Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh what a day

Today has been one of those days when you just want to sit and cry. Maybe its the grey day outside or the fact that I am way too old for all this day to day baby stuff. I can't keep up. Having part of the house under construction doesn't help either. Orders are coming in for the skunk and frog hats and I can't seem to get more than five minutes to myself here.  As I type this I sure sound like I am whining, and I hate whining! I did finish a little Packer hat for JJ today and did get to list a few items on Etsy but beyond that is has been diapers, toys and alot of crying, the majority mine I think. Feed me, change me, pick me up.....and then feed me all over again. I did this the first time with out ever breaking a sweat but, at 55 I am out of patience and want someone to feed me and put me for a nap. I did have a minute this morning before they woke up to find a nice applesauce cupcake recipe. My plan for the day was , as they were finishing the work. ( they have stopped for the day at it is still undone ) I would bake some cupcakes with the boys and we would then have a nice day. When they napped I would dust quick and then work on hats. Well, I have learned NEVER to make change them. No naps, crabby baby and a 2 year old who I think is attached to me at the hip. Tommorrow will be least that is what I am praying for tonight.

Applesauce Cupcake Recipe

•1/2 cup butter or margarine
•1 egg
•1/4 cup sugar
•11/2 cups flour
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon cinnamon
•11/2 teaspoons nutmeg
•1 cup applesauce unsweetened
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/4 cup walnuts

Mixing Directions
1.Preheat over to 375dregrees
2.line cupcake tins with paper or foil liners
3.cream butter or margarine until creamy and fluffy
4.beat egss and sugars for one minute or until well mixed
5.add to butter or margaring
6.mix dry ingredients togetherand blend inmargarine or butter mixture
7.put in vanilla
8.put in walnuts
9.pour into 12 cups about 2/3rds full
10.bake 15 to 18 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

Applesauce Cupcakes taste delicious with peanut butter icing.

•1 cup confectioners sugar

•1 cup creamy peanut butter
•6 tablespoons unsalted butter
•3/4 tablespoon vanilla
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/3 cup of cream

Mixing Directions
Place all ingredients in a food processor or mixer, and beat on low speed, for approximately 3 minutes, until it becomes a light and fluffy frosting.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall is here

The temperature doesn't show it but on Saturday we have Harvest Fest in Montello and I am busy finding some muffin recipes for the pancake breakfast and bake sale. It should be a fairly busy day downtown and it is kind of sad to watch the shop get empty but.....nose to the grindstone and looking ahead to the diner. I will still make the sweaters and hats for Josphines in Watertown and the etsy shop. I will get much more done at home, I have already painted the living room and changed things around and the bathroom. The kitchen could use some tender loving care and it keeps my mind busy while all the paper work and waiting goes on. Not that my two little helpers don't keep me busy enough. The shop will officially close October 31st. So there will be big sales as I don't want to store anything and will be making new items for the fall and Christmas shows I plan on doing.

Apple Muffins

These apple muffins smell like apple pie when they're baking. If you can't find cinnamon chips in your local supermarket, simply leave them out. Or use chocolate chips or butterscotch chips instead.
The walnut streusel topping gives these apple muffins wonderful crunch.

Prep Time: 15 minu
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

•1 cup all-purpose flour
•1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
•1 Tbsp. baking powder
•1/2 tsp. cinnamon
•1/4 tsp. salt
•2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
•1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
•1 large egg
•1/2 cup sugar
•2/3 cup skim milk
•1 cup chopped apples
•1/2 cup cinnamon chips
•For Topping
•1/2 cup finely-chopped walnuts
•2 Tbsp. brown sugar
•1/2 tsp. cinnamon
•2-3 tsp. skim milk
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large muffin tin.
2.Whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
3.In a medium bowl, mix melted butter, flaxseed meal, egg, sugar and skim
4.Fold dry ingredients into wet, stiring until incorporated, but do not overmix.
5.Stir in chopped apples and cinnamon chips.
6.Fill muffin cups two-thirds of the way.
7.Combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over muffins.
8.Bake 18-22 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
9.Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tooting ones own Horn

