October apple crisp in a slow cooker

Fall is here in Michigan, which allows me to welcome back my slow cooker for everyday recipes.  I have two different Cuisinart cookers, as they accommodate different recipes throughout the year. The multi-cooker is a larger version of the traditional slow cooker.

This recipe makes about eight small servings of apple crisp and I was able to go outside and enjoy the Fall weather while this one was cooking indoors unsupervised. It took about 3 1/2 hours for this mixture to achieve tender and delicious apples.  I made my own fresh vanilla ice cream too, or it could simply be served with whipped cream.

To make this recipe, gather these ingredients:  5 medium Gala apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup Quaker oats, 1/2 cup sugar free butterscotch pudding mix dry, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/3 cup stick margarine cut into cubes.

Cut, core and peel the apples, and place in the slow cooker.  In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Sprinkle over the apples.  Cover and cook on low for at least 3 hours and check the consistency of the apples.  If not tender, continue to cook for another 1/2 hour. Delicious served warm, but this recipe easily will refrigerate and can be served several days later warmed in a microwave.  Tastes like Fall to me.

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crock pot ginger apple crumble

Warm fruit desserts are perfect for Fall entertaining and enjoyment.  And, making them in a slow cooker is just so easy.  This recipe comes together in about 10 minutes, but cooks very slowly on low for 6 hours. Served with either whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes this ginger apple sensation hard to resist seconds.

How I made this delicious Fall recipe:  Start by peeling and slicing 5-6 apples of choice.  I used Gala apples last week. I used a quick spray of Pam around the ceramic crock pot and placed the apples in the bottom of the cooker.  Next, I combined the following ingredients and placed them on the apples– 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, 3/4 cup rolled oats, about 1 teaspoon of chopped candied ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of chopped margarine.  I had mixed these ingredients well before placing into the slow cooker.

Cover the crock pot and allow to cook for 6 hours.  Stir and serve warm.  A simple but tasty dessert. And, the ginger is what makes the difference. Yummy.

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All kinds of apples

Apples are everywhere.  The season was perfect again for a great harvest in Michigan.  We usually take a trip to several apple farms during apple season in September and October.  I love to see baskets of fresh apples and plan my apple desserts for the coming weeks.

We took a trip just before the weekend to check out the apples locally, and it was so much fun.  And besides trying to decide what variety of apple to purchase, I was reminded about apple usage while I was shopping.

Here is a sign that was posted to help shoppers make the correct selection for their apple purchases.

The apples were plentiful and I purchased a bag to make my crock pot ginger apple crumble.   I will be posting that recipe later this week.

So much fun for a Fall day.  

Mini Hand Pies

Fall is here.  Today it is has been raining in Midland, Michigan.  So I came across a recipe that I had wanted to share that was very easy and fun to make.  This recipe for mini hand pies can be adapted to the flavor profile of choice.  This was a recipe I made back in August, but it could equally be used now that the temperatures are beginning to drop.  Besides, the days going forward are perfect for baking.

The recipe begins with one sheet of thawed puff pastry dough straight from the freezer section of the market.  Using a rolling-pin, adjust the dough to make it square.  Slice into nine smaller squares.  Top each with one tablespoon of jam, any flavor, or use Nutella.

Fold each square into a triangle, sealing the edges with a ribbon of water to seal. Or, a simple egg wash could be used. (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water) I also use a fork to press the edges together so none of the contents will leak out.  This is an old-fashioned method.

Bake the hand pies at 400 degrees for at least 17 minutes up to 20 minutes or when they begin to brown.  Cool.  Top with powdered sugar. So yummy.

 

Fall Rice Krispie treats

School is back in session.  Labor Day is past, and it is time to celebrate with the ever popular Rice Krispie Treats.  I have made a couple of different versions of these over the years, and this one seems to be my favorite now. I used Fall sprinkles to decorate the treats this week.  And, of course a few Hershey bars of chocolate.

This is a very easy recipe when using the microwave to melt the marshmallows.  The whole recipe takes about 10 minutes to complete.  Easy to make and even easier to distribute, as everyone seems to always be ready for a soft and tasty treat for celebrating Fall.

Here is a variation on the recipe:  I used one bag of jet puffed marshmallows, 10 ounces.  Place them in a glass bowl with 3 tablespoons margarine and microwave for 2 minutes.  Remove from the microwave and stir to blend.  Add 6 cups of rice krispies.  Mix well.  Using a 13 by 9 by 2 glass pan, spray with Pam original spray oil. Next, scoop the mixture into the dish. Using a piece of waxed paper sprayed with Pam, press the mixture into the pan until it is flat.

Then, melt 5-6 Hershey candy bars over a double boiler until smooth.  Spread onto the treats until the tops are covered.  Sprinkle with decorations based on the season of the year.

Allow to cool and harden in room air for at least 4-6 hours.  Slice into bars and store in covered containers.  The treats will stay fresh for one week.

 

Fall garden clean up time

Today feels like Fall in Michigan.  The cooler temperatures have been here for a few days now in Midland, and I am going to be spending the next few days cleaning up my garden beds.

I have Hosta to divide and perennials to prune back.  I have begun to harvest my herbs and feel like my garden is already getting ready to go to sleep.  By the time the leaves are falling, I like to have many of my beds cleaned up, so my focus can be on leaf collection and end of the season lawn maintenance.

I received a new pair of pruners to test and review for my blog.  They are the #EzyPruners ratchet pruning shears.  The pruners are able to trim branches up to one inch in thickness.  The ratcheting mechanism allows for the shears to move as needed and reduce the need for squeezing so hard to cut the branches. I often struggle with typical bypass pruners, as I have to work so hard to get them to cut through thicker branches.  These EzyPruners are working wonderfully for me today.

The pruners are great from trimming flower branches from my perennials, trimming back the dead perennials, and even for some stray branches on my roses and shrubs.

I love the red handle on my pruners, as it makes them very easy to see when I am in my beds working.  I often lay down my tools and then look around on the ground to pick them up again.  I like the bright red handle as this tool is easy to spot.  The handle is cushioned for comfort.

The blade is super sharp and is made of high carbon steel.  This construction also prevents sap from sticking to the blade and requiring additional clean up.

For more information on this product, please follow this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Ratchet-Pruning-Shears-Ratcheting-Gardening/dp/B00OSTYG3Q

#EzyPruners

I love Fall

We were out-of-town for five days, and when we returned home I realized just how many leaves had been falling. Our yard is fortunate to have many tall trees which produce colorful fall leaves. The maples are especially beautiful, along with the other foundation plants in my yard. We have five burning bushes in the front landscaping, beginning with one near the mailbox. The burst of red is beautiful as it follows up the driveway and around the front landscape. We have so many leaves, that if we tried to chop and mulch them I think we would have enough for the beds of everyone on our road. At the beginning of the season we rake and blow them into the road for the city to collect. As the weeks go on, we bag them, with some weeks generating 10 or more bags. We always have plenty to cover our perennials and landscape beds for the winter. That is never a problem.

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While working with the leaves, I have been enjoying my front porch pumpkins.  This year, I even placed smaller pumpkins in my lower windowsills for added color.

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I have also been enjoying the colorful fall produce.

These colorful carrots and tomatoes have made lovely fall meals this past week.  The colors of fall are exceptionally beautiful this year.  I have been enjoying every moment.

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