When the fair comes to town so does the craving for a classic carnival sweet treat, caramel apples. The annual parish (you all say county, we Louisianians say parish) fair is in town this week which means time to develop a recipe for fair inspired, fall delicious Baked Caramel Apples.
I don’t think you ever outgrow the love of fairs and carnivals or the classic food offerings associated with these only come to town once a year midways of amusement. Dave the Builder gets a kick out of my proclamation “fair music!” when I hear “Up Around the Bend” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Back in my midway days, I definitely pondered perpetual motion twirling around the Tilt-a-Whirl, Scrambler, and Flying Bobs. My tastes in carnival rides runs along the same lines as my interior design and decorating tastes. Keep the line moving to the center of traditional and classic and go easy on the thrills and frills, folks.
Preheat oven to 400°. Wash, core and hallow out apples about ½ way down the center. Place apples upright in baking dish.
Sprinkle the inside of each apple with lemon juice. Dust the center of each apple with cinnamon. Add a generous teaspoon of the salted caramel frosting to the center of each apple. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until apples are soft. Serve warm as side dish or as a fabulous fall dessert topped with your favorite flavor of ice cream or whipped topping.
No need for butter or margarine with this recipe. The salted caramel frosting pulls double delicious duty as both butter substitute and caramel flavor. Easy. Delicious. Classic fall flavor.
Nature by design is the consummate example of simple yet elegant beauty. Seasonal decorating need not be an exercise in expense or exhaustion.
Rather your seasonal and soon to be holiday decorating involves pulling out all the stops or spot accents here and there, the idea is to invite the season into your home through a visual essay that expresses what fall means to me.
Still moving at a slowed post surgical procedure pace means I’m mostly guiding the what fall means to me decorating tour of late. Dave the Builder and my mother are happy to handle the fetch and feather duties.
“An empty room is a story waiting to happen, and you are the author.” Unknown
Readers of Places In The Home know music beats in the heart and soul of this house. Music keeps me company in the creative process, and a verse or chorus strikes a note of I’ll groove to that inspiration. The chorus of singer, pianist, composer, producer and engineer Carol Duboc’s latest tune, Open the Curtains, mirrors my personal decorating style philosophy.
A punch of personality is as influential to the collective look as the pop of color and the decorative oomph.
What fall means to me is obvious in the gorgeous bouquet of white hydrangeas from my mother and the fall is in the house display Dave the Builder picked up at Kroger.
“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
– Gary Snyder
Cabbage resting in a mixing bowl staged along side a pie pumpkin gives a simple and fresh nod to fall.
Nature-inspired simple elegance. I know exactly what fall means to me.
Good morning, afternoon or evening, friends! Friday is in sight or here which is always a plus. Fall is getting its look and feel on, the small surgical procedure I had Tuesday went well, and I love the way the homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar Scrub turned out. Anesthesia is drying, and knowing this I wanted to have a hand scrub on hand. Looking ahead to more fall decorating with the branches and cuttings soon to fill ironstone pitchers and the demijohn Dave the Builder recently found in his rounds, I quickly recalled that getting to and cutting down the aforementioned branches and cuttings do a number on your hands. Put the pumpkin pie seasoning in the coconut (oil, that is) and treat your hands to a fabulous Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar Scrub in the morning.
You get the point.
After a day filled with political mudslinging from every channel, network and streaming site, am I the only one who feels like a day at the spa treatment is in order? Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar Scrub has got you and your hands covered.
This scrub is super emollient, softens immediately, and can I just tell you- the scent is fall in a bottle.
Mexican vanilla and pumpkin pie spice marry together in notes of fall fragrant harmony.
For the hands:
Dampen hands with tepid water. Apply a small amount of pumpkin pie spice sugar hand scrub and gently massage in a circular movement to exfoliate and renew skin. Rinse well with warm water and gently pat dry. To further promote at home spa experience, apply a small amount of your favorite hand cream to seal in the moisture and protect.
I am ready to get the seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites ball rolling. Postings of home decor and fall decorating ideas from several hundred of my blogging and social media friends confirm fall fever is going around.
Let the brisk mornings-cinnamon flavored-pumpkin decorating-colors on parade-sitting on the front porch-spice tea sipping-football tailgating afternoons-sweater wearing-sock feet snuggling with the one you love-crisp evenings spent in front of a fire pit season commence. While we’re on the subject, let me ask you this. Fall or Autumn. What say you?
Now to the seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites portion of our show…
I’ve been looking “foyer” to this seasonal update for quite some time. The wallpaper I selected for my Mother’s Day gift (Mother’s Day 2015) is finally up where it belongs. Getting this wallpaper project to completion and fall coming to Louisiana have something in common. It seems to take forever. I learned a long time ago that patience is a virtue in the pretty on a penny process. Count the looking “foyer” to fall wallpaper project and estate sale chandelier makeover as the first seasonal updates of the fall 2016 season.
