Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter

Image Credit: Cooking From the Heart

Autumn is in full swing and I thought it would be nice to share my homemade Apple Butter recipe! For those curious this recipe will consist of using actual apples vs applesauce. Though applesauce is quicker to use, I promise you the wait time using apples is completely worth it! Whether for biscuits or for toast this is sure to be a family favorite! Happy Friday everyone!

Ingredients

* 5-6lbs Fuji Apples (Washed/Cored/Sliced)

1 1/2 cups. Apple Cider

1 cup. Cane Sugar (Granulated also works)

2 cups. Brown Sugar

1/4 cup. Lemon Juice

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

3/4 tsp. Ground Cloves

1 tbsp. Cinnamon

Instructions

1.Wash the apples, and make sure to core and cut them into cubes. I personally leave the skins of the apples on, but if you want to take the extra time to peel the apples that is perfectly fine!

2. Once your crockpot is filled add your liquids, dried spices, sugar and salt.

3. Give your apples a good mix making sure everything is coated.

4. Place your crockpot on Low for 2 hours and then bump the temperature setting to High for the remaining 7 hours.

5. Once finished I use a blender of your choosing on the Low setting to help give the butter its smooth texture. I highly recommend investing in one of the Immersion blenders to help save on time.

6. Store in containers or use your preferred canning method. If placed in the refrigerator the apple butter can keep for 1 month before needing to be replaced. If kept in the freezer then the apple butter can keep for up to 1 year, just make sure to take out what you want to use and allow it to unthaw in the refrigerator the night prior to use. For those who decide that canning is the best way to go, canned apple butter has a shelf life of roughly 2 years, but make sure to keep your jars in a dark and cool place! Make sure to date your containers/jars!

7. Enjoy!

Life is a Blessing

Roughly four months since my last post and I am happy to be back. In those four months my health went downhill quite severely. God continues to remind me that He has a purpose for my life and so here I am. In those four months even though I was struggling, I managed to start my own business selling my homemade jams, jellies, butters and more! The business has been a blessing on my life.

During my times of struggle I found myself reading and rereading the bible verse below. It is He who gives me my strength and for that I am thankful. It never ceases to amaze me that in our times of struggle, in those moment of hopelessness that in His word we are able to find comfort.

Image Credit: http://www.prayerandpossibilities.com

For those taking the time to read this post today, I pray that God blesses all aspects of your life. I look forward to being able to share with you each more of my recipes, and wish you each an amazing Monday! Much love and God bless!

Brunch Casserole

Image Credit: Glenn Gregory

Brunch Casserole

1 lb. Hot & Mild Sausage (Jimmy Dean)

2 cups. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 can. Cream of Chicken Soup

1 cup. Sour Cream

8 oz. French Onion Dip

1 cup. Chopped Onion

1/4 cup each. Red & Green Bell Peppers

30 oz. pkg. Hashbrowns (Thawed)

Directions

Brown sausage and drain well. Combine cheese, soup, dip, sour cream, onion and peppers. Mix well. Fold in hashbrowns. Spread half of mixture in a 9-by-13 inch pan that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Top with half of sausage mixture. Repeat, ending with sausage. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until brown.

Recipe Credit: Carolyn Gregory

Easy Banana Bread

Image Credit: CookingfromtheHeart

Banana Bread was a household favorite as I was growing up. Every Sunday it seemed, there would be fresh bread made and waiting on the counter as soon as I woke up. Now that I am older, I like to continue the tradition when I have the chance. Yesterday’s grocery shopping made it possible! Bananas were on clearance at $0.39 a lb! With my buggy full and once the groceries were paid for, I headed home to start baking. Below I will be sharing with you my personal recipe for delicious banana bread that anyone is sure to love! Happy Wednesday everyone!

Easy Banana Bread

3-4 Overly Ripe Bananas

3/4 cups. Sugar (I prefer Cane Sugar)

1 Large Egg (2 Large Eggs if using 4 bananas)

1/3 cup. Softened Butter (I use unsalted)

1/3 cup. Milk (I use Original Cashew)

1 cup. All Purpose Flour (sifted)

1 tsp. Baking Soda (sifted)

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl add in bananas and crush/mix them until smooth. Next add in your sugar, egg and/or eggs, softened butter, cinnamon, vanilla and milk. Combine well. Sift in flour, baking soda into combined ingredients. Mix until combined. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan (I personally used a light cooking oil spray). Allow mixture to bake for 45 minutes to 50 minutes. Once finished carefully take out pan to cool and check bread with a toothpick. Allow bread to cool before cutting and serving (15 minutes is normally best). Keeps well refrigerated. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew

Happy March Everyone! I’m excited to announce that I am back in full swing. The past few months have been hard ones as I have been learning to adjust to my new condition. For those new to my blog, a few months ago, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease known as TCD (Tarlov Cyst Disease). Due to this condition, I have had to make adjustments to my diet. One of my favorite meals to make so far; however, is the Poor Man’s Stew or Traveler’s Stew as my grandma called it. Quick to make and only requiring a few ingredients this recipe has been a lifesaver (medical bills are not cheap). One thing I personally love is the flavor of the soup. There are so many options when it comes to seasonings and the texture of this soup is lovely! Enough of my rambling though, let’s get to the good stuff!

Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew

Ingredients:

1lb. Ground Beef (browned and drained) *I personally seasoned before browning*

1 1/2lbs. Potatoes (diced large)

3 Carrots (sliced)

1 Onion (diced)

1 Garlic Clove (minced) *Garlic Powder works just as good!*

6 oz. can of Tomato Paste

2 cups. Water

1 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper

1 tsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. Dried Oregano

*I personally added 1tsp. Paprika & Creole Seasoning*

Directions:

  1. Add cook ground beef, potatoes, carrots and onions to a 5-quart and/or larger slow cooker.

2. Take a small bowl and mix tomato paste and seasonings. Pour over mixture over everything already in the slow cooker.

3. Allow to cook for 7hrs without removing lid.

4. Serve with buttered sandwich bread. * I omitted the bread and had saltine crackers instead*

Recipe Credit: https://www.themagicalslowcooker.com/

Original Recipe Link: https://www.themagicalslowcooker.com/poor-mans-stew/

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Cookies seem to be my go to for today. With so many varieties to choose from, it’s hard to decide which to make! For this post, I will be sharing with you another vintage recipe that I have personally tried and just like the Spicy Applesauce Cookies these are equally soft and delicious! Growing up my grandma loved to make homemade lemon bars, but I could never stomach the taste of lemon until she made Lemon Sugar Cookies and I was hooked! Do note that the recipe, similar to the last, makes a decent batch of cookies. If you are needing to fill up cookie tins, these are the way to go! Hope you Enjoy!

Recipe Credit: http://www.recipecurio.com

Original Recipe Credit: ” The WORKBASKET” Magazine, 1978.

Spicy Applesauce Cookies

Yule is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with homemade cookies? Over the years I have collected several vintage recipes, but one of my favorites always ends up being the Spicy Applesauce Cookies. Super quick to make, and soft in texture you will see why I love them so much. Did I mention that they make your house smell absolutely amazing?! Below I have posted the original recipe. If you decide to try them out, let me know what you think!

*Note: The recipe calls for chopped nuts; however, it is completely optional! If you have an allergy to them, please omit that ingredient. Thanks!*

Spicy Applesauce Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup. Shortening

1 1/2 cups. Pure Cane Dark Brown Sugar (packed)

1 Egg

1 tsp. Vanilla

3/4 cup. Applesauce

2 cups. All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

1 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

3/4 cup. Chopped Nuts (Optional)*

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheet. In a large bowl, beat shortening and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and applesauce. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spice; stir into mixture. Stir in nuts*. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on rack. Makes 4 dozen.

Original Recipe Credit: C&H Sugar Kitchens

Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Cake

Grandma always told me that when life hits you hard, you need something sweet to brighten your day. This couldn’t be more true.

On November 15th, I began to lose feeling in my left side and the following day on the 16th, I landed myself in the ER. Over 9 hrs and several tests/MRI later, I was informed that I have a rare disease called Tarlov Cyst Disease. I won’t go into detail on here as to what the disease entails, but I can say that it’s not good. If you wish to follow me on my journey and/or learn more about TCD, I set up a new blog to document that journey and will post the link at the end of the page.

With this being said, something sweet is definitely what I needed after such devastating news. So what could be made? Old-Fashioned Butterscotch cake. That is what. Normally, I would say homemade Butterscotch pudding, but cake seemed better at the time. It’s super easy to make and not overly sweet, but sweet enough to bring a smile to your face. Hopefully, this recipe finds a special place in your heart as it has mine. Cheers to better days!

Old Fashioned Butterscotch Cake

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups. Flour

3 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

3/4 cup. Butter

1 1/2 cups. Dark Brown Sugar (Packed)

3 tbsps. Canola Oil

2 tsp. Vanilla

4 Large Eggs

1 1/4 cups. Milk

Butterscotch Frosting

Ingredients

1 cup. Butterscotch chips

2 tbsp. Butter

3 cups. Powdered Sugar

5 tbsps. Milk

Directions

  1. Prepare your sheet pan with baking spray to grease the bottom and sides. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside while you mix wet ingredients.

3. Add your butter, dark brown sugar and canola oil to your mixer bowl and beat together until fluffy and blended, light in color. This usually takes 3-4 minutes- be patient.

4. Add your eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

5. Add your milk.

6. Add your remaining dry ingredients, slowly until fully combined. You don’t want to overmix but it needs to be smooth and well incorporated. 

