Family Apple Picking Day – 5 Ideas For Using all Those Apples

Apple Basket
Autumn is the most wonderful, and brilliantly colorful time of year. Evenings are spent in front of the fireplace with a cup of cocoa, fuzzy slippers, grandma’s quilt, and fond recollections of the days events. This Autumn, as in previous years, our family spent a day at the apple orchard. Every year memories are made, not only in the picking itself, but in the wonderful dishes enjoyed by all – for months to come. Here are a few apple ideas for you.

Decorate with apples

Slice the apple in thin slices – across the middle (makes a beautiful star pattern). Hang them on a string & drape over mantle, or other area for decoration.

Arrange dried apples around a wreath for a great natural decoration. You can also bag them in zip locks when completely dry & use them as dried apples in recipes.

Grandma Pearl’s Applesauce

Cut apples into chunks
Put into large pot, with a bit of water in the bottom
Cook until soft, add cinnamon & sugar if desired
You can freeze the sauce in bags or containers, or can it.

Replacement Ingredient in Recipes

Replace the oil & egg in recipes with applesauce – it makes a wonderful moist cake! According to Mott’s applesauce, by replacing 1/3 C oil with 1/3 C of their applesauce, a total of 608 calories & 73 grams of fat will be saved!

Mini Apple Pies

Make pie pastry, cut into rounds (with drinking glass) fill with 2 spoons of sauce. Fold in half, crimp edges, brush top with butter, sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown.

Our Family’s Favorite – Apple Crisp

Peel apples and cut into thin wedges. Sprinkle with sugar, and sprinkle a small amount of water around on the top of the apples. This helps the apples make a nice juice during the cooking process.

Topping: Mix 1 handful flour, 2 handful brown sugar, 1 1/2 handful oatmeal, good sprinkle of both cinnamon & nutmeg Add 1 stick of very soft butter. Mix until small crumbs form. Add to top of apples & Cook at 350% until bubbly.

*Make large batch of this topping & freeze for later use. Use it to top – applesauce, ice cream, hot cereal, pudding etc.

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    Chicken Salad

    chicken salad

    Growing up in the south, we never really mixed fruit directly into our recipes, however, over the past year or so, I have started to acquire a taste for these new recipe ideas!

    This week I put together a chicken salad something like one that I had at a local restaurant.

    Although you can feel free to mix the ingredients in any combination that suits your taste, this is what I decided to do today.

    Mix together
    – cooked chicken (cubed)
    – diced green peppers
    – very small sized pasta
    – grapes
    – mayonnaise
    – salt, pepper, garlic salt, and any other seasonings that you fancy

    Mix well & enjoy!

    Like I said – this recipe may not be something that you might normally have, but I think you’ll come to love the little bit of crisp sweetness that the grapes add to this salad.

    You can serve by itself – or in a pita or wrap as a sandwich.

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      Antique Country Cupboard

      antique country pine cupboard I bought this vintage pine cupboard approx. 16 years ago for $2 at a yard sale! I’m getting ready to paint it a deep shade of red – with a cream color on the inside.

      I like to use it to display lots of dishes in my dinning room. I think the deep red will bring some needed color to this section of the cottage.

      I’ll post a new picture when I finish the painting job.

      Don’t you just love pine country cupboards (especially for $2 bucks!) If you’re trying to bring some warmth & history into your home simply add a pine cupboard!

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        Cottage Style Sofa

        cottage sofa, home decorating

        No matter what the weather is like outside (it’s been raining here for several days), you can always find comfort in a cozy place to sit, read, and meditate on the issues of the day.

        I thought I would show you my favorite place to get comfortable in our home. This sofa was one that I had my eye on for quite some time. I first saw this piece when my friend took me with her to visit an upscale furniture store. They had so many great pieces that I think I fell in love with several 🙂 This cottage style sofa was one of the pieces in the front showroom. When I saw it, I knew that it was just the type of sofa that I would love to have in our new home, but the price was out of reach for what I wanted to spend on one piece.

        When we finished building our home and were ready to buy some furniture, my husband & I went back to that store, if nothing else, just to get some new decorating ideas. You can imagine my excitement when I stepped into the clearance section, only to find that “my sofa” was sitting there against the wall – marked “way” down from the original price! It was just sitting there waiting to go home with us 🙂

        Needless to say – that week I found myself relaxing in my new cozy sofa, enjoying a good magazine & a hot cup of vanilla tea.

        I love the feeling that you get when surrounded by the warmth of the “old world” colors. We use many shades of red, mustard, cream, blue, green, – and of course – always a good dose of black in the different rooms of our home.

        The black coffee table is nice and big – wonderful for putting your feet up at the end of a long day.

        The wooden bowl is an antique butter bowl that I bought at an auction for $1.

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          The Forest is in Bloom!

          Autumn leaves turning red

          Even though the arrival of fall means that the cold winter months are soon to follow, every year I still find myself looking forward to the time of year when everything around us seems to transform into something altogether new. Like a butterfly coming out of it’s cocoon, it seems like an instant when we wake up one morning, only to find that the trees surrounding the cottage have burst forth into what seems like colorful blooms!

          Thankfully, our region is surrounded by sugar maple trees, which never fail to give us a beautiful display of fall color each year.

          Here a few trees are changing color along the edge of our drive.
          fall color

          Our area (Northeastern US) is famous for the spectacular autumn colors painted on the trees of its mountains and countryside. Here we enjoy a color pallet of reds, golds, oranges, and bronzes of the mixed deciduous woodlands.

          Did you know that the US Forest Service actually planted the 100 plus scenic byways specifically with the autumn color show in mind? There are 31 states that are planted with over 3,000 miles of scenic drive!

          You never really know when the color display will begin, but in our area, we’ve come to expect a few leaves to start showing their true colors around the end of August.

          Something you may have never heard about!

          The USDA Forestry Service actually has a free hotline phone number that you can call to see how the fall color is in any area of the country! This might come in very handy for those who are planning to take a long drive in the country to see the fall foliage.

          Fall Color Hotline: 1-800-354-4595

          I called today & found out that our area is supposedly at 15% peek color.

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          Doing some Fall jobs around the house? Here’s a handy tip
          When you have to stop painting & you’re not done with the job – put the roller in a pringles can & put it in the freezer. When you’re ready to start painting again – it will be ready for you!

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          “The contented person is never poor; the discontented person is never rich”

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