Tag Archives: fall

October Sky

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Filed under Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Outside

Enjoying the Apple Harvest

As apple season nears its end in our area, I spent some time going back through my recipes to make sure I’ve gotten a chance to enjoy them all with fresh apples.  Since I grew up with an apple orchard right next to my house, apples have always been a big part of my life.  Snipping blossoms and arranging them in a big vase in spring time, watching the little apples grow throughout the summer, picking that first Macoun in early fall and polishing it on my jeans before taking a crispy bite, sampling all the different varieties, helping press the apples into cider, and of course baking apples into a pie.  Now that I no longer live on the farm, I’ve planted my own little mini-orchard of six apple trees, but it will be a few years before I get any apples. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to eat apples.  As you prepare any of these recipes, I highly recommend eating the skin that you peel off of the apples.  The skin smells and tastes wonderful, so don’t waste it!

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Apple Tart

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Apple Walnut Bread

Apple Raspberry Crisp

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Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie or traditional Apple Pie

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Cinnamon Cider Jelly (Reduced-sugar version, too!)

Applesauce and Caramel Apple Butter 

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Cran-Applesauce

What’s your favorite way to eat apples?

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Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living

Our First Family Hayride

This isn’t a guest post, I’m actually writing a post myself!!!

It wasn’t really hayride season yet, but I knew if we showed up at the farm on Saturday that we could convince someone to hook up a wagon, throw on some bales of hay and give Joshua his first ride.  And that’s exactly what happened.

The view of the farm from the woods

Heading into the covered bridge; my brother Jonathan’s driving

The river that borders the farm

Ed looks out into the woods

My dad looks into the apple orchard

A stop in the pumpkin patch. Joshua was sleepy, so we’ll have to do more pumpkin pictures later!

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Filed under Local Agriculture

Autumn in Orange

Sunday Stroll

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To see who else is strolling today, visit the Quiet Country House.

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Filed under Gardening, Home, Outside

Bare Boughs

Sunday Stroll

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To see more Sunday Strolls, visit the Quiet Country House.

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Filed under Home, Outside

Foliage

Sunday Stroll

Although the wind blew most of the leaves off of the trees last night, I was still able to find a few late this afternoon.

To see who else is strolling today, head on over to the Quiet Country House.

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Filed under Home, Outside

Butternut Squash (or Pumpkin) Cheesecake

Last year, I had a piece of pumpkin cheesecake for the first time, and it was delicious! It got me thinking, if butternut squash pie is so good, I bet I could make a fabulous butternut squash cheesecake! I searched and found a bunch of pumpkin cheesecake recipes, then modified them, added a ginger snap crust instead of a graham cracker crust, and added extra spice.  There was a lot of discussion about how to keep the cheesecake from cracking.  My reaction: Get over it! It will taste good if it cracks anyway, so stop stressing.  My mom’s famous, delicious cheesecake that she makes for every holiday always cracks, but she tops it with cherries, blueberries or raspberries and everyone loves it.

The only drawback that I see to this recipe is that you have to use a food processor to crush the cookies (although you could do that in a big plastic bag with a rolling pin) and puree the squash, and then use the stand mixer to make the filling.  But for something that I’ll only make once or twice a year, I guess the energy is worth it.

Butternut Squash Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (use the food processor to make them)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then press into the bottom of a 9″ spring-form pan.  Bake 10-12 minutes.

For the filling

  • 4 packages cream cheese (8 oz.), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree (if you want, substitute with pumpkin or any other winter squash)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed in a stand mixer until smooth.  Blend in flour.  Add squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time.  Pour into crust and smooth out the top.  Reduce heat to 300°F and bake 60 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let cool for 1 hour in the oven.  Then transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 4 hours.  To serve, remove the sides from the pan, slice and garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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Filed under Food, Local Agriculture, Recipes