Thursday, October 20, 2011

Even more Vera Bargains !

I love a good bargain. And luckily I have been finding a lot of them lately.
Yesterday I bought the dresser for baby's room : $40.
I got some batteries from Staples that will be free, after my rewards back.
A pair of Old Navy maternity jeans : $6

But the best deal :
2 retired Vera Bradley Bags $7.35 (total, for both, after tax!)

Now I'm of to get some lunch, and get some stuff done around our messy house.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Whipped Apple Pie

Whipped Apple Pie

An easy, no bake pie solution. 
You need :
Deep pie pan
Food Processor
Electric Mixer
2-3 Lg. Apples (your choice, I used Stayman)
1 stick butter (softened)
1 pack graham crackers (or ginger snaps)
1 carton (16 oz) heavy whipping cream
Vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar
Butterscotch Chips (optional)

There are several steps, which are going to seem like a lot, but, once you know what you're doing, you'll find you can do them all at once. 

First you're going to make the pie crust.
Crush the graham crackers or ginger snaps into small pieces using the food processor.
Combine in a bowl with butter, then put in pie pan and form crust. Place pan in the fridge.

Next you're going to prepare your apples. 
Wash, core, and peel if you'd like, then slice into small chunks.
Place chunks into a bowl, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, butterscotch chips, caramel, and any other
"pie fillings" you'd like. Set aside.

Now you're going to make the whipped cream.
Pour your heavy whipping cream into the bowl of your mixer, add some vanilla (or, any other flavor you'd like) and whisk. If your mixer doesn't have a whisk attachment, use the beaters.
I start out blending on low, and work up to a medium speed. Only whip until it's thick, but light and fluffy. 

Now you're going to fold your apples into the whipped cream. Slowly! Break your apple mix into 3 or 4 parts when mixing it in. You want to mix in the apples and coat them with whipped cream, but not over beat the mixture and ruin the whipped cream (It's really not as hard as it sounds). Then place the whipped cream apple mixture in your pie crust, top with caramel and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Yum!

I also like to make a variation of this using pudding mix near the holidays. You may want to watch for it around Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Apples apples everywhere.

We are up to our eyes in apples over here. That might be a slight (just tiny) exaggeration, but we have a ton of apples. And I need to do something with all these apples. I can only take so many apple slices with peanut butter.

Last week I bought 2 3lb bags of apples from the market, then Monday we ended up going to the orchard while hubs and dad-in-law were off work, so we got another 8lbs of apples. (We got the smallest bag of our group ... believe me) And the orchard was packed. I say packed because I'm used to small groups of kids, not crazy college students and Asian tourists and people with dogs.
I really wanted some Fuji apples. I'm not sure if you're supposed to do this though. But my husband loves me, and who's going to question a man in a tree with an obviously pregnant woman asking for FUJI apples. Besides, his dad was spotting him, sorta. 

They wanted Granny Smith and Stayman apples.
(I'll stick with my Fuji's and Gala's ... I like sweet apples)

But now I have a thousand pounds of apples on my counter to do something with. And yes, I know you're 'supposed' to keep apples in the fridge; there's not enough room in my fridge.

Oh Emu, why not make some apple sauce? I probably will, but I'm the only one who eats it, it reminds Jedi-John of baby food.
Well, why not make some apple pie? Yeah, I could. But, that would be silly, since we don't really like apple pie, and when I think of apple pie, I think of the traditional pie.
(Don't worry - I thought of a new way to make apple pie. I'll share it once I have the motivation to make it. )
So, I did a little looking around, and found a few ideas.  Interestingly 2 of the ideas are apple cider, and not apples. Go figure. 

Then there was this guy. Two Ingredient Ice Cream. It can't get any easier, really. Make some apple ice cream. Maybe some caramel apple ice cream. Or apple pie ice cream. Or any other form of ice cream involving apples.

Does anyone have any other suggestions of things I could make? 

Baked apples, apple brown betty, ooohhh - apple latkes, apple smoothies anyone?
For more about Virginia's apples : Visit The Virginia Apple Growers Association.
We visited Carter Mountain Orchard, in Charlottesville.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Glittered Pumpkins

Being preggers kinda wipes you out sometimes. I have zero motivation to craft right now, even thought I really, really need to (I have a stack of material waiting to be made into blankets, and my sewing machine is sitting on the floor in my dining room). So I am keeping my decorating very simple. Also, we don't really celebrate Halloween, so that makes it even easier.

Last year I made these pumpkins & gourds to decorate with. They're really easy to do.
First - you need to visit LittlePinkMonster, and read her tutorial for the Glittered Eggs. It's pretty much what you'll be doing, but with mini-gourds instead. Or you could do larger gourds and pumpkins.

I found the pumpkins and gourds at the Dollar Store last year, so they may have them again this year, but I'm sure the craft stores have them as well (here are some similar pumpkins from Joanns) .
Pop a toothpick in the bottom of them, cover in mod-podge, then sprinkle with glitter and let dry.
I used white glitter, to give them a frosted look, but you can do pretty much any color you want. You could do Orange, or Black to make them more halloween-ish.

Place in a cute basket, or jar - and you've got a super simple, cute decoration.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bargain of the week ...

I've been doing a lot of consignment and thrift shopping lately, to get things ready for the baby. And I've gotten some really great bargains : $24 for my baby swing, .50-$1 for onesies, a Johnny Jump Up for $3; not too bad. But my best buy was a mommy buy :

$3.49 + tax at Goodwill for a like-new Vera Bradley bag. :) Mommy got a new purse. For a really (really) good price. YAY! {It's the Betsy Bag, in Citrus}