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Easy Crockpot Applesauce

Next time you are at the grocery store, grab an extra bag of apples and make Applesauce in the crockpot.  You will not regret it.  Not only will your home smell apple-cinnamony amazing, but you won’t ever want to go back to jarred applesauce again!
When I was sick and meals were being brought, one that dish that really stood out to me was simple, homemade applesauce.  It just tasted so REAL and good.  It made the best dessert, sweet but not overly sweet.
Despite having my energy back, I continue to find ways to make things simple around here.  That is why I love this recipe.  It is simple, smells great, involves fruit, and is a great after school snack or dessert around here, which is why I don’t really mind the added sugar.  Also, to keep it REALLY simple, I usually don’t slice my apples as thin as the pic below.  I borrowed a friends apple “peeler, slicer, corer” for that.  Now I just cut my apples up in chunks.  They take longer to cook, but I use a hand blender to chop it up into a chunky applesauce, and it ends up perfect.
Try it, you will love it!
Easy, Crockpot Applesauce
{recipe from Katy @ The Cutting Back Kitchen}
3 pound bag of apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)(or in chunks, see above)
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (or other sweetener)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup water
Place your apple slices in the bottom of a Crockpot.  (If you don’t have a Crockpot, you can make it on the stove.) Top with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Add the water. (I always just make sure to add enough water to cover the bottom of the Crockpot.)    Cook the applesauce on low for 4-6 hours or until apples are tender.  Once the apples are tender, mash them with a potato masher for a chunkier consistency.  For a smoother consistency, mix in blender.
This is more an idea, than an exact recipe you need to stick to.  I try to keep mine pretty low in sugar, but if you like yours sweeter add some more.  Sometimes I add a handful of frozen berries to add some color and lend a slightly different flavor.  Get creative!
Freezing Instructions
I just package mine in quart sized freezer bags.   Thaw and enjoy!
Katy at the Cutting Kitchen is a great blog to go explore.  Her tagline is “Big Flavors On A Bland Budget.” Love that!

Meals/ RECIPES/ Sides/ Sweets

Top “Less Healthy” Recipes From New Nostalgia 2011

Just trust me on this…these are funky awesome!
After looking high and low, I finally found my go to Pot Roast recipe.  I make this on special occasions for the family.
These are flaky, tender, deliciousness.  My kids devour them.
Kettle Corn Crispie Bars
They are crunchy, gooey, chewy, buttery, salty/sweet, chocolate-y squares of heaven. 

This recipe is quite healthy, if you are a meat eater.  
Taste of home!
This is moist, dense but light at the same time.  The pureed strawberries make it.
These beauties are made with a box mix, frosting mix, and jarred caramel sauce.  Easy!

Perfect Pumpkin Pie (a secret ingredient!)

 Perfect pumpkin pie

We have the best neighbors, for many reasons.  One being, they bring homemade goodies over occasionally.  This recipe for Perfect Pumpkin Pie IS perfect.  Our neighbors made it for us and after one bite I knew I had to have the recipe.  I like pumpkin pie, but this pie…I LOVED!  I even hid the last couple pieces and had one for breakfast.  {sneaky grin.}

I eat a high-plant, low sugar diet, so it takes a very special recipe to get me to cheat.  This recipe did just that!  It is only for special occasions, but hey, it DOES have pumpkin in it.  A plant!! 😉

The secret ingredient is molasses.  I knew there was something special in it, that made it extra good… I kept thinking brown sugar, because of the depth of almost caramel-like flavor. The spices are just perfect… I do not like an over-spiced pie.  The heavy cream is another key ingredient, it makes this pie super divine.



Ancestral Pumpkin Pie
{This recipe is from Open Harvest Cookbook. Nancy Sauer’s great-aunt’s recipe, handed down via grandmother and mother.}

2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree (or 11/2 cups homemade pumpkin puree, see below)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons molasses

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Have pie crust for 9-inch deep-dish pie ready.  Mix all ingredients together and beat until smooth.  Pour into waiting pie crust.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  It is done when you can insert a knife into the center and it comes out clean.  After cooling, store in the refrigerator.


How to Bake Pumpkin
Cooked pumpkin can be used in many pumpkin foods besides pie, such as cakes, breads, muffins, puddings or even ice cream.

Select a variety of pumpkins for pies.  (I like small sugar pumpkins)  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut pumpkin in half horizontally.  scoop out seeds.  Select a baking dish with sides.  Place pumpkin cut-side down in baking dish.  Pour in water to fill about an inch high.  Bake until a fork can easily be poked in the pumpkin.  A 41/2 pound pumpkin will take about 11/2 hours.  Drain.  Cool before processing.  Yields: 4 cups.

{For Your Pinning Pleasure}

pumpkin pie pin

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Hall of Fame Cranberry Sauce

Topsy Turvy Cranberry Cake

Thanksgiving Day Brunch Menu

GF, Vegan & Raw/ RECIPES/ Sweets

Orange-Almond Polenta Cake With Strawberries

This cake is moist, filling, not-too-sweet and delish!  It is perfect for summer.  The citrus flavor is really light and refreshing, although the cake is filling and hearty thanks to the almonds, cornmeal and chia seeds. I will definitely be making it again!

 Orange-Almond Polenta Cake With Strawberries 
{Vegan Version Included}
{adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook}

1/3 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup unbleached white flour {next time I will try wheat}
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups almonds
1/2 cup sugar {or sucanat}
1 orange
1/2 cup vegetable oil {I used coconut oil}
2 eggs {I used “chia egg substitute”–1 Tablespoon chia seed to 3 Tablespoons water for each egg.  Stir and let set until gel-like. About 10 minutes}
1 cup of berries {I used strawberries}

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil and flour a 9 inch cake pan.

Sift the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  In a blender or food processor, whirl the almonds and sugar until the almonds are finely ground.  Add to the flour mixture.

Grate the orange peel and juice the orange (about 1/3 cup).  Add the orange juice, orange zest, oil eggs (or chia substitute), and 1/3 cup of water to the blender or food processor and whirl for about 15 seconds.  Add the dry ingredients and blend until well mixed, using a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the cake from the pan.
Serve with your choice of berries.  {I used Strawberries that were mashed and heated, then cooled}