Here is my mantle with some assorted goodies. I made the bunting in front and also a spider tissue garland. There are various decaying leaves, gourds, and pumpkins. My rock pile from Aidan (he gives me rocks on our journeys outside) takes a prominent spot, too.
The bottles are antique apothecary adorned with Martha Stewart stickers. Frankenstein is courtesy of Aidan and the Spider Nest is another Martha Stewart craft.
I made these treat bags using an idea from Martha Stewart. I made Jack O Lantern faces on the front and stamped them on the back. I filled them with a small Playdough, Goldfish snacks, and spooky rings for Aidan's nursery school friends.
We finally got around to carving our pumpkins. I made my own face (left). Aidan had his daddy make one of the pictures from the carving kit.
Jeff made a freaky one with one pumpkin eating another. Sorry the pictures aren't so clear!
For frosting, I made a recipe from the AllRecipes archive. It would be fun to ice them sometime but not so fun for kids. I colored using gel coloring. For black, I added the black coloring to store bought chocolate frosting. I learned that tip at a Williams Sonoma cookie/cupcake decorating seminar.
I gave the boys little nut cups with sprinkles, jimmies and sanding sugar to decorate. Both boys did the same thing. They put all their sprinkles on one big cookie!! The picture above is Aidan's spider web. More cookies after the jump including Aidan's eye hat and a spider he decorated completely with an icing gel pen.
Here's Aidan on Monday at his nursery school costume party. I didn't have a lot of time to stuff it (it needs to be stuffed with newspaper). So he is a bit of a droopy spider. Plus, it might be a little big on him. Tonight, I will get better pictures as our Trick or Treat is this evening.
I made this costume using Simplicity 3593 (see at right). Aidan requested that he be a tarantula but that made me think of that fuzzy fabric which I used to make his cardinal costume last year. I
gently convinced him a black widow might be fun!
Changes I made included adding an extra set of legs so that, including Aidan's limbs, there would be 8 legs. I put the hourglass on the belly and added the eyes and chompers (chenille pipe cleaners that sewed in nicely) to the hat.
After the jump, I have pictures of Aidan's last two costumes that I made. He was a cardinal last year and a frog two years ago.
Isn't this snake just the cutest? Aidan and I stumbled upon her on our hike today at Lapham Peak. She was a sassy little snake, a tad bigger than a pencil that struck a pose to let us know how dangerous she was. Then she would tumble over and have to get in pose all over again. OK, I didn't get close enough to address the gender issue so I just chose one.
I can't tell you how gorgeous today was - in the 70's and windy--really windy when you climb the lookout tower at the highest point in Waukesha County. Lapham Peak is part of the Kettle Moraine Forest which was formed by glaciers thousands of years ago. There are kettles, which are mounds of gravel, clay, or sand and the moraines, which are depressions caused by glacial ice that was buried and then melted.
Aidan and I climbed the tower, almost got blown off by the wind and blown away by the view. We then went deep down in the kettle and walked around the forest. We didn't encounter many more critters but the sheer beauty was wonderful. Aidan held my hand most of the time and we talked and wondered. It is the best of times on days like this.
We drove home with the windows open and Bruce Springsteen on the stereo. The perfect end to a perfect day trip. *sigh* I'm not quite ready for winter.
Update: More photos can be found here or by clicking the badge:
Many apologies for forgetting to include a key ingredient (applesauce - DUH!) in my Apple Spice Bundt Cake recipe. I have now updated that recipe along with a picture.
To make up for it, I am including the best recipe for cake ever! Sorry for not being more modest - I made this up and I can't believe how good it is. It is moist and fluffy. There isn't any oil in it but the 3 bananas more than make up for it. Jeff thinks I should enter it in a contest. One note - I used Dole Pineapple Orange Banana Juice only because I was too cheap to buy just banana nectar or juice. I think that would work swell in this recipe, too. Enough bragging and onto the recipe.
Banana Dream Bundt Cake recipe by sassypriscilla Ingredients 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic Yellow) 3 Eggs 3 Overripe Bananas, Mashed 3/4 Cup Dole Pineapple Orange Banana Juice 2 3.4 oz packages of Instant Banana Cream Pudding Glaze 1 Cup Powdered Sugar 2 T Pineapple Orange Banana Juice
Instructions Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients together (I start with eggs and add ingredients
one at a time). Spray your Bundt pan with a non-stick cooking spray. Add cake batter and bake for 45-55 minutes or
until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Start checking the cake after 30 minutes. Do not over
Cool cake in pan for 1 hour. Make glaze by whisking powdered sugar and juice together. Optionally, you could substitute 1 tablespoon of the juice with milk. Turn cake onto plate and drizzle glaze over the top.
Hey - I actually made up my own recipe for a cake. I have never done that! This cake is inspired by my apple love of late but I didn't add any apples to it. Go figure. Jeff loved the cake and so did Aidan. In fact, Aidan ate it for breakfast 2 days in a row (bad mommy...). The cake is very moist with a nice apple spice flavor.
Try it out and let me know how it is! I will update the post with some pictures on Thursday.
Apple Spice Bundt Cake recipe by sassypriscilla Ingredients 1 Box Spice Cake Mix (I used Better Crocker Super Moist Spice) 3-4 Eggs (I may try 3 eggs next time) 1 cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream 1 cup Applesauce 1/2 cup Apple Cider 2 3.4 oz packages of Instant Vanilla Pudding
Optional Butter 1/3 c Cinnamon/Sugar mixture
Instructions Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients together (I start with eggs and add ingredients one at a time). Butter your Bundt pan thoroughly. Coat buttered pan with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Add cake mix and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Do not over bake.
Options: Spray cake pan with Pam instead of making the cinnamon/sugar coating; Add diced apple pieces to the cake batter; after baking, cool, pour apple pie filling over the top