Peace Valley Apple Orchard

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Some of you may have seen our adorable family photos from the apple orchard up on facebook, but I saved some of them specifically for this blog post. That’s right, EXCLUSIVE adorable photos, right here. Now, up until last year, I had only really dabbled in photography and blogging. It wasn’t until our last trip to the apple orchard that I decided I had enough skill, time, and dedication to commit to this as a hobby, Our latest trip out to Peace Valley only reaffirmed that I love food, photography, and my babies, and have an indefinite amount to say about all three.

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The weather in Ohio is actually pretty nice this time of year. We occasionally get some rain and blustery days, but for the most part the sun is out and its warm without being humid [a huge relief for people in this area]. It was supposed to be cloudy yesterday and a bit “chilly” but it turned out to be sunny for most of the afternoon and warm, with just the faintest breeze.

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These orchard are a good 45 minute drive away from us. I thought our little town was “rural” when I first arrived some 5 years ago, but was I so wrong. We have things like a kroger and Walmart! Out in the boonies, where the farms and orchards are, you’re lucky if they have a Dollar General and you can expect to see a decent amount of Amish.

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OK, by “decent amount” I really mean you might see a horse and buggy, but hey – I’m guessing that’s more than you’d typically see in your hometown. Rural though it is, the drive is actually quite nice. Twists and turns through the Ohio valley, with the leave just beginning to change, was the perfect way for us to kick off fall.

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Since the orchards are among farms, there is a cute country store on the property that sells seasonal produce as well as jams, salsas, and preserves made locally. We ended our little adventure with warm apple dumplings served a la mode. YUM. Even though it’s a bit of a drive “just for apples,” I still like that our trip to the orchards has become a little tradition.

Cinnamon Pecans

Have you ever walked through the mall or farmers market, and smelled that sweet, cinnamon scent coming from the booth making candied pecans? Now, imagine that’s what your house smells like.

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Put these delicious, homemade pecans in your candy dish at home. Its such an easy recipe and dare I say, its a necessary one for you to have in you repertoire… These are delicious in salads, or even for just a good snack! Also, they make your house smell amazing while they’re baking.

Here’s what you need:
-3 cups pecan halves
-1 egg white.
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup organic sugar
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
-a pinch of salt

Ok, so I never said they were the healthiest. Side note: I’ve actually been eating them for breakfast… but if you think about it, these pecans probably have close to the same amount of sugar that fruit loops have, right?

Preheat oven to 300. In a small bowl, beat your egg white with a whisk. Add in the pecans and stir with a spoon until all are coated. In another bowl, mix sugars, salt, and cinnamon. Pour sugar mix into the pecans and stir until all are coated. On a pan lined with parchment paper [or silpat mat] dump pecans and spread them out with a spatula. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Take pan out of the oven and stir the pecans around, then place back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the over after the 20 minutes are up and allow to cool. Break pecans apart and store in an air tight container. Enjoy!

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