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!

Aug 102016

I’ve actually been reading lately! It’s just taken me awhile to read enough to write a post about them. So here are some books I recommend:

1 ) The Ex by Alafair Burke

Publishers really need to stop comparing every book to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. It just sets books up to fail. However, this book was pretty good, even if I had high expectations because of the comparison.

Olivia is a defense attorney and her ex-fiance’s teenager daughter calls her for help. Her ex has been arrested for murder. Despite the conflict, she takes the case and does what she can to build a defense and clear him.

The book is well-written and moves quickly. The characters are well-developed and I enjoyed reading it. I didn’t feel like the “surprise” ending was all that ground-breaking but it was still a satisfying read.



2 ) The Widow by Fiona Barton

Another book compared to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. Publishers–stop doing this! Not every book is going to be like those two! And this book, while good, did not have a shocking twist at the end.

Jean is a dutiful wife who stands by her husband, Glen, when he’s accused of kidnapping (and worse) little Bella. The story is told from the point of view of the detective investigating, Jean, and the reporter trying to get Jean’s story. The story is nothing ground breaking but it is told in a unique way and I liked the book.


3 ) The Wonder Weeks by Frans Plooij and van de Rijt Hetty

I’ve been using the Wonder Weeks iPhone App for a few months now after reading about it on a baby message board. I found it really interesting and pretty spot on for identifying the changes and development in my baby’s life. I decided to get the book from the library to read more about it.

The book is somewhat unnecessary if you already have the app. The app covers all the developmental “leaps” pretty well and in a more concise way. I felt like the book was redundant and as I read each chapter it was a lot of repeating. BUT if you don’t have a smartphone or don’t want to buy the app (I think it was $4 or so), the book is good enough to tell you what you’re baby is going through at each stage. It’s all very fascinating and cool to see in person!


4 ) The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World by Jennifer Baggett

This is a memoir about three friends in their mid-20’s who are at a crossroads, one I think many people have at that point in their lives. One is dissatisfied with her career, the other loses her job and another loses a relationship. So they decide to go on a trip around the world together for a year.

They go to South America (where they party like it’s Spring Break, and then realize they want more out of their travels), volunteer in Kenya, study at an ashram in India and then go to Asia. They stay in hostels, they backpack, they stay in nicer places too and meet all kinds of people on the road.

I love these types of books. I love exploration and travel memoirs and I had high hopes for this book. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book. It was just not quite as good as I had hoped it would be. Part of that was that the three girls were very–blah. I couldn’t tell the difference between the three of them or which story belonged to whom (like was Holly the one that got dumped? Or was it Amanda? Couldn’t remember!).

It was trying to have kind of an Eat Pray Love vibe to it but didn’t quite make the mark. So even though it fell a little flat and felt a little soulless, I enjoyed reading about the places they traveled and the things they discovered. The main “characters” just weren’t very compelling or memorable. Don’t let that deter you from the story, though.



5 ) Lets Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell

I loved this book. It was written in such a beautiful, poignant way. The author’s writing style was just beautiful–but not in a flowery, pretentious way. It’s a memoir about friendship. Caroline and Gail meet each other because of their dogs and it turns into a deep, loving friendship that sadly gets interrupted by cancer. I wanted to share a few moving quotes from the book:

“What they never tell you about grief is that missing someone is the simple part. [pg 9]”

“Maybe this is the point: to embrace the core sadness of life without toppling headlong into it, or assuming it will define your days [pg 111].”

The themes of the book are friendship and grief. I think anyone could read this book and relate to it.

How dare you, the body and mind felt in furious accord. I’m in the middle of a life here. I was outraged because I had been working on this story line for years, and I knew it was not yet finished. [pg 111]”

“I know now that we never get over great losses; we absorb them, and they carve us into different, often kinder, creatures [pg 182].”

The book does not feel negative or sad, perhaps a little bittersweet because of the heavy topic, but I never felt depressed reading about their journey. It was a really wonderful book.



6 ) Leaving Blythe River by Catherine Ryan Hyde

I really really liked this book! Ethan is 17 and his life is thrown into turmoil when he and his mother walk in on his dad having an affair with his secretary (the 20-something secretary that Ethan had a crush on). His father moves from their Manhattan home to the middle of nowhere to live in a cabin in bear country! Unexpected circumstances happen and Ethan is forced to go live with him, even though he doesn’t want to.

His dad is an ultra runner and every day goes for long runs. Ethan is trying to adjust to living with his dad, whom he kind of hates, when his dad doesn’t come back after a run. After a day of waiting, Ethan is suddenly worried something is wrong. He contacts the authorities and Search and Rescue go out looking for him–unsuccessfully. So Ethan decides to go out with two neighbors to find his dad on his own.

It’s a really well-written book about relationships and healing, anger and overcoming fears. I highly recommend this book.

What have you read lately that really stuck with you?

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