I’m not sure if you are aware but it’s fall and I’m an October baby. I have always loved fall more than any other season, especially the month of October. Is it because I was born in this wonderful month or because the leaves start to turn a variety of shades (definitely not in the wonderful [sarcasm] desert I live in) and the air gets crisp? We will never know but my guess is it’s a little bit of both. Fall means that it’s acceptable for your house to be filled with smells of pumpkin, pecans, apples, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg! OH MY! Whether that’s from one of those glorious Bath and Body Works or Woodwick candles or if it’s from you putting in time in the kitchen, either way- these smells are a MUST. I can remember growing up and my mom would put cloves and cinnamon on the stove in a teapot and y’all- the most heavenly smell would permeate every pore in our house and I absolutely loved it. For today’s recipes I will be sharing an apple butter recipe as well as a homemade bread recipe.
What’s better than a house smelling like fall? Something that TASTES like fall and that is exactly what apple butter is. The recipe I used is posted below. I added a 1/4 brown sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. I also left my crockpot on ‘keep warm’ for five hours after their recommended cooking times- I started mine later in the day and I wasn’t about to stay up and wait. Sorry, folks. Your girl is a professional napper/sleeper (not really, but a girl can wish, right?). I also wanted to show you all another one of my favorite kitchen tools- the Pampered Chef apple peeler, corer, and slicer. SAY WHAT?! YES! Yet another game changer- I have always hated peeling apples and when I discovered this thing- I HAD TO HAVE IT. It makes any recipe with peeled apples so much easier. You can also take off the slicer tool if you need your apples whole.
Next up- the bread. I don’t know what kind of experience you all have with bread but my experience with bread began in high school when my Aunt Donna taught me how to bake bread for communion at church. She taught me a lot of things in the kitchen and for that I will be forever grateful- from freezing sweet corn, to cookies, and bread, the list goes on. She’s a boss in the kitchen and I’m thankful that she took the time to teach me and let me eat the dough with raw eggs (OMG I didn’t get salmonella- shocker). This bread is super easy to make. I think I should have kneaded it a little longer to get a smoother dough but I didn’t want to over knead and have a tough bread. Did you know that proofing yeast is an essential step because you are literally proving (get it- seeing the proof?) that the yeast is still active? I’m a very easily amused person and thought that was neat! Also, during the second rising period of this bread I remembered that there’s this neat ‘time-lapse’ feature on my phone and put the time-lapse on my rising bread. I will definitely do that next time over the entire second 30 minute rising period. I didn’t remember to do this until there were only 15 minutes left of rising. I still got a pretty neat video but it wasn’t as dramatic as the entire 30 minutes would have been. You guys should do this if you try out the recipe! I also didn’t want to put my bread in a loaf pan. I personally like the look of a loaf of bread baked on a piece of stone ware. That’s a personal preference and the flavor isn’t going to change. I would say if you’re looking to use your bread for sandwiches then I would do a loaf. Can we just take a second to appreciate the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven? *DROOL* I also ended up baking the bread a little longer after I took the photo of me holding it. I will probably bake them one at a time next time so they are baked more evenly.
I’m madly in love with my anatomical heart tea towel! For those of you in the San Diego area you should check out the farmer’s market in Hillcrest on Sundays from 9am to 2pm. That’s where I got mine at. I’m not sure if they’re still vending there but even if they’re not- I still recommend checking it out. Items I recommend from the farmer’s market- The bitchin’ sauce (chipotle is my fav) is amazing with veggies or on a sandwich. I know that the bitchin’ sauce is now available in certain grocery stores across the country but when you go to the farmer’s market it gives you the opportunity to try it before you purchase. If you aren’t near San Diego you can use their website to find it near you. The Close to Home Pasta Company will. not. disappoint. The spinach garlic noodles are my go to and their best seller! Pair the Close to Home pasta with a flavored garlic from Majestic Garlic (also available at the farmer’s market) and your taste buds will thank you!
I hope all of you are having a wonderful Sunday and those of you that have tomorrow off- enjoy!
I also included a close up of the apple butter on the bread to show how you can see the seasoning.
Links to bread recipe, apple butter recipe, Bitchin’ Sauce, Close to Home Pasta Company, and Majestic Garlic below.