The first time I tasted this old-fashioned apple crisp, I couldn’t believe it was made on the grill. Topped with a scoop of ice cream, the warm heartwarming dessert will earn you rave reviews.
Perfect for camping or tailgating, a grilled apple crisp in a foil pack is a deliciously simple and portable version of the classic. I want to love camping. I really do. I love the idea of settling in around a blazing fire, toasting a couple of marshmallows on the perfect stick until gooey and charred. Coffee in a metal pot. Fried eggs in a cast iron skillet nestled into the coals. Sounds perfect!
That is until the reality of it all kicks in. The hot suffocating tent in the morning. Showers and toilets (or the lack thereof). And don’t even get me started on wildlife, specially things that are creepy crawly.
This Grilled Apple Crisp recipe is great for camping aficionados and non capers. And with the fall rolling around, it would also make a great sweet alternative for your tailgate. If you’re a little more adventurous than me, mix up the oat topping in advance, grab a few apples and some foil and pack it for your next excursion. But trust me, this homey dessert tastes just as good sitting comfortably at my kitchen table. Or if I’m feeling particularly outdoorsy, my picnic table. Enjoy!
Click Here for more #dessert recipes!
Here’s a recipe for Grilled Apple Crisp
10 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 8 medium)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
Vanilla ice cream, optional
1. Place the apple slices on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 24×12 in.). In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
2. Fold foil around apple mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.
1 cup: 381 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 92mg sodium, 77g carbohydrate (58g sugars, 6g fiber), 3g protein.
Lately I’ve got Halloween on my mind, and it’s no wonder Halloween is just a few weeks away!
Halloween is one of our most favorite holidays, surpassed only by Christmas! It marks the start of the busiest time of year for us when 4 major holidays seem to run right into each other. It sure makes the last quarter of every year go by fast!
We started our Halloween/Fall crafts and decorating back in late August and still aren’t ready! We’ve made a few wreaths and jars, but we’re still working on costumes for the kids.
To get everyone in the Halloween spirit I thought I’d share these fun door hangers. They’d be fun to hang on any door in the house, on your office desk, or a school locker.
Just print them on card stock and cut them out. Click on the links to get the FREE jpg files.
We’re working on FREE printable signs and stickers for my favorite neighborhood game “You’ve Been Booed!” and should be able to share them soon!
Aren’t familiar with this game? Check out my post last Halloween for game details and come back soon to get this year’s new FREE Printables – we’re adding matching stickers/tags for you to print out and hang on your Boo Basket! Click here to learn more about this popular neighborhood game!
Click here to download this door hanger!
Click here to download this door hanger!
Our family loves Halloween. We have so much fun decorating, making costumes, and best of all throwing a Halloween Party for friends and family.
When Halloween falls on a weekend, like it does this year, it’s extra fun. We like to host a Halloween party in the afternoon then take everyone out to trick or treat when the sun goes down, with a quick costume change of course. (When Halloween falls on a weekday we usually throw the party the weekend before)
Here are some ideas to inspire you to throw your own Halloween Party. Your little goblins and ghouls will love it!
Halloween Punch is always a party favorite, specially when it comes out of a bubbling fog covered bowl.
We use green colored Hawaiian punch “spiked” with Sprite and place the punch bowl in a cauldron with dry ice.
Never put the dry ice directly into the punch bowl, and never handle dry ice with bare hands.
Here’s a Video from Chow Tips on how to safely use dry ice in your Halloween Punch
Serve ghoulish foods and place them in fun bowls. We have a battery operated treat bowl with a skeleton hand that grabs guests when they reach for a treat. I got it several years ago from Walmart.
These cute Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops are always a big hit.
Click here to learn how to make them.
Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies are easy to make with refrigerated Pillsbury Cookie dough and canned frosting.
Click here to learn how!
For healthier non-candy treats check out the ideas on Listotic.
Utilize “scary” ingredients from your pantry and fridge to create simple ghoulish treats.
Olives make great “spiders”, use them to top pizzas, deviled eggs, and more.
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
Grapes make great “caterpillars” when skewered on wooden sticks and great “eye balls” in a fruit salad.
