Alright, this weekend has been exceptionally good considering it's freezing outside and has been raining for what seems like an eternity. Why you ask? Well, for one I got to sew more than I had anticipated today and did way more on other things as well, so that's a good start. And last night while watching TV with Hubbin, Duncan decided he needed some Mommy and Me cuddle time and I loved it. Slightly pathetic, but he's my sweet boy.

 Also I got a dozen of these yummy goodies from Mandy at Sweet C's Cups & Cakes. These are the Caramel Apple Cupcakes - an Apple Cake with Caramel Buttercream and and a Cinnamon Sugar Glaze. Let me tell you, these are the most DIVINE little morsels I have had in a long time and look forward to testing out more flavors in the future. Look at her menu for a longer list of other options she has created or mix and match to make your own. No joke - these have the BEST frosting I have ever had (sorry Gramma!)
 Now onto other things. I was going to wait a bit to do this, but I couldn't stop myself and a 5 pound bag of Macintosh apples just hopped into my cart while grocery shopping this morning. So I'm going to give you all the easiest recipe you can ever make - Homemade Applesauce.  It's so much healthier and tastier than anything you can buy in a jar at the grocery store. Once you try this you cannot go back to that - whatever that may be - and it freezes well so you can make a big batch or three when apples are plenty (like now in our neighborhood) and have it whenever you like!
 Now, I started with a 5 pound bag of apples. What you start out with and the end result are two completely different amounts seeing as how the apples cook down so much. If this seems like alot, trust me it isn't. This is the amount I like to make if I plan on serving this warm as a side for a family gathering. It's the perfect amount for a group of 10 or so people.
 This crazy contraption is my best friend while making anything with peeled, sliced, and cored apples because it does all three in a cinch. It sure beats cutting myself up while doing it by hand. It's something that all people should have in their kitchen arsenal if you ask me. I know you can have too many gadgets, but this one's a keeper. It works like this:
 You stick the apple on the pokey end of the rod, right through the core. Try to line up the other end of the core best as possible (you'll see why in a second). To make this easier, the peeler can lock in place out of the way.
 Engage the peeler again and begin to turn the crank...
 And it peels...
 And slices...
 And cores it too! (I feel like I should be on an infommercial...sorry) So you should end up with something like this. Sometimes it's not so pretty, but it all tastes the same.
 Once you pull of the sliced and peeled apple, the core needs removed from the pokey things. Quarter the apple slices into smaller pieces and put them in a large pot or deep non stick skillet.
 I have this great big non stick cast iron pot/skillet that is coming more useful everyday. It was perfect for this today. Put all of the apple slices in and add just enough water to fill the bottom of the pan with 1/4" or less. Bring this to a simmer, do not boil - just simmer gently. Now kick back and relax, but remember to come back occasionally to stir the apples. (if you're not using a non stick skillet, you'll have to check on it more often) You will notice the color of the apples darken and they will start to cook down. Like this:
 And just let them cook....
 And cook...
 And finally you get something like this. This still has a few chunks left in it. If you would like a smoother consistency, keep cooking the apples until you get the results you like. This took about 3 hours or so. Once you like the consistency of the apples, take them off of the heat and taste test them at this point. Do not season until the apples are cooked completely.  Sometimes depending on the apples, you may not need to do anything. If you would like a little cinnamon or sugar in with them after your taste test, do it gradually. Sugar - add no more than a tablespoon to start with if you have a batch this large. Cinnamon - start out with only a teaspoon or so with a large batch like this.
 This is what the end result came to be - two containers. One to eat for now, one in the freezer for a later date. That's it. If you can peel, slice, and core apples, simmer them in water and stir it often, you too can make the best applesauce you've ever had. I have been told if you like applebutter it uses the same process but you use more water and cook it longer. I haven't tried that yet, but am hoping to do so soon.
Well, I hope you try this and especially if you have kids - try this on them. It's cheaper and much healthier than whatever may be in that stuff you buy at the store and if you ask me - this kind actually has flavor and lots of it! It's my favorie easy recipe. My Grandma Safick used to make a bunch every year and serve it all winter long during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once I got married and moved out I never made this (because I never asked how for the longest time) and I thought it was really hard to make - NOT! It's so easy! I hope you enjoy it, I will never ever in my life ever again buy a jar from the store - you heard it here. Make this once and you'll understand why.

Okay, dinner is put away, the dishes are almost done, and I think I am going to have a little piece of euphoria with one of those cupcakes before Hubbin eats them all! Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. what an amazing apple contraption. i need one of those. everything looks so yummy. i've been searching for cupcakes all weekend on the fabshophop. it's the first time i've ever participated in one. it's addicting but i now have seven cupcake recipes and seven quilt blocks!! only 23 more to go:)


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