Monthly Archives: September 2014

Apple Pie Apples

After our family trip to the apple orchard last week, I was anxious to make something “fallish” with our apples.  I had seen several versions of individual apple pies baked inside apples on Pinterest over the years.  Some sounded more complicated than others, so I was always nervous to try them.  However, with a fridge full of apples, I thought it was worth a try.  And they actually turned out great!

I decided to simplify things as much as possible – especially since I was not very confident the apple pie apples would turn out.  First, scoop out the insides of the apples with a melon baller.  Throw about the core, but save the rest of the apple pieces and use them to make your favorite apple pie filling.

Apple Pie Apples - Hollowed Out Apples

Apple Pie Apples – Hollowed Out Apples

Scoop the apple pie filling back into the apple shells.  Cut pie dough into quarter or half inch strips.  (Just use your favorite pie dough – homemade or store bought!)  Put the strips criss-cross on top of the apples.

Apple Pie Apples - Pie Dough

Apple Pie Apples – Pie Dough

Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Apple Pie Apples - Topping

Apple Pie Apples – Topping

Put the apples in a glass baking dish and cover the bottom of the dish with water.  Cover and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Then uncover them and bake about 20 minutes longer until the crust starts to brown.

Apple Pie Apples

Apple Pie Apples

Much to my surprise and delight my apple pie apples worked!  And they were actually really easy in the end.  We added caramel sauce to the tops to make them even better.

Apple Pie Apples - With Caramel

Apple Pie Apples – With Caramel

A yummy and surprisingly easy fall treat!

Johnny Appleseed Day

Coming up on September 26th is Johnny Appleseed Day.  It was so thoughtful of John Chapman to have his birthday in September – the perfect month for celebrating all things apple!  In case you don’t know, back in the 1700s and 1800s, Johnny Appleseed went around what is now the midwest planting apple trees.

His story is a great way to talk about being a good citizen by doing nice things for the community and by caring for the earth.  It’s fun to role play his lifestyle with kids too – carrying everything he needed with him and wearing a pot on his head so that his cooking equipment could double as head gear (or at least so the story goes!).

Johnny Appleseed Bag

Johnny Appleseed Bag

You can have kids make simple bags for carrying seeds by folding a big piece of construction paper in half and gluing the edges.  Then tie yarn through holes in the top and decorate with an apple.  Voila!  Your very own Johnny Appleseed bag.

Johnny Appleseed Hat

Johnny Appleseed Hat

Then make a pot hat to go with it.  Use gray construction paper for the pot and black for the handle.  Then staple or glue black strips on the back to make a headband.  Have kids put on their hats, gather up their seed bags, and go on a journey around the playground or yard pretending to spread appleseeds.  Then have them write or draw about what it would have been like to have lived like Johnny Appleseed way back when.  You could even use this as a springboard for a service learning project to plant trees or do kind things for other community members.  Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!

September Card of the Month: Fall Birthday Card

September’s Card of the Month is another birthday card.  A couple of years ago, I thought it would be fun to make birthday cards for each season.  I especially liked the fall cards.  I just punched out scallops and a cupcake from fall print paper and colored stamped birthday cupcakes to match the fall colors.

Inside of Fall Birthday Card

Inside of Fall Birthday Card

Simple as that!  And it works for any season – just change the paper!

Fall Fridge Art

I like to do a craft each month with our two year old to display on the fridge.  She is so little, but I still look forward to doing the projects with her each month.  For September, I had planned to trace her hand on brown construction paper to make a tree, glue it to light blue paper for a background, and then have her make red, orange, yellow, and green leaves by dotting her fingers in paint and making prints on the tree.  We have done similar crafts in the past, so I was sure she would love it.

I was wrong.  She definitely has her own opinions about art (and everything else too!) lately, and she would have no part of the tracing or the dotting.  Instead she has entered what Picasso would probably call her “Chopping Period.”  She recently discovered my collection of paper punches, and now all she ever wants to do is “chop” paper with them which creates hours of fun in our art room and a very messy art room floor.

So I decided to go with it.  Since I had already lost the battle anyway, I figured it was more important that the September fridge art showcase her artistic taste rather than my neat little plan.  I cut out a tree shape from brown construction paper and glued it to the light blue background.  Then I scraped all of the various shapes she had so carefully “chopped” off of the art room floor, and we glued them to the tree as leaves and apples.  We had fun, and she loves her fall tree on the fridge.  I like it even better than my original plan because it is much more representative of her, my baby Picasso.

Adoption Day!

One of the most special days of the year in our family is coming up – Adoption Day!  This is the anniversary of the day we went to court to finalize our daughter’s adoption.

On that wonderful day two years ago, we got all dressed up and headed to the courthouse.  While we were waiting in the hall outside of the courtroom, a random lawyer walked by and asked us with a smile if we were there to finalize an adoption.  When we said yes, he laughed and said he figured as much since our baby didn’t look like a hardened criminal.  We told him that she was guilty of stealing our hearts, and two years later she still is!  Inside the courtroom we promised the judge to love her, care for her, and provide for her.  Her grandparents promised the judge to spoil her.  And just like that, she became ours forever.  It was truly one of the most wonderful moments of our lives.  We went out to The Cheesecake Factory after the court meeting to celebrate.

So now when Adoption Day rolls around, we remember the special day by reading our daughter her “Angel Baby” book we made her about her adoption.   We also are sure to eat cheesecake!  Last year since she was still so little, we just made mini cheesecakes and had various toppings for people to add to them.  Kind of a cheesecake bar (which, by the way, would work really well for any kind of party or celebration!).

Adoption Day Cheesecake Party

Adoption Day Cheesecake Party

This year though, now that our daughter has developed a love of eating out, we plan to heat back to The Cheesecake Factory again to commemorate this very big even in our lives.

Even though this is a fairly new annual tradition for us, it has quickly become one of our favorite celebrations of the year.  We hope it is as special to our little one someday as it is to us.