Oct 172016

When we were in Hood River I really wanted to go apple picking. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but have never done. I thought it would be a nice way to spend a Fall day with the little guy. That didn’t quite happen. It sounded good in my mind but the logistics just weren’t on our side this outing so instead of picking apples, I bought some at a fruit stand in the Fruit Loop.

When we got home I got set up to make applesauce with the 4 pounds of apples I bought in Hood River. I had my little pumpkin to keep me company while I made it.



I got a mixture of apples–mostly honeycrisp but I got a few golden delicious too. I also used one leftover jazz apple to round out the weight to 4 pounds.

When I saw the recipe I planned on using called for 4 pounds of apples I was a little intimidated. That sounded like SO MANY APPLES! But it really wasn’t a ton. Here are four pounds:


So basically a big bowl of them!

I washed and cored the apples and then chopped them up into chunks where they went into the crockpot and nearly filled it to the brim.


I decided to do the High setting for three hours since I didn’t have a ton of time to do it on the low setting for 6 hours. It was a good call. I don’t know that it changed the flavor or texture by doing it high so it was just easier to do it faster!


Since I was home I occasionally stirred the mixture (about once or twice an hour). As the apples started to soften and cook they smelled so good. It smelled like apple pie baking in my kitchen!!

I used the tomato press/food mill that I have and it worked great. The texture of the apples was pretty soft but it wasn’t applesauce consistency yet so I’m glad I used the food mill. Plus it got out 90% of the apple skins. I ran the pulp and skins through the mill two more times after the sauce was done and got more applesauce out of it.


I didn’t have the time or desire to can the applesauce so I put some in a jar to eat immediately and I had two freezer containers that I filled 3/4 to the top and then froze.


I really hope freezing it works well!


The flavors of the applesauce are subtle and flavorful but not too sweet. It definitely tastes way better than the store bought applesauce. Plus it was so easy! I definitely plan on doing this again and making my own applesauce. And next time I will try to can them and maybe give them away as gifts.


It was so much fun to make applesauce from scratch. And it felt like such a Fall thing to do. 🙂

Now for the recipe:

Crockpot Applesauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes


  • 4 pounds apples
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (or 3 tablespoons honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Wash the apples. If they feel waxy, scrub with brush. Cut into slices or chunks no thicker than 3/4 inch.
  2. Put prepped apple pieces into the slow cooker and mix them with the other ingredients. If you use honey instead of sugar, dissolve in the water separately before adding to the apples.
  3. Pour everything over the apples and stir.
  4. Cover the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  5. Depending on the consistency you like, run apples through food mill. If you want extra smooth applesauce, puree in food processor or blender.
  6. To freeze, transfer to freezer-safe containers or bags, removing excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  7. To can applesauce: fill clean pint or half pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head space between the top of the food and the rims of the jar. Use a butter knife or spoon to release air bubbles. Wipe off rims, fasten canning lids, process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

I tried to find the source for this recipe to link to it here but for the life of me I can’t find the website where I got the recipe from! It was a great recipe, though. I liked that it had very few ingredients and that it only called for 1/4 cup light brown sugar. Some of the recipes I saw online called for a lot of sugar, which I didn’t want to do.

Anyways, this recipe was a winner! And it was really easy! Give it a try!

Oct 112016

Michael says I need to adjust my expectations for things now that we have a baby. Probably good advice. Over the weekend we went to Hood River with Bella and Logan–our first big family trip. We booked it over a month ago as a getaway, a family trip and an excuse to pick up our case of wine from Cathedral Ridge for our quarterly member pickup. And it took a ridiculous  amount of time to pack everything and the car and hit the road AND we had to pack a ridiculous amount of stuff for one weekend away! I certainly need to get used to THAT fact for sure.

So…four hours later, we finally arrived (it’s only an hour drive from Portland). 😉

We booked a little house in Hood River that was about 5 minutes from a few of our favorite wineries. The location of the house was perfect! So close to wine tasting, close to downtown Hood River and on the Fruit Loop.



We were a little early for check-in on the house so we went to Cathedral Ridge to pick up our wine and I got to do a little wine tasting! (We went to Cathedral Ridge back in August and I think that was the first time we’d been wine tasting in almost 2 years!) I was really looking forward to this!



Since we’re members we got to do our tasting in a different room (less crowded–mega benefit right there!), we got a tasting plate to pair with the wines and we could basically try anything we wanted. I’m glad we did because we ended up swapping out the Zinfandel for a Barbera Reserve that was fantastic!


After the tasting we hung out outside for a little bit and enjoyed the early Fall sunshine and warmth. Logan was doing great and not too fussy or bored.


After that we went to the house and got unpacked and settled and then Michael walked a few blocks to pick up take out Mexican food for dinner.



I ate almost half of my burrito but it was really big! The Mexican food was just ok–nothing outstanding but it had good veggies inside. We called it an early night because we were both tired and I had been sick earlier in the week and still wasn’t feeling fantastic.


Sunday we got up and Michael made us breakfast as I planned out our day. The Fruit Loop/Wine tasting map that you get anywhere in Hood River is super helpful and makes it easy to plan your day! It’s like a 35 mile loop through the mountains and valley in Hood River with spectacular views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams, the hills across the river and the rolling farms in the area. It’s so scenic and you can do it year round–either in berry season in the summer, or go in the spring to see the wildflowers and be sure to stop at the Lavender farms! Or in the fall where you can either pick or buy apples and pears.


We got an early start to our day. We made it to our first stop at 11 at the Packard Orchard Stand and Bakery.

They had stuff set up in front for the kids, which we of course took advantage of! Logan’s first Halloween! I was so excited to take the obligatory pumpkin patch pictures. 🙂 He was a good sport, even if he didn’t really smile much. He seemed kind of confused and just curious about everything we saw.





We took Bella with us and left her in the car for the stops along the way that were not pet-friendly. The Fruit Loop/Winery Map does a good job listing out where dogs are welcome and where they aren’t. (Basically if it’s a farm with animals they don’t want you to bring your dog out of the car.)

The Packard Orchard stand had a bunch of samples. I tried a few of their jams and jellies and they had some cookie samples. Mmmm good!


After that we went to a few other fruit stand and then ended up at another Packard Orchard one but this one was bigger and had a pumpkin patch and tons of stuff for kids! Logan was too young, obviously, but we had some fun taking pumpkin pictures! He seemed to like it.

There was a corn maze, too, but it was really muddy so we skipped that. The pumpkin patch looked fun. I’ve never actually picked my own pumpkin. A few years ago Michael and I went to Sauvie’s Island and did a corn maze and it was really fun! When Logan is older it will be an experience we’ll have again for sure. But I do remember that one was REALLY crowded. The ones in Hood River were more low-key.


The Packard Orchard had sooo many yummy treats you could buy. Cookies, caramel corn, any baked good you can think of…all made there and from their fruits. I had way too many samples of everything and it tasted so good. In the end Michael and I split this amazing apple cider donut that was made right in front of us:


It was so delicious! Michael said it was good but he wished it was kind of greasy and fatty like donuts usually are. I kinda liked that it wasn’t greasy. It tasted fresh and perfect and I could trick myself into thinking it was healthy. 😉

I’ll write more about our outing in the next post.