Say “I Do” To Solar With A Sustainable Wedding Registry
You don’t need a crystal ball to predict that 2021 will be a major year for weddings. And that’s not simply accounting for nuptial celebrations that were postponed. We all know couples who hunkered down to weather the pandemic together—at least a few of them will have determined they actually can live together in sickness and in health, in showerless days and endless video streaming nights.
But today’s soon-to-be newlyweds won’t just pick up where the pre-pandemic world left. In the before-times, the most pressing wedding planning concern might have been whether to get a DJ or a live band. But things have changed. Beyond the tragic global health crisis, we find that the pandemic provided an unprecedented chance for people to pause and reflect on what matters. Perhaps more than anyone, young couples about to start their future together are imagining what they can do to live more mindfully.
That’s not to say menu selection and seating arrangements aren’t still critical to planning the big event! It’s just that many couples today are looking to plan and host a more sustainable wedding than they might have before… Which is where solar power comes in!
Perfect For the Couple Who Has Everything
Historically speaking, wedding gifts and registries often reflect the social priorities of the era. Remember when a full set of China and silverware for entertaining guests used to be essential? How about all those kitchen gadgets that ended up in a closet or on eBay?
A more recent trend is a honeymoon or house down payment fund that helps couples get a jumpstart on a comfortable life together. But for couples who already own a house, the addition of solar power to their home can be a meaningful gift, providing not just a greener footprint but a way to control their future energy costs.
Residential Solar: A Bright Idea
The cost of solar panels can vary quite a bit depending on where the array will go, available incentives, and other factors, but an average 10-kW system costs generally between $17,000 and $24,000. Similar to collecting funds for a down payment on a house, a wedding registry could allow friends and family to pitch in towards making the newlyweds’ solar power dreams come true.
SunCommon doesn’t require a downpayment to go solar, but any upfront payment certainly helps make it more affordable in the long run.
Another Option? Community Solar!
Sometimes installing residential solar just isn’t feasible. Maybe the couple lives in a condo, or the conditions at their home aren’t quite right. In that case, another great option is Community Solar.
With Community Solar, SunCommon installs a large photovoltaic array at an optimal site. Local residents then sign up for enough solar panels to cover their estimated annual energy needs. The local utility receives data on how much energy the array produces, compares it to how much energy the homeowner uses, and provides a financial credit on the monthly bill accordingly. (Learn more about community solar here.)
(The green perks of community solar don’t end there! When SunCommon develops a community array, we incorporate pollinator-friendly plantings around the site’s perimeter.)
Sign Me Up, Sunshine!
How can you make a solar gift registry happen? Sites like Honeyfund allow you to set up a cash registry for all kinds of things — a “flexibility fund” can be used to pay for a new photovoltaic installation.
Cheers To A Brighter Future
We hope sustainable weddings go beyond being a hot, new trend and become an enduring tradition that sets both the happy couple and the planet on a path toward a healthy, meaningful future. Want to learn more? We’ve got lots of ideas — about solar… not centerpieces. 😉
2021 SunCommon Community Service Day
For over a year now, much of the SunCommon team has been working remotely, and all-staff gatherings have been suspended. But graced with good weather and increased access to vaccines amongst our staff, we paused operations for a day to give each other the opportunity to reconnect after a year apart, provide service to our community, and expand our mission impact by planting carbon-sequestering trees.
On May 14th, 130 SunCommoners spread out across 8 different sites across Vermont and New York and worked with local conservation groups on a range of projects to expand sustainable ecosystems and clean water systems.
From planting pollinators at a CSA site to planting trees along riverbanks, our efforts allowed us to connect with the land and with each other. Below are some of the stories we captured.
Pollinator Planting in Kingston, NY
In 2019 and 2020, SunCommon installed two Community Solar Arrays at the Pointe of Praise church in Kingston to provide affordable, clean energy to the church and its parishioners. As part of our service day, we planted a pollinator garden at the newer array for the bees and butterflies, and to beautify the area.
