Canning Apple Sauce

Yesterday when I was grocery shopping I picked up a bag of apples that were marked down.

I decided to buy them and just make an apple pie for dinner. Of course I got busy and we didn’t have apple pie for dessert. This morning, as my daughter was doing her IEW writing work, I chose to do my meal planning. As I’ve told you before, I love the Crockin Girls. During my search for yummy meals for my family, I found a recipe for crockpot applesauce and decided to do some canning today.

I cut up all the apples and added the water, sugar and cinnamon to taste. I’m not very good at following recipes to the letter. I tend to just toss in what I feel the measurements should be.

After 6 hours on low I pulled out my trusted potato masher and smushed all my cooked apples. (Right now the smell in my house is heavenly.)

Of course I boiled all my jars, rings and lids in my hot water bath before I filled each of them with the warm applesauce.

I got 5 half pints of applesauce from my original bag of 8 large gala apples.


Pumpkin Spice Latte

Dear Friends, I’m not sure if you are like me, but the first sign of fall and I want me some pumpkin_______. Yes, it’s a blank. I like pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars and I absolutely love pumpkin coffee. I know it’s sad, but even the kind that’s in the powdered form from a convenience store. I love that one also.

I found lots of recipes, for a whole pot or even a crock pot full for a party, but never just for one. To my delight, I stumbled on a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte in my local HEB. They put out a publication called My Texas Life and in this month’s edition, there it was, waiting for me.

1/2 cup whole milk

2 T. canned pumpkin

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

1 t. vanilla

1 1/2 cups strong hot coffee

1 T. half-and-half

sugar or stevia to taste

whipped cream, cinnamon and nutmeg for topping

1. In a glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.

2. Microwave 1 to 2 minutes on high. Watch closely; remove from microwave when milk is hot and frothy.

3. Carefully pour milk mixture into a tall mug. add hot coffee and half-and-half. Sweeten to taste.

4. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Makes 1 serving.

I guess the reason I was so excited when I found the recipe was 2 fold. I try to limit my sugar and I don’t drink caffeine. I was able to create this recipe for me. (no caffeine and no sugar) I used one packet of stevia for my sweetener and of course I chose decaffeinated coffee.

If you shop at HEB pick up your copy and turn to page 34. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. (I’m even drinking one as I type this) I’m hooked.


When we started building our house 2 years ago I had a plan. I wanted all of my walls in the house to be a darker shade of brown. I desired all of the cabinets and wood to be just stained with a natural or clear stain and I wanted to accent with red.

This past weekend I took my 10-year-old to the local pumpkin patch. She registered for a door prize and was thrilled when she got a call to let her know that she was the door prize winner. When we registered for the prize, I had no idea what it was.  The person on the phone didn’t elaborate, nor did I ask. (hitting forehead) She won, UUMMM, a red floral wreath thing to hang in the house. When she looked at it, she was grateful that she won, but she said, “Mom, it’s red. I guess it’s yours.” I hung it in the kitchen so she would see it when she came downstairs for breakfast. When she saw it, she had to remind me that it was hers.

LLLOOOVVVEEE crock pot cooking

I LOVE crock pot cooking.

My 17-year-old plays for our local home school football team. Since, we live about 45 minutes from the closest town that provides competitive sports for home school students, we are on the road many days per week for practices or games. So, I pulled out my old crock pot and started searching for ways to create home cooked meals for my busy family.


Today I’m making a recipe from the Crockin’ Girls. I think I love their site, videos, and recipes as much I as I love crock pot cooking itself. I have an account with the girls and I save recipes, but this one is new, so I will let you know how my family likes it.

(short break in typing to serve dinner)

The verdict is in. Three out of four of us love the spaghetti recipe. My son said it was “to healthy.” I used home canned spaghetti sauce that I made this summer and some home-grown and dried oregano that my mom gave me. Sadly, he prefers the canned or jarred sauce from the grocery store.

Seeds are Everywhere

My 10 year old daughter is doing Apologia botany this year for her Science work. We are learning more about seeds than I ever thought we would. I never really thought about it, but no two seeds are alike. Last year we went to Space Center Houston and they gave us some Cinnamon Basil seeds that they took into space. They also gave us some seeds that had not encountered space travel. We have planted both of them to see if either will produce at a higher rate. Today we added black eye peas to the mini hot box that she created.

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