Red Hot Apples


My friend Molly shared this awesome family recipe with me, a Thanksgiving favorite in her family. It's one of those ones I can't resist, that sound so kooky and off-the-wall that you know you want to try it. Red hots....and apples? Cooked together? But it works. I expected the apples to be overpowered or too sweet because of the candy, but they hold their own and the result is surprisingly subtle. The red hots turn into a delicious syrupy jelly and the apples just suck it up, becoming delicious molten balls of fruit and spice. 

This recipe has been in M.'s family for generations and she read it to me from an adorable spiral bound cookbook made by her mom featuring all of her grandmother's recipes (in her handwriting!) What a treasure and so pretty (that old-fashioned cursive!) I only wish I'd had my good camera to do it justice, but iPhone pics will have to do (it's hard to cook and photograph the process, y'all).

Thanks for sharing this family secret, M.!

I halved the original recipe, which you can kind of make out above.


4 apples
1/2 - 3/4 cup red hots
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt


Peel and core the apples and place them in a pan or skillet big enough so that they rest in a single layer. Add the red hots, sugar, and water, and cook over medium heat, stirring to make sure that the red hots dissolve properly (you don't want any resting on top of the apples or they won't liquefy. So sort of scatter them around the apples). Cover and cook until apples are tender, flipping them a few times at intervals to make sure they are evenly coated in the liquid. You should also make sure to baste them with the red hot liquid once or twice during the cooking process.

The apples are ready when they are fork tender and "red enough," as Molly's Grandma Dorothy put it (I think this means that if you're doing it right, they should look just like stewed tomatoes). You can always add more red hots if need be. Uncover and let the liquid reduce into a thick jelly. We ate our apples warm, but Molly assures me they are just as good served cold. I'll have to try that next.

Does your family have any interesting Thanksgiving favorites? 

A Day in the Life: November 2014

It's been a few months since our last day in the life post. It just keeps sneaking up on me -- the months seem to be whirling by lately. I scheduled a dr.'s appt for six weeks from now and was shocked when the nurse gave me a card for January 2015! With Anne in school, we have finally dropped into something like a routine, which means that we are a lot less adventurous than usual but is also kind of a relief.

Head over to No Monsters in My Bed and Not-So-SAHM to see what our friends were up to on 11/12/14.

 8:45 AM: Running off to school. We really lucked out with Anouk's school this year; she loves it so much that she can't wait to get out the door every morning. "Come on, Mom, we'll be late!" Shouldn't it be the other way around?

8:45 AM: Fall comes a little late to us here in Coastal VA but it seems to finally have arrived. Overnight the crape myrtles on the street have burst into waves of red and gold. From the car, as I was taking this: "Come ON, Mom, we'll be LATE!" (Luckily the school is a less than 5 minute drive).

9:45 AM: I text K. and Molly to meet me at the thrift store down the street. We mean to run in for just a few minutes to check it out but end up staying for over two hours. Here they are trying to convince me I need a poster of an intergalactic unicorn (who doesn't?)

11:00 AM: Still thrifting and trying on a truly voluminous muumuu. It might sound contrary to all common sense but I decide to buy it (new with tags! so comfy!) I am envisioning many happy Hatteras beach days wearing this thing.

1:00 PM: Hitting the park with some friends after school. Anouk is addicted to the swings, and has also graduated to the big kid climbing structure which means I spend a lot of time with my heart in my throat and trying to hide it (don't want to give her a complex).

3:15 PM: Anouk is taking a siesta (our word to make a nap sound less like a nap) and I am recovering  our ottoman. It was harder than I expected but I think it turned out OK. Next time, iron first.

5:00 PM: Cooking dinner (chicken and kale soup) and catching up on the latest episode of Serial (have you listened yet? What do you think? Did he do it?) I am obsessed.

7:00 PM: James and Anouk reading books on the couch before bed.

I'd like to say I did something really exciting after A. was asleep but: clean kitchen, bath, book, bed. The end! Party animal, for real.

Bedtime Shadow Books


When we visited World of Mirth in Richmond a few weeks ago, we left with a book for Anouk that has become one of our new favorites. A "bedtime shadow book," this book is made up of pages that you shine a flashlight through to project the illustrations onto the ceiling. It's been a big help in getting A. excited about going to bed and for that I am very thankful.

The book we got is called Nighttime Fairies, but there was also one on constellations and one about sea creatures that looked fun (but maybe slightly scary for bedtime, for a toddler?) Anyway, the series includes a version of The Night Before Christmas! The perfect thing to add to our Picture Book Advent Calendar when we break it out for a few weeks, right?

What are your kids' bedtime favorites? Please let me know -- anything that would help smoothe that process would be great. :)

PS: You can find the complete list of Bedtime Shadow Books online here, but World of Mirth also takes phone orders if you'd rather support a great independent business!

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