Thursday, September 29, 2011

Apple Recipe #4 - Apple Dumplings

Today is the last day of September and Apple Month at Take Six.  It is also Friday and that means another Apple Recipe.  Boy... do we have a treat for you!  Our sister Paula is sharing another family favorite with us today that I know you will enjoy.  


I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website and gave it a try...well let's just say it is a Stokdijk family favorite now, and is so easy too!

Apple Dumplings
1 apple
1 can of 8 Pillsbury crescent rolls
1/2 cup of butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C Mountain Dew or Sprite or 7 Up or Lemon Lime No Name or.....

Peel and core the apple.  Cut the apple into 8 segments, and roll each apple segment in a crescent roll.  Starting at the big end and roll to the point of the triangle.  Place in a buttered 9 X 9 pan.

Melt the butter in a dish.  Add sugar and barely stir.  Add vanilla, stir and then pour mixture over wrapped apples.  Pour pop around the edges of the pan.  I have halved PW's recipe, but if you are feeding a crowd, it is easily doubled.  ;0)

Sprinkle with  approx 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and bake at 350 deg for 40 minutes.  Serve warm.  When serving don't forget that big dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream!!!


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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Toothy Grin - Fun for children!

Eating healthy...the battle of the ages!!
  It is amazing how quickly our little ones become addicted to that sugary treat,
as opposed to the fruit that we start feeding them as babies.  

I saw both of these treats on the internet, and immediately thought,
"Oh I wish I had some little ones to make these for".  
But I thought of all the mothers of young children in blogland,
and decided to make them anyway.
As I finished inserting the last of the "teeth" my 18 yr old walked into the kitchen.
"Oh, can I have one of those," she said. 
I gladly shared my "toothy grins" with her, and for just a second 
she was that little toddler with the great big grin and chubby cheeks again!

Sometimes they find it just as hard to "grow up" as we do to " let them"!!! 

Apple slices, peanut butter and mini marsh mellows 

This next snack is just as easy and healthy!

 I do not eat peanut butter due to a severe allergy to any type of nuts.  Recently, I have started eating Soy Butter.  I really like it, and hubby tells me it tastes the same as the "real thing", except it is made from soy beans. In our area, some schools do not allow any nut products in the children's snacks and lunches, due to children with the same allergy as I have.  This is a perfect option for those children who love PB & Jelly!

Apple, Apple
(Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Apple, apple on the tree,
I know that you are good for me.
You are fun to munch and crunch
For a snack and for my lunch.
Apple, apple on the tree,
I know that you are good for me. 

When my children were small we used to like printing off coloring pages from the internet.  It was a new coloring book every day!  Check out these apple coloring pages.

Delight Me Tuesday
Permanent Posies Link Party 
Passionately Artistic 
Whole New Mom 
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Take 5 with Kathy - "Helping Hands"

This week I was thinking about the importance of letting others help you. Some women find it easier to employ the helping hands of someone else…a co-worker, their children, their husband, a friend, a tradesperson, or a salesclerk. But I believe a majority of women (at least I like to think I’m in the majority) are more like me. If we can do it ourselves, whether out of skill or necessity, we hesitate to ask for help – or outright deny it! You know…the desire to be the Proverbs 31 women’s supermodel,

She “works with eager hands”, “sets about her work vigorously”, her “arms are strong for the task”, her lamp does not go out at night”, she “opens her arms to the poor”, she “does not eat the bread of idleness” (from Proverbs 31).

Isn’t it so true? As women, we spend so much of our time using our hands to help others (which is good and honourable) that we often neglect to find the joy in allowing others to help us. There are times I’ve had to accept the helping hands of others – during illness, after surgery, lifting furniture, or like last night when I needed hubby to hold the Mason jars so they wouldn’t fall over as I placed them in the canning processor (after six hours of work I had reached my limit!). Last month, the helping hands of my mother-in-law were much appreciated as we created table decorations for the banquet following my son’s wedding. Her expertise in folding tiny Chinese fans enabled us to enjoy each other’s company despite our limited ability to bridge the language barrier.

In other instances, I’ve had to remind myself that part of my responsibility as a wife, mother, mentor, friend, aunt, and leader is to allow others to work alongside me and share in the joy of learning together. On Monday I wrote in my journal,

“Letting others assist me helps them to realize their efforts are valuable, effective, needed, and noticed. This encourages them to continue being faithful and dedicated. It shows the value of serving together and how much more effective our work or ministry is when each person does his/her part. It’s often a motivator for observers to become involved and discover their own giftedness and usefulness. On a personal level, it fills me with happiness as I partner with someone else in accomplishing a task. I’m often humbled when what I learn from others enables me to become better at what I do. I also receive great pleasure in seeing those I have mentored perpetuate that attitude of helpfulness in leading others. Above all, our helping hands glorify God, the One who created us and designed us to help each other.”

