Friday, September 23, 2016

Announcement: Art Portfolio Reveal!

    With one week to go before pitching my tent at the McKenzie Highland Games, I wanted to announce that I've opened my art portfolio as a separate page of this blog (look at the selection options to the right to find the link or click HERE!)  This is going to be a work in progress for a while, so please bear with me and let me know if you notice any glitches of have any suggestions!  I'll keep you posted on how the Games go!  Especially if you follow me on Instagram (@growwildmychild) 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Apple Recipe Roundup: Updated!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Autumn!  I can't believe it's been a year since I really took off with this blog!  For those of you who have come along on the ride, you have my thanks! It sure has been a year of fun adventures and growth.

About this time last year, I was overwhelmed with the amount of apples our tree dropped and went a little apple crazy!  Well, it didn't really end and I've decided to update my apple round up post from last year to add in some of the many more I've tried since posting!  Here's where I'll take off:

(We have an apple tree in our back yard!) Free fruit!  Fruit was so precious in Alaska, we are kind of going crazy with all the fruit now.  I can’t stand to see any of it go to waste!  It is an old, untended tree that we have here, so it has been necessary to cut out the big bruises and insects.  Still, I have been making as many apple dishes as I can!  I wanted to share an apple round-up with you of some of the recipes I have been using this autumn.

1.       Dried apple chips: may be done in the oven or a dehydrator.  Or even strung on a thread and hung on the hearth if you want to do it the truly rustic way!  I followed this simply wonderful recipe and my huge batch disappeared in a matter of days.

2. Mountain Apple Dumplings.  The official recipe for this is up, but for my unedited (well-loved) version, zoom in on my recipe card below. 

3.       Apple Cider Vinegar:  well, except for the cider bit.  You just use the toss-away cores and skins instead!  This may not save time or much money, but how cool is it that you don’t have to throw away your cores or skins!  The homemade vinegar recipe can be found here in her creative post.  *Update: I'm not going to lie.  I've been struggling with this one and fruit flies.  I've tried boiling them first.  Anyone have any suggestions?
4.       Apple Crisp: This crisp has been my go-to this season and we’ve already made three batches!  Perfect combo of warm tart apples, and cinnamon, oat gooiness!

5.       Irish Apple Cake/Bread: Straight from the Emerald Isle, this lady’s concoction is sure to make you feel like you’re sitting at the comfort of a warm hearth on a soft morning.

6. Apple Cardamom Jam:  I made this for Thanksgiving last year and it was such a hit!  I still can't get a enough of it!  It's so unique, I've been giving it as gifts, too.  Although not necessary, I've added crab apples to this as well.

7. Smoothies: I suppose if you blended just apples, you'd end up with apple cider?  We tend to add in other fruits or berries, but the apples add such a great flavor and consistency.

8. Popsicles: You can use remnants of the smoothies to pour into popsicle molds for the hot, dog days of summer we seem to be experiencing now. 

9. Fruit Leather:  Again, you could use the same concoction as your smoothies, or just plain blended apple.  Pour on to dehydrator sheets and in about 4-6 hours you'll have your own fruit leather!  Love this for picnics!

10. Pectin: I'm always curious about how things USED to be done.  You know, before we could just run to the store and grab whatever we need.  Pectin is one that had stumped me for some time.  I know people have been making jellies and jams for some time, so HOW?  Anyway, I was pretty excited to figure this one out, and now, with only the help of the apple tree, I can make it for free! 
11. Shrunken Apple Heads: We made these for Halloween and they turned out great!  Although ours were just decoration, I've heard of others floating theirs in punch bowls!

12. Strawberry Hard Cider: This is my husband's latest endeavor and we're still awaiting the results, but isn't it lovely?

I have yet to find the perfect apple pie recipe, but I feel like that should be included in the list somewhere, too!  Anyone have any amazing favorites?
 And here's one last apple bonus: how to keep your apples from browning!

Oh, man, this is making my mouth water!  You can have your pumpkin spice!  I’ll take apple as my autumn flavor any day!  What will you be doing with your apples this year?  I hope you’ll get a chance to try some of these delectable delights during this time of changing seasons!