My Favorite Old-Fashioned Raw Apple Cake

raw apple cake 4

This Raw Apple Cake recipe I received from a neighbor friend, Denise, years ago, is one of my ABSOLUTE favorites, and I make it at least once or twice every Fall/Winter.

raw apple cake 3

My favorite way to enjoy it is with coffee for breakfast/brunch, and I love it kept cold in the fridge, though refrigeration is not at all necessary – just my preference.

raw apple cake 1I made it for our Un-Thanksgiving celebration this year, where we served it with dollops of whipped cream.

If you try it, let me know what you think.  I have never had better!

Raw Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Mix together:
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp salt

Combine dry ingredients in another bowl:
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Add to batter.

Fold in:
2 c. chopped apples
1 c. golden raisins (optional)
1 1/4 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Pour into greased and floured bundt pan. Bake 1 1/2 hours.

While cake is baking, prepare topping.

1 c. brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 c. milk
Cook in saucepan 2 1/2 minutes.

Cool cake 10-15 minutes, then gently loosen at outer edges and spoon topping all over and down edges until absorbed.

Let cool for several hours in pan while cake soaks in the topping.

raw apple cake 2Invert and serve when completely cooled.

raw apple cake 4

Every single time I make a cake in a bundt pan, I can’t help but chuckle remembering this scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” “Is a bunnnnn ttt!” “Is a kick!


Cheers & Hugs,

Joyful Christmas (& ‘Smart Ass’ Trivia Answers)

Joyful Christmas FMS163

It’s a Christmas Card TGIF Post.

And heck – before you know it, I’ll be mailing these cards out!

I love when I come across a sketch challenge, and it just speaks to me and a design comes so easily.

Such is the case with this week’s Freshly Made Sketches Challenge FMS#163.  I just loved the design.

FMS163Whatchya think?

Joyful Christmas FMS163

I’ve been itching to use my SU Joyful Christmas Poinsettia stamp (from last year) and also dying to do some water coloring.  I wanted to do something different, and water coloring on newspaper print DSP was just the ticket to feed my creative Christmas card crazies for this week.  🙂

For this card done on SU Crumb Cake with Under the Tree Specialty DSP Paper, I heat embossed the poinsettia in white on the newsprint DSP, and then used my Koi Watercolors to paint it – not worrying about “staying in the lines.”  A couple of pearl embellishments and a cheery pop of festive red with a cherry cobbler sheer linen bow finished it off.

I love it when an idea comes together easily.  🙂

So – anyone that follows my blog regularly is just dying to know the answers to yesterday’s Smart Ass Trivia questions – right?  (Even though most of you “Smart Asses” figured them out already)  🙂

Well – How long did it take you to figure out the “What Am I” is a Tea Bag?

And the “Where Am I?”  Well, that is the River Thames.

Wishing you all a joyous weekend!

Cheers & Hugs,





Smart Ass

We have been having a lot of fun playing board games again lately.

I have such fond memories of board games growing up.  I was a kid before video games and personal computers and cell phones, so when we weren’t playing outside or watching The Brady Bunch or The Partridge Family or My Three Sons or Hazel or The Waltons (who’s with me here?!) :), we played board games.  I loved Chutes and Ladders, Hi Ho Cherry O, Trouble, Operation, Battleship, Life, Monopoly….

operation giphy

Anyone else remember this commercial?

Playing board games waned as I got older and life got crazier (and when I thought I was too cool).

Then when I started dating Marty, I loved going over to his house, because his Mom loved playing games.  We played Trivial Pursuit weekly for years it seems.  (Oh – and often while sipping Bourbon Slushes!)  And hey – I learned important “stuff” – like how six shakes equals a “dash” of salt.

And when the boys were young, we played all the good ole’ favorites again.

We now usually play a few board games at our family New Year’s party with The Hendy family.  But for the most part, the games remain in the cupboard below the bookshelf – resting – and waiting…

Lately we’ve started playing Scrabble again.  Cold weather…. warm fires….  it all kind of works together – right?

scrabble liz fire(Pssssstt – Don’t tell anyone my letters, because Liz ROCKS at this game, and I need all the help I can get!)

scrabble nick hand(and do you notice that every stinkin’ letter is worth a whopping 1 point on my tile rack?)

And then we recently dug out Smart Ass…

It’s like a modern-day, fast-paced Trivial Pursuit in which “even if you’re a dumb ass, you can win!

smart ass

The goal is to be the first to shout out the answer as another players reads clues from more vague to more specific.  BUT – if you get it wrong  – you are out.  If you hang on until the end (when the last clue often gives initials to to the answer), you can almost always get it, but it’s usually too late because some other Smart Ass already shouted out the answer.  So you have to think fast, but balance it with knowing you are right and risking whether to shout it out or not.

So try your hand at this one in the “What am I?” (my favorite the easy peasiest) category.

