Friday, October 11, 2013

Applesauce. ::drool::

The only thing I love more than fall d├ęcor, is the SMELL of fall. Namely pumpkin. But I love anything that reminds me of fall. There isn't a whole lot that smells better than baking/cooking apples. When you combine that with the ease of the crockpot, well, that makes lazy people like me happy. My kids also LOVE applesauce, and the junk in the store is pretty much worthless nutritionally. And have you seen the price of organic applesauce? Ho-lee cow.
 
Thankfully, my grocery store has these bags they put together full of produce and put them in 99 cent bundles. This time of year, those bags are usually full of 5-7 apples each. Even better!
 

I've tried all green apples. I've tried all red apples. I like a combo of both. If I use more green, I up the brown sugar, if I use more red. I use less. So this recipe is based on using mostly red and a couple green.
 
 
I'm terrible at using a knife to slice apples. Not really sure what it is. So I peel them, and then use this fabulous $5 kitchen tool to do all the work for me ;) If you don't get all the peel, no biggie!
 
 
I put all the apple slices in, pour the lemon juice over and stir them before I put everything else in. I don't know that it would be necessary, but part of me things my kids would have a cow if it was more brown that it already is. I avoid those unnecessary tantrums when at all possible.
 
I cook mine on low for 7-8 hours overnight. My kids, and husband especially, like the applesauce warm so I like for it to be ready first thing in the morning. But if you wanted to cook it on high for four hours, that would work too.
 
 
 
I'm not a fan of the texture, even after cooking it for eight hours. So I stick the cooked apples in my Ninja blender and blend it until it's not chunky anymore.  It's sweet and rich, without a whole lot of extra stuff. And your house will smell DIVINE!
 
 
Ingredients:
 
10 apples
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c water
 
Directions:
Peel and slice apples, toss in lemon juice.
Put all other ingredients over top of the apples in the crockpot and cook on low 7-8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.
Leave chunky or throw into a blender for a thinner consistency.
 
Makes about 5 cups.
 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My bad! Do you hate me?

I'm a horrrrrrrrrrrrrrible excuse for a blogger. If you've forgotten about me, I won't hold it against you ;) What have I been up to, you ask? (Pretend you asked.)

I'm no longer a Floridian! Most of you already know that, but for those of you who don't know me personally, I'm now a Utahn. (I've seen a debate between Utahan and Utahn. I just picked the weirdest one. No surprise there.) We moved here last September, and so far so good! My husband's job has brought us a lot of opportunities, and we're very thankful.

Okay, so back to the stuff you really care about.


IT'S FALL!

Yes, it's necessary to make it that big. Because now I live in a state where there is a distinction between summer and fall, and it's certainly in full swing. It was 44 degrees when I took my daughter to school this morning and it'll be close to 70 by lunch time. It's fabulous, and I was made for fall. I swear it.


So, now that I have fall, I'm like a kid in a candy shop when I get to pick out stuff for fall projects. So, here was my first stop.


Thank goodness for resale groups. This frame and it's identical twin, I got on a local group for $1.50 each. I took the glass and the dual photo mat out and decided it would work perfectly for this. I bought burnt orange yarn, and painstakingly wrapped. (And wrapped, and wrapped.) It takes forever. Well, about two hours if you have children who constantly stand there yelling "we're hungry!"

 
When I got to the corners, I really didn't like how it threw off the lines of the next side, so I used a hot glue gun to keep the ends down when I got to the point on each side that it started to slant the lines.
 
 
Once I got done with all four sides, I started where the line stopped, and alternated. Left side, right side. I made sure that the yarn never overlapped, so it made a really cool design on the corners.
 
 
Burlap. Sigh.
I hate love burlap. If I could afford the pretty ribbon version all the time, my life would be so much easier. But I use way too much of it for that, and have a hard time finding it here every time I need it. So I decided to use regular by-the-yard burlap and make it "Rustic" as P-Dubs calls it.
 
 
Now, you could certainly use a handmade stencil for all of these "pennant" type elements, but thankfully I rely on my Silhouette for everything in my life.
(If you don't have one, get one. But that's a raving post for another day.)
So I cut three sizes out. A big one out of plain cardstock for tracing the burlap, a medium size that I cut the striped paper into, and a smaller one for the yellow polka dot paper.
I used spray adhesive to set it all together, but a glue stick, tape runner or photo stickers would also work. The hardest part was getting the paper to stick to the burlap.
 
 
Twine. I love that stuff too.
I spaced them out face down and hot glued the twine to the back of them.
Please don't make the same mistake I almost did. Either do this before you put letters onto each shape you layered, or FLIP the letters so you spell it backwards.
 
 
Sometimes greeting card sets can be your best friend. I found four different themed sets on my resale group. $5 for all of them. Seriously, you can't go wrong. These have an adhesive back, so I just peeled that off and layered all of these cuties together.
 
 
They stuck to the yarn...for now. I'll hot glue them if for some reason they don't cooperate.
 
So, here's what I ended up with!
 
 
You could certainly adhere the twine to the frame anyway you like, but I liked that you could see it tied around the frame. You could use ribbon, or glue little painted clothes pins to the frame, then have them hold the letters. Either way, who doesn't love something in the colors of FALL!?
 
If you love this or any of my other projects, please repin them!