Don’t forget to freeze plastic spiders and eye balls in ice trays for some Halloween drinks!
Decorate inside and out! You can do it inexpensively with Dollar Store finds.
Click here for decorating ideas using Dollar Store Finds!
Glow sticks make cool Halloween Decor, or decor for any other event too!
Click here for glow stick decorating ideas!
No party is complete without games, and Halloween Parties are no exception.
Bobbing for apples is always a hit and so is the sensory game involving touching foods and naming the “body part”.
Click here for game ideas!
We like to wind things down either before or after trick or treating by reading the kids a Halloween book or watching a not too scary Halloween Movie.
Click here for a list of Halloween reads!
Click here for some not so scary Halloween movies!
Europe is famous for Market Day. It’s one of my favorite things about Europe! I love wandering thru open markets where ever they may be.
Like all the other European countries Italy has Market Day in just about every little town. In fact some towns like Vicenza have a schedule of Market Days where different vendors rotate through out the week. For instance Thursdays are usually a Market Day for food vendors to sell fresh fruits and veggies not to mention cheeses, deli meats, seafood, and more. These vendors set up in the smaller piazzas around town leaving the main piazza for vendors selling clothes, carpets, and other household goods. Tuesdays are usually a Market Day for clothing vendors who set up in the main square. Then every last Sunday of the month is strictly for antique vendors.
Other towns like Camisano and Bolzano have a Market Days where pretty much everything is sold including produce, prepared food, clothing, toys, and house hold goods. Venice has a fish market at the Rialto from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and Naples has one pretty much daily.
I love these markets! You’ll find fresh breads and pasties, seasonal fruits and veggies, rotisserie chicken, cheeses, and deli meats. In my opinion it’s a great place to buy a picnic lunch to take to the beach or park.
It’s hard to compile a list of all Market Days through out Italy, there are so many. Again it seems like every little town has one or two. Your best bet is to check out the local scene once you get to town. Or better yet serendipitously wander into one!
Of course if you find yourself in Italy in late October or early November to the first week of January you’ll find plenty of Christmas Markets, now those are super awesome! Hint hint there’s a big one in Verona!
Let me help you plan your Italian holiday! Call me at 808-372-7734, Savvy Nana Travel.
This Teriyaki Chicken recipe will quickly become a new favorite! In this one pan recipe, bite size chicken breasts pieces are sautéed in a skillet then coated with an easy and delicious teriyaki sauce. This tastes just like your favorite Chinese take-out but you can have this ready faster than the time it would take to go pick up take-out!
I’ve made other teriyaki chicken recipes but this hands down beats the prep and cook time on any other teriyaki chicken I’ve tried. And yet it tastes just as good! Plus it’s such a flavorful sauce so it doesn’t even require marinating.
It’s a (mostly) healthy recipe that comes in at 258 calories per serving so it a smarter choice than the deep fried food you usually get from your favorite Chinese take-out.
Click here for my Baked Barbecue Chicken recipe!
- 1 1/4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 1Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4cup water
- 2Tbsp honey
- 1 1/2Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 1Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4tsp sesame oil (optional)
- 2tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 2tsp peeled and minced fresh garlic (2 cloves)
- 2tsp cornstarch
- Heat olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add in chicken and let brown on bottom about 3 – 4 minutes then flip and continue to cook until center registers about 160 degrees, about 3 minutes longer.
- While chicken is cooking, in a small mixing bowl (or liquid measuring cup) whisk together soy sauce, water, honey, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and cornstarch.
- Stir the sauce in with the cooked chicken and continue to cook and toss until sauce has thickened, about 30 – 60 seconds longer.
- Serve warm garnished with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
- Recipe source: inspired by my Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Bowls
The Best Sloppy Joes are easy to make, so delicious, and ready in 30 minutes or less! Triple or quadruple the recipe for parties, backyard barbecues, and giant family vacations.
I can’t think of another meal that’s more evocative than the Sloppy Joe, an American staple.
For me, eating one takes me back to cool summers at my family’s cabin in northern Wisconsin. My mom would make a huge batch, freeze it for the car ride up, and the whole family, kids and all would sit down and eat together once we arrived that first night.
