Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nakd Bars! A Review

A while back, I got one of these nakd bars in my Vegan Cuts snack box and I loved it! Right away,  I went to the Vegan Cuts site and ordered myself a box of mixed flavors and a box of just chocolate flavors. One by one, I ate my way through my stash. But since then, I hadn't seen the nakd bars in stores and was wondering what had become of them. When I got an email recently from Natural Balance Foods offering to send me a box of nakd bars to review, I wrote back immediately! You can't sit around on an offer like that, ha ha. 

Evidently nakd bars have been established over in the UK, but are just now making a push in the North American market. It's good new for us, because they're pretty great!

It looks like they'll eventually cost a bit more, but right now they have a deal for 13 bars for $9.99. That's a pretty good idea, because it makes it pretty affordable to try them out before you see them at the grocery store, or decide to order more online. They even come in a cute little box. I know that shouldn't necessarily affect my opinion, but it does. I like pretty things.

The bars themselves are kinda close to Lara Bars. They're made with really simple ingredients like dates and cashews and raisins. The bars range in calories depending on the flavor, from 130-160 per bar, with 3-4 grams of protein. They also have 4 "Protein Crunch" flavors that include "soya crunchies" - made with non-GMO soy. These bars have 5.5 grams of protein per bar.

The bars are fairly petite, but this is actually something that I really like about them. If I want a bar that will really pack a nutrition and calorie punch, I'll probably get a Vega bar or something like that. But, most of the time, I'm just looking for a yummy afternoon nibble that's going to be tasty and satisfying, and not have 300 calories. These adorable little nakd bars are just perfect. It's been a while since I had a Lara bar, so I'm not sure about the direct comparison, but these bars have a more dense (almost chewy) consistency that I find quite pleasurable. I really feel like I'm biting into something when I eat one. Also, I recall that Lara bars had occasional chunks of walnuts or almonds inside them - whereas these bars have a more consistent texture throughout. I like it either way.
you don't have to be naked when you eat it

Also, such fun flavors. I mean, when's the last time you bought yourself a Rhubarb & Custard bar?? It's so good! So far, I really love all of the chocolate flavors. I was thinking of saying "especially the Cocoa Orange one," because it's really good, but I like all the chocolate flavors a lot. I"m not generally big on berry flavored things (except for actual berries), so those two bars will probably be the last to meet their maker.

I'm making my way through the box that Nakd sent me, and I'll definitely get myself more when this stash runs out. Having already bought myself two boxes in the past, I know I'm already a fan for sure.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Friends Thanksgiving: Holy Cheeseballs!

Warning: This is a noshtalgia & potluck post all in one. 

This weekend we had our annual Friends Thanksgiving Potluck ~ a vast array of totally vegan seasonal delights. It was a totally wonderful evening. I came home with my heart-o-meter totally full to the max. So many sweet conversations -- from heart-felt, to funny, to engaging... I feel so lucky to have such awesome, smart, and kind friends. I am also lucky because my friends happen to be quite skilled in the kitchen!

As soon as we set the date for Friends Thanksgiving, I knew exactly what I wanted to make: Somer's Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Cheddar Cheeseball. Gentle readers, I have had my eye on this recipe since Somer first posted it a year ago. Spoiler alert: HOLY BALLS THIS IS GOOD. 

Here's the thing. Back when I was a wee tot, we had a relative who we saw once a year at Thanksgiving. Many people found her company a bit difficult to enjoy, but my grandparents were especially kind-hearted people, and so they always had a good rapport with her. She had a long drive, 2 hours or so, to arrive at my grandparents' house for the holiday, and every year she would bring a cheeseball. I recall feeling some hesitation and discomfort at the prospect of seeing this relative again each year... but I also remember feelings of great pleasure and joy around those bright orange cheeseballs covered in crunchy chopped nuts and with a vague boozy flavor. Ahh. 

My brother Jeremy and me, staying close to the cheeseball

Well, apparently, there was one year when Baby Me parked myself next to that cheeseball and ate the whole damn thing. I was a kid! I didn't know that you were supposed to be gracious and pass it around or whatever. I knew this: it was yummy, and I was gonna get some. I don't actually have memories of this particular offense (since I didn't deem it as such), but I do remember what happened the next year:

The next year, Said Relative arrived at the door - cheeseball in hand! - and made a pointed and snippy remark that I had better not eat the whole thing this time. It's one of those odd things, how this comment has stuck with me all those years. I recall feeling quite a sting, quite hurt by her tone. I was always trying to be a good kid (perhaps trying too hard!), and I felt unjustly accused. Poor Said Relative, this feeling of hurt is my strongest memory of her.

