Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Treats from Mary

 I was the happy recipient of these wonderful baking goodies from Mary's giveaway from Home is Where the Boat is.What wonderful treats were packed inside the box....a baking mat, a trick or treat spatula, cupcake liners and toppers, sprinkles, colored sugar,  and a sweet note card from Mary.  Thank you so much, Mary!

 I had to fix my Halloween tea inside today, for we are getting much needed rain here in Texas.  How about joining me and my friendly witch for some yummy cupcakes?

 Recently Mary showed us how to make a flower topped pumpkin without hollowing out the inside.   You can buy floral foam in a double pack at the Dollar Tree, soak it and place it on top of the stem.    You can check out Mary's tutorial here.

Here's the pumpkin topped with floral foam, ready to have a blooming topper. 

I bought a $3.99 bunch of flowers from Trader Joe's and went to work.  I also added some extra stems, coleus and blackfoot daisies from my yard.  I love how it turned out!


I followed Mary's directions for Halloween Oreo Surprise Inside Cupcakes.  I then decorated them with the fun sprinkles that I won.

 I also followed Mary's directions for making witch shoes sticking out of the cupcake.  The straws are from the Dollar Spot at Target and the shoes are made from Tootsie Rolls.  

  The five of my seven grands had fun at Nana's Cooking Camp with all the baking goodies. Please go visit Mary at Home Is Where The Boat Is and you'll be inspired by her beautiful tablescapes,  creativity, and the cutest potting shed that she decorates seasonally, and be sure to tell her "hi"!

Thanks Mary!!!


I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Tea Time Tuesday
Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

Yes, it's still warm enough in Texas for tea outdoors!  I've created a Fall tea for us to enjoy, with some Pumpkin Pie Cookies and pumpkin chai tea. 

 This Calico teacup by Crownford China, Staffordshire, England, is a favorite of mine to use in the Fall.  It looks pretty with my cottage teapot, don't you think?

 I saw this recipe on Betty Crocker's website awhile ago and have been wanting to make it.   My alterations are in parenthesis...sorry,  Betty!  These little gems are like little pumpkin pie/cheesecake cookies, which would be a nice alternative to a pumpkin pie.  Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

  • Cookie Base and Topping

    • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix
    • 1/4 cup cold butter
    • 4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cold cream cheese
  • Pumpkin Filling

    • 3 oz cream cheese, well-softened (I used 4 oz., as to not waste)
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) (I used 1/4 cup)
    • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I used 1/2 teaspoon)


  •  Heat oven to 350 degrees.   Generously spray bottoms and sides of 24 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. Place cookie mix in large bowl. Cut in butter and 4 oz cream cheese, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly. (Do not overmix.) Reserve 1 cup cookie mixture for topping; set aside. Firmly press 2 tablespoons remaining cookie mixture evenly into bottom of each muffin cup.
  • In small bowl, add 3 oz cream cheese (I used 4 oz) and stir until smooth. Add remaining pumpkin filling ingredients; mix well. Place 1 rounded teaspoon pumpkin filling in center of each cookie. Sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons reserved cookie topping.
  • Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Cool completely in pan, about 30 minutes. Run metal spatula around edge of cookies in muffin tin to loosen.
Note:  I had enough leftover to put into the bottom of three custard cups.  

 This is my "Autumn" Lizzie Kate design that I finished.  I just interchange the seasonal designs into the same frame.  Can you see the tiny buttons that are sewn in?

I am sharing this with:

Tea Time Tuesday
Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, October 12, 2015

Teacup Exchange

 Recently Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose had her 7th teacup exchange, and oh how I was spoiled by Celestina Marie from Southern DayDreams!!!!   The package arrived on my doorstep and I could hardly wait to open it!!  Come and see all the lovely gifts that were packed inside...

 Look at this gorgeous hand painted hat box that Celeste painted especially for me!  I am truly honored.  Look at all the pretty detail .

 The trim around the lid is just exquisite!  Look at the beautiful rose, the checkerboard, and the darling dots.

 This rose is inside the hat box, at the bottom.  I was overwhelmed by all the beauty, time, and talent that went into this work of art.

 And then...this teacup that matches the design on the hatbox!!  Can you believe it??!!  Celeste even sent a pretty spoon for my tea.  How did she know that I have been wanting a teacup with some black in it?  It's so elegant and all my favorite colors, too!

 Celeste also made this darling pumpkin.  Isn't it the sweetest with the lace, roses, and cute tendrils and top?  The pumpkin is going in my bedroom, as it fits right in.

 If you'll please excuse me, I'm going to enjoy a cup of Breakfast in Paris tea in bed, some chocolate covered cherries, and read my Cup of Friendship book, all while enjoying my cherry scented candle. Thank you Celeste from the bottom of my heart!  Celeste is a fellow Texan and we hope to be able to meet one day.  Thank you, also, to Stephanie, who organizes this lovely teacup exchange.  Without her, none of these friendships would happen.

Linda was my recipient for the gift exchange, and in my excitement to mail my gifts to Linda, I had forgotten to take a picture.  I copied a picture that Linda put on her My Sew What Blog.  The thrill of giving gifts to your recipient is such a joy and I thank Stephanie for providing that for us.

  As an expression of  her gratitude, Linda sent the sweetest note and some homemade soap.  The soap is such a pretty color and it makes my skin feel so great.  Thank you, Linda!

I am sharing this with:

 Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, October 5, 2015

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

 This cake is the perfect applicious dessert for Fall!  I'm having it with a cup of chai tea.  Care to join me?  We can look at my Autumn book, by Susan Branch and enjoy a fine, Fall day. 

 I'm using my Johnson Brothers,  Harvest Time teacup.  Isn't it a wonderful, vintage pattern?  I love the soft colors and it goes so nicely with my apple cake.

Now for this cake, which is the perfect Autumn dessert. This is even better than the one I made last year, and I will definitely make this again.  It is perfectly spiced and the icing is sooooo incredible!  The recipe is from King Arthur Flour and they state that "the frosting is equivalent to brown sugar fudge". I would love this frosting on a chocolate or yellow cake, also.  Resist the urge to add more confectioners' sugar, because it spreads perfectly fine the way it is.   Please don't hesitate to make this cake.  Here's the recipe:  


  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground nutmeg (I also added about 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, chopped apple, about 1 1/3 pounds whole apples
  • 1 cup diced toasted walnuts or pecans


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" pan.
  • To make the cake: Mix all of the ingredients except the apples and nuts in a large bowl.
  • Beat until well combined; the mixture will be very stiff, and may even be crumbly.
  • Add the apples and nuts, and mix until the apples release some of their juice and the stiff mixture becomes a thick batter, somewhere between cookie dough and brownie batter in consistency.
  • Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing it with your wet fingers.
  • Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few wet crumbs clinging to it.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool completely; don't remove the cake from the pan.
  • To make the frosting: Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts.
  • Add the milk, bring to a boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, stir in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners' sugar. Spread on the cake while frosting is still warm.
The cake is even better and more moist the next day!
I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

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