Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The 2008 Holiday Season Begins

It’s always been my official belief that the holiday seasons begins with Thanksgiving. I refuse to put out a Christmas decoration until after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time and I do not want to outshine Thanksgiving by starting Christmas before Thanksgiving. While purchasing a few gifts and even wrapping them is OK in my book, putting up the Christmas tree would jinks the Christmas season. I really like to wait until after Thanksgiving to start Christmas shopping......Black Friday is crazy, fun, and kicks off the holiday season.

I finally got around to making the “cakes in a jar.” It was a fun project and something new to entertain me. But I don’t think I will make these again. I’ll give several of them away and keep the rest for snacks when the cupboards are bare this winter. If you’re interested here’s the recipes. I made the apple cakes first (two batches) and then the Starbucks Cakes next (two batches). These little babies were very time consuming and that’s the one thing I don’t like to be consumed….my time.

Starbuck's Cakes in a Jar
1 pkg. dark chocolate fudge cake mix
1 sm. pkg. chocolate instant pudding
1 pt. sour cream
4 eggs
1/3 c. Starbucks Coffee Liquor
1/4 c. Wesson oil
1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients, except chocolate chips; mix well. Add chocolate chips and fold in. Pour batter into eight greased wide mouth pint jars. Wipe rims of jars clean with damp paper towel. Place jars on a cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and immediately place hot lids and rims on jars. Tighten rim and allow to cool. Jars should seal as they cool. If jars do to seal refrigerate cakes for up to 2 weeks. Sealed jars will keep in a cool, dark, dry, environment for up to 6 months.

Fresh Apple Cake in a Jar
2/3 cup shortening
2 2/3 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup water
3 cups grated apple
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease the insides of 8 straight-sided wide-mouth pint canning jars. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside. Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat in well. Add flour alternately with water and mix until smooth. Fold in apples, raisins and nuts. Fill jars 1/2 full of batter, being careful to keep the rims clean. Wipe off any batter that gets on the rims. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, sterilize the lids and rings in boiling water. As soon as cake is done, remove from oven one at a time, wipe rims of jars and put on lid and ring. Jars will seal as cakes cool. Place the jars on the counter and listen for them to "ping" as they seal. If you miss the "ping", wait until they are completely cool and press on the top of the lid. If it doesn't move at all, it's sealed. Jars should be eaten or kept in refrigerator for up to a week.

I made my lady bug pajamas last week but have not embroidered the shirt yet. I digitized a lady bug design and lettering “Don’t Bug Me” for the front of the shirt. This was my first actual “from scratch” not purchased digitized design. I can’t wait to find time to finish the shirt. I’ll post pictures after it’s complete. Here’s the design:

I love the Designer Plus V5 software. I've played with it for years but this time I actually drew the ladybugs. I'm not a morning person so "don't bug me" is perfect for my pajama shirt.


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