It’s (Baked) Apple Season

You experience your home with all of your senses, and smell can be one of the most powerful. Welcome in fall and apple season with the scent of baking apples with cinnamon. Here’s a recipe from Trisha Yearwood’s cookbook, Trisha’s Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life. Be sure to check out her Dining Collection available at Art Van Furniture, while you’re in your kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 4 large baking apples, such as Honeycrisp
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash and core apples, leaving enough of the core at the base of the apple to contain the filling.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans in a small bowl. Roll log shapes of the mixture and press enough into each apple to fill the core.

Fill a 2-quart baking dish with about 3/4 cup water, or enough to cover the bottom. Place the apples upright in the dish. Bake one hour or until the apples are soft and the filling is browned.

In-Season Produce For September

The fall harvest brings lots of great fruits and vegetables to the produce section of your store or your favorite farmer’s market. It’s always best to eat what’s in season, and here’s a list of what you should load into your cart in September:

Vegetables

Beans

Cucumber

Eggplant

Peppers

Tomatoes

Fruits

Apples

Grapes

Valencia Oranges

Asian Pears

Labor Day Trivia

Whether you’re going to a party, hosting one or just kicking back and relaxing at home, many of us love to celebrate Labor Day. But do you know its history? Here are some fun facts you can share if you’re enjoying your day off of work:

  • Labor Day was first celebrated in New York City in 1882 by the Central Labor Union in New York City; congress voted it a national holiday in 1894
  • During the Industrial Revolution, the average American worked 12-hour days, seven days a week
  • Irish-American pioneer unionist Peter McGuire is often credited as being the “father” of the Labor Day holiday; he wanted citizens that “labored” all year long be acknowledged and have a day to relax
  • Labor Day is also recognized in Canada
  • The first Monday in September was chosen because it was between Fourth of July and Thanksgiving

Throwing A Fun-Filled Labor Day Party

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. The time when routines are put back in place, and carefree days spent outdoors start to wind down. Why not mark the transition with a Labor Day party? This summer holiday can be casual and laidback, and all you need is food and fun.

Food: This is the time to take advantage of one of your last opportunities to cook outsid, so build your menu around things you can throw on the grill. Steaks, burgers, hot dogs, kabobs or ribs – pick your favorite and then add all of the side dishes that go with it. For dessert, homemade ice cream is always appropriate. Make it fun by setting up a toppings bar.

Décor: Make the party festive by decorating in red, white and blue. Hang flags. Light up the area at night with red, white and blue paper lanterns or colored lights. And swap out your napkins for red or blue bandanas, creating an Americana feel.

Fun: It’s always a good idea to have some activities planned to keep the fun going. You could set up a volleyball or badminton net, or have a football ready if your crowd loves sports. Beanbag toss or horseshoes are also great games to have on hand, and they can even spark some friendly competition. And if you’ve got kids coming, make sure to plan activities for them, such as arts and crafts or marshmallow roasting.

Labor Day parties are best when they’re worry free. Remember, the most important element is enjoying your time gathering with friends.