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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Alphabe Thursday: Letter B - Butter



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B is for Butter. I’m no Paula Deen so this post won’t be about how to turn two sticks of sweet creamy Butter into something wonderfully
decadent and delicious.

One of my favorite aspects of Blogging is meeting phenomenally creative, gracious, and compassionate fellow-Bloggers. All of you are so encouraging, complimentary, and inspiring.

Recently, I posted about our trip to the
apple orchard and how many apples I have. Lynn from Happier Than a Pig in Mud commented that I should make Crock Pot Apple Butter. I thought you had to have a copper kettle to make apple Butter. Turns out, you don’t!

I found this recipe on Cooks.com and it is easy and delicious. I also tried making it with Splenda instead of sugar.

I hope you enjoy it.


CROCK POT APPLE BUTTER

Approximately 3 pounds apples
3 Cups Sugar
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
Dash of Salt
3/4 Cup Water



Fill crockpot 3/4 to top with apples (peeled and sliced). Add remaining ingredients and stir to evenly coat apples. Cover and cook on low overnight.


In the morning...

Fresh apple Butter for your toast. Yum!



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Frankenmuth Does Autumn

Although our trip to Michigan this weekend was a quick one, we did manage a couple of stops at some of the shops. Frankenmuth is primarily known for their famous chicken dinners, the Pied Piper Glockenspiel, and their year round Christmas store, Bronners.

However, I was able to find several fall holiday displays.

I love this tin skeleton.
What my camera lens
missed was the black
cat perched on this fence.


This hutch is all ready for Thanksgiving...

... as is this mantel.

Here's a giant Jack-o-Lantern Patch!

Happy Halloween and Thanksgiving
from Frankenmuth, Michigan!

I will be linking to Tabletop Tuesday.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Michigan Weekend with Jordan

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready to greet the new week. Jordan and I spent Friday and Saturday in Michigan. We had a fantastic time, but I'm a little worn out.

We left Friday morning after Jordan got home from work. Our first stop was Dundee, Michigan. Jordan is a new hunter and he wanted to stop at Cabela's to buy some new arrows
for his crossbow.

While Jordan's new arrows were being cut, we looked around. Cabela's is an outdoorsman's dream with all its hunting and camping gear. They did have some rustic home decor and I was able to pick up some autumnal napkins at a reasonable price. Overall, their prices seemed a little steep.

Frankenmuth was our final destination for Friday. Michigan's Little Bavaria sits on the Cass River between Flint and Saginaw. We ALWAYS stay at the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Everything you could possibly want in a resort is right here at the lodge. The lodge sits on 13 acres and offers 5 indoor pools, 3 whirlpools, a huge arcade area where you can win tickets that can be turned in for prizes, indoor 18-hole miniature golf course, and a play village for the little ones.


Normally, we spend a lot of time making use of all these amenities. This was a whirlwind trip so we were unable to spend any time playing. Jordan worked Thursday night so he was tired and was fighting a cold. He definitely needed a nap.

While he slept for a couple of hours, I headed to one of Frankenmuth's most celebrated locations, Bronner's! It is Christmas at Bronner's year round. Visiting Bronner's is always the highlight of my trip to Frankenmuth. It is huge! The store is the length of 1 1/2 football fields and offers 50,000 seasonal trims and gifts.



Saturday, we got up early and headed back south to Ann Arbor for the Michigan v Bowling Green football game. As I explained here, Jordan is a Michigan fan living in an Ohio State family. I wanted to take him to a game for a very long time, but this is the first opportunity, thanks to my brother Brad, we had to actually go.


Pregame warm-ups



The bands each played


The Maize and Blue come onto the field to Hail to the Victors

Final score? Michigan - 65, Bowling Green - 21,

Mom and Jordan - ONE GREAT WEEKEND!

GO BLUE!

I will be linking to Mosaic Monday and Blue Monday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Coming Soon to a Computer Near You!

Ho! Ho! Ho! The most wonderful time of the year is coming.

DON'T LEAVE! I know I am jumping ahead a bit since we are just now decorating for the fall months. I just wanted to give you a heads up about this upcoming giveaway hop. This is the first giveaway hop I've participated in as a sponsor and I am very excited about it.


So far, there are more than 200 blogs participating. All blogs will be linked, making it easier for you to hop from blog-to-blog. It's like a mall where everything is free and there is no traffic, sore feet, or parking problems. Simply park yourself in front of your computer and hop from one blog giveaway to the next.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE A BLOG TO ENTER OR TO BECOME A FOLLOWER.

OH! Did I mention that EVERY giveaway will be something you want or need? Why you ask? Because each blog is offering Cash and/or Gift Cards - ONE SIZE FITS ALL. Who doesn't need that during the holidays? I guarantee I WILL be hopping over to the other blogs.

The Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop will last five days (December 1-5) so you will have time to enter as many offers as possible.


I'm still working out the details and I look forward to seeing everyone. Make sure you remember to come back. If you become a follower, I'll remind you.

Please note: if
you would like to sponsor a gift card for this giveaway, please contact me via email at amusingpotpourri@gmail.com for details on sponsorship packages.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, September 24, 2010

There's One in Every Crowd

As you know, my entire family is comprised of diehard Ohio State fans. Well, almost the entire family. Jordan is not. Is he an Iowa Hawkeye fan? No. Is he an Oklahoma Sooner fan? Nope. USC Trojan fan? Nada. My pride and joy – the apple of my eye – the object of all my maternal affection is a Michigan Wolverine fan (Ohio State’s biggest rival).

It doesn’t matter that Jordan is a sweet person. It doesn’t matter that Jordan has a good job. It doesn’t matter that he is very attentive to his mother. In the eyes of my family, I am a parenting failure.