Scripture abounds with examples of people assisting each other in their work. But God models this best. One favourite passage I have revisited many times is found in Isaiah 41. These words are etched in my memory,
Linden tree ornament I found in Salzburg, Austria

“I will strengthen you and help you: I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (verse 10)
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” (verse 13)

What a great comfort to be assured of the helping hands of my loving Lord and the people He places around me!

P.S. This depiction comes from Isaiah 49:16, "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..." I love this image!

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apple Recipe #3 - Oma's Apple Cookies


This recipe comes directly from Holland.  Our sister Paula's husband, is a first generation Dutch Canadian.  His grandparents, Oma and Opa immigrated to Canada, with their young family in 1954.    This is one of our brother-in-law's favorite things his Oma would make. 

 3/4 Cup packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup margarine (tub or very soft block)
2 Cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 apples
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 deg
Beat the sugar and margarine, add the flour, salt, and baking powder, mix well.  The dough should be like play dough when pressed together. If you chose to use harder fat such as butter it might be more will be just a bit trickier to work with.
Divide the dough into 2 portions, wrap one portion in cling wrap and cut the other portion into 12 equal bits.
Press 12 dough balls down on cookie sheet.
Place the apple slices on the cookie bottoms.

Cut the wrapped portion of dough into 12 equal pieces.  Press each piece out in your hand. Then lay it on top of the apple slices and press around the edges to join top dough to bottom dough.  When you are done, brush cookies with beaten egg, making sure to brush sides too. 

Bake for 25-30 min
Note:  these can be done in a 9X9 pan too as squares.  Just press half the dough in the bottom and line with apple slices.  Roll out the remaining dough as best you can and press over the apples.  Brush on the egg wash....they bake longer, 35-40 min.  They are faster this way, but when your husband's Oma ALWAYS made the cookies, the squares just don't cut it for him.  ;0)
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Apple A Day...

This is a tablescape to celebrate "Apple Month" here at Take Six.
It is simple, cozy and rustic.
Much like you would expect an apple farm and orchard to be. 

The table runner is a piece off of a roll of burlap. This roll is 20" wide, and used for wrapping shrubs for the winter.  Perfect for a runner! I used my little rustic ladder as the base of the centerpiece. 

The container that holds my centerpiece is one of my grandmother's well worn baking pans. I wonder what was cooked in it? 


For 10 years one of my sisters, lived on the flat lands of Western Canada. She missed fall in the East, and the beautiful display of colors and falling leaves.  My dad gathered leaves and pressed them flat. He did that with some oak leaves and spray painted them gold. He sent them out west to give Lisa a taste of fall at home. This is one of those special leaves. 

I have to tell you about my new brown dishes. I picked these up for a song this summer in Maine at a surplus store. A four piece place setting for $14.99. I grabbed two boxes!! I think they will be so versatile, and I love the rich chocolate brown color.  I had such fun making the burlap rosette napkin rings.  They are so easy!  Find my tutorial HERE.

These are my two place card holders. Aren't the little wooden apples cute. My sister, Lisa, gave me those several years ago. There is a little slit in them to slide in the card.  But I also thought it would be cute to tie a place card onto an apple I just used both!!! 
Cinnamon sticks are all ready to stir the hot apple cider!

I love all the neutral shades, and the pop of red! 

This apple is from my collection of pitchers...

These apple S & P shakers have flavored our food for many years. They were a gift from my sister, Paula. 

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.  - Robert H.Schuller

 I wish you could smell this picture.  The whole dining room is full of the aroma of 'Jersey Mac' apples.   

All photo's courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Take 5 with Kathy - "Reflections"

Remember last week I mentioned how much I love to visit farmers' markets in the fall? Well, that's exactly what I did this week. I hopped in my car and went to Farmer Clem's, my favourite market. There wasn't as much straw under my feet as I would have liked, but oh....did I go crazy buying up vegetables for my favourite preserves - beets, tiny silverskin onions, regular onions, peppers of various colours, pickling cucumbers - what fun! (Taking the pictures below was great fun too!)

When hubby came home and saw the bags of goodies he said, "Now I'll be smelling vinegar every day when I get home from work!" That took me right back to my childhood. My sisters and I told Mom every year, "We knew as soon as we stepped off the bus that you were making relish!"