Here’s a recipe from the best sloppy joes I’m sure you’ll love.
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 Sandwich buns, split
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine beef and onion. Cook until the meat is mostly browned, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Pour sauce ingredients over drained beef and stir until evenly coated. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in buns.
It’s Halloween time again! Yay! It’s my favorite holiday right after Christmas.
One of the things I love about Halloween is that I get to give treats, and not just to kids. That’s why I love this neighborhood game I learned while visiting my daughter in Arizona a few years ago.
It’s called “You’ve Been Booed!”. The idea is to anonymously gift 2 neighbors a basket of treats, they in turn will gift 2 others, and the game goes on.
My grandsons have a great time helping put gift baskets together and devising elaborate plans on how to drop off treats unseen. I think it’s great fun and a good way to teach youngsters about sharing.
My daughters have already started collecting treats for their Halloween “Booed” baskets, they can’t wait to start the game in the neighborhoods.
This game can be played around the neighborhood or even at work or in school. We’ve designed several new versions of this game complete with instruction sheet and coordinating signs, tags, and stickers. I’m sharing them here for you to print and use this Halloween season. We have several versions of each sign (You’ve, I’ve, We’ve…been booed) for different circumstances. Choose the one that best fits your game. We designed door hangers as well if you’d prefer to give them out instead of a sign that can be taped on a door or window. The door hangers can be hung by friends and neighbors on their front door know to indicate that they’ve already received a basket.
Just click on the links below for your FREE PRINTABLE signs. You can print them on plain paper, cardstock, or even sticker paper. You can even mix & match the designs! Have fun!
Spooky Ghosts and Pumpkin (Instruction sheet, door signs, door hangers, & round tag or sticker)
Click here to download pdf files!
Door Hanger! Click here to download!
Ghost & Spider Set. (Instruction sheet, door signs, door hangers, & round tag or sticker)
Click here to download pdf files!
Ghost hangers! Click here for download!
Friendly Ghost Set. (Instruction sheet, door signs, door hangers, & round tag or sticker)
Click here to download pdf files!
Friendly Halloween Trio Set. (Instruction sheet, door signs, door hangers, & round tag or sticker)
Click here to download pdf files!
Trio door hanger. Click here to download!
The next 2 sets are meant to be printed and cut-out into the shapes. I print them on cardstock then cut them along the outer edge of the pictures.
For this friendly jack’o lantern set click here!
Click here for this eerie tombstone set!
For more ideas and another FREE Printable
game sheet, check out my post last Halloween!
October is a fun month to have a birthday party. There are so many themes to choose from it will be hard to decide which one you want to use.
Bright fall colors make eye popping decorations. Take advantage of the bounty of fresh fruits and veggies fall offers and serve healthy party food like zucchini pizza!
Here are 6 party themes for your October born child.
For late October birthdays there’s nothing wrong with combining the birthday party with a Halloween party. You’ll only have to decorate once!
There are so many fun treats, games, and activities for kids with this theme including Frankenstein Marshmallows, bobbing for apples, and watching scary or not so scary movies.
Click here for fun Halloween Party ideas!
In honor of Bam-Bam’s, of Flintstone fame, how about a Pebbles & Bam Bam or Dinosaur Party?
Greet guests with a giant inflatable dinosaur to set the tone and serve Stone Age goodies like Dino Bones (chicken lollipops).
Not Just a Mommy
Not Your Normal Steam
Mad Hatter Tea Party!
October 6 is Mad Hatter Day! Throw a Mad Tea Party complete with flamingo croquet field.
This is essentially an Alice in Wonderland themed party, just emphasize the Hatter by using more tea cups and top hats in your decor.
Click here for Wonderland party ideas and FREE Printable!
Click here to learn how to make flamingo croquet set!
Click here to learn how to make tea cup floral centerpieces!
October is Grover’s birthday too. Throw a Sesame Street themed party starring Grover of course!
It might be fun to set up a cookie buffet for this party, instead of treat bags let guests choose their favorite cookies to take home.
Learn how to DIY your own cookie buffet click here!
