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I am back with a new recipe, and I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Are you gearing up for all the holiday festivities of Christmas? I really wanted to get the house decorated the day after Thanksgiving. It took a little longer that planned, and to be honest, our tree is still not completely decorated. I am so pregnant. Plus it was 90 degrees here the day after Thanksgiving. Actually, that whole weekend was hot. Who wants hot weather at Thanksgiving? NOBODY!
That is actually one reason why I love this recipe this week because making it made our house smell like fall!!!
Remember this post where my mom canned some of the apples that she and I bought? Well I decided with the leftover ones I was going to make apple butter and can it.
I have really enjoyed getting into canning this year. I hope to bring you more canning recipes. Canning is a great way to build your food storage! It is actually a lot of fun! This recipe is so simple. Once you peel and core the apples you leave them in the crock pot for a solid 8-10 hours. I did mine overnight and then I canned when I woke up in the morning. Your whole house will smell like apple pie. You're welcome. Here are a few tips:
1. I did not chop up the apples after I peeled and cored them. Also, I didn't worry about any little bits of skin left on the apples.
2. Speaking of peeling and coring, make sure you have a good apple peeler, it makes all the difference.
3. Really pack your apples in. I just peeled and sliced until my 6 quart crock pot was full, but after ten hours it cooks down. I ended up doing two batches and got three cans out of each. I think if I had done them all together I could have gotten seven jars of apple butter. So pack those apples in there because they'll reduce down while cooking.
4. I did a water bath for the canning. Now, here are some rules about canning that I didn't follow: you are not supposed to let your jars touch the bottom of your pot. You should use a canner to keep them in place and separate. I just stuck them in the pot. Luckily, they did not break. However, be wise, and use a canner so you can be assured that all of your cans will come out of the pot and you won't have any apple butter casualties (trust me, nobody wants that.)
5. Have plenty of snacks on hand to spread on your apple butter. It's really delicious.
6. Enjoy it! Share it with your adorable 18 month old nephew who will inhale it like apple sauce. Be in love with his cute little apple butter covered face. That's what I did and I highly recommend it.
DON'T FORGET! If you're in the Phoenix area this Saturday come see us at the Ugly Sweater Express! We'll be selling our famous Hot Cocoa Bombs! You can try them out, sign up for our email, and much much more!!
Click on the picture below to get more ideas for family history activities.
We all love doing this blog because it is really a family affair. My mom has talked about that a lot. It means a lot to me too. Alicia lives the furthest away from all of us, but no matter where any of us lives, we can contribute to this blog, and we're thankful to everyone who comes to read what we write, and take part in our activities and recipes.
With the holidays upon us, everyone really starts focusing on families and it is great! I love families! I believe that families are forever. That is a pretty big concept in our church. We are big on doing our family history, because family is important. My Sister in Law Jessica is a family history guru/wizard/genius and she is always working on some great family history project, including a book she put together for my dad for Christmas last year. She even started a blog where she shares tips on how to do your own family history. She inspires me to want to be better at doing my own family history. Just yesterday I got my DNA results back from Ancestry.com and I am excited to see what connections I can make from that.
Well, as you know, I do a weekly recipe post and I think family recipes are so important. What you remember your mother/father/grandmother/great-grandmother making in the kitchen, whichever cookbook has been passed down through the years, usually tells a story about where you come from and how you got here. So I love this activity that I found on the family search website! You can do it with your own family and gather all of your family recipes in one place! You'll learn a lot about your own family that way!
My cousin Laura shared on Facebook the other day that she was trying to tell someone about our family recipe for Surprise Pudding, and lo and behold, the one that came up WAS her family recipe! It was ours from this blog! We have shared so many family recipes with you here and I am going to list a few of my favorites and then ask, what are your favorite family recipes?
The Pie Series:
We love pie in my family, so I obviously can't forget to remind you about these great pie recipes we've shared with you.
