Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Crockpot Applesauce

Life right now may be the busiest I can ever remember it...and this is still before the baby is even here! Life is only going to get busier. So, I know that I need to be armed and ready with easy recipes in the coming months. Enter our good friend, the crock pot!

Last weekend I made a delicious sweet potato apple soup in the crock pot (this recipe here from 100 Days of Real Food). And last week I made this great crock pot applesauce recipe that I'm about to share with you. Seriously, I may never make applesauce on the stove again!

Apple season is passing quickly, so I wanted to be sure to share this with you sooner than later. If you've recently gone apple picking or have plans to go soon this fall, make this applesauce with all those delicious, fresh apples you pick! I would imagine you can freeze this too, although I didn't (we ate it too fast!). And, if you know how to can, you could probably can this as well.

The recipe is from My Baking Addiction. The original recipe called for about 12 medium apples, but I used 16. And I still used the same amount of brown sugar (1/3 cup) called for in the original recipe. I thought the sauce was plenty sweet (but not overly so). Of course, it may depend on which types of apples you use (I used a combo of Cortland, Macintosh, and Macoun). So, feel free to taste it along the way and adjust the sugar as needed! Also, the recipe calls for "apple pie spice." Honestly, I just eyeballed the spices that I added! I added a combo of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, I believe (and the overall amount was probably closer to 3 tsp., not 1 and 1/4 tsp.). I also added 4 or 5 whole cinnamon sticks (that I removed at the end!). Oh, and I added some apple cider too, just because... No need to though (the original recipe does not call for it).


-4 pounds of apples (about 16 medium)
-1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
-2 to 3 tsp. apple pie spice
-4 or 5 cinnamon sticks
-1/2 cup apple cider


Combine all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on high for 5 hours. If desired, taste the applesauce about an hour before it's done to test for sweetness. Add more sugar and/or spices if you'd like.

If you like slightly chunky applesauce (as mine turned out in the pictures), just stir and mash the apples with a spoon or potato masher. It will be very easy to make it into applesauce, I promise; the apples cook down quite nicely. If you like a smoother applesauce, let the sauce cool and then transfer it to a blender or food processor to puree until smooth. Store applesauce in airtight container in fridge (for up to 10 days) or in freezer (for up to 6 months).

This is good stuff, friends! If you love homemade applesauce and are looking for a ridiculously easy way to make it, this recipe is for you.

 I think I may need to go apple picking again just so I can make another batch!

And once you've made this applesauce, you can go make my cinnamon swirl apple bread recipe since it calls for applesauce!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread

And once again, looong time no blog! Another month and a half has gone by since my last post. Oops! I know I said this last time, but honestly, life has never been busier. We finally moved into our new house (yay!) a few weeks ago, so the process of moving, unpacking, and attempting to get settled has been taking up much of our time. Not to mention the crazy busy schedules we keep in normal life...and also not to mention getting ready for baby!!! Every day, the to-do list only grows and doesn't get shorter. Blogging is always on my list but somehow it always gets pushed to the bottom, sadly.

 I have enjoyed baking a number of Barbershop goodies thus far in our new kitchen, and so far, so good! Everything's been turning out great. Oh, and here are a few pics of the new kitchen. :) There are a few final touches we need to do still (paint some of the trim white, touch up some paint spots under the cabinets, etc.) but it's pretty much DONE!!

One of the first recipes I wanted to share with you is this delicious cinnamon swirl apple bread that I made last weekend after we went apple picking. I made these cute little mini loaves to give to some of our new neighbors. But don't worry, we kept a couple for ourselves too. :) Ya gotta taste test, right?! This quick bread recipe is easy, moist, and flavorful. And oh-so-fall-like. I am in full fall baking mode these days, and I love it. Everything I've made over the past two weeks has been with either pumpkin or apples!

The recipe is from A Kitchen Addiction. And I followed the recipe pretty closely too (usually I tweak a few things). I did not add the glaze on top of the bread, but feel free to if you'd like that added touch of sweetness. The bread was plenty sweet on its own, we thought. But, sometimes a glaze can really make a bread come together. So, the glaze is your call!


For the bread:
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. nutmeg
-1/8 tsp. ginger
-1/8 tsp. cloves (this was my addition)
-1 cup low fat buttermilk
(feel free to use powdered buttermilk; follow the package's instructions)
-1 egg
-1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
-1 and 1/2 to 2 cups chopped apples (peeled or not; your choice)

For the swirl:
-2 Tbsp. sugar
-1 Tbsp. brown sugar
-2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
-1/8 tsp. ginger
-1/8 tsp. allspice

For the glaze:
-1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
-1 Tbsp. milk


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray (or mini loaf pans). In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and applesauce. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined. Fold in chopped apples. In a small bowl, mix together the "swirl" ingredients.

Pour about 1/3 of batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar swirl mixture. Repeat with the remaining batter and swirl mixture until both are gone. Carefully swirl a knife through the batter crosswise.

If using the traditional 9 x 5 loaf pan, bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If using mini loaf pans, start checking for doneness around 20 minutes or so. Allow bread to cool on wire rack for 20 minutes before removing from pan. If using glaze, mix together the sugar and milk, and pour glaze over warm bread. Makes 1 large loaf or about 10 mini loves. Enjoy!

The other great quality of this bread that I didn't mention earlier? It will make your home smell deeeelicious. Just. Like. Fall.


I made a couple mini bundt cakes as well for the hubs and me. Those were what we taste tested to make sure the recipe was worthy of sharing with our new neighbors. First impressions are important, you know! I wouldn't want to give a new neighbor anything sub-par for their first Barbershop treat experience.

Here's a picture of me at 34 weeks pregnant. Wow! I can't believe how quickly this baby is coming... Our due date is a month from today, in fact!

And of course, there's the hubs, attempting to be funny with his pumpkin baby belly... :)

I made an awesome applesauce recipe in the crock pot (!!) this past weekend. Hope to share that one with you next. And hopefully it'll be sooner than a month and a half from now...