My Hallmark Movie Baking Moment Gone Wrong

Ah… the joys of fall!

I try to savor every one of them; a little at a time as not to burn out on pumpkin spice and of course the traditional autumn bucket list.

It doesn’t always work out the way I wanted and mistakes are generally made.

I suppose I could stress and fret over things, but as parenting four kids taught me, what is the point!?!

Sometime’s you just have to go with the flow.

Last week, Tammie (Talking With Tami) and I headed up to Elijay, Georgia in the north Georgia mountains to pick apples at the beautiful BJ Reece Orchards.

Aren’t we so cute?

It was the perfect 65° Autumn day in Georgia with lots of Rome Beauties to pick from and a gorgeous drive as well!

Girlfriend days are always valued and treasured, as well as much needed, and picking apples is so much fun and most relaxing!

Tammie and I decided we would use the fresh apples we picked to make a yummy apple crisp to enjoy over the weekend.

Gathering together all the ingredients like apples, oatmeal, butter, cream, flour and brown sugar we prepared two pans in the kitchen for our apple crisp.

Everything went so smoothly and seemingly perfect as we sliced and melted and mixed and crumbled the ingredients.

It was truly picture perfect.

As I said, not everything always goes as planned, despite how well you prepare.

If you recall, I mentioned having everything I needed, plus two pans. Tammie and I were just going to split the recipe, so I added more apples. About six more apples to be exact, so our pans were full.

The crisp baked up nicely, and was so pretty when done.

Tammie and I sat down to taste it all served up in autumn bowls, the fresh baked crisp topped with whipped cream…

And y’all…. it was so very, awfully dry!

Oh you could taste the tart crisp apples, but My picture perfect, Hallmark, apple picking and making dessert moment was ruined.

My Apple crisp was dry!

Then I remembered the extra Apple I added so we had enough in each of our dishes…. I didn’t compensate by adding extra of the other ingredients.

So what do you do when you have a dish you want to serve, and no time to make a new one?!

{There was an actual purpose in choosing this dessert}

You Improvise of course.

Heavy cream is what makes this dish so juicy and yummy, so I drizzled heavy cream over the top, sliced a few pieces of butter and popped it back in the oven until heated through again.

Definitely not as good as making it correctly the first time, but still good enough to share, and with no leftovers.

So here is your Lesson of the day: As holiday baking commences pay attention when you are baking, embrace your failures, improvise and pretend you did everything absolutely correct the first time as you set it on the table (after traveling with it to Tennessee) for your Momma to eat as part of her birthday weekend celebration.

Here is my Deep Dish Apple Crisp recipe in full so you can print it off! Keep some extra cream & even butter on hand for emergencies.

Happy Monday y’all!!

Fall Fresh Fruit Salad

Despite the heat and humidity in this early fall, nothing is more enjoyable than strolling through your local farmer’s market on Saturday morning, then preparing a meal! The little market In Snellville is my favorite Saturday morning adventure. Audley and I will often wake early just to go over and pick through the seasonal fruits and veggies while planning our meals for the week.

Snellville Farmers Market

Market Flowers

Local Figs

Right now we are at the very last of nectarine season and fig season. As we were strolling through the market I was concocting a yummy, but healthy supper in my mind using some of the fresh goodness around me. What I came up with was such a hit, the family was disappointed that it disappeared so fast.

Fall Fresh Fruit Salad

 

Honestly this is so easy and versatile that it doesn’t warrant a recipe card (I added it at the end of the post so you have a shopping list). I’m going to tell you what I used for this super easy and flavorful supper, giving you the opportunity to let your own creative juices flow!

Salad Ingredients

There are no measurements for the salad, as you will create it to fit your own personal tastes and the number of people dining at your table. I’m just here to share suggestions!

Slice your nectarines and figs, then toss into the mixed greens. Cook your bacon crisp (I used a whole package for four of us), but not over cooked, and dice the prosciutto to sauté. After draining the excess grease from the bacon and prosciutto, add it to the salad, reserving a couple of pieces for your dressing. Add your pecans as well.

My bacon vinaigrette is not a traditional vinaigrette dressing as I use less oil than most people. But the dressing simple to whisk up and consists of white balsamic vinegar, stone ground mustard, honey, garlic, bacon, bacon drippings! When the ingredients are well mixed, drizzle over the salad and toss together. Don’t over saturate the salad with dressing or you’ll take away from the fresh fruit flavor!

You can serve this with grilled salmon, rotisserie chicken, a steak, or just enjoy it on its own!

It’s that filling and satisfying!!

What I love about salads of this type is you can swap the fruit for whatever is in season (pears and apples for example). You can also swap up which nut you add (cashews & walnuts for example). I chose pecans as living here in Georgia they are plentiful, fresh and so delicious!!

Click here for a printable recipe for this Fall Fresh Fruit Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette.

Have a great weekend y’all and eat well!

Summer Peach Salsa

After picking peaches over the weekend at Southern Belle Farm I’ve had to work quickly to get them put away before all my girls and sons-in-law arrive for the holiday weekend! Tammie came over yesterday and we used up a good portion of them making peach salsa.

