Pecan Oatmeal Apple Crisp (and Apple Abundance)

Pecan Apple Crisp
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Pecan Oatmeal Apple Crisp

So we went a little overboard on the apple picking this year and picked a ton on our annual trip to Ricker Hill a few weeks back. (also we went on a weekday, so we had the full run of the bounce houses to ourselves and had to take advantage of that!) So even after two sizable pies, I still had about a bushel left and no gumption to make more pie, and so, enter crisp! This recipe is a mashup of three different ones, so it has a little bit of everything in it, which makes it totally delicious.And it's a big batch recipe (3 Qt baking pan), so it means that I'm down to only 2 dozen apples now!!


  • ~10 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Tbl sugar
  • 1.5 Tbl cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbl orange juice


  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups flour (Up to 1/2 cup can be whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans 

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F

Place all filling ingredients into a 9x13 (3 QT) baking pan and mix together. Adding more apples as needed to fill pan.

In a separate bowl, mix all topping ingredients, except nuts, together until they make a consistency like wet sand. Mix in nuts as desired. Sprinkle topping loosely over apple mixture.

Bake for ~ 50 minutes until topping is browned and apples are soft.

Serve warm with ice cream 

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Apple Picking at Ricker HIll
















Little Miss Cleaver is, for the most part, a pretty good eater and if there's one thing she loves to eat above else it's fruit (unless it's honeydew melon, because she ain't having none of that).

She is, however, somewhat picky about the quality and seasonality of her fruit. Watermelon in July - gimme more! Watermelon in a fruit salad in September - no way. So it's perhaps unsurprising that her favorite outings seem to be our PYO trips, because fruit fresh off the plant? Nothing better than that!

And I tend to agree, our annual Ricker Hill trip is always one of my favorite days of the year. Beautiful views, fresh fruit, apple cider doughnuts, and Steinbeck gets to come too? And this year they even added a hard cider tasting room.

Its was unseasonably warm this year, but everyone still had a great time (even Mr. Cleaver, who we forgot to get in front of the camera!), but I think LMC had the best time of all!

PS - check out the photos from last year, my little one has gotten so big!

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Autumn in Maine

















It's no secret that I love Autumn in Maine. Fall has always been my favorite time of year and New England has the best Autumns of them all. And this year I get to share it all with Little Miss Cleaver - which makes it even better.

This year we crammed both of the Cleaver Family fall favorite field trips into one gloriously busy week: the Fair (Cumberland County) and apple picking (Ricker Hill). Miss Cleaver was wide-eyed at all the new things to look at (but not allowed to put in her mouth) and Mr. Cleaver and I loved watching her take it all in. Steinbeck was just happy to be there.

For years now, Mr. Cleaver and I talked about how some day we would take our future children on these annual adventures with us and what a thrill it is to be actually doing it now. We met in the fall and married in the fall (6 years this Sunday!), and the return of the season each year serves as a reminder of how this little family, my greatest joy, made its start. Small wonder that Autumn's my favorite time of year.

PS: Miss Cleaver just turned 6 months old (how time flies!) and mastered sitting the day we went apple picking. Pumpkin Photostrip

Or should I say, almost mastered?

PPS: Thanks to those of you who voted for the Pride's Corner Drive-In. Unfortunately they didn't win a new projector, but another Maine Drive-In (in Saco) did!

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Fall is on Its Way


Oh hey there blog. Don't worry, I didn't forget about you. It's just been a long quiet summer. I watched a lot of dvds (The Poseidon Adventure really holds up by the way and my love for the X-Men cartoon survives unabated), but for the past month or so, I didn't really do much of anything I'd call "blog-worthy." But fall is quickly approaching here in Maine and the Cleaver household is getting back into the swing of things.

First stop? Ricker Hill for our annual apple picking adventure.


On our 4th year out, my love for this place is still strong, as the doughnuts are still delicious, the views wonderful, and the apple selection top-notch.  We picked a half-bushel and a peck of MacIntoshes, McIntoshes, Cortlands, and my personal favorites, Jonagolds. I see a pie-making afternoon in my near future.



The weather was sunny and crisp, just like an apple-picking day should be.

Steinbeck was super-helpful.



We came home happy, tired, and full.  Though I might have been a bit more tired than usual, but that's only because gestating a tiny human being is hard work......

Untitled Yep - the Cleaver's are expecting!

While I couldn't come up with any cutesy blog announcement photo theme (they are seriously not kidding about that 1st trimester fatigue), both the Mr. and I are super excited. I'm about 12.5 weeks along and am due in late March. So expect many photos of tiny baby sweaters soon. I imagine it's going to be a busy fall!

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Puppy's First Apple Picking

IMGP3977.JPG On Saturday after several weekends of sickness and rain, we finally, finally! made it out for our annual trip to Ricker Hill for apple picking.