7. If you’re using a jelly roll pan for a thinner sheet cake, your bake time should be approximately 15 minutes. For a thicker cake (9×13) you’ll bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

8. After removing cake from the oven, place on a wire cooling rack for up to 5 minutes. Make your frosting and smooth onto cake after it has cooled completely.

Butterscotch Frosting

  1. Melt butterscotch chips and butter together in a microwave safe bowl. Start with one minute and then melt in 10 second increments, so you don’t burn/overcook.

2. Add melted butterscotch/butter mixture to your mixing bowl. 

3. In alternating increments, add powdered sugar and milk until fully combined.

Note: * If baking in a 9×13, check your cake at 25 minutes. Every oven is different!*

Recipe Credit: http://www.julieblanner.com

Original Recipe Link: https://julieblanner.com/incredible-butterscotch-cake/

*Living Rare Blog Link: https://livingrareofficial.wordpress.com/

Sweetness for the Soul

The last week seems to have flown by, as I am still facing issues with my job. Hopefully, those issues will be resolved with a lawyer, but as we all know that can take time. On the plus side of things, my local grocery store has been getting ready for the upcoming holidays! With sweet treats on the mind, I decided it was high time to make an old favorite. Cinnamon Sugar Pecans. My grandma (Memaw, as I called her) would have been proud.

Growing up, my grandparents had a rather large pecan tree in their front yard. When Fall would approach, we would go and pick bags of pecans filling them to the brim. It’s one of the happiest memories of my grandmother, as she would then take those pecans and turn them into fresh baked pies, candy them and more. Being so young, her cooking was like magic. She could could slap ingredients together and Boom a masterpiece was created. That’s the thing about grandma’s though. They always have that special touch when it comes to anything food related.

Now that I have my rambling out of the way, let’s move on to the good stuff!

Easy Cinnamon and Sugar Candied Pecans

Ingredients

6 tbsps. Butter

2 Large Egg Whites

1/4 tsp. Salt

3/4 cup (5.5 ounces) Granulated Sugar

1 1/4 tsps. Ground Cinnamon

4 cups (16 ounces) Whole Raw Pecans

Directions

Step One: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Step Two: Melt the butter and spread on a rimmed half sheet pan (11X17-inches). You can also cut the cold butter into cubes, place on the sheet pan, and pop in the oven while preheating to melt the butter; just watch closely so it doesn’t burn.

Step Three: In a large bowl, add the egg whites and salt and whisk until foamy but still liquidy, 30 seconds or so. Add the sugar and cinnamon and mix until well blended and the cinnamon is completely mixed in.

Step Four: Add the pecans and gently mix until the nuts are well coated, making sure to get underneath to the bottom of the bowl as you mix. 

Step Five: Spread the pecan mixture in an even layer over the melted butter in the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and using a flat metal spatula or similar tool, quickly stir the pecans and spread them back into an even layer. Bake for another 10 minutes, stir again, and spread into an even layer.

Step Six: Bake for a final 5-10 minutes (watching closely!) until the pecans are sizzling and lightly golden. Remove the pan from the oven, give the pecans another good stir, scraping them up from the bottom of the pan. Spread them into an even layer and let them rest on the pan for 1-2 hours WITHOUT STIRRING AGAIN until completely cooled and the sugar coating has set. The pecans keep for up to a week well-covered in a cool, dry place (not the fridge).

**Want to spice the sweetness up a notch? Try sprinkling on a little Cayenne pepper!**

Recipe Credit: http://www.melskitchencafe.com

Original Recipe Link: https://www.melskitchencafe.com/easy-cinnamon-and-sugar-candied-pecans/

Yummy Pumpkin Blondies

Just this week, my overnight shift finally ended and I can happily say that I am back on dayshift. With this new and welcomed change, I am able to start posting more frequently and I am very excited. Equally, it has come to my attention that Samhain; Halloween to some, is just around the corner! For me personally, this means cooking different soups, breads and a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Blondies to sweeten the soul! Instead of candy, this fun and healthy recipe is sure to be a hit!

Pumpkin Blondies

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups. All-Purpose Flour

1 tbsp. Pumpkin Spice

1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Kosher Salt

1 cup. Unsalted Butter

1 3/4 cups. Sugar

1 Large Egg

1 1/2 cups. Pumpkin Puree

2 tbsps. Vanilla

1 1/2 cups. Chocolate chips (I used Dark Chocolate Chips)

Directions

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a piece of parchment paper and place in a 9×13″ baking dish. Set aside.

Step Two: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.

Step Three: In a separate bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Next mix in the egg, pumpkin puree and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and then pour into the prepared baking dish.

Step Four: Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in pan and then remove from pan. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Recipe Credit: https://www.iheartnaptime.net

Original Recipe Link: https://www.iheartnaptime.net/pumpkin-blondies/