Simple Kitchen Slow Cooked Applesauce

Applesauce!!!!!

If you have kids you begrudgingly purchase this for $5 a jar. …..Well – NO MORE.Applesauce 10.22I am beyond amazed how delicious my first batch of apple sauce is.  The best part?  I have kids and 2 more huge bags of apples.  This was so easy and it is so delicious and you can control the refined sugar!  Read on for the recipe – book mark it, it is an easy one!

Simple Kitchen Slow Cooked Applesauce

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds
  • 1/4 cup natural sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Wash, peel, core and chop the apples and toss into the pot.
  2. Add water, sugar ( if apples are sweet, then use less sugar!) cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Place lid on cooker, cook for8 hours on low, part way through I used a potato masher to muck them up a bit.
  4. When done mash again with the masher, and serve! We ate all of ours in a week!
http://www.mrsmakicooks.com/2014/10/24/simple-kitchen-slow-cooked-applesauce/

 

Enjoy The Silence…Blogging and Peace of Mind

There was a quote somewhere that said “Motherhood is desperately wanting a moment alone, and the moment you get it you miss your kids.”  Ahh…so true.  2 days a month my kids get what we call “Germ Day” and they attend a daycare.  This has multiple functions.  The housekeeper cleans the house top to bottom, the nanny has a day for her own sanity and the big one:  my kids interact with other germs…..er… kids.  It is true.  We were told by our physician that they would be stronger if they caught the bugs early.  Well, they have, and so have I.  (norovirus twice, for the record).

On this morning I arrive to my downtown office later, I sit and write about food and my soul, as I am now, and I try to get a moment to myself.  Coffee, country music, you name it…all my simple guilty pleasures, wrapped into 1 hour.  When it gets colder you will find me in the bathtub for sunrise coffee.  I choose writing for now.

Writing has been an interesting way to get through these past 4 years.  For me the moment I started this blog and shared all of my dreams, concerns, and journeys, life got easier to handle.  I made a very hard decision, early on, to share a lot.  Needles jabbing me through two IVF rounds, the challenges of taking hormones to make your body do something it won’t do….it is all here, if you dig deep enough.  Holidays, pregnancies, joyful moments, painful hangovers, beginnings and endings to friendships.  What I wonder, is how does sharing the ups and downs of your life to people make it easier, and even more fun?  I think I start to see my life through not only my eyes but someone else’s.  I love that I have been straight with you and that I do not paint a picture of suburban perfection.  My lawn needs to be mowed and there are a variety of 3-wheelers out, sadly soggy in the rain as I write this and the sun comes up.  Of course I do not make a living off my blog ( you will note there are no ads on this blog)  It is mine and no one tells me what to write about.

Back to the silence.

I sit here in my office ( I share a den style office with my husband) and my desk faces 3 windows that overlook the quiet cul de sac we live on.  Right now the sun is still down as it is deep into autumn, but when it rises I will be greeted by the glorious bright red and yellows of autumn leaves turning before the fall.  Silent moments, perhaps with Jack Johnson playing in the background.  Life is good, life is busy, I am fortunate.

Do you take moments and think of your fortune, in whatever capacity you have it?  Health, friends, work, family, humor, love?  I hope that you do.  None of us gets everything but if you at all times can lean on one of those, then you are rich.  If you have one great friend, perhaps love your job, have the love of a strong heart, can walk a mile, have parents or siblings you are close with, have healthy children….any one of these is enough.  Enough to get you through.  Silence offers me the time to think of my riches.  My fortune.

Another cup of coffee poured and I am starting to think of the day. The sky is slowly coming on a gray-blue.  The sun is coming and it will be time for me to iron my dress and put make up on.  Hair up or down?  Boots or heels?  Simple daily thoughts.  Nothing that important.

And so I sit here, and wrap up these thoughts and start to think of applesauce and getting a recipe I promised to get up last Sunday on the air.  I will do that next.  Yes, that is what I will do.

I hope you get a moment of silence, and to reflect on your fortunes, and perhaps write it down somewhere, like a blog, so you can be reminded when you need it.

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Aging with Grace : Mission Accepted

I will admit that 43 is a difficult age.  I had a fairly harrowing  pregnancy at 42 and I work, a lot.  Mothering twins and wife-ing a husband and being a boss during the day takes its toll.  It is the time in my life that my age starts to show.  This is the time that botox, super-diets, and boob lifts kick in.  I am just not into it.

