Fall Discoveries

It’s my last day! It’s my last day! It’s my last day! I am not feeling much better, but I have to suck it up to go into work, wrap things up, and most importantly, turn in my bathroom key. Otherwise I could be in big trouble! Bathroom keys are in demand.

I think I am going to try to have a nice dinner out with the hubby, but we shall see how I feel. I have a big weekend ahead, judging a cooking competition in Portland, ME, and I want to make sure I am healthy for that!

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, and I thought I would share a few new-to-me discoveries for this fall. Every year I look forward to some of the same fall traditions, but it is always fun to discover tasty new treats!

Homemade apple butter! Why have I waited so long to make apple butter? I had some just-okay apples from Smolak Farms, so I consulted a bunch of recipes online and decided to make apple butter with the peels on! I could say I did this for the nutrition in the skins, but really? I was just feeling lazy and didn’t want to peel 25 apples. 

apples

So I made my own recipe. A whole bunch of apples, chopped into small pieces and tossed into the slow cooker, and lightly coated with cinnamon and our neverending supply of Grenada nutmeg, then covered with a cup of apple cider.

chopped apples

I put the slow cooker on low for 8 hours (no peeking!), and when I finally returned, it looked like this.

apple butter

I let it cook down for another 2 hours, used my immersion blender to make it smooth, and this apple butter made the dreamiest topping for oatmeal for an entire week. Simply delicious, and ridiculously easy! I don’t know why I have never made my own apple butter before.

Other fall  discoveries? King Arthur Flour’s mixes, and in particular, their pumpkin cheesecake bars. These are SO amazing and easy to make. Just add a few ingredients to the packaged mix, and bake.

pumpkin cheesecake bars

I also recently discovered Sam Adams’ Harvest Pumpkin beer. I am normally pretty set in my ways, loving Shipyard pumpkin the best of the pumpkin beers I have tried, but the Sam Adams pumpkin beer is quite delicious, lightly spicy and sweet without the overwhelming “potpurri” taste I get from some seasonal beers.

I am excited to spend the weekend in Portland where I am sure there will be plenty of Shipyard pumpkin beers, lots of great food, and fun. In addition to the competition, we are also celebrating my friend’s birthday with dinner and drinks out. I just hope it isn’t too cold up there! Wish me luck on my last day at my full-time job! I am starting to have the feeling that exciting things are to come!

Have you discovered any new delicious fall treats this year?

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Tags: apple butter, apples, pumpkin beer, pumpkin cheesecake

  1. Simply Life’s avatar

    oh what a great idea with the apple butter -I love it!

    Reply

  2. Kathy’s avatar

    Wahoo! Last day of a job you hate! That’s awesome! Enjoy Portland and get some decadent Balsamic Vinegar for yourself at La Roux!

    Reply

  3. Michelle’s avatar

    Congrats on the last day! I am SO happy for you!

    Portland is going to be a great time…and did you know our hotel has a “Shipyard” bar in it? I see a lot of Shipyard beers in our future!

    Reply

  4. Elizabeth’s avatar

    I absolutely love apple butter. I could eat an entire jar of it. It looks fun to make but it might be dangerous for me to have a full homemade batch on hand.

    Reply

  5. brandi’s avatar

    wahoo for your last day!!!! So exciting ;)

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen that Sam Adams – I wonder if they carry it here.

    Reply

  6. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    I love Portland. Enjoy the weekend up there. They have the best restaurants!

    I never realized King Arthur had so many mixes. I need to invest!

    I’ve discovered a love of ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches this fall. Not a very fall food, but still delicious :)

    Reply

  7. A Boston Food Diary’s avatar

    YUM! When I went apple picking this year apple butter was on my list of items to make- and then I ate all the apples…this looks great though!

    Congratulations on your last day!!!!! Im sooo excited for you!

    Reply

  8. Heather’s avatar

    Enjoy your last day of work!

    That apple butter looks delicious – I have a bunch of apples – perhaps I will try it this weekend!

    Reply

  9. Elina’s avatar

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!! So happy for you. Definitely go celebrate if you’re feeling better!
    PS – I LOVE KA mixes and I’ve been dreaming of pumpkin cheesecake for some reason. Seriously. Must find a recipe asap and try to make some!

    Reply

  10. Megan’s avatar

    Happy last day!!! I hope you feel well enough to go out to dinner. Have fun in Portland!

    That pumpkin cheesecake mix looks awesome!

    Reply

  11. Shannon’s avatar

    Have a great time in Portland!!! (I’m a former Mainer)

    And that apple butter looks sooooo good!

    Reply

  12. Sues’s avatar

    Apple butter is SUCH a good idea. It sounds awesome :) And HUGE congrats on your last day!! On to bigger and better things :) :)

    Reply

  13. Alicia’s avatar

    Yay!! enjoy your last day!!!

    your apple butter looks great!

    Reply

  14. Enrico’s avatar

    Congratulations – this is obviously going to be the closing of a bad chapter in your life, and the beginning of something so much better and bigger than your previous employers had in mind for you… you deserve all the best – and I have a feeling big things are going to happen for you!!!! :)

    Sending all good energy your way today…. hopefully this speeds up your recovery also, and that you are feeling better already.

    :)

    Reply

  15. Shannon’s avatar

    love slow cooker applesauce!! it makes the kitchen smell lovely… mmm, pumpkin cheesecake! i just made an apple pumpkin cheesecake pie that i need to post, it was awesome :)

    Reply

  16. Julie’s avatar

    Happy Last Day!! I thought it was tomorrow–sorry!!! Have fun celebrating and do feel better soon–you really, truly deserve it!

    Your apple butter looks fantastic–I’ll gave to give it a try the next time I go picking. I have to say, though, that I am partial to Grenadian nutmeg…. =)

    Reply

  17. Judy’s avatar

    Congratulations on leaving your job. It’s a brave move and a whole new world out there. Good luck!

    Reply

  18. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)’s avatar

    I have never been able to find pumpkin beer – but I am keeping my eyes peeled in every new city I go to!

    Reply

  19. Kim’s avatar

    Woohoo for your last day! I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors!

    All my wonderful blogs I read are featuring such incredible meals and desserts that I am drooling like you wouldn’t believe. So much yumminess at this time of year. And yet I am the bozo who is making a real effort to get in shape and lose this gut once and for all. Bad timing. Haha.

    I want those pumpkin cheesecake bars though. I tell you, anything pumpkin and dessert related I want. Pumpkin is fall, no two ways about that. Ahh. I haven’t landed on any new treats just yet other than what I am used to but I am bound to find something eventually.

    Ahh. Loving this year and this season.

    Reply

  20. Jean at The Delightful Repast’s avatar

    Apple butter is wonderful! I like to add just a touch of ground cloves to mine–not enough to overpower it (as can happen with cloves!) but just enough to add a hint of flavor and enhance the color. And, yeah, who wants to peel 25 apples!

    Reply

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