Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Slow Cooker Apple Butter | Family Guide to Visiting Marietta, Ohio

Local apples taste best in this slow cooker apple butter recipe. Use your kitchen appliances to do the work for you! This recipe can be canned for shelf stability & food gifts.


image of sourdough bread spread with slow cooker apple butter


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Disclosure: I spent 3 days in Marietta, Ohio on an agritourism press trip. I was put up, fed, and shown the sights courtesy of theMarietta CVB. In exchange, I have written this post--and two others, since I'm so charmed by this town and I think ya'll should visit.


One aspect of traveling that I enjoy is the opportunity to learn something new--both about myself and the places I visit. This doesn't apply just to adults--kids can grow and thrive in new environments as well. On my recent Agritourism Adventure in Marietta, Ohio we visited many places that will delight the whole family, and I'll share them today in my Family Guide to Marietta, Ohio. If you'd like to visit Marietta with a group of girlfriends, please check out my Girlfriends' Guide to Marietta, Ohio. If you'd like to steal away for a couples weekend, stay tuned for my Couples Guide to Marietta.


Marietta, Ohio is an interesting town with an emphasis on local entrepreneurs in a variety of  businesses.



Monday, October 16, 2017

Agritourism Adventures in Marietta, Ohio

In this post I share where to stay, where to eat, and what to do for a girlfriends' getaway in Marietta, Ohio, Part One of my series on Agritourism Adventures in Marietta. If you and a few friends are looking for a weekend getaway, read on. If you'd like to take your honey off for a Couples Weekend, read the Couples Getaway to Marietta, Ohio. If you'd like to bring the kids, please read my Family Guide to Marietta, Ohio.



Disclosure: I spent 3 days in Marietta, Ohio on an agritourism press trip. I was put up, fed, and shown the sights courtesy of the Marietta CVB. In exchange, I have written this post--and the two that will follow, since I'm so charmed by this town and I think ya'll should visit.


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Why not have a getaway weekend with your friends? I think women, especially mothers, don't treat ourselves with the same nurturing we provide to others. When I was telling my friend Cathy about my recent visit to Marietta, Ohio she said "we should go there". It NEVER occurred to me to plan a girls' weekend vacation, but why not? There's plenty to do and see around Marietta, and it's a nice drive from many larger metro areas in OH, PA, WV and KY. In this post I will share where to stay, where to eat, and what to do in Marietta, Ohio.


First things first--where to stay in Marietta, Ohio. [I keep adding the Ohio part so you don't get confused with another Marietta.] I stayed right downtown by the Ohio river in the historic Lafayette hotel. I had a clean & comfy room in the Hoag addition with a nice view of the river--not that I lingered in my room! Staying in the Lafayette was convenient to many restaurants and shops, and the ability to walk right out the door and see a great blue heron fishing for breakfast along the river . . . well, that's not a sight you usually see steps away from a thriving business district! It was very convenient to easily walk 'home' after viewing a spectacular sunset.


Now that you're settled in, let's talk about food--because this is a food blog and I'd be remiss if I didn't share about the yummy meals Someone Else Made for Me in Marietta! In addition to the Lafayette (French toast for breakfast was quite nice) I sampled several restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.
If you like to start the day with a caffeine hit, stroll down to Jeremiah's Coffee House. I'm not a coffee drinker, but if you like tea, their house chai blend was exceptional--spicy, not cloyingly sweet like the usual national chains, and being on the road means I can't make my DIY Iced Chai. There's baked goods and comfy chairs if you want to linger, and you're welcome to keep it green by bringing your own mug if you like.
For heartier breakfast fare (think pancakes the size of a Costco pie!) or a locally-sourced lunch, stroll across the Lock Bridge to the Harmar neighborhood and Busy Bee Restaurant. Larry, the owner, is so committed to locally-sourced products that they churn their own butter from Snowville Creamery cream! I'm a fan of corned beef hash, and when the brisket is corned in house, well, I had to try that. For coffee drinkers, Busy Bee supports a local business, Broaster's Coffee, run by a young entrepreneur named Ashton.
Our group dinner at The Galley was fun. We shared several appetizers, and I thought the Blue Cheese Kettle Chips were particularly good. Since I'd been eating out so much, I had veggies with my lamb burger and they were perfectly prepared. The service was terrific for our large group, and it was nice to window shop on the way back to the Lafayette hotel.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Green Tomato Garlic Chili in the Instant Pot® or Slow Cooker

Green tomatoes, roasted garlic, and ground beef make a colorful and flavorful chili recipe perfect for fall. You can make this in the Instant Pot®, a slow cooker, or on the stovetop. 


photo of a bowl of green tomato garlic chili that was prepared in an Instant pot®


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As someone who cooks with what's in season, this time of year means green tomatoes. I decided to update an old post from my first year, really the first few weeks of starting this website. In addition to publishing new photos and adding an easier to read recipe card, I've also cooked this recipe in my newest appliance, the Instant Pot®. My husband bought me an early birthday/Christmas present, and I unboxed it--with the dogs' help--and shared the resulting video on my FB page. I'm quite happy to ditch the old, poor quality photos for some newer, still poor quality photos (it's been raining here), but I didn't want to delete how I was inspired to make this chili. For that, please feel free to read my original text below.
I recently started volunteering at a thrift shop.  I didn't realize that it would mean I'd be shopping at the thrift shop on a regular basis, which is an unfortunate happy side effect.  I mean, I did get a pair of new-to-me jeans for $3.  And they're not 'mom jeans' either. Last time I volunteered was after I'd made the Cabin Casserole.  I was chatting with Fran about it, and how the recipe called for green tomatoes, when she told me about her Green Tomato Garlic Chili.  I immediately requested the recipe! This recipe is from The Garlic Lover's Cookbook. I've adapted Fran's recipe by cutting the fat, adjusting the spices, swapping roasted for fresh garlic, pumping up the amount of veggies, and finely chopping everything so my kids will eat it. We liked it so much that I harvested the rest of the green tomatoes on my plants, cored them (the composting pigs like green tomatoes too!) pulsed them in my lovely food processor, and froze 2 2+ lb bags of green tomatoes for winter chili nights.  Make that chilly winter nights.  Oooh!




A few Notes about this recipe.
  1. I used ground beef, but feel free to substitute fresh ground pork. I already know ground pork and green tomatoes make a great chili--check out my Chorizo & Green Tomato Chili recipe here.
  2. Use the hot peppers of your choice. I'm able to get quarts of freshly roasted Hatch chiles each August from the local grocery store, and I pop them into the freezer to use throughout the year. I think using roasted chiles adds more flavor than fresh chiles, so I do recommend using roasted green chiles.
  3. No roasted garlic? No problem! You can substitute minced garlic, probably ⅓ of a cup. Like with the chiles, I think that using roasted garlic punches up the flavor in many dishes. When I harvest my garlic crop each summer, I roast and freeze a portion for use throughout the year. Here's a post about how I put up my garlic crop.
  4. That's a lot of chopping! Yes--I like to start my day at work chopping a bunch of onions, but if chopping isn't your thing, run the onions, bell peppers, and green tomatoes in turns through a food processor until they are finely chopped. [If you don't have a food processor and chopping's not your thing . . . add that to your birthday wish list and find room in the kitchen.]
  5. I've included instructions for cooking this chili in an Instant Pot® (mine is 6 quarts, plenty of room), in a slow cooker, and on the stove top. I am sure you could figure out a way to cook this on a grill--but I'm not going to do that. I grill pizza and vegetables mostly, and I'm good with that.