Apple Placemats

Placemats add a decorative touch to any holiday table, as well as to every day settings. They can be made or decorated with minimal effort and time, and will add a certain charm to the decor. These can be created with pre-made placemats, if desired, making it an even easier project.

Materials:

apple stencil

placemats, premade or homemade (Choose an off white color.)

parchment paper

fabric paints: red and/or green

2 paint brushes

  1. Wash and dry the placemats. Iron if needed.
  2. Put paints on parchment paper squares.
  3. Use the stencil to paint the apple onto the placemat.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly before using.

Tips:

  • It is okay to use more than 1 size apple stencil per placemat, to create a apple tree, an apple grouping, or whatever you desire.
  • You could use different shades of the same base color paints on the mats.
  • Get creative: Outline the placemats with another autumn color paint, paint an apple basket, or a bushel of apples, etc.
  • Use these placemats for every day table settings, or for holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • These can also be used for Samhain.
  • Use cotton fabric.
  • This craft is easy for children to help with.

Share your apple crafts with us in the comments.

Happy crafting!

Shannon

Apple Candle Holders

This project is a great accompaniment for autumn place settings, and can be placed on the dinner or picnic table with the place settings. They are affordable to make, as you can often find bags of tea light candles for a couple of dollars, and the apples can usually be purchased fairly cheap.

Materials:

apples

knife and spoon

tea light or votive candles, scented if desired

  1. Using the knife and the spoon, scoop out the center of the apple from the top. Discard the seeds. Cut down only far and wide enough for a candle to fit in snugly.
  2. Wipe the apple with a cloth.
  3. Insert the candle.

Tips:

  • Use apples from your own orchard to save money.
  • Look for candles at the dollar store for extra money savings.
  • Place these candle holders on the holiday table, or on stands as part of the overall decor.
  • These can be used for any autumn day, but are especially wonderful additions to Halloween and Thanksgiving settings.
  • These are also great for Samhain.
  • Create a centerpiece with these by placing them on a plate or in a baking dish. Strew autumn leaves, pine cones and acorns in the bottom of the dish, add the apple candle holders, and then place the arrangement on the table.

Enjoy the autumn holidays! Do you have any apple craft ideas? Please post them to the comments.

Shannon

Apple Place Markers

Apple place markers are adorable and easy to make. A place marker is used to help you to put each person at a specific place at the autumn-themed or Thanksgiving table.

Materials

scrapbook paper in a solid autumn color other than the color of the apple embellishment (or in an autumn print), cut to 5″ x 3″

scrapbook paper in a different solid color other than the color of the apple embellishment, cut to 4-2/3″ x 2-2/3″

gold, red, brown, or other autumn colored marker or scrapbook pen

paper cutter

small paper apple embellishment (1 per card), or hand cut them yourself

1 small apple sticker

adhesive squares

bone folder

  1. Fold the 5″ x 3″ pieces of paper over the tall way, so the finished pieces will be 2-1/2″ x 3″. Use the Bone folder to score down the inside of the fold.
  2. Fold the 4-2/3″ x 2-2/3″ pieces of paper over the tall way like above. Again, use the Bone folder to score down the inside of the fold.
  3. Place an adhesive square at the back top and bottom sections of the 4-2/3″ x 2-2/3″ pieces of paper, and attach this paper to the front of the larger piece so the scored lines line up.
  4. Fold the finished product along the cored line to be sure the card folds properly while being able to stand on its own.
  5. Place an adhesive square to the back of an apple embellishment, and place it to the left or right side of the place marker – leaving enough space on the smaller piece of paper to write the person’s name.
  6. Place a sticker to the top center to the inside of the place marker.
  7. Using the pen, write a guests name on each and then open the card and turn it to the inside. Write ‘I am thankful for:’ at the top just under the sticker, and the year at the bottom center.
  8. When putting the place markers on the table, set a pen next to each. Before enjoying your meal, have each person think about what they are most thankful for and write it down.

 

 

Tips

  • Make all the place markers the same, or spice things up a bit by making each a little different.
  • This project is great for using up scraps, and doing so will allow you to save money.
  • Try other autumn embellishments.
  • Rather than having guests write what they are thankful for inside the place markers, write what you are thankful for that has to do with each of them. Or, leave the inside for them to fill out, and write a short note about what you are thankful for about each on the back of each.

