Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apple Cake

As I was scrolling through my Google Reader I came upon a recipe for Easy Apple Cake from one of my favorite baking blogs Bakerella. I am not much of a baker at all but when I saw this recipe I knew it was something I could pull off. Besides, I still have about 50 lbs of apples left!

Let me give you some fair warning that this cake is rich. Very rich. I love my sweets and could easily devour half of a cake on my own but even I had to stop at one piece.

I am quite sure that this cake would be just as delicious without the topping if you should so desire. I happen to love butter so I totally went for it and poured every last drop all over the cake. Was that necessary? Probably not.

But look at that cake. I wish that I was a better photographer because my lame-o pictures don't do this cake justice. You can see the bits of apples and dates....yum! You can even see how the yummy buttery topping glistens on the top and seeps down into the cake. Bakerella has better pictures. I'm just helping to spread the word!

Easy Apple Cake

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups diced apples
1 cup chopped dates rolled in flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and cinnamon with a wire whisk and set aside.
  3. Combine sugar and oil using a mixer until blended.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture and mix well.
  6. Stir in nuts, dates and apples. The batter will be very thick.
  7. Pour into a greased and floured 9 X 13 pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until done.
  8. Cool cake and using a skewer, poke holes in cake.
  9. Cook topping ingredients on stove until mixture bubbles.
  10. Pour topping over cake letting some seep into the cake.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crock Pot Apple Sauce

With so many apples from our recent trip apple picking I was looking for some yummy ways to use up about 100 lbs of apples! LOL!!

All 3 of my girls love apple sauce so I knew that this was definitely something that I wanted to make. I also knew that I wanted to use my crock pot. I found a few recipes and finally decided to combine a few elements from each of them and am pleasantly surprised how well it turned it out.

Everyone really liked the way it turned out. I am even eating a bowl as I type this out. I wish I knew what kind of apples we picked. It ended up being a bit tart so I sprinkled a bit of white sugar after it was done cooking. My oldest daughter and I agreed that it tasted better the next day.

Crock Pot Apple Sauce
  • 5 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • juice of one lemon (about 3 tbsp)
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 4 - 6 hours. Mash apples with potato masher. Check for sweetness. Enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Apple Picking

I love beautiful fall days. I love it even more when my husband has the day off and we can do something outside with the girls like apple picking. This is the first time that we went and we all had a great time. Both of the girls behaved beautifully and I'm pleasantly surprised how much Stephanie enjoyed it.

Stephanie getting a lift from daddy

Now it's Eva's turn

I thought it was a pretty picture :-)

Stephanie making sure that the apples tasted good.

My baby girl

So, how does your apple taste?

It's good. Try it, Eva.

Pretty baby

Don't worry, mom, that's what washer machines are for!

Yay! I got a pumpkin!!

I have so many apples now that I don't know what to do with them. I'm going to look up some recipes and post them later on in the week.

Friday, September 24, 2010

OK...so I lied

I swore that I was going to give FanFiction a rest until I read a real book. I really, really had no intention of reading What Happens at Charlie's Wedding yet. Really, I didn't. I was only bringing it up on my Kindle so that it would be ready to read once I had finished reading a real book. But then my curiosity got the better of me and I read the first chapter.

Big mistake.


I read 9 chapters that night and finished it the next day. I loved this story. The characters are the same, of course, but the pairing of couples is different. That may bother some Twilight fans but it didn't bother me at all. It was refreshing to see how mixing up the couples would turn out.

I also have a new appreciation for Carlisle. Alright, I'll admit that I'm seriously crushing on Peter Facinelli now. Read the story and I know that you will, too.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last Day of Summer

I can't believe that summer is over :-(

Soon I will have to trade in my flip flops for Uggs and start dressing the kids in layers.

Summer is Alberto's busiest time at work so we didn't get to do too much with the kids but I'm hoping that we'll be able to do some fun fall activities with the girls.

This was a particularly lovely and rare day off for my husband. We went to IHOP for breakfast with the babies. Stephanie actually ate food while we were there. This kid never eats. So I had to take a picture to document this momentous event.

Stephanie enjoying her breakfast


Eva enjoying her toast

I couldn't resist adding this picture of Alberto shoveling food into his mouth.

After breakfast we decided to go to my father's house so that he can spend time with Stephanie and Eva.

My daddy and Eva

Alberto trying to figure out the bubble gun.

Yay! He got it to work!!

Love that face!

While I'm sad to see summer go I am looking forward to cozy sweaters, crocheting some hats for the babies (even though they probably won't wear them) and cooking some comfort food. Oh and how could I forget the thing that I look forward to the most in the fall......Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicken Stew

I was craving chicken stew today. Not just any stew but the kind that Alberto would bring home for me from a place that is now closed.

I had limited items on hand since I am in need of going to the supermarket but I did what I could and it wasn't too bad. I would definitely like to revisit this dish on a day when I am well prepared with ingredients. But this was a good start.

Chicken Stew
  • 4 chicken breasts cut up into large bite sized pieces
  • potatoes (about 6) peeled and cut into large bite sized pieces
  • small chopped onion
  • 3-4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • frozen or canned peas
  • about 16 oz of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Goya Adobo
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until soft.
  2. Meanwhile add about a tbsp of Adobo and flour to chicken and mix well.
  3. Add chicken and brown.
  4. Once chicken has been brown add water, sauce, potatoes and peas. Bring to a boil then cover and cook on low for about 30 - 40 minutes.
Check that potatoes and chicken are cooked through and adjust your seasonings if needed.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More FanFiction

I have three real books that I borrowed from the library and yet they've been sitting there collecting dust and I will have to renew them because I didn't get a chance to read them.

