Fall into Apple Crisp

As we enter mid September and our summer weather is leaving, we start to look for something to warm up our homes. Fall is apple and pumpkin time. I happen to have the whole day to myself and I had apples. I set up to make one of my favorite desserts, apple crisp. Instead of making the usual recipe: butter, sugar, flour, and oats. I decided to switch it up a little.  I hope you enjoy this little change to an old standard fall recipe. The almond flour gives this recipe a slightly nutty flavor and the agave nectar helps to bind the flour and oats together and sweetens the dessert (replacing the butter and the sugar, which normally do this).

Recipe:

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon ginger

2 cups apples, sliced thinly

1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

Mix the oats, flour, nectar, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger together. Place about 1/2 on bottom of baking dish.

Slice apples and lay in even layers over the oat mixture.

Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon, and evenly distribute the cranberries.

Top with remaining oat mixture.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 27-30 minutes, until golden brown on top and apples are soft.

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Colorado Springs Trip

This past weekend my family took a long weekend trip to Colorado Springs. Arriving on Thursday evening in the rain, we drove from Denver to my cousin’s house in Colorado Springs. The news that evening was all about the rain and flooding in Boulder, which was so scary and sad to see. We all went to bed hoping for a sunny Friday.

Waking up the next morning, still sprinkling, we decided to venture out anyway. Our first stop was to be the Garden of the Gods. Unfortunately, that morning the park was closed, due to the fast running water near the road. Continuing our journey we drove to Old Colorado City. This area has a cute downtown, with unique shops and restaurants. We were able to walk around and found a winery, with all locally made wine, called The Sweet Elephant. After some shopping, we traveled onto the zoo and fed the  giraffes, they were very hungry!

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Saturday, the sun came out and we traveled to the Garden of the Gods for round two, and were able to stop before the adventure up to Pike’s Peak. A drive that took us up to an elevation of 14,110 feet! Beautiful views and fudge!

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After that trip we needed replenishing! Stopped at another winery with local wine and onto Manitou Springs, which was seeing the effect of the rain, with roads washed out and rushing creeks. To tide us over back to Colorado Springs, I bought taffy from Pasty’s Candies and played a few arcade games.

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We had a great trip and I hope that rain subsides soon. Keep Colorado in your thoughts as they cope with the flooding.

French Onion Rice

After work, it was the age old question: “What should we have for supper?”. Having a long commute home, I have plenty of time to think of what to make. Tonight’s idea was French Onion Rice. A one pot mix that you can add whatever vegetables you have to use up and can for the most part walk away from the cooking process. I made it on the stove top, but would also be good in the oven with either pork chops or chicken baked along with it (for another day).

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This is the recipe:

1 can Progresso French Onion Soup

1 cup Brown Rice

Vegetables you want to add

I used about 1 cup halved baby carrots and 1 cup chopped broccoli

Parmesan cheese

Mozzarella Cheese

Follow directions on rice for prep

The last 10-15 minutes of rice cook time, I added the vegetables and covered again.

After the rice cook time, I added the can of soup and increased the temperature to medium heat and cooked 7-10 minutes more.

I topped with parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Yum! And this recipe is gluten free!

Sovereign Estate Wine

When you think Minnesota, you typically don’t think of grapes and wine. But we are lucky enough to have a great number of fabulous wineries. Many very close to where we live, right outside of the Twin Cities. A few weeks ago some friends met us in my hometown, New Ulm at Morgan Creek Vineyard. This weekend we tried out Sovereign Estate Winery. This is a relatively new winery and is located near Waconia, MN. Most weekends they host weddings and other parties, but this weekend was for grape stomping, food, and wine.

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We had a great view of Lake Waconia and were serenaded by live music. The whites were fruity and the reds were smooth, I not being a red wine drinker, enjoyed the 3 reds. To top off the flight they had iced sangria one made with the red and one made with white, which was perfect for a mildly warm day. After sampling their wine flights, we purchased the dessert wine and paired it with sharp cheddar and caramels with sea salt, which are made on site. Friends met us and we spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon on the grounds conversing and sampling wine.

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An enjoyable Sunday Funday!

Labor Day-Apple Day

For the last nine years my husband and I have gone to local apple orchards on Labor Day. It started when we were going to college in Mankato, MN. We would make the short drive to Belle Plaine and Jordan, MN. Where along highway 169, three apple orchards exsit. This time we invited my sister to come with us. We started with lunch at Emma Krumbee’s, followed by You-Pick Raspberries. Emma Krumbee’s has apples and raspberries to pick and also pies and other baked goods to purchase. In the fall they have a scarecrow contest.

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Our next stop was Minnesota Harvest. In the last few years, this orchard has seen some changes. But, it is coming back strong. Here we picked a variety of apples.

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The last stop on our Labor Day-Apple Day trip was our favorite, Jim’s Apple Farm, otherwise known as the Big Yellow Barn. Not only do they have apples,but hundreds of candy, puzzles, glass bottled pop. Be on the look out for the large light outside the building, because when the light is on, there are fresh pies being made! Careful, when you pick one up, it will be hot!!! My choice was a fresh caramel apple (I ate it before I even got home).

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Once again, it was a great Labor Day, and I was so very happy to share it with my sister. If they say an apple a day, keeps the doctor away-we should be good for weeks!

Hope you all had a safe and fun Labor Day!