Fall Recipe!

apples

One of my very favorite things to do this time of year is to bake! The smells of fall and the chill in the air make me go searching for my favorite recipes that include apples or pumpkin. One of my very favorites includes apples and butterscotch. How can you go wrong?

If you go apple-picking this weekend (or to the grocery store), be sure to give this recipe a try!

Butterscotch Apple Squares

  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 small apples, pared & chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 (6-oz.) pkg. butterscotch chips
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • flaked coconut (approx. 1 1/3 cups), as desired
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, as desired

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 (325 for glass dish). In a 13×9 dish, melt the margarine in the oven. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over melted margarine and top with the apples.

In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt the chips with the sweetened condensed milk. Pour the butterscotch mixture evenly over the apples. Top with coconut and nuts (as desired); press down firmly.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and chill thoroughly. Refrigerate leftovers.

Super easy and really, really good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Fall!

fall

Get those fall decorations out! It’s that time of year again.

It’s time to slow down a little bit. I know there are still sports, school activities, and other commitments but, for some reason, the fact that it’s now fall just makes me take a deep breath and feel like I can slow down. Summer always makes me feel like I have to do as much as possible to take advantage of the season (can you tell I live in the Midwest?). Fall brings a sense of calmness with it.

Fall just makes me stop, take a deep breath, and embrace the end of summer. We have to enjoy this time before the onslaught of winter takes hold. These next couple of months are glorious! There are no expectations, just the simple enjoyment of weather, beautiful colors, fall sweaters and boots to wear, and fun activities like apple-picking. I can even turn my oven back on and start baking all things pumpkin!

Whatever you choose to do with these next couple of months, enjoy!

Happy First Day of Fall!

Speed Up or Slow Down?

end_of_summer

Okay, so don’t get mad at me, but I have to tell you something.

I saw a few red and yellow leaves on my bushes and trees. I know it’s not fall (even if the 10-day forecast is 10-15 degrees cooler than it’s been). It’s too early for that. I actually saw them last week and tried to just ignore it. I thought it must be a fluke. I’m still waiting for summer to kick in! Once again, it seems that I missed summer entirely while waiting for it to get here.

I realize that we’re not into fall yet, but I also remember that it starts to get chilly a couple of weeks after school starts. I remember back-to-school shopping while it’s so hot outside and trying to convince the kids that they actually do need pants and warmer clothes. Now it’s getting colder sooner, it seems, and this is likely to happen within the next month.

Labor Day is only a few weeks away and that pretty much ends all of our summer-type activities. With that in mind, I decided to look at all of the things that I wanted to do this summer and, boy, was I disappointed! I didn’t get to a pool, I didn’t go to a summer concert, and I didn’t even get to a farmer’s market. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure exactly what I DID do but here I am and I need to decide what to do about it.

My first inclination is to look at my calendar and fill it up with all the things I haven’t yet done. Then, though, I decided to look back over the last two months. On most days of my appointment book, I have something written in. They may not all be things I wanted to do and they may not even have been important things, but there is something written on most days. What this tells me is that, even though I didn’t get to do the things I planned on, I had obviously done some other stuff. After looking at it, I realized that I don’t want to add to my already busy days by fitting in extra things I felt like I missed. There’s a reason I missed them; I was already busy!

I’ve decided, instead, to look at my next 4-6 weeks/weekends and decide where I can fit the top 3 things I wanted to do. I don’t need to be an overachiever here. I’m kind of satisfied with the level of activity I had, just not what I missed out on. I’m finding it much easier to make compromises now and I’m not feeling nearly as guilty as I used to when I don’t get things done. I can’t do it all anymore. Even if I could, it’s just not worth it.

I find that almost everybody I know is overbooked, over busy, and over stressed. Why add on to any of that? Take a look now and decide what’s most important to you over the next month. Do those things and let the rest of it go. Then, when fall does roll around, you can sit back and be happy with what you did this summer.

Then we’ll start on fall…and wine tours and apple picking and harvest fests…

Parenting & Letting Go

journey
journey

This time of year makes me so nostalgic.  Summer turns into fall, school starts, and it’s that time of year when you find yourself letting go of your baby.  Depending on your age and your situation in life the circumstances will vary but you will find yourself having to let go of the most important thing in your life and it doesn’t matter if it’s your first, your third, or your tenth child; it feels the same way each and every time.

When your baby turns into a toddler and starts exploring the world around her, you have to let her do it.  You have to not only let her do it, but encourage her to move away from you, to move toward other people and other things in order to learn about her world.  You have to trust other people with the most important thing in your life. Continue reading “Parenting & Letting Go”