Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Day of Fall…Apple Crisp




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I am back with my second apple themed recipe for the week…Apple Crisp!

This was a delicious way to celebrate the first day of fall.


The Ingredients:


10-12 medium tart apples (I used McIntosh)

1 cup white sugar (I use organic evaporate cane juice)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 tablespoons flour


1 cup rolled oats

1 cup flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter



The Instructions:


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.


Peel, core and slice your apples…


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enough to fill an 11x13 baking dish.


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Sprinkle with white sugar, cinnamon…


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and 3 tablespoons of flour.


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Gently mix the apples with a fork…or your hands…or a combination of both…that’s what I do. You could do this in a separate bowl, then pour it into your baking dish…but I do not have a dishwasher, and did not feel like washing an extra dish.


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Combine all of the “crisp” ingredients, except the butter, in a medium size mixing bowl (you will need a separate bowl for this). Stir gently with a fork.


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Pour the melted butter over your crisp mixture, and combine the ingredients with your fork, until well incorporated and crumbly.


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Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.

This is a great job for kids! As you can see… my daughter LOVES helping me bake.


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Ready for the oven!

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the corners are thick and bubbly…


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and the top is a nice golden brown.


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We like our Apple Crisp served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!


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And a nice cup of coffee for the adults. (Seriously…when did I become my grandparents…?! Haha!)


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There is nothing yummier than warm Apple Crisp on a chilly fall evening.


I will be back tomorrow with another apple recipe!


What are your favorite autumn desserts?



Monday, September 24, 2012

Insanely Easy Crock Pot Apple Butter

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On Saturday morning we loaded up the ol’ mini van and headed to a local apple orchard to pick up some apple-y goodness. We ended up getting a gallon of cider (no preservatives), an assortment of fresh apple and pumpkin donuts, and a bushel of McIntosh apples.


Of course…
the kids wanted to stay and feed the animals in the petting zoo…


and monkey around a little!





Hey…how’d that get in there…? Haha! Gotta love a warm apple donut drenched in cinnamon sugar…Mmmm!

The apples we purchased were #2 grade (or “seconds”). This means they weren’t pretty enough to sell at full price. They have some bruises and scabs…but taste exactly the same. Oh yeah…and cost half the price!! SOLD!

When I got them home, I washed them up with a little Basic H solution, to get any dirt and residue off of them, then rinsed them well.

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A few years ago I made some Crock Pot Freezer Apple Butter…but lost the recipe. So, I decided to create one of my own using what little I remembered.
To my utter astonishment…it turned out PERFECT!

First you will need to peel and slice your apples. I used 19 medium to large McIntosh.

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I LOVE my apple slicer for this!

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All I had to do was use my peeler/corer, then cut the skins off with a small paring knife. I cut each slice in half again, and placed them in my Crock until it was full. Again, for me, this required 19 apples.

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(That darn wine…always sneaking its way into my pictures…)

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Next, I added a cup of apple cider, but if you do not have any, water is perfectly fine.

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This is where the recipe may vary from person to person. McIntosh apples are fairly tart, which is why I LOVE them. I used 1 1/2 cups of firmly packed organic brown sugar. If you are using a sweeter apple, like a Gala or Delicious (which I don’t recommend…but hey, to each his own), you will need significantly less sugar. Just start with 1/2 cup, and increase it as needed throughout the cooking process.
As for spices, I added 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves. This should remain the same no matter which type of apple you are using.

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Gently mix your apple slices, cider, sugar and spices together, and set you Crock Pot to low.

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This is what I had after about 4 hours. I mashed them up a bit, replaced the lid, and let it cook down for another 5 or 6 hours.

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It had cooked down quite a bit at the 10 hour mark, but still wasn’t thick enough for my liking…so I propped the lid open, set it on “warm”, and went to bed.

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In the morning, when we returned from church…which would have been almost 24 hours into the process, I was ready to put my apple butter in jars.

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First I did a little taste test. Definitely YUMMY!

Apple Butter

I used my canning funnel, and sterilized jars, lids and rings.

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Since I was freezing it, as opposed to canning, I left a little more head space for expansion (remember…things expand as the freeze)….about 3/4 of an inch. You will either need to refrigerate or freeze the fresh apple butter within a day.


I got 4 of the small 1/2 pint jelly jars, and a single pint jar out of this batch. I also had about 1/2 cup left over.  We totally ate that on homemade buttermilk biscuits with dinner. Heaven on flaky bread.

To celebrate FALL…and the fact I have an ENTIRE bushel of apples to use…I am going to be posting a different apple recipe all week!
Tomorrow…one of my husband’s favorites…Apple Crisp.
I hope you all had a marvelous weekend!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Simple Fall Table

While at the market this morning, I spotted some cute little pumpkin gourds. Every year I purchase a few of them to decorate our table. I was particularly excited about them today, because I knew they would look awesome with the reversible table runner I (my mom) sewed last month.
And I was right!

fall table 1

Pretty and simple.

The best part…
All of my table décor, runner included, cost under $16! Very budget friendly.
The fabric was around $14…
The gourds were $2…
The pinecones and acorns were FREE…we have been collecting them on our family walks and bike/scooter rides…
And, I totally garbage picked the basket vases. So proud…so proud.

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I am thinking I will keep it this way for a few more weeks, then whip (hahahaha…yeah right) up a more Halloween-y runner, and accent it with some festive, spooky décor…
But for right now, I am pretty happy with this!

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I also want to share a gorgeous picture I took from the parking lot of the farm market…


Does that not just scream FALL!?!

The Lettered Cottage


Exploring the Upper Peninsula...and a Few Yummies

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