Thursday, September 12, 2013

Homemade applesauce & vegetarian chili

September 12, 2013

I met my friends this morning and we went to a local apple cider mill. I love this time of year. They have the best apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple selection, and list goes on. I bought two giant bags of apples, a gallon of cider, and some cider donuts. After going out for lunch, I headed home to make applesauce.

I kind of just threw stuff together but I did jot down amounts so that if it turned out good I would be able to recreate it. Ha. I made three batches. I put my apple peeler/corer/slicer to good use today. Each batch started out with 14 apples which equaled out to about 16 cups of sliced apples. I added one cup of the fresh apple cider to each batch. Batch one: 6 tablespoons of maple sugar (something fun I found at the cider mill today) and 6 tablespoons of my father in law's homemade maple syrup. Batch two: 1/2 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 cup sugar. Batch three: 1/4 cup sugar and 2 1/2 teaspoons raspberry extract. After the apples cooked down (roughly 45 minutes- 1 hour), I put the applesauce through the food processor. Wow. It makes the applesauce the perfect consistency. If you are looking for a strong flavor, I would add a little more of the flavorings. I wanted it to be more on the subtle side for the kids.

I was talking with my friend this morning and she told me something new to try. She boils her apple peels with water and then uses that juice to make jelly. Hmmmmm. I decided to boil my peels and see if I could just get juice/cider to drink. I let it boil while I canned the applesauce so it may have boiled for 1 hour- 2 hours. It is missing something. I think it will need sugar in order for it to be drank straight. I may use it for cooking something but that is for another day.

Now on to dinner. I made a really quick pot of chili. This was my first attempt at vegetarian chili. Yikes. I had red onion chopped in the fridge. I used that seeing as it was already chopped otherwise I would have used white. I sauteed the onion and fresh garlic in olive oil. I added in three stalks of celery and two carrots (cut small) along with two cups each of black beans and cannellini beans. I added about a cup of green pepper that I had in the freezer. Next up: tomatoes. I grabbed a quart of home canned tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce. Separately, I cooked 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup water. I stirred the cooked quinoa into the chili. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic & wine seasoning. I served it with mexican cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onion. My daughter made a side of crescent rolls. Of course we all had some of the fresh applesauce too. Dessert: cider mill donuts!

How did my first vegetarian chili go? My son liked it but would rather less beans. My daughter said it was amazing but she would want more beans. Ha. My hubby said it was "delish". I loved it. I don't miss the meat in it at all. Wohoo! All three flavors of the applesauce went over well. Nobody could pick with one was their favorite. With my new found vegetarian chili recipe and my 13 jars of applesauce, I'm ready for winter! Ok, maybe not quite yet.

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