Easy Homemade Apple Butter recipe - only 5 ingredients!

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Ours was good. Found all the Lay’s Do Us a Flavor chips. Spoiler: the Truffle Fries one tastes just like sour cream and onion chips. Laaaaaame. However, the Reuben one? Amazing.

I also decided that it’s too hot in Texas. I’d really like to go anywhere with snow right about now. The dogs end up looking like this at the end of our walk, no matter how early or late we go. Seriously, 95 degrees at 7 pm is stupid.

Dear Army gods, please send us far away from here. Colorado would be fabulous. Thanks.

Easy Homemade Apple Butter recipe - only 5 ingredients!

Despite the heat, I’m all in on fall foods. I had apples and pumpkin going in the kitchen this weekend and it was amazing.

First up was this Easy Apple Butter!

My husband’s been obsessed with apple butter for probably all of his life. Like, he’ll take a jar and eat the entire thing with a spoon. Side note: my mom makes this awesome strawberry freezer jam and he also eats entire jars of that with a spoon.

I’m not really sure what’s wrong with him.

Anyway, he saw me making this and was all “WAHHHH! I CAN’T EAT THAT! IT’S NOT PALEO!” so I ended up making this recipe as written below and then another batch with no added sugar. Obviously, the one with sugar is yummier but the one without wasn’t bad at all.

And it is seriously so easy! Only 5 ingredients and it takes less than an hour from start to finish. The hardest part is peeling the apples!

Easy Homemade Apple Butter recipe - only 5 ingredients!

Click for the full recipe

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Mexican Rice - an easy and delicious recipe that goes perfectly with tacos, enchiladas, and burritos!

We’ve officially been in Texas for 2 months. 

And that’s nuts. I simultaneously feel like we just got here and that we’ve been here for 10 years. 

Overall, I don’t hate Killeen like everyone said I would. Seriously, everyone I came in contact with told me how bad it would be. I still meet people that tell me that. At my last doctor’s appointment, the doc actually said, “Ugggghhhh, I’m sorry!” when I told him we’d just arrived from Colorado. 

But yeah, I don’t hate it. 

What I do hate (and don’t be mad at me) is the food.

I cannot find a good Mexican place to save my life. We’ve tried every place on the first page of Yelp. 

No. I won’t go back to any of them.

I tried to order a drink at the last one BECAUSE THEY WERE ON THE MENU and they looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Uhhh, we don’t have drinks.”

And I was all, “Waaaaaaaaiiiiiiit a minute, how is it possible to have chips and salsa without a margarita?”

I’m just not into it. I need to venture down to Austin soon but gahhh, who has time to drive anywhere?!

Anyway, I’ve been craving a really good enchilada since we had our last once at our fave Mexican place in the Springs. Last night I finally admitted defeat and made my own. 

I used to make this Mexican Rice recipe once a week years and years ago (had to track down my first blog to find the recipe!) and it was just as good as I remembered. And no, that’s not a pea, it’s a jalapeno.

(Texans, whyyyyy are there peas in your Mexican rice?!)

Mexican Rice - an easy and delicious recipe that goes perfectly with tacos, enchiladas, and burritos!

Click for the full recipe

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I don’t know if I’ve ever told you guys but I really don’t like rice. I don’t dislike rice but it’s not something I’d choose to eat. The exception being Mexican restaurant rice and even then, I mix it into the refried beans because… that’s just the way it should be done.

Oh, and any kind of casserole that includes rice, cream of- soup, and tons of cheese.

But, like, plain rice? Nope. I don’t even like the cilantro-lime rice at those burrito joints (that this recipe is based on) unless it’s absolutely covered in salsa (and queso if we’re at Qdoba).

Weirdly enough, I really dig cauliflower rice. It’s the perfect substitute for those of use that either don’t like rice or maybe we’re trying to cut back on calories. But yeah, I eat cauliflower rice with everything. At one point, before my husband deployed, he had to tell me to cool it with the cauliflower rice because he was sick of it.

