Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Snowflakes and Black Velvet

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Tomorrow our high is going to be 38F. In Texas, that is considered cold! Also, when I read our weather forecast, it has little pictures of snowflakes. :0)

In Karen Andreola's book, "A Charlotte Mason Companion" she shares how to Catch a Fallen Snowflake. We have used her method for the past few years.

All you need to celebrate the first fluffy cold snowfall is a piece of black velvet (or any black fabric really). Keep it hidden for the big event. Put the fabric outdoors, long enough for it to become as cold as its surroundings. Once it is cold, you can use it as a "snow-catcher."

Snowflakes will stay frozen and retain their shape as they gently land on the cloth. With a magnifying glass - or even the unaided eye, you'll be able to get a clear look at all the crystals.

We have our sweaters and slippers ready to enjoy our cold day. Hot chocolate and Apple Butter Spice Cake are on the menu.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Apple Butter Spice Cake

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup apple butter (found in the jam section of your grocery store)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup wheat germ or quick oats
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray or grease one 9x13 inch pan.

2. In small bowl, prepare the topping by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and chopped pecans.

3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. In bowl of standing mixer, blend together butter and sugar; add eggs and beat well. Add apple butter, vanilla, wheat germ or bran cereal. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with sour cream; mix well after each addition.

5. Pour 1/2 batter into pan, sprinkle 1/2 the topping over top. Pour remaining batter and top with remaining topping.

6. Bake for 40 minutes.

The best part about this cake is the brown sugar topping on top and in the middle!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Photo from

Stay warm and if you get any snow at your house send some down to Texas!


Mary T. said...

I always love your recipes! Thanks for always sharing with us. I'll try to send you some snow tonight if the weather man is correct. Stay warm - from the below 10 degree area in Central Washington state.

Susan P. said...

Kelli, I really want to come and live with you:) LOL You are such a wonderful Mother creating all these special memories for your little ones. I'm crossing my fingers you get to catch some snowflakes!!

Michelle said...

We're in NM and getting that cold front coming through - I'm having some hot chocolate the next couple of days! Thanks for the recipe it sounds yummy! Also thanks for stopping by my blog (via Pea's blog) and for your nice comments!

clarice said...

Kelli, I am a Karen Androla groupie but I do not remember a book called "the art of gentle living" is this a new book. Clarice-who is terrified Karen may have a book and I do not own it !!

Ann said...

I'm hoping for a little snow in our corner of East Texas! Thanks for the idea on catching a snowflake.

Kelli said...

Ack! Sorry about that Clarice! I typed the wrong title *and* forgot most of it! It's supposed to say, "Charlotte Mason Companion - Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning."

I sure wish she had a new book. :0)


Tina Leigh said...

Kelli I miss u so much! I havent had the time to read any blogs & I miss you something terrible!! Did I say I missed you!! I feel left out!! I cant believe how cold it is there at your house! We are expecting rain today & that is not good. The boys came & helped me shake several rows of trees yesterday for us to pick up today, However, We cant if the ground is wet. Tell Revee we do have a harvester...a big machine that you pull behind the tractor to pick the pecans up off the ground. I havent even had time to take any pictures of it to show yall!! Pray for me. Love ya & Miss you!! Oh I got your note the day before thanksgiving! I needed it!!

Terri said...

Good morning Kelli!
Thanks for the idea for the snow catcher. I'll have to look for a piece of velvet at the thrift store.

The cake recipe looks delicious too. I may make that for dessert tonight.

Stay warm!
God bless!

Mrs. Pivec said...

We've had temps in the 80's this week... so no snow here. Looks like you're all ready to keep cozy though! Enjoy your cold snap. :)

a hopefull hollar's daughter said...

I LOVE the spice cake!!!!!! I also like that snowflake idea. If it snows we're going to try it.

Mrs. U said...

Kelli, you always have the BEST recipes!! This one sounds and looks absolutely delicious!!! But, do I HAVE to share it with my family? Or can I keep it hidden and all to myself? tee hee!!

