Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall is my favorite time of year!

I love to read other people's blogs, but I find that I do not like to post on mine! I have so many cute stories about my kiddos and updates to share with friends on what is happening so I need to get my butt into gear and start doing this more!

We are enjoying fall here in New England. I absolutely love the Fall. It is my favorite season. I love the colors and the leaves, the crisp air, the smells of fall foods and the decorations. I just got my house all "fallish" last week. My front porch steps now holds purple mums and orange pumpkins and the inside of my home is full of white pumpkins (I adore white pumpkins) and indian corn, acorn decorations, fake leaves and garland and yummy fall smelling candles.

The church had a fall party for the kids this weekend and it was a blast! The theme was "corn" and the food represented the theme well. The kids made corn tortillas and loved playing with the dough and using the tortilla press to make them, ate corn on the cob, corn chips, candy corn, caramel popcorn and plenty of other goodies. The games were fun and the puppet show was adorable. But the best part about the fall party was that my good friend Melanie from Conneticut came to visit for a few days with her kids and arrived in time to join the fun at the party.

Mel and I have been friends since our freshman year of college. She is a sweetheart through and through and her children, Noah age 3 and Emily age 1, are definately a reflection of her and her sweetness! I have not seen Melanie since she and her husband Dan came to visit us four years ago before we had children. It was a great time of fun and fellowship and catching up. Our kids played so well together. Noah and Jack both love trains and spent hours building tracks and playing. Emily and Ethan are the same age and both cute little mess makers!
Saturday we went apple picking after the fall party, Sunday we made a trip to Vermont in between church services and took the kids on a little train ride at Queeche Gorge Village, and Monday we went to the Montshire Museum. It was sad to see them leave but I know we will both make more of an effort to get together since our boys especially are forever bonded through their mutual love of trains.

We ate a lot of great food and I make my first apple pie of the season with our freshly picked apple. I made Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie that is just heavenly. It is amazing with the the caramel sauce melted into the warm crisp topping. My sister Liz loves this pie and made a special visit to get a piece before it was gone. I think I will be making another one tonight since I have more company coming this week!

Have I mentioned I LOVE fall?????????

Pictures to come! Stay tuned.
Love,
Andrea

Recipe for Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

Ingredients:
1 9 inch pie crust (store bought or homemade, I love the Pillsbury pie crusts!)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
6 cups of thinly sliced peeled apples
1 recipe of crumb topping (see below)
1/4 cup of caramel topping

Ingredients for Crumb topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter

Directions for Crumb topping:
Stir together brown sugar, flour and oats. Cut in butter until topping is like coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.
3. Add apples and gently toss until coated. TIP FROM ANDI: Do not overmix!!! Overmixing will cause your pie to be soupy!
4. Pour apple mixture into pie shell.
5. Sprinkle crumb topping over apple mixture.
6. Put pie on cookie sheet and cover edges with aluminum foil. TIP FROM ANDI: If you don't have a pie crust shield, invest it one! they are awesome!
7. Bake for 25 minutes and remove foil or pie crust shield. Then bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and drizzle caramel topping over the top.
9. Cool on wire rack for at least 45 minutes, and enjoy warm or at room temp.

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