But fortunately, my memories of her are also eternally tied to the joys of a Holiday Cheeseball. Since becoming vegan 15 years ago, these loving cheeseball memories have been unavailable to me. NO MORE.

cheeseball #1, covered in sliced almonds

cheeseball #2, covered in chopped pecans, sage, and thyme

You guys. It's really important that you understand how amazing and delicious this recipe is. You must make it. It was a hit with everyone at the party. Mr VE&T was completely confused that I had personally made something this tasty and rich. (should I be insulted?) He kept asking "You made this??"

As you can see, I used the goop to make two cheeseballs, and used both of Somer's suggestions for coating. I couldn't decide, so I did both. Each of these balls was larger than a baseball - so all together it would have made one ginormous cheeseball. I think I preferred the pecans and herbs, but both variations were good. The recipe is packed with coconut oil and cashews - so this is pure decadence at its best. Somer is some sort of food genius, because the flavor is absolutely delicious and brought back all my happy cheeseball memories as soon as I tasted the goop. It was a bit of a challenge, even with my trusty Vitamix, to blend up all the goop until it was smooth (there's not a lot of extra moisture or liquid in the recipe), but sakes alive, it was worth all that blender wrangling. 
I experienced the sweet joy of Cheeseball Redemption.
I can eat as much as I want, and I can also graciously share the bounty of my cheeseball.
I can make my own cheeseball and bring it to the party.
I can write cheeseball affirmations.

Boozy Baked Penne with Caramelized Onions
I also made this totally delicious casserole, from Julie's newest book "Vegan Casseroles." So far, I have really been enjoying all the recipes I've tried from VC. This one used a cashew-based cheesy sauce that had pale ale in it. The beer flavor wasn't at all dominant, but added to the overall umami yum of the dish.

Miyoko's Smoked Farmhouse Cheese
I wasn't the only one thinking about cheese! Our charming hostess used our party as a valid excuse to buy more Miyoko cheese. A wise decision. I was happy she did because I hadn't tried this flavor yet. It's smoky and a little dry (not in a bad way, just not creamy like a cream cheese). I really liked this flavor - in fact, I think everyone did! It's a totally legit cheese-and-crackers kind of cheese. The vegan cheese revolution is finally upon us!!

Leek Pie
Our hostess also made this beautiful Leek Pie with loads of leeks and Beyond Meat Chicken Strips and some sort of mustardy gooey gravy of goodness inside. It was delicious and the crust was pure flaky glory. I went back for seconds. I never buy stuff like Beyond Meat, but lately I'm realizing that the meat replacement products have really evolved a lot and I feel like I should check in with some of them... just to know what's available out there! I loved this pie, and I also loved the beautiful decoration that she did on the crust. <3 p="">

Butternut and Kale Galette with Pumpkin Seed Truffle Pastry
Ooooh yeah, you read that right. Ms A brought two of these beautiful galettes - the recipe is from Bryanna Clark Grogan's book "World Vegan Feast." The crust was light and she said it was also really easy to work with - a rare combination of pastry virtues! There's no denying that there was a lot of beige food going on at our Friends Thanksgiving this year - but hidden inside these galettes were lots of bright butternut cubes and kale. So there.

Green Beans and Caramelized Pearl Onions
Of course there were actually veggies. We aren't monsters, after all. Ms. S brought these super tasty green beans and pearl onions. Pearl Onions are fun! Did you know that you can buy them frozen and pre-peeled at Trader Joes? I did not, until Ms S told me so. Now I feel compelled to include pearl onions in my diet more often.

Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Pecans.
It is against the law to hold a vegan thanksgiving without Brussels Sprouts. We dared not violate this sacred mandate. Luckily, Mr J came to our aid and made these green orbs of tastiness. These were very delicious. I ate many of them.