I hope that it snows there!! Oh, and thank you for sharing about snowflake catchers!! I'm definitely going to have to buy some black velvet!!!!!!

Mrs. U

Beck said...

Kelli, that cake looks DELICIOUS! You know, I live in Northern Ontario and we have NO SNOW! NONE! It was EIGHT yesterday! Sheesh!

kelley said...

Brrr....we are having some cold weather here too in southern California but not nearly as cold as you and no snow :(

The cake and cocoa sound lovely and absolutely scrumptious!

dot said...

What a neat idea with the black velvet! Sure hope ya'll get some snow!

Sharon Kay said...

I learn so much by reading blogs and this is a wonderful idea. I will tell my daughters in Ohio, they are going to have a big snow storm and they can be ready with the black velvet. It will make the snow storm a little more fun. Thanks..........

clarice said...

Thank you kelli, you have me soo excited and panicked at the same time !!! Have a fun day Clarice

Amy said...

I would be more than happy to share my snow with you, lol! It snowed most of yesterday and is supposed to keep coming until next Monday. All the paths I shovelled out yesterday filled right back up! I can't complain too much though, I once talked with an older man who grew up here. When he was a child the snow regularily reached the tops of the fences, ugh!

Copper's Wife said...

Oh, snow!!! I have lived almost 50 years within about a 20 square mile radius of where I was born. In all those years, it has snowed only about four times. Only one of those times, my senior year in high school, was there enough snow to actually stick and last a few hours. The idea with the black velvet is so lovely. Kelli dear, I hope you have a few flakes in Texas that you can catch and observe!!

Chrissy said...

Hi Kelli!

I've been a lurker for a while and finally started a blog of my own. I added you as a link and I hope you don't mind. I always enjoy visiting here.

Please stop by sometime!

Wildflower Cabin said...

Oh the cake recipe sounds wonderful and I LOVE the black velvet snow flake catcher idea! How fun! You always share such creative ideas! Thank you!

Revee said...

Did y'all stay warm and toasty inside and enjoy that yummy cake? We had homemade hot cocoa and the leftovers of Gracelyn's birthday cake. :)

Sue said...

That cake looks and sounds just delish!
Now I learned something here about the snowflakes and dark velvet. What a fun thing to do with your children!

Kelli said...

Hi Mary, Thanks for sending the snow. ;0)

Susan, thank you for the sweet comments! :0)

Hi Michelle, hope you are staying warm!

Ann, I hope you got some snow!

Hi Tina! I miss you too! I hope it doesn't rain and you get those pecans harvested soon!! I have a letter here to mail to you. (((HUGS)))

Hi Terri, I hope you are able to find a nice piece of velvet!

Mrs. Pivec, I guess you won't be having a white Christmas. ;0)

Hopefull hollar's dollar, Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Mrs. U! Your family will probably make you share...LOL At least a little piece. ;0)

That is strange about the no snow, Beck! I'll bet you'll get some soon!

Kelley, I didn't realize you were in Southern California...we have family in San Diego!

Thanks Dot, we ended up with about 1/2 an inch.

LOL, Clarice!

Wow Amy! Now that is a snowstorm!

Sharon Kay, I hope your daughters like the velvet idea!

Copperswife, we caught some really pretty flakes. It's amazing to think each one is different!

Hi Chrissy! Thank you so much for adding my link! I will stop by very soon for a visit!

Thank you, Flora. :0)

Revee, I can't believe how cold it got today! I kept thinking about you and the girls and wondering if you were outside!

Hi Sue! The cake disappeared quickly! :)


PEA said...

Oh wow, I can just imagine how good it smells in the house when this cake is baking...yummmm! You always share such wonderful recipes with us!!! What a great idea about catching snowflakes!! xox

Marybeth said...

Hi Kelli--

Just made the apple butter cake and can't wait to eat it for dessert tonight... Thanks for sharing this great recipe! I linked to it at my blog--