That's what I enjoy most about this season. It brings back some wonderful memories - picking out a new box of crayons for school and the distinct aroma they evoke in my mind, collecting coloured leaves and pressing them between the pages of the family dictionary, going on nature hikes and pocketing acorns and pinecones to make crafts, filling our home with fall decorations (which I did just yesterday), washing the Mason jars in preparation for making preserves (which I plan to do this weekend), raking up piles of leaves and then jumping in them (thanks for your patience, Dad!), feeling my hunger grow on Thanksgiving day as the mouth-watering aromas of turkey and dressing wafted throughout the house (of course, for we Canadians, that happens in early October), waking up to frost edging the last brave blooms, taking a drive on a Sunday afternoon to admire the changing leaves - "Looks like a carpet!", we often remarked as we viewed a hillside vibrant with red, orange, yellow, and green - these are just a few of my fond recollections I look forward to revisiting, and in some cases repeating, every autumn.

Times of reflection are important in our lives. They help us see were we've been and how far we have come. They cause us to think about how we have changed and what we still need to strive toward and achieve. Remembering helps us learn from our mistakes and make better choices in the future. I am grateful to God when I reflect on how different my perspectives and circumstances are today as compared to one year ago. Yesterday, I was praying that I would never forget the valuable lessons I have learned through the experiences of the last few months.

A good verse for me to ponder is Psalm 143:5, "I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done."  Some days I become so busy that I neglect taking time to reflect on how God has provided for me, encouraged me, and how He is directing me day-by-day as I learn to trust Him more completely. 

Sometimes our periods of reflection are not so pleasant, perhaps even painful. It always helps me to know that God sees every tear and hears every heart's cry. Nothing escapes His notice and everything is within His power to control. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5b).

Today, my heart is full of joy!

Until next Sunday,



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Friday, September 16, 2011

Apple Recipe #2 - Apple Harvest Soup


• 4 apples, peeled and chopped
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 4 cups squash, cubed
• 2 large carrots, sliced
• 2 parsnips, sliced
• 1 cup apple juice or cider
• 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 1/2 tsp curry
• 1 cup milk
Heat the oil and butter in saucepan, add the onion and apples and sauté over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until soft. Add the squash, carrots, parsnips, apple juice, stock and spices. Cover pan and simmer for 25 minutes. Pureé the vegetables in a blender or food processor. Return pureé to saucepan, add milk and bring almost to boil. Pour into serving bowls and top with a few thin apple slices.
Makes 5-6 servings.  Yield 5-6 servings.

 Oil, butter, chopped onion and peeled chopped apple

 All the cooked veggies ready to be pureed.


 The most delicious fall soup!

 Each Friday, during "Apple Month", Take Six will share another of our favorite apple recipes with you!  Hope you are enjoying them...we sure are!


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Burlap Napkin Rings

Burlap is very popular fabric for decorating right now.   I have been loving the pictures on the internet of burlap flowers, and really wanted to give it a try.  So I picked up a roll of tree wrap at Home Hardware.  It is 8" wide, and perfect for my project.  I envisioned having to buy a huge roll of burlap and never use half of it.  However, there are lots of sizes out there...check them out.  The Dollarama probably has it too.  ;0)  That same day I picked up a roll that is 20" wide, as well.  But that is another story, for another day!!


To make the rosette part of my napkin ring, I cut off a piece of the roll 20" long, and divided it into three strips lengthwise.  This makes three rosettes.  I took a needle and thread and just ran a line of stitches down the middle of the strip.  I then pulled the thread to gather the burlap into a little rosette and stitched it so it would not "ungather". 


You can then attach it to anything you want.  For this one, I wrapped a strip of burlap around the candle, and then stitched the rosette onto the burlap. 


This is the one I made into a napkin ring.  You just cut a piece of burlap as wide and long as you want.  I made mine 7" long so there was some extra space to overlap to stitch the ring together. Stitch the rosette onto the napkin ring!  (press the "easy" button!!)

They would be sweet stitched onto a hat, a cluster of them on a canvas bag, or stitch a safety pin onto the back of one and wear it as a fall pin on your jean jacket!!  Too cute!

I did a fall tablescape with these little pretties...

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Take 5 With Kathy - "How Does Your Garden Grow?"

At Take Six we are standing with our American family, friends, and neighbors remembering the tragedy of September 11, 2001.  We will never forget!

It’s harvest time - one of my favourite seasons. I love visiting local farmers’ markets… a real feast for the senses…the array of beautiful colours, the unmistakable aroma of fresh fruit, the crunching of straw under your feet, the texture of various vegetables, and the sampling of sweet apple cider. I especially enjoy choosing fresh produce to make our old family recipe for cucumber relish.

For two summers now, I’ve tried growing some of our own vegetables with limited success. I can get a good yield of snow peas and tomatoes, but my attempts to grow other vegetables have been hit and miss. I’m not the only gardener disappointed with this year’s slow growth and smaller harvest largely due to the very wet and cool summer we’ve had. Only the past four weeks have provided much sunshine, but I fear it’s too late.