We are ginkgo a gogo for fall decorating. Inexpensive is good, but free is better. Using natural elements in your seasonal decorating plan gifts the eye with the beauty of the season. Simple. Elegant. Fall.
Multiple choices factor into the decorating scheme of things.
Cotton bolls placed in and around collected sea shells is a match made in memories from my childhood heaven. Cotton fields remain an integral part of the fall harvest scenery in our area. A farmer friend with acres and acres of cotton fields generously supplies me with several bundles of cotton stalks for my fall decorating needs. Another good friend supplies me with the dried hydrangeas and eucalyptus bunches perfect for fall arrangements in another fall decor essential, the dough bowl. Good friends bearing gifts are rewarded with the house special, a fresh apple nut cake.
An accidental placement of this antique chair in the foyer and the light of a late afternoon produce an effect worth keeping.
Maybe it’s the lighting, the off-center placement, the new wallpaper or the combination of all three, but I love how it all works together. Ambience plays a significant role in interior design and decorating, and light is at the control.
I’ve noticed the change in the color of the afternoon sun. It is white bright, full of nuance as it streams through the window panes and French doors to shadow dance with colors, patterns and textures.
Over this past weekend, Dave the Builder and I were arguing chatting about all things house that make a home. Over the past 30+ years of togetherness in everything from friendship, marriage, child rearing and business, we have been known to have our cuss it and discuss it moments. Making things pretty can get ugly sometimes- it’s part of the process. The quickest way to diffuse a contentious all things house that make a home moment is to start a new conversation about starting a new project! The allure of design and decorating possibilities has a very strong appeal. It works for us, and it worked again this past weekend.
Constructing a fall entryway display wasn’t exactly on my fall decorating weekend to-do list, but neither was a building brouhaha. I adopted the I’m a decorator not a fighter attitude, and from there decorating inspiration and let’s project something harmony began to“fall” into place.
Our don’t overthink it display evolved from items amassed for decorating times like this- an antique spindle bed post, a wooden garden basket, clippings from our cotton stalk stash, mums, a collection of faux gourds, a piece of wood from the bayou, a planted boxwood, concrete pineapple statue and one lone white pumpkin.
I phoned the Canadian snowbird aka our son several weeks ago with my request for pics of true fall foliage. Louisiana will eventually see fall colors, but I was looking forward to seeing images of true fall crimson reds, deep purples and tawny maple golds.
J, J, Ollie and Caramel the Wonder Rescue Dog
It seems a Canadian cold front/rain event did away with the crimson red and deep purples leaving behind only the tawny maple golds and sweater weather. Although not my first choice, faux flowers and seasonal decorating accouterments fill in the blanks nature can’t.
Sharing in the hand me that and it needs something responsibilities, we spent the afternoon making things pretty for the fall of it all. As I put the finishing touches on the fall entryway display, a gust of crisp fall air blew across the porch to the delight of Dave the Builder, the kitty cat and this decorista. Perfect timing!
A pot of strong Louisiana coffee brewed for two made the afternoon near perfect.
Photo editing is a wonderful concept. I am becoming more and more enamored with this part of the making pretty process. When you can take something slightly imperfect and invest time, effort and vision to produce a work rich in substance and beauty, the result is visually amazing. Photo editing, decorating, marriage- you get the picture.
To kick off the fall baking season, I thought this reader favorite recipe for Apple Nut cake repost worthy.
Thought that would get your attention!
Fall is officially here, and although the signs of the season aren’t in full fall reveal, a few brisk mornings have teased the senses turning my thoughts and taste buds to the fall baking season.
Dave the Builder’s mother introduced me to a delicious way to welcome fall which has become a tradition. In terms of a wonderful fall culinary complement, there is nothing better on a cool afternoon than a cup of strong Louisiana coffee and a slice of old fashioned Apple Nut cake. I always think of my dear mother-in-law when the first day of fall comes. It’s been thirty three years since the first time I made this cake as a new bride. I can see myself standing in the cooking corner of our tiny kitchen pouring the batter into my grandmother’s bundt pan, windows open, flour everywhere and a true autumn nip in the air. That was many Apple Nut cakes ago, and over the years I have tweaked the Apple Nut Cake recipe to suit my taste. I think it is an apple nut winner.
My daddy was my apple peeling, apple cutting sous chef. He knew the Apple Nut rule and took his apple peeling role seriously. To enjoy apple nut goodness you must help in the peeling prep. My mother now stands as the house sous chef. The family that peels apples together makes memories together.
It’s not really the rule, but more the justification that gets me out of having to peel and cut the apples. Trust me, this cake is so good I’ve got ’em lining up to peel apples.
