Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The secret to making your home smell like fall


I have a tip to share with you--a simple little secret that you'll love.

You know what I mean when I say "the smell of autumn," don't you? Sort of a combination of crisp apples and spiced cider and pumpkin bread baking in the oven. Mmmm. Well, there's a super-simple way to achieve it using ingredients you probably have in your pantry right now. Here's what you'll need:


Simply cut an apple (any variety) into quarters. Put the apple pieces in a small pan. Fill the pan with water, then add some cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Sprinkle in a little ground cinnamon if you want. Now here's the secret: Add a teaspoon or more of vanilla extract. Simmer on the stovetop, being careful not to let the water boil away.


I know vanilla extract is rather expensive, but you don't have use a lot--and you'll be amazed at the difference it makes! Your house will smell delicious. One warning: your family will probably come in and say "What are you baking?" because it will certainly smell as if you've got apple pie or cinnamon rolls in the oven.

And here's a little tip:  next time you're at a thrift store, pick up a little pan.  Use that for simmering your potpourri instead of one of your good pots.  That way, you can keep it on the stove and just keep replenishing the water and spices as needed.  Do be careful not to let the mixture boil dry--that would stink up your home instead of making your home smell like apple pie.

Now, if you need to bake something rather than just enjoying the smell of fresh-baked goods, check out this recipe for pumpkin bread.  It's the very best I've ever tasted.

Enjoy!

**I'm joining these great parties:

40 comments:

Southern Lady said...

I'm trying that today! Can't wait to have some fall scents in the house! Carla

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

This really, really makes me wish that I could smell!!!!

Sally said...

This, along with baking something yummy, is a great thing to do right before potential buyers come to view your home. Who doesn't like a yummy smelling house? My hubby calls it a "baked house!" =) ~Sally

Tracey said...

Perfect timing, we are having some friends over for game night tomorrow night. Thank you!

Nancy | The Turner Five said...

I just love this idea. I'm going to get some going right now. Love your blog.

Sheila said...

I'm curious, do you think that cheap, nasty imitation vanilla would give off a similar scent? Because I'd buy that and save the good stuff for cooking!

Marla and Steve @ Always Nesting said...

I can almost smell the goodness just by looking at the photo. Great "recipe"

Ronda Ronday said...

I LOVE everything about fall and it helps that it's cold and leafy LOL outside right now. My kids will appreciate this :)

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Lovely idea! I sure people will think you're baking an apple pie!

Manuela

Kelly said...

That's so funny. I just got done telling someone that simmering cinnamon sticks and orange cloves was one of my favorite ways to scent the house during Fall. I like your idea even better with the addition of apples and vanilla. Thanks for the great tip!

Dawn said...

YUM! what a good idea!

i bought 2 cinnamon brooms at publix the other day. one for the house, and one for the car. at least there is SOMETHING fall going on here :)

Sheila said...

Okay, I got home from work and set up a little pan on the stove...it smells AWESOME!!! I may have put a few too many cloves in. ;-) But I like it! THANK YOU! :-)

Richella said...

Sheila, I've tried making this using imitation vanilla. It kinda/sorta works. . . but not really. It's worth using a bit of the real thing! :)

Paula said...

I saw this earlier today and couldn't wait to get home to try it. Thanks for the great idea. I might take the pan to school and simmer it on a little burner in my classroom. I'll let you know if I do!

Jennifer Juniper said...

I learned this tip from my mom years ago and still use it today! I swear it helped me sell my last two houses because I cooked it right before people came in to see! Thanks for reminding me :)

At The Picket Fence said...

What a great idea Richella!! I can't wait to try this! :-)
Vanessa

Erin said...

I love this idea, Richella. Just do be careful, as I have a dear friend who simmers something similar on her stove and she's ruined several pots by forgetting it's on the stove.

Scooper said...

Oh how I LOVE that fall scent! I am trying this out for sure. Would be great all through the holidays!

The Pennington Point said...

I am SO trying this! Thanks for the recipe. Lisa~

Promosyon said...

I also prepared it at my home and added so much chilly powder and turmeric powder because I am too much crazy for its spicy test. I like your idea even better with the addition of apples and vanilla.

Kelli @ RTSM said...

What a great tip! I think my grandmother used to do this around Christmas.

Kristin@FavoritePaintColors said...

Mmmmm, I love the smell of Autumn and this sounds like you hit it right on. I'm definitely trying this, thanks Richella!

Blue Cotton memory said...

I think mothers of sons truly appreciate a beautiful smelling house! It says, "Hey! There's still a girl here!"

FrouFrouBritches said...

That sounds wonderful!!!! I love all the fall baking smells! YUM! Thanks for the tip!

Holly said...

Mmmm...I love this idea, Richella! Definitely going to try it.

Donna T. said...

Can't wait to try your recipe...I too have a potpourri recipe...thinly sliced oranges, cloves and cinnamon...I love the Fall scents around the house...

Anonymous said...

How long does this stay good? Do you just cover it and leave it on the stove for the next use?

Richella said...

Hi friends--

Yes, this keeps well on the stovetop. I don't cover mine--I leave it open on the back of my stovetop if I'm going to use it again. If you want to keep it for a good while, you could place it in the refrigerator. Just be sure to get it out and use it so that it doesn't get all moldy!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to try this today!

katie_shannon said...

How long will this last? Can I have it going on the stove for a few hours?

Richella said...

Hey Katie! Yes, you can keep this going on the stove on simmer. Just keep an eye on it and add water as needed. Do NOT let it run dry--that smells awful and could be a fire hazard.

Anonymous said...

Love this technique - but definitely keep an eye on it...the water will disappear quickly! I sometimes use orange peelings with cloves and cinnamon - another great combo!

Kelly Kunst said...

Can you use one of those small crock pots? The ones for dips?

Kelly Kunst said...

Instead of the frying pan, can you use one if those small crock pots ? Like the ones for dip?

Richella said...

Yes, I think you could use one of the little crock pots for this. You might want to get it hot on the stove and then transfer it to the crock pot to simmer. Whatever method you use to simmer the mixture, just be sure not to let the water run dry! You'll want to replenish the water from time to time, especially if it's on the stovetop and really bubbling.

The Hoffs said...

This would probably be great in my steamer on top of the woodstove!!

Anonymous said...

can you substitute ground cloves?



Lily Razz said...

I got so excited reading this I ran out to get the missing ingredients and just put it on the stove! It already smells wonderful! Yay! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Mari Custodio said...

That's amazing... I'm making it in Brazil =)
Let me ask you something, can i put it in a bottle or something like that and let it site in other rooms?!

Anonymous said...

This would be perfect to have in a small crock pot, and just keep on low. While in ur CP it can keep for about a month, just make sure to keep the water levels up. I love doing this every fall!!

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