Enjoy the Fruit of Fall at Battleview Orchards

It’s fall, a time for cooler weather, beautiful foliage, and of course pumpkin spice everything.  Letting go of summer can be a little difficult for some of us, but I try to move into fall with excitement of all the autumn activities such as festivals, football games, and Halloween. Harvesting the fruit of our summer labor is also a past time that thousands of people enjoy.  One of the best activities for families of all kinds is apple picking. Whether young or old apple picking is a great way to get outside, get some exercise, and experience nature at its best.

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Battleview Orchards sits next to Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Freehold, NJ and boosts a rich history dating back to 1908.  The orchard which is a full working farm that grows apples,
strawberries, sour cherries, peaches, nectarines, and pumpkins can be visited by the public from summer to fall.  Their country store is open year round and offers the most delicious fresh baked goods as well as Jersey fresh fruits and vegetables.
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It has become a tradition for our family to visit the farm in the early fall to get our apples for the season.  You can pick a very wide selection of apples including Gala, Macintosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Empire, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith, Braeburn and Fuji.  The apples can last in the refrigerator for up to six months – if they won’t get eaten before then. This year we  picked Jonathon and Jonagold, which I heard are great for baking. We also picked Fuji, which are a great mix of sweet and tart perfect for snacking. Finally we picked the Empire varietal which is another one of our favorites, its red skin and sweet candy like flavor makes it very hard to resist.

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Picking the apples is an experience like no other. Walking through the rows of trees can make you feel like you are walking aside Dorothory and the gang on their way to Oz, waiting for a tree to misbehave and throw an apple at you.

The orchard provides harvesting poles for a refundable deposit of $20 so you can access the top of the crop.  They give you a bucket and paper bag to collect the apples.  I bring a pen so I can mark on the bag what we pick.  Just remember you have to pay for all that you pick and they only accept cash.

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After the apple picking you can take a tour of the farm on a festive hayride for $3 a person.  Enjoy being pulled by a tractor while viewing the picturesque scenery.

Also be sure to visit their pumpkin patch, which boasts the most beautiful gourds.

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If you are looking for somewhere to go on a crisp fall day, take a visit to Battleview Orchard it surely won’t disappoint.

Happy Fall!
❤ Always,
TT

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Jersey Pepper Chilli

With the crisp fall air circulating around us we are enjoying the fruits of our summer labor including the crop of bell and jalapeño peppers. One of my go to recipes to use the peppers and help warm us is chilli. This recipe can be as spicy or mild you like. You can add an extra jalapeño or a few seeds to add heat, but be careful not to add too much, remember like any recipe you can always add more, but you can’t take away.

1 lb Ground Chicken or Beef

Avocado Oil

1/2 Cup Sweet Onion

1/2 Cup Red Onion

1 Celery Stick

2 Peppers

1 Jalapeño

1 Garlic Clove

1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth

3 Cans of Beans

1 Can Tomato Paste

1 Can Tomato Purée

1/4 Tsp Chilli Powder

1/4 Tsp White Pepper

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/4 Tsp Cummin

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Add couple tablespoons of avocado oil to a large pot and heat until hot, add ground chicken and cook while mashing the chicken preventing it from clumping together.

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Cook chicken until opaque. Remove chicken from pot onto a plate lined with paper towels.

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Add a little more oil to the pot. Heat oil and then add chopped onions when the oil temperature is hot.  Sauté onions for about five minutes add salt and pepper.

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Add chopped peppers, I used one green and one orange bell pepper.

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Add celery and jalapeño and sauté for another five minutes.  Add chicken broth.

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Drain and rinse all beans and add to the vegetables.  Use whatever combo of beans you prefer, I used canellini, kidney, and garbanzo.  Next add tomato past and purée.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Add drained chicken back into the chilli.  Add spices. Simmer covered chilli for about 45 minutes on medium to low heat.

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Serve hot with tortilla chips, and any other condiment you prefer.  We like to add a dollop of aoure

Happy Cooking!
❤ Always,
TT