So naturally I switched to mashed cauliflower and he was not amused.

Since I’m currently going through one of my Mexican food phases, this Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice has become a staple in my diet. It’s really good and the perfect side dish for all the stuff I’m currently coating in cumin, dousing in lime juice, and covering in jalapenos.

Quick warning: if you don’t like cauliflower, you won’t like this. No amount of lime zest and cilantro can hide the taste (and smell) of cauliflower. If you do like cauliflower, you will looove it!

 

Click for the full recipe

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Summer has officially come to Colorado. Unless you’re on Pikes Peak because there is still a ton of snow up there! Y’all remember that time I went up there in JULY and it was snowing?! Colorado weather is absolutely nuts.

But anyway, it was hot hot hot this weekend and we took full advantage. I took the boys on their first hike on Saturday. The littlest is finally at a good age for activities like that but I have to tell you, I was shaking by the time we got to the car. Walking up a mountain on a thin trail with 3 rambunctious boys who don’t always watch where they step is terrifying! But, we did it and we’ll do it again.

The only way our day could’ve been better was if we’d come home, cranked up the grill, and had delicious burgers or hot dogs or anything.

But I don’t know how to work the grill.

Big, disappointed sigh.

If I had been able to grill something, I would’ve served it with these baked beans. Baked beans are definitely my favorite side dish ever. Like, leftover baked beans is something I’ll fight you over. Cold, right out of the fridge.

I just love them.

These start with cans of Pork and Beans so it’s super simple and since I love really sweet baked beans, the root beer in it made me so happy!

Root Beer Baked Beans

Ingredients

3 bacon slices
1 small onion, diced
2 (16-ounce) cans pork and beans
1/2 cup root beer (not diet)
1/4 cup hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
  3. Sauté diced onion in hot bacon drippings in skillet over high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir together onion, crumbled bacon, beans, and remaining ingredients in a lightly greased 1-quart baking dish.
  4. Bake beans, uncovered, for 55 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/02/root-beer-baked-beans/

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Happy Veteran’s Day! I hope you’re enjoying a well-deserved day off.

I wanted to talk to y’all about something today.

I think I’m going to skip posting Thanksgiving recipes on the blog this year. I’ve done them in years past and cooking them and then eating them for days afterwards… it really takes away the magic of Thanksgiving. You know, the one day of the year that you can eat whatever you want without guilt. The special, once a year casseroles. Stuff like that just loses it’s specialness (not even a word, I know) once you’ve already done it, photographed it, and yapped about it on your blog.

But depending on how many glasses of wine I’ve had by the time Thanksgiving dinner is ready, I plan on photographing and blogging. No promises, but… maybe.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a recipe that is definitely Thanksgiving-appropriate.

I’ve been hearing about these potatoes for years but since I’m not really a potato person unless they’re deep-fried and served with chicken nuggets, I’ve kind of just ignored them. But I’ve been obsessed with The Shaytards lately and they mentioned them in a vlog recently and all of the sudden, the potatoes seemed really appealing.

They are SO good. I had three bowls of them. I skipped everything else I cooked and just ate potatoes. And now I may end up making them on Thanksgiving because they are just that good.

One year ago: Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
Two years ago: Monster Cookies
Three years ago: Jalapeno Popper Dip
Four years ago: Sweet Cream Biscuits
Five years ago: Enchiladas in Pumpkin Sauce

Funeral Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup dried onion
32 ounce package cubed hash browns
3 cups coarsely crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, melted butter and onions. Fold in the hash browns. Spread in the prepared pan.
  3. Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes on top of the mixture. Drizzle the 2 tablespoons of butter over the corn flakes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven. If using shredded hash browns, cook for 30 minutes. If using cubed hash browns, cook for 55-60 minutes.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/11/11/funeral-potatoes/

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