What does Fall mean? Well, it means millions of things......and besides the fact that Shipyard Pumpkinhead is back on tap it also means that we get to pick and EAT tons and tons of APPLES!!!
S and I are lucky in that our kiddos have always LOVED apples! As in, they BEG for them! They will grab apples right out of the bag and chomp into them like there's no tomorrow! I was pretty surprised the first time that I saw Princess do this considering how few teeth she had at the time....
So every year since we have started with our Community Concepts group, I have made sure that we always go on the apple picking trip! And this third year of going, was so fun!
Yes, I CAN carry both of my kiddos at the same time!
These are NOT the apples that we picked! These were getting ready to be shipped to the local schools for lunches.
The Dude pretty proud of the apples he picked!
Princess keeping the chickens company while she eats her third apple of the field trip.....
We got to the local orchard after a quick trip to the grocery store.....because on the drive out to town I had come up with a mouth watering dinner menu, but that meant that I had to pick up a few things first....more about THAT later!
We met up with lots of the other kiddos in the same group, hung out looking at the bunnies, chickens, and all the boxes of apples that the family who owns the orchard had already picked, then we headed out to where we were going to be picking. The funniest thing about this day? The kiddos decided that they were going to be ridiculously independent that day. So Dude linked hands with the college age woman who is working with the group (yeahhhh, Dude has a thing for older women with dark hair) and Princess refused to hold my hand! However, she wouldn't let go of one of the workers hands. *sigh* It did give me time to pick a HUGE bag of apples though! So. Many. Apples!!
Then we all had a picnic lunch and talked about different apple recipes! I told everyone what I was going to be making in the crockpot later (yes, I AM going to write about that! I promise!) and I talked about making apple butter with another woman (yup, I made some!)
We finally made our way home, very tired, and smelling like applesauce!
And I started cooking!
Please keep in mind, that I am HORRIBLE at taking pictures of food! I swear to you this is an awesome dinner that I basically made up as I went along quite some time ago, and I fall back on it now time and time again!
-any sort of pork that you want.....I usually use porkchops, but I've also made this with a pork roast.
This particular time I used country style porkchops, which are a bit fattier, and there is a bone, but they cook up awesome in the crockpot.
-one onion, red or white, whichever
-one can of unsweetened applesauce
-some apples of course! 2, 3, 5, however many you want
-salt and pepper
Whenever I cook in the crockpot, I always make A LOT! So I have two layers of food here. I put down some porkchops, covered them with about half of the can of applesauce, cored the apples and cut them into maybe 6 pieces (I leave the skin on but of course you can peel them), then add the onions which I also cut into maybe 6 pieces or so. Add some salt and pepper (if desired) then repeated the layer again. (Keep in mind that I have a large crockpot!)
You can add a little bit of water, but don't add too much or it will turn into more of a soup...MAYBE a quarter or a third of a cup. I cooked mine on High for about 5 to 6 hours, but that was because I got it into the crockpot later in the day....if you made this in the morning, just cook it on Low for the day.
Please keep in mind that when cooking with my crockpot, I usually fly by the seat of my pants, and the recipe will change every time. That's the basic recipe though! Tweak it to suit your needs, add or subtract things as you want! It's a pretty versatile recipe! My kiddos can't get enough of it and my hubby always has second and third helpings too even though he's not a huge fan of porkchops! I hope you and your family love it!!
Like I said, I'm horrible at taking pictures of food, and I forgot to take the picture until we were halfway through eating LOL!!
That particular night, I also baked an acorn squash that the kiddos and S also couldn't get enough of! I cut the squash in half, scooped the seeds, put a bunch of butter and brown sugar into the center hole, put the halves into a baking dish and add a little bit of water to almost steam the squash. I usually cook it at about 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. It's done when the squash is tender when poked with a fork. For another side I made these awesome brussel sprouts that everyone in my family loves too!! It was one of the first recipes that I found and used off of Pinterest LOL! You can find it here! Brussel sprouts with bacon and apples? How can you go wrong?! And we also had garlic bread.....can you just imagine how STUFFED we all were?!
Hope you all try these and love them as much as we all do!