If at first you don't succeed... order pizza.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Welcome Fall!

Is anyone still out there??

I can't believe I haven't posted anything since the middle of July-- and that was just pictures!! :/
It seems that adding yummy recipes and photos just continued to get pushed farther and farther towards the bottom of my to-do list.

I know I still haven't added the recipes to the last post, and I have so many photos and recipes to add from the summer, but since it is now Fall, I thought I would do a quick post on a few fall recipes and backtrack to the rest.

Because, let's face it, if I don't do these now, you won't be reading them until Christmas!

The first thing is applesauce... homemade, orchard picked applesauce... yum. And it couldn't be simpler! Seriously! Besides using an apple mill, which I inherited from my mother-in-law's grandma (?), all you need is a large pot, apples, cinnamon and sugar. Easy Peasy.

Well let's get started:
Step 1: Go to the apple orchard and pick some apples... Ok, I guess you can just go to the grocery store, but it won't be as fun! (Plus I think apples you pick yourself taste sooo much better)

We picked Wealthy, McIntosh and Cortland (all great baking and drying apples)

Step 2: Wash about 12 apples. Cut into quarters and cut out any bad spots.
Step 3: Add to a large stock pot (peels, seeds and all!) with an inch or two of water.

Step 4: Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer (covered) for two hours, or until all apples are falling apart and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Now comes the fun part!
Step 5: Place apple mill over a large glass bowl. Start ladling the apples into the food mill and use the wooden dowel to push the softened apples and juice through the tiny holes in the side. It is best to use a circular motion for this. Continue until all apples have been turned to sauce :)

Just look at how little is left behind! All those seeds and skin that were used to flavor the sauce and lend their nutrients have been reduced to next to nothing.

Step 5: Sweeten and Flavor. Depending on how sweet you like it you can adjust these amounts to your own tastes, but I add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon. These amounts just lend a touch of sweetness while still letting the apple flavor shine through.

Step 6: Put into jars and enjoy! This recipe made enough to fill two large jars (think spaghetti sauce size). We put one in the freezer and are still eating the other! In fact, I am enjoying a bowl right now :)

On to recipe #2: PIZZA!!!

Now I know there is nothing about pizza that screams Fall but hear me out. These little mini pizzas are made with simple ingredients that can always be kept on hand, whether in the fridge or the freezer. They are easier, faster and tastier than a bagel bite... and you use real cheese! :)

Oh right, why Fall? Well I don't know about you but, besides the wondrous weather change, Fall (to me) means adding just a few more things to my schedule. Wednesday morning bible study picks up, MOPs picks up, school starts and life gets a little hectic.

So what is a mother to feed her children/family when there just isn't any time to make anything else (either after school when the kids are famished or after a morning activity when the time because getting home and nap is short) ?

Yup, you got it, these pizzas.

Ok enough about the why, how about the how!

For these pizza's I started with a deli thin. I know you've seen them in the stores, buns that are 1/4 the thickness that they should be? They have much fewer calories and more whole grains than regular buns and bread. And who doesn't need help getting more whole grains into their children? Oh who am I kidding, who doesn't need help getting more whole grains into themselves??

So split open a deli thin (I used honey whole wheat) and toast in your toaster oven (or regular toaster).

Once toasted, place on a baking sheet and switch the toaster oven to broil (or turn on your broiler). Spread with a spoonful of spaghetti sauce, add some pepperoni and whatever other toppings you choose, and then top with cheese! I like to keep pepperoni and shredded cheese in my freezer. They thaw incredibly quickly and the pepperoni can even be put on these pizzas frozen.

Once topped, place under the broiler until the cheese melts. We had these for lunch today and they just hit the spot! Like I said earlier, they make a great quick lunch, but they are also the perfect size for an after school snack-- small enough not to ruin the dinner appetite but just enough to ward off those hunger pains for a few more hours:)
Now to leave you with a little cutie love :)