DIY Halloween Cards

I love to make my own cards! Doesn’t mean that I always get to it… but I do make more of an effort on Halloween and Christmas.

The cheapest way I have found to collect card making supplies, is to wait until the ‘after’ holiday sale and stock up for the next year. Michael’s is where I have found the best stuff at the best prices. In fact, Michaels often has plain white packages of cards (8pc.) for 1-2$. I have found them before at Walmart too but not as often.

cards2

I literally have a whole photo storage box full of them. Michael’s doesn’t always have them in stock so when I see them I grab a few more. They come in different styles and shapes and make it so easy to get all creative. I have also gone the route of purchasing books of double sided cardstock. They make super cute cards. But then you have to buy the envelopes too.

cards4 cards3

Again… it’s all about the after holiday sales. I have collected paper, stickers, cutouts and all kinds of stuff. I have so much stuff now that I haven’t bothered purchasing anything for the last two years because I have enough supplies to make cards for the next 20. 🙂

This happens to be a fraction of the whole loot, but you get the idea.

cardsmaterials

And here’s how some of them turned out this year!

cards

Advertisements

The Turn of the Screw

turnofthescrew

Great novel! It was a little hard to follow times because of the language… it was published in 1898 after all. I loved it though! Totally creepy and very well written. I can’t say that Henry James is for everyone but I thought it was brilliant.

I’m planning on watching The Innocents tonight which is a 1961 film based on the novel. Should be good!

Salted Caramel Apple Crumb Bars

applecrumb

Great recipe! Just a warning though… if you are a dunce at making candy like me, it’s really easy to burn the caramel. Trust me, I know. I used sprouted wheat flour so my crumb bars turned out quite a bit darker than the pictures in the recipe. They were still delicious though! Next time I think I would use less flour and less sugar … and maybe more apples.

Salted Caramel Apple Crumb Bars from Two Peas and Their Pod

ingredients:

Salted Caramel Sauce:

2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes

Apple Crumb Bars

For the Apple Filling:

5 cups peeled and diced apples (I used Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice

For the crust:

3 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

directions:

To make the Salted Caramel Sauce:

1. First, make sure you have all of the ingredients ready. Once you start the caramel sauce you have to pay close attention so you don’t burn it. To begin, heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking. It will continue to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking. You can swirl the pan to move the sugar around.

2. Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Make sure you watch the pan very closely. This is where it is easy to burn the caramel. You want the caramel to reach 350 degrees F. If you are new to making caramel, I suggest using a thermometer.

3. As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter. Whisk until butter is melted.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes.

5. Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large mason jar and cool to room temperature while you make the apple crumb bars. This recipe makes 2 cups of caramel sauce. You can store the leftover caramel sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To make the Apple Crumb Bars:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9Ă—13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. For the apple filling- place the diced apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground all-spice. Pour over the apples and carefully combine. Set aside.

3. For the dough-in a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or by using your hands, until butter is mixed in, but you still have small chunks of butter. Mix the egg and vanilla together. Add into the flour and butter mixture and combine. The dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan.

4. Spread the apple mixture evenly over the bottom crust. Drizzle about salted caramel sauce over the apple filling, about 3/4 cup. Crumble the remaining dough over the apple caramel layer and pat gently.

5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Drizzle salted caramel sauce over the squares and serve.

Note-you won’t use all of the salted caramel sauce for this recipe. Store the leftover sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Apple Cider Honey Caramels

A couple of things that I learned about myself this week:

A. I stink at making candy. Like, really bad.

B. I do not like substituting honey for sugar. I just don’t. I have never been a fan of honey and while I really am trying to eat better and eat less sugar… this was going too far!

Apple-Cider-Honey-Caramels-Recipe-843x1024

Having said that, these caramels weren’t terrible to eat… they were just kind of a disaster is all. I didn’t get the temperature high enough so they stayed a runny mess. As far as the flavor goes, I really like adding the fresh pressed apple cider. The honey however, was a real bummer for me. If you like honey, you will probably love these! I am planning on trying again this week but using sugar instead. No. Honey. Ever. Again.

Apple Cider Honey Caramels from The Nerdy Farm Wife

Apple Cider Honey Caramels

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (to taste)
  • pinch of ground ginger

Pour the apple cider into a heavy, deep saucepan. Bring to a boil then add the stick of butter. Continue boiling until butter is melted then stir in the honey, cinnamon, and ginger.

Cook until the mixture reaches 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer, stirring frequently.

Pour into a parchment paper lined 8Ă—8 baking pan and let cool.

(Quick cleanup tip: Immediately after pouring your candy, place the still-hot saucepan in the sink and fill with water to soak.)

Lift out the parchment paper and using a pizza cutter or knife, slice into rows and then small squares. If needed for easier cutting, chill the candy for a few minutes in the freezer.

Yield: 3 or 4 dozen, depending on how small you cut them.

