My Favorite Thing About Our Christmas Cards

confusing-xmas-cardIf you haven’t seen our Christmas card yet, go check it out here.

My friend, Michelle, sent me this text after receiving our Christmas Card:

“Mommy, how is that bird so big?  How did they get on?  And that mommy and daddy forgot their kids.  Are they on the naughty list?”

This is why we do the cards.  For the reactions.  And this one was the cutest!!

Easy Microwave Applesauce

Microwave Applesauce RecipeThis is one of my favorite recipes.  Ever.  It is so easy and fresh and have I mentioned easy?  I make extra of this Easy Microwave Applesauce so that I have more of it all to myself.  The green apples make it a smidge more tart than normal applesauce which I love.  I usually make it for Christmas dinner.  Well, I make it a day or two ahead so that I don’t have to do anything on Christmas day.  That is reserved for lounging, eating yummy foods and spending time with the family.  I came across a recipe in Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food magazine (which I can’t find online to link to) years ago and have been making it ever since.

ingredients for applesauce recipeI know that Martha got some bloggers in an uproar recently.  I was not one of them.  I don’t totally disagree with some of the things she said.  She is absolutely correct that I don’t test my recipes until within an inch of their life.  If I had a million dollars, a test kitchen and support staff, then yes, I would test my recipes more.  But she is wrong that I am not an expert.  I am an expert in anything I do in my home.  Because that is where I am free to make whatever I do completely my own and put my spin on it.  I choose to share some of those things with my readers to give them inspiration.  If they make one of the recipes that I share and then make their own changes to it, that is amazing.  There is always room for improvement.  Which is why I made Martha’s recipe better.  OH SNAP!

lego-break-while-cookingSo once you have all your ingredients out and are just about to really get going, you are going to need to stop and listen to a Lego set review.  My oldest creates his own themed sets from the Legos he already has.  And then, like his fave, The Brick Show, he goes on.  And on.  And on about the Legos.  This is where you can feel free to make some changes.  Maybe you don’t have someone to requesting your attention and that is ok.  These are the types of things that happen in my “test kitchen.”

peel-and-chop-applesPeel and chop the apples.  Don’t forget to cut two extra apples for your kids.  If you don’t they will take the ones that are meant for your recipe whenever you turn your back.  I’m sure Alexis did the same thing.

add-spices-and-lemonHere is where I go rogue on Martha’s recipe.  I add a bunch of different spices that I love.  Like ginger, and cloves.  I’m sure Martha is clutching her pearls at the mere suggestion.

mash-applesOnce you mix everything together, you cover the dish and put it in the microwave.  About halfway through you mush the apples with a fork.  I like to leave it really chunky though, but this is totally personal preference.

cinnamon-apple-sauceAnd then you eat it.  It is yummy warm but I think it is even better cold.  I know sometimes tone doesn’t transfer well over this here internet and I want to make sure that you all know how much I respect Martha.  She has built an empire, amassing the most talented people under one company.  And you have to respect someone who is comfortable in her cold, sometimes harsh, persona.  She makes no apologies for being who she is.  And while not everyone will like her, and she may make lots of people angry, she is always herself.  As we all should be.

Easy Microwave Applesauce


  • Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cinnamon Applesauce Recipe
  • 6 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into roughly 1/2" chunks
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/16 tsp clove (use more if you like it, but it is a really strong flavor)
  • coarse salt


  1. In a 2-quart microwave safe dish with a lid, combine apples, sugar, lemon juice, spices and salt
  2. Cover and microwave on high until very tender, 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway through
  3. Mash apples with a fork (leave larger chunks for an overall chunkier texture)
  4. Serve warm or cold
  5. Store covered in refrigerator for up to a week.


Gift Guide: Coming Soon!

gift-guide-coming-soon2013Next week I’ll be sharing my gift guides for 2013.  There will be gift ideas for the hostess in your life, the kids and your friends (guys and gals) who are on your buy for list.  And I’ll also be posting my Wishlist, because how else are people going to know what to buy me? ;)  Have a great weekend!

And the Pork goes to…

winner-is-annaThank you to everyone who entered the #Porktober giveaway from the National Pork Board and Costco!  The winner is Anna!  I hope you enjoy your prize, Anna!


Photo Bomb!

kids-photo-bomb-family-photoSo this photo has nothing to do with anything except that I love it.  We recently celebrated my husband’s grandfather’s 95th birthday.  We spent a lot of time with family and enjoyed every minute of it.  We also took some informal family photos.  We managed to get some great pictures before the kids got crazy with PHOTO BOMBING!!!!  This is one of my favorites of the many many many photos I took of the kids being insane.  You can see how happy Poppy is in the background enjoying every minute of the kids being kids.

But I am really posting to tell you that I am not posting today.  Yesterday I had to have a small biopsy done that left me with a few stitches.  No big deal really.  Except for the fact that I HATE STITCHES!  So I decided to give myself the next two days off and just rest.  Which I probably won’t do.  I’m kind of really dying to clean out my email.  But I can certainly also see myself watching 20 hours of Bravo.  I’m totally fine, it’s no big deal, but I’m giving myself some “ME” time.  So have a great weekend and I will see you back here Monday!