Just Routine: Over-Commitment

People are always talking about how busy they are. Some seem to view it as a point of pride. I never understood this until I really started to organize my life.

Do you know what the key has been to keeping myself in line?¬†Staying busy. Continue reading → Just Routine: Over-Commitment

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The Best Use For Your Apple Scraps

applesbwMy family and I are going apple picking next weekend. I’m excited to make apple butter, applesauce, apple pie filling–and this year, apple cider vinegar.

When you buy apples, you buy them by the pound–then you peel them and core them and throw a good chunk of that poundage away (or in my case feed it to the chickens–they love apple scraps nearly as much as they love watermelon rind).

This year, the chickens will have a slightly smaller feast, because I’m using some of my scraps to make apple cider vinegar. I found this recipe and I’m super psyched to try it.

Would you dare?

Caramel Apple Cocktail

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This drink is sweet and tart and tastes like fall. Know what it doesn’t taste like?

Alcohol.

Okay, that’s partially because they’re not particularly strong. In an eight-ounce glass, I only added one ounce of alcohol–but about half of that glass is ice. Play with the proportions if you like–I’ve gone as far as to double the alcohol and it’s still tasty–but I think this recipe really hits the sweet spot.

(Pun definitely intended.)

Caramel Apple Cocktail

1 ounce Disaronno or other almond liqueur
1 teaspoon caramel syrup
1/2 cup apple juice
Ice
Apple slices, to garnish

In a small glass (or half-pint Mason jar), stir together the first three ingredients. Add ice and stir thoroughly. Garnish with apple slices, if desired.

 

Apple-Onion Jam

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I don’t know if you know this, but apples LOVE onions.

It’s a match made in heaven. See, an onion might seem spicy and savory–even a little harsh–but when you break it down, it’s truly sweet on the inside. The apple, while sweet in an obvious sort of way, can be surprisingly tart. On their own, they’re simple flavors–pair them up and you get something delightfully complicated.

I put apples and onions in my thanksgiving stuffing. I’ve been known to toss a little apple into my onion soup. They’re just a power couple–a dynamic duo, if you will. Add some sugar, salt, and lemon and they are the jam.

Apple-onion jam, that is. Which you make like so: Continue reading → Apple-Onion Jam

Caramel Apple Ice Cream Sundaes


sundaeI love caramel apples.

I love the idea of them, anyway. In reality they’re a complete pain to eat, they’re usually over-candied or made with too sweet an apple, and they’re monstrously overpriced. But that flavor combination of apples, caramel, and nuts (because my favorites are not the over-sweet, marshmallow-white-chocolate things you get at specialty candy stores)–mmm! There’s nothing quite like it.

Which is why I love a good caramel apple ice cream sundae.

It’s super simple:

Apple ice cream + caramel sauce + chopped nuts (I like the pre-chopped peanut & pecan sundae mix you find in the baking aisle).

Yum!

My First Apple Pie

pie.jpgI used to hate apple pie.

When I say hate, I mean, HATE.

The texture of the apples made me gag. The flavors were never as good as the smell. But most importantly, apple pie was my brother’s dessert of choice–so much so that he requested it each year in lieu of birthday cake.

How could I like something that robbed me, each year, of eating birthday cake? No, it wasn’t my birthday, but he got to eat my cake! And he had no dessert aversions at all so there was nothing I could do to keep my cake to myself out of spite.

All right–it’s not just about my brother. I still don’t like a mediocre apple pie. Unfortunately, it seems that most apple pies are mediocre–to me, at least. If I’m going to eat apple pie it has to be perfect. And preferably contain almonds and caramel.

Yes, apple pie purists of the world–I hear your screams. And I respect your opinion. Which is why in this post, I’m sharing my gateway apple pie recipe–the one that got me to give apple pie a chance and opened my mind to cooked apples of all kinds. The following link will take you to a simple, sweet pie that I have not yet been able to ruin:

My First Apple Pie

Easy as Apple Pie Fritters

IMG_20180904_081729.jpgI’m easing into our thirty days of apples with a simple recipe using ingredients I always have around my house. You’ll notice there are no actual¬†apples in this recipe–just applesauce–but I think you’ll find that the spices evoke all the sweetness of fall without requiring any peeling or chopping. This recipe is easy enough, you can accomplish it before your first cup of coffee. Continue reading → Easy as Apple Pie Fritters