The front of my house looked so pretty at the beginning of the summer with all the blooming plants. However, the extreme heat and drought really took a toll later on. I watered regularly but the plants still looked a little scraggly.
Now, it's covered in beautiful fall colors!
Fall is without a doubt my favorite season! I love everything about it, except for hubby having to work long hours. :( It is a little hard to put many decorations outside though because the wind can be pretty fierce out here. I spend a lot of time straightening the corn up after a windy day. I've had corn, straw, and pumpkins outside every year since I can remember though.
One other thing I love about fall? Apples! As you know by now, I'm not a baker. However, I do like to make a couple of apple dishes (like crisp or cobbler) each fall. This year, I saw a recipe for Crock Pot Applesauce on Pinterest and thought I'd give it a try. It looked simple. Here's the recipe as it appears on the website:
Crock Pot Applesacue
8 medium apples (Use a combination of Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, etc.) (I filled the crockpot, using about 20 small apples)
1 strip of lemon peel - use a vegetable peeler
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 inch cinnamon stick
5 tsp light brown sugar (unpacked) - or agave
1. Peel, core and chop the apples.
2. Add the sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and cinnamon stick.
3. Set crock pot to low and cook for 6 hours. Stir apples occasionally, apples will slowly become a delicious applesauce. Remove cinnamon stick and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth or if you prefer a chunky sauce, leave sauce intact. (I used a whisk, which gave the sauce a nice chunky consistency.)
4. Can and process as you would other recipes or keep refrigerated up to 3 weeks.
I followed the recipe pretty closely with only a couple of additions. I used a combination of Johnathan, Fuji, and Gala apples. The combination gave the appleasauce a nice flavor.
I also added a couple more teaspoons of brown sugar than called for because I like it sweeter. I used dark brown sugar (didn't have light brown) and it was fine. That probably made the applesauce a little darker in color, but I don't think it affected the taste.
Ready to cook:
Looks delicious already! This is after cooking for about 4 hours. I stirred it every hour or so.
After cooking for about 6 hours, I took out the lemon peel and cinnamon stick and added about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Next, I mashed it with a potato masher. This worked very well since we like chunky applesauce. The added cinnamon also made the applesauce a little darker. It kind of looks liks salsa in the picture below! I assure you though, it's applesauce. :) Lance and I both think it was pretty delicious. Next time, I will only add about 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon though.
Another fall favorite around here is soup! I love soups of all kinds! My next blog post will be a family favorite: Lasagna Soup. Mmmmmmmm......