Flood Plain Reforestation & Carbon Sequestration in Jericho, VT
Planting trees not only helps with flood resilience, it is also the biggest and easiest way to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to mitigate climate change — so, a natural fit for SunCommon! Between three sites in Vermont, we planted over 3,100 trees (obliterating our previous tally of 1,200 in 2019) through our partnerships with Friends of the Winooski River and the Vermont Land Trust.
Tree and Shrub Planting at Esopus Creek, NY
In partnership with The Kingston Land Trust, we tackled a variety of conservation projects along the Esopus creek! Our efforts will help address climate change through carbon sequestration as well as mitigate flooding. The team also connected with their work on a deeper level by recognizing the indigenous history of the land.
Tree Planting in South Burlington, VT
We planted trees on a parcel of land conserved by the Vermont Land Trust to create “functional buffers.” These areas help protect wetlands and floodplains from further erosion, improve fish and bird habitats, along with so many more benefits. Learn more here.
When it comes to going solar, customer experience matters.
There are a lot of factors to weigh when deciding to go solar. From whether your property has a good solar profile, to the monthly cost, to your return on investment, it’s a decision that requires a thoughtful process.
But once you decide to go for it, there’s one more essential step: choosing the best solar company to handle the job. That means getting to know your potential solar providers before you sign the contract so you can be sure they’ll be a good partner from day 1 and for years to come.
Here’s where SunCommon shines like a bright and cloudless sunny day: as a locally owned and operated company, we’ve built our business model on being not just a great installer of solar, but also a good neighbor, dedicated to the satisfaction of our clients.
So what does it take to give our customers an amazing solar experience?
Good communication is our first priority
At SunCommon, we never underestimate the critical role that good communication plays in ensuring that your project goes smoothly — and also in making it an exciting (and dare we say fun?) customer experience!
We set expectations upfront so that the sometimes-complex process of going solar is as clear as possible. At every stage of the project, we want our customers to know what has been completed and what’s coming next. (In fact, we hire our staff not just for their techie know-how, but also for their people skills!)
Coming soon for new SunCommon Customers:
Bodhi is a platform that gives solar customers critical updates during their permitting, installation, and project commissioning phases.
Problem solving for the best answer
When you’re as passionate about your company’s mission as we are, everyone in the organization is committed to rolling up their sleeves to work for their customers. And it’s not always a cut-and-dry solution. Sometimes our technical knowledge and experience with financial incentives will do the trick, and other times we tap our ingenuity and perseverance to come up with the best solution.
Integrity matters. Big time.
At SunCommon, we know our clients make decisions based on our expertise and the quality of the information we provide. That’s why we take our estimates very seriously and build our pricing models based only on historically relevant and geographically specific data. Some national companies use national data—but are utility rates in Texas relevant in New York or Vermont? Not likely!
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
“I have been with this company for three years. I just reviewed the original estimates they gave me with my three years of bills. The estimates were right on target.”
SunCommon Customer | Delmar
Commitment that doesn’t quit
Lastly, you want to work with a solar company that will help you out beyond “flipping the switch.” If a problem arises after your solar is up and running, SunCommon will be there for you. And whenever you want to expand your solar capacity or add battery backup, you’ll already have a great relationship with a responsive, helpful, friendly local business you trust.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
“We started with an 8kWh system in 2012 that took about 4 weeks and expanded it with a 5kWh system just finished in early 2014. The expansion took only 2 weeks because all of the wiring was already there, and the newer system was joined to the old system.”
Karen F. | Hudson
Here’s another great way to get a feel for who we are:
Talk to one of our expert Solar Advisors! We’re always happy to answer your toughest questions and work hard to achieve your solar aspirations. Ready, set, go solar!
5 Easy Ways Toward More Sustainable Living in Saratoga
Let’s face it: thinking about climate change can get overwhelming really quickly. The world is an enormous place, and the degree to which humans (especially industry) negatively impact the environment can feel beyond our control.
