Simple Apple Cider Syrup

Apple Cider Syrup aka Apple Cider Concentrate

Looking for a fun way to give your pancakes or coffee a fall twist? Then apple cider syrup is your answer. It is one of the easiest things I have ever made. It has 1 ingredient, apple cider. It can’t get easier than that right?

I wish I could take credit for this awesome syrup but really it was inspired by a dear friend of mine when we were living in Mexico. She made pumpkin pancakes drizzled with apple cider syrup for the kids one year. They were so amazing that I still remember how they tasted almost 10 years later!

This simple apple cider syrup is straight apple cider simmered for about two hours until it has reduced in size forming a concentrate. It is wonderful syrup but it is also a handy way to keep apple cider in the fridge when you don’t have a lot of shelf space. When you want a cup of cider you simply add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the syrup to a glass of water and there you go, apple cider! You can always add a dash of cinnamon for an extra special fall treat.

Apple Cider Syrup-

Simple Apple Cider Syrup
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  1. In a medium-sized pot simmer the apple cider until it has reduced in size to 1½- 2 cups. Stir occasionally.
  2. Strain and save in a glass jar.
  3. It will stay fresh in the fridge for at least 1 month.
  4. Use on top of pumpkin pancakes, in coffee or to make apple cider/juice.
  5. To make apple cider stir 1-3 tablespoons of the syrup into 1 8oz glass of water.


Real Food Chocoalte Whipped Cream

Real Food Chocolate Whipped Cream-

Light, chocolate goodness. A bit of heaven in a bowl. It is amazing on its own, delicious on cup cakes and let just say it’s taken my coffee to a whole new level. I can also see myself dipping strawberries in this cream in the spring.

It is simple to prepare and full of wholesome ingredients that there is little guilt in indulging in this mildly sweet treat. Raw cream is always best but it’s not possible then a second best is low-pasturized cream. This real food chocolate whipped cream is so good that it might not last long in your house!

I used an iSi cream whipper but you can also make this by hand.

Real Food Chocolate Whipped Cream
  • 1 pint cream
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp real salt
  1. Gently fold the ingredients together.
  2. Pour in your isi whipped cream canister or whipped on high with a hand held mixer until light and fluffy.


How To Stretch A Chicken Into 6 Meals

How to Stretch 1 Chicken for 6 Meals-

The iconic roasted “Sunday Chicken”, there is little that tastes better than a savoury piece of chicken with crispy skin and spices. When served with some potatoes and a vegetables, you have a meal that is satisfying and delicious.

Unfortunately if you are buying a pastured chicken or even a regular organic chicken you might be paying $10-15 per chicken. All the more reason to raise your own if you ask me. Many of us including me at the moment don’t have that option. (Someday though, I’ll be raising chickens again.)

With prices that high per chicken many of us can’t afford to have a chicken last for just one or two meals. We need ways to make the chicken stretch for a few extra meals. Over the years I have learned to get the most I can out of my chickens.

These suggestions are for made with a family of four in mind. Every family is a different, so feel free to take these suggestions and run with them! As glad as I am that I know how to stretch 1 chicken for 6 meals there are times when I have served the whole bird and just made soup with the leftovers. There’s no shame in throughly enjoying a whole bird now and again.

1. Roasted Chicken

I love to make roasted chicken. It is one of the easiest “fancy” dishes to learn to fix. It is sure to impress oh so tasty!

Cut off the legs and thighs to feed your family that night. Leave the rest of the chicken on the counter so no one is tempted to gobble up the whole thing. So that no one feels like they aren’t having a filling meal serve the chicken with a couple tasty sides like mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, roasted vegetables or fresh soaked whole wheat bread.

I am a huge fan of chicken wings. They aren’t always easy to find so when I am prepping a chicken to roast I normally cut off the wings and place them in a freezer bag. Once I save enough wings for a meal I pull the bag out and make my favourite teriyaki wings.

2. Pick the Chicken Clean

Cut off the breast meat. Slice into bite size pieces. You can add to yellow curry, Thai Curry Noodle Soup, or a stir-fry.

Sometimes I will cut off the breasts before I roast the chicken and save them to make a “Chick-fil-A” nuggets or a tandoori chicken sandwich.

Pick any other meat left on the bones to save for meal #6.

Nourishing Homemade Chick-fil-A Nuggets

3. Bone Broth

There are few things better for you than bone broth. I like to use my bones to make batches of broth. For added flavour and nutrition I like to add one or two chicken feet when I have them on hand. The first broth tends to be more rich and savoury. I’ll use it for soups where the broth is the star like Nourishing Thai Noodle Soup or Knefla (German Dumpling Stew).

My second batch or broth is used to for soups where many other ingredients are added such as my green tortilla soup, roasted tomato tortilla soup or to make rice pilaf.

4. Giblet Broth

The giblets are what my Grandma Burnett always went for. When I was little I thought she was crazy. Looking back I see what a smart woman she actually was. I like to set the “offal” as it is also called aside to make crazy good for you broth. I add chicken feet to the broth as well. Like my second batch of bone broth I tend to use giblet broth for making rice and soups with lots of add ins. Don’t throw the offal away, set it aside for a nutritious boost to another meal.

Giblet Broth
  • 2 quarts of water
  • Chicken Neck
  • Giblets
  • 2 Chicken Feet (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Simmer for up to 24 hours. Strain the broth throw a fine mesh strainer or a cloth. Disarcd the bones and set the giblets aside for another meal.


5. Organ Meats

I like to use the offal left from making the giblet broth mixed into soups like chile or chopped up in meatloaf or meat balls. There is so little that it is impossible to detect it. You get the nourishing benefits from the offal and you aren’t letting them go to waste!

6. Bit and Pieces

Whatever bits and pieces that may be left are perfect to add to a salad, fried rice or another pot of soup, such as Simple Chicken and Rice Soup.  (Can you tell I like soup?)

Another perk to having your own chickens is that you get to take awesome pictures like these!

Chicken Love 2What are you best tips for stretching a chicken for more than one meal?


How to Dehydrate Apples


What says fall more than a fresh crisp apple? Whenever I think of picking apples a scene from Anne of Avonle (the movie) pops into my head. Anne and Katherine are climbing ladders to fill baskets of apples. Then the scene changes to Anne and Gilbert strolling down the lane with said basket of apples ( I never quite understood what possessed her to lug that thing) pausing for the long awaiting moment when he finally asks for her hand in marriage again. Sigh…

I don’t have apples trees in abundance to pick from but I am blessed to live 2 hours from a delightful place called “Apple Hill”, it is  a collection of farms and stands that sell apples (big surprise), treats and other delights. One of those trips inspired me to make dried apples. Join me at Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS to find out how easy it is!


How to Make Fresh Apple Cider

How to Make Fresh Apple Cider-

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
  • Apples
  • Water
  • Blender/Juicer
  • Tea Towel or Cheese Cloth
  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.