DIY

Easy DIY painted milk bottle vases

I had a couple of party favors left over from a baby shower that I threw for a friend. They were these cute glass milk bottles. As party favors, I put big baby blue gumballs in them and handed them out. Since I had a couple of them left over, I decided to do a fun DIY project.

I decided to paint them. An easy project. I took them outside ( a well ventilated area) and sprayed a light coating of glossy white spray paint. I sprayed it 2 more times, letting it dry for a bit in between each spray.

And here’s how they turned out:

I ended up giving them as teacher gifts for teacher appreciation week. I put pretty flowers in them and gave one to my son’s teacher and one to the teacher assistant.

Happy DIY!

baking

My adaptation of the Caramel Apple Poke Cake

1479061044377

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.

 

baking

Biscuit dough mini monkey bread

I found an article by Babble via Pinterest. It was called 21 things you can make with a tube of biscuit dough. Oh, yummy! I was mostly interested in the recipe for Extreme Monkey Bread (also at Babble.com):

And here it is:

Extreme Monkey Bread
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dark Karo syrup
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tubes of large Texas Layers biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamom

STEP 1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine brown sugar, Karo syrup, sweetened condensed milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir all ingredients together until smooth & allow to heat just until boiling.

STEP 2. Open the packages of biscuits, separate each biscuit and cut into four pieces.

STEP 3. Stir together cinnamon and sugar. Toss cut biscuit pieces into the cinnamon and sugar.

STEP 4. Pour half of the caramel sauce into the bottom of a bundt pan which has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

STEP 5. Place the cinnamon & sugar coated biscuit pieces on top of the caramel.  Pour most of the remaining caramel over the  top of the biscuits, setting about 1/4 cup aside for dipping, if desired. (The bundt pan will be verrry full.  If you don’t have a bundt pan, try splitting your monkey bread into two large loaf pans, the sort you’d use to bake loaved of bread).

STEP 6. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the bread at the top of the bundt pan is golden brown.  Allow to sit for 8-10 minutes before turning onto a plate.  Serve immediately.

Yeah, that does sound extreme. That lead me to a search of a simple recipe for Monkey Bread. I found one at Pioneerwoman.com

Monkey Bread at Pioneerwoman.com (click here for the full recipe):

The ingredients include:

1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
2 to 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
Bundt pan
3 cans of Buttermilk Biscuits (the non-flaky ones)
1 cup of sugar

Yes! Much more simple. Let’s try it! Okay, but I only bought one can of biscuits, they are the flaky ones, not the non-flaky ones and that just seems like a whole lot of butter. Oh, also I don’t have a bundt pan. So I adjusted the recipe into a mini monkey bread. I used the toaster oven since it was a smaller batch and placed it on the baking tray that came with the toaster.

Here’s my take on this recipe.

Mini monkey bread:
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 can of jumbo biscuits, flaky, butter flavored
1/2 cup of sugar

-Cut each of the buttermilk biscuits into 6 pieces (instead of quarters, since these are jumbo and 6 pieces seem more bite sized)

-Mix the sugar and cinnmon together in a gallon storage bag.

-Drop the biscuits in the bag. I gave it to my son to shake. Big helper! Make sure each piece has a coating of cinnamon sugar.

-Line the baking tray with aluminum foil and then I placed the biscuits on it. I pushed the dough down just a little bit so that there were no spaces in between the pieces.

-On medium heat, I melted the butter and brown sugar together. About 3 minutes.

-Once well combined, I poured the butter/brown sugar  mixture over the biscuits.

-Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

-Just like a bundt pan, turn the baking tray upside down onto a large plate. The butter and sugar will be nice and sticky and now on top!

Yum, yum, yum… mini monkey bread…