Hot Caramel Apple Spice with Homemade Apple Cider

This is the best drink for the cold months! Awesome homemade apple cider recipe within. Best of all, you can control the amount of sugar by making it yourself!

While everyone is DROOLING over Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks, I myself prefer their Hot Caramel Apple Spice. This recipe is SO easy to duplicate at home and could easily be made with all store bought ingredients, but I wanted to make this post special by making my own apple cider.

RECIPE FOR APPLE CIDER

What you’ll need:

              • 8-10 apples
              • 4 Tbspn ground cinnamon
              • 4 Tbspn allspice
              • 1/2 – 1 cup brown sugar
              • Cheesecloth
              • Water

This is the best drink for the cold months! Awesome homemade apple cider recipe within. Best of all, you can control the amount of sugar by making it yourself!

Step 1. Cut apples into quarters, leaving the skin on and seeds in.

Step 2. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the apples. Add a half cup of sugar to start. (You don’t want your cider to be ruined by over sweetening.)

Step 3. Use a cheesecloth to create a pouch for the cinnamon and allspice and throw that into the pot. (You just want the flavor of the spices, but not have them floating in your cider. If you use whole spices, you can skip the cheesecloth.)

Step 4. Boil the apples on high for one hour. After that, turn the heat to simmer for another two hours. Test the sweetness of the cider to see if you need to add more sugar. I only used half a cup of sugar and it tasted perfectly! Not too sweet and not at all tart. When the apples cool, mash them up with a potato masher.

Step 5. Finally, strain the juices from the apple mush. I’m sure there are many things you can do with the strained mush like use them to make a dessert, but I just composted mine. When you go to make Hot Caramel Apple Spice, heat the cider before assembling.

It may seem like a lot of work to make your own apple cider, but total hands-on time was only 15 minutes. The stove does the rest of the work for you and your house smells amazing in the meantime!

I would love to take claim for this recipe as my own, but the truth is I had some help. The original recipe can be found here.

This is the best drink for the cold months! Awesome homemade apple cider recipe within. Best of all, you can control the amount of sugar by making it yourself!

HOW TO ASSEMBLE HOT CARAMEL APPLE SPICE

This is the best drink for the cold months! Awesome homemade apple cider recipe within. Best of all, you can control the amount of sugar by making it yourself!

And there you have it!

This is the best drink for the cold months! Awesome homemade apple cider recipe within. Best of all, you can control the amount of sugar by making it yourself!

I actually liked my homemade version better. I was able to control the amount of sugar in it. I always have a major sugar crash after drinking the Starbucks version, even though I love how it tastes!

This is the best drink for the cold months! Awesome homemade apple cider recipe within. Best of all, you can control the amount of sugar by making it yourself!

Wouldn’t this drink make a great welcome treat to all your guests this Thanksgiving?

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Redesigned By M | Signature

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Gluten and Dairy Free Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

GF-Cookies

My husband was recently diagnosed with gluten and dairy allergies. Around the house here, we’ve had to rearrange some eating habits and get creative with our menus in order for my husband to enjoy his food. One thing he hasn’t been able to enjoy much is sweets of any kind, which is an immense disappointment for a guy who has such a huge sweet tooth. I sought to make some treats for him by varying this recipe I found on the back of Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats bag. My husband loved them so much that he practically ate the whole batch in one evening.

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Recipe
Makes approx. 36 cookies

1/4 cup coconut oil (to replace butter)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 handfuls of dried cranberries
2 Tbsp of ground chia seeds + 6 Tbsp of water (to replace 2 eggs)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl, combine chia seeds with water and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and coconut oil and beat until creamy.
4. Add chia seed mixture, vanilla and baking soda and mix well.
5. Stir in oats and cranberries.
6. Roll oat mixture into small mounds on a lightly greased cookie sheet and place about 2 inches apart.
7. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly brown around the edges.

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Hope you find them equally enjoyable! (If you don’t have a dairy allergy, feel free to substitute back in the butter and eggs I replaced.)

