How to Make Fresh Apple Cider

How to Make Fresh Apple Cider- www.NourishingSimplicity.org

Fresh apple cider. My tounge tingles at the thought. Who doesn’t enjoy a glass of the sweet treat at least once during autumn? It’s fall in a cup, I know I say that all the time but it truly is!

Apples have held a dear place in my heart for as long as I can remember. Growing up we had a Golden Delicious tree. I was the one that got picked to climb the high branches to get the ones close to the top. What kid doesn’t like to scale a tree bare foot? My parent’s dreamed of moving back to the Mid-west and having a small Jonathan orchard. Life changed and that never happened but my dad being a sweet heart let me pick out a new apple tree for our back yard in the city. Being a Fuji lover, that’s what I picked. The Golden Delicious tree long since died, my Fuji is still there, sadly this year it decided not to bare fruit. (I’m blaming the drought, hopefully next year it will be in full force again.)

Then there was the year we hauled a bunch of apples home from “Apple Hill” an amazing place in Northern California to make apple butter and fresh apple cider. My parents have a thing for antiques, so they happened to have a cider press sitting around, because who doesn’t? They were awesome about hands on learning activities. Being the little girl I was, I put on my 1800’s dress and helped make cider like they did in the “old days”. It was so much fun for the kids but a lot of work. From there on out I think they bought cider at the store.

A couple of years ago while living in Mexico I started to miss “Apple Hill”, apple cider and fall in general. I had apples on hand from Azure Standard so I decided to try my hand at making my own apple cider. As long as you have a good blender like a Blendtec it is very easy to make a bit of fresh apple cider at home. If you are making a huge batch you might want to use a Champion Juicer or make it in your washing machine like this family did.

Apple juice from the store doesn’t hold a candle to fresh apple cider made from home. You can also make a spicy hot apple cider or ferment the cider for a sparkling version. Thanksgiving is never complete for me without sparking cider. Making your own apple cider requires only 4 things, apples, a bit of water, a blender/juicer and a tea towel. Are you ready to give it a try and learn how to make fresh apple cider? If you decide to use a juicer follow the instructions that came with it.

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How to Make Fresh Apple Cider in a Blender
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Apples
  • Water
  • Blender/Juicer
  • Tea Towel or Cheese Cloth
Instructions
  1. Cut each apple into 8 slices, removing core if desired.
  2. Add ¼ of a cup of water to the bottom of the blender.
  3. Add enough apple slices to fill the blender. ⅔ of the way full.
  4. Blend on high until the apples are completely smooth.
  5. Pour the apple puree into a cheese cloth/tea towel lined pitcher or bowl.
  6. Twist the cloth and squeeze the liquid out.
  7. You can bake with the pulp, discard it, feed it to your chickens or compost it.
  8. Pour the cider into glass jars and save in the fridge for up to a week.

 

 

Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer- www.thenourishinggourmet.com

There is something lovely about wrapping your hands around a cup of hot coffee – it is soothing for the soul. Hot drinks always make me feel a sense of calm, whether it is in the quite hours of the early morning, with a friend or on a hectic day when kids can’t seem to get along. Just that brief moment of lifting the mug to my lips and taking a sip makes everything right, even if only for the moment.

I love adding creamer to my coffee but I don’t care to use the ones from the store since they are fillled with many fake ingredients. Instead I like to make my own like this Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer I sharing at The Nourishing Gourmet.

Soaked Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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I woke to a gentle rain this morning! As the weather cools I like to resume my baking that gets put aside for the majority of the hot months. There is nothing like the warm smell of cinnamon wafting around the house, tickling your nose. It makes me feel cozy and want to curl up with a good book!

As fall settles in apples start to ripen on the trees begging to be picked and made into all sorts of delights! Picking apples is a fun autumn activity with children. I still remember climbing up the apple tree at my parents house to help with the harvest. We used to pick bushels of them until the tree died. We used them to make apple cider, apple sauce and apple butter.

