Monday Bites ~ Autumn Apple Spice Cake





This cake started with a conversation, it went something like this….


I miss fall. (me)

It is fall… (him)

No, I mean real fall. With apples and pumpkin patches and a cold breeze promising snow. (me)

And crunchy leaves and the sound of the wind in the trees…. yeah me too. (him)

And apples. (me)

Yeah, Apples. (him)


He’s a new englander, that boy I married. And no matter where we call home; a little piece of him will always be sitting in an apple orchard listening to the sounds of fall and eating a fresh crisp apple with a flavor you’ll never find in a grocery store. It’s in his bones…. a little piece of his soul.

And so inspired by this recipe, I came up with an apple cake just for him. Some spice, some brown sugar, a bit of whole wheat pastry flour and a whole lot of apple flavor. Topped off with salted caramel whipped cream, it is delicious. Amazing. Really.

Luckily he’s a good sharer.



Autumn Apple Spice Cake

with salted caramel whipped cream


1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup dark brown sugar (tightly packed)

2 eggs

1 TBSP vanilla

1 cup unsweetened applesauce


3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cardamom

generous dash of ground cloves & nutmeg


1 large crisp not to sweet apple cored & chopped, skins left on


*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

*Butter a 9-10 inch square or rectangle pan and set aside.

*Beat butter & sugar together. Add eggs & vanilla, mix well. Add applesauce & mix well again. Set aside.

*Mix dry ingredients together. When measuring flours, be sure to scoop with a spoon into your measuring cup & level off with a knife to avoid overpacking the cup and ending up with a dry cake.

*Add flour mixture to wed ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir apples in. 

*Pour into buttered pan and bake at 350 until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. About 35 minutes or so. Cool for about an hour before slicing.

If you don’t care for ginger or cardamom, just substitute more cinnamon.

There are six of us, I make a double batch of this. 

For the salted caramel whipped cream add caramel sauce to whipped cream until it’s as sweet as you like. I used my own homemade caramel, which I had to warm to soften a bit before adding to the whipped cream. Be sure to whip the cream before adding the caramel, otherwise it might not whip up properly. Then add a pinch or two of sea salt. Mix well and serve on top of apple cake.

Happy Autumn~~


right now i am


listening : to this boy belt out Benny & Jets on a mic

thankful : for headphones for said boy

smiling : at the size 12 shoes by the door (the big boy is home for the weekend)

finishing up : ninja costumes for my littles

loving : a lazy rainy day

baking : apple spice cake one more time before I share the recipe with you, yum

roasting : local grass fed beef & root vegetables for size 12 shoe boy

hoping : to squish in a bit of sewing and finish up the border on the quilt (squares are all sewn up!)

revisiting : the sugar sprite tale

wishing : you all a spooky Halloween Weekend


Maine Hats

As I updated my ravelry this morning, I realized it's been nearly a year since I've done so. Knitting is different here in the south. I find that I am sewing far more and knitting less, and I miss the knitting. Over the summer I got a good way through this before frogging the whole thing at camp. Kinda makes you want to cry a little… my new pals groaned with me as I unraveled three whole skeins of yarn. Ouch. So, how about those gauge swatches?

But hats? Hats are good to me. Well, mostly. And these three were knit up in the past few weeks and made their way to Maine just before the first frost. Our friends moved to Portland this summer after spending three years hurricane free here in the gulf coast. And what did they encounter after being settled for just a few short weeks? Irene. Who would have guessed, right?

So I knit up a "tropical storm" hat for Josh. It's the hurricane pattern without the spiral.




And for Ashley, a hurricane…..





And for their little guy who is loving apples and fall and undoubtedly going to love his first real winter with snow…. this.










Are you swooning over that earflap cuteness? I know I am.

I packaged these hats up with a jar of southern peach jam and sent them north just in time for the cool weather. And since I promised Josh a hat back in March I can only hope the extra woolly tops & jam sweetened the deal. (he was ever so patient in waiting for those hats!)

Wishing Josh & his family a wonderful winter in Maine. (and hoping our paths cross again sooner than later.)

Happy Knitting!


The details & patterns of all the hats can be found in my ravelry.




pyramid excavating  


Sometimes it feels especially good to make it to Friday, right?

The work of the week behind you and hopefully a few relaxing family days ahead…..

Happy weekending to you all.

See you Monday.


just paddle









Oh the water…. we go way back. It's pretty much always been right there in some form or another. Warm, cold, fresh, salty (swampy!). Even when we haven't been in it for months it never judges, just welcomes us right back as if no time has passed. Fluid, forgiving, and strong. Just the thing you look for in a good friend.

The cooling weather is the beginning of paddle season for us here in the south. The real southerners have probably been out in it all summer, but we northern folks can't quite hang with the sticky heat. We were out in the kayaks twice last weekend and our sunburned noses and sore arms are feeling it. The bayou was so calm that the little one was sure he'd dipped his finger into the clouds as he traced their reflection in the water. There is nothing like coming home tired and warm and full of something that I can never quite put into words.

Sometimes I try to…. and all I keep coming back to is, just paddle.


kcwc fall 2011 – sharing day five

Well, it's done.

