Monday, November 12, 2012

Homemade Applesauce

Do you have some apples left over from apple picking, rolling around in your crisper or cold cellar?  Well I have a great recipe for you to use up the last of this seasons apples... homemade  applesauce.

It's not so much a recipe as a guideline.  I just throw things in the pot and adjust it accordingly  based on taste and texture.  It is super easy to make and it makes the house smell wonderful!

Homemade Applesauce
6 or 7 apples, peeled and cored
1/4 cup water or apple juice
2 tsp cinnamon

Cut apples in chunks and place in a 2 quart dutch oven (or other pot).  Add water and cinnamon and stir.

Cook on medium heat until apples break down to a desired consistency (20 - 30 minutes).

Delicious hot or cold and it freezes well.

You can also add sugar if you prefer (3 to 4 tbsp).

My girls LOVE when I make applesauce.  I love making it for them.  When I was kid my grandpa would pick the fallen apples from the old apple tree on the farm and make huge batches of apple sauce.  He would always freeze some and we would enjoy it throughout the winter.  I still remember coming home one weekend from university and he had made a big batch for me to take back with me.  Oh, my sweet and wonderful grandpa.  He passed away 2 years ago last week.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of him.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Hamilton Half Marathon 2012

I did it!  I finished my first half marathon on Sunday.

I couldn't believe how smoothly everything went and how relaxed I felt.  I think I was more anxious about my first half during some long training runs then I was on race day.  I had a great race and I'm already looking forward to my next challenge... maybe Around the Bay???

Freezing at the start line with my friend.
Warming up at the finish line, where we meet again!

It is interesting to note that my friend and I never trained together once (well, a few 2 km runs with the kids at lunch at school during running club, but that doesn't really count!).  I think we've only gone on a run together once before and that was probably 5 years ago.  We did not run the race together.  In fact, I saw her at the start and not again until the last 3 kms.  The neat thing... we crossed the finish line within 30 seconds of each other!  She crossed before me and she's almost 20 years older than I am!  Go, Sal, Go!  What an inspiration!  And thanks to her husband for getting some great photos - mine had his hands full with two frozen little ones!

My cold, grumpy, cheering squad.  They still made me very happy and gave me lots of new energy!
Thanks to my hubby for being so incredibly supportive and helping me to do this race.  I don't know how moms with young kids find time to train for endurance events like these.  There's just no time!  My training plan consisted of one long run a week, a weekly game of ultimate frisbee and if I was lucky, one or two other runs on top of that.  Not my ideal training plan at all, but it's the best I can do when I'm at home all week with two little ones.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The big night came and went, just like every year.  Costumes, candy, pumpkins, parties, late nights, rain, tired know, the usual.

But this year was an exciting one for me... I sewed my first Halloween costume!

My 3.5 year old is obsessed with Happy Feet at the moment.  She saw it a month or so ago and has not stopped obsessing about penguins, singing, dancing and Antarctica.  In fact, the obsession only got bigger when she learned there was Happy Feet Two!  Who could dream such a wonderful thing - in her eyes, NOT mine!  Happy Feet is a wonderful movie but when it possesses your child and the songs (Boogie Wonderland?) pound through your head, hour after hour, it's not so fun.

Little L's obsession led me to the idea of making her a penguin costume.  I found this great tutorial on Make it and love it to make the most adorable penguin costume ever!  It was really easy to make.  It is made with fleece, so you don't have to worry too much about finished seems because fleece doesn't fray.  I used felt for the orange parts (all shops were sold out of orange fleece!) and it was just as easy because it, too, doesn't fray.  I made a few alterations but followed the pattern for the most part.  I sewed in one big piece of velcro at the back instead of a zipper and I just made the feet to sit on top of her shoes because I still wanted her to be able to wear shoes.  

She loves her costume!  The great thing about it is that she wears it all the time as she listens to the Happy Feet soundtrack and dances.  It's nice to get more use out of a costume than one day a year!

Little V was a unicorn on the weekend when we went to our friends Halloween/Birthday Party and then she was a chicken on Halloween night.  Two flightless birds!  What a cute pair!  She reminded me of Big Bird with those pants!

Yes, my kitchen is a pigsty!  But you try to get a pumpkin carved, feed two kids, get them dressed and out the door by 6:30 p.m. so you can get them back home in bed for their usual bedtime of 7 p.m.!  As you can see, the chicken's already tired!

The girls and I had fun carving our pumpkin.  Little L loved getting her hands right in there and pulling out the seeds and guts.  Little V was most interested in the peduncle and the lid I cut out.  She kept wanting to take it off and carry it around.  It made for a messy house, that's for sure!

Now that the sugar rush is ending, I'm looking forward to November and getting my mind on Christmas - my absolute favourite time of the year!  So many wonderful sewing projects to do, but oh so little time!!!