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Mr. M showed up with two loaves of freshly-baked Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread. You know, really, this could have been the whole party and I'm pretty sure we all would have been content. It was so good. One day at the farmers market, Mr. M (who is not actually a vegan) was eating a not-so-mini loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, which he had just bought from one of the bakers at the market. Of course it was not vegan. But I couldn't stop talking about it and making eyes at it and talking about how I can never find vegan cinnamon raisin bread. Well, I didn't mean it as a hint - but Mr. M is quite a skilled bread maker, and look what he brought! I was overjoyed. He even let me take some of the leftovers home. I had a piece for breakfast this morning, with great appreciation.

Apple Grumble
Ms A brought this apple crumble, but when she was writing it down, she accidentally made the "C" look more like a "G," and we all decided that we liked the name Apple Grumble. In fact, this recipe was totally dynamite! Apparently it's from "How It All Vegan" (an oldie but a goodie!), but I don't remember the exact name of the recipe. Apple crumbles are always good, but I must say this one was quite particularly special. Ms. A used a mandoline to really thinly slice the apples and I loved how this made the apples so tender and soft! I've always cut my apples in chunks, but I think this one recipe has converted me to the mandoline method. Also the topping was substantial and not at all skimpy. I really loved this a lot. 

Ms S brought this delicious pie! Underneath it all was a really good chewy cookie layer. Maybe it was gingerbread? Then there was the sweet potato pie filling, and this glorious Brazil nut crunch on top. I don't think I have ever made a sweet potato pie in my life, but I totally loved this one. In my family, we've always had pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas... but maybe I'll branch out one of these days!

The table full of vegan glory and goodness!
On the right, hiding in that crock pot is a giant batch of Ms. A's amazing vegan gravy. She made it last year too, and it is so good. It deserves a mention for sure! 

What a wonderful evening. Cheeseballs, vegan feasting, dear friends, lively kiddos, good conversation... much to be grateful for indeed. I hope you have a wonderful holiday this year, whatever you're up to. My family will be gathering at my parents' house, and I'm really looking forward to it. Quite a lovely change, compared to last year's holiday at the hospital. I'll promise a post about that feast too! 

ps. make the cheeseball

Monday, November 17, 2014

Julie's Original Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

Woohoo! I'm not a gluten-freebie myself, but I have a lot of special friends and yoga students who are. As a vegan, I know how it feels to go to a party and see a big platter of baked treats - none of which are vegan. (spoiler alert: it feels bad!) So, I don't want my gf pals to ever feel left out. Over the years, I've done quite a bit of adventuring with vegan & gluten-free baking. I've had pretty good luck with gf cookies (lots of great recipes from Alyson Kramer!), but just so-so luck with cakes.

When my pal Julie Hasson started a new line of gluten-free and vegan baking mixes called Julie's Original, I knew they'd be good! How did I know? Well, I have a bunch of Julie's cookbooks (Vegan Diner, Vegan Pizza, Vegan Casseroles, and more) ~ AND I've eaten at the food cart that Julie and her husband Jay used to run in Portland, OR. All very good! So, for me, Julie is a trusted source indeed.

Before she was a vegan, Julie was a professional baker. Upon becoming vegan, she learned all sorts of tricks and created great vegan recipes. Then, when her health required a switch to a gluten-free diet... she dove in and created Julie's Original. Truth be told, I bought these mixes a while ago, but I've been waiting for a gluten-free pal to share them with. I know gluten-free folks don't have their friends volunteer to bake for them very often! It's been so long since I bought these packs, that in the meantime Julie has updated her packaging. Now the mixes come in boxes, and they look even cuter.

puffy! golden! studded with raspberries! delicious!
(and bruised from my careless removal-from-cakepan efforts!)

Finally I had a chance to use my baking mix when my gluten-free and vegan cousin was in town, and we had a big family party planned (a birthday party!). The baking mixes come in two flavors: chocolate fudge brownie and white cake mix. But, here's the cool thing: on her website, Julie has all sorts of creative recipes to enhance the mixes in loads of creative ways. On the night before our family gathering, I was trying to decided between Almond-Raspberry Cake, Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake, Chai Carrot Zucchini Cake, or Lemon-Raspberry. So many tempting directions you can go with one box of cake mix!

with some simple raspberry frosting on top

I finally settled on the Almond-Raspberry variation, and the cake turned out amazing! 