  1. I was invented in 1904
  2. I am usually found in the kitchen
  3. I’m used in a cup or mug
  4. Ceylon is particularly famous for my contents
  5. I make a nice beverage
  6. I work with boiling water
  7. I’m a specific type of container
  8. I have dried leaves inside me
  9. I compete with metal strainers
  10. What am I, with the initials T.B.?

I’ll post the answer tomorrow if you haven’t already figured it out by #10.

Here’s a “Where am I?” (my least favorite the category I am least likely to get correct) question:

  1. I am a river
  2. My Celtic name probably means “dark river”
  3. I flow from the Cotswold Hills
  4. Charles Dickens wrote about me
  5. I am the main source of London’s water supply
  6. Upstream I have locks; downstream I have docks
  7. I flow past the Tower of London and Greenwich
  8. Oxford and Cambridge rowing teams meet on me annually
  9. London Bridge crosses me
  10. Where am I, with the initials R.T.?

What number did you get the answer on?  Would you have spouted it out or waited?  Are you a Smart Ass?  That is the challenge!

Timing is everything for the true Smart Ass.”  🙂


What’s your favorite board game?  I try to always buy a new game for our annual New Year’s get together – so looking for fun suggestions.

My other “son” Jake (Hendy) and I are total champs at Cranium and Pictionary.  Julie typically kicks our asses butts at ImagineIFF.   And PLEASE don’t ask me about Awkward Family Photos!!  Oh I do stink at that game!  I always feel so sorry for all the awkward ones….  🙂  And we have beat Cards Against Humanity to death.  (right Oh Rob?!)

So other than that….. we’re just makin’ memories of smart asses and dumb asses ’round these parts these days.

That’s what’s happening here at Life in Between….

Cheers & Hugs,





The Secret Keepers

Too important not to share!

It’s Nature Karen


I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to ask you to share this post. Reblog it, share it on Facebook, tweet it. Someone out there needs to hear this message today. Even if you think you don’t know anyone who has been abused. Even if you don’t read the entire post.

About a month ago I was asked by Dawn at WTF words, thoughts, feelings to contribute an essay for an anthology that she and Joyelle are creating for parents who are survivors of childhood sexual and physical abuse (learn more at

I submitted my essay but I also want to shine a bigger spotlight on this project because I fear that they may not get many submissions. Not because it’s not a worthy cause or because there aren’t enough people out there to contribute but because survivors of abuse are secret…

View original post 1,196 more words

New Birthday Balls

I have to admit.  I love a good theme.
Party that is.


Birthday, holiday, any ole’ special occasion.

You would think I’ve had my fix raising my two sons, celebrating birthdays, creating Halloween costumes, being homeroom mom every elementary school year.

But nooooo – my boys are in their twenties, hubby in his fifties, and I’m still “theme”ing it up when I can.  They always harass me about it, but “I’ll betcha a nickel,” (as Pap used to say) they would be disappointed if I didn’t….

So when Marty said all he’d like for his birthday this year is some new RED felt for a beautiful gently-used pool table Nick helped him find on Craig’s list for the “man cave,” I couldn’t resist going with it.

The kids came over one evening while Marty was at a meeting and did an amazing job re-felting the table from an ordinary green to an extraordinary burgundy red.  (and saving me $300+ labor to boot!)

pool table red felt

Going with the theme, the boys bought Marty some beautiful new balls (which we had fun with all evening) 🙂 and some other pool table accessories.

pool balls

Of course I made a pool ball cake…

pool balls cake 1

…which consisted of RED velvet cupcakes (they don’t make red felt cake mix) decorated as stripes and solids (even if not the exact colors and numbers to match as was pointed out to me – and THEY give ME a hard time about my themes!?!) with white Necco wafers I numbered with black icing.

And you don’t want to know how many rolls of those things I had to go through to get 15 whites – that were NOT broken!?! 🙂 I now have a pint jar full of all the other colors if anybody has any creative ideas for using these little disks of hard sugar that pretty much taste like nothing.  (C’mon Jill – I know you’ve got something in you!!)

And by the way – no need to purchase all the different colors of sugar.  Did you know you can simply add a couple drops of food coloring to a scoop of sugar in a jar, shake, and Voila! – colored sugar!

pool balls cake

And, of course,  I had to make a little card to go along with the theme too.

pool table cake

I got lucky and won ONE game of pool….

and ZERO games of “Smart Ass” – but we sure had a lot of fun.

Happy Birthday Merv!

Cheers & Hugs & Lots of Love,


un 7We had the pleasure of spending an unforgettable Un-Thanksgiving with some of our undeniable favorites this past Saturday.

