Friday, December 24, 2010

More "green" wrapping paper

Here are a few more pictures of my re-usable cloth gift wrap.  I sometimes wrap (roll) the gifts in cloth and add ribbons.  Other times, I sow a bag and close it with a pretty ribbon.  Here are some more examples:

The gift on the left and the one in the middle are both in bags and the one on the right is "wrapped".
My DD10 told me that she really likes the cloth because she can wrap gifts by herself.  If you are all about ripping through the wrapping paper, this is not the technique for you.  

(Just for clarification: wrapping paper is not recyclable.  I am a recycling maniac and have been for at least 15 years.  My children have grown up with my enthusiasm, so they have a real appreciation for reusable materials.  I will also clarify that I am still using up all of the gift wrap I have bought over the years.  Sometimes it serves a much better purpose than cloth.  For example, when gifting to a non-family member who may just throw the material away afterward.  Really, Christmas is NOT for stressing over this kind of thing.)

May everyone have a Merry CHRISTmas and remember the true reason for the season!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Applesauce Cake in a Jar

Thanks to my friend Yvette, I have another new delicious recipe.  She invited me over to cook up a batch of these on Tuesday and these little cakes are delicious.  There's really nothing healthy about them, but it's Christmas time and so that should be explanation enough.  The really fun part of making them (next to doing so with a good friend) is that you bake them up in canning jars.  How fun is that?!
It is important to note that you will need pint size canning jars with no neck.  I specifically used Ball's jars with wide-mouth lids.  They work perfect!  The point is that when you take one of these babies off the shelf, you can pop the lid and slide the cake out of the jar and commence slicing.  The spices in this cake are so yummy, so I'm not sure how long your jars will remain on your shelf.  However, they will store well, so feel free to make a bunch of them.  They also gift well!!


2/3 cup shortening
3 1/3 cups sugar, divided
4 eggs
2 cups applesauce
3 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 cup nuts (optional, we left them out)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream together shortening and 2 2/3 cups sugar (set aside 2/3 cup sugar).  Beat in eggs, applesauce, and remaining sugar.

Sift together remaining ingredients, except nuts.  Blend into applesauce mixture and add nuts, if desired.

Pour into well-greased pint jars, filling half full (I found that filling to the line with the 6 by it worked perfect).

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Remove from oven.  Wearing an oven mitt to hold on to the hot jars, wipe the top rim clean.  Put on lid and ring.  Jar will seal as the cake cools.  When the jars are cool, tighten rings again.  Store as you do other canned goods. 

Makes 10 pint jars of cake.