If you’re thinking, “How can one person make any kind of difference, even if I really want to?” It’s true, you personally probably won’t. But once you shift the mindset from “I” to “we,” everything changes.
Take this blog, for instance. You’re not the only person reading it, and as the headline suggests, we’re going to give you some simple but useful ideas for more sustainable living in Saratoga. If you then share those ideas, they’ll spread further into the community. And if enough people embrace them, and share them again and again, we can truly help build a brighter future all together.
Top 5 Ways Toward More Sustainable Living in Saratoga:
1. Get on Board with Bikes
Have you heard about the CDPHP bicycle sharing program in the Capital Region? There are more than 400 bikes available at over 80 stations across Saratoga Springs, Albany, Schenectady, Cohoes and Troy. It’s a fun, earth-friendly, convenient way to get around, and it’s earth-friendly!
2. Tap Our Springs
We all know that Saratoga is known for its amazing spring water. Why not enjoy it at home by bringing empty bottles to Saratoga Spa State Park’s filling station? Kicking store-bought water to the curb saves you money, not to mention major energy costs and plastic waste. Different springs contain different minerals (and, some say, healing properties!), so do a little research ahead of time to find one that appeals to you.
3. Dig into a CSA
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) isn’t just good for you and your family, it’s a great way to sustain our local farmers. Pitney Meadows Community Farm offers a Pick-Your-Own CSA that gives you hands-on access to great produce all growing season long.
5. All Hail the Hybrid Cab
Sometimes you just need a lift, so when cab service is required, opt for a cleaner, greener fleet. Saratoga Hybrid Cab serves the Capital Region with local taxi and airport service using fuel-efficient, gas-electric hybrid vehicles.
Small changes (like composting) and bigger changes (like going solar) are both important, even if they seem like small drops compared to the tidal wave we need to address climate change. Not only do all these small drops add up, they also make a statement to others that the time is now to pool our efforts and make a bigger impact.
Looking to make an even bigger impact? Chat with SunCommon — Your go-to residential solar company!
We’re pretty sure you know some of the advantages of green energy, like breaking up with fossil fuels, but did you know that going solar could reduce your electricity bill by as much as 90%? Or that you could be eligible for New York State and Federal incentives to help cover the cost? (Heads up though, some of New York’s best incentives are being reduced soon, so don’t wait.)
Looking for the Best Solar Company?
Hi There. We’re Here for You.
OK, so you’ve done your research: solar power is the most cost effective renewable energy source that saves you money, raises your property value, works reliably, and is better for the environment. It’s decided — you’re ready to switch to solar! (Cue parade music and ticker tape ribbons!)
Tap Our Sunny Disposition… and Our Expertise!
Getting ready to join the clean energy family is an exciting time, and we’ve got a few feathers in our cap we can share so you know you’ll be working with the best solar company out there. We’ve won a few awards (check out our accolades here) and have been recognized by NYSERDA as a Quality Installer with Gold Status (which means we rank super high on their faves list). We’re a preferred partner with New York villages and cities for the development, installation, and financing of Community Solar Arrays.
We’re also thrilled to offer more than 15 years of installation expertise in New York, and we’re committed to giving you an incredibly positive experience, just like we did for thousands of other solarized New Yorkers — some probably right in your neighborhood.
More Reasons Why SunCommon is the Best Solar Company
Perhaps most significant to our customers is the fact that we’re locally-owned and operated. We live and work in the communities we serve, which means we have better insight into our customers’ particular needs. We’re not sure the same can be said about providers headquartered in Texas or California — in fact, we’ve heard stories of cost-savings estimates based on national stats that had no bearing on local conditions, which can be pretty misleading!
“Wow, SunCommon, sign me up!”
Smart plan! Spring is the ideal time to plan your solar project with us (find out why here), so if you’re ready to commit, here are a few things you can do to help get the ball rolling:
- Make sure your roof is in good shape and not in need of repair or replacement.
- Determine what direction the slope of your roof faces. You’ll want plenty of exposure to the sun, but that doesn’t always mean your roof needs to face south. Or, make sure there’s a sunny spot on your property where a ground-mounted system could go.
