2017 - Like Honey

Apple Picking in Horse Country | Our Eckert's Boyd Orchard Experience

*I was compensated by Eckert's in exchange for my honest review of their farm. All opinions are my own.*

As most of y'all know, my family is from the Lexington, KY area and I've been spending summers and holidays there since I was a kid. I currently live in the St Louis area and our favorite orchard, Eckert's, recently took over another farm in the Lexington area. I love having a little piece of home right there when I'm visiting!

Our most recent visit allowed us to cross yet another item off of our Family Fall Bucket List -- Apple Picking! It's one of our favorite fall activities and I loved seeing Lucy enjoying it all with so much family.

The first item on our agenda was the play area. The kids loved all of the fun slides and giant bounce pad. We didn't have a chance to ride the camel or pony this time, but that is always a crowd favorite as well. The older kids got to try out the barrel races, too! My little ones enjoyed watching their aunts and uncle race down the track.

Next up was the petting zoo. This was definitely a favorite for my babes and the older girls really enjoyed it, too. The goats were super friendly (and hungry!) and the fluffy Scottish cow was so gentle and sweet with Parker's grabby hands. You can tell these animals are happy and well cared for. The goats have a large playground of their own and there's plenty of feed to go around for 50¢ a handful.

Now of course, is the apple picking! We took a short wagon ride to the orchard area where a helpful employee told us which apples we were picking and helped us find the best selections. The grounds were absolutely beautiful and full of life. If you're local to the area, you'll know that these new wooden benched wagons are a great addition to replace the old hay bale seating.

My favorite stop is always the market. Eckert's Boyd Orchard did not disappoint! There were so many delicious concoctions and home decor pieces and I was excited to see some products from my home orchard in Belleville, too.

I was surprised to see how much there was to do at Eckert's Boyd Orchard! From apple picking and pumpkins, to cider slushies and camel rides! Our kids really loved the petting zoo and all the fun slides the most.

I think I have a few pies to bake in my near future! Let me know if you have any other apple recipes I need to try! What's your favorite part about visiting an apple orchard or pumpkin patch?


DIY Homemade Crustless PB & J

Who else has a toddler that likes to be arbitrarily picky?! I never know what she's going to request (it's almost never what I make...*eyeroll*), so I like to have some quick and premade options on hand. One of our favorites is the frozen crustless PB&J sandwiches, Uncrustables.

Those Smucker's are expensive, though! (See what I did there?) When you've got two kids chowing down at least once a day, you've got to come up with a more cost-effective solution. So I got a little crafty, whipped out my trusty drinking glasses, and went to work. Here's how I make and freeze my own "Uncrustables" for literally pennies!

Smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy Peanut Delight...because Aldi prices.
To start off, you'll need a loaf of bread, jelly, and peanut butter. If you have an actual sandwich sealer that's even better, but I didn't feel like spending the money on one when I had these perfectly round little drinking glasses that did the job just fine!

I like to arrange myself a sort of assembly line to speed up the process. It works double because you'll need the cookie sheet in a few. Make sure you only spread the condiments around the very center of each slice--the rest of the bread gets cut off in the crust removal process and you don't want jelly seeping out of the sides of your sammies!

Did you find yourself a sturdy round glass? Center that bad boy up and smoosh it down onto the bread like so. Then just peel away the excess bread (do this while the sandwich is STILL in the cup!) and pluck your perfect little Uncrustable out of that cup. Got it stuck? Give you glass a few shakes like the last drop in the ketchup bottle and it should break free.

If you're not freezing any, then that's it! Great job!

If you want to prep some meals ahead or just save yourself some noontime sanity later in the week, read on to see how to correctly freeze and store your freshly made sammies.

Here's where that cookie sheet came in extra handy! Just line up all of your crust-free PB & J's and pop them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This will allow them to flash freeze and keep them from sticking together in the freezing process. I lined my sheet with wax paper just to be safe.

When they're nice and solid, just slide them into a labeled and dated freezer bag and you're good to go!

These crustless PB & J's make great picnic take-alongs, school lunches, and even snacks! My kiddos aren't school-aged yet, but when they are, I'll definitely have these budget friendly bites on hand at all times!

Cost Breakdown:

Aldi PB, 7 cents per serving
Welch's Jelly, 6 cents per serving
Aldi White Bread, 4 cents per slice

That makes each of these sandwiches around 21 cents! That's less than a QUARTER! Talk about a budget-friendly meal. Feel bad losing all of that extra bread? Save the discarded crusts for bread puddings, homemade croutons, breadcrumbs, or just go feed the local ducks. There's no need to waste!


Do you have picky toddlers or busy students? What's their go-to lunch meal? Share it in the comments below! (Seriously, I need more ideas!)

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