Looking for any easy/healthy snack the whole family will enjoy? Look no further friends! Check out this amazing applesauce recipe for a yummy treat that even the pickiest eater will enjoy! (this has been adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe which you can find here!)
~6 lbs. of apples (roughly 18 med. to large size apples of any variety)
~1 cup apple juice or apple cider – (most apple cider is gluten free too!)
~lemon juice from one lemon
~1/2 cup brown sugar – you can substitute maple syrup for a gluten-free recipe.
~1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
(optional ingredients: nutmeg, allspice)
Apple peeler/corer (if desired – it really speeds things up!)
Big stock pot
1. Core and chop all apples. We used all Granny Smith’s as that is what we picked at the orchard. I do like the blend of a half and half selection though such as 50% Granny Smith’s – 50% Pink Lady (or other sweet apple).
2. Add all ingredients to stock pot and cook for 25-30 min on medium. Stir often and taste to make sure you like the sweetness.
3. AFTER the apples are soft and COOLED add in 2 batches to a food processor and pulse until the consistency you like! We left ours a bit chunky!
4. Enjoy by itself or on pancakes, fresh bread, ice cream or anything you can think of!! One other nice thing about this recipe is that it freezes very well! (If your family doesn’t eat it all first!) I love that this can be made into an easy gluten free recipe too!
Next up tomorrow in our kitchen tomorrow…….apple pie with Grandma’s pie crust!!! (And hopefully on a post coming up!)
Let us know if you try this recipe out!!
Have a wonderful week friends and don’t forget to enter in our HUGE giveaway that ends tomorrow!! Just click here!
Coming next week!!
We are so excited to add a new ‘branch’ to our Spice Grove Designs forest!!
What will it be?
Tune in next week for the big launch!!
You won’t want to miss the HUGE giveaway that’s coming next week too!! We will even have 3 huge winners so you’ll have 3 chances to win!! Yay – we only have to keep the secret for one more week!!
Have a great week friends and we will see you back here for the BIG reveal!!
In keeping with our series theme of “using what you have,” welcome to our autumn DIY post! I hope you’ll enjoy these easy and low-cost ideas for freshening up your Fall table! Read on to see our 5 simple table centerpieces!
1. Use what is in your yard. Since we live in the desert our yard is mainly rock with a few cactus and other desert plants. Our girls are constantly bringing me rocks to add to their collections so one day we decided to see how they would look as a centerpiece.
Using the rocks and a few pinecones that I’ve collected over the years we were able to make a simple and rustic centerpiece that was FREE and took only about 2 minutes. (More if you are having fun looking at the rocks with your little ones!!)
2. Nature provides us with so much beauty, why not use some of it inside your home? Whether you have a herb garden with some fragrant lavender, some mini pumpkins or beautiful branches lying around your home don’t be afraid to use them!! Get creative and see where your imagination takes you!
3. Now as much as I love the branches and pinecones, the desert doesn’t provide many of these naturally so I have taken to using what grows naturally here.
I found these amazing prickly pear fruit in our front yard and just simply arranged them in this large cylindrical vase. Again, super quick, easy and FREE!! (Important note!!! Make sure you are wearing thick gloves to handle these little guys as they have amazingly small little needles on them!!)
4. Another sweet idea is to take a peek into your spice cabinet and see what whole spices you have available!
Then take the lovely seeds and berries and let them arrange themselves into whatever container or bowl you have available. Now you have a beautiful and fragrant centerpiece that evokes the scents of Fall all found in your own kitchen for FREE! (My favorite Fall scents to use are probably, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, star anise, and rose hips for a splash of Autumn color!) Buying these in bulk or online will save you money if you want to purchase more than just a little bit!
Besides the spices, I also love using some coffee beans or natural herbs from our garden in various vases!!
5. The last idea features one of our rustic spiced candle wreaths. I love that they have four different uses! (candle wreath, napkin holder, flower holder or vase decor) I’ll show you how I used the wreath in a vase decor and flower holder here.
Now since we don’t have abundant flowers here in the desert I just used some tiny little ‘weeds’ that the girls are always bringing in. They are just the perfect size for the tiny votive candle holder and the yellow looks so pretty with the Fall hued candle wreath!
I also made a tiny centerpiece with just the wreath and the flowers. I know it won’t last long but we loved the understated look of this one. (our household thrives on simplicity and creativity!)
I truly hope that some of these easy tips and ideas will spark your imagination and let you come up with some new Autumn decor for your own table! I’d love to see pictures if you do!
Autumn Blessings to you friends,
A big ‘Welcome’ to Fall and all of it’s amazing colors, scents and weather!! I can’t think of anything I don’t like about Autumn! So here are some of my favorite inspiring quotes and photos of this lovely Season!
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” [Indian Summer]
William Cullen Bryant
“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” [Notebook, Oct. 10, 1842]
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks
“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
I hope that you are enjoying your first week of Fall and that these words and photos have brought a smile to your face!! Have a wonderful week friends! Let us know what your favorite thing about Fall is in the comments below!!
I wanted to share some gorgeous fall loveliness with you from our past weekend. We took the whole Spice Grove family up to the mountains to see the colors and breathe the cool air! I thought I’d do a little introduction to the family today so that you get to know my team of amazing support!
My family is an amazing source of grace and unselfish love toward me which I am so very thankful for. My sweet hubby puts up with things that would make most men cringe. Whether it’s smelling a design for the 100th time, playing search and rescue to find a knife or tool that I’ve ‘borrowed’, stopping to pick up ‘just one more thing’ from the craft store that I forgot, or just giving me honest feedback – he amazes me with his willingness to help me. I am truly blessed! (And someday soon I’ll get that knife back in the kitchen where it belongs!) He is also my in-house editor and proofreader so if I’ve messed something up, chances are I haven’t let him look at it! As you’ve probably noticed I use WAY too many exclamation points! Believe it or not I’m doing 75% better than before he started helping me whittle them down. Hee-hee!
Our girls – my creative inspiration and gifts I thank God for daily! They have taught me to enjoy the little things in life as well as to dream big. Our eldest is a gentle soul, always helping me with design ideas as well as making things for the special people in her life. She was the push behind our Giving Back line and has helped us learn to give more joyfully and freely! I’m so thankful for her heart. Our littlest one is a bundle of energy and excitement and has taught me to be more flexible and compassionate than I ever knew I could be. She too loves to ‘help’ and I often have to ask her where she has put a roll of ribbon or jar of spices! (I forget how fast little hands are!)
They both had so much fun exploring the golden leaves and crunching through the pine needles. I’m so thankful we could share a bit of God’s glorious Autumn colors with them. I hope that they will grow up inspired by Nature and the Creator just as I am! We were able to end the night at a wonderfully rustic little restaurant served by a sweet lady who made all of us feel special. Both girls were fast asleep as we reached home and once we had them in bed I finished up my latest recipe I wanted to share!
If you are looking for a festive pumpkin treat that only takes minutes to prepare then head on over to the Structurebags blog! Here you can find our super easy recipe for these amazingly yummy pumpkin footballs that will be the perfect fit for any tailgating party. While you are there make sure to enter the GIVEAWAY for our new Spiced Burlap Topiary – perfect for the Fall Holidays! A big thank you to Brenda for letting us share both the recipe and the giveaway.
Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful week filled with inspiration and beauty! Thank you so much for stopping by! Make sure you sign up on the right to subscribe to the blog. We have some HUGE things coming in the next two weeks that you won’t want to miss!
FALL INSPIRATION IN NEW PLACES
This time of year always finds me looking for colors and scents that bring me back home. The bright yellow of the aspen trees remind of childhood in Colorado. The campfire smells of Northern Arizona and college days bring back memories of dear friends. The bright reds and oranges take me back to Maryland and leaf raking in the fall when my now 8-year-old was only 2, ‘helping’ Mama rake. (This meant me raking and her jumping in the leaves!) The smell of cinnamon reminds me of Holiday mornings with home-made cinnamon rolls baking in the oven.
I truly hope to pass on the appreciation of these simple things to our girls so as they grow up things in Nature and at home will bring a smile of remembrance to their faces. I find it’s these simple joys that speak the most loudly and honestly to my heart and soul.
Now that we are living in Southern Arizona, if I’m honest, my heart still longs for the woods and the colors and scents of Autumn. BUT, I’m so thankful for the treasures that God has given me here! The bright yellow of the ocotillo cactus is something I make sure to show the girls.
And the brilliant oranges of the barrel cactus blooms is stunning! I even smell that old campfire smell on evenings when it cools off! (Yes we are finally below 100 degrees now!) And I even plan to make some more of those yummy home-made cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Let me know if you want my Grandma’s recipe!)
So today I wish you the blessing of Fall inspiration, but I hope you look for it in the simple things. May you find joy in pulling that favorite sweatshirt out of the ‘Winter’ box, or in looking at your child’s treasured leaf collection! I wish you colorful, childlike JOY!
PS. I’d love to hear what inspires you during this Autumn season!