- Find out what financial incentives are available to you. In New York, there may be state incentives in addition to federal tax credits.
- Locate your most recent electric bill so we can estimate your power needs.
If you’ve decided that SunCommon is the best solar company to handle your project, give us a shout! We’ll answer any questions and then start rolling up our sleeves for you right away.
The NYSERDA Solar Incentive is Decreasing — Get the most out of solar while you can!
If this spring weather has you thinking about going solar, you aren’t alone! Spring is a great time to capture the sun’s rays because the days are finally long enough to bank credits for next winter. Another reason this spring is a good time to go or solar is that a major New York incentive is about to decrease, resulting in around $1650 of lost savings for the average solar system.
New York has the best solar incentives in the country
When you go solar at home in New York state, you’re eligible for several incentives that make solar more affordable. They include the federal tax credit, the New York state tax credit, and the NYSERDA solar incentive. This NYSERDA incentive will be decreasing sometime this spring. Read more about all New York incentives here.
What’s happening with the NYSERDA solar incentive?
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, better known as NYSERDA, allocates funding for residential solar projects in “blocks.” Each block has a different incentive rate, and they step down gradually over time. The current block is set at 35¢ per watt — which means for an average sized home solar system, the state will cover $3,850 of the purchase price, paying it directly to the installer for you.
But this current funding block is nearly depleted and will run out sometime this spring. Once it’s gone, the next funding block only provides 20¢ per watt, or about $2200 for an average sized system. Which means that waiting to go solar until summer could cost you $1650 in lost incentives.
Are all solar incentives going down?
It’s true that, by design, most incentives decrease over time and eventually go away. For example, the 26% federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar was scheduled to drop down to zero by the end of 2021, but in an unexpected move by congress, it received a 2-year extension as part of the recent stimulus bill. It is now scheduled to phase out entirely by the end of 2023.
The New York state solar tax credit covers 25% (up to $5000) of the cost of your system and does not currently have a scheduled end date.
Go solar before April 30th to lock in NYSERDA’s current rate
With long days and home improvement season officially upon us, now is the perfect time to look into solar (and even energy storage!) for your home. And to sweeten the deal, SunCommon will guarantee NYSERDA’s current incentive rate for anyone who signs up for solar before the end of April 2021.
Schedule a time to chat with one of our expert Solar Advisors before this incentive drops!
Our team is available for virtual home visits to explain the various options and programs that are available to your home, so that you can go solar, save money, and do good by the planet all at the same time.
Want to Go Solar in New York?
Make Hay (And Energy) While The Sun Shines!
Some things are just better in a particular season. Like wool socks. Fresh tomatoes. Pumpkin Spice everything. It’s true, too, if you want to go solar. While adding solar to your home or business is a smart and potentially cost saving decision at any time, spring is actually the IDEAL season to go solar and save money.
Here’s a fun fact: on average, there’s 15-20% more sunshine in March than in February. Plus, the amount of daylight increases by two minutes each day. More sunshine plus more daylight means more energy fueling your solar array. And that’s not just for immediate use. In New York, your utility allows you to “bank” the unused energy you produce as credits toward your energy bill in the off-season. (It’s true, check it out.)
That means that solar’s goodness keeps on giving throughout the year (unlike a Pumpkin Spice latte that only lasts you a few minutes). Installing a solar system this spring will pay back dividends next winter and every winter after that.
The Warm Fuzzies
Thinking about solar, but wondering if it’s the right direction for you? Allow us to go a little deeper…
The advantages of green energy are many, not the least of which is making a break from fossil fuels and using the sun’s clean energy to power your life. And that’s huge for our communities and for the world.
But we get it. Sometimes, you need a little more “What’s in it for me?” than simply saving the world. To that we say, how about reducing your electricity bill, possibly by as much as 90%? Win-win, right?!
