Crock Pot Apple Butter

I found this recipe on a wonderful website, Enchanted Homeschooling (which I also love for her homeschooling info), and fortuitously was given two buckets of apples the very next day, so I made this.  And it was good.

  • Apples, enough to fill slow cooker 3/4 full
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 Tb cinnamon
  • 16 oz apple juice

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and stir to coat apples.  Cook on low for 10 hours.  Once soft and delectable smelling, either mash or run through food processor, depending on how smooth or lumpy you like apple butter.  Place in freezer containers for longer storage, but please put some in the refrigerator to enjoy immediately.

Note:  The original recipe is much more detailed, so you may wish to read over it if you have never made something similar.  She suggested a variety of apples, and this would probably result in an even more flavorful product, but it will still be good if you just use what you have on hand!  Also, she suggests using apple cider for enhanced flavor, but I only had apple juice so I used that.  It was still good, so, again, just use what you have on hand!

Chicken Cacciatore

Do you love Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman?  Yes, so do I, and I have yet to try one of her recipes that is not amazingly yummy and well-received by my family.  The latest is her Chicken Cacciatore, which I found on her website.

Now, I’m not going to bother retyping that recipe onto this page, but I will send you to her beautiful page where you can get the recipe and even see the gorgeous photos she posted (because you know I don’t take pics of my food yet), and I will also tell you that this is a divine food to prepare for your family.  Or friends.  Or pastor.  Or complete strangers.  I would even cook this for my dog, whom I cook for on a daily basis.

Please take a moment to peruse Ree’s recipe, and I’ll wait here for you.

(Cue Final Jeopardy! music……..)

Great, now let me tell you the two wee changes I made:

1)  I used chicken broth instead of white wine.  Mostly because I haven’t been able to convince myself I like wine (yet) and partly because even if I did like wine, I’m too frugal/cheap to buy it.  Maybe one day that will change.

2)  I added chopped carrots along with the other vegetables.  Hey, I just like carrots, and they felt left out when I took every single vegetable out of the drawer except for them.  Whatev, Carrots!  So into the pot they went.

Cook this and then eat it (and have seconds and eat it again for lunch the next day because it reheats amazingly well) and then let me know what you think and if you made any alterations!

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Coffee Cake

If you love pumpkin (and have almost an entire shelf of it in your freezer like I do), then you must, must, must try this cake.  Every single person that ate this at my house and at church loved it, both kids and adults. picky and non-picky.  As an unexpected surprise, the density of the cake was such that it could be cut into bars and eaten by hand rather than on a plate with a spoon/fork.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

  • 1-3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz pumpkin puree (about 1/2 can)
  • 1/2 c milk

Cinnamon Swirl

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 Tb cinnamon
  • 1/4 c unsalted butter (1/2 a stick), melted

Glaze

  • 1-1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 Tb milk

Preheat oven to 350.  With a whisk, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice.  In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin, vegetable oil, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla.  Combine all ingredients and mix together until just combined.  Pour batter into an 8×8 cake pan.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add melted butter, cinnamon and sugar for the cinnamon swirl.  Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter.  With a knife, swirl the cinnamon sugar mixture throughout the batter.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  To make the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar and milk.  Add more milk, if necessary, to get a very thin consistency.  When the cake has cooled some, drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.

Note:  I went ahead and doubled the recipe so it would use a 9×13 pan.  In doing so, I used an entire can of pumpkin puree, which probably contributed to the awesome density of the cake.  Also, I used a little less sugar in each of the batter, swirl and glaze, and it still tasted sweet enough.

P.S.  One day I will start taking pictures of my food.  I’m usually in too big of a hurry to eat it and can’t be bothered with photos!

Work from home: Medical Transcription

So my “real” job, which I do entirely from home, is medical transcription.  I have done it full-time and part-time and right now I am doing it part-part-time, which means I do it whenever I have extra time.  I trained at home through the Career Step program and found it to be an excellent training program in that I was actually ready and able to go straight to work after going through the program.

This occupation has been a blessing to our family during the times we have needed a second income and has allowed me to be at home with our daughters even while working.  It wasn’t always easy to juggle working 30-40 hours a week along with my mom, wife, and homemaker duties, but it was easier than if I had a job outside the home.

If your budget needs a boost or maybe you would like to learn a skill and find an occupation that you can enjoy and still be home, I highly recommend medical transcription to anyone who likes to listen, type, and correct grammar!  You can find more information on the Career Step program at my affiliate page, and feel free to let me know if you have any questions!