In todays world this seems like something you need to do, not only do but be good at. this is extremely hard for me. I don't know if it is from childhood, or a personality thing but I am AWFUL at it. Yet, I have been told I NEED to do just that if I ever want to get anything done for our town. I have huge dreams that we can restart our town. It was and still is a very pretty little town, Set in some of the best hunting, fishing and camping in Wisconsin. Times change and people go where they see the ads for and unfortunately there have been no huge ad promotions for Montello since the 70's. The lakes and woodlands we had then we still have, the rivers and bike trails, birds and wildlife. We need to get visitors to our town and new small businesses to fill the shops and make stopping here something to talk about. Now with all that said , where do I come in.....I had a dream     you've heard that somewhere before. Let me go to the beginning, I am a MOM of 5 grown kids who since the early 70;s has had symptoms of myastenia gravis ( a form of MD )  , I muddled through when no one knew what was wrong. The in 1989 I was told the diagnosis, I had one small grandson and was give some very good advice from the smartest woman I knew ( My Gram)  make each day count, none of know what is in store for us, don't waste a day) so I have tried. I have taken Granddaughters to ballet, moved to Wisconsin. Here to my every day is vacation spot and am raising 3 teen age grandkids and two adorable but tiring great grandsons. Yet there is more to my dream. It has three parts. First to open the small diner in our downtown and add to it a cupcake bakery. The kind of diner where you can depend on Monday Meatloaf , homemade soups and desserts and a basket of fries to share. Second to enter Iron Cupcake Milwaukee and third to help put Montello back on the map for tourist year round. Now to alot of people this sounds out of reach but, I think it is possible...maybe bot to win Iron Cupcake Milwaukee but at least the diner, the town and get entered in Iron Cupcake.  I was given a link to a great site where you can post your project and people from all over can learn about it and if they choose give you a donation and earn some perks for doing so. I have that link and please check it out, share it with friends and help me toot my horn!  I will check back time and again and let everyone know how we are doing! Thanks in advance for getting the word out!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Etsy Shop

About a month agao I opened my second Etsy shop. I had the feeling having both my handpainted wood and my crocheted baby gifts in the same place, each were distracting from the other. I think I was right, in the past few week I have had 11 orders for skunk and frog hats or hats and sweaters. WOW, yes it is keeping me very busy but it is a GOOD busy. At the same time I am busy working on a business plan for a diner in our hometown, a much needed anchor to the business district. That sounds like BIG but it is only one main Hwy going through the downtown. So I crochet, then I type, then I work on cupcake recipes. I am including a cupcake bakery in the diner. Something that is not found locally. We will serve the usual old diner favorites like Meatloaf on Monday and breakfast all day, but it will be great to come in the morning and get fresh muffins and scones and the ever changing cupcakes. Here is a link to a fun FROG cupcake, with Halloween approaching and me working on a frog asweater I thought this was fun.
I will have to take a picture or tow when I get mine done as well as my taste testers hard at work.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crisp Fall Air

makes me want to bake, clean house, rake the yard.......unfortunately I am still battleing the back ache, it has now been about 10 weeks. Four doctors appointments, a pain specialist, a catscan and I still can't function like normal. Or as my husband says, nomal for me ! So, to keep myself busy I have been baking cupcakes to find the best recipes for the diner when we finally get it open. (Yet another long story) the pumpkin ones from last Wednesday were great.   I used the whole can of pumpkin and they stayed moist, well as long as muffins can last in our house. Today inbetween finishing a skunk sweater  I am going to try a spce cake from scratch. The two little men in my life are off with my daughters on , what I hope will be a day long shopping trip. I have found I really am not as young as I used to be. They tire me out in no time at all. Ialso cannot pick them up, so like an old person, I am not left home alone with them....nursing hme here I come. LOL
  I also got an order for a squirrel sweater, so I am going to have to work on that. The tail has me stumped right now....but I am sure something will come to me. Our little guys who last year were skunk and frog , this year will be dinosaurs....they just love Dinosaur Train on PBS. So off I go to bake and inbetween maybe wash some dishes and get a sweater done.....all before my family returns. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Costume Alternatives for kids

