homemade

My adaptation of the Caramel Apple Poke Cake

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I tried making this Caramel Apple Poke Cake  from Delish.com (a recipe by Lindsay Funston). It was definitely delish!

According to Delish.com, here are the ingredients that this recipe requires:

2 tbsp. butter, plus more for pan
All-purpose flour, for pan
1 box spice cake mix, plus ingredients needed for batter
5 Granny Smith apples, finely chopped (peeled if desired)
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. corn starch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/4 c. jarred caramel, plus more for drizzling

FOR THE FROSTING
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 tbsp. butter, softened
2 1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

My dilemma? I couldn’t find spice cake. My other dilemma? I didn’t want to make the frosting from scratch. So I bought a yellow cake mix, added some spices to make it a spice cake and I bought ready made cream cheese frosting.

So here is my adapted list of ingredients for the caramel apple poke cake that I made:

CARAMEL APPLE POKE CAKE- Sweet Monday style

1 box of yellow cake mix, plus ingredients needed for batter (which in my case was 3 eggs, water and vegetable oil)
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 tsp. of ground ginger
1/4 tsp. of ground cloves
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. corn starch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
one jar of Smucker’s caramel flavored topping (12.25 oz.)

-Butter a 9-x-13″ baking pan or dish.
-Mix the yellow cake mix, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg together.
-Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions (i.e. add eggs, water and oil) and pour into the prepared pan. Bake according to package directions. Let cool, about 20 minutes.
-Prepare the apple layer: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the brown sugar and white sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and stir until combined. Add the corn starch and lemon juice and stir until combined. Remove from heat.
-When cake is cooled, poke holes using a thick straw or the end of a wooden spoon, all over the cake.
-Pour the caramel all over the cake, especially over the poked holes.
-Spread the apple mixture on top.
-Spread the cream cheese frosting over apple layer.
-Dust the top of the cake with cinnamon.

I have a great idea on how to adapt this recipe into cupcakes. After the cupcake has cooled,  poke one big hole in each cupcake and fill it with caramel. Instead of spreading a layer of apples and then spreading the cream cheese frosting on top of that, mix the apple mixture and cream cheese frosting together to make it an apple pie cream cheese frosting. Sounds pretty good, right?!

I must admit that I was a little hesitant about this recipe. It sounded like it would be too sweet with all the spices, the caramel, the cream cheese frosting and the sweet apples. But actually, it was the perfect combination together. The spices blended well together with all of the other ingredients and it was the perfect amount of sweetness. It reminded me of an apple pie with caramel on top.

 

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It’s all the rage DIY fluffy slime

I guess fluffy slime is all the rage right now. My son requested to make fluffy slime after watching a few youtubers make it. We went to the store to buy some saline solution, glue and shaving cream. We already had the baking soda and food dye. Unfortunately, the store was out of glue so we had to go to Office Depot. We found the glue and amazingly, there was also a recipe for fluffy slime along with saline solution and baking soda for sale. I guess it’s a popular thing.

Here are the ingredients for fluffy slime.

INGREDIENTS:
Washable glue such as Elmer’s school glue
Foam shaving cream
Saline Solution
Baking Soda
Food dye

INSTRUCTIONS
-Add ½ cup of glue into a bowl. We bought a 7.625 fl. oz. of glue and it ended up being half of the bottle.
-Add color  by putting in a few drops of food dye. Stir to mix in the color.
-Add approximately 4 cups of shaving cream into bowl. We didn’t do an exact measurement. We mostly eyeballed it.
-Stir in ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.
-Add 1 tablespoon of  saline solution and mix. Mix thoroughly and then knead the mixture. This is the magic part and when it starts turning into slime.

The slime will get a bit sticky but as you keep working with it and kneading it, it becomes less sticky. To take it out of the bowl, we put a little bit of oil in our hands (coconut oil but you can use any oil) so that it would stick less to our hands.

And ta-da, you have fluffy slime! Josh liked making it so much that he made another batch by himself. My favorite part is adding the saline solution, mixing and watching the magic happen.

A fun DIY to do with your kids.

 

Natural hair care for healthy hair

If you can ingest it, then you know it’s safe and non toxic for your hair. Here are some natural hair care recipes that you can try for healthy, shiny hair that glows.

Egg and olive oil: The protein in eggs is great for hair. It makes the hair strong, softens hair while preventing breakage and aids in hair growth. Eggs help to restore the natural oils in your hair and scalp. Mix one egg with a tablespoon of olive oil. Leave on hair for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Then rinse it off. Remember to use cold water when rinsing it off.

Olive Oil hot oil treatment: Do you have dry and damaged hair? If so, this olive oil hot oil treatment is the one for you. Olive oil contains fatty acids that coat the hair and moisturize it. It also protects your hair from further damage. Here’s how it works. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the microwave until warm. Make sure it is not too hot. About 10 to 15 seconds should be good. Then apply the oil on dry hair and cover with a shower cap or towel. Leave the oil on for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and shampoo as usual.

Baking soda hair exfoliater: Do you have excessive product build up on your hair? Get rid of that build up by using baking sodan as a hair exfoliater. Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate which is a great exfoliater. It helps remove all that build up on your hair due to overuse of hair products. Here’s how you use it. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a quarter sized squirt of shampoo. Shampoo your hair as usual, concentrating on the roots. Rinse. This should remove all the residue from product build up.

Castor oil and coconut oil: Castor oil is used for hair growth and to prevent hair loss by protecting the existing hair follicles. Castor oil helps moisturize your hair and can also make it thicker. It’s also great for treating dandruff. Mix castor oil with coconut oil and massage into your scalp for at least 5 minutes. Then massage the oil from your scalp to the remainder of your hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then shampoo off. For best results, do this once to twice per week. Try it for longer eyelashes, too!

Apple cider vinegar hair rinse: Do you want shiny hair? Apple cider vinegar helps remove product residue and excessive oil. What’s the result? Shiny hair. Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and pour it over your hair after shampooing. Wait about 2 minutes, then rinse. Don’t worry. Your hair won’t smell like vinegar all day (but your bathtub might.)

Coconut Oil: This is my favorite natural hair care recipe. I use coconut oil as an intensive conditioner which I leave on overnight. I shampoo my hair in the morning and my hair is smooth and shiny. Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids. It penetrates hair deeply. It can also be used as a leave-in conditioner. When used as a leave in conditioner, it’s important not to put too much. A little bit goes a long way. If you put too much, you will end up with very oily hair. To use coconut oil as an intensive conditioner, it is best to leave it on for a couple of hours or better yet, overnight.

Tea Tree scalp massager: Do you have an itchy scalp? Tea Tree Oil is a natural antifungal and antiseptic. It helps eliminate bacteria and dandruff flakes. Add a few drops to your shampoo and massage into scalp. Leave on hair for about 5 minutes. Feel the tingle. It’s like a massage for your scalp. Rinse. Refreshed.

Try these natural remedies for healthy hair. They are like little miracles for your hair.

Today I am grateful for all things natural.