July 4th

Saturday, November 20, 2010

To tree, or not to tree...that is my question!

Meet Ava...

Ava is the newest addition to our family.  Ava is a Goldendoodle puppy.  (Go ahead...say it...Goldendoodle! Its a funny word!)  She is such a sweet and loving little dog.  Well, not so little anymore!

Ava joined our family back in March of this year.  She was my mothers day gift! I love her dearly.  But a new puppy brings a new problem.  No, not potty training...the Christmas Tree!! What do we do this year for Christmas?? She loves to chew on our things...shoe strings, toys, hats, socks, you get the picture! I am scared to put my Christmas tree up this year, fearing she will eat it or the ornaments.  I don't want her to become sick or be injured tasting all my pretty trinkets! I've Googled for answers and haven't had any luck...

Baby gate the tree:  she jumps over the gates or shimmies under the gates...and they are ugly and a pain in the tushie for us bipeds! 

Restrict the area:  Ava loves to be with us.  She is my shadow.  If she isn't following me she is trying to lick my husband to death.  Restricting her from our living room is just not an option. 
Spray the tree and ornaments with Bitter Apple:  1. This stuff stinks.  2. It only works temporarily.  3. This stuff stinks.
I can't imagine a Bebout Christmas without a tree.  The last time we came close to that was the year I bought a live tree that my hubby so lovingly referred to as the "Charlie Brown Tree".  

I don't even want to think about placing wrapped gifts under the tree this year!!!

Caramel Apple Cupcake YUMMMMM!!

I whipped these babies up the other day after seeing them on one of my favorite food blogs, The Noble Pig.  They were so easy and oh so delicious!! These would be fantastic for your Thanksgiving dessert table!

 Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Adapted from Everyday

1-1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples (about 1 pound), peeled and shredded
1-1/2 cups chewy caramel candies (I use Werther's Original)
1 Tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350o F.  Line a cupcake pan with baking liners.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Grate your apples to ensure you'll get apple with every bite of caramel.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugars until smooth.  Whisk in the oil and vanilla.  Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full.  Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 25 to 30 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

In a small, microwavable bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each one until caramel is melted and smooth.  Dip cupcakes upside down into caramel and let cool.