My cousin also made a non-gluten-free chocolate cake, so we had two little birthday cakes, for a crowd of 11-12 people. Everyone had one small slice of each cake - and in a room full of gluten-eaters, there was not one piece of uneaten cake left on anyone's plate. That's quite an endorsement!

a leftover slice the next day... fresh out of the freezer, and just minutes before falling prey to my hungry tummy. This poor slice is a bit banged up, but I wanted you to see how nice the cake looked inside! 
I have to say, I was really, really impressed with this cake mix, and I will probably never again bother with trying to make a gluten free cake from scratch. I totally appreciated the ease, the sense of "this-won't-fail" confidence, and - most of all - the fantastic results of this cake! The flavor was fantastic - vanilla-y, with just the right amount of sweetness (not at all overdone). And the texture was also great. Honestly, texture has been the biggest struggle for me with baking gf cakes. I've often started with a trip to the natural foods store, buying 5 different kinds of flours and starches - only to be uncertain if the recipe will even work out -- and then ended with cakes that were gritty, or gummy, or that were gritty in some parts and weirdly gummy in other parts of the cake. Blech. Meanwhile, Julie's cake mix resulted in a great texture that was totally consistent throughout, light, and not crumbly. I plan on keeping a box of this in my pantry, so that anytime I want to make something special for a gf pal, I'll have a reliable and tasty plan of action at the ready!

I still have my packet of the chocolate brownie mix left over. I guess I'm gonna have to invite a gf pal over for dinner pronto, so that I have a good excuse to try that one out! Since Julie is a pal of mine, I really wanted to like these mixes. Happily, I did! I will definitely buy it again, and I actually plan on buying some boxes for Christmas presents for some of my gf loved ones. Highly recommended! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cozy Time!

As you might know, we're having some sort of crazy, years-long drought out here in California. Sunny days are fun, but after a while it gets a bit relentless. Sometimes all I want is a grey day where I feel justified in cozying up on the sofa, doing inside-the-house stuff, snuggling the kitties, etc. Well, guess what!? I finally got some quality cozy time.

The last couple of days have been mercifully grey and cool, and then - to make the deal even sweeter - we woke up yesterday morning to a rainy sky. Ahhh. Thursdays are my early morning workout day (7am!), so when I came home, I got straight to work with cozy time.

Step one: put on my favorite pair of Cozy Socks

Step two: make myself a big cup of hot coffee

Step three: Settle onto the sofa with my Chrome Book, some work tasks, and then be ambushed with excellent kitty snugs!

Step four: roast a giant batch of veggies for lunches. This whole biz lasted me for two lunches. I am a veggie monster! Delicata squash, kabocha squash, sweet potatoes, yellow cauliflower, and romesco cauliflower... all tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. So beautiful and so delicious.

I had a great morning doing the crossword puzzle, getting lots of computer work done, and catching up on emails.

Then, after teaching a morning class, I finally got to eat my lunch: all my delicious veggies and a big dollop of tofu ricotta. Ahhh. A good ol' rainy day. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

I'm Kookoo for Fuyu (Persimmons!)

Have you ever had a fuyu persimmon? There are two kinds of persimmons that I know about: the acorn-shaped ones called Hachiyas, and the pumpkin-shaped ones called Fuyus.

The Hachiyas are really beautiful, and they are meant to be eaten when they are super soft and mushy - like basically when they turn into pudding on their own. Where I live, there are persimmon trees all around town. They are beautiful trees, and they are even more beautiful when they are covered with beautiful, bright orange fruits. At first the leaves are green, then they start to turn orange, and then they eventually fall to the ground... leaving the orange fruits hanging like Christmas ornaments. It's all really great, except that I don't really like that kind of persimmon.

little baby Amey, having her mouth stuffed with hachiya persimmons

The other day I was walking the dogs and passed a big bucket on the sidewalk filled with persimmons - with a "FREE" sign next to it. Even though I don't really enjoy the mushy persimmons, I can't resist free fruit and put one in each pocket of my jacket and wobbled home with my persimmons. I cut one up and put it in my yogurt... and at first it was going well, and I thought maybe I had crossed back into the territory of re-liking these mushy persimmons. But by the end of my little bowl of cereal, I could hardly get it down. That mushy texture is a total deal-breaker for me! My mom tells me that when I was a little baby, I went through a serious persimmon phase, and apparently I was totally nuts about that bright orange mushy stuff back then! This is no longer true.

fuyu beauties!