Apple Nut Cake
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup applesauce
3 cups fresh apples, peeled and sliced
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
Peel and slice apples. Add brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves and lemon juice to apples coating well; set aside. Mix together sugar and oil. Add the eggs and beat until creamy. Add vanilla. Combine salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour together. Add dry ingredients in small amounts to sugar and oil mixture. Next, add apples, applesauce and chopped pecans and mix by hand.
Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan in 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Well, so much for dirty baking secrets. Let me put it this way. Baking is my thing. Oven cleaning is not. True kitchen confessions shall set you free.
Feast your eyes on that baked apple nut cake goodness! This cake is so delicious no icing is required, but hold on to your apples. The icing is fantastic!
For the icing:
In a medium saucepan bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly. Boil for one minute continuing to stir or whisk constantly.
My other sous chef (my mother) displaying her mad icing prep skills!
Remove from heat and add vanilla. Add powdered sugar and stir or whisk until smooth and continue until it begins to thicken slightly. Immediately drizzle over cooled cake. Top with walnuts or pecans.
Welcome to the Places In The Home first day of fall 2015 home is where the fall is feature. My for the fall of it all decorating is not what I would categorize as a traditional fall home tour, per se, however I do love placing the seasonal decorating accent mark on fall with set spot arrangements and seasonal accessories here, there and about.
I pulled decorative things together from spaces, bookshelf displays, Hopefully Classic Antiques and Interiors inventory, tabletop favorites, ghosts of preserved floral stems past and nature’s arts and crafts store.
A late summer experiment with drying hydrangeas proved successful enough to fulfill my fall and holiday decorating needs.
I bought this framed print at auction. This particular antiques auction was held off the beaten path in the piney woods of North Louisiana. The smalls at this hit the jackpot auction ranged from spectacular to premier, and the prices were equally fantastic.
I chalked it up to coincidence, but it seemed the auctions held in the fall brought forth the best finds. I was like a kid in a big old country barn candy store with a cup of hot chocolate in one hand (it gets cold in the piney woods) and a bid card in the other. Fall weekends offer up a snapshot, a glimpse from the past of those Saturday nights spent at the auction. This framed print reminds me of a not quite, but almost fall stroll through those piney woods. Good deals, good times and great memories.
Hotel china demitasse cups are both a passion and a weakness of mine.
The price wasn’t exactly right for the set, but the I have to have these part of my brain convinced the a better deal is out there part of my brain that this was the last set of hotel china demitasse cups on the planet, and if I did not immediately buy them right then and there the treasure hunting gods would forever rain down it’s full price for you wrath on all future treasure hunts and finds. Retail logic was alive and well.
Layering the look with gold tones and warm textures seems naturally autumn appropriate.
“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” ― Jim Bishop
It is amazing how quick my pictures and downloads files can fill up with images. The save image as option on my devices sees its share of action. I utilize the weekends for blog housekeeping, deleting images, updating fonts and the like- too much to see, source and save during the week. In my latest save or delete session, I ran across this picture Dave the Builder snapped last year of our local garden district bayou in full fall glory. Gorgeous, n’est–cepas? Funny how an image or a subject in that image alerts the senses and inspires ideas for autumn accessorizing for home and hearth.
This colors on parade color palette touches upon seasonal shades traditionally associated with autumn’s color wheel and nature’s neutrals. Seasonal updating through tones, textures and palettes inspired by nature translate well to seasonal home decor accessories. Decorative dining and entertaining pieces, throws, pillows, lamps, rugs, and spot furnishings are the mainstay of seasonal go-to accents.
Fall is the season for the senses, and throw pillows instantly introduce the all important cozy pop of color, warmth, tone and texture while keeping seasonal updating costs in check.
A rule of thumb I follow when selecting seasonal accessories, especially throw pillows, is to go with a smart and stylish choice of color (go ahead, try a new-traditional color!), pattern and texture that picks up the warm and cozy feeling associated with the season while blurring the hard line of strictly a fall or winter accessory.
Our son snapped this image over this past Labor Day weekend while visiting Riding Mountain National Park. The pair of bison caught his eye and the white birch trees caught mine. I am a wee bit envious of those of you who are fortunate enough to live in the land of four seasons, white pumpkins and white birch trees.
The concept of seasonal updating is nothing new. When the seasons change, decoristas naturally become inspired to add to and/or take away from the look of the last season and breathe a bit of fall fresh air into their decor with current home decor accessories of the new season. I believe a space, like a good red wine, must be afforded the opportunity to breathe. Uncork a more expressive look by releasing aged accessories, stale color(s) and settled for furnishings with selective seasonal edits. I find that in most cases when a phenomenal investment home decor accessory or home furnishings piece appeals to the personal style and taste side of my brain in one season, it typically continues to hold my attention through to the next season(s).