Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Fall Treat for Stitch 'n Bitch

Now that summer is over we've resumed our bi-weekly gatherings at friend Kathy's house.  I refer to these sessions as Stitch 'n Bitch. Surprisingly, we do more stitching than bitching!

I've looked forward to getting back into the stitching groove again. My summer was crazy and chaotic so I did very little stitching.  I'm still working on the project I started last spring! (In my defense I do tend to get more stitching done in the fall & winter months as I watch football!)  Kathy, in the meantime, has  gotten 5 or 6 pieces done and framed! Kathy & I both cross-stitch. Linda is very versatile and brings various kinds of projects.  Today she was working on a "block of the month" quilt.  Each month has the same shaped house but done in fabrics to correspond with the month or season.  Her hand applique skills are amazing.  Here is one of her fall blocks (my photography skills are so lacking that you get the extra bonus of seeing my nicely-pedicured feet!)
I love the button and embroidery detail!

For today's gathering I made a Caramel Apple Pound Cake from the September issue of Southern Lady. It's a "keeper" recipe, we really enjoyed it. Of course, anything with a cream cheese frosting can't be bad, right!
The layers of spicy apples in the cake was so good!

Caramel Apple Pound Cake

1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups butter, melted
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon apple pie spice ***
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped Granny Smith apple
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spary a 12-cup fluted pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.

In a large bowl, beat sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, and melted butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt.  Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine apples, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Spoon one-third of batter into prepared pan and one-half of apples, repeat layers.  Top with remaining one-third of batter.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Top with Cream Cheese Icing.  Garnish with chopped walnuts and caramel topping, if desired.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup caramel topping

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and confectioners' sugar.  Beat at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Beat in milk and caramel topping.

Note: In my opinion this made more than enough icing for the cake.  I had leftover.  It would be really good on pumpkin cupcakes!

*** I don't carry a lot of pre-mixed spices in my pantry.  I usually make my own.  The spice mixes usually consist of spices I already have and mixing my own is an inexpensive way to get different mixes and rubs.  This is the recipe I use to make apple pie spice.

Apple Pie Spice

4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamon.

Combine spices in a small bowl, mix well to combine.  Store in a small jar or spice container.


  1. Thanks Julie for sharing the cake recipe, I love anything with caramel and apples and this cake sounds and looks absolutely delicious. A perfect cake for Fall. I am anxious to make it soon. I too find more time in the Fall and Winter to stitch myself and am working on a needlepoint pillow with a magnolia surrounded by Christmas greenery and a pink bow. I am almost completed with the needle work and will be looking for some pretty trim and a backing for the pillow. I think I will try to find a soft green velvet for the backing if I can find the right color. The colors in this pillow are very muted so it may be a challenge. When it's finished I will share a pic with you.

    I enjoy reading your blog, you have so much to share.


  2. That cake looks amazing and I love your quilted house. Great fabrics and such a cute idea. Thanks so much for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty