I’ve done it to myself, again!

Why do I keep doing these things? Last week we were on our way home from a store near the Tennessee border, and on impulse I asked Michael to go by Scotts Orchard. After all, it is apple season. Michael made the mistake of sitting in the car while I “ran” in to get enough apples for a nice pie and just a few to eat. Nope, a full bushel is way cheaper. All 40 pounds of apples only cost 50 cents a pound.  What a bargain!  OK, here I go again.
This variety is called Arkansas Black. They are supposed to be good for cooking, good for eating, and keep well. The jury is out on all that. They are good for cooking. As to good for eating? The skin is tough and hard to chew. I guess if you’re in to peeling your apples before you eat them they would be OK, but why throw away all that nutrition? I don’t intend to keep those apples long enough to see if they store well or not.
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The whole way home I was trying to figure out what to do with that many apples! First order of business was a Dutch Apple Pie , the reason Michael stopped at Scotts in the first place. I think a streusel topped pie is easier and tastier than it’s two crust cousin, and the oatmeal in the topping makes it healthier, right? In my book, apples plus oatmeal equals breakfast.
While I was at it, I made a batch of my Apple Pie Filling. That’s four more pies for the future. Just thaw and add the filling to a crust.  A side note: The filling recipe calls for fresh refrigerated apple juice, like the Simply Apple brand.  I hadn’t read the recipe before peeling and slicing  the apples and didn’t have any fresh juice on hand. I substituted bottled apple juice from the pantry. Although it was 100% unsweetened apple juice, the results weren’t the same. The filling got a little gloppy, but I’m sure the pies will still be just fine. I won’t do that again.
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The next order of business was Apple Butter, made in the slow cooker. That recipe is so easy! The only hard part is peeling all those apples. Because I use my emersion blender to smooth the lumps out, I may just skip peeling the apples next time.  If you know me, you know there will be a next time, about this time of year.
Now that I had 9 cups of apple butter, I figured that some sort of apple butter breakfast rolls would be nice. I could make two pans, kind of like cinnamon rolls. Whoops! I wound up with two loaves of Apple Butter Swirl Bread. Just click on the link and read the recipe to find out why. I guess I’ll work on the breakfast rolls next week.
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In my mind, the star of this week’s endeavors was my new recipe for Caramel Apple Bars. They turned out even better than I imagined. You don’t have to buy a bushel of apples to try them. The recipe only requires two large cooking apples.
After all that apple peeling, last week’s dinners were pretty simple.
On Sunday Emily, Kaij, and Kelton came for supper. Usually, when we have a family dinner I go all out. Not this time. I did manage to prepare a salad bar of sorts, kind of a deconstructed House Salad. Quick Chicken and Cheese Ravioli came straight from the freezer and were topped with Rosy Cream Sauce. I was pleased that even our picky eater ate his supper.
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Dessert was that Dutch Apple Pie, as well as a Lemon Meringue Pie that was left from Saturday. While I was trying to link the pie to its’ recipe page, I realized that the lemon pie recipe wasn’t yet posted on this blog. The picture is of my Coconut Cream Meringue Pie. The lemon recipe is in now, and you have both recipes to try.
Since I cooked too many ravioli on Sunday, we had leftovers to finish on Monday. It’s a good thing, since I was up to my ears in apples.
Meatless Monday’s Vegan Red Beans and Rice slipped to Tuesday, and that change slid my frozen Meat Sauce all the way to next week. That’s The Sticky Menu Plan in action.
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When trying to select items for my menus I frequently consult my Freezer Inventory and choose from what I call my Freezer Food. The inventory tells me what I have on hand and what needs to be used based on the date it went into the freezer. Wednesday’s freezer food was Spring Time Manicotti, a nice change of pace. Since I had used my Food Saver to package the manicotti, it was just a fresh as when I froze it. No, I don’t have any stock in the Food Saver company. I just believe in the product.
Since I was still playing with apples on Thursday, leftovers came to the table yet again. My red beans and rice recipe makes a large pot. I can always plan that it will make several meals.
Friday was my favorite grill man’s turn to go into action with Spicy Tuna Steaks. I can always count on Michael to perfectly grill what ever I ask.
It’s been a busy week, and an even busier week lies ahead.  Why do I get myself into all this? Because I love it!
Be thankful for what life gives you.


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