Homemade Apple Butter

Apple Butter

Before I embarked on my adventures in apple picking, I had already predetermined several things to make with said apples, one recipe in particular-homemade apple butter. It’s my go-to condiment anytime I order French toast or biscuits, yet it can be very intimidating to make on your own. Not only is apple butter labor intensive (you have to peel, core, and slice the apples), but it is also time consuming.  Luckily, I turned to Martha for guidance and this trusty tool to speed up the process. I followed her recipe for overnight apple butter and it could not have been easier. My Apple Mate did all the hard work for me in less than 10 minutes, so all I really had to do was throw everything into my crock-pot and wait. The next morning, my house smelled of cinnamon and I had fresh apple butter to enjoy with my breakfast. This recipe yields 6 pints, which was the perfect amount to can and give away as gifts.

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Throwback Thursday: Costume Edition

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{Hannah Montana}

I loved getting dressed up as a kid, walking around the house in my mom’s heels and pearls, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my favorite part about Halloween is dressing up. It’s so fun putting costumes together, whether you buy one from a costume shop or create a DIY version. I’ve worn many costumes over the years (sometimes three in one year), and with Halloween quickly approaching, I thought I would share some of my favorite costumes.

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{Patti Mayonnaise}

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{Rachel Zoe- I die.}

P.S. I noticed a trend here: I must have a thing for blonde wigs. A little clue about this year’s costume-it doesn’t involve a blonde wig! 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Ever since I came across 50 Things to Make With Canned Pumpkin from the October issue of Food Network Magazine, I’ve been trying to incorporate pumpkin into everything I make. ‘Tis the season, right? I’ve added it to my tea in the morning, cooked it into some chili, and decided it was finally time to add it to my favorite treat-cupcakes! To welcome my boyfriend’s family from Tampa, I baked up some Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes topped with a Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting. They were truly an autumnal delight! The canned pumpkin added a nice moistness to the cake and when combined with cinnamon cream cheese, it really was heavenly. And how cute are those pumpkin cupcake liners? These cupcakes just scream festive!  I’m so glad pumpkin anything will still be acceptable to eat in November because I plan on making these again for Thanksgiving!

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Ingredients:

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 can pumpkin puree

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 TBS ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.

2. In a stand mixer, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter. Mix in eggs one at a time.  Add dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

1. Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.

2. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated.

3. Finally mix in vanilla and cinnamon.

Apple Picking

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I’m a city girl through and through, but one of my favorite things about living in Atlanta is that the country is just a short drive away. Over the weekend, my mom and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and partake in our first Fall activity. We headed up to B.J. Reece Orchards, an apple orchard where you can pick from a wide selection of the seasonal fruit. The 120-acre family owned farm and apple orchard, nestled in the mountains of North Georgia, also contains a petting zoo and country store. We filled our bags with Granny Smith (my favorite), Red Rome Beauty, and some Golden Delicious. Luckily, we didn’t see any poisonous ones ;). Before heading out, we made a quick stop at the petting zoo where I tried to bring home the cutest goat, and then to the country store for two more pecks of apples and some local honey. Cute animals, delicious fruit, and crisp mountain air- I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the arrival of Fall.

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Fright Fest

Hocus-Pocus

Tonight launches my 31 Days of Scary Movies and I could not be more scared excited! I typically can’t handle watching scary movies ( yes, even the Disney ones terrify me), so I get my  horror flick fix all at once. In the days leading up to Halloween, I’ll be watching my favorite scary films, including the cheesy 90’s slasher movies, to get into the holiday spirit. Although I’ve seen these movies many times, I’ve stilled planned on many sleepless nights. It’s also the perfect excuse to cuddle on the couch with my boyfriend. To ease into the festivities, I’m watching my all-time favorite Halloween movie first, Hocus Pocus, but you can see the rest of my list below. What scary movies will you be watching this month?

  1. Hocus Pocus
  2. Frankenstein (the original)
  3. I Know What You Did Last Summer
  4. Carrie (the original)
  5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  6. Rosemary’s Baby
  7. Psycho (Anne Heche version)
  8. Scream
  9. The Exorcism of Emily Rose
  10. The Shining
  11. The Omen
  12. The Blair Witch Project (I told you I would include cheesy 90’s flicks)
  13. Silence of the Lambs
  14. The Ring
  15. Paranormal Activity
  16. The Birds
  17. Rocky Horror Picture Show (I might have to watch the Glee rendition as well)
  18. Poltergeist
  19. Halloween
  20. The Others
  21. The Hills Have Eyes
  22. Friday the 13th
  23. The Strangers
  24. Children of the Corn
  25. Hostel
  26. The Amityville Horror
  27. Casper (Okay, its technically not scary, but its festive!)
  28. The Exorcist
  29. Gremlins
  30. Dracula
  31. The Devil’s Rejects (In my opinion-I saved the scariest one for last)

I know there are so many good scary movies to choose from, but these happen to be my top 31!

Wish List

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{1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11}

Happy October 1st! I can’t believe it is already October (my favorite month ever), which also happens to be my birthday month. Coincidence? I think not! With that said, my birthday is just 16 days away, so I put together a “wish list” of all the things I’ve been coveting lately. A few of the items are completely out of my reach, but a girl can dream – right? And if you can’t ask for special things on your birthday, then when can you? {Hint, hint: mom and dad!}