Sharing our love of running, fitness, food, family and the beauty of Western North Carolina...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

You Can't Take The Runner Out Of The Man

When a person loves running as much as Bart does, you'll never take that out of him, it's intertwined with the core of his soul.  He started running when he was 14 years old as part of his training for speed skating, and he never stopped.  So it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me when he said last week, "I would like to run a 50 miler... and ya know, I'm not getting any younger."   Ha Ha, no Bart, none of us are, so go for it!
So the next thing that shouldn't have come as a surprise to me was that he had already picked a race out.

Okay great, but what I don't understand is if the distance is 54.87 miles, why are they calling it a 50 mile race? Why don't they call it what it is, or at least call it a 50ish miler. Is it just me, or does that just not make sense.

I'm seeing up, down, up, down, up, down, uuuuuuppppp, down, up, etc...


After watching the Table Rock video, I totally get it and understand why this is the race he chose.  It's beautiful! I'm super excited for Bart, and I'm looking forward to supporting him on this endeavor because ya know, he's not getting any younger ;-)

So Happy For Cooler Weather

I have to be honest, I've never liked hot humid weather, and the older I get, the less I can tolerate it.  Last night we could feel a big drop in the temperature and a nice cool breeze in the air.  It was like Fall was trying to tell us, "here I come".

I'm not the only one that's a huge fan of cooler weather.  Shadow turns into a completely different dog. I think the husky really comes out of him, and he's ready to go, it doesn't matter where, as long as it's outside.

Today's run was at the Biltmore Estate.  So thankful we live in such a beautiful area, and the Estate is practically in our back yard...

Spotted this guy chillin' out at the Lagoon, probably waiting for a big fat fish to come along...

Even our peach hibiscus is happy for the cooler weather...

And we've got these guys ready to become the last batch of apple butter..

Hope you're enjoying the cooler weather as well.

Happy Running!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Homemade Crock Pot Apple Butter

We have an old apple tree on the property of our community that only one neighbor and several deer make good use of it's fruit, the rest just go to waste. So this year, Bart and I decided to pick some and try our hand at home made apple butter.  I searched the Internet for hours for a recipe that I felt would be the best tasting while using the least amount of sugar.  Based on reading many recipes and recipe reviews, I choose one from Betty Crocker, and I have to say, this is the best apple butter I've ever had. This is the first time Bart has ever tried apple butter, and he loves it too.  In fact it was so good, we made a second batch and canned it, so we can enjoy it all winter long. If it lasts that long :-) 

This recipe made approx 8-8 oz jars plus a little left over to keep in the fridge

no pesticides used on these babies

Not the prettiest apples in the world, but they just needed a little 
washing off

We always want to pass any recipe we love along to you, so here ya go...

12 medium cooking apples, peeled and roughly chopped (you want to use enough apples to fill your crock pot. The apples from our tree are small, so we used about 30 of them)
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Mix all ingredients in 5 to 6 quart slow cooker
2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours or until apples are very tender
3. Mash apples with potato masher or large fork (we used our Immersion hand blender)
4. Cook uncovered on low heat setting for an additional 1 to 2  hours, stirring occasionally, until thick. cool about 2 hours
5. Spoon apple butter into container, cover and store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks

This can also be canned and stored up to one year. Click here for Water Bath Canning Instruction

Use enough apples to fill your crock pot

After cooking on low for 10 hours, we used our immersion blender 
to make it smooth

nom nom nom