An inside look at Chicago real estate

Talk of The Town: September 2018

Mark.Miles By
Mark Miles
   | Uncategorized


Take a bite out of life

Autumn is on the way with rustling leaves, shorter days, and pumpkin spiced everything. The fall harvest is a bounty of amazing seasonal delights and activities, so this month we’re focusing on a classic — the apple! We’ll explore orchards for packing your bushel, some of our favorite apple pairings and how to make the perfect taffy treat.

A Bushel of Fun | The Perfect Caramel Apple | Spice It Up


A bushel of fun

1 County Line Orchard

40 miles southwest | 200 S County Line Rd, Hobart IN
Located in northwest Indiana, County Line has 40 acres of u-pick apples to choose from. Take a break with the family to grab a freshly baked doughnut or enjoy s’mores around the campfire.

2 Kuipers Family Farm

55 miles west | 1N318 Watson Rd, Maple Park IL
Take a hayride to the orchard and choose from more than 20 varieties of apples. Visit the general store for caramel apples and more.

3 Prairie Sky Orchard

60 miles northwest | 4914 N Union Rd, Union IL
Open daily, Prairie Sky specializes in 15 varieties of apples and Asian pears. Stop by the farm’s Koffee Kiosk for a warm brew and slice of pie.

4 All Seasons Apple Orchard

65 miles northwest | 14510 IL Route 176, Woodstock IL
Visit the chickens, billy goats, and llamas at the petting zoo and test out the giant jumping pillow to unwind after a day picking Honeycrisp apples — one of the few local orchards where you can grab this variety!

5 Apple Holler Family Farm

65 miles north | 5006 S Sylvania Ave, Sturtevant WI
The dwarf trees at Apple Holler are ideal for the little ones in your life. They have it all — hayrides, a petting zoo, and an onsite restaurant!


The perfect caramel apple

Making an insta-worthy caramel apple at home is within reach. Here are some tips to make your treat picture-perfect!

Choose a high-quality caramel:

It will melt better and go on smoother.

Heat carefully:

Heavier pots (like a Dutch oven) retain heat better. And don’t overheat—this results in a crunchy texture and will make it harder to dip.

Remove the wax:

Apples are often coated in wax to keep them shiny, which actually makes them harder to coat!

Chill your apples:

A cold apple helps the caramel set quicker. Once they’re coated, pop them back in the fridge to help them set.

Use the scoop and spin method:

Place your apple in the caramel, then scoop the caramel onto the apple, twisting as you go.

Less is more:

Let some caramel drip off once it’s coated.

Use parchment:

Wax paper or foil won’t work well.

Coat it in chocolate:

Be sure to let the caramel cool completely before you start.

Slice it:

Cut your apple instead of biting right in for best results!


spice it up

Complex and versatile, each apple variety has its own unique flavors, uses, and cheese pairings.


Firm and crisp, this apple has a mildly sweet, vanilla-like flavor and light floral aroma. Generally smaller than most other varieties, this apple is great for kids.
Suggested Uses: Juicing, salads, baking, freezing
Pair with: Cheddar, Goat Cheese, Chevre, Swiss

granny smith

Originating in Australia, this classic apple is known for its bright green color and tart flavor.
Suggested Uses: Salads, baking, cooking
Pair with: Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola


Robust with a spicy-sweet flavor, the Braeburn has a crisp bite. This all-purpose apple is perfect for eating on the go.
Suggested Uses: Salads, baking, eating fresh, pies
Pair with: Camembert, Gouda


Juicy and refreshing, this apple is delightfully sweet with a flavor similar to fresh apple cider. Maximize your fruit by storing in a cool, dry place or refrigerator.
Suggested Uses: Juicing, salads, baking, freezing
Pair with: Blue Cheese, Brie, Provolone, Gruyere

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