Not to mention, you can also get over 50% of the cost of your solar installation covered if you’re eligible for New York State and Federal incentives! (P.S. This spring, one of New York State’s best incentives is going to drop, making now the absolute best time to go solar!)
Or how about the fact that installing residential solar will actually raise the value of your home? Or that solar plus the addition of a Tesla Powerwall energy storage system will allow you to sail through power outages without the use of a generator? Finally, did you know that going solar with SunCommon means you’re getting a custom installation from one of only nine NYSERDA Quality Installers with Gold Status?
So. Much. Winning.
Spring Into Action
If you’re ready to go solar, don’t wait until Pumpkin Spice Season. Or even the amazing Farmer’s Market fresh tomato season. NOW is the time to maximize your investment, bank as many solar credits as you can, and cut your energy bill and carbon footprint to boot. Let’s talk!
Ready to speak with a Solar Expert?
Home energy storage systems can help solar customers run their homes on solar power during electrical outages, but that’s just the beginning… Keep reading to learn more about how you can secure your power with a Tesla Powerwall battery.
A network of batteries throughout our communities can provide power to neighbors through the electrical grid, helping to ease periods of high energy demand and replacing dirty, expensive energy with clean energy made by the sun.
GMP is essentially crowd-sourcing power from home batteries when they need it most. In return, GMP is offering customers an easy, low-cost way to add energy storage to their homes. And by working with SunCommon, Vermont’s most experienced local installer of home batteries, Powerwall customers get the best value and the highest quality.
Option 1: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program
Owning your Battery and running your home off solar power, day and night, to ease demand on the electrical grid.
With SunCommon and Green Mountain Power’s new BYOD program, customers own their battery and choose how much of their stored energy to share with GMP. The program now offers the biggest upfront payment from a utility in the country (up to $10,500) for enrolling a home battery, and customers could be eligible for thousands more in federal solar tax credits!
Customers can also choose to use their batteries each evening when the sun sets, using energy from their stored solar power to reduce demand on the electrical grid during the time of day when lots of folks are arriving home and using power at the same time.
With this option, the battery is connected only to the home’s solar system and not to the grid at all. So unless the solar panels are covered with snow, the battery will charge up under the daytime sun and then discharge over the evening hours, running the home on stored solar power. As we all know, Vermont has its seasons, so more solar power will be available for battery charging in the summer and less in the winter.
- Energy independence and total control. Your solar system powers your home, you control your battery, and you still benefit from GMP’s incentive.
- The largest financial benefit, for most. Accessing the federal tax credit and an upfront payment from GMP of up to $10,500 through this program will add up to the largest total incentive for most of our storage customers.
- If you’re a CSA Member, you can still enroll in the GMP BYOD program but you will not get a solar tax credit with your system. Because your solar panels are in a community array and not attached to your home, your battery needs to be hooked into the grid in order to charge.
What are the financials for this option?
Because your batteries will be charging exclusively from solar, you can access the federal tax credit worth 26% of the system price. That’s a good-sized check. Plus, GMP will pay you up to$10,500 in a one-time, upfront payment for the benefit your battery offers the electrical grid.
Battery Lease Program
Lease your battery from Green Mountain Power, and charge it from the grid or from your home solar system.
Through SunCommon and the GMP lease program, you can store and use energy generated from your solar array, or store energy directly from the grid itself — all for $55/month plus a $1,550 installation fee from SunCommon.
Use your Powerwall battery system to back up your home when the power goes out. And share your power with the grid to improve reliability for GMP customers and reduce costs for everyone on peak energy usage days. Through this lease option, GMP is partnering with customers to use the battery’s stored power during peak times to lower costs by reducing transmission and capacity expenses.
- Leasing is easy. GMP owns the Powerwall system and is responsible for warranty work — all for their monthly fee of $55 and a $1,550 installation fee.
- Grid charging keeps the batteries full. GMP will charge your battery from the grid, ensuring you’ll have enough power available when you need it.
- Battery systems that are part of the Lease program are not eligible for the federal solar tax incentives.
What are the financials for this option?
GMP customers can lease a double Powerwall system from GMP for $55/month after a $1,550 battery installation fee from SunCommon. Customers can also choose to pay $5,500 upfront, plus the $1,550 battery installation fee to avoid monthly payments.
All in all, this is a great option to put your home energy storage system to work benefiting everyone and building a cleaner, more reliable electrical grid.
For all the details and fine print, visit GMP’s website at: https://greenmountainpower.com/bring-your-own-device/
Want more info on how solar works with your utility?
We build solar systems that work with your utility. That means you can produce more solar than you need all summer long, and use those credits in the winter when your system is producing less energy. You can to enjoy the benefits of on demand energy and zero out your energy costs, swapping your utility bill for a solar payment. Find out more about how solar works by clicking below.
Solar Saves New England $1.1 BILLION
New Data makes it crystal clear. Solar helps everyone. There’s been debate across the region about how valuable solar is, and this analysis puts that debate to bed. Newly available data demonstrates the enormous benefit of local distributed solar power to everyone in New England. From 2014 -2019 small scale solar in new england saved utilities and every resident more than 1.1 billion dollars.
These massive savings stem from two main factors:
- Solar avoids the purchase of other types of electricity from the grid. In New England, that other type of electricity is usually fossil fuels.
- When solar operates, it reduces electricity prices, so it drops the cost of electricity for everyone in New England.
If solar is so great, why are incentives still dropping?
This newly available data has not been considered, as local utilities have consistently reduced incentives for solar in recent years. So, while there has been some debate, we can clearly say that this is going in the wrong direction, as we work to decrease costs for everyone while building our renewable energy future.
So while incentives are dropping this year in Vermont, there is still time to get in on the current rates. Learn more here.
Why else is this new data important?
Not only has local solar effectively lowered utility bills for everyone, it has also reduced public health and climate risk from fossil fuel pollution. More than 99% of the time, when solar is producing energy at our homes and businesses, we’re turning off dirty power plants in New England. We’re burning fewer fossil fuels and we’re protecting the health of our local communities. Now that we’ve learned this new information, it’s time to get policies in place to accelerate this clean energy transition.
As we look forward to 2021, we are excited to help rebuild our economy by installing more solar. Not only will it help our local economy, but it will reduce our use of dirty fossil fuels. This new analysis makes it clear that solar is not only an environmentally-responsible investment, but a financially-responsible investment, as well.
So, how do I go solar?
The process for going solar is simple. It starts with filling out our Get Started form. You can do so by clicking the get started button. If you want to know more details about the process and the steps involved between signing up and turning on the power, click the button below to find out more.
Our Favorite Fall Recipes
Holiday gatherings might look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring something delicious to the table! The SunCommon crew collected some of their favorite fall recipes for you to share with the ones you hold dear.
“My favorite Thanksgiving dish!”
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 1 lb Carrots, cooked
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Dash each of nutmeg and cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup corn flakes cereal (crushed)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook carrots and puree in food processor. Add eggs and blend. Add sugar, flour, baking powder, butter, spices and blend until smooth. Pour into greased casserole dish. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over casserole. Bake 1 hour.
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free if sensitive)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup currants or raisins, optional
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
- 1 cup grated carrot (about 2 carrots)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Paper muffin cups
Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, walnuts, currants or raisins, if using, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrot, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Ultimate Apple Pie
“It fills the space with the warm scent of apples and spices, and nothing says fall like apples and spices!”
Pie Crust Ingredients:
- 2 ½ cups of flour
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ½ Tsp of salt
- 1 cup of diced cold unsalted butter
- ¼ cup of ice water
Pie Filling Ingredients:
- 1 cup of unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp of flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- ¼ of water
- 7 medium sized apples, sliced. (I use macoun and snowsweet apples)
- 1 ½ Tbsp of cinnamon
- 1 Tsp of pumpkin pie spice
Pie Crust: Place all dry ingredients in a food processor, pulse until all are combined. Add in the butter, making sure not to handle butter too much to keep it from warming up. Pulse until it appears like a dry sand mixture. Slowly add the ice water, pulse one more time.