Now before you get all, “What the heck?  Aren’t you thankful?  Are you anti-Thanksgiving?” on me…un 6I LOVE Thanksgiving, and I am unbelievably thankful for so many un-deserved blessings in my life.un 3It’s just that it is impossible to be with everyone you want to be with on that one certain day for that one certain meal at that one certain time.  Right?un 1So my unparalleled cousins, Nikole and Michael, undertook the task of preparing an unforgettable Un-Thanksgiving feast and family celebration.un 2Unlike your traditional Thanksgiving meal, we had the most unequivocally sumptuous pork roast with an unbearably amazing vinaigrette, roasted potatoes, the most unfathomably incredible roasted brussels sprouts with chorizo and chopped almonds, roasted fresh carrots, and fresh baked bread with oil for dipping.un 4We uncorked unlimited bottles of vino (apparently too many as I certainly did not have my camera focused for this timer-set group shot!)…un 9We laughed unstoppably….un 8We even unleashed our inner Broadway talents while singing and dancing to “Frozen” after unsparingly stuffing our tummys and snuggling on the couch.

The unlimited love unraveled that day was unmistakable.un 5So think about doing something untimely and unexpected like an Un-Thanksgiving or Un-Christmas or Un-Whatever…… You might just unravel some unexpectedly untouchable moments and memories.

Now do you understand?  🙂

Until next time…
Cheers & Hugs,

Thanksgiving Turkey Oreo Cookie Balls

I had some googly candy eyes left from making Peanut Butter & Chocolate Spider Cookies for Halloween, so I thought I would make these cute little Thanksgiving Turkey Oreo Cookie Balls.

thanksgiving turkey oreo ballWith just a few simple ingredients, you can create these little critters for your Thanksgiving turkeys.

thanksgiving turkey oreo balls

I had some fun little “turkeys” to share mine with.  Like this one….

Mason Turkeyand this one. Who each gave them a big thumbs UP!  🙂

ella turkey

Here is the recipe, which I tweaked slightly from the original found on Pink When:

Thanksgiving Turkey Oreo Cookie Balls

1 Package Oreo cookies, finely crushed (about 36 cookies)
1 package (8oz.) cream cheese (softened)
1 Bag Nestle’s Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, Melted
1 Bag Candy Corn
Candy eyes

Crush OREO cookies to a fine crumbly mixture (I placed in a Ziploc Freezer bag and rolled a marble rolling pin over them).  Mix in the softened cream cheese.

Roll into one inch cookie balls, and freeze for 10 minutes.

Dip cookie balls into melted chocolate and place on a prepared cookie sheet covered with wax paper.

Place into the refrigerator for 15 minutes to an hour before decorating.

Add 5 candy corn to the back of the ball as tail feathers by gently poking into the cookie ball.

Use additional melted chocolate as glue to attach the candy eyes, nose and feet.  (For each turkey, cut a piece of candy corn – using the white tip as the nose, and the orange part (cut in half) as feet.)

Gobble Gobble!
Cheers & Hugs,

Painting with a Twist

“Who has more fun than us?”  That’s what my buddy, Oh Rob, always says, so I try to live up to it as often as I can!!  🙂

painting with a twist 14I was so fortunate to be invited to the Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony of the new Painting with a Twist in Wexford from a dear friend, Matt, who’s sister, Amanda is the proud owner of and that he will be managing.  I was allowed to bring a guest, and since Marty declined, my BFF, Jill, was my fun date for the night.

painting with a twistWe got to be the very first artists to break in the easels.

painting with a twist 2Look at this gorgeous cake.  And the Food!  Ooooo  Laaaa Laaa!  They outdid themselves.  I feel bad I forgot to get a photo.  Matt made the MOST AMAZING Pesto Penne Pasta with Feta and Roasted Red Peppers.  I was much too busy eating it to remember…  (ooops!)

painting with a twist 3 Amanda was such a gracious host, and I am so happy for her and her family.

She couldn’t find a pair of scissors to “cut the ribbon,”

painting with a twist 4so she used a knife!  WHACK!

painting with a twist 5What started like this….

painting with a twist 9Ended list this.

painting with a twist 6So much fun to have Jill by my side while we simply enjoyed ‘creating together.’

painting with a twist 7It was unbelievable how different each canvas looked doing the same painting with the same instructions.

painting with a twist 8Talent – Schmalent – I think it has more to do with the amount of wine….

painting with a twist 10Amanda was just radiant, and I smile looking at this photo of her.  Isn’t she a doll?!

painting with a twist 11So I’m not an artist – but I sure had fun.

painting with a twist 12And we even got PRESENTS!

painting with a twist 13

Thanks Matt and Amanda for a very fun and memorable evening!  Congratulations on a beautifully executed grand-opening celebration.  I know you are going to be a huge success, and I look forward to coming again soon.

If you would like to learn more about Painting with a Twist, check out their website and/or Facebook page.

And tell them Jodi sent ya!  🙂

Cheers & Hugs,