Wednesday, October 31, 2012


It's a metaphor.

Gonna dance my socks off!
The monkey's tail beard.  Also, a metaphor.

Matt and Theona come home for a spontaneous visit and bring Fat Baby Carter!

Mmmmmm . . . fresh grapes from the arbor.  Why do they look so serious?
Uncle Reid and his son Brady(L) and nephew, Landon(R).

Grandma Blanchard and Avery, her only female grandchild.

Being a new daddy to Carter makes Matthew happy.

Family portrait with canine

It's our first family picture with Pandora.  Becki took it on cider day.

Ciderfest 2012 with the Bralliers

Cameron was a great apple loader 

Dave and Eric gaze into each other's eyes while pressing the apples.  Don't ask me what those black specks between them are, probably their thoughts.  Or maybe birds.

Lunch time weinie roast in my parent's fire pit.

Just in case the kids didn't take in enough sugar from the gallons of apple cider, we also frosted Halloween sugar cookies.

Beren's Class Field Trip to Lalooska Lodge

Back on the bus

My Crazy Group:  Taylor, Kyle, Beren, Sabrina

Beren's teacher:  Bethany Glovatski

Beren and best friend Carlos

My neice, Avery Grace, turns 1

Mutant Fruit

Not all of the garden produce came out perfect; in fact, this tomatoe grew a schnoz.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I made these. Love them.

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (You really need the parchment!)
  • In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • With your mixer (or an energetic spoon) cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with.)
  • When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels. 
  • Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut. (I used a rounded cookie scoop-full. My scoop holds about a Tablespoon.)
  • Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down (either on the parchment or on a rack.) If you forget about them and they cool too much and stick to your parchment, put them into the freezer for a few minutes and they'll pop right off.
  • Yield: about 4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies (or how many caramels have been snitched out of your bag before you begin.) Store in an airtight container.