Thursday, November 3, 2011

Eating the Fruits of our Labor

We're finally starting to feel a little settled in the house. All my belongings are moved in, our living room furniture has arrived (and we're in love with it), and the stuff Josh doesn't use on a regular basis is moved into the house. He will move the rest of his furniture and belongings in after I leave for Oklahoma (14 days and COUNTING!!!). We still have a LOT of things in boxes, but we're just taking this new life on one box at a time!

After the commotion of moving and Josh's sister getting married (side note: you MUST go check out her fab wedding photos over on her photographer's blog!) and the move we decided we needed to do something fun and relaxing before the wedding! We went apple picking!!! I've never actually picked apples from trees. I've picked peaches, blackberries and strawberries, but in Oklahoma I don't think we even have any apple orchards. If I'm wrong, please correct me! We chose a beautiful Sunday afternoon to do it and soaked up the last bit of sun before this dreadful NY winter sets in for the next several months. I'm really positive about this winter thing...can't you tell???

Here are some pictures of our apple picking adventures.

{I apologize that all of the photos in this post are from my iPhone, but I'm just really lazy with lugging a camera around when my phone has such a decent one!}

We picked both Fiji and Golden Delicious apples. I think we probably picked more than we could eat between now and next summer, so I'm sure we'll be making something for dinner that includes apples every night until they're gone. I'm also planning to make at least one apple pie, maybe two while I'm at it.

Sunday night I made salad to go with our dinner using the golden delicious apples, blue cheese and walnuts. I'm such a fan of the blue cheese apple combo! Here's a picture of that lovely little salad.

Yesterday, I posted on Twitter/Facebook about our Halloween & Harry Potter feast as we waited for cute little trick or treaters to stop by. A few people requested the recipe for pork and apples in the crock pot. I have adapted it a little to suit my taste and ingredients on hand.

Here's a picture of our usual evening: Dinner. iPad. Apple TV. We're really exciting people around here.

Slow Cooker Pork & Apples

1 can condensed golden mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup apple cider
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried sage
2 bay leaves
2 lbs boneless pork chops*
4 large golden delicious apples (about 4 cups)
2 medium red onions, sliced (about 2 cups)

1. In a crock pot, stir together the soups, cider, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and sage. 

2. Add the bay leaves, apples and onions.

3. Salt and pepper both sides of each pork chop and them to the crock pot. 

4. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours until pork is cooked through.

*Note: The original recipe called for 8 pork chops equaling 2 lbs. The pork chops at our local Wegmans were a little beefier and I bought 4 chops equaling 2 lbs. In the future I think there would be enough room in the crock pot and enough apples/onions to use 6 chops equaling about 3 lbs.

The pork chops were falling apart when I got home from work. Super moist and full of flavor. We will be using the leftovers to make pork tacos later this week. I totally can't cook for two so I'm becoming an inventive leftover user! :)

Happy Fall, Ya'll!