Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Out of the Dark Ages

Well, we've finally gotten around to doing this... a sorta big announcement...

We're now accessible at www.normallyoddcouple.com (we love blogspot, don't get us wrong, but wanted to shorten our address). So, tell everyone you know! Kidding. Update your bookmarks, and any links you may have on your page to ours. If you're still trying to visit us at our old address, don't worry. You should automatically be redirected.

Nothing else has changed YET... but stay tuned for a new house tour page... coming soon!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Office Bling

For the past few years, I've been trying to bring a little of home into the office. Not only does it create a comfortable environment in which to work, but it makes the office more welcoming in general. It's all in the little things - curtains, plants, candles, etc. My latest purchase ($1.49 at Ross) will not only be helpful in providing a little more organization but a little sophistication as well. I introduce you to....
... my new paper clip container - which I found on clearance in the "bathroom accessories" section. No longer will the clips be mingled in with the staple remover and white out. They'll have a new little home all to themselves.

Now the paper clip holder is making my pencil cup look a little sad...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

seasons series | apple butter


I am introducing a new "category" to the blog in which I can share seasonal decorating ideas, recipes, photographs, craft projects and the like. A few posts each season will be dedicated to this category, and I hope you find it enjoyable and maybe even helpful. I live in Pennsylvania, and am blessed to be able to watch the seasons change in very distinct ways - colors of the trees, weather/changes in temperature, and other patterns in nature. It's hard to say I have a favorite season, because I really do enjoy special things about each one.

One of my favorite things about fall is the abundance of flavors that hint at the need for warmth as the temperature gradually grows cooler and the air is marked by crispness. Apple and pumpkin added to just about anything you can think of.  My mother-in-law stopped by a local orchard recently, and bought an abundance of apples for baking - Gold Delicious and Cortland. She gave me about 40 of them, and with a few, I made this apple cake shared by Bethany over at b*spoke, which was so yummy! Instead of mixing the nuts in, though, I sprinkled about a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts over half the cake after I spread it into the baking dish, and then sprinkled the whole thing lightly with some cinnamon. You can't go wrong with a little cinnamon!

So this past weekend, Rob and I visited my cousin in Virginia Beach, and I brought some apples with me, in case we decided to make a treat. She shared that she had been wanting to try this apple butter for the crock pot recipe for a while now, so we got everything together that we needed... made a double recipe... and let me tell you, it is GOOD. Here's the recipe we followed, with a few changes that we made along the way.

Approx. 3 lb. apples, 2 c. sugar (we cut this down from 3 cups), 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. allspice, 1/2 tsp. cloves, dash of salt, 3/4 c. water

Fill crock pot 3/4 full of peeled, cored sliced apples. Add remaining ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on low overnight, for 8-10 hours (took more like 12 for the doubled batch). If butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until desired consistency results, checking and stirring every 20 minutes. The finished consistency will not be as smooth as its store-bought counterpart

I am excited to make this again, (for Thanksgiving dinner maybe?) and would welcome your feedback if you decide to give it a go!

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