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The Perfect Simple Scones

The Perfect Simple Scones | Redesigned By M

The other day I had a craving for some scones to go with my homemade raspberry jam. I decided I’d make them instead of going out to the store to buy them. (It was a Sunday morning and I was feeling lazy.) I don’t normally post recipes on my blog, but these were so absolutely perfect that I couldn’t help but share them with you. They make an excellent blank slate for butter, cream, or jam or all three!

The Perfect Simple Scones | Redesigned By M

Ingredients 

Makes 8 scones
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
  4. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
  5. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to make round scones. The first round of cuts will yield four scones. Reshape the remaining dough into a flat circle again and repeat the cuts. The second round of cuts will yield two scones. The third round will yield one scone. The last round will be just enough for one more scone. Press dough within the round cookie cutter to shape. Place all scones on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

This recipe was slightly modified from the original from allrecipes.com.

The Perfect Simple Scones | Redesigned By M

This recipe was perfect for so many reasons. There was exactly the right amount of dough to make eight scones as indicated (this almost never happens in baking recipes). The scones had the right amount of sugar and it took exactly 15 minutes in a 400F oven, just like it said! They were perfectly soft and moist on the inside and crispy on the outside.

The Perfect Simple Scones | Redesigned By M

They are perfect with jam! Oh man, did these scones hit the spot!

The Perfect Simple Scones | Redesigned By M

How To Get Them Perfect:

  • My flour came pre-sifted, but if yours doesn’t, make sure to sift your dry ingredients.
  • Make sure to measure out your dry ingredients perfectly by using a butter knife to level out the amounts in your measuring cups.
  • Don’t over mix your ingredients.
  • Only half a handful of flour is needed to dust your surface when you go to shape your dough. Don’t overflour!
  • Set your timer at 15 minutes at EXACTLY 400F… no cooler, no hotter.

The Perfect Simple Scones | Redesigned By M

I will DEFINITELY be making these again!

These scones are best paired with:

The Beginner's Guide to Homemade Raspberry Jam | Redesigned By M

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Photography Styling Challenge #2: Table Setting

New Site | Planq Studio

This post has moved to my new site at Planq Studio. Please visit me there to find out how to make this fun project and get inspiration for loads of other projects too!


[redesigned] Painted Planter Pots

Chalkboard Painted Planter Pots | Redesigned By M

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been knee deep in gardening adventures ever since we made over our landscape. After making my own plant markers and planting the vegetables, I looked to fulfill another goal: tending an herb garden. As I have a pretty amazing sunroom that gets a lot of sun all year round, I thought this would be a good room to keep an indoor herb garden in the winter. I’m not sure if it’ll work, but I can at least try! In order to have an indoor herb garden, I’ll need to make sure the herbs are portable, so in pots they go!

Chalkboard Painted Planter Pots | Redesigned By M

I found these pots for FREE on Craigslist. They were an awesome find! Mostly, they were in great condition. A couple came with cracks. See my post here on how I repaired them.

Chalkboard Painted Planter Pots | Redesigned By M

They were also a bit dirty, but nothing a little washing couldn’t handle!

Chalkboard Painted Planter Pots | Redesigned By M

After I cleaned up the pots, I perched them onto various risers such as toilet paper tubes, container saucers, etc. I got the idea to paint these pots with chalkboard paint from Lia Griffith. If you don’t know Lia, you must get acquainted with her because she is AH-MAY-ZING! Would I lie to you? She painted her planter pots in chalkboard and after much debate about what I wanted to do with my own terra cotta pots, I decided chalkboard would be the way to go. Seriously, go check out her site. But finish reading my post first.

Chalkboard Painted Planter Pots with watering directions | Redesigned By M

Using my fabulous new chalk markers, I labeled each pot with the name of the herb as well as watering directions. I get so forgetful on which herbs need what sort of attention! This was a very simple project. Give it a try!

Total time: It took me 45 minutes to paint eight pots. I did it outside in the blazing hot sun, so these pots dried really quick.

Total cost: A quart of chalkboard paint cost me about $10, but I only used about a quarter of the can, if that. The pots were totally free thanks to Craigslist! 

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Redesigned By M

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  • Visit me at my new home!

  • Visit me at my new home!

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