Place the dough on a board or counter, press it all until you mold it into a ball, or square, cover it and place it in the fridge for 2 hrs or overnight.
Pie Filling: In a pan, melt the butter on med-high, as it begins to zimmer, add the flour, whisk in the sugar and water, bring to a boil, lower the heat, until it becomes the consistency of honey. In a separate bowl, add the apple slices, once sauce is cooled a bit, add it to the apples, along with the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Fold all ingredients together.
Then… Roll out the pie crust to your desired size, place on the pie plate, add filling, decorate it as you wish. Preheat the oven to 425°. Place pie in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, lower heat to 350° and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
- 1/4 cup butter; softened
- 1-3/4 cup warm (100-115°F) water
- 3/4 cup gruyere or cheddar, freshly grated
- 1 tsp tabasco or Frank’s
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 5 to 6 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp salt, or to taste
- 1 pack active dry yeast
Dissolve the yeast with the sugar in 1/4 cup of the warm water and allow it to proof. In a large bowl, mix 5 cups of flour and the salt. Make a well in the center and add the remaining 1-1/2 cups warm water, the butter, the Tabasco, and the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula or with your floured hands until the dough is well amalgamated. Turn out on a heavily floured board (use 1/2 cup flour) and knead for 10 to 12 minutes or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and rather satiny in texture and all the flour on the board is absorbed; add flour if you need it. Place the dough in a buttered or oiled bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1-1/2 to 2 hours or slightly more.
Punch down the dough, turn it out on a lightly floured board, and knead in the cheeses. When thoroughly blended, cut the dough in half and let rest for 10 minutes, then roll out each half into a rectangle about 11 x 6 inches and let rest for 2 or 3 minutes more. Roll each triangle up, pinching the edges as you do so, and tucking in the ends so that the loaf measures about 4-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches. Place the dough in two well buttered tins, cover, and let rise in a warm spot until the bread has reached the top of the tin, or slightly higher, or has more or less doubled in size.
Bake on the center of the middle rack of a preheated 375° oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when removed from the tins and rapped with the knuckles on both top and bottom. Bake directly on the oven rack, without the tins, for a few minutes to firm the crust. Cool the bread on racks before slicing.
“This recipe was, and still is, an all-time favorite of mine growing up. It is extra special because it comes from a book my parents used to read to me when I was little: Cranberry Thanksgiving by Harry & Wende Devlin. It reminds me of the fall and is something I plan to make for my future kiddos.”
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp grated orange peel
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 1 ½ cup raisins
- 1 ½ cup chopped fresh cranberries
- 1 ½ cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan – set aside. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda) into a large bowl. Combine canola oil, egg, orange juice, and orange peel in a separate large bowl. Pour wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fold in raisins, chopped fresh cranberries and walnuts into the mixture. Pour mixture into greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350°, or until a toothpick in center comes out clean. *BAKING TIP* If the bread is browning on top but is still wet on the inside, cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the inside is dry/cooked through.
- Brownie mix of your choice
- 1/2 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 6 oz cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to whatever instructions are on the brownie mix box. 350° works well. Make the brownie mix in a separate bowl. Follow the directions on the box. Add the chocolate chips to the brownie mix. Stir them in and set the bowl and set to the side. Mix the pumpkin, cream cheese (softened), sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in another bowl. Mix until very smooth. Spray your pan with cooking spray before starting. Pour half of the brownie mix into the pan and spread out so the entire bottom of the pan is covered. Next add the pumpkin. You can either spoon the pumpkin filling onto the brownie in chunks or spread it out evenly. Cover the pumpkin with the rest of the brownie batter and smooth out the top.
Now you’re ready to bake! Since you’re adding some depth with the pumpkin mix, you’ll need to cook a bit longer than what the box mix says (~12 extra minutes for the pan I used). To check if brownies are done, dip a fork into the middle of the brownies. If the fork comes out clean, they’re done!