Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Apple Fritter Cake {Recipe}

You guys...this is truly the best fall dessert I have made to date. If you like apple fritters you will love this!

Ingredients:
For the filling-
2 heaping cups of sliced apples (I used Gala apples and it turned out amazing!)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
small pinch Nutmeg
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water

Plus-
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cake-
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sour cream

For the glaze-
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 Tablespoons Milk


Instructions:
For the filling-
Combine apples, water, sugar, cinnamon and corn starch in a small sauce pan. Cook on low for 5-7 minutes stirring constantly until the apples are soft. Set aside to cool. While the filling is cooling, get a small bowl and combine the "plus ingredients" brown sugar and cinammon

For the cake-
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside. 
Cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add applesauce and vanilla then the eggs one at a time. Then add the dry ingredients slowly: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sour cream. Beat together until just combined.

Pour half the batter evenly onto the bottom of the greased and floured 9x13 baking dish. Then carefully spoon the cooled filling on top of the batter. Now sprinkle 2/3 of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of the filling. Cover with the remaining half of the batter. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake for 45-55 minutes. Your kitchen should start to smell amazing and you will probably start drooling.

While your cake is baking, make the glaze.

For the glaze-
Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk together. When the cake comes out, pour the glaze mixture over the warm cake. Spread evenly and allow to harden on top of the cake as it cools.

Now grab a fork and enjoy the best fall dessert of your life. I ate this for dessert then again for breakfast. It goes well with coffee.
Original recipe found here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Thoughts from a pregnant gal on her due date...

October 19th, 2014...a day I have been looking forward to for 9 months now. The last few mornings I've woken up wondering is today the day?! Well it is 7:00 pm and nothing has happened...yet. I'm still hopeful he will come today, but I'm sure the statistics of babies being born on their actual due dates is pretty small. Either way I can't wait to meet my guy. He did let us get through a wedding, Drew's entire football season, conferences at school and another busy weekend of work for me, so he's been a thoughtful little guy so far.

But now that my work day is over, that my coworkers and volunteers have laid hands on me and prayed, that I've taken a nice long walk, that the car seat is installed and our hospital bags are loaded in the car, that I've eaten Bang Bang shrimp and had a foot massage targeting my pressure points I think it's time to come. So Aiden, please don't make me wait another week...your Dad and I would really like to meet you tonight. Can you please make that happen?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pregnancy Files {The Bump Week 38}

A blurry doctor's office selfie because I was too tired to manage anything else this week plus I blame the rain.
Best moment this week: Having only been at my new job for 4 months I don't qualify for the Family Medical leave act and I don't have a ton of paid time to take off for my maternity leave, which I wasn't too worried about because I love my job so much, but obviously it was something Drew and I had to consider since we are adding more costs with a baby. Well some of my co-workers went in and donated some of their own personal time for me out of the kindness of their hearts. I now have 2 more paid weeks of time off and couldn't be more thankful. It honestly makes me tear up thinking about the generosity of people I've known for such a short time.

Food cravings: Thanks to Anne I've been craving chocolate milkshakes. :)

Movement: He's been moving around and whenever my stomach gets tight I think...am I going to start contracting now? Is he coming soon? I hope so! Never in my life have I been more excited to endure pain. Is that weird that I'm not nervous about labor?

Symptoms: My back still hurts and my belly button can't decide if it wants to stay in or pop out. It's a little late in the game for it to be popping out right?

Nursery: I finally took some pictures of the nursery now I just have to make time to upload them and actually do a  blog post.

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
I am so anxious for you to get here I can't even stand it. Your car seat is installed, inspected by the fire department and waiting for you. I so badly want to hold you and just look at you. Your Dad and I can't wait to meet you!!!! Please come soon.
Love,
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
I have never anticipated something so much in my life. Everyday I wake up and think, is today the day I get to meet my son? I know you know when he is coming and it's already planned perfectly so help me to soak up these last few hours/days/weeks of having Aiden kicking around inside me. Amen

Ecclesiastes 3:1
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."
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Monday, October 13, 2014

4 Fall Recipes You Need to Try!

I get so excited when the season starts to change over to Fall. It is definitely my favorite season to cook and bake. Cool temperatures, crisp air and so many fun flavors! I have made and loved all 4 of these fall recipes so I thought I'd share them with you.
Lentil Chili: This chili has become my husband's favorite. There is no meat in it, which I thought we would miss because we both love a good hardy chili, but we don't miss it at all. Just trust me when I say you need to make this! I always make it with a side of beer bread and use a pumpkin flavored beer.

