Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Homemade Applesauce

My sister, Alisha, was a gem and sent home some apples with me.  
They (2 of my sisters, my parents, and my youngest son)  went to
 Sunrise Orchards in Gays Mills, Wisconsin awhile back. 

There were about 8 apples the kids hadn't eaten yet, so I thought I would try making applesauce.  I've never made applesauce before, so this was a first.  I searched around for instructions and I came up with a concoction that I thought would work for me.   Here is the recipe I used:

Homemade Applesauce

8 apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
2 cups water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar

Add all to a pot and bring to a boil.

Cover and let simmer about 20 minutes.
Mash or blend apples. ( I used my food processor) 


Add more sugar to taste, depending on personal preference or type of apples used.
I ended up adding about 4 more Tbsp to mine because the apples I had were pretty tart.

It turned out super yummo!!!  Next time I think I will cut in 1/2 or omit the nutmeg though.  It's not bad, just not my personal preference.   I can't wait to get more apples!  I want to try canning some.  We all love applesauce and my youngest told me it was way better than the stuff I bought at the store!
Whew, I passed!

Earlier this summer, I had found an older Pampered Chef apple peeler, corer, slicer tool on a rummage sale.  It was only $2 I think.  I'm glad I picked it up.  It worked perfect!

If I had a bunch of apples to do, I would do this outside though.  Messy.....

Anyway, today's experiment was a success! 
 If my garden turns out next summer, hopefully I can post a lot more successes!!  

My 8 apples yielded about 4 cups of applesauce.  
The 3rd jar is smaller and not as full because, well, it tasted so good!

Until Next Time,

Jen the CraftinCowgirl

Monday, October 8, 2012

Slow Cooker Banana Bread

I am happy to announce that the Banana Bread has gotten a thumbs up!

I think I left it in the slow cooker for about 15 minutes longer than I should have.  I took advantage of a little "mom time" and jumped in the shower.  I can't pass up those moments!

Aside from the bottom sticking to the crock pot, it turned out pretty good!  The sticking probably had something to do with the 15 extra minutes.

Although it may not look the best here, it tasted mighty good.  I added the optional chocolate chips and walnuts to the batter.  Here is the recipe:

Slow Cooker Banana Bread
 2 eggs
 1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 mashed bananas
Optional: 1 cup chocolate chips and/or 1 cup walnuts

Combine butter, eggs, and sugar.  Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 cup flour.  Mix well and add the last cup of flour.  The mixture should be thick.  Add bananas and optional ingredients, if desired.  Butter 6 quart crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours.
I originally found this recipe on Facebook, click here to see the original.

Until Next Time,

Jen the CraftinCowgirl

Broken Oven, Crockpot Baking, and Egg Basket

I had a little oven mishap awhile back....

I know you are all very jealous of my pink kitchen tile!

The metal side piece on the left wouldn't stay put and it would keep popping out like it is in the picture.  Sooooo, one day I decided I would just pull it off and solve my problem.  I grabbed, pulled, and twisted.  That resulted in shattered oven glass everywhere!  It completely exploded.  I still find a small piece here and there and everywhere.  Needless to say, my oven isn't quite working up to par.  I've tried a couple of pizzas, but one wouldn't get done enough and one was way too done.  There is pretty much no heat regulation.

I've been trying to come up with some crock pot meals until I can find a new oven.  I was wondering about baking in my slow cooker and found a recipe for Slow Cooker Banana Bread today.  I mixed it up, turned it on low, and will let you know what it turns out like in 4 hours.  It smells and looks good as of now!

I will post the recipe for you after I see taste the results.

I did find a good money saving recipe for DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets.  I never really bought these much anyway, since they are not very cost worthy, but these are sooo easy to make!  If you do buy those instant packets, this will save you tons of money!!

DIY Oatmeal Packets

1/2 cup quick oats (1/4 c for little kid size)
2 Tbsp brown sugar (1 Tbsp for little kid size)

Put in a Ziploc bag and store until ready to use.

To cook, add 3/4 to 1 cup water or milk. (1/2 c for little kid size)
*Microwave for about 2 minutes (1 minute/kid size)
*Add hot water/milk, cover and let steam for 5 minutes.

Super quick, inexpensive, and easy!  I made a packet this morning for my 4 year old.  It passed his taste bud test.  I'm sure you could add whatever other ingredients you like in your oatmeal.  Cinnamon, apple bits, plain??  I suppose you could put some chocolate in it, too!
Here is the Pinterest link where I found this awesome idea:
DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets

One more thing I want to share:

That is the cute basket I found at a thrift store to keep my eggs in.
The basket I have my jars in is an old milk bottle carrier I found at a rummage sale here in town.  The old man selling it told me he used to carry his milk bottles in it.  He charged me all of $2.

Until next time,

Jen the CraftinCowgirl