Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome Fall!


So excited for the arrival of fall. Not only does that mean that we get a break scorching heat, but it also means that it's time to decorate. I love decorating, adding fall scents to the house whether it be through candles or bringing the outside in with mums. I start by adding a fall wreath at the door as well as door facing decorations. Decorating for fall doesn't have to be expensive, it is a matter of placement and using what you have or what is available outside that you can bring in.

Change out the candle scents so they match the season. No since in burning Magnolia when it's fall outside. Get a pumpkin, crackling campfire, s'mores, etc scent that will make you want to pull out your flannel sheets. Or simply bake items that will send an amazing fall aroma scent throughout your home like peanut butter cookies, pumpkin cookies, etc. (See two recipes below)

In your bathrooms swap your decorative towels to fall colors such as rust, brown, gold, etc. Things that remind you of the leaves changing colors. Add silk sunflowers to your towel rack or in a vase.

To change up your living room, change out your throw pillows to warmer colors. Don't have extra, you can use pillow cases to cover your existing ones. Add a basket of pine cones to your side table or coffee table, use old worn books to decorate as well, stacking them haphazardly to add height to existing items already displayed. Do you have a fireplace? Use branches with colored leaves to lay across the top of the fireplace; adding pine cones & ribbon.
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PAPRIKA CANDIED APPLES WITH CASHEWS Makes 8 servings.

8 small apples stuck through the bottom with wooden skewers or craft sticks
1 tsp smoked paprik
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup apple juice
2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped roasted cashews

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Place cashews in a bowl, set aside. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of a saucepan. Combine sugar and apple juice in pan and boil swirling the pan until sugar is melted. Stir in corn syrup and paprika. Continue to cook, brushing down sides of pot to prevent crystallization. Remove from heat when mixture registers 305° on thermometer, 45 min. Working with 1 apple at a time and holding on to the skewer, dip apple into sugar syrup tilting pan and rotating skewer to coat fruit in a thin, even layer. Lift apple and twirl over pot to let excess drip off. Immediately dip bottom half of apple into nuts and stand nut end down on baking sheet. Let cool 10 min. at room temp before serving. Repeat with remaining apples, reheating sugar syrup as needed to restore fluidity, then SERVE...THESE APPLES ARE DELICIOUS, WE ALL ENJOYED THEM!
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PEANUT BUTTER CUP SQUARES WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING Makes 16 servings.

1/2 cup chopped peanut butter cups
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup chocolate frosting
1 1/2 cups flour
2 large eggs
8 tbs salted butter

Heat oven to 350°. In bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla 2 min. or until light and fluffy. Beat in flour and baking powder, pour into greased foil lined 9" square pan. Bake 25 min. let cool. Spread with frosting. Sprinkle with peanut butter cups. Cut into squares, then SERVE
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NO PEEKING PEKING CHICKEN Makes 4 servings.

1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tbs grated ginger
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3/4 cup chopped green onions
8 bone in chicken thighs, skin discarded
1/4 tsp sesame oil
3 tbs honey
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a greased slow cooker. In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup green onions, garlic, soy sauce, honey, ginger and oil. Pour mixture over chicken, cover and cook on low until chicken is tender and done, 4 hours. SERVE with pan juices, sprinkled with 1/4 cup green onions
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MELT IN YOUR MOUTH TARRAGON CHICKEN Makes 4 servings.

1 tbs chopped tarragon
1 lemon, finely zest and juiced
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup + 2 tbs low sodium chicken broth
1 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs chopped tarragon
4 pounds bone in chicken breasts, drumsticks and thighs, skin discarded
4 tbs Dijon mustard

Pour broth into a slow cooker. In a bowl, combine mustard, 1 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper, rub chicken with mustard. Place chicken in slow cooker and top with garlic and 2 tbs tarragon. Cover and cook on low until chicken is tender and done, 5 hours. Transfer chicken to a serving plate and cover to keep warm. Strain pan juices into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. In a bowl, combine cream and cornstarch. Whisk mixture into saucepan and cook until sauce is thickened, stir in lemon juice. Pour sauce over chicken. In a bowl, combine lemon zest, parsley and 1 tbs tarragon. Top chicken with zest herb mixture, then SERVE
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Today we planted mums, put pine straw on the flowerbeds, and picked gourds to dry to use for decorations and then turn into birdhouses for the Spring. Make decorating on the inside and out a family event. You can make memories & experience God's masterpiece all at once.

Have a great family weekend~
Tina

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