Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Farmhouse Campfire Cake

 I made this Camp Fire cake in a cupcake version a few years ago for a big fall party that my farmer and I have every year. They were so cute and I have since been wanting to make a "cake" version.

Well here it is - the easiest boxed chocolate cake made into a little camp fire. The perfect cake for a Fall gathering or a Campfire Themed Party.

I'm usually very into making homemade icings, homemade cakes, etc..... Not for this thing. sometimes its just "easier" to grab packaged and boxed everything. Don't judge me! ;)

First things first - the fire.... Take red hard candies and yellow hard candies and unwrap them. Put them in a bag and smash them into little chunks (not too fine though - you don't want it powdery)

Place the broken up candies on a foil or parchment paper lines cookie sheet and bake on 375° for 5-10 minutes. Watch it carefully so it wont burn.  
It should resemble this....  


 Break apart carefully but try not to get them too small. If you are making cupcakes you want them smaller but for a cake you want them bigger.

In the meantime bake a chocolate cake. Yes I have a delicious chocolate cake recipe (find it here) but I settled for Betty Crocker. Sometimes its nice to just add oil, eggs and water and you still have a delicious cake. (I ALWAYS bake my cakes in 2 round pans)

We are in Harvest, so while I was in the kitchen making this cake tractor after tractor after tractor would drive by...... Fall on the farm is the absolute best.


 Back to the cake.... Bake, cool and frosting.....

For this "rustic" kind of cake I like the messed up frosting look. Usually I go for a perfect uniform look.


For the logs I used Twix candy bars and sliced them in half longwise.

 Then just assemble your campfire.


 So much cuter even in person....





Camp Fire Cake:


1 Box Chocolate Cake

1 Can Chocolate Icing

4 Twix Candy Bars

Red hard candy and Yellow hard candy

I hope you all are having a great Fall. I will have outdoor Fall décor pictures on the blog by the end of the week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Farmhouse Fall Sangria..... Farm Wife Approved!

Farmhouse Fall Sangria.... It's as good as it sounds. Red wine, delicious fruit, cinnamon, oranges, ciders, cloves.... It just screams fall. And although I prefer it cold, this would be a great warmed sangria - almost like a wassail. In fact I might do that for our upcoming annual Hayride/Fall Party.

I normally triple (or quadruple) this recipe when hosting parties. In this instance I just made it based on one bottle of wine. Just enough (barely) for a pitcher.

Get your cinnamon sticks and cloves ready then cut up your apple and orange. Add all to the pitcher  (i leave a few pieces of fruit for the individual glasses)..

Add 1 bottle of red wine

Then one cup or orange juice and one cup of apple cider....  

I have never added beer to it before... This has been my go-to sangria recipe for years, but tonight as I was getting outlay juices I saw an Apple Beer and thought 'what the heck - I bet that's a pretty good addition. And it was. Kind of cut the bite of the sweet fruit and juice and wine... SO having an apple beer isn't going to be a MUST. But it was a good addition this time.

Perfect for the back porch while your watching your farmer work in the field.

And even as picture perfect that these photos look I want to share real life with you.... I spilled this whole pitcher of Sangria on the floor about 3 minutes after these pictures were taken. I was lucky enough to miss my area rug and break the fall of my pitcher so it didn't break.... But I lost all of my sangria..... and spent my evening mopping the floors. Oh well - I will use it as an excuse to make it again.

 Farmhouse Fall Sangria

1 Bottle of Red Wine
Cinnamon Sticks
1 cup of Orange Juice
1.5 cups of Apple Cider
Splash of Apple Beer (optional)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Pumpkin Shaped Cheese Ball..... Farmer Approved

Fall entertaining might be my favorite. Easy, rustic (ish) food and décor... Chili, hayrides, bonfires, pumpkins, mums, ciders... and pumpkin shaped cheese balls..... It's all so perfect. And Fall on the farm is always my favorite. We are closing in on our first week of Harvest here. Things are going great and running smoothly, let's hope that continues for the next... month and a half.

If I am hosting an event in the fall or even attending an gathering where I bring a side dish I always make this cheese ball - my farmer always requests it... And if you do one thing during Harvest I promise you, it is to always keep your farmer happy.

Back to the cheese ball.... so very easy and yet so festive and yummy.

Soften cream cheese at room temperature. Add chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese and a splash or two of Worcestershire sauce. Mix thoroughly. (This time I has some fresh dill so I added that - it was a delicious addition.) With these ingredients I promise, you can't go wrong.

Shape into a pumpkin shape. Basically make into a ball and flatten it a little bit.

Now - this is what actually makes wit look like a pumpkin. Those cheddar stripes that run diagonally- I use string cheese... Make sure that it is softened s it gives a little bit more and doesn't break. Also I have found it works best when its sliced very thin... Add 6-8 of them, depending on the size of your cheese ball and your preference.

Top it with either a large pretzel (my preference) or several pretzel sticks if that's what you have (like I did)...

For just a little extra garnish. I used my leaf shaped pie crust cutters that I got from Williams Sonoma (find them here) add a little bit of food coloring to get them their best fall leaf color and bake for just a couple of minutes. It's not necessary to purchase these for your cheese ball, but I do promise that you will use them all the time... (Pies, Brie cheese, etc...)

Pile on the crackers....

Now you are ready to host a fall party....

2 blocks of cream cheese
1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bunch of green onions
2-3 string cheeses
pie crust dough for leaf garnishment
It's officially Harvest here, so my weekly Harvest recipes will be starting again.... Some repeat favorites from last year and some new ones that I'm excited about as well... 

Molly dog, my evening companion while my farmer is in the field..

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