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Apple Butter

Is there anything better than a large schmear of apple butter on a slice of fresh bread in the morning!? Every fall my family drives to a (relatively) nearby farm and goes apple picking. We come home with great memories…and buckets and buckets of apples!! At least a dozen of these apples are always put aside to become apple butter. We are barely even home from the apple orchard and my kids are already asking me if I’ve made the apple butter yet 😉 There’s very little work involved other than prepping the apples, and if you’re the canning type, you can even water-bath can the fruits of your labor.  (See what I did there? Haha)

Apple ButterIngredients:
1 dozen medium sized Apples, peeled, cored, and cubed.
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Allspice
1 Large Dollop of Honey – roughly 1-2 TBSP

Directions:
1. Prep your apples.
2. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Mix them together well to combine.
3. Dump it all in your crockpot and cook on low overnight.
4. In the morning, stir the mixture in the crock. Put the lid back on but prop it open a little with a spoon and turn it on high. Let it cook on high for a few more hours – I like to go for another three hours or so to get the thickness and color I prefer, but it’s really up to what you like.
5. When you’ve tasted the apples and you’re happy with the thickness and flavor, turn off the crock and let the mixture cool a bit. Pour it into the blender (or use an immersion blender if you have one) and add a dollop of honey. Puree until smooth.
6. Pour it all into a mason jar or other air tight container and store in the fridge.
7. Enjoy!!

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Posted by on February 23, 2014 in Breakfast, Crock Pot, Easy, Homemade, Kids, Sweets

 

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Banana Bread

Banana bread is such an easy bread to make. It’s basically just a wet mix that you bake right up – there’s none of that kneading, or rising, or other cumbersome steps you go through on a typical bread. Plus it’s a great way to use up some old bananas – – – not to mention you get the benefit of making your house smell amazing and making all of your neighbors jealous when they realize where the smell is coming from!

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This is another recipe I use on my bread machine. I’m not sure how to convert it if you don’t have a bread machine, and I’m sure you could easily make this in your oven with a quick mix of the ingredients and then a bake in the oven, I just don’t know the actual times and temperature. I got this recipe almost exactly from the Cuisinart Recipe Booklet that came with my bread machine – this isn’t one of my own inventions, but I wanted to share the recipe with you in case you didn’t have the luxury of having such a handy book come with your bread machine.

The ingredient quantities for this loaf will make a Medium sized loaf, or a 1.5 pounder. I actually like to pull this particular bread out of the machine a few minutes before the timer goes off because I find that it burns very easily and I don’t care for a crispy crust on my banana breads.

Banana Bread
Ingredients:
(Place ingredients into bread machine in this order:)
1/3 cup + 1 TBSP Buttermilk, 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit  (forget to get buttermilk? simply pour add 1 TBSP vinegar to milk and let it set for 10 minutes!)
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, 1/2 inch pieces at room temp
2 Eggs, large, at room temp
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cup Mashed Bananas (approx 3 medium bananas)
3/4 tsp Salt
1 cup Granulated Sugar
2 cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda

Directions:
1. Spray your bread pan and kneading paddle with Pam Spray or similar.
2. Place ingredients, in order listed, in greased bread pan.
3. Place in bread machine and select Quick Bread/Cake option and Medium loaf or 1/5lb loaf for size. I like to cook my banana bread on the ‘light’ crust cycle and take it out a few minutes early like I said above, but you can cook to taste.

 

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Egg Salad

Egg salad is a staple in our house. We make it up in dozen-egg batches and pull it out for quick breakfasts on school mornings or easy lunches on lazy days. There are a million different ways to make egg salad, ours is a very basic recipe that has been toddler approved by my picky eater. It’s a good “base” to start with though, and you can add any variations you like to it – olives, dill, onions, avocado, basil. I’ve even heard of a pesto type egg salad that sounds really good!

Egg Salad Sandwich

Egg Salad
Ingredients:
4 Hard Boiled Eggs
salt/pepper to taste
Dash of Paprika, about 1/4 tsp
1 TBSP Mayonaise
3/4 tsp Yellow Mustard
1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard

**Note: You can make larger batches if you like, just keep the proportions the same.

Directions:
1. Slice and chop up the hard boiled eggs and put into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add salt and pepper to taste – and do actually taste it! Remember that mustard can be a little salty tasting, so don’t over-do the salt! Sprinkle in your paprika and mix it all together.
3. Add in your mayo and mustards and then mix really well.
4. That’s it! You can eat it now just as it is, serve it up on some lettuce, spread some out on a slice of toast, or any way you like it. It actually tastes even better after a day sitting in the fridge so all the flavors can ‘marry together’. Enjoy!!

 
 

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