Join me at Traditional Cooking School to learn to make Saoked Apple Cinnamon Muffins!

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Sauce

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Sauce- www.NourishingSimplicity.org

Ah, Chick-fil-A, there’s nothing like it right? I love having a stash of my homemade strips in the freezer when the craving hits. I kind of feel like I left you hanging with sharing my nourishing homemade “Chick-fil-A” strips and nuggets with you but not sharing the sauce. Okay, I didn’t kind of leave you hanging, I did leave you hanging, like a carrot in front of a donkey. ;)

If you are a fan of the sauce then it was worth the wait. This homemade version is about 1000 times better for you. It is also super tasty too. While I wasn’t impressed with the ingredient list I was happy to find how many things on there I had at home that I could modify to my own taste and health preference.

If you make the strips (or nuggets) in big batches to keep in the freezer you can literally have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes. All you have to do is warm the chicken in the freezer, pull out some carrot sticks and whip up this sauce. If you keep homemade fries in the freezer you are a better person than me. That would really make this an awesome meal!

You’ll notice that the sauce calls for mayo, mustard and barbeque sauce. I do make my own mayo but I haven’t perfected my mustard or barbeque sauce. If you have more power to you! Maybe you can share your recipes with me?

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup homemade mayo
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 tsp barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground paprika
  • ¼ tsp powdered garlic
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a jar. Mix with an immersion blender until fully incorporated. You could also you a blender.

Dreams Do Come True- Nourishing Chick-fil-A At Home

This post is part of Pennywise Platter,

Easy Homemade Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Easy Homemade Rosemary Focaccia Bread- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

I love focaccia bread! There is no way around it. It is so incredibly good. I still remember the days when my mom used to bring fluffy tomato slathered focaccia home from Costco. We would gobble it up like there was no tomorrow. Somehow I doubt that I would still have the same desire to eat that exact one again, in retrospect part of me wonders if it was tomatoes sauce at all…

Somewhere in my early 20s I decided that I wanted to learn to make my own focaccia bread. I pulled my trust joy of cooking and figured out how to make a batch for 50 plus people. That’s what you do when you live at a boarding school right? Needless to say, it was awesome! ;) Soon I became hooked on making it anytime it was my turn to make Sunday lunch. I would drizzle it with my stash of olive oil and thinly sliced onions. Yum, so good!

Somehow over the years I stopped making it. I tinkered around with different sourdough versions here and there but never perfected it. One day I found myself cooking Sunday lunch again last with two of my girls, Lesly and Karen. We were making butternut squash pasta sauce.

I really wanted bread so I decided to whip up a quick “focaccia” It didn’t have the traditional souring time but worked for what we needed. With a little sea salt, local olive oil and rosemary it turned out fantastic! Everyone was begging for seconds, we even had someone suggest that we start selling it to the winner next door. I felt like I had too much on my plate so I never went through with it.  (On a side note we really should have gone for it since we could have had people like the daughter of Mexico’s president eating our bread, oh well…)

While this may not be a traditional focaccia bread I tend to think that this cheaters rosemary focaccia bread is pretty great, so do about 60 other kids and adults. It also ended up in the book I wrote for my girls. I hope you enjoy it as well!

Cheaters Rosemary Foccasia Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 TBS yeast
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped rosemary
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour, salt and rosemary in a large bowel.
  2. In a small bowel mix the yeast, sugar and warm water. Stir and allow to rise for 5 minutes or until poofy. Add to the flour.
  3. Add the garlic and ½ cup olive oil and mix.
  4. Once mixed add the knead for 5 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for one hour in a warm place.
  6. Pour the rest of the olive oil into a baking pan. Punch down the dough and stretch out in the pan so that it touched the edges.
  7. Poke holes in the dough, sprinkle with coarse salt.
  8. Cover and rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes until light brown.

Have you had focaccia bread before? What is your favourite kind?