Savvy Nana Ms. Fox’s Sweets
Melly Moments HWTM
The Purple Pug
October 9th. is Fire Prevention Day, a Fireman or Firetruck Themed Party is definitely in order!
Grab some plastic fireman hats from the party store and let the kids have a blast!
Loving My Nest
Smart Party Planning
Spaceships and Laserbeams
Wonder Woman Party!
Last but not least October 24 is Wonder Woman’s birthday. Throw a Super Hero Themed party starring everyone’s favorite female hero, Wonder Woman!
Life’s Sweet Moments
Kara’s Party Ideas
Parties and Patterns (free printables)
For more Super Hero ideas and free printables
check out Devon’s Super Hero Party!
Planning your Themed Party? Let us design custom party stationary for you! We design everything from invitations to menu cards specially for you!
Order your personalized invitations from my Esty Shop! We can design it and send you the files so you can print it yourself or if you prefer we can send you finished cards that are ready to send! Savvy Nana Crafts check it out!
Infused Water, sounds fancy right? I know it sounds like some expensive water found only at spas and trendy cafés. But seriously it’s not!
Infused water is simply put plain old water flavored with fruit, veggies, herbs, or a combination of the three. It’s also so easy to make at home, all you need is water, your flavoring, and a container.
We’ve been making and serving infused water at many of our events for years. They’re so pretty to look at and adds a flavor twist to water. Now when I say flavor I don’t mean your water will taste like the fruit or veggie you infused it with, it’s more of a hint of flavor, just enough to give it that special refreshing yum!
Recently I had a condition called Rhabdomyolysis, a rare syndrome that basically causes muscles to breakdown and release their contents into the blood stream. Though rare it can be very serious and in my case required a four day hospital stay.
There are several things which can cause Rhabdomyolysis, in my case it was the statin medication I was prescribed for my cholesterol. There are also several signs that cause doctors to suspect the syndrome. In my case my muscles were weak, I was dehydrated, and I had a potassium deficiency. Blood tests confirmed that I did indeed have Rhabdomyolysis.
Although there are a variety of causes and symptoms there is one general treatment for the syndrome and that’s hydration to flush the myglobin (chemical released when muscles breakdown) out of the blood stream and kidneys. Of course more severe cases may need other treatment measures. But in my case IV fluids for 4 days and a few potassium pills were all I needed to flush my system and get my blood tests back to normal. I was sent home with strict instructions to stay hydrated, meaning drink lots and lots of liquid, specially water.
This is where infused water comes in. Don’t get me wrong I drink lots of water, in fact I fill up my 40 oz. hydroflask with ice water 3-4 times a day. But sometimes I’m looking for a bit of a change and infused water really hits the spot.
I’ve made cantalope, watermelon, and pineapple infused water, as well as citrus infused water. I also like to use mint, it’s very refreshing. I’ve been toying with different possible combinations, they do seem endless. But here’s the basics for making your own infused water.
1 cup of sliced fruit, vegetables, or fresh herbs
1 quart water – you can use tap or bottled water. I prefer Aqua Panna or San Pellegrino Sparkling water if I want a bit of fizz.
Place cut fruit in a pitcher or drink dispenser
Add one quart of water
Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours
Strain fruit out of water
Serve infused water garnished with fresh fruit, vegetables, or herbs if desired
Infused water will be drinkable for 2 days if stored in the fridge. Toss out any left overs after 2 days.
When we serve infused water at an event or party I usually strain the old fruit out then place the water in a pretty glass drink dispenser. I garnish it by floating fresh fruit in the water. This adds flavor and makes it look pretty too!
Here are more suggestions for homemade infused water:
Citrus – Lemon, Lime, Orange
Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries
Do you have a favorite infused water recipe? Please share it with us!
When I hear grape stomping and grape harvest this picture of Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball of the I Love Lucy show) always comes to mind. Of course I grew up watching re-runs of this famous 1950’s TV sitcom. I don’t recall the story line but I do remember Lucy stomping grapes in Italy and getting into a food fight with the Italian lady. Whatever it was probably one of the reasons Italy was on my bucket list.
