well here we are! happy first birthday to this blog.

over the weekend this little hideaway of mine turned one. i had decided to start blogging again after moving across the country and getting settled in. it has been the ultimate diary for milestones of the kids, recipes to cherish & share, memories to be etched in stone and for me to have a creative outlet of sorts.

i would like to thank all our friends and family & fellow bloggers out there for reading it first off {!}, for leaving kind comments of praise and encouragement, for inspiring me and, in some cases, lending me their stories. without you all i don't know where i would be. and of course to the husband for all his support on this and for his help with late night photo sessions. also i really had no idea how the comments section would affect me in this endevour. i thought of it first as a cheeky little function that i really didn't think would matter but it's amazing the weight they carry. the thoughts. the encouragement. the new friends that have been made from that little box. the actual joy i feel when i see that there is a comment under there for me. me! i would like to thank everyone who has left a comment for me {or has figured it out apparently - darn google!}. surprisingly they help me to carrying on in this and mean more than you would ever know.

as i am still trying to find my voice, my theme, my goal, i truly do love what has happened here. what this blog has evolved into and what it means to me. the path chosen has never really been defined and has no specific focus but if you know me personally you will realize i embody all those as well. one of my favorite quotes from a movie is "i want to be a novelist, a weekend, flautist, a potter, a painter, an architect...." it was a young girl wanting to be it all and herself at the same time. sometimes that's how i feel. i have wanted to focus this into a food blog and it seems right but then one of the kids steals my heart and i want to share that. i discover a new craft or way of doing something and want to let you all in the secret too. and then when i just want to get it all out and talk to y'all, there are those days as well. so i said forget it on the theme and it will just be a reflection of dear old un-focused, projects on the go everywhere, job title: mom, closet baker & foodie, me.

and in true experience the wonderful fashion we celebrated with a cake!! i made my caramel apple cake which i thought fitting to the time of year as well as the occasion. after we went apple picking and found that particular variety not quite to our liking the wheels have been turning. first out of the gates is this lovely cake that i have adapted from a rachael ray tear out. the thing i love about this cake is the sponge. it would work on it's own dusted with icing sugar and a hefty blob of vanilla whip cream, with this wonderful caramel icing i'm going to share or even with possibly a fresh raspberry filling and raspberry icing. and also if apple chunks are not your thing, leave them out and just fill the cake with icing or a drizzle of the dulce de leche. {i will wait a moment as you stop licking your lips!}

so here we are! we have been here for a year and i hope we can stick around for a little while longer - i kind of like this blog thing and i like hearing my words on the screen. i have put the GFC function back up in the side bar so please sign up and join us in experiencing the wonderful of our life and yours!

caramel apple layer cake
adapted from rachael ray.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar + 1/3 cup extra
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 pound unsalted butter + 3 tablespoons, softened
3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 crisp apples (about one pound), i used lobo but you can also use gala, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup dulce de leche (or 1 cup regular caramel sauce)

1) pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. generously butter and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. set aside.
2) using an electric mixer, combine the flour, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, the baking powder and salt. mix in 1/2 pound {one cup or 2 sticks} of softened butter at low speed until the mixture is crumbly.
3) in a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup of cream, applesauce and vanilla. in a slow stream add to the butter-flour mix at medium speed until smooth, about one minute.
4) divide batter amongst the prepared pans, weighing for accuracy and taping slightly on the counter to release air. place on middle rack of pre-heated oven and bake until springy to the tough and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. run a knife along the edge to release the layers from the pan, invert on to the rack and cool completely.
5) in a medium skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. add the apple slices and remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and cook, stirring often until the apples are tender and the juice is syrupy, about 15 minutes. stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of cream and simmer for 3 minutes. remove from heat and let cool.
6) meanwhile, using an electric mixer, bet the remaining 1/2 pound {1 cup or 2 sticks} of butter and the icing sugar until light and creamy. with the mixer on low, slowly pour in the caramel sauce.
7) place one layer on the cake plate. spoon on the apple mixture; spread the apple filling evenly on top then cover with the second layer. using an offset spatula or butter knife, first make your crumb coat with the icing, allow the cake to set for 15 minutes in the fridge before eventually covering the entire cake with the remaining icing, swirling the top and sides to make a decorative pattern.



Dwija {House Unseen} said...

Happy Bloggaversary! That cake sounds DELICIOUS!!!

Jennifer said...

Congrats on the Bloggaversary! That's an awesome accomplishment.