1. The Best Pie Crust: you have to start with a good foundation, otherwise there is no point. I use this pie crust for all of my pies, and I use it when I make quiche! It is the best and so easy!
2. Blackberry Pie: Fruit pies are a traditional American classic and we have some great recipes for them in our family!
3. Pecan Pie: My dad LOVES pecan pie, so this is a mandatory recipe at every family gather! I can't remember a Thanksgiving or Christmas without it!
4. Pumpkin Pie: Obviously! Did you think this one wouldn't be a family favorite? I LOVE Pumpkin Pie!!!
5. Apple Pie: I would contend that my mom makes the best apple pie in the world. I'm sorry, but it's true. Lucky for you, she shared her recipe here, and she also shared how to can your own apple pie filling here! Now your pie can be just as good as hers!
Peach Cobbler: Growing up, whenever we went camping I knew that one night of the trip we were going to have peach cobbler made in the dutch oven. I looked forward to it so much! I still contend that my mother never made it otherwise. She disagrees, but I think if she made it at home she ate it all and never saved me some. So I still equate this recipe with family camping trips!
Hot Cocoa Bombs: Of course I had to share this one, the one that started this blog. It's a pretty new family recipe, but it is special to us since we came up with it together. Don't forget to check out our Etsy shop where you can buy the booklet and learn to make your own Hot Cocoa Bombs! From our family to yours!
I hope you'll take part in this activity and let me know your favorite family recipes. With the holidays upon us, it is the perfect time to learn more about your family through what you eat! Happy cooking!
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you purchase through those links at no added cost to you.
You know, getting an idea to do something you've never done before can be very exciting, but it can also be a lot of hard work. Lucky for you, I am putting in the work so you can learn from me and make your life a lot easier. As my mom told you in this post, I bought a bushel of apples from somebody in my church that was selling them. We decided to split them and I thought it would be fun to try making my own fruit leather. I've never made my own before, so I did some internet research on best practices, and I am going to share with you what did and did not work.
In the midst of all this, strawberries were on sale at the grocery store again. So I bought four cartons and thought, "hey, I know! I'll make two kinds of fruit leather, in two ways!!!" I am so foolishly ambitious. I ran out of steam and only ended up making the strawberry fruit leather, because, pregnancy +visitors coming to town to stay with us this week = I do not get to doing the kitchen things I planned on doing. Lucky for you however, there are still apples left, and I am going to make some apple butter with them. So hold on to your hats for that!
Making the puree was simple enough, and you can see the recipe below. I borrowed my parent's dehydrator (I really need to get me one of those). Here are a few tips.
1. In my internet research many people said you could use parchment paper to dehydrate your leather. That is a lie. Don't believe those people, they are not your friend.
2. My parents' dehydrator came with one fruit leather tray. The tray is really the best thing to use. I also tried to use nonstick lining paper. While it worked better than the parchment paper, it still didn't work as well as the tray that came with the dehydrator. If you want to do your own food storage and make your own healthy snacks I highly recommend buying your own fruit leather trays. I've provided a link below for your convenience.
3. Some dehydrators apparently have a temperature gauge as many places where I researched said to set your dehydrator for 140 degrees Fahrenheit. My parent's dehydrator does not have a temperature control. You just turn it on and let it to it's thing. So I would suggest checking your trays periodically and rotating them if necessary. My bottom tray was done right away and I feel like it got a little too dry in certain spots, while the upper trays still had wet spots.
4. Going along with evenness, try to spread out your puree as evenly as possible to avoid over drying certain spots. I smoothed mine out as evenly as I could, and your edges are still going to dry first, but you don't want to ruin half your leather while you wait for the other half to dry.
If you use these tips going forward, making fruit leather really isn't too hard. Making the puree itself was quick and easy. I used my ninja to blend everything together and then poured it on one tray at a time. The wait comes from letting the dehydrator do it's work, but in the end you get a tasty snack that you know doesn't have weird added preservatives in it! Happy fruit leather making!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to nearly nine and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Read more about us here!
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