apple tarte tatin and a lovely craft swap

Blogless Annie and Ingrid came over last evening for a yummy fall dinner and secret craft swap. It was such a lovely evening - I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and think they might have had fun, too. I made the Apple Tarte Tatin, a Donna Hay recipe, which was a delicious change from crisp. I'm going from memory, but it went something like this:

Apple Tarte Tatin

4 apples, peeled, cut into chunks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2 oz butter
1 pkg butter puff pastry

Preheat oven to 400.
In a cast-iron skillet (or any oven-proof one), melt 2 oz butter on medium heat. Add 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp water. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently (I think you're supposed to cook until it's golden and caramelized, which I didn't really do. Still delicious, just not golden.) Add apples. Cook for 5 minutes. Place thawed puff pastry sheet on top, tucking in the edges. Cook for 18-20 minutes. Invert onto plate and serve with cream. Easy, quick, and delicious. (And it didn't require my KitchenAid, which is still in repair-or-replace-land.)
Annie made the pasta above, a recipe from Martha Stewart Living's October issue. Delicious.
Ingrid made these sweet little birds. I love them! There are three of them on a branch. I was having a hard time holding it and taking the picture - I'll try again once they're found a home. Annie made some cloth feminine products for us, which I didn't have a chance to take a picture of, and I made these milk baths and sugar scrubs for them:
Ingrid also made this yummy butternut squash soup, laden with cream. Mmmmm.

And did you know that it's "I-think-you're-wonderful day"? Adam told me that when I came home for lunch and he had this lovely new bamboo pepper mill for me! We've gone through many cheap mills, and I had pretty much given up and was grinding peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. So he and Phillip bought me this one today. And it works beautifully!

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