Well with the sounds of Christmas Music and Christmas Trees being put up in box stores already….
I figured I should get around to posting our fall shenanigans. Fall is my all time favorite time of year and Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday. Plus, it doesn’t hurt my birthday is on the 26th
But to get the season started out right, the last 4 years Britt and myself make a yearly trip to Anderson Orchard, in Moorseville, IN, about 15 minutes west of downtown Indianapolis.
You can pick your own apples and pumpkins, and after you are done pickin, you can browse the main store which has everything from fruit butters, squash, pears, candy, to candles. We have made it a MUST trip each fall.
We’ll just say after an HOUR, Brittni finally found the perfect pumpkin
Along with the Pumpkin we picked up a few way to many other orchard staples….8 Spaghetti Squash, 3 Acorn Squash, 3 Pumpkins, 2 bushel of apples picked, apple cider, pumpkin butter, apple butter, and amish chow chow.
Even this guy! A TWO pound apple. It could have fed a family of three.
So what do you do with all those apples? Call mother and ask for her famous pie recipe, that’s what.
I made two pies. The one of the right is your typical apple pie, the one on the left is made with light butter, light brown sugar, splenda, and whole WHEAT flour. Both were really good, but I still think my moms was a little better.
Well with way more apples than we knew what to do with, I got busy in the kitchen for Britt and her co-workers, and threw together another apple pie, and a spider web brownies to get everyone in the fall mood as well. Moving on.
More Fall Fun
Another fall time activity that is becoming a yearly tradition is, my parents Halloween / Chili Fest. They had the party two weekends ago and graciously open up their new rec. building. They assign a few families to make big batches of chili while we made a big batch and start ours in a huge cast iron pot over the fire, then when others show up with their chili we add it all to the same pot! It’s a blast and fun to see everyone else’s variation on a “Chili” recipe. Along with Chili we smoked one whole Turkey the night before, and on the day of the party we also deep fried a whole turkey. Those who didn’t bring chili were asked to bring a side dish or a dessert. I forgot to snap pictures, but we’ll just say no one left hungry.
Since I have the worlds biggest sweet tooth I choose to make a dessert for the party. To follow the fall theme, I choose to make “Payday” Bars. They were rich, chewy, salty, and straight from Heaven. I will post the recipe at the end, but as you will read, I lightened it up a bit by using fat free condensed milk and a few other subtle healthier variations which can be found in the recipe. The party was a blast and ended with a famous “Haunted Hayride and House”, put together by my Dad and their neighbor, Steve. Never a dull moment when they get all their friends together
Then came Halloween and my Birthday week. Probably the greatest week of the year for me. Its my birthday, the World Series game 7 was on, and its Halloween. So to kick off the week, I made some of my mothers/grandmothers famous Sugar Cookies, and added tinted orange frosting to keep with the Halloween theme.
And these are not your thin, flavorless, cutout sugar cookies, that America has come to know. These are full of flavor, light, and fluffy, and topped them with some frosting to give them just enough sweetness and creaminess to bring the whole cookie together. I think they are best friends with a tall glass of milk, and a great night on the couch watching playoff baseball Gossip Girl XOXO.
As for my birthday, I just wanted a quiet night on the couch, and a simple supper. So when I was back home for the Halloween party the weekend before I ordered fajitas from the greatest restaurant I have ever dined, El Camino Real. Thus, I brought home the take out and hid them in the back of the fridge so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat it throughout the week, then on my birthday, I waited ALL day, and finally feasted on what I was waiting for all week! It was so worth the waitl Needless to say, it was a great birthday, one of the best with the greatest fiancé ever
Then came Halloween weekend, while Britt had to work, I decided to would hang out and just watch some TV, until I got a call from Mother. Lets just say she needed help and advice on a Halloween costume to go out to bar hoppin in, and the pictures below show what the parents came up with. All and all it was a great few weeks, spent with some of my favorite people, and as you can see its easy to say, that I am truly blessed. Ill leave you with what Mom and Dad came up with. Love those kids.
Ps. Mom is a “Deviled Egg” !
PayDay Halloween/Holiday Bars
- 1 (16 ounce) jar dry UNSALTED roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons of LIGHT stick butter
- 1 bag peanut butter chips
- 1 can 14 oz FAT FREE sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup of Candy corn
- 1/2 cup of Health Milk Chocolate toffee baking pieces.
- 1/2 cup of Orange and Black Reece Pieces OR Halloween Orange and Black M&M’s. I used Reece’s Pieces to add a taste of Peanut Butter!
- Or any other of your favorite Halloween candy chopped in small pieces
- Grease 9×13 pan.
- Pour enough peanuts on bottom of pan to cover.
- Melt Margarine and Peanut butter chips in microwave safe bowl on high 1 minute, stir and microwave for another minute until everything is one gooey melted mess.
- Add in Marshmallows and stir, I had to throw it back in the microwave for about 40 seconds to get ALL the Marshmallows to melt
- Add in condensed milk and stir
- Pour gooey mixture evenly over peanuts
- In a small bowl, combine remaining peanuts, candy corn, Reece’s Pieces, Heath topping, and any other appropriate holiday candy and mix them all up Put rest of peanuts in and pat down.
- Sprinkle the bowl all over the top of the gooey mixture
- Pat the mixture down with wax
- Chill for atleast an hour, cut and serve with a childish smile, or….horde them all yourself and love every last bite.
Note, you can change up the mix ins for EVERY Holiday, say use red and green candy for Christmas, Red and Blue for the fourth of July, Pastel Colors for Easter! I just laid out a template and Ill let you guys decide how to get creative! PS, someone needs to make it with their own flair and bring it to thanksgiving!
Hope everyone had a great Halloween!
Question of the day
What’s your Favorite Halloween Candy?
What’s your most hated Candy?