But how does one “age with grace?  As my children go through various stages in life, we take photos, and I am in them.  There is nothing more glaring that the drastic difference of your age between you and a child.  Particularly if you had children in your 40s.

age2Don’t get me wrong.  I am fully aware that I look decent for my age, but when you slip into your 40’s there is something that happens.  Your skin changes, your mindset changes, you become hypercritical and accepting all at once.  It is very confusing, and I think, for me, there needs to be an outlet where you can set your thoughts and ideas down.  Allow the madness and swirling feelings free.  I do that here, and sometimes on the radio,  I am lucky that way.

So, my challenge, to myself, and to you, if you are so obliged, is to age with grace.  To allow those laugh lines to slip in.  To still enjoy laughter and ice cream with my children.  To hug my husband and know he picked me because of who I am and who I will become – not because he thought I would be the same person, mentally or physically that I was 6 years ago.  I challenge us to stop comparing ourselves to others, and show our children that beauty is in our heart.  You can see a beautiful heart much more clearly than a perfect figure.

I will wear clothes that fit my body.  I will allow  myself as much time as my body and energy allow to get into shape.  I will not force myself into hunger, or allow needles and chemicals into my skin, or slice myself open to fit the mold of someone else.  I will show my children that it is beautiful to be me.  Hopefully they will then see that it is beautiful to be THEM.

I will choose hand-holding over the rat race.  I will ignore the kitchen when my kids want to play, I will take part in their childhood, and allow them to take part in my life.  I will support my husband in every dream he has, and expect him to do so for me.

I have wrinkles now, I have laugh lines, I have a body that has performed a miracle.  I forgive me for not being what I thought was perfect.  I give myself the right to be who I am supposed to be, and let that be enough.  Actually, let that be PERFECT.

mommy2

 

Pumpkin Butterscotch Bread and Kitchen Fails

Ask any food writer or recipe developer (don’t confuse them….someone is bound to get insulted!) and they will tell you that big fails in the kitchen are simply a part of the game!  I have recently gotten a bread machine.  Yes, I know, I am about 18 years late on this major apparatus…but I never really thought of bread as something to be constantly making as opposed to here and there, when I felt like it, on a whim.  Well, as a care woman, wife and busy mom and now a card carrying “label reader” nothing is as  scary as seeing about 15 ingredients the you do not know on a label.  Then, if you happen to know how to bake, costing out an egg, flour, water and some grains…compared to a purchased loaf, which, if quality, is about $4 to $5 for a loaf.  We can plow through a loaf in 2 days over here.  There are 5 of us now, including the nanny and my kids, who somehow went from bottles to grilled cheese in a blink of an eye. Okay, well, I got a bread machine by making the simple statement on Facebook “Is there anyone who has a bread machine they want to sell?”  The first response was “You can HAVE mine.”  I picked it up in 3 days and was on my way to the world of easily made breads.  The first stop was pumpkin bread because in this last week, the leaves have changed, the sky started crying and autumn snuck up on us.  So, I assembled my ingredients, loaded the machine, went to bed, and woke up to this: photo 1 So…yeah, I didn’t do it quite right.  I posted it anyways, and thought, hey, it is okay, have a laugh.  I am trying, and it is okay to fail!  What happened was the opposite..I got ADVICE.  I read the few pieces of simple Bread Machine 101 advice.  I took the advice to heart.  I went back to the drawing board after the twins went to bed.  I PUT THE WET INGREDIENTS IN FIRST.  I LAYERED the ingredients.  I also added some butterscotch chips, you know, because I like them and I think that pumpkin and butterscotch are GLORIOUS together.  Well, I woke up this morning, took my shower, poured my cup of coffee, then peered into the machine…. photo 2 copyVoila!  I am a bread machine master!  I then tasted it – DELICIOUS!  So well blended and it had almost a creamy texture.  Coach woke up with our son, and as I write this in the den they are rolling around behind me, eating the bread and reading a book.  So, I NOW have a recipe to share, tweaks and all!  This recipe is tweaked from Betty Crocker’s Recipe here:

Pumpkin Butterscotch Bread BREAD MACHINE Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup oil ( I used canola)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Grease your insert.
  2. Layer ingredients, wet first, dry to follow in the insert.
  3. place insert into the machine and set for the "bread mix" or "quick bread"
  4. Press start.
  5. Wait.
  6. Enjoy!!
http://www.mrsmakicooks.com/2014/10/01/pumpkin-butterscotch-bread-and-kitchen-fails/