Happy autumn!

Shannon

Apple-Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to use up small bits of food. The other day I wanted to make Apple-Maple Syrup, but I didn’t want the apple peel to go to waste so I used it to make a smoothie. I also had a little cucumber and raw broccoli left over from previous meals.

Ingredients

peel from 1 apple

2 small pieces of broccoli

small handful of raw, frozen spinach

3 slices of cucumber

1 banana

1 tablespoon protein powder

chocolate almond milk

  1. Put the apple peel, cucumber, broccoli, and spinach into the blender.
  2. pour some chocolate almond milk over the foods, and pulse until everything is broken up.
  3. Add the other ingredients, and more milk if necessary.
  4. Blend until well mixed.

Notes

  • Using odds-and-ends of vegetables in smoothies does not really change the taste much, and it means you’re not wasting perfectly good food. It also adds extra nutrients.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

 

Pancakes with Apple-Maple Syrup

During my healthy eating journey, I’m trying to refrain from saying ‘I’m on a diet’. What I’m really doing is creating a lifestyle change. One that will not only help me to lose weight and be healthier, but will allow me to keep the weight off and stay healthier. Diets don’t do that. Lifestyle changes do. A healthy lifestyle will help me to live life to its fullest.

That’s not to say that sometimes I wont want a treat. For instance, I love pancakes and syrup. I don’t eat them often, but I wanted to find a healthier way to enjoy this breakfast just the same. I use a Paleo pancake recipe, and maple syrup and not the sugary syrups. I also do most of my cooking in coconut oil these days.

Pancakes with Apple-Maple Syrup

Apple-Almond Pancake Recipes

Apple-Maple Syrup

Cinnamon

Ground cloves

  1. Make the pancakes according to the recipe directions.
  2. Make the syrup according to the recipe directions.
  3. Place two pancakes on a plate.
  4. Top with warm syrup.
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon and ground cloves over the top.
  6. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Try different pancake and syrup recipes for variety.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the pancakes and syrup with a smoothie or citrus water.

Shannon

 

Sausage & Apple One-Pan Meal

One-pan meals are easy to make, and there are so many food combinations you can try something new each time. You don’t always need a lot of ingredients to make a delicious meal. Whether you want breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a one-pan meal is a good way to go.

I made one of these meals for lunch today, but didn’t have a lot of food on hand to use for ingredients. I came up with this simple, but delicious, combination.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. organic coconut oil

1 small apple, rinsed, cored and chopped, peel left on

1 small sweet potato, rinsed, ends cut off and chopped, peel left on

1/4 pound ground pork

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the apple and sweet potato chunks and stir.
  3. Section the sausage into small chinks and add to the skillet, stirring again.
  4. Let cook a minute, then stir. Keep going like this until the sweet potato and apples are fork tender.
  5. Remove from heat, pour on  a plate, and enjoy!

Tips

  • Use produce from the harvest season to save money.
  • Try different meat, vegetable, and fruit combinations.

Serving Suggestions

I love this one-pan meal! The apples make it simply amazing.

Shannon

Apple & Sausage Oatmeal Bowl

I’ve recently been posting breakfast recipes, Smoothie Bowls and Sausage & Banana Oatmeal Bowl, and I wanted to add another recipe in the same category. This one is just a different play on the last oatmeal bowl, to show how you can switch things up just a bit for something quite different.

Ingredients

1 cup of prepared oatmeal (not instant)

a drizzling of maple syrup

cinnamon

nutmeg

cooked sausage

diced apple

  1. Warm the oatmeal if it is not hot.
  2. Put oatmeal into a bowl, adding a drizzle of maple syrup.
  3. Mix it all up.
  4. Top with cooked sausage and the diced apple.
  5. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg over the top of the oatmeal bowl.

Tips

  • Make a big batch of oatmeal and store it in the fridge. It is easy to warm in an oven or on the stove top.
  • You can mix the maple syrup into the oatmeal before putting it into the refrigerator, so that step is already done. A quicker oatmeal bowl when you want one.

