A Fall lunch on the patio

Our patio gets lots of use in the warm summer, but after that we don’t use it much. We don’t have a fireplace or heat source out there and are content just to use it in warm weather. Well, the weather has been gorgeous, except for a few rainy days and we were still eating outside until this week. With the sun shining and a little chill in the air, it was relaxing and fun to eat al fresco at home.

Fall centerpiece

Most of our patio furniture is put away for winter but we left our table and chair set out to get a couple more uses out of it. I added a simple centerpiece of pinecones, pumpkins and a branch from a pretty maple tree.

grilled cheese apple sandwich 2
The menu was grilled cheese with apple on whole grain sourdough bread and home made tomato soup. I used a mandolin to slice the apples thinly. It was only a short time ago that I was introduced to cheddar cheese and apples. The combo is scrumptious. Warm apple pie with cheddar melting on top is yummo! If you’ve never tried it you should.

Fall lunch
My cream of tomato soup didn’t turn out so great but it was ok for dipping my sandwich. Next time I’ll find a different recipe.

grilled cheese apple sandwich

Doesn’t that melting cheese look good? It was! grilled cheese apple sandwich tomato soup 2

So that was our yummy lunch on the patio. This week the weather is much cooler and tomorrow the temps are expected to be around 50 degrees! Winter is coming!

Winter is coming and that means Christmas. You know that bloggers are already working on Christmas projects. I’m thinking about Thanksgiving first, but I will admit to thinking about decorating the mantel for Christmas!  How about you?

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

 

Decorating the porch for Fall

This year the front porch is decorated with a mum, pumpkins and the wreath I made last year. I added some corn shocks that look kind of skimpy so I may add more stalks. I put mums in the plastic caldron that I usually use to hold Halloween candy and one pumpkin sits in an urn. I don’t decorate too much for Halloween, just fall, as a sort of celebration for the season because I love everything about fall; the colors of leaves, pumpkins and gourds, the smell of wood fires, apples and a chill in the air, it’s a beautiful season!
fall front porch
I have one fern on the porch and think it will be okay until frost hits. Several ferns are still on the patio. I can’t keep ferns alive inside all winter. I tried in the past but they always lose leaves and get too messy, so I give up. But I’ll probably bring them in again this year.
fall wreath front porch
We added a storm door on the front porch that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love opening the door and letting more light in but hate the way it looks from the outside. Here’s the post with the stenciled pumpkin wreath tutorial.
Since the weather has been so pretty I decided to add some Fall decorations to the patio. bakers rack, fall decorating
I added fall accents from my stash to the baker’s rack beside the back door.  falll decorating
I pulled up a hot pepper plant and used it on the top shelf along with a sunflower seed pod.
porch, fall decorating
I brought all the ferns up close to the back door to keep them from getting hit with frost. So far they’re doing fine.  porch,fall decorating
It would be wonderful if the beautiful weather would last all year. Imagine perfect temperatures, not too hot or cold all year round.  Love that!
More fall decorating HERE.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Crockpot applesauce and apple butter

The pretty apples I saw at the orchard inspired me to try making crockpot applesauce. It was my first time making it in the crockpot. I looked online for recipes and hints and saw that some people don’t peel the apples, so that was what I tried. I washed, and cored the apples, added lots of cinnamon and cooked them in the crockpot until they were the consistency I liked, not too smooth, I like chunky applesauce. If you want to add sugar, go ahead and add that now too. I used honey, just a little. One of the perks of making your own is that you can add as much sweetener as you like.     crockpot apples 2

After mashing the apples with a potato masher I had to pick out the skins. The bits with skins still clinging to them I pressed  through a sieve to finish the process.  I decided to try making more applesauce with cored and peeled apples.  So much easier, at least I thought so. It takes more time to peel the apples but it’s worth it, I know that’s not what everyone thinks but it’s what works for me.   applesauce for freezer

I ended up with some beautiful, chunky applesauce. The cinnamon tasted so yummy. I like lots of cinnamon!  applesauce

You can add cloves, allspice or nutmeg or whatever you like to make your applesauce extra good.  needed for crockpot applesauce

I used the potato masher to smash the apples and  pressed them through a sieve to get out the last bit of skin. Next I made apple butter and used my new toy, a hand held blender.

apple butter in crockpot
I made apple butter the same way, loaded the crockpot with peeled and cored apples, lots of cinnamon and a little brown sugar. I left it cook on high for about 6 hours, then mashed the apples and turned it on low overnight. It depends on your crockpot, if you want to cook them overnight, you don’t want to burn your apples. In the morning this is what was left. A beautiful caramel colored apple butter.   apple butter jars

But, this is what I got, 3 measly jars from a crockpot filled to the brim with apples. It is so good though! Maybe the best I’ve ever had, but wow…. only three jars! I’m treating it like gold and have it stashed away in our safe. The combination is top secret! I’m not sharing!

I love apple butter on toast or bagels. It’s great with cottage cheese too. Do you have any hints to share on making crockpot apple butter or sauce?

 

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Fall decorating, the kitchen baker’s rack

The baker’s rack in the kitchen is something I enjoy decorating for the seasons. I love the cozy, homey feeling of seasonal decorating, it’s something I look forward to. This year the baker’s rack is decorated with my favorite blue pumpkins and old crocks and vintage bakeware. I added some old cookbooks and blue jars for more seasonal color and concentrated on pulling out colors from the oil painting, which is a yardsale find. Gotta love that!

Since our kitchen is small I like to keep most of the surfaces clear for food prep, so it’s fun to have this piece to decorate. autumn, bakers rack, blue pumpkin

The colors of the old bowls and crocks are perfect for fall decorating.

autumn, bakers rack, blue pumpkin3
The baker’s rack was originally dark wood. You can se the  previous looks herefall decor, crock
The handled crock was given to me by a friend for helping her move. The blue pumpkins are Jarrahdale, pumpkins (I think), and this is the first year I tried them. I like the color for decorating but don’t know how they taste yet. When I’m done with fall décor I’ll try them and see what they taste like in a pie.

blue pimpkin, antique pottery
I nestled a pumpkin in this piece of bakeware that I found in my Mom’s things and I love it! It even has a lid.  squash in vintage bowl

We grew the butternut squash and the vine practically overtook the tomatoes in the garden. I thought I was buying a zucchini plant but surprise, it was a squash! Someone must have been playing with the tags in the garden center where we bought the plants. The squash are in another old bowl.  tomatoes
Fall gives us so many beautiful things. We haven’t had a frost yet so we are still harvesting vegetables from our garden.  chalkboard wall
Here’s a peek at the hallway off our kitchen that leads to the garage. It’s got 3 doors, powder room, closet and basement door and I never knew what to do with it so I decided to paint it with chalkboard paint. Now we have a place to write lists and notes or decorate for the seasons. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before! It’s an ideal spot for a chalkboard. Now, if only I could do some fancy hand lettering it would be beautiful too.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))