Of course many of us don’t exactly travel to Italy to stomp grapes, but if you find yourself in Italy during the fall then you’re in for a treat! Fall is grape harvest time in Italy. Now I don’t have to tell you that Italy has a ton of vineyards and everyone one of them has a grape harvest or vendemmia every fall.
There are 20 Italian wine regions, basically every region in the country has vineyards and produce wine. Of course the most popular regions are Tuscany, Veneto, and Piedmont. Tuscany is where the Chianti Region is located, the Veneto is famous for its Valpolicella wines, and Piedmont known for its Barolo and Moscato d’Asti. The other regions have their own specialties including Lambruscos, Pinot Grigio, and sparkling wines that rival the best Champagnes of France. Whatever your wine preference I’m sure you’ll find a grape harvest to suit you.
Now when I say grape harvest I don’t just mean picking grapes off the vine and stomping them in a huge vat, you can of course do that if you want to. But grape harvest means grape festivals and festas! And that means wine tastings and pairings. Yup lots and lots of delicious food and wine!
Our family recently went to a grape harvest festival at the Fattoria dell’Eremo not far from Vicenza in north east Italy. But before I tell you about it let me first give you some general information about Italy’s grape harvest and festivals.
The vendemmia season is generally in the fall, but times vary depending on the region and the summer weather. When the summer is very hot the harvest season starts early, harvest season is later in the north part of the country. So harvest season is sometime as early as late August and lasts until early to mid November. But it’s safe to say that you’ll more than likely find a harvest festival somewhere between early September to mid October for sure.
Having said that let me tell you about our grape harvest adventure. First off be prepared, this is run on Italian time, meaning it turns into a day long affair starting around noon and ending sometime after sunset.
Before you go you must book in advance. The cost is €25 for adults who will drink wine, €15 for adults who will not drink wine (that’s your designated driver, trust me you will need one!), and €10 for children. The price includes beverages (4 glasses of wine if you paid for the wine ticket), food (antipasti, pasta, meat dish, dessert), music, and grape picking and stomping. There are also horses to ride for those who want to ride around the vineyard, there’s no extra charge for the ride.
You’re asked to bring your own scissors, a pair for everyone who wants to pick grapes. You don’t have to pick grapes if you don’t want to. You could just admire them or enjoy the views.
You put the grapes you picked into a crate which is the combined with the grapes everyone else picked.
When all the grapes have been piled into the big vats it’s grape stomping time. To keep it organized the kids are allowed to stomp the grapes first, followed by the ladies, then the men, then ladies and men.
Now mind you while all this is going on they’re bringing out food course by course. Large plates of antipasti that included a huge wheel of cheese you could help yourself to. Pizzas, pastas, and roast meats. Then there’s dessert! And of course the wine is flowing. If you need more wine other than the 4 glasses included in your ticket there’s a bar where you can buy wine by the bottle to enjoy during the harvest or to take home.
It’s a long day but definitely lots of fun for the entire family!
This vineyard also has a restaurant so if you can’t make the vendemmia or harvest you can always come for a wine tasting event. They do pizza and wine pairings all year long.
Another winery in the Vicenza area is Cantine Enomas Muraro in the little town of Longare. They don’t offer a grape harvest event but you’re always welcome to a DIY wine tasting.
If you bring a picnic lunch or dinner they have tables and benches outside where you can hang out and drink wine purchased from the winery store.
If you’re not sure which wine you like you can grab a wine glass and taste different wines for €1. You can pour your own wine to taste and buy from the taps. And while you’re there check out the huge wine vats!
Once you decide you can buy one of their pre-bottled wines starting at €3 a bottle. Or you can purchase a large plastic or glass bottle and fill it up yourself. By the way don’t toss the bottle you bought, you can bring it in next time for a refill!
One of the great things about Italy is the wine! Even if you’re not a big wine drinker trust me you’ll find it hard to resist a glass or two. In fact buying wine at a restaurant is much cheaper than buying a soda! Really!
Ready to book your autumn in Italy? Let me help you plan your great adventure! Contact me 808-372-7734, Savvy Nana Travel!