I don’t know where things went awry. When he was little he had Brutus Buckeye bibs, bottles and blankies (except for the IU outfit my friend from Fort Wayne bought him). We taught him to say TOUCHDOWN BUCKEYES! when he was just tiny.

He’s nearly 21 years old so what’s a mother to do? I can tell you what I’m gonna do…I’m taking him to the Big House (not prison, the stadium). Jordan and I are going to Ann Arbor for the Michigan v. Bowling Green game this weekend. No, I won’t be wearing scarlet and gray to the game.


We’re driving up to Frankenmuth (Jordan’s favorite place on earth) Friday and then to the game Saturday. I will have lots to share with you next week.


Have a fabulous weekend! La

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday: Letter A


Aunt Addy's Adage:

Amorous Armadillos

Appreciate Autumn's

Appealing Apples,

Aromatic Asters, and

Atrocious Arachnids.


Adventures in Sewing: Understanding Sewing Instructional Books

We’ve already established here I am not a natural born seamstress, but how hard could this be – right? After all, I’m a grown woman now. I am a college graduate, can read, know how to use scissors, and have this pretty new sewing machine. Let the fun begin!


Now let me see….a beginner’s manual might be a good idea in case I get stuck. My favorite fabric shop offers several guides for beginners, but which one is written at my level of sewing knowledge? Maybe it would be a good idea to borrow some guides from the library before making a purchase. Good thinking!


So far, all of these guides look like they are written in Greek. I don’t speak Greek.

But wait! There’s Sewing for Dummies on the shelf. I picked it up, flipped through it, and instantly felt like...like...what's dummer than dummies?

Remember the time you sewed your fabric to your dress? Auntie Mare’s words were ringing in my head.

Then, an aha moment…eBay! You can find anything on eBay. Sure enough, within a few short moments I purchased two guides that are written at my level of sewing knowledge.


Is 10-yr old Jamie mocking me?

This is going to be great!





Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Five Fall Favorites

Hello Friends. I’m joining Cortney’s Five Fall Favorites Link Party & Giveaway.

We have four very distinctive seasons in Ohio. Winters are cold, blustery and snowy; Spring is rainy, fragrant, and the earth awakens from its long slumber; Summer, like this year, is sunny; hot; and humid. Autumn is my favorite season of the year, without a doubt, with cooler temperatures, vibrant foliage, and diverse holidays. Narrowing my favorite things about fall down to five was very difficult, because my list could go on and on endlessly. In keeping with Cortney’s challenge, here are my Five Fall Favorites, in no particular order.


Fall Foliage: I have an hour commute in the morning and then again in the afternoon so I have plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature’s autumn palette. After all these years, it still amazes me to watch the verdant leaves turn to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. During breezy days, the leaves drift softly from the trees sometimes catching an updraft allowing them to drift ever further.


The leaves are just now starting to turn.

Sweatpants and Sweatshirts: After a long day’s work or on weekends, I love to lounge in sweats. It’s the closest thing to wearing pajamas all day. They are warm, soft, comfy, and cuddly.



Football Season: Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!?! I love football at all levels, from the little guys just learning the game all the way up to the pros. I get weepy when my high school alma mater’s band marches down the street en route to the stadium all the while playing our team’s fight song. Saturdays are spent watching Big Ten Football and Sundays are devoted to the Cleveland Browns.

Joel (2) warming up before the second half

Orchard Visits: No autumn would be complete without at least one trip to the orchard. As I walk into the store at the orchard, I am greeted by the most sweet, tart scent ever. I breathe it in, eyes closed, and allow it to envelope me. Hmmmm. I leave only after picking large bags of apples and buying cider for mulling, homemade popcorn balls (the best treat of the season), and caramels for apple dipping. YUM!

Fall Home D├ęcor: The warm colors of the season make a home feel so cozy and inviting. These colors, along with hay bales, corn husks, sunflowers, pumpkins and gourds can easily be transformed to fit early fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving decorating.


Happy Fall Y’all!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A New Week

Embrace the dawning of a new week.
Happy Monday!
La
Joining Blue Monday at Smiling Sally.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apple Picking & Apple Strudel Muffins

Hello Friends!

Are you having a spectacular weekend? I certainly hope so.

Won't you join me for a visit? Help yourself to a muffin while I pour you a cup of coffee.


We Ohioans have been blessed with another gorgeous weekend. Mother Nature has surely been making up for those unbearably hot and humid summer days we endured the past couple of months. For weeks, we have enjoyed warm sunny days and cool crisp nights. Most importantly, we are no longer plagued by high humidity levels.

Jordan, Ashlee (Jordan's girlfriend) and I went apple picking at the orchard yesterday.

I've been going to Lawrence Orchard since I was 16 years old, which has been a few years. No fall would be complete without at least one visit. We went a little crazy this year; we picked a whole bushel.

After we finished picking apples, Jordan surprised us with apple charms for our Pandora bracelets. What a guy!

Umm....we have an over abundance of apples. Looks like some baking and sharing are in order. Speaking of baking, how's your muffin? It's an apple strudel muffin freshly baked this morning. Would you like the recipe?


Apple Strudel Muffin


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups apples, diced

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with spray shortening or prepare with shortening or butter.

Mix the first four ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and apples. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Once the batter is combined, divide evenly among the muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle ech muffin tin with some of the crumb mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from tin.

ENJOY!
What did you do this weekend?

I will be linking up to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House, Meet Up Monday at Just Another Manic Momday, and Outdoor Wednesdays at A Southern Daydreamer and Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum. Please visit these fun blogs.