You can either store these in single layers between parchment paper or wrap each one individually in wax paper.

Rapunzel’s Squash and Hazelnut Soup

squash-hazelnut-soup-recipe-photo-420x420-mbecker-001

I forgot to take my own picture this time… I was too busy eating my yummy soup. I got this recipe from the Disney Family website. My husband however was not a fan this time. He didn’t like the apple in it… go figure. I thought it was delicious though! The only thing I did differently was add a little cinnamon when I added the cumin. Yummy, warm Fall flavors!

Rapunzel’s Squash and Hazelnut Soup

What You’ll Need

2 lb butternut squash, seeded and cut into 6 sections

1 lb parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped

1 green apple, peeled, cored, and quartered

1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced

4 cups of chicken stock, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon cumin

(I added a pinch of cinnamon)

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

Salt and white pepper to taste

1 cup raw hazelnuts (for topping)

How To Make It

For Soup: Preheat oven to 400° F Line a baking dish with parchment paper and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.

Arrange butternut squash in the baking dish, skin side up. Scatter chopped parsnip and apple quarters around the squash. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Pour a quarter cup of water into the baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife slides easily through the skin of the squash.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and throw away the sprigs of thyme. Set aside to cool.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium low heat. Add thinly sliced onion and half a teaspoon of salt to the pan and sauté slowly about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned. Turn off the heat.

When squash is cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to peel the skin from the butternut squash, discarding the skins. Place the peeled squash into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse into a smooth purée, about 20 seconds. Pour purée into a large stockpot or Dutch oven.

Place roasted parsnips, apple and sautéed onion into the bowl of the food processor. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock. Purée 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. If the purée is too dry, thin it using an additional half cup of chicken stock. Note: Do not fill a food processor more than half full with hot liquids. Doing so could result in the top or bottom of the food processor bowl blowing off due to pressure.

Add puréed parsnip and onion mixture to the squash in the stockpot. Add the remaining chicken stock to the pot and raise the heat to medium high. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.

While soup is simmering add a half teaspoon of ground cumin, as well as salt and white pepper to taste. Before serving, stir in a half cup of heavy cream

To Roast Hazelnuts: Preheat oven to 275° F Place 1 cup of raw Hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the hazelnut skins burst.

Remove from oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, roll hazelnuts between paper towels to remove skins. Place skinless hazelnuts into a small plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin.

Serve soup in bowls or insulated cups and top with the crushed roasted hazelnuts.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace

Best Cary Grant movie ever!!! I just love those movies that seem to have five hundred things happening all at once with the one character that’s trying to keep it all straight. Mortimer Brewster has just gotten married. As he is getting ready to leave on his honeymoon, he makes the discovery that his two sweet old aunts are homicidal maniacs. The plot thickens as his criminal brother returns home and the craziness gets crazier. Love love love this movie!

Arsenic and Old Lace 2

Fun fact : Ronald Reagan was originally offered the part of Mortimer Brewster but turned it down.

Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie

I think my brother described this movie pretty accurately – a Frankenstein for kids! (And of course for all adults that wish they could be kids this time of year!) It’s another Tim Burton/Disney production so big surprise that I love it, right? 🙂

Frankenweenie 2

We happened to be at Disneyland the week after Frankenweenie was released and they had collector cards at different points around the park that you could ask for. When you put them all together, they made a puzzle. Guess who collected them all? This nerd right here!

frankenweenie3 frankenweenie4

Gremlins

Gremlins

Ok, who can list the three rules for taking care of a mogwai? 🙂

Gremlins 2

I have to be honest here… While Gizmo has got to be one of the cutest little monsters on film, I just don’t like this movie. As I was watching it the other night, I remembered why I never watch this movie.

Fun fact though : The name “Mogwai” in Chinese means monster or devil. Mogwai is the Cantonese pronunciation and Mogui is the mandarin pronunciation.

Dracula Untold

draculauntold1

I had to coerce my husband to go see this with me because of the poor reviews it received. It wasn’t too bad though! Not my favorite but I did enjoy seeing a different take on Dracula’s story.

draculauntold2

The acting was good, the special effects were great and like I said, I liked the different story. The problem I had with it was the story and character development. It seemed a little rushed and left little chance for you to really connect with the characters. Aside from that though, it was entertaining!

Ghostbusters 2

Ghostbusters

My favorite of the Ghostbusters movies. Vigo and the river of slime used to scare me to death when I was little. And how about the Yanush/Nanny/Ghost that comes to steal the baby? Cracks me up now but still creepy enough to give me a little of the heebie jeebies. Yanush is definitely my favorite character.

ghostbusters2.2

“Everything you are doing is bad. I want you to know this.”

ghostbusters1.2

Fun fact – they are making a Ghostbusters 3!!! Here is an article about the casting possibilities. It seems they are looking for an all female cast this time. I’m so excited! I vote for Kristen Wiig and Emma Stone!