I love a good fruit salsa and peaches make one of the best! Not only is it delicious on tortilla chips like any good salsa, it makes a scrumptious accompaniment to grilled pork, chicken and fish!  Then there is always the option of eating it straight from the jar like my son is prone to do.

He is actually hoping I pack a jar … or three in his next package headed to Camp Pendleton.

I usually preserve my salsa so we can enjoy it throughout the year, but the beauty of this recipe is you can half it if you choose and serve it up immediately with a delicious summer supper. Just refrigerate and it’ll keep a couple of weeks.

Not that it’ll last that long.

Canning the peach salsa is not that hard. All of the ingredients are fresh, easy to pronounce which makes it even better.

Gather together all the things you need before you begin so that you’re not scrambling around while scorching your salsa on the stove.

I used Ball jars to store the salsa. These can be found at just about any grocery store as well as Walmart. Canning supply lists can be extensive, but I stick to the basics for this recipe: jars with lids, funnel, tongs, 2 large stock pots (one for sterilizing the jars & one for cooking the salsa mixture), a ladle and a couple of towels.

For a few canning basics you can check out these canning tips from Martha Stewart.

If you want the freshest salsa hit up your local farmers market (you’ll also be supporting a local business), but you can also purchase your ingredients at the grocery store.

For this recipe all you need is peaches, red & green bell pepper, sweet and red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, honey, vinegar, cumin and cayenne pepper. That’s it.

You’ll chop your peaches, dice your veggies and cook together until it comes to a boil.

Talking with Tami / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Next you’ll ladle the salsa into your prepared jars, wipe clean, seal and process in boiling water about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and make sure the jars have sealed.

Is it necessary to sterilize your jars? Yes. Absolutely. If you are preserving this for later use you do not want any bacteria to have an opportunity to build up. Two things will happen: one, your hard work will be wasted, & two, you may have a major mess as bacteria builds in a jar the pressure can cause a huge mess.

It may or may not have happened to me.

For the full detailed & printable recipe, click Peach Salsa

I hope you enjoy this little taste of summer! Let me know if you make the peach salsa and what you think!

Old-Fashioned Vanilla-Laced Blueberry Jam

Summer is passing quickly, but thanks to a little time in the kitchen we’ll be enjoying some of our favorite summer flavors well into winter!

Preserving food has nearly become a lost art as the busyness of life has consumed every aspect of our being, but there is something so simple about slowing down, diving into traditions of the past, and savoring simple flavors all year long.  Making jams and jellies, canning fresh veggies; these are things that remind me of my childhood and my mother spending hours a day all summer putting away fresh food we could enjoy all year long.  She still does this and I love being able to have that bit of her in myself, even if so many think it’s out-of-date or old-fashioned.

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I would much rather savor old-fashioned traditions with my family, than get lost in the sad hustle and bustle of this modern world.  Y’all, we all need a little old-fashioned goodness in our lives to keep us sane and connected to all the amazing women in our lives from generations before.

Recently, after spending an afternoon picking blueberries with Madeline at Washington Farm in Bogart, Georgia, I took the time to do more than just freeze berries for cobblers, pies, pancakes, and smoothies; I also whipped up a batch of scrumptiously rich vanilla laced blueberry jam.

There are a couple of ways to make jam, from the simple very few ingredient SureJell recipe (don’t knock it, it’s absolutely delicious), to spending just a little longer on your recipe and relying on the natural pectin in the fruit for the gelling process.  While not using pectin does take longer when making jam, the longer time is going bring really bring out the flavor of the blueberries and give you a richer tasting jam.

I’m sharing my four ingredient blueberry jam recipe today using the fresh sweet berries  we picked which were just right for this method.  All you need is sweet juicy blueberries, sugar, a whole vanilla bean, fresh lemon juice, and time to relax, pretending its a simpler time so many want to forget!

Making the jam is time consuming, but actually pretty easy.  Wash your berries using a colander so they will drain, picking out any bad ones. Transfer your drained berries to a large bowl. I use a potato masher, but you can use whatever to have to squish the berries and release their juices, then measure out the exact amount of berries you will need for the recipe and add to the stockpot you will be using to cook the jam.  This particular recipe calls for 10 cups. Add the sugar you’ve measured and toss together.  This will sit for a couple of hours.  During this time you can make sure you have all your jar sterilized and the equipment you need to preserve the jam ready to go.

After a couple of hours you will begin to cook the mixture on medium-high heat.  During this process you’ll slice open the vanilla bean and scrape it into the blueberry mixture, and throw the bean itself in as well! The cooking requires your full attention as the jam comes to a boil, so do not leave the stove and stir the pot continuously.  When it is cooked to the cosistancy you desire (anywhere from 30-45 minutes) add the lemon juice and finish cooking.

When you’ve made this delectible treat, bake up some fresh buscuits and dig in!  Youre not going to want to wait!  The complete recipe for my jam can be printed here by clicking Vanilla-Laced Blueberry Jam.

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What are your favorite things to preserve in the summer months?

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