Easy Slow Cooker Baked Apples

When I lived in New England, I loved apple picking and choosing from all of the wonderful varieties.    In fact, it was something that I got to do in September.  Baked apples don’t seem so suited to September in the South.  Actually, in Georgia, it seems like the orchards don’t have the same selection.  (Luckily, we do have a great collection of peach choices.)  In Connecticut, during college, I used to go to the orchard with friends, and we’d bake apple crisp at the house of the person with a oven.  I guess I need to track down that recipe! (In fact, I’ve emailed the recipe holder because he also had an amazing Goulash recipe.)  While this super easy, slow cooker baked apples certainly isn’t his apple crisp, it does bring back those flavors of New England.  It’s also such an easy dinner to make for guests because it takes only a few minutes to prepare, and looks impressive on the dinner table!

There's nothing like Baked Apples in the fall and winter! These Easy Slow Cooker Baked Apples are delicious alone or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. A great way to have a sweet, homemade dessert! Yummy!

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Jedo’s Traditional Beef Chili

There are certain things that you end up liking as a grown-up that you never imagined liking as a kid.  For example, when I was growing up, I hated pecans, mustard, sauerkraut, and chili.  My mother never made me eat everything, but she always asked me to taste “hated” foods each time they were served.  She said that my tastebuds might change.  Guess what!?  They did!  And now, one of my favorite fall recipes is Chili.  There are so many wonderful ways to make chili, but I learned how to make traditional beef chili from the Big One’s grandfather, who he called Jedo.   After having Jedo’s chili one night when we were visiting him, I had to learn how to make it myself.  It took a little while to learn the exact recipe– while it’s a traditional beef chili with beans and ground beef, Jedo made it without specific measurements, based on taste.  After a few years of practice, I’ve decided the seasoning proportions that work best for our family.  I’ve been trying to make sure that I got the ingredients just right before I shared it here.  I think it’s just about perfect now, so I’m delighted to share Jedo’s Traditional Beef Chili recipe with you today!

This is my son's grandfather's recipe for traditional beef chili with kidney beans and ground beef. The original recipe didn't have a complete ingredients list, but after years of practice and taking notes, I've finally can share this yummy and warming chili recipe with everyone! It's great for game day, freezes beautifully and tastes even better the next day! I can't wait to go grab a bowl!
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Colored Popcorn Halloween Gorp

Tonight is the Big One’s Boys Scout troop and patrol meeting.  It’s the transfer of power, as he’s stepping down as Patrol Leader after his six month term.  In honor of this event, the Monkey and I made some snack food that is scout inspired with a sweet and festive Halloween twist.  GORP (“Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts”) a a popular hiking snack food for scouts and many outdoors people.  This version is a little sweeter, and contains less protein, but it’s perfect for an after meeting treat.  What’s more, I made it using the Boom Chicka Pop Lightly Sweet popcorn that I colored in pretty fall colors.  It took me a little while to learn how to color popcorn after it had popped and without added too much sweetness, so I thought I would share some secrets to making fall colored popcorn!My Mom Made That: Colored Popcorn Halloween Gorp (Learn how to Color pre-popped popcorn to make a festive snack for the fall and halloween!)
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Guest Post at Ducks ‘N A Row: Nutter Butter Kiss Acorns

I have the great privilege to be guest posting this fun fall kids’ snack treat over at Ducks ‘N A Row.  This is a quick and easy project that you can make with your preschool to school-aged kiddos.  I hope you’ll stop by and see how to make these darling and fun snack treats!  In fact, I think this is the first project involving sweets that doesn’t require any baking, which is even better!

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Are you ready for some Football… Kumihimo Keychain

Several weeks ago, I shared this post over at Just Us Four, and I wasn’t sure how many of my readers hopped over there to visit my original post.  I actually made this original project after being stuck in the car with my kiddos and Mellow Man for several hours.  Kumihimo is the perfect car craft, as it easy to do, takes few tools, and is soothingly repetitive.  It’s something that is potentially wonderful to do with your older kiddos. Kumihimo is a style of Japanese braid making. It involves using a “loom” that is basically a round disk. If you’d like to make one for yourself, you could make a loom out of a styrofoam plate, or you can easily order one at a place like Consumer Crafts or even a complete starter kit at Amazon (NOTE: This is an affiliate link, but what I have).

As an alternative to the Kumihimo jewelry that I’ve seen a lot of places, I decided to make a keychain for myself. After playing around and making a very simple kumihimo keychain, my sister-in-law asked if I could make them for our family’s favorite football team– the Pittsburgh Steelers! Once I came up with the design, I realized that this would be a great tutorial to share in this guest post, as the start of football season is just around the corner!

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