the windows open and fans running the brick buildings tended to hold in the heat.
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Early Work Mercantile and Life Update

Like everyone else, I'm wondering where the summer went. I won't miss the drought and extreme heat but I'll miss the promise of long days with no particular schedule and enjoying the relative cool of the evenings on the deck. But doesn't seem that once school starts the year just rushes downhill with HalloweenThanksgivingChristmasNewYears? So I will enjoy decorating for fall and Halloween and finished a couple of things for EWM reminiscent of the season.
Both are sold - thanks!
I should probably just work on fall all year long--I certainly have enough patterns to keep me busy!
My Pinterest
I've been a bit of a Pinterest fanatic, but apparently I have been MIA from blogging more than I realized. Yesterday while catching up on blog reading and commenting, I suddenly received a message from Blogger that, due to the unusual amount of activity on my account they were shutting me down. I guess this is for my own protection, but I had been on only about an hour so I was a bit surprised. However, I was somewhat panicked today when I logged on and Blogger indicated my blog had been deleted, but after providing them with my cell phone number all is apparently well. Has this happened to you?
After months of extreme drought, we were finally in the center of the storm that spun off from Hurricane Isaac. Living in Kansas, one of the things we endure, in addition to extreme weather conditions, is clay soil. Unfortunately, when we have a drought like we had this year that means that the soil sometimes shifts pretty severely, affecting foundations of homes causing leaks...
cracks in the drywall and doors that won't close correctly.
Good for those in the home repair and foundation piering business, bad, bad, bad for homeowners.