And even better, the the pick your own fields at Ricker Hill are dog-friendly, so we took Steinbeck along for his first apple picking adventure.





Steinbeck wasn't really into the apples, and he definitely wasn't into the slingshot.



But he did enjoy the wagon ride, and was very interested in the porcupine we wouldn't let him within twenty feet of.



As for the people, we got a beautiful crisp fall day, great views, a chubby pumpkin and half a peck of delicious apples.



See ya next year Ricker Hill!


Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Early Apples

So far the votes from the last post are 60% for both  of us and 40% for me (sorry Mr. Cleaver & puppies), so in honor of your vote, here we are together:

Lil' one

But who took the photo, you ask?

Why this lovely lady, who accompanied us on our annual apple-picking adventure.

Beneath the apple tree

As other Maine bloggers have mentioned, the apples are super early this year. Since my favorite apple type (Jonagold) ripens a bit later than the first apples, we waited until mid-September, still several weeks earlier than usual, to take our annual trip to Ricker Hill.

The day was warmer than we imagined (hence the short sleeves), but it was a lovely day for apple picking (or slinging).

Beautiful Day - for slinging rotten apples!

Lazy Day

This trip is nothing is not full of traditions, so as per usual there were many dozens of mini apple cider doughtnuts,


plenty of tasty apples to pick,

PIcking Apples

Cherry Apples

(these look like cherries and taste like apples!)

a trip into the depths of the corn maze (dry enough to traverse the whole thing this year) --

Children of the Corn

including making it out alive (!!),

Made it out Alive

a race over the obstacle course,

Obstacle Course


and cute farm animals.

Little Jersey

And I get to look forward to days filled with apple pies, crisps, muffins and sauce!

Half full

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Roadtrip: Ricker Hill

With four apple picking adventures under our belt, I present the Cleaver's Guide to a Successful Apple Harvest Trip:

1. Pick a beautiful fall day Fall Color

2. Get apple cider doughnuts first. It's no good picking on an empty stomach. Apple Cider Doughnuts

3. Eye your prey Our Prey

4. Don't be afraid to use tools to get the best fruits. Up High

Up High

Down Low

5. Pick the Most Photogenic Wagon to Haul your Harvest Hauling the Harvest

6. Don't be so focused on the apples that you miss out on other marvels. Grasshopper

Pitch of the Patch

7. Waste Not, Want Not. Rotten apples explode fabulously when flung from a slingshot.

Apple Slingshot

Letting it Fly

8. You're never too old for a petting zoo. Kidding around

Happy Sheep

Conversing with a Cow

Any More Hay?

9. And never too big to stop being silly. So Tall!

10. Pick up more apple cider doughnuts on the way out. It's only once a year! Worth the Drive

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Taking in the Season

Ricker Hill

I am not alone in my love of fall in the blogsphere. It seems ever blog I read in is love with the colors, flavors, textures, and crispness of fall. 

I love fall for all the usual suspects: apple cider, the sense of renewal, school supplies, the scent of the air. I also have a bonus reason to love fall: it's when I both met and two years later married Mr. Cleaver. So the fall is very special to us both.

Ricker Hill

So this past Saturday we engaged in some traditional fall activity and went on our third annual apple-picking trip. We really liked the orchard we had been going to in Illinois, so the standards were high for our first Maine venture. It had so have a few things: 1 - a wide variety of apples, 2 - pumpkins, and 3- (most importantly) apple cider doughnuts. Seriously, I live for my once-a-year shot to eat apple cider doughtnuts hot out of the fryer. I keep thinking about trying to make them on my own, but I think it might take something away from the experience. That said, and I'm not promising anything (having still not posted an actual S'more pie recipe), don't be surprised if apple cider doughnuts appear on this blog in the next month or so.


Ricker Hill Orchards was a hit on all three points. Crisp juicy apples (organic and non), delicious hot doughnuts (weekends only), cheery pumpkins, and amazing views. Not to mention the fantastic play area.

Find the apple

Oh, and this is pure genius, they had giant slingshots for the rotten apples. See if you can spot Mr. Cleaver's apple in the photo above. The boy below's name is David (I didn't catch the irony until I was captioning the picture) and he asked me to take a picture of him, so I was happy to oblige. 

David slings an apple

We got lost in the corn maze, but did solve it on our second try.

Corn Maze

But Mr.Cleaver holds a grudge, so after we got out, he decided to mow it down.

All in a Day's Work

(Totally kidding on that)

We also both gave a go at the obstacle course. Look at the following images while humming the theme to "Rocky" in your head, it makes it better.





Who do you think won? 

Queen of the Hill

Not that I'm a biased judge or anything. :)

Oh and we did pick a bunch of apples too.

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly