Posts tagged ‘apples’

November 22, 2011

Apple Upside Down Breakfast Cake

I have wonderful parents. They are so willing to watch our dogs whenever we need them to. I try to do what I can to show them how much I appreciate it. Recently they kept our dogs overnight and I promised to bring breakfast in the morning when we picked up the mutts.

In my effort to try to eat healthier I knew that I did not want to bring over some breakfast-bake devoid of nutrients but covered in fat & calories. We also only had 1 egg so my normal Breakfast Egg Casserole type dish was out of the question. Then I stumbled across this healthy apple breakfast cake. This cake seemed like it had the potential to be really good. BUT – I didn’t bake it long enough plus it would have benefited from a bit more sugar and I think it tasted a bit too ‘healthy’ for us (sugar might have helped or use a less strong tasting whole wheat flour). So when you make this, be sure to bake it long enough and maybe add some more sugar.

Thanks Mom & Dad for still loving me even if I make a flop every once in a while.

Maple Apple Upside Down Breakfast Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups diced Apples, skin on
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable or coconut oil
  • pinch of fine Sea Salt
  • pinch of ground Cinnamon (and nutmeg)
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1/4 cup pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Flax Meal/Seed Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine Sea Salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia Powder (or more to sweeten to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 large Egg, whisked
  • 1 cup Milk
  • Cooking Spray

Apples: Heat oil in a medium non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add apples, water and a pinch of salt and cinnamon (and nutmeg). Stir occasionally and cook for about 8 minutes until apples are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat, stir in maple syrup and let apples cool.

Cake: Pre-heat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle. Prepare a 8×2 inch round pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Gently combine the wet and dry together to form a thick cake batter.

Put apples in the pan first in a single layer. Make sure they coat the bottom of the pan well. Carefully smooth the cake batter over the maple apple mixture. Try to keep the apples from moving around too much. Bake for at least 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine appeared to be clean but was still very doughy on the inside, so I would suggest baking longer and err on the side of over-cooked if unsure). Let cake cool for a few minutes.

To remove from pan: put a large dinner plate over the cake pan. Hold it tight and flip the cake over. It should slide out easily. If it sticks carefully use a spatula to loosen up the sides.

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… what was the last thing that you made which you thought would be wonderful but ended up being a flop?

October 25, 2011

Apple Maple Pulled Pork

I love using my crock pot! It usually gets pulled out an average of once a week during the fall/winter months. There is just something so wonderful about spending some time in the morning to put together a meal and then coming home at the end of the day to the house smelling amazing and your dinner practically done!!

After making my Apple Butter and having lots of Apples I decided to make a family favorite – Pulled Pork, but with a twist. This Apple Maple Pulled Pork (with a kick) was an awesome variation of my normal pork. The Apple/Maple flavors were there, but I wanted more. I could have easily added more Maple as well as some more diced Apples, but I was craving something else… I remembered that we had some Spicy Apple Jack BBQ Sauce made by Bonfatto’s and knew that with a splash of that the flavors would really be “amped up” – that was the perfect touch! The Maple Apple Pulled Pork is a Perfect Fall Classic Dish, no matter how you “kick it up a notch” at the end!

Maple & Apple Pulled Pork

adapted from Behind the Skillet

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder/butt
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • about 4 Tbs Steak Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dry ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground Paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 apple, peeled & cored and sliced into rings
  • optional sauce to finish it off (see my notes below)

Place the pork into your crock pot and pour in the apple cider vinegar. Add the dry spiced, garlic, onion and chilies. Drizzle the Maple syrup over then top with apple slices.

Cover and cook on low for around 8 hours. If you are home (I wasn’t) about half way through the cooking time check on it and stir it up/break the meat apart a bit and I find this helps in coaxing into the ‘pulled’ status. About 30 minutes before you eat it and it finishes you might want to break it apart again.

This is a good time to taste test & maybe add some more syrup (if cider/spices if it seems a bit bland – or maybe even a splash of Apple Cider).

* NOTES: Mine was a bit dry so I added about 1/4 cup more cider, 1/4 cup of Bonfatto’s Apple Jack Sauce and about a half cup of water. The Apple Jack Sauce kept up the Apple Flavor while adding a nice kick and was the PERFECT compliment to finish off this meal, I highly recommend it!

Serve on rolls with cole slaw or sauerkraut (my choice) or enjoy just as it is.

One Year AgoPumpkin Carving 2010 (Pumpkin Carving 2011 coming soon)

And I leave you with this, today’s Question of the Day… We bought the Apple Jack Sauce on an Impulse at a Festival – what impulse buy do you find yourself using more often than you thought you would and loving every minute of it!?

October 23, 2011

Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Fall is in the air. We did our apple picking a few weeks ago and then last weekend we headed to the corn maze. After Fun Fall Frolicking we needed some tasty fall dishes.

This soup is so simple and highlights all the tasty fresh flavors of fall. Serve it along with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich of thin sliced apples, a bit of apple butter, and a sharp cheddar and your meal is complete!

Every time that I make a Butternut Squash Soup it seems to turn out a bit differently, but I love it every time! This soup has a definite sweetness to it from the apples. You can spice up your soup with some pepper flakes or leave it sweeter. Roasting the ingredients first allow the full flavors of the squash to really develop instead of just boiling them like I often do -yes, another step/dish but with some foil its totally worth it!

Flavor up your house with the delicious smells of fall! AND you could make this for Halloween with some roasted pumpkin seeds on top and a scary drizzle of something dark (dark BBQ sauce maybe) to give you that orange/black visual. Happy Fall 🙂

Roasted Apple Butternut Squash SoupRecipe

adapted from Verses from my Kitchen (check out the amazing photos)

  • 1 large butternut squash (I used 1 small butternut & 1 small acorn)
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp. sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the squash and remove the seeds. Roughly chop and spread out on a baking sheet. Add the quartered apples, 4 sage leaves and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, until squash is tender.