Rachel Ray's Pumpkin Pasta: When I first read about using pumpkin flavoring in a pasta I was almost disgusted, but then the first day of fall rolled around and I decided now or never and made it. You guys, this is surprisingly delicious. I love the flavors of the pumpkin, sausage, sage and garlic together. Please don't miss out on the amazingness of pumpkin in your pasta!

Chef in Training's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies: These cookies have just the right amount of pumpkin in them. They are soft because of the instant pudding and are delicious! If you can't find the pumpkin pie spice instant pudding no worries...use plain vanilla instant pudding and add about a teaspoon of regular pumpkin pie spice. Problem solved!

Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings: This has to be my favorite fall dessert. I've made these too many times to count and everytime people ask me for the recipe. This recipe has a secret ingredient that I did NOT expect...Mountain Dew. Make these then thank me later!

What are your favorite fall recipes?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Carly + Josh's wedding day

Friday night my sister in law and now brother in law tied the knot by the light of a fall moon. It was such a beautiful day! Our day started with a bridesmaid's breakfast at First Watch then getting our hair done at the salon.
The forecast for the day was storms and rain, but the weather cleared up for pictures and in time to have the outdoor ceremony as planned. Just look at this family I'm a part of...they are all gorgeous.
My favorite detail from their wedding was this cute coffee truck that was parked just outside where they had the ceremony. The drinks were delicious and it was a fun backdrop for pictures.
My sweet husband officiated the wedding ceremony and did an amazing job and I was just excited that 1.) I didn't go into labor and 2.) That I fit in my bridesmaid's dress at 9 months pregnant.
The reception decor was perfect for fall. Pumpkins, gold and burlap touches and a fire in the fireplace.
I got this picture from someone's Instagram. I know it's fuzzy, but I just love it. So much warmth and happiness.
To top it off the day, Drew's Uncle and cousins created this moon backdrop to mirror a picture taken way back when of Drew's grandparents from a high school dance sitting under the moon together.
I was too busy stuffing my face with cupcakes and dancing to "Wobble, Baby" to take many more pictures, but it was a perfect night with so many sweet details.

Towards the end of the night Drew and I went outside and just stared up at the stars. We held hands and shed a few tears over Terry not being there in person with us, but I know my father in law was smiling down on us all and was proud that his family celebrated love in such a big way. I'm so thankful to be part of such an amazing family.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pregnancy Files {The Bump Week 37}

Best moment this week: The best moment of the week was being part of Carly and Josh's wedding day. I was a very pregnant bridesmaid and was just so glad not to go into labor on or before their big day. Drew officiated the wedding and was a groomsman so we were kind of important to their day and I would not have wanted to miss it! I will post pictures this week.

Food cravings: Nothing new. Chipotle still tastes good and I really don't think it will ever get old.

Movement: Still moving around in there, but he is head down and in the ready position, which is just crazy!

Symptoms: Super crampy and my back hurts. My lower abs are just sore, which I've read means he's starting to descend. AH!

Nursery: I finally decided it was time to set out the rug and I love how it looks. Our friend Alex came over and installed a light fixture and fan so I'm super pumped to have more light in Aiden's room! 

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
This week your Aunt Carly and Uncle Josh got married. It was a beautiful day! Thank you for deciding to stay put in my belly until after their wedding. During the reception the DJ played the song "Wobble, Baby" just for me and since I hate missing out on anything even while being 9 months pregnant with you I danced the night away and had the best time. You are one lucky little fella to be joining this family. There is so much love to be shared. You are allowed to come any time now although your Aunt Carly would really like for you to wait until she is back from her honeymoon.
Love,
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
Thank you for family. Thank you for love. Thank you that I am part of a family who puts others above themselves. I am so thankful that Aiden will have such wonderful people in his life to love him the way he is meant to be loved. Amen. 

1 Corinthians 13:13
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Our Maternity Photo Shoot

I had a picture in my mind of what I hoped my maternity pictures might look like. I swooned over pictures taken in a field with that soft, dreamy lighting. Thanks to my talented friend Jacqueline, I now have these very images to call my own. I love these pictures and am so glad I will have them to look back on after Aiden gets here. These were taken when I was 35 weeks and I couldn't be happier with the emotions they captured...