Friday, September 30, 2011

A perfect Fall!

So far, this fall is shaping up to be everything I want it to be. DW and I went apple picking (got fully 30 lbs of apples plus a half peck of peaches), have gone for multiple walks in the cool autumn mornings, and have celebrated my beloved DW's 30th birthday in a simple, quite manner. Next up, Halloween...and after a couple more trips to Wal*Mart, I think we'll be just about ready.

In other news, I have most certainly taken up the needles again - and thanks to Mz. Olivia I've found a splendid group of ladies to knit with at the local public library as well. These women could easily be good, and bad, for my knitting habits. I have a feeling that they'll be excellent at inspiring me to knit more...and even more excellent at enabling me to buy more yarn. Especially with all the talk of a certain LYS going around while I was working on the Giant Socks of Doom. :D Still, I haven't bought yarn in over two years sooo...I think it's about time I joined the world of the shopping.

Other than that, life's good, and there's not terribly much to report so I thought I'd finish this up with a recipe for a delicious (and EASY) fall dessert that seems to be pretty popular among my plurkies! So for everyone's enjoyment I give you: Spiced Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Spiced Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Spiced Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

For the caramel apple "topping":

4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

Place the above ingredients in a saucepan and allow to come to a boil while stirring to keep it from burning. Continue boiling for approximately 30 seconds and then pour the caramel into the bottom of a greased and floured cake pan - spread evenly.

Next, peel, core and thinly slice three small baking apples (I used Cortlands, but you can also use Macoun or Macintosh, I wouldn't use Granny Smiths as they may be too tart for this and too firm). Sprinkle sliced apples over caramel.

For the cake

1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz can pumpkin (unspiced)
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice

Mix all the cake ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly moistened. Batter will be quite thick. Some lumps may remain and that's okay, just as long as they're not too large. :D Spread batter over your apples as evenly as possible without disturbing the apples too much and place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. :D I also did a thorough touch test, to make sure the cake itself wasn't jiggly inside - because nothing is grosser than cutting into a cake only to find mushy batter instead of fluffy goodness. :D It's a good thing I did too as I had to return it to the oven to bake a bit further cuz part of it was quite jiggly due to semi-uneven spreading.

Allow cake to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes, and then loosen cake from pan by sliding a butter knife along the outer edge. Tip over onto a plate and don't forget to scrape any yummy caramel apple goodness that might have been stuck to the pan back onto the top of the cake! :D Serve with freshly whipped cream (spiced with a hint of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and sugar) and maybe a little caramel sauce for drizzling. :D

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