Welcome back friends! Autumn is my favorite season and while pumpkin spice has its charms, I prefer apple cider!
My family and I are starting a new Halloween tradition this year that includes drinking apple cider (check back on Friday for more details) and I thought it would be special to create our own!
Please feel free to use this recipe to create some delicious apple cider for you and yours! This cider is sweet and spiced; I used all Honeycrisp apples, but you can experiment with the combination of apples to change the flavor!
HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER
10 medium apples, quartered
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground cloves
4 – 6 tablespoons of sugar
Place the apples, cinnamon, cloves and sugar into a crockpot, then add enough water to cover the apples.
Cover the crockpot and cook the contents on low for 6 hours.
Once the 6 hours have passed, use a spoon to gently crush the apples, then allow them to cook for 1 more hour.
Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow the contents to cool slightly.
Slowly ladle and strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a large pot or pitcher, then strain it a second time; discard the solids.
My family and I have created a playlist of cozy, classic Christmas music for you and yours! Christmas may be celebrated a little differently this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t kindle a little Christmas spirit!
This year we’ve decided to focus on the “tried and true” classic Christmas songs that leave a cozy feeling in your heart and soul. Primarily Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, with a few other artists sprinkled in, including Seth Macfarlane who, although a modern artist, fits in handsomely!
Please let us know if we missed or left out any of your classic Christmas favorites you feel should be included! We’d love to hear from you!
Cozy Classic Christmas Playlist 2020
CHRISTMASTIME IS HERE| Vince Guaraldi Trio
IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS|Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters
THE CHRISTMAS SONG |Nat King Cole
IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR | Andy Williams
MISTLETOE AND HOLLY | Frank Sinatra
SILVER BELLS | Bing Crosby & Carol Richards
WHITE CHRISTMAS | Rosemary Clooney
SNOW | Seth MacFarlane
THE FIRST SNOWFALL | Bing Crosby
LOOKS LIKE A COLD, COLD WINTER | Bing Crosby
BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE | Seth MacFarlane & Sara Bareilles
A WINTER ROMANCE | Dean Martin
I’VE GOT MY LOVE TO KEEP ME WARM | Dean Martin
YOU’RE ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS| Bing Crosby
SLEIGH RIDE| Ella Fitzgerald
LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! | Seth MacFarlane
WINTER WONDERLAND | Bing Crosby
A MARSHMALLOW WORLD | Seth MacFarlane
LITTLE JACK FROST GET LOST | Seth MacFarlane & Norah Jones
FROSTY THE SNOW MAN | Bing Crosby
WARM IN DECEMBER | Seth MacFarlane
CHRISTMAS DREAMING | Seth MacFarlane
I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS | Seth MacFarlane
O TANNENBAUM | Vince Guaraldi Trio
O FIR TREE DARK | Bing Crosby
THE CHRISTMAS TREE ANGEL | The Andrews Sisters
IS CHRISTMAS ONLY A TREE | Bing Crosby
DECK THE HALL | Nat King Cole
CHRISTMAS CANDLES | The Andrews Sisters
THE CHRISTMAS SONG | Seth MacFarlane
HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS | Judy Garland
A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS | Burl Ives
(EVERYBODY’S WAITIN’ FOR) THE MAN WITH THE BAG | Seth MacFarlane
SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN | Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS | Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
JINGLE BELLS | Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
I’D LIKE TO HITCH A RIDE WITH SANTA CLAUS | The Andrews Sisters
JING-A-LING, JING-A-LING | The Andrews Sisters
CHRISTMAS DINNER, COUNTRY STYLE | Bing Crosby
CHRISTMAS ISLAND | The Andrews Sisters
MERRY CHRISTMAS POLKA | The Andrews Sisters
TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS |Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
I WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS |Bing Crosby
DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? | Bing Crosby
THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY | Bing Crosby
MY LITTLE DRUM | Vince Guaraldi Trio
HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING | Bing Crosby
THE LITTLEST ANGEL | Bing Crosby
O HOLY NIGHT | Bing Crosby
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEARS EVE? | Seth MacFarlane
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking up Little John’s beef stew featured in Disney’s animated feature, Robin Hood!
This recipe is featured when Robin Hood and Little John are taking a break in the woods. Unfortunately Little John leaves Robin to tend the stew, and Robin starts daydreaming, effectively burning the stew (don’t worry we won’t burn ours). Friar Tuck shows up while Little John is trying to salvage the food; he tries the stew, coughs a bit, and comments “well done, ain’t it?”
I love a good, hearty stew! I thought burning it would be in poor taste (#momjoke), so I kept an eye on it. I also feel like Little John takes pride in his cooking so I kept it simple based on ingredients they may have been able to obtain, but not so simple as to insult his enthusiasm.
2 tablespoons of butter
1 pound of beef stew meat, cubed
1 large onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of black pepper (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
1 teaspoon of thyme
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 cup of tomatoes, diced
2 cups of water
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 potatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons of flour
1/4 cup of water (additional)
Melt the butter in a dutch oven or large pot on medium heat.
Season the stew meat with a little salt and pepper, then add it to the pot and brown all sides.
Once browned, remove the meat and allow it to rest on a plate with its juices.
Add the onions, basil, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, salt, and thyme to the meat drippings within the dutch oven and sauté for about four or five minutes.
Add the garlic and celery, then sauté for another two to three minutes.
Deglaze the pan with a little water (enough to loosen up the food particles left behind from cooking the meat and aromatics) and stir, then allow everything to cook for another five minutes.
Add the beef (and its accumulated juices) back into the pot, along with the diced tomatoes and two cups of water.
Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until the beef is fork tender.
Add in the carrots and potatoes and bring the liquid back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for another thirty to forty minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour into 1/4 cup of cold water and add it into the stew.
Continue cooking and stirring the pot until the sauce has thickened (about 10 more minutes).