Using a large pot, add in two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add in the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft and then add in the garlic and bay leaf. Cook for another minute. Add in the squash, apple cider, apples, brown sugar, spices, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

Using an immersion blender – make it smooth (OR blend in blender/food processor – be careful with hot soup) Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the heavy cream. Taste test & then serve and top with sour cream. Serves about 4

One Year Ago – my Scott’s Pizza Tour write-up (do it!)

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… what says “FALL” to you…

October 16, 2011

Crock Pot Apple Butter

We light candles, we buy air fresheners, & use room sprays – but the best way to get the house smelling yummy is to cook something yummy!

This Crock Pot (Slow Cooker?) Apple Butter does just the trick!! After growing up at Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm and “knowing” how hard it was to make Apple Butter (at Harvest Festival every year… open fire, lots of stirring, etc) I never thought that I could really make this delicious treat. I love Quiet Valley and hate to take some profit away from them by making my own Apple Butter – but thanks to Full Measure of Happiness, I found that it could be so easy! After picking about 30 pounds of apples at Heckman’s Orchard with my family I couldn’t wait to make my house smell amazing with this Apple Butter.

Now, about a year ago I would have dreaded peeling/cutting the approximately 20 (+) apples that went into this Apple Butter. But that was before my dear friend Teresa & her husband got me this Apple Peeler/Core-er/Slicer last year for the holidays. I’m telling you – go get one, I did all the apples in about 15 minutes without any work and just a little bit of counter wiping when I was done. This contraption is awesome for any apple slicing needs (unless you wanted the peel) and can also supposedly be used to make those really cool spiral/tornado potatoes – I’ll have to try that and get back to you!

after about 36 hours

So get out your Crock Pot and make your house smell delicious (other tasty smelling options are: chili or chicken or soup or pork or whatever). Trust me – your nose will enjoy it as will your stomach when you finally indulge in the fruits of your non-labor!

Apple Butter 

(makes about 2 quarts)

  • Apples – whatever fits in your crock pot, about 10 lbs of apples (I had about 20 apples, all different varieties – added in two batches)
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 t freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1 – 2 cups apple cider
  • sugar to taste (optional)

Dump all ingredients into the crock pot & turn on low for about 8 -10 hours. Add more apples at that point if you want (this will add about 8 hours). Cook on low for another 8 -10 hours or so. Remove your cinnamon sticks – if you used a more tart apple, add sugar (1/4 cup at a time) to taste. Mine ended up cooking for about 36 hours because I wanted it nice and cooked down, this is kind of up to you though. It needs at least 16 hours but can go up to 48 probably!

For the last 2 hours or so: prop the lid of the crock pot and let the extra moisture continues to evaporate until you get the desired texture.

Place into jars. You CAN can it (hehe) but I’ve never canned. I’m sharing some with my parents but this should last a few months (think Jelly?) in the fridge. Don’t let it sit around too long once its made – plan to use it by Easter probably….?



One Year Ago – Scott’s Pizza Tour – seriously, you should take one, we love Scott!!

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What treat do you splurge on in the store or local fair/etc that you’ve figured out how to make (OR that I should try to figure out how to make for you)? – I know that Rich loves fancy BBQ Sauces, I should try to make them after we get inspired by others (OR we can just continue to support local businesses and buy their delicious sauces, who knows)

December 12, 2010

Apple Turnovers

Birthdays, Holidays – all reasons to celebrate! Mom’s birthday was a few weeks ago & I wanted to make her apple turnovers and a smoked salmon quiche thing – but realized the evening before I didn’t have the ingredients to do so… just got bagels instead!

I know that my parents love turnovers, so even though I didn’t make it for mom’s birthday, figured after the show my mom was assisting with was over & we were celebrating a Hanukkah dinner – the least I could do was make turnovers!

Annie’s recipe called for making your own puff pastry dough (yeah – maybe one day) but for now I am more than happy with Pillsbury’s own! Don’t be shy about filling them (although the fact that the corner’s were empty reminded me of the first bite (or two) you get of a store-bought turnover. Next time I’ll add more filling, and maybe even try my own dough – but for now, what a perfect treat for after dinner and celebrating with family and with something I know they love!

Turnovers - oven ready

Recipe (as adapted from Annie’s Eats – please take the time to visit her site & see her amazing step-by-step photos – this lady knows what she is doing!)

  • Defrost one sheet of puff pastry
  • peel, core, & grate 1 granny smith apple
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • sprinkle (less than 1/4 t) of salt
  • dash of cinnamon

Oven-Fresh TurnoversDIRECTIONS….

Peel & grate the apple using a large box grater. Combine the grated apple, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut the puff pastry into even squares (as close as possible). Working with one square at a time (on parchment paper), place about 2 tablespoons of the apple filling (squeezed of excess liquid) in the center of the dough.

Moisten two adjoining edges of the dough square with the apple liquid, then fold the top portion of dough over the bottom. Crimp the edges of the turnover with a fork.  Repeat with the remaining dough squares. Refrigerate the filled turnovers 30 minutes, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. While the turnovers are chilling, preheat the oven to 375° F and combine the sugar/cinnamon in a small bowl.  Brush the turnovers lightly with water and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. [Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the turnovers to a wire rack to cool.]  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy Hanukkah: turnover style

Thought of the day: My parents always told me that they had to be nice to me because I would be the one choosing their nursing home… little did they know that since they were nice to me I would be nice to them & surprise them with tasty treats just ’cause I love them!

*don’t forget to leave a comment & share with your friends*

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