Fan Fiction is incredibly addicting. I finish one story and I swear to myself that I will start a real book but then I decide to go on my message board. Oooh....someone's recommending fan fiction. Let me open up the post. Hmmm...let me put it on my kindle so that it will be ready once I finish these books. I'll just read the first chapter or two to see what it's about. Then, as usual I get sucked into another story about Edward and Bella and my poor library books are forgotten.

Right now I am reading Reunion and I'm enjoying it so far.

One of my faves so far is Master of the Universe. It is for mature readers only. If you are easily offended than this story is not for you. It is kinky and twisted and I loved every dirty word that I read. I am so excited that the author is working on a sequel. Once it has about 20+ chapters I'll start reading it. I am seriously missing Fifty!!

How To Save a Life is another nice story. Not my favorite but still enjoyed reading it.

I also read The Office. Loved BB!! I can't seem to find it on fanfiction.net, though. It was sent to me as a document and I then forwarded it to my kindle. If you'd like me to send you the document please leave a comment. I also have Master of the Universe and How To Save a Life on docs.

OK...that's all for now. I'm hoping to quickly read The Reunion and then I m going to force myself to pick up The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy 200th Birthday Chile!!

Today is the bicentennial of Chile. It's celebration commemorates the beginning of the independence process in Chile that began on September 18, 1810 and that after eight years, Chile became a free and independent country. I know that all of my family in Chile will celebrating and I hope to one day celebrate with them in the country of my birth.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Crochet Pinafore

Isn't this the cutest dress ever??

My friend Toni is expecting her third daughter any day now and I wanted to make something special. I went on the craft message board and asked for ideas for a newborn gift.

One lady directed me to her blog Crafts for Lily. She made the Angel Wings Pinafore for her daughter and I knew that this is what I wanted to make. The pattern is for newborn to 3 months. It can be used as a dress and then once the baby is bigger as a peasant like top.

It is surprisingly easy to make and it works up fast. I have already bought yarn to make one for Stephanie and Eva. I will post pics when I'm done!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More Coupons

Since Labor Day weekend is coming up lots of store are having sales. Check out the coupons below. If you use one of the codes let me know what you bought!!

Get 20% off of your entire purchase online and in store at OshKosh b'Gosh & Carter's when you use promotional code LABORDAY.

Get an extra 40% off of your entire purchase at LOFT when you enter code LABORDAY40. Plus free shipping on all orders of $125 or more.

Take 20% off of all shoes $39.99 or more at Aerosoles.

Click here for 15% off of everything at Kohl's or use promo code
THANKYOU15 for your online purchase. For free shipping on orders of $75 or more enter code SAVEON75.

Use promo code LABORDAY for free shipping on orders of $49 or more at JCPenney.

Enter code ONSAVEBIG to save 20% off of your purchase of $100 or 25% off of your purchase of $150. For free shipping use promo code ONSHIP50 or orders of $50 or more at Old Navy.

Click here for $20 off of your purchase of $50 or more (online promo code 1054) or $50 off of your purchase of $100 or more (online promo code 1053 at New York & Co.

Click here for 50% off of one regular priced item on Friday 9/3 and here for 50% off of one regular priced item on Saturday 9/4 at ACMoore.

Enter code GPLABORDAY to get 25% off of your purchase on Friday 9/3 when you shop at Gap. If you use the code on 9/4 & 9/5 you will get 20% off, 15% off on 9/6 and 10% off on 9/7. Get free shipping on orders of $50 or more when enter code GAPSHIP50.

Are you using Ebates when shopping online? If not, then you should. You earn money back just for shopping online. That's all. No strings attached.

Happy Shopping!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Obsessed with Fan Fiction

I have been neglecting this blog again. I have also been neglecting laundry and cooking and let's not even discuss what my floors look like. I am an addict. I cannot get enough.

Hello. My name is Veronica and I am addicted to Fan Fiction.

What is Fan Fiction, you ask? Well, let me tell you how it all began.

I've mentioned on here before that I frequent a message board. I usually stick to the New Jersey board. I feel like I "know" the ladies on there since the majority of them have been posting for several years. I don't post very often but I feel like I'm somewhat known.

Every now and then I go on other boards when the New Jersey board is slow. I'll sometimes lurk on the cooking board, cleaning & organizing, crafts. Whatever catches my eye. One day I was on the book board and my eyes glance up and see that it has a sub board for Twilight. I had just read Twilight and really enjoyed it and was looking forward to reading New Moon. I click and begin reading the posts. I'll admit that at first I thought that they were all crazy. But I continued to lurk. I soon came to realize that their "craziness" was all in good fun and I found myself going there more often as I read through The Twilight Saga.

One of the things that I saw posted about on a regular basis was Fan Fiction. What the heck is that? I'd think to myself. Well, it's a site where fans of books, movies, TV, etc. write stories using the existing characters but not necessarily the same storyline. There are thousands of stories out there to read. But I didn't get it. I enjoyed the Twilight Saga. I was a little sad that I read all of the books including the unfinished Midnight Sun. But I didn't understand why someone would want to read some random person's ramblings about characters that I have grown to love. My curiosity got the best of me and I looked up one particular story that kept popping up on my message board.

Hit By Destiny.

I read the first chapter. Not bad. The babies are napping. I still have an almost full cup of coffee. I read the second and third chapters. I am hooked. The story is not yet complete and I am anxiously awaiting for the author to update.

I need to read another one. I go on my Twilight board and I ask the lovely ladies there for a recommendation. I get several.

Under the Apple Tree is one story in particular that gets quite a few votes. The author created a blog just for this story. I am still in the process of reading it and I am really enjoying.

So in addition to posting crochet patterns, recipes and stories about my kids I will also be posting about what I'm reading. Whether it be "real" books or Fan Fiction. Reading is good for you. Especially if it involves Edward and Bella.