I was especially perplexed about my zucchini plants – lots of leaves and lovely blooms, but so far only three zucchini from seven plants! So, I did a little research and discovered these plants have male and female flowers, the latter of which need to be pollinated to produce fruit. Usually bees do this job very well, but I also learned you can brush a cotton swab on the stamen of the male flower and touch it to the female flower (or simply brush the male flower stamen against the female). Armed with this information I tried this out yesterday. We’ll see what happens. 

My brother-in-law, whose family owns a high-bush blueberry farm, also explained how vital pollination is for a good harvest. One year, the bee population suffered dramatically and so did their blueberry yield.

We have been enjoying lots of snow peas, however, and a few cherry tomatoes and yellow beans. With all the sunshine predicted for next week, I hope my “big beef” tomatoes finally ripen so I can make some yummy salsa again! I guess the important thing is not to lose heart and give up learning how to grow a good productive garden. For me, it’s just a hobby and fun to grow something I can actually savor fresh from my backyard.         

The Bible has much to say about believers in Christ bearing good fruit. In Galatians 5:22,23 we are encouraged to exhibit the fruit that the Holy Spirit cultivates in our lives…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That’s quite a garden! But in order to keep producing abundant healthy fruit, Paul says we must “keep in step with the Spirit” (verse 25). Anyone who has been a believer in Christ very long knows how hard it can be to follow the Spirit that closely. We give in to temptations, say things we later regret, let our pride get in the way, or ignore something we know is right.

I’m so thankful for Paul’s further reassurance, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:9,10)

Until next Sunday,


P.S. I picked two zucchinis this morning (Friday) and there are about six more growing! My tomatoes are also starting to ripen. 

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Apple Recipe #1 - Dutch Apple Cake


The first apple trees were planted in the province near Port Royal in the early 1600's by Acadian settlers.  Apples are the major tree fruit grown in Nova Scotia, contributing more than 50 million dollars to the local economy. A leisurely drive through the beautiful Annapolis Valley in late spring will give you an indication of the size of the apple industry today. And of course, there's the ever popular apple blossom festival to celebrate the beauty and excitement of apple blossom time.  Source

This is the first of several recipes we want to share with you during September.  The apple crop is at it's prime during the fall months, and we love to use them in so many delicious dishes.  

When I was a young newlywed, settling into homemaking, my friend, Debbie, gave me several recipes. These were the tried and true type of recipe. Dutch Apple Cake, was one of them, and it is a definite keeper.  Thanks Debbie!!


2 eggs
2 1/2 C flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 C sugar
4 C finely chopped apple

Mix all the ingredients together well, with a spoon. Do not use a mixer. The batter will be stiff. Spread the batter into a 9x13 greased and floured pan.  Bake @ 350 for 45-60 minutes.  Watch after 45.

Spread with your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. Here's mine:

Cream together:
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 C butter
2 tsp vanilla
Gradually beat in enough icing sugar to give it a smooth spreadable consistency.
(approx 3 1/2C)

 Hubby volunteered to taste test this piece of cake for you all...he wanted to ensure the highest of quality.
His verdict...two thumbs up!!!!  ;0)

 Each Friday, during "Apple month", Take Six will share another of our favorite apple recipes with you!  Don't miss them!


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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pears and a Quilt


Welcome to our back yard. This tablescape is an ode to the fading season of Summer. School resumed this week, and like it or not, we must move to the onset of our next beautiful season in Nova Scotia. So let's celebrate Summer's last hurrah! Standing at the edge of our pool deck and looking down, you see a group of wild rose bushes. I chose to nestle our table right in there. Only a couple persistent blooms remained, as their season is also ending. However, they will continue to show their beauty this fall, with their beautiful big red rose hips.


The tablecloth is a single quilt from the Christmas Tree Shop. You couldn't buy a tablecloth as cheaply as I bought this quilt. I love these versatile place mats that I purchased at the Dollar Store. I am gradually collecting several different colors. White dishes allow our focus to remain on the quilt and the pears.





I had fun putting this table together with my "photographer daughter". Some type of folded napkin was the direction I wanted to go. This would allow a pop of color with the pear on top. PD found a tutorial HERE for this pretty flower. A great continuation of the large flowers on the quilt.



We decided to use the leaves from the Anna Belle Hydrangea centerpiece, as coasters for our stemware.


The quilt is reversible, and just as cute on the back, as the front. This little old table has such a story to tell. I found it in the basement of my grandmothers house several years ago. If only it could talk to us.


Did you know...that pears are members of the rose family?

Thank you for stopping by our back yard today. We love it when you visit.

Beautiful photos are courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.


We hope you will come and visit each Friday
in September for a new apple recipe!!

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