Luckily though, Fuyu Persimmons also exist - and they are awesome when crunchy! I usually just slice them up like an apple and eat the little wedges. Or I dice them up and add them to my yogurt (with greater success than the other kind). These persimmons don't seem to be quite as common place around these parts, and I have certainly never walked past a bucket full of free fuyus. Alas! If I did, I would clear that bucket out! Stuff all my pockets!

stuffing my mouth, grown-up style!

I really love these crunchy little beauties. I love the flavor, the color, and the texture. In fact, they are quite forgiving - because they're good when they're quite crisp and also when they have softened up a fair amount. Most fruits have a more narrow "delicious" window than that! Long live the Fuyu!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Jack O'Cuties, Skeleton Cookies & More!

Happy Halloween, Everyone

 jack o'cuties galore

I'm not a crazed Halloween fan like some people, but I certainly can't resist the opportunity for festive food fun. I saw those little cutie tangerine pumpkins all over the place, but I didn't feel like peeling a load of tangerines. (or mandarins? I'm not actually sure)... So, I decided just to draw little Jack O' Lantern faces on my cuties! It was so fun. No two are the same!

I took some to my yoga students, and I saved the other half to take to a Halloween party we're going to tonight. It's nice to provide some Halloween treats that are healthy. Also, this way if I feel like I'm being too tempted by sugary treats at the party, I can always make my way back to the big bowl of Jack O'Cuties. It was fun to let my students pick out their favorite - some people go for happy jack o'faces and some people like the mean, spooky faces!

skeleton yoga cookies!

That said, I made cookies too! I used the Chocolate Roll-out Cookies recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. What took me so long to discover this recipe?? They were so delicious! I added a little extra cocoa powder and some chocolate extract for extra cocoa-power-punch. They taste like brownies! 

These cookies are my pride and joy this year, but I can't take credit - they were Mr. VE&T's idea. I have these yoga posture cookie cutters, and every year at Christmas I make Gingerbread Yogis for all my students. In years past, I've made Halloween Skeleton Cookies with my regular "gingerbread man" cookie cutter. But somehow, I never thought of making skeleton yogis! It was a fun icing challenge! 

I brought these (and a few jack o'cuties for the healthy-minded) to my yoga class on the night before Halloween. Needless to say - none of them made it home!

good ol' fashioned skeleton cookies!

While I was at it, I figured I may as well make some proper spooky skeletons and bring them along to the Halloween party tonight. There were a couple that broke, so I took advantage of those "tragedies" to make sure the the cookies were delicious. Check! These cookies are full-sized Gingerbread men, maybe 5 inches high (?), so they are actually pretty big. I like the ones where I left a nose hole better... the ones without noses look a little like Alien Skeleton Cookies - but I guess that's just as well for Halloween!

~~ Last but not least!! ~~

I promised to pick a winner for my "Vegan Casseroles" giveaway today... and with the help of the Random Number Generator, comment #23 was chosen. Congrats to Charj!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apple Time!

Our apple tree was planted by the people who lived here before us. When we first came to see the house, it was around this time of year. The realtor showed us the apple tree (it's planted in the weirdest place, behind our garage), and the ground below it was covered with rotting apples. In that moment, I passed some serious judgment on the people living here. Who cares if they had a toddler and were trying to sell their house (kidding! ... kinda)? I have a moral philosophy about fruit trees - they are a gift from nature, and it is some kind of unpardonable sin to let too much of their fruit go unused.

the doggies love it when I tend to the apple tree. The whole time I was up in the tree picking apples they were down below, absconding with apples! When I came down, I found 4-5 apples in the backyard, with little doggie nibbles out of them. Later, we even found an apple on the sofa. Ha ha. They look pretty cute trotting around with apples in their mouths.

Every year, Apple Time arrives when it wants to arrive and for a few weekends and evenings I must sacrifice my free time and put it all toward the art of apple preservation. It's even more of a chore these days because our tree has grown a lot over the years. When we bought our house, I thought the tree was a dwarf variety, but time has proven otherwise. 

This year, our apples came much earlier than usual. Like, at least a month earlier. This is undoubtedly because of our long drought that we are having in California. Another unexpected development was that this year we had WAY MORE "perfect" apples with no bugs and no icky bits and no bird pecks in them. Usually there are a just a few of those, but this year there have been many... like at least 10x more than in years past. Could this be another result of the drought? Whatever the reason, it's great.