Serving Suggestion

  • Serve this oatmeal bowl with a cup of cashew milk, or a cup of hot chai tea.

Share your oatmeal bowl recipes in the comments, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com.

Shannon

Apple-Pear Sauce

Homemade apple-pear sauce is easy to make in a pot on your stove top. It makes a good snack, and can even be divided into individual servings and brought to work or school to go with a lunch. This combination of fruits smells amazing while cooking.

Ingredients

apple(s)

pear(s)

water

  1. Wash, peel, and core the apple(s) and pear(s).

  2. Chop the apple(s) and Pear(s). The smaller the pieces, the less cook time needed.

  3. Place the apple and pear pieces into a saucepan and cover with water. Only use enough water to barely cover the fruit, adding more if needed before the fruit is cooked down.

  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until there are small pieces of apple and pear left but there is also plenty of sauce.

  5. Allow to cool or eat warm.

Tips

  • Use cinnamon to add additional flavor to the sauce.

  • This can be cooked down so there are no chunks.

  • Save money by using fruit that is almost gone by and sold for less at the store. Cut out any bruised parts.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve hot over Paleo banana ice cream.

  • Make a syrup for pancakes or waffles by adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of maple syrup to the sauce.

You may also enjoy my  Chunky Applesauce.

Shannon

Cinnamon-Coconut Fruit Salad

I love fruit 🙂 Once in a while I make a salad consisting mainly of some type of this delicacy. The other night I created this one. It’s sweet, but the seeds help to add another important flavor. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

Three servings were made from the one salad, though one of the servings could have been split to make another. I had one serving as a snack, one as a side for the next days lunch, and the other for a side to that day’s dinner.

Cinnamon-Coconut Fruit Salad

Makes 3-4 servings.

Ingredients

1 apple, cored, and chopped into bite size pieces

1 orange, peeled, sectioned, and chopped into bite size pieces

1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, 2 tablespoon of juice reserved (Use the rest in a smoothie.)

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 teaspoons sunflower seeds

cinnamon

  1. Combine the fruit in a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. Add the pineapple juice, unsweetened shredded coconut, and sunflower seeds and mix well.
  3. Divide the fruit salad between 3 or 4 bowls, and sprinkle each serving with cinnamon.

Tips

  • Nature’s Place makes an exceptional organic cinnamon. (No, they are not paying me to say this.)
  • Purchase store brand products when possible to save money.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve this alongside a salad of spinach, coleslaw mix, and sliced hard boiled eggs.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Apple-Almond Pancakes

I’m living a Paleo lifestyle now, for the most part, which means no grains for me 😦 I needed to mix things up a bit, so I bought some almond flour.

An expensive treat, let me tell you! Thank goodness not much is needed at a time. Once in a while I can make pancakes or another such treat, and it wont break the bank. Mind you, I don’t have pancakes for breakfast every day. But once in a while it will be nice to have a couple.

I don’t drink cows milk, but enjoy having almond milk on hand. Only the unsweetened variety, which is actually pretty sweet in my opinion. Any type of apple will work well in this recipe. A good size jar of coconut oil may seem expensive, but really isn’t. I bought my jar 30 ounce jar toward the end of March, and am not even half done with it more than two months later. I paid $6.99 plus tax.

Because I’m trying to eat healthy, I am not consuming syrup. I needed a substitute for this condiment, and decided on unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon. The combination was very tasty.

Apple-Almond Pancakes

Serves 2, 2 pancakes each

Can be refrigerated for a second breakfast tomorrow.

Ingredients

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup almond flour

1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

cinnamon

coconut oil for cooking

  1. Crack the eggs into a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs together.
  2. Add the unsweetened almond milk and whisk again.
  3. Whisk the almond flour and baking soda into the egg mixture, then add the diced apples and mix well.
  4. Allow to sit a few minutes while warming a skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a little coconut in the pan.
  5. Pour some of the batter into the hot skillet, and cook until the edges are cooked. Flip and cook a minute longer.
  6. Top each serving with 1/8 cup of unsweetened applesauce, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Tips

Serving suggestions

  1. Serve with a side of greens and a hard-boiled egg.
  2. Serve with sausage and vegetables.

Enjoy!

Shannon