Homemade Apple Butter

I've perfected my apple butter recipe and my family loves it!

I've made it several times and have finally gotten the perfect combination of 
sweet and tart, and the perfect level of spices.

This recipe makes somewhere around 3 pints depending on the size of apples you use.

My family goes through it so quickly, I don't even bother cooking/sealing the jars, but I do freeze the extra pints. They will keep in the freezer for many many months.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

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4 lbs  assorted apples, peeled and cored (apprx. 10 apples)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp of cinnamon (slightly rounded)
1/2 tsp cloves
Fresh nutmeg (10-13 swipes on your grater)
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Peel and core apples. I like to use a combination of 3 different types with one type always being granny smith. Use the peels and the core by placing them in some cheesecloth and tying it up with string. There is a lot of pectin in the core and flavor in the skin.

Place the apple slices into a large pot and nestle the cheesecloth in the middle. Add vinegar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 min. or until apples are soft. Remove cheesecloth and discard (I use tongs to squeeze the juice out). Puree apples with either an immersion blender or counter top blender.

Add remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered, stirring often, until thick. I let mine go at least an hour or so. It will depend on how juicy your apples were.


Honey Sriracha Bacon

This was lunch today.

Nothing lettuce, tomato or bread. Just this bacon. 
Well, not ALL this bacon but some of it.

Not that it wouldn't be awesome on a sandwich. Ohhh, it would it would. 
Or with eggs in the morning, or whatever.

It's not just any bacon though.

This is Honey Sriracha Bacon. So so good, believe me. <-----name that guy.

It turned out even better than I anticipated and here's, I believe, the biggest reason why.

This honey right here.

It's called Big Dog Honey and comes from a honey bee farm right here in central Arkansas.

You can get it in decorative jars like this which would be great for gift giving
and then whoever is lucky enough to get it can make stuff like this bacon, or just the 
big beehive looking jars. And different sizes too.

It's 100 percent raw unfiltered, and it is fabulous.

You really need to check it out. 

You can pop over to Big Dog Honey on facebook and check out all the fun 
pictures and interesting tidbits here.

That way you can become friends with Big Dog himself....Bronson. 


Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

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1/2 lb bacon
2 tbsp honey
1-2 tsp sriracha
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp soy sauce

Heat oven to 375*.

Place a baking rack coated with non-stick spray on a large baking sheet. Lay out bacon in a single layer. (You don't have to use thick cut bacon, but make sure it is not a really thin cut.)

Stir together remaining ingredients and brush on bacon.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.


Key Lime Pie Ice Cream this just happened.

This ice cream is so darn good. 

It's so fresh and tangy and sweet and creamy. I mean, it has it all.

I really enjoy it with chopped dark chocolate but it's just as good without.

Whatever you're in the mood for, and I've found the perfect thing to go with it.

If you follow my blog I'm sure you've heard.....they are my favorite cookie of all time. 

Anytime of year, breakfast, lunch or dinner. (Pretty much.) 

The perfect pairing!

Linked with Weekend Potluck.

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2 cups half and half
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of key lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
4 sheets of honey graham crackers, broken up
3 oz. of dark or semi-sweet chocolate, optional

Mix together half and half, sugar, salt and vanilla. Let sit 10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Stir in heavy cream. Stir in lime juice right before you add the mixture to your ice cream machine. Freeze according to manufacture's directions.

A couple of minutes before ice cream is done, add lime zest, graham crackers and chocolate (if using) and continue with machine on until mixed through. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer to harden further....or not. 



Sausage Spaghetti (Bumped Up)

I am a huge fan of fast and easy pasta dishes and this one does not disappoint.

The sauce comes together in no time and has a very special ingredient that 
makes it simply awesome.


I know just hearing the word turns up noses of many people but I can't express enough 
what a good thing it does to this tomato sauce.

It truly doesn't matter if you like them...don't like them...or just tolerate them.
They just melt away into the oil and leave behind this heavenly not too salty bite.
 They are what turns this sauce into a work of art.

Don't don't have to tell anybody they are in there. They won't even know.
Give it a try. You'll thank me.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

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Sausage Spaghetti

1 tbsp olive oil
5-6 Anchovies (apprx. 1/2 tin)
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2 moons
32 oz crushed tomatoes
15 oz diced tomatoes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 lb. angel hair pasta
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat olive oil and anchovies in a large skillet over medium heat stirring until anchovies disappear into oil. Add onion and red pepper; saute until they start to soften. Stir in garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in sausage and cook 3-4 minutes.

Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired. Reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cook spaghetti in salted boiling water until just shy of al dente. Drain and add to pasta, along with parmesan and parsley, tossing to combine. Cook 3-4 minutes.

Serve with additional parmesan if desired.