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Monday, October 17, 2011

A Whole Lotta Bakin' Going On

Okay, is that post title cheesy enough for ya?!
Hehe! Well, it's my first post after spending an entire weekend working on this blog "behind the scenes". Thanks for sticking around! I'm happy with a much simpler, fresh layout, and while I'm no pro at html and all that jazz, I think I did ok!
So, this was a post I had wanted to write last week, but, well.....time just got away from me!
I did post last week about apple picking, which was so much fun and ended with 30 pounds of yummy apples just begging to be cut up, cored, peeled and used.
Somehow, some way.
So, a lot of baking ensued in an attempt to use up the apples before they went bad
(and some other non-apple baking happened because I had a couple potlucks at work).
First up, apple sauce!
I heard from a friend that you can make apple sauce in a crockpot, and since I'm recently obsessed with my crockpot, this was the first thing I wanted to try.
You guys?! This applesauce was SO good!!
I don't eat store bought applesauce. It's just not something I've ever enjoyed.
But this applesauce is definitely something I crave now!
I really just looked at a few different recipes and decided to just wing it.
Here's what I did:
10-15 apples (our apples were pretty small. just use enough to pretty much fill up yer crockpot.)
(peel and core the apples, then toss in the crockpot in large chunks, adding lemon juice sparingly as you go)
1 cup sugar
1tablespoon cinnamon
splash of vanilla
1/2 cup water
I mixed all of my dry ingredients and poured them over the apples, then I added my wet ingredients.
I gave it all a good stir to coat all of the apple pieces, and let it cook on low for about 8 hours.

I went to stir the apples at the very end, and Scott started to ask if we needed the blender to blend our applesauce. In case you've never made applesauce, the answer to that question is a big fat NO! Seriously, the apples just fell apart and mushed all together to just the right consistency!
Our applesauce was sweet and cinnamon-ey, but if you like yours different then just adjust those ingredients to your liking ;)
Ellie refused to eat it at first, but once she finally gave it a try, it was love at first bite! Mmm Mmmm! I think this will be one of our new favorite treats (and traditions!)

Next up was apple pie. I know a few people who absolutely love apple pie, so I figured it was a good thing to make (and then give away so we didn't have to eat it all!). Again, I eyeballed a couple different recipes and then just went for it! (I don't know what's gotten into me lately.....I've never ever been this comfortable in the kitchen!) I cheated and bought the pie crusts, but I didn't regret it one bit!
Here's what I did:
2 store bought pie crusts, lay on on bottom of pie plate
5-8 apples (I really have no idea, just fill up a big bowl), peeled, cored, and sliced
Sprinkle some lemon juice over the apples
Sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg (I just threw in as much as I wanted, and mixed it with the apples until they looked good!)
Pour apple mixture into pie plate
Take "pats" of butter and add randomly to the top of your apple pile
Cover with second pie crust, and seal the edges
"Vent" the top pie crust with a knife (I tried to make a cute apple tree like my mom always does)
Sprinkle some milk on the top crust, and then sugar (this gives your crust a nice glaze)
Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. Honestly, you'll be able to smell when it's done ;) And the crust should be nice and lightly golden. We let the pie sit for about 20 minutes, and then we dug in and enjoyed it warm! Yum!

And last but certainly not least, I made some Pinterest inspired pumpkin cupcakes to take to work.....and I'm so glad that I took them to work, otherwise I might have eaten them all myself!
I love these because not only are they delicious, but they are just too easy to make!
You'll need:
1 box of cake mix (You can use white, chocolate, or spice....I used spice cake mix this time)
1 can of pumpkin (I think 15 oz is the small can? Yeah, use that)

Mix your two ingredients together, and then bake in cupcake liners,
according to the directions on the box!
That's all!!
Now, I was a little worried that my cupcakes would be more like muffins, so I did add one egg and a splash of oil....but I've heard that it's really not even necessary!
These cupcakes were so moist, and had just the right amount of pumpkin flavor!
I bought some cream cheese frosting to go along with it.
Now you can certainly make your own, but I was all about the easy for this recipe.
I did, however, take that frosting and plop it in a ziploc bag......cut a little bit off of one corner, and then pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes!
That way you get a "homemade" look, with only half of the effort ;)
I'm so glad that I was able to get a little fall baking in last weekend. Because before I know it, I'll be whipping up my favorite Christmas goodies! Ah!



Amy Bailey said...

I love fall and Christmas baking!!! Apple picking is on my fall to-do list, along with try a new pumpkin recipe which I did this weekend. My place smelled like fall-y deliciousness!

Kiara Buechler said...

I like the new blog layout, very easy to read!

Emily said...

Found your blog on Top Baby Blogs :) I am sooo excited to try this applesauce recipe! Thank you for posting it!!!!

stephanie said...

that applesauce looks delish! and I typically just wing recipes :)