A weeks worth of sewing kiddo clothes an hour a day and I've made a skirt, tunic, funky pants and these pajama pants. {Yes my younger girl is mentioning the unbalance of these creations and has put in a list of to be mades to her mama.}

What a fantastic creative week. I've had such a good time wandering through the flickr group checking out the other handmades and no doubt feeling quite inspired. I've also very much enjoyed meeting some new creative souls out there (hello!)…. that's why so many of us come to these spaces and share, you know?

I finished up the week with a simple pair of pajama bottoms for the boy. I also have a pair cut out waiting to be sewn for my girl, with owls…. there is a mild owl obsession going on these days. Anyone else in this boat?

The pattern is my own… and my boy was so cute showing them off this evening that I almost forgot I was photographing the pajamas and not his alligator and newly toothless grin…



See the little gap of a missing tooth on the bottom? Oh, he's growing up…. melts this mama's heart most certainly.






I suppose we'll get back to regular programming here. Which is, uhm…. random programming at best? What did we used to talk about anyway? Food, gardening, knitting? Something like that.

Thanks again for letting me show off my sewing and kids for a whole week…

and in the words of my five year old boy…

"later gator."


kcwc fall 2011 – sharing day four

I should share a few things with you about my boy. You know, aside from that often mentioned untamed crazy nature of his.

He's got style.


He has fashion preferences that far surpass any of his siblings. The first time he ever wore a pair of black loafers (at the age of three) he looked and me and said in a serious tone, "mama, these are bad boy shoes…" I half expected him to add some white socks and hike up his pants and start singing 80's Michael Jackson tunes. You know I'm bad, I'm bad…. I'm a child of the era, what can I say?

But back to fashion. Luke has en edge that I never knew could exist in children. He wears a blazer and tie with rolled up pants and a black felt fedora. And he's totally serious about it folks, for real. He cracks me up and inspires me all at once. He's just so him.

And now that you know that….. when he has some say in his handmades, it's usually pretty reflective of that wild fashion sense. That's just how these pants ended up here. Kinda loud, kinda funky, and totally Luke.












Perfect October colors, right?

The pattern is an altered version of the pants I've sewn up in my shop. I followed the examples in this pattern making book to alter it & add the side panels with pockets. If you have any interest in making or altering patterns, it's an awesome read. It's written for women, but the how to will teach you the basics to alter any favorite pattern. These were sewn up with linen and I added a combination elastic drawstring waist. The stitching details on the pockets got an "ooohhh" from the boy. The first few photos I was told not to photograph his face, ahem…. until he asked if he could stick out his tongue. Silliness rules!

I've got one last thing to finish up & share here tomorrow. Thanks for checking in and seeing what I've been sewing!

ps ~ swing into the kcwc flickr group to see more handmade lovliness!


kcwc fall 2011 – sharing day three

I finished the tunic!

We had a cool-ish day today and the little man of the house was {mostly} tolerant of his mama and her camera…. though numerous times he sighed and said, "I like my shirt, can I just play in it now?"

Oh my, is it ever difficult to try and snap photos of a wiggling boy…….










This is most definitely the, "Mama are you done yet?" look.

After Luke had worn the shirt for a few hours, I decided the neck line was a bit deeper than I preferred. I knew he wouldn't want to wear a tshirt under it either, so off it came {with bits of peanut butter cracker on it} and I added a small inset of brown knit fabric and some hand embroidery to jazz things up a bit. I really, really like the way it looks now and my little guy really, really wanted to wear it to bed. Which is better than those times when I've sewn or knitted things and he told me they were pretty but refused to wear them! (remember these?)




As of right now I've got two pairs of pajama pants in the works and some crazy looking linen pants that are reminiscent of butterscotch and chocolate pudding…. aka nineteen-seventies colors!

I hope to have them finished up to share here tomorrow…. and next I'll have to find a big kid tunic pattern for my girl who has now requested a tunic of her own.          

Any suggestions?

{ps ~ just wanted to add that this is Cloud 9's organic cotton in Free Bird print from the Cut out & Keep collection, it is awesome! And the tunic pattern can be found here.}


kcwc fall 2011 – sharing day two


My sewing space (room) is starting to look like a storm passed through….




I spent the evening on Wednesday hanging out with my big girl cutting out patterns for several pairs of pants, a tunic for my boy, and drinking tea. I didn't get any actual sewing done, but it's good to have a stack of pieces ready to go. Cutting is my least favorite part of sewing…..





Last night I spent a few hours working on this tunic, in between dinner and bedtime reading and such. I bought the pattern forever ago and had yet to sew one up. The tutorial & pattern are well written and easy to follow. However, in my typical style, I have added elements {not in the pattern} to torture my brain with. For example, sewing knit stretchy fabric to cotton fabric (the blue is recycled tshirt material) and also lining the cuffs with the knit fabric…. which made for a slightly different sleeve construction….

At one point well after dark when I definitely had an operator issue and grumbled rudely at my machine. (as if it was the machine, right?) My husband says to me with a laugh, "you know, this is what you do." And he's so right…. but the sleeves and the split tail hem look so good! Well, perhaps there is an unintential pucker on the inside of the cuff, but Joe reminded me that Luke never stops moving long enough for anyone to see the cuff of his shirt. Ahem.

We've got homeschool co-op today but I'll be sewing in the wee hours this evening again. See you tomorrow… hopefully with a finished tunic!