Thursday, September 29, 2005

Starting to go stir crazy...

...with our third day home this week. DS was inactive all day yesterday (not like him) but his fever stayed down - right until about bedtime when it went up over 100ยบ again. I kept him home again today and took him to the doctor. Just as I figured, they didn't find anything, but at least I can send him to school tomorrow with more confidence. Thank goodness because I'm ready to go back to school too!
One might think I'd have gotten a lot done with my 3 days off from work this week, but I feel like I did nothing. I did do some cooking and lots of blogging, but didn't get all those other things done that are on my "to do" list like cleaning, phone calls, etc. Oh well. At least today I did manage to finish my online Excel course and will try to finish the Word course as well.

I'm tempted to try another brownie recipe, but may put that off until Saturday. What I really need to do is make sure I fit in some good exercise today to work off all the brownies I've eaten so far this week! Instead, I'll try something less fattening - maybe using up some of our apples from the orchard to make some Overnight Apple Butter.

I tried this recipe last year from Cooking Light and liked it very much. Not only is it easy and tasty, but it puts my crockpots to use - they don't get much of a workout, except for the very occasional recipe (like pot roast) and when I sometimes use them to make marinara. The recipe also includes stovetop instructions. Someone on the CL boards suggested using apple butter to flavor oatmeal - I tried it - very yummy!

Added note: I skip the straining part and simply use my immersion blender to get the mixture nice and smooth. Much easier and less messy!

Overnight Apple Butter
Source: Cooking Light, October 2004

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

A mixture of apple varieties, rather than just one type, will produce apple butter with rich, complex flavor in this slow cooker recipe. Good choices include Esopus Spitzenburg, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Northern Spy, Rome, Stayman, Winesap, and York. Enjoy the apple butter over toast or English muffins, or serve it with pork chops or chicken.

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
10 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks (about 2 ½ pounds)

Combine all ingredients in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 10 hours or until apples are very tender. Place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into sieve. Press mixture through sieve using the back of a spoon or ladle. (See note above.) Discard pulp. Repeat procedure with remaining apple mixture. Return apple mixture to slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high 1 1/2 hours or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon into a bowl; cover and chill up to a week.

Stovetop variation: Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 1 hour or until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally. Strain through a sieve as recipe instructs in Step 2. Return mixture to pan. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.

Yield: 4 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup) NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 132(0.0% from fat); FAT 0.0g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g); PROTEIN 0.1g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 18mg; SODIUM 6mg; FIBER 3.1g; IRON 0.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 35.3g

Domenica Marchetti
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2004


  1. So what do you do with the apple butter then? I had pumpkin butter once on waffles...?

  2. I've been trying to think of ideas myself! I like it on toast. It's also good mixed into oatmeal. I think there was a thread on the Cooking Light boards about uses for apple butter - I'll see if I can dig it up.