Once again I am busy coming up with some costume ideas for the two little guys in my life. Last year the baby Carsen , who is now one and running around was an adorable skunk. I made the hat and bought a pair of black sweats and he was warm and toasty as we did our trick or treating. JJ was a frog, again I bought a pair of green sweats that he wore until they didnt fit. The hats were also worn all winter, the ear flaps came in handy here in Wisconsin. A funny side story to this is that I have two granddaughters in high school who also had frog hats made and proudly wore them all winter, who knew it would be so easy to keep their ears covered. Then started taking orders for their friends. A college student from, New York ordered a skunk hat last year too from my Etsy shop. I have added a couple new  animals but the boys favorite this season is the dinosaur. Their favorite show on PBS is Dinosaur Train. So, I am making dinosaur sweaters in all kinds of colors and combinations.  My fingers are working non stop, if only I could crochet in my sleep. is my shop for all the cute costume alternatives and baby items!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Harvest Fest Windows

The windows in my shop and at the diner are finally painted to announce the coming of Harvest Fest. We met this morning to decide on who works the pancake breakfast, bake sale items and Sandy will be taking my job of hanging the corn stalks throughout the downtown. If only I had the info on the concert beforehand I could have worked that all in. Another example of not working with each other for a common good. Silly, that grouwn ups can't get the idea of cooperation and that if we all work together it lightens the work load and the end result is better.....enough of my rambling about Montello.
I am busy getting more frog hats and sweaters done for the fest, they make great costume alternatives for the little ones. This year our little guys are going as dinosaurs...we watch alot of dinosaur train on PBS here. The two dalmation sweaters are alomost done and the skink hats are down to the finishing touches, I will be glad when I can tag them and put them in the shop. With our little guy under the weather I am amazed I have anything done....he wears me out.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Did I tell you about

my happy dance. As a grandmother living with high school age grandkids and a seventh grader, I was elated, tickled pink to learn that the big red circle on last wednesday meant that school was starting. School...peace and quiet...early to bed, early to rise.. could it be, could I be that lucky?  I was , and I must confess as thy pulled out of the driveway for school that morning ( one of them drives and 2 are taking drivers ed)  I paused a moment and thewn did what is being called the HAPPY DANCE!  Like a weight had been lifted, I drank a cup of coffee in peace in quiet, did'nt fight for the bathroom to get ready for work and just bathed myself in the quiet.  Thank you teachers!!!!!
I went off to the shop, sort of humming with a grin I just couldnt lose...eight hours of teen free time. I cleaned the shop, finished a sweater order for etsy shop and then painted a Santa. I had fun. Who needs summer vacation ...give me SCHOOL

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Frogs are hopping

the Frog sweaters are hopping right out of the shop. In the past week three of them have sold in the etsy shop.....wonderful news!  I am busy working on not just the frogs but a new dinosaur and the skunk and two dalmation hooded sweaters. I am thinking to Halloween here in Wisconsin where it can be sunny and warm, or the kids could be in mittens. Just grab an animal hat and a set of nice soft sweats and the little one is set, or a hooded sweater or sweater and hat. The hats can be worn all winter and machine washed and dried. 

I am also busy putting together our Harvest Fest, a bike ride, crafters and a pancake breakfast. It should be a good time with the leaves changing and pumpkins everywhere.

I am also on the committee for next years Fish n Fun Fest, so things are hectic, but on a good started yesterday and I could be seen doing the happy dance in the driveway as those three adorable teens left for school.

I am hoping to finish a dinosaur today and get some good photos with Carsen our littlest in the sweater. Last years photos he was the baby skunk....but a year is a long time and he now walks, runs and is not a photo bug. Wish me luck!

Kids back to school, a break in the heat and hopefully a busy weekend at the shop and maybe I won't notice that nagging pain that I cant seem to lose.   Note to self, getting older isnt neccesarily better!