My apple process involves picking the apples and then sorting them into a few different categories:
1. Perfect. Storable - no pecks or dents or worm holes or rotten bits. Nary a blemish in sight. 
2. Almost perfect, but with a little dent. 
If you eat them soon, everything will be fine... but not storable. This also translates as "perfect enough for Amey, but not perfect enough for Mr. VE&T"
2. Imperfect but usable. Maybe these have buggie bits or a rotten spot, or a big dent on one side... but with a paring knife and some patience, enough of the apple is still good that it's worth my time.
4. Unsalvagable. These rotten, sickly, tiny bad apples go straight to the yard waste.

Because we had so many more perfect apples than usual, I looked into how to store them. I carefully inspected them for any tiny damages or knicks that might lead to accelerated rotting.

Those apples that passed the test were loving wrapped in half sheets of black and white newspaper. I read that it's better not to use the pages with colored ink. Some of my pages had colored ink, but I kept that part on the outside.

as snug as a bug in a rug

Then I put all the little love-wrapped apples into a box and have stored them in our garage - which stays quite cool. It's not as good as a walk-in refrigerator, but it'll do.

Mr. VE&T really, really loves apples, but he is also slightly lazy and prudish. Only apples of the highest perfection levels will meet his standards. While I am happy to cut a little icky spot off an apple and eat the rest... this idea is completely prohibitive to Mr. VE&T. Instead of getting out the paring knife, he will drive all the way to the store and spend money on giant bags of store apples. I love the guy, but geez. Anyhow, this system has been perfect. Every few days, he goes out to the garage and unwraps a few more apples for himself. It's been great! 

These are the "imperfect but usable" apples. You can see the bug holes and spots... but also, you can see that there's a lot of good apple stuff going on there! This is just a small sample of the many, many, many imperfect apples I've picked so far. I did one early picking, one giant picking, and I have at least one more big pick to go.

The first thing I did was make some dried apples. I like them for snacks and also to give as holiday presents. I still don't have a dehydrator of my own, but every year I borrow one from my friends Toni & Scott. I put that Excalibur to use! I peeled, cored, trimmed and sliced SO MANY APPLES and filled all ten (or is it twelve?) trays of the dehydrator. This large gallon bag of dried apples was the result. Yum! I also really love the way the house smells when I'm drying apples - the whole house is filled with the aroma of apples... it's magical!

The second thing I did was make Applesauce!

I love having homemade applesauce on hand! This weekend I made two GIANT batches - filling my biggest pot and my usual large pot with apples, two times over. Wowsers. In the past, I've always peeled the apples, but I recently learned* that you can leave the peels on, and then just run the applesauce through a food mill after it has cooked down. Using the food mill was still a little bit of work, but not nearly as much work as all that damned peeling... so I think I'll still with this technique from now on! 
(*full disclosure, I learned this from Martha Stewart Living)

I made the first batch all by myself, which took me at least two hours of just chopping - not to mention all the boiling and canning. But for the second batch of applesauce, I had helpers: my mom and dad! My dad is probably the biggest fan of our tree's super delicious apples and he loves our applesauce. So it was extra fun to have his help. And my mom has helped me many times in previous years with applesauce making, so she is already a pro. We had the football game on for my dad to watch, and we each had a big bowl of apples to cut and trim and it took us under an hour! Hoorah! It was such a fun way to spend the evening together! I hope they don't mind if I give them applesauce for Christmas, even though they helped make it. Ha ha.

If you'd like to see details about how I cook and can my applesauce, there's an old post about it here, and another one here. It definitely takes some time, but it's not hard, and then you have applesauce when it's over!

that's a lot of applesauce!! And this is just HALF of what I made.
I guess this is The Year of Applesauce

When all the boiling and food milling and canning and re-boiling of the canned jars was said and done, I was left with 23 medium jars and 12 of the smaller jars. I like having some of the smaller jars for the times when I just want a little applesauce for baking or whatever. But the medium jars make nicer Christmas presents and are better when I really want to munch on some serious applesauce!!

Fortunately for us, our apple tree makes the most wonderfully delicious apples. I don't know how we got so lucky. Even with all the work involved, I wouldn't trade my apple tree for anything. I love it so much and I'm so grateful for the bounty it brings us year after year!