Amish Apple Butter

One of the best aromas ever is a slow cooker full of apples and spice...there is nothing like it.  Even in the winter, the aroma of simmering Amish Apple Butter is such a crisp fragrance,  It brings back all the warmth of a sunny fall day, even if there is two feet of snow out your window.   My family loves to eat it on crisp toast, pancakes and even on ice cream.  

All you need to make this simple apple butter is a slow cooker and about 10 to 12 large apples.   My favorite kind to use are Jonathon's...they are perfect mixture of firm, sweet, tart and Granny Smiths are my second favorite.   Wash your apples and peel them.  I like to use my old fashioned apple does the job in a matter of seconds.  You can find the apple peeler I use on my Amazon shopping page.    

Once the apples are peeled, you can use an apple slicer to slice them into large wedges. Place them in a slow cooker and turn it on to the low setting.

With the slow cooker is full, add three cups of sugar and four tablespoons of apple pie seasoning.  If you can not find apple pie seasoning, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to a mixture you like. 

Put a lid on the slow cooker and cook for eight hours on the low setting.  Stir occasionally to mix the spices and sugars through the mixture.   You will have a delicious amount to apple juice that cooks out of the apples over cooking time. When the time is skim off most of the juice and set aside.  Add two tablespoons of real vanilla extract and mix together.  I like to use an immersion blender to blend the chunks up into a half chunky sauce.  If your mixture is still too thin, cook a little longer in the pot.  (It will thicken ever more in the fridge.)

Once your apple butter is done, you can refrigerate it for up to six weeks or freeze it for up two months.  If you want it to last through the winter,  you can process them in a water bath for 20 minutes and they will keep for a year.  You can find the instructions for the water bath process at the Ball Fresh Preserving Site.

Just imagine a spice filled thick sweet and tart apple sauce in one bite...and you will know why we are crazy for this recipe!  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.  It sure makes the winter mornings smell divine and taste even better!

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Layered Fall Porch Decor

My husband surprised me on Saturday with a trailer load of corn stalks, some heirloom pumpkins and sunflowers, which meant more layers to our fall front porch.  I love those tall stalks, though our Goldendoodles, Ellie and Bear are not so sure what they are.  the layering all began a month ago when our summer flowers were beginning to wilt.  I replaced the pansies with ornamental cabbages, creeping jenny and black eyed susans.  

Then our littles dragged out the pumpkins and we added some to the porch with height being added in the form of old Georgia fruit baskets.  Then came the stalks and pumpkins...and of course, the Village Square Barn Quilt that went up last Christmas and has lasted all through the year.  I have gorgeous barn quilts for every season, but we just cant seem to take down this one.

The color of our front door is from the Prairie Paints line called Geranium Green.  We painted this last summer to test our new paints to exterior uses, and it has not only held up to freezing snow and extreme heat, but the color is our most asked for shade of green.  It is deep and fresh!  

I hope this has inspired you to layer a few fall elements to your front porch.  I add a little more until it is done.  I think the only thing left to add may be a few spiders before Halloween...but I think Mother Nature will be on that one for me!

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Winter Texas Star & Homesteader Star Patterns

We are so happy to add these two most loved pattern to our Barn Quilt Collection this month.  The Winter Texas Star has the beautiful colors of our Prairie Paints and is so pretty in soft wintery tones.  Each of our patterns include the artwork, traceable templates and grid instructions that allow you to paint your very own barn quilt in any size you desire.

Winter Texas Star Barn Quilt

Homsteader's Star Barn Quilt

All patterns are available as a paper pattern or a PDF Download.  You can find the patterns and paint colors in Our Shop this weekend for 20% off with code Pumpkins. 

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