I have tried to grow tomatoes for the past three years.  The first two years I planted them in half wine barrels outside our shop.  They did wonderfully until they started to get ripe and the deer ate them all.  This year I got smart, and had my dad plant them in the big garden at the farm, that is surrounded by deer and rabbit fence.  They did wonderfully, except we had used a piece of hog panel for them to grow up, and the plants got bigger than the panel and started falling over.  We lost some tomatoes because they got buried on the ground.  We enjoyed fresh tomatoes during our prolonged summer.  We even had enough to make salsa without having to buy tomatoes.  When the rainy weather hit, my mom and I decided to pick what was left and see what happened.  We knew if there was a little bit of red starting to develop they would continue to ripen, but weren’t sure about complete green ones.  I found a bunch of green ones and thought I’d at least try making fried green tomatoes or something.  To our surprise, they ripened.  Every few days I’d throw the ripened ones in the freezer, and one of these days I’ll whip up some homemade spaghetti sauce.


Mom’s tomatoes

My tomatoes.  I’m now down to about 5 that are still ripening

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Caramel Apple Cider

I love Starbucks caramel apple cider.  I love coffee, but in the fall, I often get the cider instead because it is sooo yummy.  I love the whipped cream and the caramel on top, and how it mixes with the cider as you drink it, making a cool and warm, yummy deliciousness in your mouth.  I know, totally NOT proper English there, and from a former English teacher no less, but when it comes to cider, my brain goes out the window!  Anyway, I found a recipe on pinterest the other day, and finally rounded up the ingredients to try it.  If you would like the recipe, here’s the link to the blog where I found it.  http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/04/copy-cat-recipe-starbucks-caramel-apple-spice/

Thank you budget savvy diva, you have changed my life, and probably saved me quite a few dollars!

I bought some frozen apple juice concentrate the other day for my little project, but found it leaking all over the freezer later.  (There was a slice in the can.)  Not knowing how long the slice had been there or where it came from, I decided it would probably be a good idea to throw it away.  Well, thankfully, Kyle’s uncle Jim came to the rescue and dropped off a gallon of fresh squeezed apple cider.  Wooohooo!  I love apple cider!

The recipe calls for some cinnamon dolce syrup, but gives a recipe to make your own, so I whipped that together, then decided to use my whipping cream I picked up on my grocery run this week, and make some homemade whipped cream for my cider.  (I did take pictures but can’t seem to find the cable to download them at this moment, so I’ll add them later.)  When whipping cream, I remember why I wanted a kitchen aid so bad!  Just turn it on and let it go while you continue on with other things.

You might think whipping up a bowl of whipped cream for one drink is a little excessive.  It probably is, and if anyone wants to buy me one of those cool Co2 cartridge whipped cream makers, I wouldn’t be opposed….I had a plan in my head that I was going to make blackberry pie for dessert tonight, so figured I’d use the rest of the whipped cream then.

While my cream was whipping, I heated up my cider, then added some caramel sauce to the bottom of the cup.  (I was on my way to work, so I made this in my to go cup covered with pictures.)  I know, classy!

I added some powdered sugar to the whipped cream.  (A little trick I picked up from my mom, it fluffs into the cream instead of leaving a grainy texture like regular granulated sugar does.)

I added my cinnamon dolce flavoring to the cup, then the cider, then topped it off with the fresh whipped cream and caramel.  It was delicious!  I think next time I’ll skip the cider part and just fill the cup with whipped cream and caramel!  Just kidding….sort of!


I found the missing cord for my phone so here are the promised pictures!


Cinnamon Dolce Syrup

Whipped Cream!  Yummmm!


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