Apple picking, Try the World, FEED dinners, Fashion Project, and a baked apple recipe

We went apple picking on Sunday at Eckert’s farm in Bellville, Illinois, not far from St Louis. The line was long, but it was well worth the wait. The Eckert’s staff was very efficient and quickly loaded and unloaded the tractors that transport you to the field to pick your apples. We had two choices: a golden delicious (my favorite) and a red delicious variety. Afterwards, we explored the market inside the barn and I treated myself to a half gallon of cinnamon ice cream. Growing up, I always ordered cinnamon ice cream at Orchard Ridge Country Club in Fort Wayne.

I eat an apple almost everyday and while I usually keep it simple with peanut butter, I decided to make baked apples. You can also substitute your favorite granola – my peanut butter granola would be especially good in this! Recipe below.

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I thought I’d also use this post to share a few recent online finds. Lauren Bush Lauren’s FEED program recently launched their dinner fundraiser initiative. Hosts invite guests to a dinner party through e-invites on the Feed platform and instead of bringing wine or dessert to dinner, guests are urged to donate meals for as little as $1.10 for 10 meals. Such a great idea and I plan to host my own FEED dinner party soon.

We also received our first Try the World box, which is a program that sends you a box of goodies from a different country every two months. It is really affordable and since I don’t do the popular Birchbox subscription, I decided to treat myself. Food is so much better than make-up! Each box transports you to another country and comes with a booklet of movie recommendations and pairing ideas; September was Paris. It is much cheaper than a plane ticket and I can’t wait for the next box!

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Another recent find is Fashion Project, which lets you send your gently used clothes free of charge to be donated and 55% of the net proceeds go to the charity of your choice. I plan to do a little closet cleaning soon and send a few items their way. Such a brilliant idea and I loved browsing all of the clothes and seeing the wide range of charities featured.

Finally, other random highlights from the week include my favorite silk polka dot skirt (with pockets) that I purchased in DC during my intern days about six years ago. New Sam Edelman ballet flats from Nordstrom rack – made my week and they’re the most comfortable flats ever. My ‘small’ cart at Whole Foods – never take me there on a bad day because I have no self-control. I completely understand why it is called ‘Whole Paycheck.’ Everything in my fridge is now cage free and roaming. Hooray for happy eggs. Other photos include Jack (because why not?), our after work fro-yo date in the Loop, and Ralph helping in the kitchen – the Williams Sonoma apron was a little snug.

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Baked Apples

  • 4 apples
  • 1/4 cup oats, not instant
  • Eyeball cinnamon (I like a lot)
  • A little bit of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • A handful of golden raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Ice cream or redi-whip for serving

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DIRECTIONS

Remove the core of the apples to create a well. If you do not have an apple corer, a paring knife will also work.

Mix the oats, brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Divide this between the apples and stuff the wells.

Place the apples in a baking dish and top each with a little bit of butter. Pour the water into the dish and cover with foil.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes and remove foil. Continue baking for another 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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